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"I am not getting anywhere... Can I ask my boss for advice and help?"
I am in academic research clinical trials [medical]. I decided not to renew my current contract (which was for 3 years, renewed annually) with an employer and gave a few months notice to ensure that my boss could have time to find a replacement for me. I advised her the reason I was leaving was I felt I had outgrown the position responsibilities and she agreed.
Despite great qualifications, I am not getting anywhere in landing a new contract. Is it appropriate to ask my boss for some advice and help? I have worked extremely hard over the years. There are times I feel my boss may not like me very much as I have had to stand up for myself when she exhibits difficult behavior [excessive criticism and lack of support, lying or uncooperative co-workers].
I have started career networking, but what I feel is happening is I am trying to advance to project management in a field where my boss has a lot of influence. Plus, where I would like to work is an organization she interfaces with daily [I have never asked any employer for help before and this is part of the reason why I am hesitating.]
I have talked to some people within the new organization, but it appears that I can't get the right people to look at my resume and skill set. At first, I got a prompt positive response, now it seems they are telling me I need more varied experience in a field I have been in for years. It makes no sense to me. I have more than 10 years experience. The last thing I thought I needed was more experience! What I need is opportunity to advance. I don't expect to pop right into a senior position, but one in which I can begin in and advance to that level. Don't you have to start somewhere?
My question: Is it bad form to ask for her help even though I am leaving in a few weeks. My Boss is a powerful person in my field and I hope she will give me a good reference or some help.
Dear Trying to Move Forward,
Your choice of 'moniker' says a lot. You are 'Trying to Move Forward', but you are wondering if your Boss is an anchor or a springboard.
Let's focus on getting your Boss (and your work experience) to act as a springboard for you, and help you to create the better future you're dreaming of. First off, you should not be reluctant to ask for her help, but there are some important steps to take before you speak to her.
You mentioned that you have your eye on a project management job in another company. The problem is you don't know if your former Boss will be helpful in you landing the job.
My suggestion is to widen your field of vision and imagine that the whole world is your oyster. Taking this approach will increase your chances of landing the job you want. Here are 7 Steps to making it happen:
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
WIDEN YOUR FIELD OF VISION
WHO ARE THE INFLUENCERS?
LAUNCH A CAMPAIGN
SHARE YOUR DREAMS WITH YOUR BOSS
I strongly suggest
that you write a letter, straight from your heart, which describes your
desire to do medical research in "x" area. The message you
want to convey is that 'thanks to her', you are on your way to achieving
FOLLOW-THROUGH AND MOVE UP
This Seven Step
Plan won't be accomplished in the blink of an eye. But if you stick
to it, I am positive you'll connect with the people who can make your
dreams a reality.
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