Advice: "The new rep I've been mentoring just got promoted over me and it's really bothering me. What can I do?"

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Dear Quota Team

I'm writing because I have a situation at work that's been bothering me lately. I've been selling for the same company for many years now. I'm not the #1 salesperson at the company but I'm consistently in the upper half on performance. Two years ago, a fresh college grad was hired on our team. I liked the kid, we both played sports in college and had similar upbringings, so we got along pretty well. I sort of informally took him under my wing, and he was always asking questions and seemed to really value my perspective and advice.

The kid is a great sales rep. He's always crushing his numbers and coming in near or at the top of the board. The senior leadership team recently put him in charge of closing some of our biggest enterprise (it’s technically not enterprise, but that’s what we call it) accounts. It's not technically a promotion, but they always have who they feel is the best salesperson running these accounts. He deserves it, and I'm happy for him (and I’d like to think I played a small role in helping him get there).

But I also can't help but feel a bit jealous. I've been here much longer than he has and have always been loyal and consistent. I feel like I was passed over for the young new hot shot. Aside from ego, the opportunity to run enterprise accounts is a huge upgrade in terms of earning potential. This kid is going to be making way more money than me in a few months and I'm old enough to be his father. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I can't help it. Any advice on what I can do to feel better?

Jealous in Location Withheld 


Dear Jealous,

It seems perfectly normal for you to feel a little bit jealous, but how are you using this feeling? Are you using it to motivate yourself to work harder, improve your skills, and put yourself in a better position? Or are you letting it hold you back and using it to feel sorry for yourself? 

If the former, then you should thank this kid for giving you a healthy dose of motivation. If the latter, then you’re wasting time and only hurting yourself. If you feel awful about getting passed over, then take a day (maybe a week) to lick your wounds. But then, dust yourself off and get to work. Otherwise, you’ll stay in the same place your whole life. 

Good luck! 

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