Consider this – one day, you and your co-worker are sitting side by side, working on projects and getting along as peers. The next day, that co-worker gets promoted and is now your boss. How do you switch gears from being peers with someone to working for them?
When a co-worker becomes your boss, the relationship changes. To help you navigate this change, here are five tips to consider when your workplace roles shift.
- Realize that things are going to change.
Though you and your co-worker may have grabbed lunch on a regular basis or spent your free time together, this may not happen as often now. It’s best to keep a professional distance, especially at the beginning of the transition. You can still be supportive and friendly, but the boundaries for that friendship have now changed.
- Don’t take it personally.
You may feel resentment that your friend is now telling you what to do and evaluating your work performance. This resentment may be even stronger if both of you were in the running for the promotion. It’s important not to make your new boss suffer because you are feeling negative. If you can’t get past it, consider asking for a job transfer or think about moving on.
- Don’t expect special treatment.
While you two may have been buddies as co-workers, you will overstep your bounds if you expect special treatment from your new boss. Though you can remain friends, it’s important that you work just as hard for your new boss as you did for your old boss. Otherwise, you put your supervisor in a tough position that could cause resentment and a destruction of the friendship.
- Consider changing social media.
You should always be careful with what you put on your social media accounts. It’s best to stay professional and avoid posting things you’ll regret later. But, let’s face it. There may be things you don’t want your boss to see. If you’re uncomfortable sharing your life outside of work with your new supervisor, consider changing your social media settings to limit what can be seen.
- Don’t stress out if things feel uncomfortable.
Both of you will go through a transition phase that may feel awkward at first. Roll with the changes and help the process by supporting your new boss. An honest conversation about how things will need to change and that you are there to support them can help make the transition easier.
Change is never easy, and it’s especially hard when a former friend is now in charge of evaluating and coaching your career. Eventually though, you both will settle into your new roles and your old friendship can begin again.
Have you ever had a co-worker become your boss? How did you handle that change? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.