The new hire wants to manage me. He’s supposed to be my co-worker. He’s in his thirties. Every conversation we have he’ll ask questions that are to “see the way I think”.

Am I just being competitive? Do I have to put up with him? The CEO hasn’t said that he’s my manager. The CEO has asked me to take more responsibility in managing the operations team.

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6 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Note: I sent this question to my friend, Cassie – @cassieboorn – because she is so good at office politics. This is her answer.

    Ugh! That’s the worst! I was in this situation a billion times and realized I was being too competitive. The 30 year old doesn’t want your job. He is talking down to you because he’s older than you so he feels like a mentor. Your goal is to make both of them love you (The CEO and the 30 year old). He will get access to opportunities that you won’t simply because he has more years under his belt. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true. He will give you access to more of those opportunities if he likes you, and the CEO will be so happy that his team works so well together that both will give you more opportunities.

    Listen to him. Agree with him. Help him with his job. And then go and do things the way you want to do them. Focus on making yourself indispensable and try not to worry to much about everyone else. I know it’s so hard.

    The first time I got a big raise, the agency had to give my colleague a big raise to match it. She had more years of experience and it would be unfair that I was earning the same amount. I was so pissed. But I had to bite the bullet and keep moving forward. And my work always outshined her work, so she started asking me for help on other projects. We ended up being really good friends.

  2. Kim
    Kim says:

    Interesting that I assumed the new co-worker in his 30s is younger than the letter writer but Penelope and Cassie assumed this guy is older than the letter writer. I think it would be even more annoying if he is younger.

    • Anna
      Anna says:

      I assumed he was younger, too. But I think they are right. If the new hire was younger, the person would have said so. There was an implicit sentiment of, “Normally this would be fine but not in this case.” Just a theory.

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