Get Off My Desk! Is Someone Vying for Your Job?


There may be times when you know there’s someone waiting in the wings for you to fail; there’s someone who’s after your job. What then? Time for action!

Do a great job

It really goes without saying that the first item on your ‘to do’ list should be to ensure your performance is a great one. You’ll become much more secure in your role when you’re indispensable. If you’re not working long enough hours, stay later. If no one sees the work you do, make it more obvious. Choose projects that will raise your profile or volunteer to be a part of working parties that will get you noticed.

This is also a good time to examine your personal targets. Are you on track to achieve them? What about exceeding them? If, of course, you haven’t been given specific enough targets, or ones that are SMART, put that right. Seek out assistance from your boss. Targets will give you the framework you need in order to keep yourself focused. It’s much more difficult to consider letting go of a fully focused, hard-working employee who’s achieving great things!

Advertise your achievements

If you feel vulnerable in your role, there’s nothing wrong with self-promotion. If you haven’t felt comfortable doing this up to now, there are some simple steps you can take. Start with something low-key, such as regularly communicating with your boss, outlining what you’re working on and updating him/her with your progress.

Consider introducing a regular diary slot with your boss. It will give you an opportunity for two things: updating him/her on your latest accomplishments and asking him/her for feedback on your performance. Feedback will help you keep your career on track and ensure that you’re doing all the things you should be. It’s a good tactic in keeping the wolves at bay.

Embrace the competition

Rather than see those who want your job as your competition, see them as the wake-up call you needed to secure your own situation.

If there is someone within your team who wants your job, offer to be a mentor. Recognise that this person is ambitious, which is a good thing. Set up a meeting in which you can plan how your team member might realise his or her career goals. Use targets to help. You can, of course, steer them away from your job and suggest opportunities elsewhere!

Wine and dine the boss

You need to make sure that the relationship you have with your boss is a great one. It doesn’t matter if he or she is unpleasant. You need to nurture a positive relationship.

Heather Foley

Heather Foley

Your boss needs to see you as indispensable to the business. If you sense that someone is after your job, a good relationship with your boss will make it more difficult for him or her to imagine working with anyone else.

If someone is vying for your role, feel flattered. You’re obviously in an enviable job. Work hard to cement your position and don’t shy away from challenges. You need to prove that you’re up for them! Heed the words of former NASA astronaut, James A Lovell: “be thankful for problems. If they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job.”

With thanks to Heather Foley, a consultant at etsplc.com, a UK-based HR technology and consultancy company.

Published On: 27th Jan 2016 - Last modified: 6th Jul 2018
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