Cynthia Kay Stevens
University of Maryland
You are almost finished with your degree and are unsure of what you want to do next. Initially, you thought about going into consulting, but an internship convinced you that the long hours, travel, and continual "wooing" of clients were not for you. Your focus then shifted to management, but your résumé's career objective ("interested in management position with opportunities to utilize my diverse talents") has not exactly sent interviewers stampeding to your door. Should you try a different degree program? (You have often thought about becoming a counselor.) Or should you keep your part-time bartending job until a management position turns up?
One of your subordinates, Chris, comes to you for advice. Chris has been a solid, productive performer in your division for 15 years. When a project manager position opened up two months ago, Chris lobbied hard for the promotion. However, the job ultimately went to another person. Because of the glut of talented employees at Chris's level, Chris probably will never be promoted into management. Yet you would hate to lose Chris's practical and technical expertise. What advice or recommendations can you offer Chris?
Your uncle has worked for 30 years on the assembly line at a midsize manufacturing company. In the past few years, however, his company has been losing money. It recently announced that it will close its U.S. plants, putting hundreds of employees (including your uncle) out of work. Your uncle is unlikely to find a comparable job unless he moves to an area with a stronger economy. Yet he and your aunt cannot bear to leave their family and friends. The company has provided funds to retrain displaced workers, but your uncle (who is depressed and apathetic) has not participated in this