Another update from the Jungle…..
Fred was looking forward to a brilliant career. He’s young, educated and ambitious. His ambition has already helped him overcome the handicap of his parents naming him Rolex Fredericksburg, in honor of the city where he was conceived and his father’s favorite watch brand. He graduated from college with honors and immediately landed a great job.
Of course, his brilliant career depends on getting past the Condor-sized buzzard he works for. Randall seemed like a nice guy when Fred interviewed with him. Randall rambled on at length about the training opportunities offered by the organization and how the organization believes in promoting from within. He bragged about his subordinates who have gone on to amazing careers.
Fred saw his brilliant future shimmering before him and immediately accepted Randall’s job offer. He volunteered for special projects to gain experience and applied for every training course he could find. Randall was overjoyed to have such an ambitious young man working for him and shoveled more projects on to Fred.
Last week, Fred found another opportunity for advancement. Of course, it would mean a temporary reassignment for two years to a distant office, but the additional experience and skills could ignite the trajectory of Fred’s career. This morning, Fred meets with Randall to present his proposal.
Fred says he’ll return after two years and he’ll lead workshops to train others on what he learns during the two year reassignment. Randall stares blankly at him, then at the one page proposal. No, he says, evading Fred’s eyes, he can’t sign off on the proposal. Fred is much too valuable to the team to be lost for two years. Besides, there’s no guarantee, aside from Fred’s promise, that he will return to Randall’s department.
Fred glares stonily at Randall. His honesty and integrity are being questioned by the idiot who hired him less than a year ago. His initial impulse is to jump up, run around the corner of the desk, and knock Randall into orbit. Instead he excuses himself and walks out.
What options are available to Fred?
- He can slap the taste out of Randall’s mouth and tell HR he was temporarily insane with disappointment.
- He can begin a surreptitious campaign to push Randall into early retirement in order to clear the hurdle in his career path.
- He can quit at the first opportunity and pursue a brilliant career elsewhere.
In today’s tight labor market, employers who fail or refuse to invest in the development of their employees are likely to lose their best people to competitors who are willing to make the investment.
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