How competitive co-workers could help your career


There is often a little element of competition in all workplaces, but sometimes your over competitive colleague can make life feel tough. Worst case scenarios include your best ideas being stolen or them attempting to upstage you in front of everyone in meetings. But, these competitive workmates could actually help you improve your career if you handle them correctly. So here are a few tips on how to harness the that competitive potential.

Become allies

Sometimes one of the best ways you can harness someone’s competitive energy is to befriend them. See how they work and if you could become a good team together. An excellent way to get the ball rolling is to complement their ideas and mention how you have had some similar ones that you could potentially work on together. Of course, this is not always the best course of action in every situation, but it’s an excellent technique to keep in mind. It is admittedly a little tricky to do sometimes; especially if it is someone with whom you have had some issues in the past. But finding yourself a workplace ally can be a great strategy, in the long run, if you have the right attitude to develop a connection between the two of you.

Channel it into motivation

A little competition can be a good thing. It can help you by motivating you to improve your own work if you channel it correctly and do not let it make you frustrated. When someone makes life difficult for you, take the chance to improve your skills. You could think about taking a class, learning from other people who work well or maybe just taking more risks. The best way to get ahead is to grow and improve, and hopefully, others will see your improvements too. Focus on bettering yourself and growing in your career, that way no matter what the outcome is with your competitive co-worker; you will come out of it more employable and more skilled than before.

Always keep your integrity

To your bosses and managers, it is essential to be seen as a person who is professional, has a good attitude and most importantly has integrity. So if your competitive colleague is acting in a less than moral way in order to get ahead of the game, chances are it will be their downfall eventually. You will look much better by simply working hard, keeping your head down and not engaging in petty competition with others.

Don’t let it get under your skin

If a co-worker is particularly competitive towards you, try not to take it too personally. It can be frustrating, but think of it like this; they must see you as a worth component to want to compete against you, and that should be seen as a compliment. Of course, if it really does become an issue and is interfering with your work, the best thing to do is to speak to the other person or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that perhaps you could explain the situation to your HR representative.

As with all things in life, competitive co-workers can be seen as a negative, or used as a way to further improve your career; it is all down to your attitude.