Monday, May 12, 2008

Competitor or Cohort - newer employees in a small company

It's week three at the new company (M). I was employee #15 (maybe I should start a new blog called "Employee #15"?) and #16 just joined up today. Seems very smart and capable, should do great work.

Once he signed all his papers, I got a little jealous. He was the new guy, not me. He was having the most recent "Here's our strategy" talk with the President. And while I'm sitting here doing internal M work, he's rushing off to go start making money with clients.

So is he a competitor of mine, or a cohort? Peer would have been a better word, but it doesn't start with a "c".

If the company is run well, I want him to succeed. His success means our company does better, which means there are more opportunties for me, a bigger bonus pool, bigger salary increases etc.

But what if he actually is better than me? Yup, color me green, I'm envious. Most type A's have that competitive streak in them, and I know I do. I hate the though of the new go rising up the ladder faster than I do.

So how do I learn to view my coworkers as a colleague (thanks thesaurus.com)? Here's where a good blog would list a bunch of well thought out steps and techniques...
  • Determine what I can learn from him to expand my skillsets and knowledge base - in this way I view him as an asset, someone I can utilize to help myself
  • Connect into his network - maybe he has past associates that could be helpful to me in new business or staffing a project etc
  • A new ally within the company - this new employee is another person who might help me champion some new initiatives (such as finding a new office space with free parking and a free gym)
  • A new sounding board - she will have experiences and viewpoints I don't, so they can help me develop new ideas and solutions that I otherwise couldn't have seen myself
And those are just 4 off the top of my head.

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