DEAR HARRIETTE: My boss’ son works in my department. A few days ago, my boss called me into his office to ask if I thought his son deserved a promotion. I hesitated, and my boss said I could have a few days to observe and come back to him with a final answer. I have been working in the department far longer than his son, so I would like to use this opportunity to mention that I should be considered for a promotion. Is this the right setting to do this? His son does not deserve a promotion after only a few months on the job. -- My Time to Shine, Pensacola, Florida
DEAR MY TIME TO SHINE: Tread carefully on this one. Do your best to address your boss’ son separately from yourself. Pay attention to the son, and observe how he works. Be prepared to report back to your boss with specifics of what you believe his son is doing well and where he might have room to grow. Note the roles and responsibilities of his position. Based on that, is there room for a promotion? Is it common practice at your company to promote so quickly?
Before the conversation ends, ask your boss if you can inquire about another matter. Remind him of how long you have worked for the company and what you have accomplished. Point to the qualifications for the next job up from yours, and tell him why you think you should be considered for the job. If the son is promoted anyway, do your best not to be upset or jealous. You cannot compete with him. You must stay focused on cultivating your talents.