Today, we live in a world that is increasingly relying on referrals in pretty much every decision we make.
If it’s not asking for input or advice from friends on which car to buy, we are relying on the wisdom of crowds to choose the best getaways for our next holiday, down to which hotels promise the best sojourn.
So embedded in our consciousness has this “phone a friend” mentality become that we solicit even the most personal advice from our extended network – or even go incognito on forums to ask the most intimate questions.
So, when it comes to workplace recruitment, it shouldn’t really be a big surprise to know employers are increasingly jumping on the referral bandwagon.
These days, referrals have become the first step of the recruitment process as employers turn to their staff for any recommendations they may have in mind before posting the job out there.
And for good reason.
Research shows employee recommendations provide a faster and cheaper way to hire. They also, generally, churn better hires while lowering a company’s turnover rate at the same time.
To Endorse or Not to Endorse?
When it comes down to it, many people have a friend or two in mind they think could be well suited for a new position (or promotion) that has just swung open.
You know this friend is perfectly qualified to land the role. But for some rather twisted reason, you decide against recommending them.
Just because you consider him or her a little…too qualified. You know they will do a great job once they are hired, perhaps even better than you. And you are afraid they might grab the opportunity and run away with it, ascending the corporate ladder while you remain stuck right where they found you.
Career envy is very much alive in the business environment. It is not something we like to talk about openly, but that does not mean the undercurrents are not simmering.
Envy is a human emotion, and it is natural to experience a tinge of it when someone gets something we desire. It is a form of inadequacy that stems from the obsession to measure ourselves against others (comparison) and seeing how we stack up against their achievements.
Seeing others move up, least of all our close friends, therefore, is likely to trigger this deep-seated emotion in some. This may compel the need to block the success of others when granted the opportunity.
Sure, you might feel terrible doing it, but you just can’t help it.
Look, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Envying the successes of others is a natural emotion, but the good thing is, we can change how we look at it.
Be the Bigger Person
When you find yourself experiencing career envy, it is good to admit it instead of bottling it up.
There are positive ways you can express it – in prayer or meditation, for example, scribbling down on your journal, or talking to a friend about it. Heck, you can even admit to the friend you are recommending that you are envious of them!
The ability to honestly acknowledge this feeling (or any other emotion for that matter) gives you the power to deal with it and transform its potentially negative impact into a positive experience.
When you feel threatened by the success of others, it also pays to look for the deeper message coming through that experience. Yes, there usually is one.
It is easy to go down a negative thought pattern, telling ourselves things like:
“I’ll never be like Betty. She’s always so flawless and makes it seem so easy.”
“Fred has a high-flying job, but what’s the use if you can never make time for family?”
This kind of negative thinking is usually a form of judging others or ourselves and only serves to shield us from the deeper truth. You could decide to look beneath the judgement and ask yourself deeper questions like:
“What can I do to eliminate the inferiority complex and believe and trust in myself and my own process more?”
“What can I learn from them or their achievements?”
Searching for deeper messages in our reactions to the success of other people can lead us down the path of discovery, growth and fulfillment.
Lastly, it is essential to teach ourselves to celebrate the successes of others. You see, the more judgemental you are of others and how they create their success, the more challenging it becomes to create the success you so badly crave for yourself.
The tendency to judge the success of others (and the path they use to get there) is more often a cover-up for not confronting our own feelings of inferiority, jealousy or insecurity.
It is good to celebrate the successes of those close to us with them when we recommend them for a job and they end up getting it.
It is also good to remind ourselves that by being close to individuals who are creating success in their lives (probably the kind of success that we aspire for) could in fact be a positive sign and influence for us.
Obviously, adopting this mindset can be more challenging for some people more than others.
However, when we teach ourselves to truly look at things from a place of abundance, knowing there is more than enough to go around, it is possible to free ourselves from the constant jealousy, envy, fear and pressure associated with the narrow view that other people’s success somehow gets in the way of ours.
We always have that choice.
Jillian Haslam Bio
Jillian is a qualified speaking coach with distinction, and has had a 20 year career in banking, including working with executives at board level. Barclays, Bank of America, and the Royal Bank of Scotland are some of the names on her impressive list of clients.
Born and raised in abject poverty in Calcutta – Jillian is a truly inspirational and professional keynote speaker. She uses her experience and motivational stories to inspire others to face their fears. With her motivational words and her warmth, she engages and empathises with you helping you to wake up, inspire you to do better and be more confident.
Aside from being a successful businesswoman, philanthropist, and conference speaker, she is a published author “Indian.English”. An inspirational story about her life, of finding the road to success, and how she utilises her wisdom and vision to help others.