Training Woes and Troublesome Co-workers

Convincing management that training is necessary; dealing with hostile co-workers.

February 27, 2004

3 Min Read
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Dear Career Coach:
My company is starting to take some important projects out of mothballs--moving end-of-life Unix systems to Linux, for example--but my requests for training are falling on deaf ears. How can I get management to listen?

Dear Hear:

Training is often the first thing to be cut and the last to be reinstated. And some employers are leery about paying for IT training and certifications for fear that staffers will take their new skills and leave.

Let your supervisor or HR manager know that training typically improves employee retention. More than 80 percent of 520 IT trainees surveyed by The Training Camp ( say they're committed to their current employers, according to CEO Edward F. Denzler III.

Propose only short-term training that lets you and your co-workers put your new skills into practice quickly, to advance management's priority projects. And compare online and offline courses to find the best and most affordable instruction. Once management sees a return on its investment, you'll find it easier to get the go-ahead for more training down the road. (For tips on learning Linux, see "Linux Migration: Are You Experienced?".)

Dear Career Coach:
I'm 24, and I've worked on the helpdesk of a Fortune 1000 company for two years. I was hoping this job would serve as a launchpad for my IT career, but a senior co-worker (I'll call him Joe) is making life difficult--I think he's threatened by my ambition and drive. Joe has it out for me: He makes nasty remarks behind my back, and if I make a mistake, he points it out loudly so everyone can hear. I'm afraid if I complain to our supervisor, she'll think I'm a whiner. Any advice?


You have every right to be concerned and annoyed--it sounds like Joe's behavior is unprofessional and downright rude.

Talk to your supervisor. If she's a decent boss and values your work, she'll want to hear what you have to say--she may even be able to shed some light on the situation. Besides, Joe's behavior is undoubtedly bringing down staff productivity and morale, so she needs to address that. Just be prepared to share specific examples of Joe's behavior--avoid generalities--so she gets a clear picture. Take the opportunity, too, to let her know you're concerned about your promotability, and ask what you can do to move up.If that doesn't do the trick, speak to your HR manager--he or she may be able to mediate a discussion between you and Joe or suggest a conflict-resolution course for the two of you to attend (separately, for obvious reasons). That won't solve the problem of your feeling stalemated, but at least it will help you survive until you land a better job.

Send your questions to [email protected]

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