How to Ask for a New Manager (Without Ruining Your Reputation at Your Company)

Women Talking at Work


AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger

Let's face it: Not everyone is meant to work together. Sometimes, we're paired with people who just don't suit us — or we just don't suit them. And that's OK! That's the reality of the working world.

Most of the time, you should try your best to power through the challenges, learn how one another functions (and why) and make an effort to work well together despite your differences. In fact, your differences may be beneficial in bringing unique ideas to the table and playing devil's advocate with one another to push boundaries. 

But, unfortunately, that's not always the case. There are some situations that can't be solved with an earnest effort. Sometimes, you just need to ask for a new manager (or find a new job). So how do you ask for a new manager without ruining your reputation at work?

Here are five ways to do just that.

1. Be honest with your current manager.

Your current manager deserves the details. Sit down with your current manager in a private place where you can discuss your differences and why you're looking to move managers. Thank them for the opportunities they've given you, the lessons they've taught you and the skills they've helped you to develop and hone. But also be honest about why you need a different management style. They may be willing to hear you out and implement changes! or they may be willing to help pair you with someone new. Either way, they should know the truth, and you don't want to burn any bridges.

2. Get to know other managers.

Before making any moves, get to know the other managers in your workplace. Have one-on-one conversations with them if you can, and even talk to their direct reports about their management styles. The point is to get a feel for the type of management style that appeals to you. Before you go into your human resources department to ask for a new manager because your current situation isn't working, you should have an idea of what kind of situation might work for you. And you can get a clearer idea of this by chatting around with other managers.

3. Don't badmouth your current manager.

Throughout the process of changing managers, be sure that you uphold professionalism. You never want to badmouth your current manager or spread negativity around the office. After all, it's disturbing to the workplace and it'll hurt your reputation because other managers won't be able to trust that you won't just turn around and do the same thing to them down the line. So behave with maturity and respect at all times.

4. Talk to your human resources department.

Schedule a meeting with your human resources department to discuss your options for switching managers, if it's possible. Make the time to meet with them, and be sure to have a detailed report for them. This should include exactly why you need to switch managers, how this can help benefit the company and not just you (i.e. you'll be more productive and less stressed, which, of course, will help you perform your job better). 

5. Don't evade conversations with your current manager or neglect your work.

Do your best to still meet with your current manager and keep them abreast of the process. While you're still working for them, you should still be doing your job to its fullest;  you shouldn't be evading meetings with them or delaying or neglecting your work for them because you plan on leaving them. You need to keep working as you would had the situation never escalated to this point. 

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog,, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.