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I work at a large corporation in a team of 10 people. Seven of the people are one level above me in terms of seniority and only 2 of them have directs. I asked my manager to lead a project about 6 months ago and the project has been going very well. The scope and potential has increased considerably to the point where we are going to hire.

My manager asked if I would like to manage the new hires as they will be dedicated to my project to which I said yes. I've now heard that some of the other members of my team, some of whom are 10 years older than me, are unhappy that they aren't being given similar opportunities or directs.

As far as I'm concerned, I asked to lead this project and it's because of me that it's been successful thus far and senior managers are taking notice and want to invest in it. I think my coworkers' careers are on them and they should be creating their own opportunities instead of complaining about mine, but equally I'm concerned that I'm going to start facing headwinds if my team becomes resentful as they own projects that my project depends on and we have to work together at times.

What's the best way to handle this?

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  • "I asked my manager to lead a project" - Did you ask them to lead a project or did you ask them if YOU could lead the project? Jun 11 at 23:02
  • @JoelEtherton I asked if I could lead. My manager said yes and took a backseat.
    – CarterT
    Jun 12 at 0:23
  • Why do you think your coworkers will be resentful?
    – jcm
    Jun 12 at 10:51
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    @jcm My manager told me some coworkers had been complaining they've been here longer than me and aren't getting the same opportunities.
    – CarterT
    Jun 12 at 17:01
  • I see. Did your manager say anything else about that?
    – jcm
    Jun 12 at 23:38
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You took initiative, asked for more responsibility and convinced your manager to give you that opportunity.

It sounds like you deserve this.

I think my co-workers' careers are on them and they should be creating their own opportunities instead of complaining about mine

100% correct. You are responsible for your own career not your colleagues. If they are jealous or resentful of your success they really only have themselves to blame, or the company, but not you personally.

Will my co-workers resent me for outpacing them?

Possibly. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. I've seen it happen a few times where a new junior gets promoted above other long serving staff. The resentment has always been directed at the company, not the individual. Overall it did impact performance, but wasn't directed at particular projects or people.

There isn't really anything you can do to stop people being jealous or resentful. It's their choice and not something you can control.

What's the best way to handle this?

Keep doing what you're doing. Keep things professional and if you start to meet resistance that causes problems, then speak to your manager about it.

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