Dishdoll, my boss’s secretary is very talented and she wants and deserves to be promoted.  I am in charge of job placement within our organization and I have approached him more than once about assisting her with her quest, but he is uninterested, saying that she is indispensable and he simply can’t do without her.  I feel terrible about just ignoring her, but at this point I’m really hesitant to raise it with him again.  Please help.  RD in NYC

Dear RD, you should never stand in the way of someone’s growth.  In addition to the obvious reason that it’s just the wrong thing to do, you will eventually lose the highly valued employee anyway.  If this person is a star and wants to grow, she will find another growth path if you don’t offer it to her.  You have to convince your boss that it is much better to lose her to another position within the firm, where perhaps her expertise can still be accessed if desperately needed.  I would start working on the boss by convincing him that he doesn’t want to lose her entirely, maybe even to his competition.  Meanwhile, I would be recruiting for her replacement.  Ideally you could have the superstar secretary thoroughly train her replacement before moving on to her new position within your firm.

 

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