“Dog Person” Gets Cat: Surprised by Level of Dissastifaction

Disgruntled Cat

Disgruntled Cat (because the internet is for cats?)

I am working on a proposal to present at a professional conference next April.  The topic I have chosen is career development. Thus, my blogging volume is both:

1)      Temporarily reduced, and

2)      HR related

Why the topic of career development?  Well, frankly, it is on the list of proposals they are seeking.  And also, it is an area of interest to me because I have done a lot of hiring. 

When employees expect that their employer has a responsibility to advance their careers, I want to shake them and tell them to “wake up.”

Your career is a major contributor to your happiness

Your happiness is your responsibility

It reminds me of a fact that I learned early on in my work with school districts.  When organizations want to give you something (e.g. a grant) it is because this money furthers their goals.  It is sometimes better to turn down a grant than submit to its terms.  This is the same with a job.  It may be better for you to work for less money elsewhere than to take a job that does not fit.  Grantors and employers alike offer money so that their priorities can be met.  They are not going to guess at your priorities; you need to be clear about what you want and communicate it.

One time I was trying to untangle an awful mess of a grant that had been accepted by the “powers that be” with the declaration that “it is money – how do you turn down money?” Various projects had been undertaken and then the grantor refused to pay for them.

Eventually we determined that a privately held company had established a foundation.  That foundation had promised us the grant so that a PhD candidate, who turned out to be the president’s wife, could use our data.  Obviously she wanted certain things done in certain ways – not aligned with our district’s priorities.  None of this was spelled out in writing.  Lessons learned!

1)    Fully understand what the party who writes the checks wants

2)    Ensure that it aligns with your priorities

3)    Put it in writing

Employees need to ask themselves a basic question – is this work a fit for me?  If you are a “dog person”, don’t get a cat.  Neither is likely to be happy.

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