Let it go already
Posted by Meg Bear on June 5, 2009
As someone who designs systems for talent management, I’m actually paid to study things like career development.
As someone employed I, of course, care about the topic for myself and as a manager of managers, developing people to face the future needs of the business, is a big part of my job.
Then, of course, as a geek, I totally love having a problem that I care deeply about, and am required to look at from all angles.
Yup, good to be me.
In the last few months I have heard some advice that was very specific and unexpected in two entirely different contexts and from two different people. This is the kind of phenomenon that makes me pause and take notice.
The advice was to get over it.
The specific topic was how not getting over it can hold you back in a serious way. Focusing energy on disappointment and angst is energy not spent on something productive and that lost opportunity cost hurts you much more than the thing you are fussing about.
So, next time you hear that some complete git got a promotion or recognition that they didn’t deserve consider the following:
- Are you sure that they didn’t deserve it? Disconnect your emotional brain and recognize that even jerks can do good stuff. Sure, maybe they didn’t do something as great as you, but really this isn’t about you is it?
- Maybe you should learn from them. Not to be a jerk of course, but to understand why they are being recognized and you are not. Is your desire to label them really a green eyed monster coming out? Does your higher self recognize that they have done a better job of self promotion or focusing their energy on more career relevant connections or tasks? Is that something bad about them, or something lacking in yourself?
- Are you still under the misperception that careers are fair? The sooner you let that go, the better equipped you will be to succeed.
So, time to dust yourself off and let it go. It’s not helping you.
You are uniquely skilled and you know what it takes and most importantly, you learn from what doesn’t work and build a plan that gets results. Any energy you waste on jealousy or angst is energy you are not focusing on your own objectives and that is holding you back.