So my friend Chris may be about to land a job in London. I should be happy for him, right?
Then he told me; he’d “flirted his way through” with an HR girl into the next round of a job worth over £50k.
For some context, he’s currently in a start-up in the town we both went to uni in on a standard grad salary of 20-something.
I was honest. I told him he wasn’t ready for that kind of role, that much responsibility or the kind of job commitment that it would require. I don’t think that he was happy with me but it was the truth.
Was a part of me also speaking from a place of jealousy? Absolutely. I genuinely don’t think (speaking as his friend) that he is able to take on a role like that with a modest couple of years experience in a (failed) start-up. But I also knew that, even if he should blag his way into the role, he hasn’t earned it. And when I sat down and thought about it, I think that that was what was bothering me most. It isn’t that it’s a much higher salary than I’m earning, it’s that he doesn’t deserve it, and if there’s one thing I’ve never been able to stand it’s people getting things that they don’t deserve.
I questioned whether I was being petty or silly about this and whether I should put my own reservations aside and just be supportive, but I really can’t. If he were to get the role it would bother me. A lot. It would mean a huge difference in our incomes. But even if that were not the case it comes back to the same feeling; that he has not earned that level of job.
I honestly didn’t realise that I felt so strongly about such things, but apparently I do. The notion that he would swan into London and simply take on such a high-paying, high-responsibility role grates on me; I don’t think I would be able to take him seriously because of it. And I would need to seriously consider whether we could be friends after something like that. The sheer unfairness of it would stick into my side like a thorn.
Does that make me a bad person? Should I ignore it and be happy for him or am I making a moral stand over something I believe in?
Whenever I am about to have a big argument with someone (or what could turn into a big argument) I always ask myself “Is this worth it?”.
And usually, even if I am angry and feeling impulsive, my mind will tell me that I’m better just switching off my phone and letting it go. Normally, this is what I will do.
But with this, my own inner voice sang out with a resounding Yes when I asked it. I am prepared to fall out over this, because I believe strongly that he does not deserve such role or such a salary at this point in his career. I believe I am right and that such a pay check must be earned, not blagged and bluffed into. Not to mention he said he wanted more work/life balance when he came to London. Well, I told him quite honestly, he can kiss that goodbye if he wants to be pulling in that level of money.
I suppose a small part of my mind simply cried out with “Why?” Why would it get to be so easy for him, when I have had to work and suffer and learn so much, just to get to 35k?
Why can’t an incredible opportunity just…find me instead?