Dear J.T. & Dale: I just took a new job at a large organization. I was told during the interview process that I’d go to training for two weeks at corporate HQ. I don’t like to be away from my family, but I could handle two weeks. I just got an e-mail that states the training is SIX WEEKS! I am horrified! There is no way I am going away for that long. What can I do? – Vance
J.T.: Start by taking a deep breath. Often in larger organizations, there are communication errors of this type. Forward the e-mail to your manager. If your boss responds with an apology and says the six weeks is correct, then ask for a meeting, where you’ll calmly explain that you aren’t comfortable being away that long and gently mention that had you known this in the interview process, you might not have chosen to take the job.
Then, close by stressing how much you love the position and want to be a part of the company, and ask if the training can be broken up over time. By calmly stating your concern and offering a solution, you show that you want to find a way to make this work. If your boss says it’s not possible, then I think you need to have a serious family conversation. Could this one time away be worth it?
DALE: YES! That’s easy for me to say, of course, but think what six weeks of out-of-town training says about your new employer: They’re making a huge investment in you. Grab it. Have your family come visit, or fly home for a weekend or two, but take this chance to learn and to become friends with co-workers from around the country. You’ll get smarter and better connected, all on an expense account.
Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at [email protected] or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.
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