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(Cinders McLeod/The Globe and Mail)
(Cinders McLeod/The Globe and Mail)

Nine To Five

My new co-worker is who I beat to get my job Add to ...

The Question

I work for a small business, with only a handful of employees. This week, they hired another person to work alongside me since we are getting busier and growing. Only the person they hired was the person that applied for my job a year ago, was interviewed, but they picked me instead. They hired her after they dropped the ball with three other, new, applicants. Am I wrong in thinking this is a weird thing to do? Is this a sign of problems to come, and should I be looking for employment elsewhere? And, how do I get over the resentment I feel – she has a fifth of the experience that I have, yet I assume we’re making the same amount, which isn’t very much, and we have the same responsibilities.

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The First Answer

Zuleika Sgro

Human resources partner, talent manager, Questrade.com, Toronto

The fact that your company is busier and growing is great. Your tenure also will ideally help you grow in your role with the right attitude and skills. These are all good signs. When it comes to the new hire your company brought on board in a similar role to yours, I would suggest you use this as an opportunity to support a new team member versus analyzing if they are qualified and hence making you feel resentful. You may not know the entire picture of the hiring process and this new hire’s skills. I encourage you to approach this with an open mind and give her a chance just as you would any other applicant or new team member.

At the end of the day if your company succeeds, you succeed. You should always keep up your standard of work and continue to do the good things you do without compromise. Use this as an opportunity to show leadership in your role and help train the new hire to succeed, along with the company and yourself.

If you feel you are ready for a new role or a promotion, this is unrelated to the new hire. I would encourage you to bring up your ideas and suggestions on how you would like to augment your role directly with your manager. Let them know what you are looking for in your career, how you plan to get there, and how it will help the company. This will prove to be a productive, beneficial conversation and likely make you feel better about things that you can control – yourself.

The Second Answer

Greg Conner

Human resources professional, Victoria

What a great problem to have! From where I sit, this is means nothing but opportunity for you as long as you look at this in a different light.

First of all, it is not so strange to come back to a previously reviewed candidate when the organization has need for additional people with similar skill sets. It is great news that the organization is busier and is growing as that also just might spell opportunity for you.

Think about the fact you now have even more experience and a deeper skill level which means if and when a higher level opportunity comes along, you are front and centre. That said, you cannot continue to think about the situation as you have been, as that will come across in your interactions with others, including those with the power to decide on who gets what role.

From long experience, I can safely say organizations notice and promote positive, productive and engaged people. So squash that negative feeling, welcome your new colleague with open arms, and help get her trained up and working hard. I truly believe that the results will be worth it.

Are you facing a burning issue at work? Need help navigating that minefield? Let our Nine To Five experts help solve your dilemma. E-mail your questions to ninetofive@globeandmail.com. Confidentiality ensured. Weigh in with your view at tgam.ca/careers. Check out past columns here.

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