There is a certain high that comes with being “a favorite”, being in the “in crowd”, being a “chosen one”, being in the “inner circle”. For the lucky select few who have had this experience their professional life seems easy, doors are open readily, opportunities abound, they’re on the fast track and have been classified as high potential. Sometimes these individuals have been heavily recruited, romanced to join an organization or a certain part of the organization. They’re on the fast track. But all of a sudden something changes, subtle changes. They notice they are no longer included in key meetings or conversations, they are not being sought out for counsel, they are no longer on certain email distribution lists, they are getting more and more “special projects”. Some how they have gone from being in the in crowd to on the fringe looking in. They are bewildered, not knowing what has happened, asking themselves if it is something they have said or done.
This can be frightening scenario which often leaves these professionals confused and clueless about how to rectify it. Unfortunately they will likely never know. The source of this disconnect is often rooted in a relationship with a boss or coworker that has changed or shifted. This change can happen subtly over time and isn’t necessarily tied to a single incident. Relationships reign in the workplace and when they go side ways people fall out of favor. The best strategy to deal with this is not trying to figure out a way to get back “in” because it rarely happens, but is to start considering options on how to move out and start with a clean page.