Q. I’m a recent graduate with a degree in computer engineering and I work at a software company. After six months, I realized that this job wasn't my thing and I want to pursue software development. I talked to my boss about a move and she said I can't request a transfer until 12 to 18 months on this job so she can get her full investment in me. I just find this ridiculous; it’s frustrating because I'm putting my career on hold. I am in my ninth month and hate my job. I really want to stay in this company. Should I talk to her boss? Should I go to HR?
A. Before you do anything, read an article about different generations in the workforce. It will be helpful for you to learn more about Millennials, which you may represent and other generations, which may be represented by your manager. A recent CareerBuilder survey showed that a high number of Millennials believe, ”You should stay in a job until you learn enough to move ahead," an idea not shared by the majority of Boomers, those most often found at the management level.
Many organizations ask that employees stay in roles for at least 12 months before they apply for transfers. There is a cost to employers to hire and train new staff and managers want to make sure there is some kind of payoff by having staff who know what they are doing on the job, and are considered high performers. Organizations also want to make sure they are giving opportunities to people they want to retain and not just passing on problems to other managers.
Good employees recognize that the employment contract is a two way street and both sides must benefit for the balance to work. The more you can see your manager's side of the equation, the easier it will be to move forward in the organization.
There is more to learn in your first few years at work than just the functional responsibilities of the job and your manager is letting you know that. Assess the skills that are rewarded and promoted at the company. Patience, as difficult as it is to learn, will prove to be a valuable competency. Having a plan and goals are great for you. Now, work with your manager to look ahead at what your future might hold and how best to develop the skills needed to get there. Ask your manager which skills would be appropriate to work on as you grow in your current role and prepare for your future role.
Going over your managers head is not a good strategy for the short term or long term career success, especially with an issue like this and this early in your tenure.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
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