Sneaky Company Rips My Motivation

Question:

There are forces driving me away from my job every day, the largest one being that advancement requires a Master’s Degree and I only have a Bachelor’s. My company won’t pay a pretty penny towards advancement and I’m barely surviving on my after tax earnings of $20,000. I’ve even thought about taking up a second job. Yet, I’m encouraged by our department to “push for excellence,’ which is our new 2007 motto. How pathetic. How can I be motivated when I can barely pay my bills and have no hope to advance? I’m pigeon held.

There’s also been talk about my position being phased out; with the class we teach going all online (only those with an MA can conduct the online course). Occasionally, a co-worker of mine leaks things to me that are overheard about the situation. This is because every time I ask about the new proposal (which, by the way, was never mentioned to me in my interview) I get a run-around. Even if my position is kept, my hours could go to part-time and I may lose benefits. It’s rather risky.

Also, my lease is up at the end of March and I don’t want to renew if I’m uncertain of my pay grade and whether I’ll have a job at all. If I decide to accept a new position, it may be in a different state or town, which will impact the decision on my lease. Also, I’m unmarried and have no additional source of income and have no other means of financial support.

My questions are: -If the company knew about the all online proposal and it impacted my position, were they obligated to mention it in the job interview? -If I leave, I may only have 6 months of time spent with the company. How would I explain this to potential employers? Should I mention things like the lack of opportunity to advance, lack of job security, and financial constraints? Should I mention anything at all? -How can I get a clearer answer from my company about my position being phased out? Why are they being so sneaky? I don’t want to risk getting let go by probing too much. Should I request anything in writing about my future?

-Is the company required to give me a notice of X days before changing the position?

-What if my company lets me go and I haven’t found adequate employment? Working for minimum wage won’t cover even half of my fixed costs.

Could someone please help!?

Signed,

Stretched to the Limit


Answer:

Dear Stretched to the Limit:

I can understand your level of frustration. This happens when an employee does not have a clear picture of her/his future, especially future employment. I have had more than 25 years experience in school administration, and I always wanted my instructional staff to come to me and tell me or ask me what they were concerned about. It is clear to me that you are building up a lot of hostility toward your school system. An employee MUST be happy where they are working. This is especially true with an instructor. Your attitude becomes a part of your daily work and is transferred to your students. A happy teacher has happy students. A disgruntled teacher has dissatisfied students. A school system/company is not required to disclose information concerning future company plans or proposed plans. Actually it is not a good idea to discuss proposed operational activities until it is a “definite.”

You ask, “How can I get a clearer answer…” You must request with your supervisor or the appropriate management person for a meeting. Make yourself some notes and know exactly want to ask … what you need to know. Though simple communication is a much better way to learn the facts, rather than leaks from the grapevine. A company is not required to give you notice before changing a position. Unless you have tenure in your school system, you may be discharged for no reason, with no advance notice. Should you decide to seek other employment, your explanation with another system/company would simply be for “better employment opportunities.” If a company lets an employee go without cause, that employee is eligible to apply and usually be granted unemployment benefits. I hope this will be of some help to you. Best of luck. Will you keep us posted on what you do and what happens? WEGO is interdependent-mindedness.

Gerald Allen