Dear Pharmacy Doctor:
My co-worker and I have been retail pharmacists at the same store for over 2 years now. There was an internal opening for the district manager position and we both applied for it. Unfortunately, she got the job promotion. I don't understand why; I am better at management and I have a family, so the regular work hours and more pay would have been perfect for me. She doesn't even have kids so she doesn't know how lucky she is. When we hang out, I literally have to put on a congratulatory 'face' so she won't think I am jealous. But I am! It's straining our friendship and I don't want to see her anymore. Am I overreacting? Should I talk to her about this?
Dear Jealous Colleague:
Your symptoms of envy, anger, and resentment are reflective of workplace jealousy. A common occurrence, where both employees are in similar job positions, yet one is favored over another. In this case, your coworker was promoted and not you.
To answer your first question, no. You are not overreacting.Jealousy is an emotion, mixed with feelings of anger and envy. It is reflective of yourself and how you respond to situations, such as your friend’s promotion. To handle this emotion, you need to identify why you feel jealous. On paper, you may feel qualified, but did you receive special training? Did youhave excellent customer service management skills? Would you know how to handle difficult work conflicts within your stores? Notice how these questions are about YOU, and not in comparison with your colleague.
Did it ever occur to you that the job was more demanding? Or that the job required more travel? Or that the job required a candidate to deliver and present quarterly reports to upper management? My wise old Chinese grandmother once told me, “A higher salary means that the job is that much harder. Otherwise, everyone would want it.” You may want to have a discussion with management to learn why you did not receive the promotion and how you can develop yourself for future roles.
Perhaps, your colleague (with no family) was a better fit for this position than you were. And it had nothing to do with your qualifications. Is it her fault? It is absolutely not her fault. In addition, you should not punish her by snubbing or avoiding her. A true friend would be happy for her and wish her well, without acting fake.
To answer your second question, the answer is no. Again, it is not her fault that she received a promotion. Jealousy is an emotion from oneself, caused by outside variables. Identify your reasons for jealousy and accept the outcomes. Be a better friend. In time, your promotion will come, one that is better suited to your talents and needs.
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About the Author and Column
Dear Pharmacy Doctor is a column that provides advice on pharmacist related work/life challenges. Karine Wong, Pharm. D. has a 10 year history of working in hospital management, and 2 years as a graveyard hospital pharmacist and outpatient pharmacist. You can submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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