Author Topic: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.  (Read 6062 times)

Sand Dreamer

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Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« on: November 06, 2015, 06:07:56 PM »
I will attempt to make a long story short here and hit all the highlights.  I have been working with a government agency for a little over 3 years now.  During that time I have also been working on obtaining a second degree (they pay for it) with the plan of moving to a different division in the same department.  As luck would have it I had completed the required class load to transfer/apply for this job at the same time there were several people who retired.  I had been in contact with the hiring manager over the last 7-8 months and made them aware I was working on completing the second degree and they were very supportive and even made sure to send emails letting me know when the jobs were opening up.  I was granted and interview along with 9 others all of which were outside applicants.  The interview went very well all of my references were contacted about a week after the interview.  So I felt very good about my chances for landing the job.  Another week goes by, I received an email from the hiring manager asking me to come to her office, I of course assumed this was good news...well the news that was given to me was that her managers would not hire me away from the current division I work for, because they didn't want them to be short handed!  Not that I wasn't qualified or that someone was a better candidate simply that the directors for each division were very good friends and they did not want to cause them to be without someone in my position for a small period of time.   I was encouraged to reapply if another opening came around, which I asked frankly why I would bother if they have no intentions of hiring anyone from my division.  Of course there was no answer to this. What does one do?  I do not want to work in my current role as it is a starting point and there is no room for upward movement for at least 10-15 years in my office. Also, the way I see it I am dead in the water without having the ability to transfer to the other division( which offered a substantial pay increase and opportunity for advancement). I have great benefits/pension/work schedule which are a plus, but I don't know if I want to continue to work in an environment where initiative and hard work will go without notice or chances to advance.   I have an option to go to work where none of my degrees would matter, but my salary would more than double, but includes night shift work and less flexibility. However, with the extra money I calculate I could be totally debt free in 18 months.  At that time I could do anything I wanted.  I am just unsure of the trade-off   I would appreciate any advice or thoughts anyone has on this.   Thanks

Jack

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2015, 06:20:26 PM »
Can you file a grievance somewhere? They're essentially harming you for something that isn't your fault.

Google, Apple, etc. recently paid a $415 million anti-trust court judgement for doing something similar, so I have a hard time believing it would be kosher for different branches of the government to do it either.

Sand Dreamer

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 06:47:48 PM »
I contacted my state association rep and at her request my state representative as well.  They were both upset and concerned about it, however they stated that they could hire whomever they wished and there was nothing that could be done.  They did tell me that this is something they have hear a lot of in the last couple of years and were working to find new ways to improve the hiring system. I am not sure about any legal aspect of it.  I am not one to use the word "fair" however losing a job because I simply work in a different division does not seem legit.  I have no issue being beat out by more qualified or even equally qualified applicants, but this was like I stated a real kick in the face.  The way it came across to me was that I was chosen by the hiring manager, but was shot down by her superiors because of my current role.  So I don't really know where you go from here.  Even if there was something that could be done, I am not sure I want to work for someone who goes about things this way.  Does not give me very much faith or hope for a future there

sheepstache

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 07:09:06 PM »
Have you told them you're going to look elsewhere for a job if you can't transfer out of your current department? Obviously you have to do it in a nice way, but if they understand your perspective and that they will have to deal with the vacancy either way, it ought to make a difference.

Exflyboy

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 07:12:03 PM »
This sort of thing happens all the time. It has to me several times.

The only real recourse you have is to remember they have treated you in a way you will treat them at some point. Specifically this means

1) Get your degree that they are paying for ASAP and don't make waves
2) Move onto a different company/ division at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime, work the minimum amount of extra time that you have to.. preferably none at all (I am assuming you are salaried?)

This sort of thing is why employees have very little loyalty to their employers anymore. It just comes down to selling your skills to the highest bidder because they will treat you like a commodity anyway.

Sorry this has happened to you, it is survivable... but it hurts.


backyardfeast

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2015, 07:20:49 PM »
I would say it's time to talk to your own Division head(s), whomever is blocking this.  Explain gently and diplomatically that you enjoy working there, and sympathize with their position.  However, they have known for some time that this was the career path you were after, given their support of your education and training.  Tell them that although you are fine with losing out on this specific position, that staying put indefinitely is not an option.  If there is no opportunity for advancement in your career in this company, you will be forced to look elsewhere.

Be calm but clear, and hopefully they will give you a straight answer.

Good luck!

