I sometimes look at my friends and feel jealous about their high-flying jobs. One friend works for a bank and makes a lot of money. Another owns her own company and it’s doing splendidly well. It seems to me that everyone is having a dream job that pays well with the potential to travel abroad and chances of being promoted for even better prospects – everyone except me.
It’s not that my job sucks (it doesn’t) but in my mind, it’s not as cool as the rest. I can’t help but feel that maybe I am missing out on something, whatever that is.
This, my dear readers, is what job envy looks like – where everyone else’s job look awesome except yours. Sometimes, the reason for it is valid. You may be doing not so OK in a job that you don’t really like and you can’t help but feel like you’re failing when you compare yourself to some friends who seem to have great job luck. And sometimes, it is just in your head that your job sucks and your friend’s doesn’t. News flash – their job may suck too!
But nevertheless, the feeling of jealousy is real and you have to do something about it as it can be quite overwhelming. What you should do instead is to lean into your envy and learn from it. You’d be surprised at how much envy can tell you about yourself, your career and your self worth. It may even be the nod you need to push you in the right direction, making what seems like a loss an actual win instead.
Here are three ways to make job envy work for you.
#1 Don’t let it discourage you
Your self-confidence takes a beating when you find out a friend is doing sooooo much better or that someone else got the job you’ve been eyeing. You can allow yourself a day or two to mop around but after that, you need to pick yourself up from that place of envy.
Maybe the timing wasn’t right or you lacked a certain skill. So use work envy in this case to your advantage by taking a good look at yourself and see what it is that you can improve on. Just like your friends, you too are capable of success and should work towards that. List out your own personal success to datw and your skills and strengths to bring focus back to yourself. This will help you stay centred for empowerment.
#2 Let it motivate you
Instead of letting work envy bring you down, why not let it be an inspiration to motivate you to achieve more and do better? What is your definition of success? Work that out and list the things you need to do to get closer to that definition. Draw up a plan with realistic steps to help you work towards that desired result. The sooner you start improving on what makes you successful, the faster you’ll get over work envy that only serves to hold you down and nothing more.
#3 Put things in perspective
The problem with envy is that it is often blown out of proportion. Sure your friend gets to travel all the time but she hardly has time for herself or her family. That other friend with the great-paying job? Is she stressed out most of the time? We always think the grass is greener on the other side but the truth is there are some sacrifices that need to be made in order; sacrifices that sometimes aren’t quite worth it no matter how often you get to travel or your salary at the end of the month.
Besides, your job probably doesn’t suck as much as you think it does. You have great colleagues, your boss gives you creative control over what you want to do, and it’s a great stepping stone to future careers. Maybe it’s not going as far and fast as you want it to be but good things come to those who wait – yes, even that dream job!
Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash