How to Turn Your Jealousy of a Co-worker Into Productivity|
Have you ever told a girlfriend about an upcoming interview or a promotion and you didn’t
receive the positive feedback you were hoping for? Did it seem like a little jealousy or
doubt in your ability flickered across your friend’s face? Why is it that women tend to be hard on themselves, and even harder on other women?
I’ve run into this issue several times with both co-workers and friends. In one case it was a situation where I was asked what my salary is, and another was during a conversation about how I was up for a performance review and was asking for a promotion. Both reactions were surprising, and a little hurtful. While I don’t like those co-workers and friends any less for their reactions, it did frustrate me that they couldn’t just be happy for me.
What I’ve realized is that women can’t help comparing themselves to other women. It
doesn’t matter if they have the same number of years of experience, or if they are even in the same industry; the moment a woman talks positively about herself, it’s as if it’s ingrained in women to have a button that automatically switches to comparison mode. In a Forbes article, author Caroline Turner says:
“Given the under-representation of women in the upper ranks of business, it is natural that we tend to think of leadership spots as scarce… In her recent article on how much
women help other women in the workplace, Jena McGregor makes the point that the very fact
women are under-represented drives non-supportive behaviors. Women must recognize that the promotion of another woman can increase acceptance of women leaders generally; celebrate it!… Some commentators have suggested that women’s failure to support other women is one reason there aren’t more women at the top.”
If women are to become equally represented in the workplace, they need to be each others’ supporters and allies.
In another Forbes article, Kristi Kedges writes, “We still have free choice to act in the ways we want to. We can’t control how we feel, but we can manage the result.” Rather than letting that sliver of jealousy about your co-worker’s promotion show, show a genuine interest about the steps they took to get it, and you could get there too.
Turn envy into productivity. Instead of comparing yourself with your colleague, learn about the ways you can better yourself by asking for advice or guidance. If we all took a step toward being proud of our fellow female comrades, it will make the whole process of sharing information to further ourselves much easier.
Have you ever been jealous of a co-worker? How did you overcome it? Tell us in the comments!