Feeling Job Jealous? Get That Green-Eyed Monster In Line

What is job jealousy? Why does it happen and what can you do about it? Can it ever be a good thing?

Job jealousy typically occurs when a pal or colleague gets a new position or a promotion – especially when a friend lands your dream job. While you’re happy for them, you can’t help but wonder whether you’d be better at that job than they are. You want it more, you could make more of an impact, you would get more out of the opportunity.

Even if you don’t want to, you can end up feeling bitter and disappointed and, yes, jealous. And then, if that wasn’t bad enough, you can begin to chastise yourself: “I should be feeling happy for him/her. What’s the matter with me? I’m terrible. No wonder I didn’t get the job…”

When not kept in check, job jealousy can become a pretty dark spiral; you can damage friendships, future job chances, and even your mental health. But how can you get on top of it fast?


Accept and acknowledge how you feel

By swallowing your feelings or simply pretending everything’s okay, you’re not solving the problem; you’re simply packing the emotions up for another time. Confront how you feel.

“I really wish I’d gotten x role and I’m disappointed that I didn’t.”

It’s okay to feel down and disappointed – natural, even. Remind yourself that you’re not alone and accept these emotions; you’ll find it a lot easier to move past them if you do.


Analyse the situation and keep things in perspective

What actually happened here? Instead of feeding the green-eyed monster with tales of shady deals, collusion, and nepotism, accept that your friend was chosen for a reason and there are some things that’ll always simply be out of your control.

Perhaps, even though it may not feel like it, it’s for the best that you weren’t picked this time or that you didn’t hear about this opportunity. The right deal might be just around the corner.


Speak to your friend – even ask for advice!

Sometimes the best thing you can do is talk it out. Speak to your friend and see if they’ll be happy to share any tips or advice. They’re still the same person; you were friends before and you’ll be friends after. Don’t let this come between you.

Be happy for them and, when your chance comes around, they’ll be happy for you.


Ask for feedback

Frustrating, uncomfortable, but consider this another a part of the interview process. Use this as an opportunity to learn something that’ll help you in the future. Instead of imagining a host of fictional flaws and berating yourself, find out exactly how you could improve.

There may be something about interview strategy that needs changing or improving. Being willing to take on criticism in order to grow is a vital skill, not just for job searching but for life.


Use it to fuel your job hunt

The most useful thing you can do is let it inspire you. Test your limits, challenge yourself, break new ground. If you can find a way to use this failure to motivate yourself, that’ll be far more positive and constructive.

It’s easy to lose sight of the things around you but it’s important to remind yourself that this isn’t the only opportunity out there. Jealousy can actually be a useful tool when it comes to setting yourself new goals and discovering what you really want.

Accept your feelings, understand your situation and work out how you can improve. Keep your head up, keep searching, and keep a positive state of mind. You’ll be fine.


Jodie Reed writes for Inspiring Interns, a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer.