The following is a write up for a careers website related to recent graduates finding jobs and decreasing ones envy when others get jobs before oneself. 

Keeping up with the Jones’s and the concept of the grass being greener are embedded in our human DNA from way back in our caveman days. Competing for resources and securing the survival of our offspring had us looking at what others have and trying to decide if it was worth taking for ourselves. When our peers and friends achieve a status that we have yet to obtain, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage (even if it is in a completely different field) in our own minds.

The first step in coming to terms with the success of others is to recognize how the world does not revolve around us. Having some kind words for our friends and classmates that found their first or next job keeps us in a positive mindset, and can reframe our competitiveness into motivation for finding our own.

If your peer happens to be in the same job field as yourself, they may be able to put in a good word for you with the HR at their new company. Often it is who you know that gets you in the door, use your relationship for good and not evil.

Expand your networking outside of your close peer groups if you cannot deal with the short-term success of the people around you. No one likes a hater and passive aggression or pessimistic people are never fun to be around. When we are most envious or jealous, we should be listening instead of talking. Ask to take a look at their resumes and see how they presented themselves. Maybe you can take some pointers or steal some formatting if you think they put theirs together well. If you see that your marketing is actually better than theirs, you can feel good that you have something going for you that they did not.

Persistence in your own search will eventually carry you through the envy and find you employed alongside your mates. Keeping an optimistic mindset in each interview and communication with potential employers will be paramount. Celebrate the success of those around you as signs that your turn is coming soon.

Dr. Ethan Gregory


Author of I’m Sorry, You are Not a Pick-Up Artist and I’m Sorry, You are Not a Disney Princess

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