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Boss Holding Me Back

Naomi wrote:

Is it legal for a boss to tell an employee that she cannot search for other jobs within the company until the he tells her that she is ready.

I have been in my area for over two years and just recently did not have a good performance review. This was due to the fact that one of my projects assigned to me was given to me by two predecessors who also had trouble with it. I am struggling just as much as they were.

I feel it has jeopardized my performance review. My boss tells me I can't leave until I prove myself yet in another breath he tells me what I am doing no one else knows how to do. He definitely wants to keep me back for at least another 8 months and will then decide my fate.

I want to move to another area and further my career. I know I could do better if given the chance. Am I trapped? Is there no hope? Should I begin thinking of looking outside the company?
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Dear Naomi,

I doubt there's any legal basis for what he's doing; but you depend on his reference, if you try to move within the company - and maybe if you go elsewhere.

You'll have to decide how to manage this, but be careful not to make things worse.

I'd certainly see what other jobs are available, within the company and elsewhere, the danger may come in applying for such a job.

Be careful of discussing this with colleagues - but do try to find out if it's just you being held back, or a more general problem.

Sorry I cannot offer more hope, but you know the company - there may be an easy way through.

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