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I joined my current workplace 6 months back and I am a fresher (no previous work experience). My team initially consisted of just me (a girl) and another guy (who has 8 years work experience).

I thought we get along well. He expects me to include him in any work I do, but he excludes me out of his work. He becomes all defensive and secretive when I casually ask things.

I work day-in, day-out with R and have a substantial knowledge of statistics. Recently, 3 new members (all guys) joined our team and he is taking charge of "training" them on R and statistics, when he has very little knowledge. Now, they have meetings on R & Statistics and I am not even told. They conduct these "brainstorming" sessions almost everyday and I feel bad and excluded. I am all the more willing to help them out, but when they have meetings in a separate room, and they all act all high-and-mighty about it, I feel "Ok, fine. Let them do it their own way."

Should I be worried that this might lead to worse situations?

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    Recently, 3 new members(all guys) joined our team are they like you ? freshers that just graduated ? Do they have the same role than you ? – Walfrat Dec 19 '16 at 10:27
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    My team initially consisted of just me (a girl) and another guy (who has 8 years work experience). Is he your boss? or do you both report to someone else? I'd recommend clarifying this in your post. – djohnson10 Dec 19 '16 at 17:35
  • @djohnson10 No we both report to the same person. He's a colleague. – S.S. Dec 20 '16 at 6:38
  • @Walfrat - yes they are also freshers. Not the same role since they are from sales backgrounds. – S.S. Dec 20 '16 at 6:50
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You don't speak of a team lead or manager.

I see a potentially bad pattern. Accept you have expertise in R and statistics and he does not. You should be performing the training and he should attend. He excludes you from open communication on an individual level. And now he is excluding you on team level. There is not a good reason for 4 team members to have regular brainstorming sessions on a subject and exclude the 1 team member with expertise in that subject. Devils advocate is that he wants to exclude you on a larger level.

Is your manager / lead aware of your expertise in R and statistics? Who assigns programming tasks?

  • 1
    Yes, my manager is aware that I am good at it. What confuses me is that their roles do not demand them, and its fine with me if they want to learn something new. But what sucks is despite me casually mentioning that I'd love to join, they still set up meetings and block time and make it all formal without even telling me - which is a feat since I sit next to them. So yeah, I'm confused. – S.S. Dec 20 '16 at 6:47
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As a fresher, I think you're making the general mistake of not knowing what is expected of you and equally important, how do you know when your boss thinks you're performing as expected. This takes time. You have to observe and ask questions. Pay attention to your boss to find out what he thinks is important. Good bosses should make this very obvious to you, but sometimes they need our help.

You could be worrying about nothing. Who knows, maybe these new people are actually training your boss in R. They could be working on something completely different from you. Because you're being left out, you're looking at this negatively, so you interpret their behavior as being "high and mighty." Are they suppose to act like they're the lowest life-forms on the planet who are accomplishing nothing after these meetings? They could be a bunch of jerks, so make sure you are not being left out by finding out if your boss thinks you're doing your job. Ideally, you would be getting so much gratification from your work, you won't even notice the meetings.

Work with your boss to get more feedback and get it more often. Follow-up on work you turn in. Wait a day and send an email asking if it was what he wanted. Good waiters do this with every customer. If someone says the food was fine, but they hardly ate any of it, a good waiter finds another way to ask the question to help probe deeper. Sometimes we get so caught up with the technology, we forget we're servicing people. They have emotions and personalities and sometimes we need to make them feel comfortable. They don't always have the technical skills to get it from our work alone. Show you care by paying attention and finding out what is important. You never know, it may have nothing to do with the meetings or the three new guys.

