Ms. Management- What do I do?
Q- I was hired as the manager at this community 5 months ago. During my interview process I indicated that I had a standing commitment to a family cruise in December. The regional that hired me indicated that it should be no problem since I would take the time as unpaid leave. Well, that regional is no longer with the company, December is coming, and everyone wants to use their vacation time around the holidays. The new regional is feeling heat to get control of his portfolio; no mention from him that he is aware of this commitment. I’m a team player and want to be known as a company leader. Any suggestions?
A- First determine if your personnel file contains this information and how it is characterized – a condition of employment or best effort at the time. If it’s there and phrased to your satisfaction just refer with a written confirmation of details. If not spelled out, take a second step. Speak face-to-face with your current regional. Explain the situation and that you considered it settled though you also share a leadership concern about unintended impact. Wait for reaction. It might be understood and easily resolved. If the reaction is negative, you might consider a third step. Talk with H.R. asking for assistance while getting a better take on company policy and protocol. Demonstrate a willingness to consider from the company’s point of view. Be willing to negotiate in order to accomplish after you have checked into family importance and alternatives, if any.
Finally, after exhausting these options you have an executive decision to make. This is about personal priorities under the now known conditions and/or consequences. Good luck to you and remember that you may disagree about circumstances and still not be disagreeable with others. Professionalism is the reputation that follows you through the difficult decisions of your career. And along with all my readers, please enjoy a blessed holiday season!