Great new post from Dubs over at systematicHR about career pathing.
The basic premise is that managers are declining promotions due to quality of life considerations – and that this is something new.
I just don’t think it’s new! Two stories to illustrate.
1. About 30 years ago my father turned down a promotion to a global leadership position with Kodak. When we talked about it and I asked him why, he explained that if he took that promotion – then the company would “own” him and he would no longer have control over his life. That is the extreme at one end.
2. When I first started working, I was a line supervisor in manufacturing. As an ambitious recent college grad, I felt certain that everyone wanted to get ahead. Then we tried to promote one of the hourly workers to a supervisory position. He was a natural leader, highly respected, very competent. His answer? No way. He already had what he wanted out of work. He had his home, a little place to go fishing on the weekends and the ability to send his kids to college. He didn’t want anything else from work.
Work/Life balance has always been an issue – perhaps we do more navel gazing now, but this is not new.