Ambition at work is an inner force that drives us to go beyond ourselves, reaching goals and characteristics that are valuable to us and the work environment. As long as we know how to control it and it doesn’t make us crush others, it is an important engine to move forward.
“I don’t consider myself an ambitious person,” she said, “That’s why I will never get promoted in my company. I want to because I love my job, and I think I am good at it.” This is an example of a person who does not openly consider themselves an ambitious person.
Although she spoke calmly, her tone indicated frustration and regret that can be translated as: “I could reach the top, but I am not going to fight for it, or step on someone else’s toes. I will allow others to be promoted before myself. My priorities are different.” She expressed a self-fulfilling prophecy: “Since I am not ambitious, I will not grow as much“.
She was telling the truth. She was not willing to break her back in situations that would force her to act against her peers. She didn’t consider herself that kind of person. She was willing to give up a very successful career if she was under pressure. She preferred having peace of mind, more time on the agenda, and real friends rather than having the highest position in her career, one that provides an authentic life.
Is this person really not ambitious? We’re talking about someone who, like many people, had to fight countless battles and work hard until they reached the top. A mixture of being proactive, luck, tenacity, sacrifice, talent, and help from other people got her to where she is now.
Can such a thing be achieved without some level of ambition? Of course not. In fact, her success had a lot to do with ambition!
She said she was not ambitious, but she was wrong. Few people demonstrated the same amount of ambition as her. Otherwise, she could not have had so many accomplishments in her life. She was not a greedy person.
What’s the difference between greed and ambition at work?
Are ambition and greed the same? Not at all. We often perceive ambitious people in a negative image. We tend to think they are selfish and are always on a rampant search for more. However, well-understood ambition is a fuel to move forward in life, and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Don’t confuse ambition with greed. It is important to understand what they both mean so you can choose the trait that best suits you. You probably already know which one is the better of the two.
Why is it good to have ambition at work?
Having ambition at work means having the desire to improve in the workplace. This may mean not conforming to the way things have always been done.
Ambitious people orient their efforts on goals and ways to achieve them, regardless of what others do. In other words, ambitious people don’t intrude in other people’s affairs. They let others make their way while continuing to climb every step of the way.
That is why ambition does not harm relationships; it is born from a legitimate desire to move forward and improve.
Ambition at work can help others as well. If a person moves forward ethically, the benefits gained will likely have a positive influence on others. Success reverberates and can positively affect other people.
Why should we avoid greed in the workplace?
Greed has to do with voracity, which is the desire for power, to be the first, to own most things, and at the fastest possible pace. Greedy people like to monitor others closely to prevent them from succeeding so that they look good and benefit at the expense of others.
Greed damages relationships, since it is born from an excessive desire to move forward and improve. Greed occurs without ethics since the person acts without taking into account the full set of consequences. Greed also destroys. Since greedy people are only fueled by their interests, success can only be individual, which does not have a positive impact on others.
Ambition or greed… Get the help you need
Do you consider yourself an ambitious or greedy person? Which do you want to be? You might be ambitious if you consider others on your road to success. Never stop moving forward according to your interests and needs, but think about the damage that you might cause along the way. Nobody wants to see bridges burning when they reach the top of the mountain. If you think greed has taken over what should be your ambition, it is not too late to talk to a professional about it.
With ifeel’s emotional well-being program for companies, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to encourage ambition at work and avoid greed taking over employees.
In addition, ifeel‘s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels depending on what they need at any given time. Employees can access a variety of mental health care tools via ifeel‘s app. On a second level, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s registered psychologists. If continuous help is needed, they only have to access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases like theirs.
Get in touch today and request more information on how ifeel’s emotional well-being program for companies can help you encourage your employees to gain ambition at work and take care of corporate well-being in your organization.