O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
~William Shakespeare, Othello
My first blog topic request! Reader Aught Nine Grad wrote with the following question:
How common is job envy? I find myself constantly checking my friend’s Facebook pages to see where they’re working, if they love their jobs, etc. It seems like everyone has a better job situation than mine.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of us wandering through our 20’s have, at one time or another, been envious. Despite having heeded the lessons of Othello, I certainly strive to live a life free of jealousy but it’s difficult. Living in the digital age, with so many people sharing so much information through social networks, it’s easier than ever to get insight into people’s careers and how they deal with them. When other people are happy, fulfilled, and successful (oh that word…) and you don’t feel that way, envy can breed.
It can be easy to sit at home, wishing you were that girl you went to high school with who now has the glamorous, big city job or your best friend from college who received a prestigious research grant and is going to save the world. I have friends across the country with a wide variety of jobs and careers, some of wish I’d never want to pursue, but many which get me thinking, “If only I had that job. If only I was smart enough, determined enough, lucky enough to score that gig.”
The thing is, jealousy is not productive. Some people may attest that jealousy can spark productive action, encourage you to take a leap. That sounds like an urban legend to me – reread Othello and tell me how being spurred to action worked there! A wise group of women taught me that jealousy will get you nowhere. I’m not saying you’ll never be jealous: you will. I’m not saying that people who get jealous are bad people: we aren’t. Just remember to keep a little perspective. I believe, Aught Nine Grad, that the perfect job is out there for you – the kind of job that will stir a little envy in the hearts of others even. Finally, remember that jobs are not set in stone – if you’re in a job situation that doesn’t work for you, find one that does!