As far as universal human emotions go, I think jealousy is one of the most hard done by. It gets a bad rap. People never talk about jealousy in a positive way, and society dictates that we’ve all got to pretend we’re not jealous of anything ever.
Well. I’m here to give you a controversial counter-argument. And it’s probably really well timed. Because if your LinkedIn feed is anything like mine, it’s full of people celebrating the fact that they have been offered Training Contracts.
And as a Future Trainee I am genuinely really excited for those people. I’m 100% pleased. But I can see how, if you’re still trying to get a TC, those elated posts could be a bit ….annoying. It’s easy to feel like everyone has been successful but you. (Funnily enough, people don’t tend to write posts about failing to get TCs). And if you’ve been working really hard all year, that’s gonna sting. It’s only natural.
And it’s ok to feel like that. We’re all jealous of some stuff sometimes.
Take me for example. I do not give a single hoot about who my boyfriend texts. I love him but I do not have the energy to care. But if someone gets an award that I want…or gets to speak at an event I want to speak at…well….the green eyed monster is out.
There’s no point telling myself I’m not jealous. Because I am. But I think what’s really important is not what you feel, but how you process and act on those emotions.
As I see it, you have two choices:
Option 1: make like a Legal Cheek commenter and belittle what the other person has. If it’s a Training Contract, tell yourself it’s at a shit firm in a shit location with rubbish solicitors doing boring work, for no money. And decide that they didn’t even earn it anyway because they just flirted with the Partners.
Option 2: decide that the success of other people does not detract from your own. You can be successful too. It is not a zero-sum game. Then, try to get to know the people with the Training Contracts you want. What did they do to get that TC? How do they spend their time? Emulate them. Do what they do. Then do it…better.
Sometimes jealousy is good. It’s like uncomfortable motivation. Sort of, the awkward flip side of ambition and aspiration. So allow yourself to be fuelled by it. And learn from the successes of others for the sole purpose of being successful yourself.
Then go put on your best ‘I’m pleased for you’ face.
And whatever it is, go get yourself a bigger one.
A better one.
And then enjoy watching other people pretend to be happy for you….
You got dis.
(Thanks to Robert Tepper for the photo. Geckos truly do have the best fake smiles.)