Succeeding in Your Career: It’s Not a Race

Are You Suffering From “Career Envy”?


For a young professional, social media can sometimes be a challenge.

We’re constantly being fed updates and information about what our friends and acquaintances are up to – making it easy for us feel like what we are doing isn’t measuring up. While a bit of competition can be a good motivator, many students and grads can get caught up in their peers’ successes.

If this sounds like you, here are a few ways you can handle your “career envy”.

Method 1: Adjust Your Attitude

Remember that the things we see on social media are carefully chosen tidbits of information that reflect a person’s best side.

Constantly comparing yourself to others will only frustrate and upset you. Take what you see with a grain of salt, and take a step back to get some perspective. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. Instead of treating your career like a competition or a race, focus on figuring out what matters to you.

You should keep in mind that building a successful career doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to cultivate skills, learn about your strengths and weaknesses, and work your way up to your dream job.

Even though you may feel pressured to reach certain professional milestones within a set timeframe, there’s value in taking time to try things out and make a few mistakes along the way. Rushing through the early stages of your career may mean you’re less likely to end up where you want to be. You could miss out on some really amazing opportunities because you didn’t take the time to take advantage of them.

It can be fun to see what other people are up to. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by what your peers are doing, take a break from social media for a little while. You can use that time for some reflection and career planning. Take pride in the successes you have had so far!

Method 2: Take Action

If you’re looking to get ahead professionally, there are many things you can – and should – do to move your career along.

Set goals for what you want to achieve professionally. Having a sense of direction will make it easier for you to stay positive, because you’ll remember that what matters most is your dedication to reaching your end goal – not whether your job title or salary are on-par with that of your friends.

For example, if you’ve always wanted to learn a new language or take a business management course, there’s no time like the present to make it happen!

Try talking to your boss about taking on extra responsibilities to gain new experience and skills. Going the extra mile can help you make a positive impression on your employer – and your initiative will look great on your resume too.

Volunteering is another great way to further your career – any volunteer position can help you to learn and grow, meet new people, and build up your CV.

Want to work your way up your company’s corporate ladder? See if you can meet – and ideally, treat – a high-level executive to a coffee or lunch. Ask them about their career journey: what advice can they can pass on to you to help you achieve your goals?

Your future is brighter than you think

At the end of the day, what matters is that you feel good about what you’ve accomplished.

Keep yourself motivated but remember that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ path; all you can do is try to make good choices based on the information you have at a given time and work to continuously and actively invest in yourself and your future.

A little bit of hard work, strategic thinking and careful decision-making can go a long way in helping you to take your career to the next level. It just requires some kind of action; you have to actually be ready and willing to get out there and do.

And remember, it’s as much about where you’re going as it is how you got there. Life is short, so it’s important to enjoy every day as much as possible.

What effect does “career envy” have on you? Does it impact you positively or negatively?