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01/25/2010

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Jon, these are truly words of wisdom. Patience is indeed a virtue, but only if your management is open and keeps you appraised of all the "back room" maneuvering.

I've always guarded the illusion that I have a role in career decisions, and do resent the too-prevalent "paternal" attitude of some managers - the idea that all will be taken care of without the employee's input.

While I realize that management does need to maintain discretion and that not all information is open, it is horrifying for an employee to feel that conversations are going on behind their back, and that plans are being made without their knowledge.

We're all adults, and good employees have the social and emotional maturity to be included in most career discussions.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Let me add a few key points from my perspective.

Managers do talk about you behind your back. It's not a negative; it just happens to be the process for many HR functions. Your job is to have enough dialog with your manager to know "the thirty second story". When someone asks your manager about you, she speaks for about 30 seconds - the good, the bad, whatever. By asking enough questions about your current performance, what your manager sees as next steps you can pretty much glean what the management team thinks about you. This is important to understand where you are in the scheme of things.

At the end of the day, you still have to manage your career and never just trust the system. You have to make it more than an illusion and have meaningful input into the process.

Good stuff. Thank you for writing this. I've been in a holding pattern for some time now - planning the next step. Slow moving, very frustrating, but everything to be acted upon in due time.

It might be slow moving, but as long as that career pot is on the back burner simmering you (and your management) won't forget. Occasionally it is needs to be on the front burner - but it should never be off the stove!

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