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Career Envy Do's and Don'ts: Ways to Handle a Friend's Promotion

You work hard, and like everyone else, you want to be acknowledged for your hard work. This is why you come to work everyday, accept challenging assignments and give 110% of your effort.

But despite your hard work, you may not climb the corporate ladder as fast as you would like. In fact, some of your friends at work may reach the top before you, which might invoke frustration, discouragement and envy.

There are several ways to deal with this situation. Being upset is understandable; however, the way you handle the situation is a clear demonstration of your professionalism. And if you handle the situation wrong, this might affect your ability to move up in the company.

Career envy is real and you can't always control your feelings, but there are do's and don'ts to handling your emotions.

#1 Do Accept how you Feel

You may not want to admit to feeling jealous, but dealing with your emotions is the first step to healing.  Suppressing your feelings may only complicate the matter. Not to suggest confronting your friend, but it's okay to feel sad and grieve a missed opportunity -- in the privacy of your own home or office.   

#2 Don't Lose Confidence in your Ability

If a friend at work is promoted ahead of you, you might feel slighted and de-motivated. However, don't let this situation reduce confidence in yourself. The truth is, it simply wasn't your time to shine. Promoting within a company is often a difficult decision for employers. Maybe your boss saw something in your friend that he or she doesn't see in you – yet.

After you accept your feelings, think of ways to improve your performance in the office. It's important to maintain a good attitude despite any jealous feelings. Jealousy can be easily perceived by others. So, you need to check your emotions at the door when you arrive each day.

#3 Do Congratulate Your Friend

This is your friend; and if both of you were vying for the same position, he may feel slightly guilty, therefore, he needs your support. Put aside your feelings and acknowledge your friend's hard work.  

#4 Don't Speak Negatively

Starting rumors about your friend or speaking negatively about this person is a telltale sign of envy – and your colleagues will notice your childlike behavior. And in all likelihood, your negative comments will get back to your friend. Unfortunately, if you're unable to control your jealousy, these emotions can come between your relationship.

#5 Do Have a Discussion With your Boss

Then again, maybe you feel that you were the best person for the job. If you can't shake these feelings, schedule a private discussion with your superior. Inquire as to why you weren't selected for the promotion. Perhaps there are qualities that you lack, or things that your boss feels needs improving. This discussion is one way to learn your strengths and weaknesses. If you can boost your perfromance, there might be chances to grow with the company in the future.  

Was your friend at work promoted before you? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments below…

Image Credit: Flickr

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