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How to Handle the Pressure of Workplace Competition


Competition can bring out the best in us. However, when it pushes us over the edge, it can take a serious toll on our mental and physical well-being. Thus, it is imperative to know how to handle workplace competition, which is absolutely unavoidable.

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” ~ Peter Marshall
Most of us dedicate a considerable part of our lives towards building a career. We invest several years in specialized training courses, internships, and gaining worthwhile experiences. Finding this path to the career of our dreams is a moment of a heartfelt celebration. It is an answer to those nights of burning the midnight oil and sacrificing acts of joyful whimsy for taking on the careful plans of tomorrow.

Unfortunately, this joy of getting a job is short-lived for many, as handling the pressure of a workplace competition becomes another job! An office environment poses its own set of challenges. It puts forth a task of a new type of limited, but a serious cut-throat competition. It throws you in a sea of talent to swim your way through the difficult currents and rise against the storm. The grueling pressure of the workplace can lead to undesired stress, anger, and resentments.

The trick to being successful at focusing on your career, is to handle the pressure of workplace competition. The important point of dealing with this kind of pressure is understanding your feelings and re-adjusting your expectations. Once you can prioritize your expectations from yourself, a lot of unwanted pressure will fall into place. This Buzzle article tells you how to actually deal with competition in a workplace by understanding the nature of your competitors and your expectations.

Competition is Unavoidable
Be it school, high school or college, competition is everywhere. Its omnipresence is what challenges us to bring out the best in us. No matter how old we get or what professions we pursue, the existence of competition is ubiquitous. Thus, it is important to accept that no matter how good you are at your work, competition is going to be an integral part of your work. A lot of factors contribute to the competition at the workplace. For instance, domestic pressures, uncertain economy, lack of job security, and individual temperaments. Instead of dodging the competition, accept it and deal with it constructively.

Who Are Your Competitors?
Every workplace has designated roles for its employees. Due to a division of work and roles, not everybody in your office is going to be your competitor. To realistically deal with the competition, narrow down your worries to your team or department. Meanwhile, it is also important to understand who your competitors are and the nature of their competition. Here are some types of competition that one can come across in a professional working environment.

Extreme Professional
Every office has those set of employees who follow the office rules, decorum, and unsaid expectations to a tee. These people are only trying to be professional and will point out faults of others for simple reasons, such as not coming on time, taking extra breaks or leaves, not staying until late or avoiding work on weekends.

They will conveniently avoid taking your positive contributions into consideration. To deal with this kind of a competitor, you need to learn to value your skills, and contributions you make to the company. Surviving competition is also about competing with yourself, than with those around you.

The Super-achiever
The super-achievers find every task a child’s play. Every challenge is cleared with great finesse and perfection. Their competitive side gets very pushy when they decide to take up every difficult and extra assignment. Being around such multifaceted super-achievers can put one in self-doubt.

To tackle this problem, let such people lead you into doing a few extra things at office. This way your role is also secured. While you remain quite visible by being participative, you also get to learn about the new projects in your workplace. Letting these people lead or making them mentors can help the team to remain motivated. A change of perspective can also help in easing the pressure. For instance, if you view a super-achiever as an inspiration to do better, instead of someone who puts you in a self-doubt, it would help you to cope faster.

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