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Be Proactive to Avoid Being Passed Over

Democrat & Chronicle Newspaper, December 13, 2011   

Written by Arlene Hisiger

A famous comedy routine from the 1970's began with two brothers in conversation because "Mother always liked you best!" The TV show was the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. This routine garnered the brothers a lot of laughs.

But when that same dynamic shows up in the workplace, it isn't so funny. Situations that leave employees feeling they are less favored than other employees can be downright painful.

Consider the following workplace scenario: Two employees sharing the same hire date and identical job title have each received positive reviews from their supervisor. After a year on the job, one of them is unexpectedly catapulted from obscurity and asked to lunch with an executive. The employee left behind is demoralized and at a loss to explain her co-worker's sudden "15 minutes of fame."

Politics often dictates workplace policies and transactions. It was at the heart of the above scenario as well. The favored employee's uncle had made a sizable donation to the organization where his niece worked. This form of favoritism is difficult to eradicate. However, a more common form of perceived favoritism has its roots in not being personally proactive to make the right connections or impression in the workplace.

It is easy to fall into the groove of your work routine and carry out your responsibilities to the tee, but not quite to the glee of your supervisor. Then, when a co-worker is recognized for innovative contributions, you are suddenly stirred to action: "Why didn't I think of that?" The familiar no longer seems as comfortable.

Head this abrupt awakening off at the pass. If your supervisor has not scheduled a face-to-face review in a while, take the initiative and request a meeting to get performance feedback.

And in the conversation, showcase your ideas.

Hisiger is a freelance writer.

Contact Arlene at 585-442-6108 or wordtailor@aol.com
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