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Do you have any advice for dealing with an uncooperative and unsupportive employer?

I have been working in IT for eight years now. Currently I am the network administrator for an organization that will not support training for their people. I have been trying to get my employer to help me with MCSA certification. Not only will they not help me financially but they will not allow me to take the time off to go take the tests. I am told when I can take vacation so that is not an option either. This seems like a dead end. Any suggestions?

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This sounds like a "no-way-out" kind of situation to me. I'd suggest that you begin searching for another job immediately, and that you make inquiries about training support and related budget matters part of your questions on any positions you might find yourself interviewing for. As for waiting for scheduled vacation to take exams, it may be necessary for you to call in sick to give yourself time off to take those tests. Just make sure to schedule dental or medical check-ups for the same day, so you can cover yourself with valid claims/expenses should your absence be called into question. But since you can neither get support nor backing for your professional growth and development in your current position, you'll be best served by seeking employment elsewhere with an employer that has a more enlightened attitude about professional learning and ertification than your current one has.

This was first published in February 2005

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