Gracefully handling more power at work - tips?
April 17, 2011 9:23 AM Subscribe
I am becoming more "powerful" at work even though my job title is remaining the same, and I'd like some ideas on how to handle the change gracefully and maintain good relationships with my colleagues.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
(Anonymous because I'd rather not link this work-related stuff to my real MeFi account.)
Some examples of what sorts of "power" I'm talking about, just in the last month:
- I was chosen to lead a course for other employees to develop their skills in an area I'm good at.
- Last week, my documentation and testimony was crucial in getting a violent and threatening employee dismissed.
- Over the next year, I found out this week, I will be taking on a number of solo projects because, I was told by my supervisor, I have talents that are better for the work than that of my colleagues.
- I'll be leading more meetings and work groups over the next year and will be more responsible for more people's output than I am now.
Some things I'm worried about:
- I'm younger and less-experienced than some other people who have not chosen to pursue some of the opportunities I'm taking on. A few of these people have the same job title as I do, and they interpret their responsibilities as a long list of things that are just too much to bear, while I lap up new opportunities and work happily, so I need to keep the peace with them.
- Many of the people I work with in a management role live here and plan to do so for decades; I do not. I want to make sure I don't upset the delicate ecological balance of our little pond while still being a somewhat ambitious fish.
- I already have a somewhat senior role at work - I'm "middle management", if such a thing can exist in a company of less than 30 people - and I don't want to be seen as going "beyond" what I'm "capable of" (even though I think I'll be able to take my new role on well).
- I find accepting praise really easy, and I don't want to be seen as wanting to take on more work just to hear how good I am.
A few details about the job:
- I work in private education, with a multinational staff that likes to have fun and is very tolerant of mistakes and missteps.
- We have close to 100% staff turnover every few years, with some "furniture" remaining; this is normal and expected in our industry (we train people to go on to do bigger/better things).
- Most of my current and future responsibilities involve supporting people in doing their jobs better rather than evaluating their work in a critical way, except as another means of developing their skills. It's a very supportive workplace overall.
- I feel extremely close to my colleagues and supervisors, and we socialize regularly; some of us live together! It's not for everyone, but it definitely works for us, though it's hard to "switch off". :)
- I'm outside the United States, in a mid-sized city in a European country.
Any tips that you'd rather not post, send along to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.