  • Thanks! The issue is our boss is not in the same office and though he has made his expectations clear from my side, it is not clear for them. And yes, work has been a bit slow for me and maybe that's why I'm feeling this. Hoping that the worrying turns out for nothing. – S.S. Dec 20 '16 at 6:42
  • Your answer doesn't seem to match the question. It speaks of issues with a co-worker not a boss. I'm also not sure how well the advice works, even if the premise was correct. Regardless of how much gratification one gets from work, if you're consistently being excluded from normal activities at work, that tends to be a bad thing for your long term survival at that job. That gratification quickly fades once you're fired due to lack of "cultural fit". Waiters also don't serve the boss, they serve customers. . .I'm not sure that analogy works for employer/employee relationships. – iheanyi Jul 20 '17 at 4:52
  • @iheanyi - I refer to boss repeatedly, so I don't get your response. Customers may love you as a waiter, but making your boss's job harder will hurt you in the long run. It's not all or nothing. If I gave the impression pleasing the boss was the only thing to be concerned with, that would be wrong. – user8365 Jul 26 '17 at 13:05
  • @JeffO the "boss" does not really appear in the question though you answer focuses almost exclusively on the "boss". – iheanyi Jul 26 '17 at 13:37
  • @iheanyi - but the boss is my solution to the problem of working with this person. Sometimes to solve a problem you have to get to what the problem really is. – user8365 Aug 2 '17 at 14:49
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It's most likely a part of his job to tutor new people and have an idea about what they're doing and know how they're performing so he can give feedback to your boss on how you're coping in the new workplace.

If that's the case its only natural for him to be included in what you're doing. but not necessary he other way around, it depends on how much your work intersects. You need to make an authority aware of if you're being excluded from crucial/essential information.

When it comes to tutoring, It's not a matter of being excluded, its a matter of roles. Seniors are often used to mentor new people, because the company usually knows their capabilities meanwhile they're yet to learn yours, and you are still proving yourself within the organization. Even if they know how capable you are, they might find you more useful doing what you're doing right now.

It'd be completely different if you'd have similar work experience in the workplace and you'd be more experienced in the matter of what's being taught. You can let people know that you know X and Y and are open to tutoring if its needed but don't expect to be brought in to do mentoring, yet.

You have to evaluate the situation but I think you're not being excluded, you're simply being asked to do a different job than he is.

tl;dr don't take it personally, it's most likely a matter of roles; seniors are often expected to mentor rather than letting that task be assigned to juniors.

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    Down voter explain please. – Jonast92 Dec 19 '16 at 10:54
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    is simply a bit awkward when they got people who've been there way longer and are at a senior level. No it isn't. Seniority is not equivalent to domain knowledge. It might be his role to train the new guys, but it wouldn't be awkward at all to have the domain expert (ie. newbie OP) do it unless there's a weird status fetish going on. – rath Dec 19 '16 at 10:59
  • @Jonast92 He hasn't been asked to train them - that much I know. It was more of a proactive thing from their side to start learning R. They do have another mentor who monitors them remotely and assigns them tasks. – S.S. Dec 20 '16 at 6:44
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I had similar experiences when first joining the workforce after a long time in academia. You have some knowledge and skills that you want to exercise and share, but it seems as though you are not given the opportunity.

What @Jonast92 says about "roles" is true. A workplace is different from academia in that you are expected to execute your role, in other words, "to do your job." New employees coming out of school often try to immediately branch out into different job functions even when that's not what they were hired to do. That's a noble intention, but it is unfortunately incompatible with how projects are managed in many organizations.

That said, there could very well be some feelings of intimidation involved. Your knowledge and the fact you are new may make your lead uncomfortable and standoff-ish. Some workplace-personalities don't handle casual open-ended discussions well and see such things as a threat to their job.

The best thing to do is to perform your specific job role as best you can and develop trust over time with the lead. As you prove yourself, you will gain more latitude and be comfortable with asking to participate in more activities.

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I would suggest focusing on doing your work (tasks) at an extremely high level and so that your manager notices your work.

If your manager notices your knowledge in a particular area, such as R, they should include you in future projects.

Perhaps also there is a bit of sexism going on at your workplace or the lead is not comfortable working females.

  • I am hoping that things turn out for the best. Thanks. – S.S. Dec 20 '16 at 6:49

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