HOW SHOULD I ACT WITH MY FORMER COWORKERS NOW THAT I GOT PROMOTED?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I have been working at my company for seven years. I got promoted recently and now I feel very awkward with my former workmates, who are now working under me. How should I handle this transition? I’m not quite sure what to do. I still want to socialize with them but I feel like I can’t.

–In Transition (United States)

DEAR IN TRANSITION:

When your position changes within your workplace, it can be a bit of an adjustment. This is a good opportunity to show your leadership in other ways than just managing work activities. Be friendly yet professional. This means you may have to interact with your former colleagues differently. Don’t engage in any sort of gossip. Treat everyone with respect but you may have distance yourself socially from any close personal relationships so you don’t seem to be playing favorites. You might want to also ask your former coworkers for suggestions for your department as well as for feedback. Get to know your new peers more (people in the same corporate levels as you, etc.).  Once you’re really settled in your new position and have had a chance to do thorough research while in your new position, you can start to gradually make changes at work. Finally, really own your new position—the authority and the right to do your new job well, having done your former job successfully and worked your way up. On an energetic level, this will help set the tone for your new job and will help your former colleagues see you as a leader in your new role.

Enjoy your new position!

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