TheDudeReturns

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2015, 08:18:25 PM »
I contacted my state association rep and at her request my state representative as well.  They were both upset and concerned about it, however they stated that they could hire whomever they wished and there was nothing that could be done.  They did tell me that this is something they have hear a lot of in the last couple of years and were working to find new ways to improve the hiring system. I am not sure about any legal aspect of it.  I am not one to use the word "fair" however losing a job because I simply work in a different division does not seem legit.  I have no issue being beat out by more qualified or even equally qualified applicants, but this was like I stated a real kick in the face.  The way it came across to me was that I was chosen by the hiring manager, but was shot down by her superiors because of my current role.  So I don't really know where you go from here.  Even if there was something that could be done, I am not sure I want to work for someone who goes about things this way.  Does not give me very much faith or hope for a future there

Yeah, you start going and badmouthing the place you work at like this, and it can come back to those above you. If they are petty, they can cause more problems for you in your current position.

If it's such a big deal, look for another job...

Goldielocks

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 09:07:49 PM »
Most large companies put in restrictions that employees can not be transferred within 2 years of starting a new position.   More if transfer or other benefits (school, if paid by the department) are part of it...

But -- you have been there 3 years..   

I guess I would bring it up with your manager, as you say, nicely.  And ask them to help open doors to make a promotion / more money transfer happen within the year.

okits

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 09:13:19 PM »
This sort of thing happens all the time. It has to me several times.

The only real recourse you have is to remember they have treated you in a way you will treat them at some point. Specifically this means

1) Get your degree that they are paying for ASAP and don't make waves
2) Move onto a different company/ division at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime, work the minimum amount of extra time that you have to.. preferably none at all (I am assuming you are salaried?)

This sort of thing is why employees have very little loyalty to their employers anymore. It just comes down to selling your skills to the highest bidder because they will treat you like a commodity anyway.

Sorry this has happened to you, it is survivable... but it hurts.

Exactly this.  If your boss is blocking your chances of advancement in this organization, you are going nowhere here.  You are being traded like a commodity.  The good news is that the marketplace is not limited to this employer, so as soon as possible (like if there is a service requirement after you finish the degree they paid for), get a job elsewhere.  You have no obligation to stagnate there if they are actively withdrawing opportunities from you.  (And as TheDudeReturns mentions, the well might be poisoned anyway, if you've complained about your treatment.  This company is not the right place for you if you're not willing to just sit there and take it.)

kite

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2015, 03:45:10 AM »
This kind of stuff inspired me to leave government for private sector. 
Not sure what to suggest you do about it, just know it happened to me in the 90's, and to my father in the 70s.  To a certain extent, it's just a function of mathematics.  There aren't as many jobs as there are qualified applications, and good people will hear "no".
They broke a cardinal rule in saying why. 
Never explain.  It doesn't make anyone feel better, but can make everything worse.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2015, 05:01:39 AM »
Quote
I have an option to go to work where none of my degrees would matter, but my salary would more than double, but includes night shift work and less flexibility. However, with the extra money I calculate I could be totally debt free in 18 months.

Whoa! Tell us more about that.

Jack

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2015, 07:31:44 AM »
They broke a cardinal rule in saying why. 
Never explain.  It doesn't make anyone feel better, but can make everything worse.

Yes, don't just unfairly collude to screw people over, hide it so that you can continue perpetuating the injustice instead of getting the punishment you fucking deserve!

Sand Dreamer's boss, and the director of the other division, are acting unethically. Such behavior should not be tolerated, period.

shuffler

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2015, 12:36:02 PM »
Yes, don't just unfairly collude to screw people over, hide it so that you can continue perpetuating the injustice instead of getting the punishment you fucking deserve!  Sand Dreamer's boss, and the director of the other division, are acting unethically.
What part is unethical?

If the business has a greater need for SD in their current role than it has for SD in the new role, then it may be a rational decision to decline to hire SD into the new role.

I'm not saying that that's the way they *should* run their business; SD's current management seems to lack any succession plan for replacing SD if needed.  But I am saying that I don't see it as a breach of ethics.

Their calculus is:  value of having SD in new role - cost of transitioning SD to new role < value of retaining SD in current role
SD can work to change the components of that calculation.
  *  Make yourself even more valuable in the new role.  This may be hard to do, beyond what you've done already.
  *  Reduce the cost of transitioning you to the new role.  Get your boss to build that succession plan.  Offer to train your replacement for a while.  This may be beyond your immediate control.
  *  Reduce the value of retaining you in the current role.  Communicate that the lack of mobility is demotivating and lowers your commitment to the business.  You may work fewer hours (reducing the value of retaining you in the current role), or ultimately leave entirely (eliminating any value of keeping you in the current role).

Typically the best (IMO) way to deal with this is the third bullet.  Continue to do great work (or even improve your results), while at the same time communicate to your boss (or skip a level and talk to your boss's boss) that the lack of mobility is a problem, and if it's not addressed then for the sake of your career you'll have to find somewhere else where there is greater opportunity.

regulator

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2015, 01:03:30 PM »
This sort of thing happens all the time. It has to me several times.

