I’m a value driven person. Part of my burnout is related to me being in a work environment where my manager had different values to me. Especially important for me are: Collaboration, Trust and Honesty!

Collaboration: As a financial business partner I was working on budgets for some business units. I believe in building a strong relationship with my business partners. Based on trust and open/honest collaboration and communication. After working with them for 4 years we had a mutual and friendly relationship. Apparently this is not how I should have worked. Apparently if you’re too close to your business partners, you won’t be able to be critical enough and tough enough on them when the going gets tough. You’re working for Finance not Oncology Andy! I fundamentally disagree with that point of view. Even after all those years, while writing these lines I am shaking my head.

Trust: I didn’t feel trusted. I don’t think my manager trusted me to do the job. I don’t know why? I’ve been doing it for 4 years before he joined. Very soon, I didn’t trust him either. Not only did we completely disagreed on what my role should entail but also his. I didn’t feel he was on our side. Somehow not part of the team. Somehow it was him vs. us…

Honesty: Half a year after the new management came on board, the year end ratings were due. My direct manager gave me a good average rating. His manager though, for some reason wanted to give me a sign, that he wasn’t happy with my performance. So my direct manager had to go into the system and chance his initial rating. As none of this was communicated to me, I just got the poor rating served. Unfortunately for them I knew how to look the provisional rating and at the time stamps in the rating system. So I clearly saw the initial rating and then the changed one after the two of them had a meeting. Trust was gone. Honesty was gone as well because when I confronted my direct boss, he denied it.

The conflict within me was a sensation I never felt before. The sadness and helplessness were overwhelming. I felt sick. Even more so because Collaboration, Trust and Honesty were company values at the time. Little did I know that they can be interpreted so differently.

If the differences in values are so big, you need to protect yourself and be brave and move on. My strategy to outlast my boss, because I thought he’s a career guy and will have left within 2 years (or before he could do too much damage), unfortunately didn’t work. It’s a hard choice and an unfair one, but one I would definitely take.