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The boss' bromance with the new guy

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
We have this new guy on our team whom the boss is developing a bromance with. The new guy is better at some things I do. I feel threatened but don't know how to deal with this. Help.
post #2 of 20
Rule #1 - maintain a positive and professional attitude. Most people would follow their initial gut reaction and go negative right away.
Rule #2 - make sure your boss knows that you're willing to do whatever it takes to increase your value to the organization. sign up for additional responsibilities and action items.
Rule #3 - don't act threatened.

Questions: for what purpose was this new guy brought on? does his skills and/or job function completely overlap with yours?
post #3 of 20

Hard to answer without knowing what you do. My first thought is be confident in what you bring to the table. If you have value...own it. What is the specific worry? Do you think the new guy makes you expendable, or is it that you believe he is more likely to move ahead of your career path?

 

The best advice I give to my people is know thyself. All of us have strengths and weaknesses and knowing them will help you shape your value to your boss and the company. That is the only advice I can give you without knowing specifics.

 

I suppose my last thought...and pardon the cliché...think out of the box. Think of your current field and assess what others are doing and try to anticipate the next opportunity. I am not a hockey guy but I have always enjoyed this analogy...

 

Years ago someone asked Wayne Gretzky how he was able to be the best when he wasn't the fastest or strongest player. Wayne's answer was simple, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is right now".

 

Think about that...if you can do that in your field of business you will go far and your value will be well beyond your pay and title within a given company.

post #4 of 20
^ damn guy are you Tony Robbins?

Anyway, I was in a similar situation once. Really, what are your options? Sabotage the new guy? Go into overdrive kiss-ass mode? Or just do your job well and be personable? For me the least unpalatable was option number three. It worked out fine.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoe City Thinker View Post

We have this new guy on our team whom the boss is developing a bromance with. The new guy is better at some things I do. I feel threatened but don't know how to deal with this. Help.

Out of curiosity, how old are you and what do you do? That being asked, at quick glance, I agree with dexterhaven.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingahbman View Post

Out of curiosity, how old are you and what do you do? That being asked, at quick glance, I agree with dexterhaven.


I'm 38 and act as a liaison between software development and the IT infrastructure operations team. I'm also the deskside IT support ninja for our field office. The new guy is a developer god and my boss (a coder) is allover him like a JAB clearance suit. Today the boss make the new guy the "go to guy" and asked him to do things I've normally being doing for 6 months.
post #7 of 20
Ah, I see. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to prevent your boss's crazed obsession with the new guy, however, you can still solidify your position at the company.

Stack your knowledge up and keep doing a fanfuckingtastic job on everything that has the privilege of crossing your desk. Most of all, make sure that your feelings towards this new bromance stay hidden. I'm not sure how perceptive your boss is, but if he notices that you are not a fan of this new bromance, then he's probably going to get along with you less.

In a few months, if you still feel like this guy is slowly taking over your tasks, it never hurts to shop yourself around. Who knows, maybe by then the new guy will have slipped up and what seemed like a lifetime may only be just a summer bromance!

Good luck to you sir.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingahbman View Post

Ah, I see. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to prevent your boss's crazed obsession with the new guy, however, you can still solidify your position at the company.

Stack your knowledge up and keep doing a fanfuckingtastic job on everything that has the privilege of crossing your desk. Most of all, make sure that your feelings towards this new bromance stay hidden. I'm not sure how perceptive your boss is, but if he notices that you are not a fan of this new bromance, then he's probably going to get along with you less.

In a few months, if you still feel like this guy is slowly taking over your tasks, it never hurts to shop yourself around. Who knows, maybe by then the new guy will have slipped up and what seemed like a lifetime may only be just a summer bromance!

Good luck to you sir.

Agree completely.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingahbman View Post

Ah, I see. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to prevent your boss's crazed obsession with the new guy, however, you can still solidify your position at the company.