The only real recourse you have is to remember they have treated you in a way you will treat them at some point. Specifically this means

1) Get your degree that they are paying for ASAP and don't make waves
2) Move onto a different company/ division at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime, work the minimum amount of extra time that you have to.. preferably none at all (I am assuming you are salaried?)

This sort of thing is why employees have very little loyalty to their employers anymore. It just comes down to selling your skills to the highest bidder because they will treat you like a commodity anyway.

Sorry this has happened to you, it is survivable... but it hurts.

Yup.  Money talks and bullshit walks.  Don't waste time talking to them or doing anything but the requirements of the job.  Get your resume out there and go elsewhere.

Sand Dreamer

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2015, 08:02:22 AM »
Thanks for all the great replies everyone.  It is a very different work environment than I have ever worked in before.  The thought of talking to the director of the division was one I had considered, but there is also the risk of putting myself out there and causing myself unneeded attention, especially since they are likely a large part of the reason I was blocked. 

There are no clauses about the education stating I have to remain in my role for it to be covered I am free at anytime to leave without any cost to me.  I thik my best option is to finish up a couple more classes to finish the degree and be looking elsewhere in the mean time. I can't see any doors opening after what I was told.

The role I am currently working in has 5 other employees doing the same job as me, 2 years ago we handled it with 4 people total for about 8 months.  So there should be no issue that I can see with losing one spot as to why they would force me to remain in my current position.  Also, this is the least busy time of the year and would be the best time to absorb losing a position for a few months.

As far as the other job I mentioned and being able to double my salary.  The positions will open up in March and as much as it is something I do not really want to do the thought of being debt free in such a short period of time is a very freeing thought. Knowing I could go do anything at that time is a real plus.  The tough part is leaving a great m-f, no holidays job for one that will be nights, weekends, but hey we can do anything for awhile, right?

Someone mentioned that I was bad mouthing my employer, I didn't really see a response like that coming to this post.  I am thankful for my job, however I do not see it as bad mouthing when I simply addressed a concern. If no one bothers to speak up and ask the questions or look for answers the practice will continue.  I was encouraged over and over by the hiring manager to apply for this position.  Also, the folks working in that department now have all been to my desk telling my how much they disagree with the decision and how it was handled.  And no, I did not tell any of them about it.  That was all relayed from management to them...so there was no bad mouthing it in the office. 

Thanks everyone.  Glad to hear anymore thoughts you may have.

kite

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2015, 10:23:43 AM »
They broke a cardinal rule in saying why. 
Never explain.  It doesn't make anyone feel better, but can make everything worse.

Yes, don't just unfairly collude to screw people over, hide it so that you can continue perpetuating the injustice instead of getting the punishment you fucking deserve!

Sand Dreamer's boss, and the director of the other division, are acting unethically. Such behavior should not be tolerated, period.

There's no evidence of unfair collusion.  They chose someone else, that's all.  Qualified people get rejected all the time. 
The mistake in detailing why is thinking that the rejected person's feelings won't be hurt if you explain the decision.  But it doesn't help. It makes people unhappy and can create a legal nightmare.   It's fair to say "we like you, and are keeping your resume, feel free to apply to any future openings, but we went a different direction for this one particular job" or some variation; but there's no good to be had saying "it would have been you, but......" and then describe something the rejected person cannot do anything to change.   

TomTX

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2015, 02:11:28 PM »
Since your director thinks it's so all-fired important to keep you in your current role, they should bump you up to that salary at the very least.

arebelspy

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2015, 04:57:56 AM »
Since your director thinks it's so all-fired important to keep you in your current role, they should bump you up to that salary at the very least.

+1!  Ask them to let you go to the other job, or ask them to match that salary if it's so important for you to be there.

It won't work, but it'll be good to put on their radar.
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chasesfish

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2015, 05:24:13 AM »
The decisions you have to make are up to you, the answers are different based on profession/tenure with company, ect.

We have some of this in the organization I work for, especially in the higher paying/tenured/specialized jobs within the organization.  Its very frustrating at times, but I believe they're generally trying to make the best decisions for the company going forward. 

I personally believe in open posting, open application after a certain amount of time in the current job, and a transparent interview process showing all that were considered.   

AZDude

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2015, 08:42:42 AM »
Since your director thinks it's so all-fired important to keep you in your current role, they should bump you up to that salary at the very least.

Yep. Clearly they need you around. Demand a raise or walk. Stop being a nice guy. This place just screwed you over for a stupid reason.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Career advice after a pretty big kick in the face.
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2015, 09:09:58 AM »
Get your degree and look outside.