London: Far from becoming a "green-eyed monster", envy can actually drive you to be more successful in your career, experts have claimed.

Norman Feather, a psychologist at Flinders University, said that it was important to distinguish between "good envy" and "bad envy".

"There's hostile envy, where you feel envious towards the person because of their high status and you feel they don't deserve to be where they are," News.com.au quoted Feather as saying.

But there is also "benign envy", Prof Feather said, where you admire your colleague for their achievement and think they deserve to be there.

"The benign envy might have the effect of making you work a little bit harder trying to emulate the person who you envy, so your performance might get better," he said.

"You think 'They deserve their status and if I work a bit harder I'll get there too'," feather said.
According to Corporate psychologist Travis Kemp, envy could be a positive emotion if it was aspiring people to improve their performance, but bosses had to make sure it was managed correctly.

"People need to see there's equity and fairness in recognition, when that isn't there that's when people get envious," Kemp said.

"The key [for managers] is to explain exactly and precisely why they missed out, and put in place a very clear way for that person to improve on their weaknesses," he said.

Kemp said most employees would miss out on a promotion at some point in their career, but they shouldn't get caught in a victim mindset.

"Don't just think 'I'm at the mercy of an unfair system', because the longer you spend in that headspace the less likely you are to actually start to working on those things that stopped you getting the role," he added.

(Agencies)

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