DEAR CORPORATE GOVERNESS
Our industry is shrinking, and there isn’t much turnover because the oldsters are hanging on to their jobs. Some of them clearly ought to retire; worse, my own career is being stalled. Should I threaten to leave unless they promote me? —Jordan T., Vancouver
The truth is that many people will have to be carried out before giving up their posts. According to Michael Adams, 65, co-founder and president of Environics Group of Companies, a polling and market research firm in Toronto, boomers are going to continue working—some because, unlike their parents, they’re going into retirement laden with debt, and others because they like it.
If your manager is sympathetic, discuss your concerns. Jamie Danziger, senior VP at IQ Partners, a Toronto executive search and recruitment firm, suggests focusing the chat on your own career growth and achievements, not the old folks and how you’re hard done by. “I never recommend that anyone threaten to quit,” says Danziger. “Things don’t work out well once threats and positioning start to happen.”
Good advice: Instead of feeding your resentment, you can reach out to build relationships. A mentor could become your biggest career booster while you connect over Google+. Alternatively, you can start your own company, where you don’t have to trust—or hire—anyone over 30.
DEAR CORPORATE GOVERNESS My work has been designated “mobile,” so now I work at home or book a shared workstation when I come into the office. Others on the team love the flexibility, but I feel discombobulated. Am I alone here? —Delia M., Toronto
DEAR DELIA No. Some of us need to get out of the house—that’s why we go to work. But as companies rush to shed their pricey real estate, it seems like many of them can’t move people out fast enough. That’s a game changer for employees, particularly if the move is not by choice.
While many welcome the new mobility, others find it isolating. Per Scott, VP of HR for Royal Bank of Canada, says his company has moved hundreds of people out of the more traditional job configurations, and it’s working out fine.
“We’d much rather be focused on productivity than managing who’s where and when,” Scott says.
Before deciding if it’s right for you, weigh the positives and negatives. On the plus side, you can pat yourself on the back for reducing your carbon footprint by not commuting. The free BlackBerry is also a nice perk, not to mention the opportunity for a deeper relationship with the cat, your fridge and online gaming.
On the other hand, with moths eating the mohair suits that are languishing in your closet, the corner office is no longer a goal. (What corner office?) Meanwhile, the cat breaks your heart with her mood swings, your waistline expands and you’re losing big at Virtual Dog. When privileges turn into demons, it’s time to find a new job.