A Certain Boldness
Posted on February 29, 2008
Bruce G. Link (bio) recommends being direct about your needs in discussions with your boss.
This is unique to New York perhaps, but the housing is so difficult. There came a point, it's expensive to live here, basically couldn't afford an apartment that had a room for a kid. And so I was looking to leave, and I got an offer somewhere else and was planning to go there. And then at that point, the school came through and got me a Columbia-sponsored apartment, which had enough room.
I didn't do it until the last minute. In fact, I'd said to the people I was moving that I was going to go. I didn't sign anything, a contract or anything, but I said I was going to go. And it was only at that point that our Dean here learned that I had this need, and then he came through and fixed it. So I think the lesson there is, on something like that, it's a certain boldness.
You have to just say, "This is what I need," or "This is why I'm going," so that they know, and they want to know that. Sometimes people are hesitant to speak to their bosses in that way, the department chair or the dean. They think it's greedy, but if it is greedy, they'll tell you that it's greedy. And you should lay out just what your needs are.