但即便如此，约翰•比森说：“很少有大公司会特别关注帮助员工规划一条清晰的职业发展路线，这很令人震惊”。虽然有数不清的研究都已经表明，这样做是留住明星员工最保险的方式。纽约市比森咨询公司（Beeson Consulting）的负责人比森曾写过一本书《潜规则：升值六大必杀技》（The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level），值得一读。
Dear Annie: I work for a large multinational firm, and I'd like to be considered for a promotion to a management position. How should I let my boss know about my desire to move up? I do not want to give the impression that I want his job (which I really don't want). I'd also like to make it clear that I'm not looking to leave the company, unless I have no choice.
Another question: There are other groups within the firm where there might be management opportunities for me, but they are so remote geographically that I don't have a chance to make myself visible to them, or to get a sense of the political dynamics there. What do you suggest? -- Looking Ahead
Dear Looking: In an ideal world, mentioning to your boss that you'd like to be promoted would be easy. You could simply tell him what you just told me. After all, plenty of companies pay lip service to the idea that a big part of managers' mission is developing the talent under them and mentoring tomorrow's leaders.
Even so, says John Beeson, "It's shocking how few big companies make it a point to help people develop a coherent career path" -- despite the fact that countless studies have shown that doing so is one of the surest ways to keep star employees from quitting. Beeson, who is head of New York City-based Beeson Consulting, wrote a book you might want to check out called The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level.
"To some bosses, 'ambition' is a dirty word. Whether or not yours is one of them, this conversation is going to take some finesse," Beeson notes. That's especially true if you are someone your manager relies upon to meet his own goals. In his consulting work, Beeson often comes across a phenomenon he calls "talent hoarding." "Gaining a reputation as a 'star spotter', someone who develops future leaders, can be good for a manager's career -- but sometimes the downside of losing you outweighs that benefit."
So how do you start this tricky conversation? "First, avoid any indication that you're impatient. Instead, make it clear that you're thinking about the long term, and you'd like to have an ongoing discussion about your career," Beeson suggests. "Emphasize that you're committed to staying with the company, and you'd welcome your boss's help in identifying which skills you need to work on, to prepare you for making a bigger contribution."
Then, ask for your boss's help in reaching out to other managers, both at his level and one rank higher. "Say something like, 'I'd appreciate having their input into my career planning, especially what skills I need to develop and where in the company those might be most useful,'" says Beeson. "Managers outside your immediate sphere can be influential in opening doors for you in other parts of the company. They can recommend you for openings that are never posted anywhere, so you want to get on their radar screen for when the timing is right."