Comparing Yourself to Others at Work

The last week at work has been much busier than normal. It is getting tough. There is a new member of our team, and she is such a sweet girl. She’s probably 25 now. She can be quite a distraction because she and I chat quite a bit, but I enjoy it. She and I are equal in pay now, but she is seven years younger. This made me wonder about myself. I did quite well in high school and university, but in my seven or so years of work I’ve only been promoted once, which is less than average. This girl started working at the same time I did, and she studied while working whereas I didn’t work (substantially) while I studied. The way I see it, university is an investment and for some it pays off and for others it doesn’t. 

When I joined my new team area four years ago, I worked with completely different people. The people I work with now are different to the people I started working with four years ago. Basically what is happening is that I am staying where I am while people all around me are changing, which I suppose is good because it allows me to work with new people, and I love all these new people. They are better people to get along with compared to the people I used to work with, but at the same time I feel like other people are moving ahead and I am falling behind.

I shouldn’t fall into the trap of comparing myself to others. Even if I go get a promotion soon, my pay will be low compared to some people who have climbed the corporate ladder much faster than I have, and even they would be inferior compared to the billionaires of the world, so it’s important to not compare yourself to others but focus on yourself and improving yourself and being happy with what you have. I also believe that it is not so much what you earn that matters but the difference between what you earn and what you spend. Someone earning $1 million per year but has $2 million in mortgage payments, bills, alimony, and other necessary expenses will be unhappy compared to someone who earns $100k but happily lives off $10k per year.

Rather than compare myself to others, I should just keep working. I remember a quote from Ted Turner: “Early to bed, early to rise, work your butt off, and advertise.” I think the advertise part is important because I need to get into the habit of advertising myself to others, lift my profile, and apply for jobs with more responsibility.

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