He’s not the boss, and yet you find yourself begrudgingly having to treat him that way. She may be younger than you, or even be below you on the corporate ladder, and yet there you are feeling resentfully inferior to her. They walk in with a confidence you wish you had, or wish you could rip from them. They get the better parking space, take longer breaks, and are promoted before you. They are the boss’s kid, the heir to the throne, The Legacy. And while this dynamic may not be fair, there is just not much you can do about it. Or is there?
Nepotism in the workplace happens. It may not be right, but a boss that favours their relative, child, close friend, etc. is a known character in the working world. You may feel helpless regarding this fact, and you may even be contemplating your job because of it, but before you pull the chute, consider these tips for dealing with The Legacy.
Put yourself in their fancy shoes
The best way to gain a helpful, holistic perspective about someone else is by taking the good old approach of putting yourself in his or her position. Let’s be honest, The Legacy has likely had a few doors opened for them that we had to work extremely hard to get through. They may also get many perks that we don’t think they deserve. But let’s also consider what it might actually be like to be the boss’s son or daughter. They likely feel that all eyes are on them, and that expectations are higher for them than for others. The pressure that The Legacy may feel, to live up to the position of their parent, should be taken into consideration when judgments are made about their character. Just imagine what it would be like for you to work under your mother or father, day in and day out.
Make an ally
Rather than looking at The Legacy as an enemy, put your resentment aside and consider the potential benefits of having them on your side. The Legacy is likely already feeling isolated, so show your boss some initiative and maturity by reaching out and including their kid. You may not want to invite The Legacy to your regular boss-bashing-over-beers night, but for your casual coffee breaks or weekly brain storming sessions, get the Legacy on your team and only good things can happen.
Speak up or Get over it
Your dad doesn’t own the company. Your mom isn’t the boss. That’s just reality. Gen X and Gen Y’ers are already so often accused of being whiny brats, let’s not give the world anymore reasons to think this way of us. If you encounter The Legacy in your office and you don’t think the way they are promoted, allowed certain privileges, etc. is fair, then discuss it with your boss (very carefully, without personal judgment, emphasizing how your work is being negatively affected), or…let it go! The last thing you want is to be caught complaining about the boss or gossiping about the boss’s kid.