Should I tell my boss I’m ready to move on?

Albuquerque Journal - - SUCCESS - By J.T. O’Don­nell

Em­ployee POV: I’ve been work­ing at my com­pany for two years. My boss is a good guy, but it’s be­come clear to me there is no up­ward mo­bil­ity in his de­part­ment. I’m very driven and want to keep my ca­reer mov­ing for­ward, so I want to start ap­ply­ing to jobs in other di­vi­sions of the com­pany.

I just don’t know if I should tell him or not.

Man­ager POV: My em­ployee is do­ing a great job. He’s been here for two years and all the train­ing is fi­nally pay­ing off. I think an­other cou­ple of years and he’ll be ready for a big­ger role, be­cause he still has a lot to learn. I sense he thinks he’s ready for big­ger chal­lenges, but he’s not. I’ve tried to ex­plain the need to “pay your dues” at our or­ga­ni­za­tion, but he just smiles at me.

I hope he doesn’t de­cide to leave and take a new job, but I can’t stop him if he doesn’t re­al­ize he’s not ready yet.

Anal­y­sis: This is one of those com­mon mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion sce­nar­ios I see all the time in em­ployee-em­ployer re­la­tion­ships. The em­ployee is get­ting bored and wants a new chal­lenge. Mean­while, the man­ager would like to get some re­turn on his train­ing in­vest­ment by hav­ing the em­ployee de­liver con­sis­tent re­sults for a cou­ple of years be­fore mov­ing on to a big­ger role.

What can be done when the em­ployee wants more, while the boss wants what he feels is owed him? It all comes down to man­ag­ing ex­pec­ta­tions.

In this sit­u­a­tion, I would ad­vise each side as fol­lows:

Em­ployee take­away: In­stead of telling your boss you want to look for a new job in the com­pany, ask if to­gether you can build a game plan over the next year or so to get you pro­moted. You may not think there is any up­ward mo­bil­ity in your cur­rent de­part­ment, but your boss knows more than you about where the busi­ness is go­ing.

You might both get pro­moted if you build the right strat­egy and ex­e­cute it as a team.

Man­ager take­away: Don’t let the tal­ent you worked so hard to de­velop walk away. Sit down with your em­ployee and dis­cuss how you can help him get ahead in the next two years.

Help­ing each em­ployee see what their fu­ture looks like at the com­pany and sup­port­ing their per­sonal and pro­fes­sional goals is the best way to get the loy­alty you de­sire. There are nu­mer­ous stud­ies that show em­ploy­ees stick with man­agers who make it their on­go­ing mis­sion to de­velop the peo­ple who work for them. Why not be one of them?

The Work­place Ref­eree col­umn is de­signed to help em­ploy­ees and man­agers gain bet­ter in­sight into each other’s points of view. You can sub­mit ques­tions to sup­[email protected]­it­ Iden­ti­ties will be kept con­fi­den­tial.


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