The envy factor: Why it can be beneficial for your career to be jealous

Envy can be a real career booster. How it works? We worked with graduate psychologist Dr. Inga Freienstein and let us give us tips and tricks on the subject of envy.

The term envy is frowned upon in today's society. To be jealous of someone is a bad quality. Envy is nothing more than a colorful mix of different emotions: anger, anger, resentment play just as much a role as feelings of inferiority and self-doubt.

There is positive envy?

Basically, we encounter envy in two ways: When we are envious of someone or something and the other way around, when someone envies us. But neither one nor the other form of envy has to be necessarily negative! At least that's what graduate psychologist Dr. Inga Freienstein from the Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln: "Depending on how you deal with it, envy can have positive effects."You can take advantage of this, especially in your professional life.

How can envy affect your career?

"Envy can be an important motor that drives a career, " says the psychologist. If we envy someone for their ability, they become a kind of role model. This is called model learning: You look at what the other is doing in order to be successful and imitate this behavior. "Envy also helps us to make ourselves aware of what we actually want."Because only those who know what they are jealous of have a goal to work towards.

But the reverse case, too, when you notice that colleagues are jealous of you, can have an impact on your own career. "Women are quick to take the envy of others to heart. However, the cause of the envy is not really their problem, but that of the other person. This feels inferior and therefore has feelings of envy, "explains the expert. Instead of being unsettled by the envy of the other person, you should rather see it this way: Envy is always a form of recognition! Others like what you do, how you do it and that you are successful with it.

"In coaching we support people to get to know themselves better, to deal consciously with emotions and to acquire new, target-oriented patterns of thought and action. You have to think about how you can change your own behavioral patterns so that you can cope better with the envy of others ", recommends Dr. Inga Freienstein. "Be empathetic, appreciate the cooperation of your colleagues and fellow campaigners, create a sense of togetherness and praise team successes."Envious people don't stand a chance!

Are women more jealous than men?

"Men do not even define envy as such, but rather see these emotions as ambition, as a form of competition. Women, on the other hand, tend to question themselves more quickly. They often have much more sensitive antennas and immediately sense bad moods, "says the psychologist. "They also have a stronger need for harmony and want to be liked by everyone."

To be confronted with envy in professional life is a lot more exhausting for women than for their male colleagues. You get into doubt faster, question your ability and take yourself back. Do I even want to work as a manager? I want such an exposed position where others will envy me even more? In any case, the answer should be "Yes "! After all, you haven't made it this far for nothing - you can cope with the few envious people!