Why Comparing Your Career to Your Friends’ is Harmful

You and your best friend have been through everything together. You’ve survived high school, experienced first loves and first heartbreaks, gone through college, found your first jobs and supported each other through loss.

You shop together, have coffee together, and maybe have even roomed together.

But while we celebrated Best Friends Day last June 8, we all know friendships aren’t immune from envy.

You love your BFF, but sometimes it’s hard to stop comparing your paychecks and job titles.

It’s easier said than done. Every day, you see status updates on Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, which are designed to show the best and funniest moments of someone’s day. You forget this important point—these moments are curated and edited, so you’re comparing yourself to a highlighted, best-reels edited version of your friend.

That habit can be harmful, especially when it comes to your jobs, to the point where it could potentially harm your own work life.

What you see in social media isn’t the whole story. But if that’s not enough of an incentive for you, here are more reasons to stop comparing yourself to your best friend.

Your best friend’s job is not the same as yours

You and your best friend don’t have the same job, nor do you work in the same field, unless your best friend works in the same company with the exact role as you, with the same exact level of experience. Different industries work in different ways, and are measured in different ways. Besides, what your friend does has no effect on what you are doing.

Comparing yourself leads to jealousy and bitterness

Being jealous of your best friend’s career can lead to bitterness, anger and other bad feelings. This will ultimately hurt your friendship. Your friendship is likely valuable to you and should transcend any feelings of jealousy.

Unfortunately, even strong friendships don’t survive envy and bitterness for so long. If you don’t let go, the two of you will grow apart.

Comparing yourself to your best friend will lower your confidence

Comparing your friend’s job to your own will lower your self-confidence, as well as your personal choices that led you to that job.

If you were happy or at least okay with your job before, you’ll start noticing all the negative aspects of your job—many of which you were oblivious to before. That’s all happening because you started comparing your schedule, bosses, responsibilities, perks, and every tiny little thing.

Since confidence is an essential part of doing well at work and of moving up the ladder, your career performance will suffer, too. Plus, it’s hard to enjoy any kind of success, when you spend all your time thinking about how much better your friend is doing.

Comparing yourself to your best friend distracts you from your work

How can you focus on your work when you have distractions, like what your friends and neighbors are doing for a living, what kind of travel they are doing and what they are making in terms of salary?

You are better off focusing your energy on improving yourself, rather than dwelling on what your friends are doing.

Clueless About What Happens Behind the Scenes

So your best friend has a great job with amazing opportunities and perks. Your biggest perk at your job is the company Christmas buffet. Don’t get jealous yet. You don’t know what your friend has to put up with on the job, what hours she works, or what sacrifices she has to make for those perks. Everyone’s circumstances are different.