It’s hard to get passed over for a promotion, miss out on a project, or see a job you wanted go to someone else. Sometimes envy comes in other forms—seeing a friend excel in her field while you’ve unsure of your career, or watching a novice move up the ranks faster than you.
Career envy sucks, and it’s usually not a useful way to deal reality. If you find yourself privy to the green-eyed monster, here’s four ways to deal with the jealousy:
Remind yourself that it’s never as good as it looks.
Nobody’s life is perfect, although it’s easy to believe that others have it easier than we do when they get what we want. Most successes aren’t without struggle, even if you can’t see the blood, sweat and tears that went into achieving a goal. Remind yourself that FOMO is a very real phenomenon, and that everyone likes to broadcast an image of success without showing the work that was put in. People post selfies on vacation, not when they’re working overtime or having to take sick days. The illusion of effortless success is just that—an illusion. No one has a perfect set-up, so even if you’re envious, remember you’re probably not seeing the whole picture.
Forget the other person for a minute—what have YOU got to be proud of? Don’t say “nothing”; really think about what milestones you’ve achieved in your career. Oprah is a big advocate of a gratefulness journal, where you write down 5 good things that happen each day. Keeping stock of your accomplishments will give you a more balanced perspective. Remember, when you’re looking at someone else saying “I wish I was in her shoes” someone else may be looking at you and thinking the same thing.
Use it as motivation.
All right—so you’re seeing others succeed around you, and you want a piece of their success. What steps have they been taking that you haven’t? Have they been taking on more projects? Do they have a mentor that they check in with regularly? Are you as much of an expert in your field as they are, or could you use a remedial studying? Could you take a course to gain a skill that’s sought-after in your field? Use your feeling of coming up short as fuel to push yourself to the next level, whatever that is for you.
Whether you’re envious of a friend or of a rival, one of the best ways to deal with envy is to try to be happy for them. There’s no use being outwardly bitter towards the person, and whether you think they deserve their success or not isn’t important. If you can’t smile sincerely while saying “I’m happy for you”, send them a quick email congratulating them. And remember—networking is an important tool in any career girl’s arsenal. They might feel more inclined to help you with your success when you delight in theirs!
Envy can ruin your career, so make sure you give yourself a break and stop comparing yourself. If you need some help on creating a streamlined career plan, why not have a go at creating a vision board.