Stack your knowledge up and keep doing a fanfuckingtastic job on everything that has the privilege of crossing your desk. Most of all, make sure that your feelings towards this new bromance stay hidden. I'm not sure how perceptive your boss is, but if he notices that you are not a fan of this new bromance, then he's probably going to get along with you less.

In a few months, if you still feel like this guy is slowly taking over your tasks, it never hurts to shop yourself around. Who knows, maybe by then the new guy will have slipped up and what seemed like a lifetime may only be just a summer bromance!

Good luck to you sir.

Disagree wholeheartedly. The boss making the other guy the "go to guy" is a MAJOR red flag. Do not wait a "few months."

At this point, you need to take matters into your own hands and act fast and bold before your list of accomplishments are tossed away like yesterday's news.

Start networking, HARD. Get out and spend at LEAST 1-2 hours a day socializing with people senior to you (other than your boss). Find other departments that need your skills, develop rapport with those dept or functional heads, and then move. Yes, move.

Spin it as an opportunity to cross-train in another field, etc, but the bottom line is that you need to be able to spot a sinking ship and get out.

Trust me. You don't want to just sit around idle and let this new guy completely usurp your value to the company. Since the situation is where it is, you really have no choice if you want to move up in the world.

If you doubt what I'm saying, then set up a time to talk 1 v 1 w/ your boss now. Ask him when and how you can get promoted, based on the work you've done in the past year. If he's receptive, that's one thing. Anything else, and start looking for other positions, fast.
post #10 of 20

It's the honeymoon phase, wait it out.  Meanwhile, you've already admitted that the new guy is better at some of "your" tasks, take the opportunity to learn from him (what practices/tools can you borrow).  If you were previously the only person who did those tasks, appreciate the freedom that comes with sharing responsibility.  If the guy's role involves more programming, then he'll likely be less of a threat as he gets acclimated to the current projects.    Don't make him feel unwelcome.

post #11 of 20
OP, how long has the new guy been working there?
post #12 of 20
This is an interesting situation. I work in the tech field as well, but more on the sales and marketing side of things, but know the tech and IT side well.

The comments on understanding your strengths and how they are valued are key. Are you valued for your technical skills or your people skills? You specifically mentioned you act in a liaison role between two technical departments, I assume both skill sets are valued. However if the new guy usurps you in technical skills do you have leg up on your people skills? Acting out against the bromance won't help of course. But at some point, especially in this type of role, your people skills if played right should take you next level.

We see this day in and day out, where people skills (a.k.a. office politics) usurp everything else. And to give a real life example my brother was a software engineering manager managing a bunch of coders and was quite successful at it. He openly admits, his technical skills are not at the same level as most of the sr. programmers there, but he got ahead with his people skills. Now he's at totally different company and all he manages is engineering team resourcing and morale, in essence HR for the engineering team. I think he feels a bit uncomfortable in his new role as he even further removed from the technical stuff, but I think the job focuses on his strengths.
post #13 of 20
dress more slutty
post #14 of 20
I recommend watching Heathers to know how to off Bros and make it seem like they had a tragic romance going on and went for double-suicide.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I know what my strengths are: infrastructure, communicating, and soft skills. DevOps is a hybrid of software development and IT infrastructure. However I can't code my way out of a paper bag as I've had a serious phobia of programming that I had to face in order to be in this role. Part of the problem is the last time I tried doing DevOps it was at a company that turned the experience into a nightmare and a disaster. I try to remind myself that I'm in a better situation but there are "triggers" that set me off. One being how I was the last to know this new guy was hired. Next he started taking work out off my Kanban board which started to freak me out.

Now I will level and say that I have been struggling as of late. Most of this is trying oh-so hard to get up to speed as a developer but still feeling inadequate compared to my peers. Half-year reviews are coming and that has me freaked out as I've been at best mediocre. Not sure how much mediocrity my manager is willing to tolerate before I get kicked to the curb. He's a pretty intense guy with extremely high standards.

EDIT: When should I be deploying the aggressive Machiavellian tactics to keep me employed until my next opportunity?
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