What “We Don’t Have Time to Train You” Means

Ever hear that?

“We don’t have time to train you”

I’ve worked for companies and organizations that have actually said that, have you?   It’s not wrong. Warning lights don’t have to come on when you hear those words, but a company’s training /on-boarding process (or lack thereof) will tell you a lot about its corporate culture.

Here are some things “We don’t have time to train you” can mean:

  • We hired you for what you already know. Be bold. Step up and be heard. If you have answers, we need them. Like, NOW.  (You may also find that this outlook also expects you to learn new methods, techniques and solutions on your own time as well.  The more you do, the greater your likely longevity with the company/organization.)
  • We hired you in response to a crisis and we don’t have time to teach you your job ahead of time.  Learn fast and go hard.  We’ll be patient with your mistakes – for about a week. Maybe two.
  • Profitability is our bottom line. What you can generate dollar-wise is of greater value than our investment in you.  If profitablility falls off, don’t plan on our keeping you on.
  • Train you?  Develop you? Facilitate your growth and development?  You’re kidding, right?  We all know this stuff, you’ll catch on; don’t you have something you need to be doing?
  • We don’t know how to train people. Which means your co-workers weren’t trained very well either.  Are you ready for some football mayhem?

The best companies and organizations invest in their people.  They train them as they come on board.  If your on-boarding is rapid-fire because urgent needs make it necessary, people are apologetic and understanding. You can feel it in the air.  You feel like a part of a short-term solution on the way to more in-depth training and education as soon as things calm down so you know you’re a solid long-term contributor.

So, while  “we don’t have time to train you” may not be a huge red flag, the phrase can tell you a lot about who you’re about to sign on with.  Go in with your head up, ready to make a difference.

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