Hi everybody, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. This is a hard question.

Dear Mike, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I may be over my head in this job. I may be the Peter Principle brought to life. I’ve been very successful and promoted accordingly. Now I’m in a role and I’m not successful. It keeps getting worse, and I’m not sure of my next step. Help is appreciated.


Well, congratulations to you for owning your lack of success in a job that you’ve been promoted to. Here is my advice:

Own it to your boss. Say “I feel like I’m over my head, and here’s what I’m going to do.” If you just go in complaining that you’re over your head, that’s not going to be helpful. But if you go in and say you may be over your head, lay out a plan, and ask for the help that you need, most bosses are going to respect that. If you just go in and say you’re over your head you’re going to terrify your boss and make them think they have a person who can’t do the job, leaving them in trouble. But go in with the data, with the information, what makes you think you’re over your head, a plan to not be over your head (hire a coach, do a,b,c…) and then ask your boss specifically for what you need from them. That very specific, succinct, take charge (that I’m sure has gotten you the promotion you recently got that left you over your head now) is probably what made you successful. Acknowledgment, plan, request for resources.

Good luck, I believe you’ll be successful using that strategy.

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