Dear Katie & Kelly

How to Deal with Competitive Colleagues


Dear Katie & Kelly: My firm just hired this new guy who is at my level. He’s working insanely long hours and making me look practically lazy in comparison. I work in finance and I’m a Classic so I’m used to hard work and long hours. No problem. But, this guy is too much. He’s a brown noser to the core and I don’t trust him. I don’t want to complain to my boss because I’ll sound like I’m whining. Any advice on dealing with his nauseating behavior.

Signed: Classic in California

Dear Classic: Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Attempt to befriend him first. This sounds Machiavellian but it’s not. Just wise. Classics can get stuck in the details of the present and need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Chances are this person is semi normal and just new and trying to make a good impression. Someone might’ve seen you in this same light when you first started. When Kelly was working at a hedge fund, this new gal started and seemed like a total annoying eager beaver. Low and behold she was just new and instead of acting like a bitch to her, Kelly befriended her and she remains one of her closest friends. But this isn’t always the case and in the world of high finance never dumb to keep your guard up.

If you temporarily suspend judgment and still find this guy to be an untrustworthy brown noser, focus on you. Make sure he’s not impacting your trajectory. Regularly check-in with your higher ups to make sure everything you’re doing is on target. Run your own race while keeping an eye on what the rest of the field is doing, including the new annoying guy, and continue to keep him even closer once you’ve confirmed he’ll never be an actual friend.

Take care: K & K

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