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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Comparisons: Aim to Support Career Confidence

The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Yet people still believe others have found more satisfaction, rewards, or personal fulfillment in life – which increases desires and jealousy when the individual doesn't believe they have those things. It is only human to make comparisons, although crossing the line into feeling undervalued or worse, worthless, is obviously unhealthy. Focusing on supporting confidence and maintaining self-esteem in both yourself and your clients is the most productive and least futile way to live.

~ Melanie Reinersman, M.A.,

Photo by Trey Musk on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Increase Confidence by Eliminating Comparisons

Confidence may decrease when individuals compare themselves to others, especially in terms of work performance. Stopping comparison during a job hunt may actually result in success. The individual needs to remember that their background is unique and powerful, and that they own their career trajectory. Also, keep in mind that success is subjective. Read more.

JOB SEARCHING: Comparing Two Job Offers

Job seekers may need an objective approach to help weigh all the subjective factors involved in selecting one job offer over another. Using a tool that quantifies the factors may help clients visualize the pros and cons of each offer. The goal is to positively affect personal satisfaction with the choice and overall well-being in life. Read more from HBR.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Comparing Causes a Biased View

When people make comparisons, their view of their own skills and experiences becomes biased. Social cognitive psychology suggests that people should avoid unrealistic targets (e.g., don't compare yourself to the Olympic athlete when trying to become a better runner). Think about the positives – such as the fact that someone else is probably seeing you a role model right now! Read more from Psychology Today.

BONUS! FOR PRACTITIONERS: Leadership Steps to Reduce Jealousy

Performance is hindered by workplace jealousy. Recognizing the words and action that create jealousy (such as praising one employee's work and remaining silent about others) is one step toward increasing performance. Help people have healthy pride in their abilities. Read more from a people skills coach.

TOP TEN: Ways to Support Healthy Competition

Increasing employee motivation to obtain goals can also increase excitement, promote better performance and allow everyone to have fun. Organizations that offer non-monetary rewards and employee-selected incentives to win during brainstorming sessions may see the benefits of healthy competition. Other companies offer team events such as trivia nights, or ping-pong games. Read more about learning to win gracefully and lose with honor.


"Comparison is the thief of joy." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde



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