Complete the Head & Heart Leader Scale™ and receive a free, personalised report here.

Got a Minute?

Home | Got a Minute | Difficult colleagues | No. 48 – Help! One of my team members hates me

No. 48 – Help! One of my team members hates me

Share this aticle

23 February 2022

I got my dream job last year and started this month. Over the moon! I knew there were some issues management wanted to resolve with a couple of staff and I was happy to try to help everyone to do better. What I didn’t realise is that one of the people I now manage applied for my job and didn’t get it. He doesn’t even know me and he hates me. I can handle it – I can even handle his deep glowering whenever we are both in a meeting. But is there anything I can do to minimise the emotional labour of trying to escape this blatant hostility?
So much comes to mind as I read your letter. First, good on you for dealing with this situation, including his childish behaviour in meetings. Second, it seems your employer did the right thing in not choosing him for a leadership role. He has a long way to go to mature and be ready for the position.

It’s always tricky when an internal candidate doesn’t get a promotion. Often they end up leaving or, as in your case, try to make life difficult for the person appointed to the role. My recommendation would be to speak to your new boss, who was probably the person who chose you over the other guy, and ask for some advice. Let them know that his behaviour is challenging for the team culture and you suspect it’s because he didn’t get the job (my guess is that your boss will have noticed and won’t be surprised). Tell them you’re managing it as best you can but there are other staff issues you need to focus on as well. By doing this, you’re alerting your boss to the situation early – especially in case things escalate to the point formal action is needed – but you’re also expressing confidence in being able to handle it. Seeking advice from your new boss is also a great way to build that relationship. Good luck!

I have had job alerts from a government agency regarding job vacancies but some ads state that full-time positions will only go to people of Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander descent. Is this allowed in job selection?
Yes, targeted recruitment like this is allowed and is designed to help ensure our most marginalised communities, including Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Australians, are not disadvantaged. While Australia has strong discrimination laws to prevent prejudice based on race, culture, gender, religion, age or disability there are “special measure” exemptions to help candidates with a protected characteristic. That means if an employer believes they are able to combat an area of disadvantage by employing an Indigenous staff member, they can limit the recruitment pool to those candidates.

Before thinking about whether a role meets the requirements of an exemption, there are numerous requirements an employer needs to prove including whether a targeted recruitment campaign will promote equal opportunity for that racial group, is reasonable and proportionate and will end once the purpose has been achieved. These measures are trying to go some way to bridging the gap with our marginalised communities and are therefore an important part of that strategy. It’s great to see employers embracing the opportunity where they can.

I’m a Seniors Card-holder who lost her travel job due to COVID-19, but I feel I still have good qualifications and experience to transfer into another industry and I have the enthusiasm to continue working. I have been applying for jobs but get no replies and no feedback. Am I wasting my time competing with a younger market? Should I embrace retirement?
Sadly yes, it’s going to be tough competing with a younger market. And yes, you still have a lot to offer. Both things are true. We know that age discrimination is prevalent in Australia and it seems you are receiving that most unfair prejudice against older workers.

There’s no doubt your experience is irreplaceable and so could give you an edge over younger candidates if you’re able to capture specific examples of projects or roles you’ve done in the past that few other applicants would have undertaken. It sounds like you are keen to keep working but if you are also excited about embracing retirement, then enjoy every moment! You could even think about doing a different kind of work in a less formal, structured way and combine both.

Link to original

Share this aticle
Got a Minute

Ask a Question

You can submit your own question anonymously.

Read Got a Minute

Every Wednesday since 2021, Kirstin has written a hugely popular column in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age answering curly questions from readers on work, leadership and careers. 

Latest Got a Minute

Stay in touch

Join many thousands around the world who have subscribed to Dr Kirstin Ferguson’s free weekly newsletter, Impact Loop.

As a bonus, you will receive the introduction to her award-winning and bestselling book, Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership, to download for free.
©2023 Kirstin Ferguson Pty Ltd
Privacy Policy