What to Do When Your Boss Favors a Coworker

When a colleague has special favor with the boss, it can make others feel inferior. Advantageous treatment can cause resentment, especially when it translates to more pay and less work for the preferred coworker. This kind of behavior seems common at many organizations, but you don’t have to resign yourself to the circumstances. While you can’t fix everything, use the following tips to deal with this scenario.

Try to Understand the Situation

Attempt to understand why this special consideration exists. If the people involved share a relationship or a close friendship, special treatment might come naturally. Perhaps they have a history together at a prior employer, or the colleague earned trust by excelling at preceding assignments. Once you gain an understanding, it can shed light on the situation.

Don’t Place Blame

Even if the favoritism seems unwarranted, don’t blame the preferred employee. Usually it’s not their fault, and they might even be unaware of special treatment. Even if you find it difficult to work with preferred people, maintain a courteous relationship with them and the boss.

Exercise Patience

Sometimes favoritism seems meritless and benefits a colleague who lacks the proper qualifications. In that case, simply remain patient. The boss might eventually come to the conclusion that his misplaced partiality doesn’t create advantages for the company.

Remain Professional

When you do want to talk to the boss, you need to think this through carefully and practice beforehand what to say. Remain calm and professional, and schedule a conference time ahead of time. Don’t just stop him in the hallway to complain.

Maintain a Positive Outlook

It’s best to exercise a positive outlook with the boss and to avoid mentioning the favoritism he bestows. Instead, try to create a good working relationship by offering help and asking for opportunities. Even if everyone in the office knows about the favoritism, avoid bringing others into the situation because it can backfire and make you look bad.

Use Human Resources as a Last Resort

If your attempts to communicate yield no results or the favoritism causes discrimination, you can involve human resources. This should count as a last-ditch effort. When talking to this department, make sure to have data on hand that can prove your position.

Regardless of circumstances, always do your job thoroughly, and express desire to make the company, co-workers and clients look good. If you’re completely unhappy with the employment circumstances, maybe it’s time to consider newer, better opportunities. Sometimes life presents these types of obstacles in order for people to find better situations at new places. 


Resolving the Gender Imbalance in Engineering Careers

Statistics show that there is a gender imbalance in engineering careers. This article takes a look at some of the reasons for this imbalance. It also highlights some of the potential solutions. 

Engineering can describe many different career paths and includes a variety of roles in almost every employment sector. With so much diversity in the field of engineering, you might assume that it is a career path that would appeal to a broad group of people. However, industries that require qualified engineers are now facing difficulties as there is currently a shortage of skilled engineers in the UK. Specifically, there is a lack of women showing an interest in pursuing engineering careers and tackling this issue has now become a priority.

To resolve this issue, it is important to first understand the causes of the problem. According to experts at the University of Sheffield, one of the potential reasons for the shortage of female engineers is the socially constructed preconception that engineering roles are best suited to men. As a result of these preconceptions, women are often deterred from choosing engineering careers. The statistics prove this point because as little as six percent of qualified engineers are women.

Another issue is that teenagers are not encouraged to take studies in subjects that are relevant to engineering at a higher level, such as mathematics, technology, and sciences. Many are not aware of the opportunities that these subjects could open for them in their future careers. If young women were aware of these opportunities, then more young people might choose subjects that can potentially lead to a successful engineering career. 

So, are there solutions to the gender imbalance in engineering roles? There are several steps that both schools and engineering recruitment companies can take to level up the playing field in engineering roles by making it a career path that appeals to both genders. Both engineering recruitment companies and schools play an important role as they are the groups that can have the greatest influence over who considers an engineering career.


7 Signs You’re Cut Out To Be A Manager

Are you wondering if it might be time to take the next step in your career? Though many career paths eventually lead to management, not everyone is cut out to be a manager.

There are certain skill sets and personality traits that help a person become a successful manager. Consult this list to help determine if management might be a good choice for you.

1. You don’t get involved in drama or gossip

Managers need to remain impartial in the workplace and set an example of professionalism for their employees. They can care about their employees, but they need not get in the middle of everyday squabbles.

If you’re one who likes to hang around the water cooler and thrives on hearing the latest scoop on coworkers, then management may not be the right place for you. In particular, if you have a track record of taking sides and are deeply immersed in office politics, management could only make things stickier.

2. The actual work has lost some interest for you

A common reason for going into management is you’ve become so good at your day job that you can do it easily and even train others to do it. When your everyday work has become routine, it’s a good sign that you’re ready to take on a new challenge.

A good manager knows well the work of their employees but doesn’t feel the need to continue completing the work themselves in order to gain fulfillment. If you’re ready to let tasks go and delegate the work while leading others, the management track could be right for you.

On the other hand, if you tie most of your professional enjoyment to completing your actual work and feel you would miss it were it greatly reduced, think twice before giving it up for management.

3. You’re a clear communicator

To be an effective manager, you must be able to give clear instructions that allow your employees to be successful. Are you able to pass along tasks to team members or coworkers and see them completed appropriately? Managers who are not able to set clear expectations will frequently get a different result than they intended, leading to frustration on the side of the employee and manager.

Importantly, being a good communicator means having strong listening skills as well. One of a manager’s most important jobs is being there to listen to their employees and help them with challenges they are facing.

4. You believe in your company’s mission

Managers have a difficult position of always needing to think of the business’s best interests first. It is much easier to put the company first if you truly believe in the mission.

You need to be able to sell the company line to your employees, and if you haven’t bought into the company’s mission and values, doing this will be much more difficult. A higher management salary likely won’t make up for you having to stand up for a company you don’t believe in.

5. You enjoy helping and developing others

Imagine that you’ll be explaining things in detail that may seem straightforward to you. Take caution if this seems painstaking to you. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind teaching someone a new skill, management may be enjoyable.

You’ll also be dealing with others’ problems and helping to troubleshoot challenges. If you take pride in being a sounding board for your friends and family members, helping to guide them to logical solutions, then management could be a good role.

6. You’re patient

As a manager, you’ll need to listen to complaints, deal with extra paperwork (hiring, reviews, leaves, etc.), and help employees through stumbling blocks. Your employees will mess up; it just happens. You’ve got to be forgiving or risk alienating those underneath you who you need to perform.

An impatient manager can quickly become a micromanager who creates disengaged employees or drives normally independent ones to leave.

7. You keep your cool under pressure

Managers should show employees how to logically work through challenges that arise. They are the ones employees run to when something goes wrong, so they need to not respond with emotions that will cloud good judgment.

Managers can also be in the hot seat when a department or project team is not delivering. They need to know how to motivate their employees without stressing out direct reports in a hostile or counterproductive way.

Get Ready To Be An Amazing Manager

If several of the signs on this list sounded like you, then you may just be cut out to be a great manager. Though there are baseline personality traits and personal interests that can make management a better fit, there are also ways to work on developing certain skills to prepare you for management.

For example, you can take courses in active listening or giving constructive feedback. There are also general management courses that cover a wide range of topics and may be helpful in easing a transition to manager. See if your company will support you in some formal preparation for a manager role.

Making the move to management can be a big step in your career, and if you’re the right type of person with the right mindset, it can be also be a rewarding experience for you and your employees.