I work for a nonprofit. I'm 7 weeks into the job. My title is social media manager so as you can imagine, I know how to use the Adobe Creative Suite.

Here's the problem, my immediate superior, who is Director of Marketing and PR, has been opting to get lessons for the entire staff, meaning just for herself, to learn the software that I know. So far, I've been helpful to answer questions about Microsoft Word and other internet things, but I have quickly realized she may want to get me fired. While I like to help others succeed and grow, I don't know what do I do when I feel my job is threatened.

How do I politely decline to teach superiors and co-workers these little nuggets of information?

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    Hello and welcome to the Workplace. Quick question: How did you arrive at her wanting to get you fired from asking for Word lessons? Also, is the entire staff just you and her, or is she just the only one who's interested in taking lessons [training that you provide]?
    – rath
    Mar 16, 2015 at 1:33
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    This question is a little confusing. Are you saying that you suspect that your immediate superior wants you to train other people so that she can get rid of you? And that you therefore want to avoid training them? Mar 16, 2015 at 5:21
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    Your superior wants you to conduct a training session for the staff on a skill you know. Do you not want to do the training for some reason? What's the problem exactly?
    – Brandin
    Mar 16, 2015 at 11:08
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  • Suggest a subscription to Lynda.com. It's likely to be more effective than what you can teach anyway. Jan 7, 2016 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Why do you feel your job is threatened?

As Social Media Manager I hope you have more skills than simply being able to use Adobe Creative Suite. (If not then you are in real trouble.) Being asked to teach other people something that is a small part of what you do doesn't mean they are looking to replace you. However by refusing to pass on what you know, which is a contradiction of your claim that you 'like to help others succeed', you are painting a picture of yourself as uncooperative and confrontational. That's much more likely to result in you being fired than enabling your co-workers.

Assuming that you have the time to actually do this, there is no way to politely decline.

  • Plus, there are few people who really "know" the Creative Suite. Each piece of software can take years to fully master (except maybe Adobe Media Encoder). Jan 7, 2016 at 18:02

To politely decline, that's not feasible. Just decline, polite or hateful, your still not going to share your skills, correct? In some form your colleagues may respect that. You denied insight for the non-profit organization, but he sure is polite. No, I don't see anything favorable your way and much kudos the opposite. Good luck!

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