Professional jealousy & why it’s the WORST

Jealousy.

We all lug that ugly beast around in some form or another.

If you don’t, you’re a saint, move onto something more your speed — here’s an article about kittens. But I’m all about sharing the good the bad and the ugly.

So without further ado, my name is Jamie, and I’ve probably been jealous of you.

The green-eyed monster, for me, lives mostly in the workplace. Which is basically the worst place it can live. It’s embarrassing, and it’s something I really struggle with.

Here’s some background:

When I started interning a bunch back in college, I was super focused on getting a job in media after graduation. But the media industry is ridiculously competitive, so I developed a mantra.

“If odds are one in a million — be that one.” I wrote it at the top of my agenda every week.

I was super ambitious, but relatively raw. When I got my first big “intern” gig, I was clueless — like what’s a “SCOTUS?”

But I worked like a maniac (quickly learned what SCOTUS was) and found myself learning at an aggressive pace. I was like a brand new horse trying to stand on its hooves for the first time. But evenutally I figured out how to stand up on my own, and it turned into my first job.

For about a year afterward, I lived in a continuous state of feeling “bad.” Beyoncé “FLAWLESS” bad. I developed an ego that rivaled Kanye West and Kim Kardashian combined.

But that sense of pride and accomplishment quickly turned green. Puke green.

I thought I was entitled to success, and I developed an overly inflated sense of my self. I thought I was better than I was.

Working in digital media, being surrounded by superstars is a given. I have a lot of crazy successful friends.

I’m talking about a new species that can write, code, and shoot video in under 5 minutes using an app they developed over a craft beer after the game on Saturday. Millenials are no freaking joke. You wanna feel like a lame-o? Just sit in a room with a journalism major from the University of Georgia for half a second and you’ll run home crying. (Trust me, I’ve done it.)

So despite all my premature success — I came to the abrupt realization that I wasn’t “one in a million,” rather, I was just one in a sea of a million badasses.

Every time I see a friend or peer achieving, I’m happy for them, but I wince with envy deep down in my heart. As shameful as that is, it’s true.

But writing helps me sort out my problems. Which is part of the reason why I air my dirty laundry on this blog. It helps me gain clarity and perspective on things I can’t seem to figure out. It keeps me honest.

Often my editor hacks out some of my favorite lines in the stuff I write for CNN, and though I can’t control that, I can control this “jealousy” thing.

Treat people like they treated you when you got your first job. Revel in their successes, not their failures. Work hard, be nice to people, quit talking a bunch of crap.

Just because your peers are succeeding doesn’t mean you aren’t — and just because your rivals are killing it, doesn’t mean you can’t.

“Jealousy’s a weak emotion.” – Jay-Z

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