It’s a universally accepted fact that at some point, someone, somewhere is going to be jealous of you – or conversely, you will be jealous of someone else. It happens. What is not so well-studied or understood is why or how to deal with it. I’ve been perusing a few write-ups about the topic and one point that keeps showing itself is, overachievers inspire jealousy. Now, you could be the Overachiever or, well… the one in which jealousy is inspired, doesn’t matter, I’ve got a few tips for both sides of the bulls eye.
- Camp OverachieverYou’ve worked hard, you’ve plugged through long hours, and finally you’ve gotten that well-deserved promotion and raise. Congratulations! Now what? As you transition into your new role, you consider the increased responsibility, the even longer hours, a few more perks.. but inevitably, one new job title you haven’t considered is “Bullet Dodger”. Yes my friend, did you not realize? Think about it, if you got the promotion, who DIDN’t get the promotion? That green-eyed monster in the cubicle next to you. Here are a few tips to make the transition seamless and perhaps, help you make a friend out of that jealous SOB whose claws have just been activated.
- Don the right gear (in conventional speak – Dress the Part) Especially if you have been promoted to a management position, you must appear as though you’re someone’s boss, not their drinking buddy. This doesn’t require you to enter the workplace “suited and booted”, with a fedora to match, however some suit separates or business attire would fit the bill. There needs to be a demarcation between you and your (for lack of a better term) underlings.
- Don’t refer to your staff as UnderlingsYou’re just asking for an @ss-whooping by employing this term and any other term that may seem offensive or demeaning. Act and treat your staff as a team and you will find that the respect you seek will be much more easily earned.
- Share the Wealth – and I don’t mean your paycheck It’s a good idea, in fact, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to give credit where credit is due. Look for ways to bring attention to the hard work and efforts of others, especially you-know-who.
- Keep your behavior in checkNo gossiping, no backstabbing, no, no, no. Any conversations you have with co-workers or colleagues need to remain professional. You are not at a social club, you don’t go to work to make friends, that’s what MySpace is for. Keep your personal conversations to yourself… and your Top 8 or 9, how ever many it is now.
Camp Jealous & EnvyThis really sucks, doesn’t it? Looking at that conceited, know-it-all get what rightfully belonged to you. They’re not even as skilled as you are and they most certainly don’t have the connections you have. Let’s see how long they last…Yeah, you really want to stay away from just about everything in the previous paragraph. It’s destructive, it’s unhealthy, it’s base. More importantly though, it’s common. We have all, and I do stress the word “All”, felt jealousy or envy… if you claim you haven’t, think cheerleaders in high-school, captain of the football team, your sibling(s), the guy next to you in the Ferrari. Yes, that’s what I meant, that feeling seeping out of your pores is envy. Not to worry, for if you find yourself on “initiating” side of the dart board, there are some helpful hints for you.
- Look InwardConsider the gifts, skills or talents YOU have. More often than not, people who experience jealous or envious feelings spend an inordinate amount of time “hating” on others’ perceived abilities. You’ve got abilities of your own, perhaps if you spent some time honing those, you’ll be on the fast track when promotion time comes.
- Take ResponsibilityYou are where you are because of the amount of effort you’ve put in and self-discipline you’ve employed. Now, we can buy into the ugly effects of nepotism or “friends” in high places, however, you’ve got to be responsible for you. Why didn’t you get that big raise? Why didn’t you get that promotion? Could it be that your work or your attitude (hmmm) just wasn’t up to par?
- Become a TeamplayerPerhaps one of the most alienating parts of jealousy or envy in the workplace is the idea that we work independently from one another. I can’t think of one job (maybe you can) where you don’t need someone else to be successful. If you focus your thoughts on the team’s goals instead of your own personal aspirations, your hostilities may be channeled toward something more useful.
Remember, whether you’re the overachiever or, the other guy, you’ve got to conduct yourself with professionalism. The workplace is a place of business not petty rivalries or childish tantrums… and it certainly is not the place for flaunting your most recent promotion in the faces of those, who more than likely, helped you get there.