My friend has been at a company for just short of a year. Recently a senior job role came up for internal staff only so they applied.

When his colleagues found out he'd applied everyone was angry as they said it was Person A's turn to be promoted as they'd been in the company for 4+ Years. Come selection day he was the one chosen for promotion but everyone is saying that he should leave it to Person A when it's obvious that the better person got the job.

+2 days he accepted the job and now it's awkward that everyone thinks Person A should've got the job simply because of the fact that they have been there longer despite the fact my friend has much larger overall IT experience and more experience and skill in programming.

Now he feels bad as he feels like he was not entitled to the role even though he was selected by managers.

Are his colleagues acting unprofessionally and is there anything he can do?

  • It is unclear why your friend feels guilt. – Roland Oct 15 '18 at 13:56
  • @Roland He feels guilt as the other colleagues made him feel like it wasn't his role to take even though it was open to the entire office – Twyxz Oct 15 '18 at 13:58
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    Is his confidence so low that people can "make him" feel guilt over this? I'd just tell him that management has made the decision and there is no reason to feel bad about being considered more capable. – Roland Oct 15 '18 at 14:02
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    @JoeStrazzere "you can't be made to feel bad". Of course you can. Social pressure / bullying / public shaming often rely on this mechanism. (somewhat relevant) – Aserre Oct 15 '18 at 14:38
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    @Aserre, Social pressure / bullying / public shaming can give you ample opportunity to feel bad, they also give you opportunity to believe in yourself and stand up to be counted. It all comes down to how you handle it, not "them" – cdkMoose Oct 15 '18 at 16:54

First of all, congratulations to your friend. Promotions are good news.

Second of all, his colleagues seem to think that IT promotions should be based on seniority. That's seriously wrong.

Competent IT shops promote the best candidate regardless of age or time in position. Your friend should be gratified that he works in a place where management believes in him and is willing to ignore the seniority nonsense.

Remind your friend that ultimately it was management that made the decision who should be promoted.

There's nothing to feel guilty about here. As for the colleagues, time heals all wounds. Tell your friend to be quietly good at his job and don't worry about what others think.

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