Not Indispensible

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I have a protégé from work whom I really like. I did what I did for a
long time, with no one to train. I thought what what I did was not a
transferrable skill but it turns out that with someone with the right
personality and aptitude, and with changes for the better in the
organization, that I can bring her up to speed. I am being paid as a
consultant to do it, but not at the vast quantities of time she is
draining from my life. She’s bright and has good instincts, but is young
and inexperienced. Is there a way I can structure a downsizing
program for myself that will help them, help me, and help her?

Not Indispensible

Dear Not Indispensible:

It turns out that none of us is indispensible. That’s the good news and
the bad news. The really good news for you is that your old company
is willing to pay you to train the protégé/replacement. The bad news is
that she needs more help than they may pay you for. You need to set
up a weaning program for her, much as a mother has to train a toddler
that breast milk is no longer an on-demand process. The process
should be a lot less painful than for you than for a mother, because
you won’t have nights of crying and fussing.

I suggest setting regular access times for check in and sending her an
email every morning about we you are and are not going to be
available. Perhaps the company would pay for a block of time for you
to sit and make list of the primary responsibilities, and then she could
record you giving her advice as you go down the list. That limits you to
what others might hear, and you might prefer to be completely candid
about what works, what doesn’t and ides for change that you might
not have been able to implement when you had the job. But the really
good news is that you can pick up some pocket money helping out,
and enjoy the process of mentoring and empowering someone else.