Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another Kind of Transitioning

Someone once told me that it is OK for a parent to brag on their children, because if we parents don't, who will?  So here goes -- I am soooooo proud of my son!

My son is a journeyman craftsman.  His current employer announced the week before Christmas that he wants to retire, so is going out of business at the end of March.  Most of the 40-odd journeymen  in the shop fled, taking new jobs as offered before the market was flooded with out-of-work journeymen all fighting for the same limited number of opportunities.

Kimo, too, has been talking to foremen in other shops.  His name is short and easy to remember.  His  work reputation goes with his name.  He is reasonably well know among his fellow craftsmen, and generally well liked.   He has his eye on a particular shop where for reasons of his own he would like to work.    The lead foreman in this shop offered him a job with a start date in the near future.  "Will you quit where you are and take this job?" the man asked.

With an offer like that, the foreman expects the journeyman to leave his present employer immediately to take the new job.  Kimo has different priorities.  "I told him no, I would not quit.  We still have job orders that have to be honored.  Someone has to do the work.  I will be available when the work in my present shop is done."  

He said the foreman was intially taken aback but quickly recovered.   "Man, I appreciate your stand." he told Kimo.  "When you are ready, come talk to me again.  You have a job."

So Kimo, too, is transitioning.  His transition is different from his grandmother's.  He's not changing trades or general geographical work areas.  He is no longer working with a company where he is part of the family (as with his first employer).  He will no longer be working with an employer who has come to trust his judgement, his work ethic, and his ability to get along with customers and journeymen from other crafts and trades (as has his current employer).    He will have to earn the trust and respect of his co-workers and supervisors in a new shop.  He is beginning by making clear his standard that you work until the job is finished. That goes a long way toward building trust.

Give thanks for peaceful transitions.  Pray for the others.  Pray for those left behind. 

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