Jealousy Is a Useful Tool. Here’s How to Use It

Harness feelings of jealousy to figure out what you want

Tiffany Verbeck


Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

No one likes to feel jealous of a friend or a family member, or even a stranger on social media. But this jealousy is useful. It can help you figure out what you want to do with your life.

You first need to make a few conscious choices, however.

Here’s how.

What jealousy means under the surface

Jealousy isn’t inherently bad. This is important to understand. Otherwise, you’ll probably feel ashamed or guilty, then have a harder time using your jealous feelings to your advantage. When I look past any shame I’m feeling, I can see that my jealousy is trying to teach me something about myself.

Career jealousy pops up when you want to be doing something that someone else has managed to do successfully. For example:

  • A friend gets promoted
  • Your cousin starts her own business
  • A social media influencer makes money by posting photos
  • A co-worker goes back to school to get a master’s degree
  • You hear about someone starting work in a creative space, like a book store or a brewery

The list could go on. Career jealousy simply means that you see a job or career move (or a small part of it) that someone else has — and you want to incorporate it into your life. Jealousy isn’t about wishing you could become that other person, although it can sometimes feel like it. It’s more about wanting a piece of their lives.

This knowledge is incredibly useful to you.

Jealousy is useful (if you know how to use it)

Let’s get rid of the idea that jealousy is terrible to feel, ever. You’re going to feel jealous of other people from time to time. If your career goals are way off course, you might feel jealous of others the majority of the time. This is all OK — but it’s also something you can work to change.

It’s perfectly natural for you to feel everything you feel, including jealousy. Your job is to recognize it as a call for change before it completely…



Tiffany Verbeck

Tiffany Verbeck uses her awesome storytelling skills gained from a master’s degree to write on personal finance, lifestyle, and creativity: