I have no prejudicial detest towards preferential treatment and I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of it. In fact, it's normal for careerists to please their bosses in a bid to gain favours at the workplace. It would therefore be wrong for me to insist that preferential treatment is bound to bring about negative career repercussions. However, to avoid bias, we've got to examine two sides of a coin. While many integral careerists work their way up the preferential ladder and use the privilege wisely, others use unfair means such as sexual advances, family ties and even blackmail to get a piece of the preferential cake. Such rogue careerists consequently misuse this privilege for their own personal vendetta. It thus becomes obvious that preferential treatment isn't always beneficial to everyone and can potentially lead to negative career repercussions. Which repercussions are these?
#1 It Makes you Compromise on your Career Goals and Dreams
If you're not careful, preferential treatment can dilute you career goals and dreams. That's because you'll get exceptionally complimented for doing 'normal stuff' and this will definitely get to your head. You'll then entertain mediocrity in your career life and conclude that you've arrived at a place where you belong. Thus, you'll feel settled and comfortable in your current career situation and decide that your career goals and dreams might actually be too high and unrealistic. That's when all justifiable and 'reasonable' excuses flood your mind as to how you should 'adapt and acclimatise your career goals to a more realistic level'.
#2 It Corrupts your Integrity and Leads to Betrayal of Personal Ideals and Values
Preferential treatment can be quite intoxicating and may create the false impression that you can cheat your way to the top and get away with it. Indeed, this might be possible but at the same time, you might want to consider the long term personal repercussions on your part. For instance, getting away with corruption might become such a normal habit to a point where it weaves its way into the very fabric of your daily work-place affairs. Eventually, you'll become such a chronic liar that this extends into your family life. In addition, the false confidence in habitual corrupt malpractices increases the chances of being caught in a big scandal in future. This would mean jail time and an ex-con reputation on your curriculum vitae.
#3 Creates a false sense of Job Security despite Obvious Impending Industry Shake-Ups
Preferential treatment can make you feel like the hero of the company so to speak. It might even get to a point where you think that your very presence in the company is indispensable without any extra input of hard work. But as we all know, no industry is immune to shake-ups and this might get you off-guard. Let's consider a company on the verge of collapse. You've been very comfortable to the point where you were uninformed about a recent human resource audit mean't to get rid of 'irrelevant labour costs' in a bid to implement austerity measures. You then come to your desk one morning and find a letter of dismissal which of course, is greeted with disbelief. The end result; sulking your depressed self to the nearest bar to drown you sorrows in liquor. And we all know what happens after that...
#4 Degrades your Career Reputation, Respect and Admiration amongst Peers
Before you got preferential treatment, you career mentors and peers saw you as an integral and diligent person who was passionate about his/her career. Your unflinching dedication, discipline and hard work made you a renowned figure in your respective industry. You were regularly invited as a guest to give speeches about the latest trends and developments in your industry. Career peers kept on encouraging you to keep going and helped you even in times of despair. But ever since you started gaining preferential favours in the workplace, hard work and dedication has become a fallacy on your part. Your focus has zeroed in on the thirst for wealth and power. You no longer care about those who stuck with you through thick and thin. But eventually, when you career streak comes to a sudden demise, you have no one escort your descent since you burnt all the bridges a long time ago.
#5 Leads to more Workplace Conflicts and Foes through Pride and Arrogance
Lets think about other careerists at the workplace for a moment. Some have indeed dedicated years of honest hard work only for them to be sidelined by their superiors. However, there are some recent employees that have abruptly gained preferential treatment simply because the boss 'liked' them. This is definitely bound to generate conflict in the workplace especially if the newbie is assigned a supervisory role over experienced careerists. Common sense leadership demands that experience is the best factor to consider when key decisions are being made. However, the newbie is likely to make decisions that disregard this principle if he/she is proud and arrogant. In fact, such consistent errors are likely to happen especially if the supervisor is narcissistic and egotistical. The end result is a bitter and frustrating career streak for the newbie and a likelihood of meeting such experienced foes as his/her supervisors in future jobs. And as the saying goes, what goes round must come round.
#6 Tames your Upward Career Momentum increasing chances of Career Stagnation
As I reiterated earlier, a careerist pampered with preferential treatment is likely to entertain mediocrity in his/her career life. Besides degrading your career goals and dreams, you're likely to put less effort into the workplace since you're aware that the boss is impressed with even your laziest of efforts. This ego will definitely kill the true career virtue of innovation and hard work on your part as your upward career momentum comes to a grinding halt. Your comfort zone will then become a breeding ground for imminent career stagnation as the false utopia of job security colonizes your mind. Meanwhile, the job market has undergone rapid transformation and when retrenchment hits you hard, you realize that the skills you bragged about ten years ago are now irrelevant and outdated. To make matters worse, you had no career contingency measures to help you succeed even in times of unemployment. You're now left at crossroads as you cluelessly decide on what to do next...
We all wish to have favours in the workplace and a boss that really likes us. This has always been the preferred short-cut to getting promotions and salary increments. However, a friend of mine once told me that we should be careful what we wish for. This is true especially when we consider the bigger long term picture. For instance, one is likely to get carried away by 'hot air' career success at the expense of a concrete, admirable and respectable career reputation. The world today has actually made integral hard work 'old school' as microwaved Hollywood success gains a firm foothold in the young generation's mentality. In the end, we've got to realize that slow success builds character, but fast success builds ego.