My co-worker has been demoted and now I'm her boss!

by D. Kelley

I have just been hired on with this company that has this new program.

I worked for this company before with their previous program. But the previous program was outsourced and I was laid off. My bosses loved my work ethic so they told me if another job comes up they would keep me in mind.

About five weeks ago they fired one of the two people that were in their Youth Program. So they hired me to come in and fill in. My co-worker started six months ago when the program first started. She taught me all the basics about the Youth Program.

My bosses called a staff meeting on Friday to discuss what was going wrong. She was off on Friday tending to personal business and the bosses met with me and told me that I will be taking over the program and my co-worker now has to run anything that she is doing by me.

Now it is Monday and my boss came in to meet with both of us and she told her that we met on Friday and that I will be in charge of the program and that she needs to focus on the clerical side of things. I can tell that my co-worker was upset.

My boss made it seem like I was plotting behind my co-worker’s back. She is a really good worker and I want her to work with me as a team. What should I do? What should I tell her that will improve the situation?

Comments for My co-worker has been demoted and now I'm her boss!

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promotion problem
by: Kay


Thank you for contacting Positive Personal Growth.

What an underhanded way to go about promoting you. I can well understand how hurt your co worker must feel. I wonder why they decided to do this while she wasn't there? It has certainly caused the problems you now have.

Obviously you are the better person for the job or they wouldn't have promoted you, but this has just cause awkwardness between you and your co-worker.

I would make a point of asking her advice in matters, this should help raise her self esteem and confidence. Include her as far as you can in what you are doing, but of course knowing that you have the final decision in what happens.

Don't come across as bossing her about, because, as you have said, she taught you the job and so she obviously knows her job, and yours really well.

You have the qualities required to be in charge, and so have been chosen over your co-worker, but I believe you can still work together as a team, and, as you have said, this is important, as you need to have her ability working with you not against.

Let her know how important it is to work as a team and offer praise to her when she achieves in what she does. Let her know how much you appreciate her input and thank her when she offers it.

I am sure you will overcome this awkward situation. You have earned your promotion, so don't feel upset about now being in charge.

Good luck, I hope you can make this work for you.


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