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Work Frustration? Believe in Karma

answered 07:57 PM EST, Mon February 11, 2013
anonymous anonymous
In the real world do nice people really finish first? It seems to me that we teach our children to be nice and then spend the rest of the time rewarding people who are willing to stomp over people to get to the top. How can a nice person win when a jerk is willing to manipulate and lie and take credit for work she didn’t do to get ahead? I consider myself a nice person. There is a woman in my office who is a co-worker who steals my credit and generally tries to make me look bad so she looks good. She just got promoted even though I have been there twice as long. My friends on the job say it’s not fair but what does it matter what’s fair when she gets the better paycheck and I am stuck in the same slot for at least another year? To get ahead at work should I be more cutthroat as well? I do not know if I can…I am so frustrated I could scream!!!!!!!

Delisted Expert Says...

I hear you! And I've seen it and felt it! I think most of us have.... do nice guys ever finish first? I think it depends on what race you are trying to run!

If your goal is to run the same race as the person who just stepped all over you, then the answer is no - clearly in that race, the "nice" guys do not finish first (unless you can find a way to work within that system and set things straight and/or find an ally to help you). In order to win that race, we would have to operate in manners that are in opposition to who we are as people and to what we believe in and value in life. That, to me, is not a race I want to win, or even enter!

The first thought is to go find another job in a better environment – but realistically that is not always possible. It is possible though, to keep an eye out, an ear to the ground, and do some maintenance on those career networking connections you have in case the opportunity for change should arise. I can reassure you that not all people are like the person who stepped on you and that not all workplaces are like the one you are in. It may take some searching, but I believe and know from experience that there are good places and people out there!

On a more theoretical plane, do you believe in karma? Often people who victimize others either have been or will be a victim of some sort – and we have all seen people “reap what they sew” so to speak. Indeed there are times when bad things happen to good people, and that's just life. However, when people choose, purposefully and knowingly to do ill to others, that is just a small part of their overall pattern of decision-making. This means that odds are they will continue making poor decisions and eventually suffer some sort of consequences. Does that sound like a someone you want to emulate? Does that sound like a path you want to follow?

Sometimes it may help to think about things from another point of view – for example, if a friend was telling you about this situation, what would you say to him/her? What choice would you want your son/daughter to make? What do you want to be able to tell your children that you did, or didn't do?

And while it is easy to say “take the high road” I really do vote for that path and try to choose it as often as possible. It's not easy to go it alone, so you could benefit from support – be it a support group, a church group, or a counselor. You are in a difficult situation, and the more support, coping skills, and assistance you can get, the better you can deal with it in light of your particular circumstances. Maybe there are some community resources for job training that could help you on your way to a better career, or a good self-help book might enable you to change your view enough to cope as long as you need to do so.

Whatever path you choose, know that you don't have to compromise who you are in order to “win.” “Winning” in life can have many definitions and mean many different things to different people. Seek help, seek support, and don't give up. By staying true to your ethics and integrity, you are the winner. Good luck and best wishes!


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Page last updated Feb 11, 2013

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