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Community Champion

To train the new person or not.....

So I have been on both sides of this paradox in my career. You apply for a job/promotion and you don't get it and then you are given the assignment of training the new person that got it.

 

Do you:

A) Say "No way! Let him or her struggle on their own."

B) Say "This sucks, but I am going to be the bigger person and do it anyways."

C) Say "This sucks. If they ask me for help I will assist but if they don't ask, I ain't going out of my way to help them"

D) Quit and figure that action will show your boss something.

 

Having been on both ends of the spectrum I can tell you from a management and resume building perspective option B is the best way to go. One of the things that helped me advance in my career is taking on the jobs that no one wanted to do, even if the ones that "should" have done it were higher paid than me. This allowed me to become the trusted employee of my supervisor. He knew he could count on me if he got into a jam. Even though I was a mid-level employee and not a journeyman, I would tackle any request with the enthusiasm and vigor to get it done and get it done right. I kept applying for promotions and not getting them (it was being decided 2 levels higher than my boss). Eventually I got it and then the supervisor took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of supervision. This allowed me to gain valuable resume building experiences that helped my move into management later.

 

Now having been the new person I have also been on the receiving end of all 4 options. In the cases where I was helped, I was able to help the non-selected people advance their career. Heck in some of the A and C scenarios I was able to assist the people, even though they had not been nice to me. I understood their frustration, but not their method. What I pointed out to them was that sometimes management did this to see how they handled the situation. If they handled it well, then they were promotion worthy for future promotions. If they handled it poorly, then it confirmed they made the right decision by not selecting that person. I have seen many a co-worker kill their career defending a promotion they didn't win.

 

My advice to those of you who find yourself in this situation: Help the new person. You do yourself no favors being a donkey. Use the situation to your advantage. I used to put down on my resume that I trained higher level people. When asked about it in interviews, I explained the situation and the interviewers were impressed with my team-first attitude.

5 Replies
Contributor I

Re: To train the new person or not.....

Utterly agree with your outlook here.

 

Much the same, I have been the person appointed and had the nasty reponse on arrival. In nearly every case, I have whole heartedly set out to help those people get on in their career.

 

Recently I was on the other side of the fence, bein rejected for a position that was later filled by someone else. I made it my mission to be on their side, get them to be the best they can be and become their go to team member.

 

Currently enjoying a great working relationship and reaping the benefits.

Contributor I

Re: To train the new person or not.....

Doesn't it to some degree depend on the new person?  What if you find you can't explain or train them on anything and they claim to know it all already, for example.  What if they have the attitude towards your entire team?

Community Champion

Re: To train the new person or not.....

Yes. If they burn the olive branch you extend then at least you have tried. The point is to make the effort. I have seen some people that were hired be the donkey in question and then it makes it even harder for them to succeed.

Community Champion

Re: To train the new person or not.....

@CISOScott, I fully agree that providing training is the best option. There may be no immediate benefits, but there should be long-term ones --- and even if that doesn't happen, it's still something benevolent.

 

Let's add another scenario similar to the one you described, only in this one you haven't been assigned the task of training the new person, and management doesn't provide training either, even though he / she isn't adept at handling the job requirements. (We'll also assume the new person has a good attitude and is keen on picking up what knowledge you impart.)

 

Here, choosing the best approach might be a bit more tricky, given that you'd want to take into consideration your own supervisor's stance on the matter, as well as your job priorities.

 

While I'd opt to train the new person, this would be subject to my own supervisor's approval --- for which I'd 'volunteer' to provide a training.

 

  1. If he agrees and assigns this to me as a task, then I'd confirm what priority to give it.
  2. If he agrees but tells me to do it only after I've completed my other tasks, I'll tell the new person I'll be happy to assist when I'm free.
  3. If he isn't in favor, and instructs me not to provide any training, I'll have to tread very carefully, and may not want to risk training the person.

 

Providing training is the best thing to do, but if this isn't an official task I would want to ensure that there aren't any conflicts...

 

 

 

Shannon D'Cruz,
CISM, CISSP

www.linkedin.com/in/shannondcruz
Highlighted
Contributor I

Re: To train the new person or not.....

Yes, it's your classic prisoners dilemma strategy; be approachable, co-operate and see how the other party behaves


@CISOScott wrote:

Yes. If they burn the olive branch you extend then at least you have tried. The point is to make the effort. I have seen some people that were hired be the donkey in question and then it makes it even harder for them to succeed.



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