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Degrees Insecurity

One of the people in our group went to a prestigious college and constantly brings it up. No matter what kind of project we are working on, sooner or later, he relates it to something about his college. We are all college grads, and we're not impressed with him or his college. We've tried to get the message across, but he doesn't get it. How do we deal with him?

He may be deservedly proud of his college classes, but his behavior shows no class at all. Rather, it points to a good deal of insecurity. If he were confident and comfortable with his career progress and accomplishments, he would sense far less of a need to keep bringing up his prestigious college days.

This means that there is a real possibility that his collegiate stories will diminish as he experiences some major success in his current position. Unfortunately, his fixation with his college days may prevent him from doing so.

He probably does not realize that recent studies are showing that success after college depends more on the individual than on the college the individual attended. The fact is that the college may help a person get that first job, but then something called performance tends to predominate.

At this point, you have already told him that his college-speak is not appreciated, so perhaps the next step is to try to help him be more successful in the job. If your discussions with him focus more on present and future projects, objectives, and performance, perhaps he will be less likely to focus on the past.

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