Q: “My co-workers seem to despise me because I have a strong work ethic. When I took this job six months ago, I joined a team of three other people who have all been with the company at least six years. I love what I do, so I work a lot of overtime.
“Now I’m in a pickle because my co-workers don’t appreciate the ‘new kid on the block’ working extra hours, and exceeding our goals. Even though their negative remarks hurt my feelings, I’m not the sort of person who can fly under the radar.
“Unfortunately, my boss seems to agree with my team members, so I can’t go to her for help. What should I do?” Superstar
A: New employees who make their co-workers look bad are inevitably resented. That’s just human nature. Your eagerness to work overtime automatically implies that your teammates are less dedicated, even though some of them may not have the option of staying late.
You therefore face a difficult choice. You can continue accumulating extra hours and alienating your colleagues, or you can work the same hours as everyone else and no longer stand out from the pack.
Only you can decide which approach is best. However, since your boss apparently doesn’t appreciate your extra effort, I do wonder exactly what your motivation is.
If you are an experienced team leader, you have undoubtedly noticed that work groups go through a variety of stages. Here are some tips for handling them: Has Your Work Group "Grown Up" Yet?