Webster’s Dictionary defines nepotism as, “favoritism based upon family relationship.” In a career context, that means that a company’s owners or executives will give preference to their relatives when they decide whom to hire, promote, or retain. If you are the relative, nepotism will be beneficial to your career. If, however, you are not the relative, nepotism will definitely not be beneficial to your career.
When applying for jobs, an applicant should research the hiring organization. If the job for which they are thinking about applying is advertised by a small to mid-sized, privately owned business, the chances of nepotism are greater than if the job is advertised by a corporation or a government agency, such as the 17 federal agencies located in Baltimore City alone. More extensive research of the organization might give the job applicant a definitive answer to the question regarding whether or not the company engages in nepotism, and to what extent.
If offered an equally good job with a hiring organization that does not engage in nepotism, the job candidate who is not a relative should take the job in the hiring organization that does not engage in extensive nepotism. Making a good job choice initially can eliminate the need for a job and organization change later.
Consider the employee who is hired by a company that engages in extensive nepotism. Perhaps the employee did not see the indications of nepotism before accepting the job. After the employee has been denied a bonus or award or has been passed over for a promotion because of a less qualified relative, the repercussions of nepotism will become apparent. Also, if the organization needs to reduce the number of their employees during a business slowdown, the organization probably will be more likely to lay off the non relatives first, when possible.
A proactive employee, who is not favored by nepotism and who anticipates being laid off, should apply for other jobs before there are cutbacks. That way, this employee will have the advantage of being employed while looking for another job.
Even if there is no apparent danger of being laid off, an ambitious employee, who is not a relative, will still want a job that has more potential for bonuses and promotions. When the employee secures a new job, the employee should leave his or her present company in a gracious manner. Even though, in some cases, there are legal steps to combat nepotism, any reward might not be worth the effort.
In the past, were you affected by nepotism? Please comment below.