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What to do when boss blocks your career



Q. I want to work in another department. I can’t apply without my boss’s permission and my boss is blocking it. He doesn’t want to lose me. He’s even said that to me, so he’s not promoting me. This job internally is a promotion. And the new boss wants me to transfer and even told me I’m the only person he wants in that role! I feel stuck. What should I do?

A. Let’s get you unstuck! While I understand your boss’s predicament (and it is a feather in your cap that he doesn’t want to lose you), let’s look at the bigger picture here: You could potentially resign and land a new job externally, so he would lose you anyway!

First ensure that you’ve met all the qualifications to transfer internally. Usually, you’ll need to be in your current role for a certain number of months, get a specific rating or higher on your annual performance reviews, etc. This differs by company, so check your employer’s HR policy or speak to someone in HR to ensure you check all the boxes. Next, quickly check in with your potential future boss to see that the role is still available and you have a strong chance of securing it.

Then, escalate it so your current boss, potential boss and HR have a meeting of the minds. Your boss may claim being short-staffed and there could potentially be a legitimate loophole in the HR policy wording with loose implications for unforeseen circumstances to not let you transfer internally. I say that with an asterisk because technically you should still be able to transfer.

The ball’s in their court now — let them work it out. Your boss may not make it a swift transfer, so expect to stay in your current role a few weeks to train your colleagues and more, but again let the higher ups come to a resolution.

In the meantime, I would start looking for a new job externally anyway. It’s always a good idea to have your resume circulating — you’re in demand now and that energy and confidence can easily attract external employers as well.

Q. I’m in California, but I’m looking for a job in Chicago. I’ve heard that recruiters won’t even consider me, assuming my California address will cost them money to relocate me. I’m not looking for a relocation bonus. I’m moving at my own expense. How can I make sure they don’t overlook me because of my current location or move status?

A. Definitely remove the California snail mail address from your resume. Employers certainly won’t send you a letter in the mail to schedule your interview, and it’s only necessary for tax/payroll purposes once you’re on payroll. Keep your phone number intact on your resume so you can be reached (and don’t worry about recruiters flagging your area code; everyone is so mobile these days that an area code won’t designate your specific location).

Your goal when you apply and network is to get your foot in the door. So keep addresses off your resume, even for the location of your current and past jobs; it’s OK to remove if it’s all California. It’s also OK to leave it if you prefer — it shouldn’t make a difference.

Tribune News Service



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