What's your feelings on possible nepotism?

I recently completed a 7-month term as an unpaid volunteer at a local school helping the pre-school and pre-K teachers with their respective classes as well as giving some encouragement to a struggling third-grader. A few weeks back, I eard that since they didn’t have enough pre-school kids enrolling, they would be dropping one of the pre-school teachers. However, the Pre-K teacher (a wonderful lady who I got along famously with) will still need help, and so they’re considering hiring a teaching assistant to bounce between Pre-K and Pre-School, as well as to help out in 1st grade. Most of this I did during the past school year, so ordinarily I’d have no issue about applying for this job. Except…

My mother has been the Head of the school for the past 7 years. It was she who suggested that I take the volunteer position. I enjoyed it immensely and never had any feeling that there was any resentment over my being there due to her arraingements. This year Mom will be a 4th grade teacher at the same school, since she wanted to go back to teaching instead of dealing with all of the administrative crap. A close friend of hers who served as Assistant head will be moved up into her place. I’ve asked the Pre-K teacher that I worked with to talk to the Assistant Head about the new position, since I loved the kids and clearly have prior experience.

So, after all that, here’s the question: Should I be concerned that there might be a suggestion of nepotism from other teachers or parents (not from the Assistant Head) if I am offered the job? The teacher with whom I worked is NOT the type to kiss butt, and she thinks that some people might have the wrong idea, but that’s their problem. I agree to an extent, but I am curious what others might say if they were an outsider who knew the facts of the case. Should I apply or not?

Go ahead and apply. I’ve heard that large percentages of jobs go to people who network, people with connections (albeit usually more vague than nepotism suggests) sp why deprive yourself of a chance at a job you’d be well qualified for out of fear of what someone might think. I will refrain from giving you advice on what to do if charges of nepotism surface later, on the grounds that I am supremely unqualified to do so.

Remember, even if you got the unpaid volunteer position in part due to your connections, you have presumably proved your worth to the program and to the teachers you would be working with. If you have failed to prove your worth, you will probably NOT get the job.

Nepotism is just another contact in the big game of life. Indeed, don’t deprive yourself of the moves you can make unless you are pretty sure that doing so is going to hurt you more in the long run (and of course if you are sure you can do the job and get people to like you in spite of your connections, then that’s not really an issue.)

Nepotism can get you in the door, but keeping the position is another thing. Basically, if you’re good at what you do, it doesn’t matter how you landed the job.

I got my first real, non-babysitting job via nepotism. Lucky for me, my dad didn’t show favoritism. Apart from filling in at the PBX (this was in the early 70s) and sorting the mail, I got to do such fun chores as making sure all of the files headed for warehouse storage were in numerical order… in the basement… no air conditioning… in the summer… in Baltimore. Nothing like 8 hours of looking at **bright green ** folders, thousands of them, to make sure they would be easy to find if needed. All for $2.25/hr.

Come to think of it, nepotism can suck pretty bad…

Go ahead take the advantage, the other person would do the same given the chance.

If I understand correctly, you’re worried about the *appearance *of nepotism, more than likely nepotism itself happening, right? That is, your mom won’t actually butt into a hiring decision that isn’t hers, but you’re afraid people might think she did.

The only way to get past it is to consistently show yourself a skilled and hard worker. Time will do the rest. But if you slack, if you come in late even once, names will be called. That’s just human nature. You *will *have to work harder at the job than anyone else would to avoid the label.

Go for it! When I was in government employ, I simply had to declare any relationship (financial, family, or whatever) between myself and councillors or senior officers.

There is a reason people hire known elements–friends and family–and it isn’t always just because they want to do someone a favor. Hiring people is terrifying–if you get a someone borderline incompetent, you can be stuck with them for years. If you get someone who is criminal or evil, they can do massive damage before they are discovered and then take months or years of pain to get rid of. Every employer takes many steps to avoid this, and one of the most effective ones (though not 100%) is to hire someone you know and have reason to believe is neither incompetent nor evil. Double all these anxieties when you are talking about someone who will be working with kids. THAT’S why you’ve got a better chance of getting this job than someone who wanders in, and there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of that.

I agree with Manda JO. I have a guaranteed job if I ever need it (which at this point in my life I hope I don’t) with a former employer, assuming she needs an employee. She knows I’m a good employee, a hard worker, honest, and everything else. Plus I still know the system well enough that I could be running the register again in 10 minutes with a quick refresher of the PLUs.

I think that nepotism has a well-deserved bad connotation, because there are plenty of examples where someone got the job and obviously had no clue what they were doing. Same with cronyism. But if you can do the job, have already proven it, and are a known quantity, that should overrule any appearance of nepotism. The only problem is, as I see it, that you have to be perfect, at least for a while.