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Is Your Boss Playing Favorites? What to Do If You’re Not on the Receiving End August 27, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Working with Bosses and Officemates.
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There will always be favorites – children, siblings, friends, even employees. Good if it’s you, too bad if it isn’t. And now your boss has his own anointed one. How do you deal? More importantly, how do you handle it, especially if it’s affecting your chances for career advancement? Here are tips on what to do:

Find out why someone is the favorite.
There’s always a reason why someone becomes somebody’s favorite. Ask yourself, ‘Why does my boss like this employee so much? What does he/she bring to the table?’ Very often, the reason for someone getting his manager’s or supervisor’s vote is that they have been performing well, are very reliable and produce excellent results.

It could also be that your boss has seen the potential in your officemate. His favoritism may be because he’s grooming someone for a better position someday. If that is the case, it’s probably time to check your own performance. You may not be your boss’ favorite because you’re not showing a lot of promise or you may not have produced the results that could be your ticket to advancing your career.

Check your own performance.
Next, look at how you fare compared to the favorite. Are you at par or even better? Then something is truly amiss. Or maybe you’re not performing as well, which is a sign that you better roll up your sleeves and start working, really working.

Ask your supervisor or manager for feedback.
Employee performance evaluations are often performed on a quarterly basis, although most companies prefer to do this twice or once a year. Check your past performance and pay particularly close attention to your boss’ comments. If you know your areas of improvement, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to entice your boss to consider you as his new favorite.

You might also want to set an appointment with your boss in between evaluations or just after you’ve participated in a successful project. Ask for feedback and constructive criticism. Listen to what he or she has to say and take note of the most important points. Then use that information to improve yourself.

Volunteer for activities and projects that can improve your resume.
One of the best ways to get noticed and considered for a promotion is to have a successful record. That means you might have to get out of your comfort zone from time to time, particularly if your job description doesn’t really let you do much.

Being active in office organizations and activities will also give you the much needed exposure. Just make sure they are work-related, though. Even if successful extracurricular activities can add a few extra feathers on your cap, in the end, it’s still the things you do that help the company’s bottomline that will get counted.

Document your achievements.
Whatever form of kudos you may receive as a hardworking non-favorite, get them on record or at least save a copy for your personal file. Recognitions, employee awards, trainings, certificates, even e-mails that congratulate you for a job well done are excellent references for later.

In case you need to discuss your improvement and qualifications with your boss in the future, you’ll be ready.

Avoid personal politics.
Don’t hate the favorite because he or she is the chosen one. Instead of obsessing over that person, turn your energies to more productive pursuits. Don’t gossip about the person, participate in any gossips or talk behind that person’s back or try to put that favorite person down. You’ll be exposed for being envious and quite frankly, that’s just pathetic. Instead, focus on what YOU can do and not on what you can say.

Having more boss trouble?  Di ka nag-iisa.  If your boss is making your life hell, here are some tips you might find useful on How to Handle Your Big, Bad Difficult Boss.

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