Careers Advice Blog

What should you do if you hate a colleague?

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There can be lots to hate about any job – the hours could be unsociable or too long, the pay could be bad, the work itself could be demeaning. But all of these pale in comparison to hating a colleague.

Often, the importance of getting along with your colleagues is undervalued. After all, these are the people who you’ll vent to at the end of a hard day, talking through difficult customers with them and mentally purging yourself of a job that may not be your ideal career. So what do you do when you hate them?

Taking action

There are two important questions that have to be answered before you can determine the course of action. Firstly, is this your career, or just a temporary job for this period of your life? If it’s the latter, then it’s best to just muscle through it – after all, you won’t have to deal with them for too long in the grand scheme of things, and it’s not worth jeopardising the delicate balance that constitutes any workplace for the sake of one co-worker. However, if it’s the former, then it can be trickier.

If it’s serious

As you won’t be escaping them any time soon, it’s time to ask yourself another question. Are they actually doing anything that violates your employer’s code of conduct? If so, then immediately seek out a superior or someone in HR (who preferably isn’t sympathetic to their cause) and discuss the offending colleague with them. With any luck, appropriate recourse will be taken, and the employee in question will know that what they’re doing is wrong. As a word of warning, it’s highly inadvisable to fabricate accusations in order to get rid of someone – the truth will always out, and it leaves you extremely vulnerable to losing your job.

If it’s less serious

So what should you do if your colleague is merely annoying, or you just don’t click? Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do, unless you decide to discreetly discuss your issues with them. Never do this publicly, as ego is a fragile concept and you’re not likely to achieve anything positive by calling them out for your perceived injustices. Otherwise, the best you can do is learn to deal with it, although that doesn’t sound like much help. Remember that there are and will always be people in the world who you won’t like, and that dealing with them is inevitable.

If you’re lucky enough to like everyone you work with, you’re in the minority. Enjoy it!

What would you do if you hate a colleague? Tell us your stories in the comments below!

Photo: Sharon Mollerus / Flickr

Nicholas BuxeyWhat should you do if you hate a colleague?

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