It makes you selfish to be ambitious

“Higher, faster, further” - when ambition turns into career lust

People who want to go far in their jobs can usually be described as very ambitious. You are focused on a specific goal and work diligently towards it. What is generally understood as a positive quality, however, can also change quickly. The line between ambition and career lust is fine and not everyone manages to balance on it without slipping. In this article, we would like to take a closer look at the two character traits ambition and career lust and clearly differentiate them from one another.

1. A healthy ambition is essential for a career
2. Ambition goes beyond the professional
3. Beware of doggedness
4. It all depends on the right dose
5. When ambition turns into career lust
6. How to protect yourself from career lust

A healthy ambition is essential for a career

Ambitious people always have certain goals in mind, which they pursue with all consistency. The “phenomenon” is by no means limited to the professional world. Ambition is also widespread in the private and sporting sectors and is an important factor in personal development. Because only those who are ambitious are ready to achieve top performance and surpass themselves.

Let's get back to professional ambitions. This has different appearances and expresses itself in almost everyone in different ways. While some have the ambition to climb as many career levels as possible in the shortest possible time, others focus on one level and develop special technical expertise on this, for example.

In general, professional ambition relates to the following aspects, among others:

Ambition as Catalyst for professional development and career advancement is usually understood as a positive quality. What is interesting, however, is the small but extremely subtle difference that the Gender comparison is recognizable. Men who are characterized by their ambition are considered successful and are often referred to as high-flyers. In addition, they have an appealing and attractive effect on those around them. It is different with women. If these are ambitious, they are quickly perceived as exhausting and sometimes even threatening.

Info: Another word for ambition is ambition. Ambitious people are considered to be particularly motivated and active.

Ambition goes beyond the professional

Professional success is only defined by the time spent in the office? Not correct! For more and more head hunters it is clear that ambition knows no bounds. For example, if you find a person who is not only very committed to their job but also in their private lives, this indicates good resilience and a lot of energy. In other words, this is in all likelihood a valuable employee.

By the way: Some people and research even claim that healthy ambition is more important than intelligence to professional success. The saying “Where there's a will, there's a way” underscores this assumption. What do you think?

Beware of doggedness

It is important that the ambition is never his ease loses. As soon as you focus on a certain career goal, the doggedness that results from it becomes apparent to others as well.

Ambitious people who are also successful stand out for theirs individuality out. You don't necessarily choose the path that many others have followed before you. Instead, they try something new and accept detours. Not only are these absolutely okay, but they also pique the interest of others.

Info: Just as bad as doggedness is ambition that turns into slime or nerd.

It all comes down to the right dose

While some are bobbing through their job with no drive, others want to outdo themselves every day with their performance. You probably already guessed it: healthy ambition is somewhere between these two poles.

Research has shown that people who have a "medium level of ambition" have, most powerful and also most successful are. Because while a lack of ambition brings no progress at all, excessive ambition slows you down.

When ambition turns into career lust

Exaggerated, sick or blind ambition - or else overambitious behavior - is often referred to as career lust. This term has a negative connotation for various reasons.

For one thing, excessive ambition harms others. Career-hungry people have no problem getting into an open one Competition to go. They literally walk over dead bodies and want to achieve their goals regardless of loss. In general, they can be considered extreme selfish and not able to work in a team are designated. All that matters to a pathologically ambitious person is their own gain. It should be clear that not only the team spirit but also productivity falls by the wayside.

On the other hand, career lust not only affects colleagues and other people, but also directly affects the person concerned. Those who work doggedly and uncompromisingly on their own, as steep a career as possible, forget themselves. Many people who are referred to as career-minded ignore the signals their bodies send them. Illness is seen as a weakness and therefore not tolerated. It is not uncommon for excessive ambition or career lust to lead to revision, which are also in burnout or one depression can end. The topic should therefore by no means be taken lightly.

This is how you protect yourself from career lust

Ambition lives from the goals that you set yourself. These should, on the one hand, motivate, but on the other hand always also realistic and achievable be. It is of no use to you if you think higher, further and faster and lose sight of the essentials in the process.

In order to protect yourself from career lust, it makes sense to think in many small steps and every now and then to rest on the partial successes. Then look back to see what you've already accomplished and forward to see what's left on your to-do list.

Furthermore, you have to get used to the idea that failure is also part of the career path. In learning to accept this possibility, you accept yourself as a person who cannot possibly be perfect.

Also, bear in mind that very few careers are dead straight. As mentioned above, are Detours not only okay, but sometimes even beneficial. Make yourself interesting by taking your time, taking a break and / or trying another possible path. Career lust means getting so focused on a (maybe even unattainable) goal that everything around you is no longer important. By being aware of precisely this “trappings”, you protect yourself from blind ambition and may even receive completely new opportunities to develop yourself professionally.

Last but not least, it should also be mentioned that a career is simply not everything. Many people who only focus on their professional success forget that there are other things in life too - starting with family above Friends to personal Hobbies. Each of us needs a balance to our job in order to be able to continue enjoying it, to recharge our batteries and to achieve the next goal.

A successful career without ambition is simply not possible. We all need the drive to constantly develop ourselves in order not to stop at one level. It is important to always remember that success depends on the dose. Anyone who gets too stuck on something and thus loses the ease of their actions threatens to become career-minded. Doggedness and selfishness are the main consequences. By protecting yourself from this development, you will put your career on the right - the successful - path.

Ambition, competition, career lust - all topics that cause a stir and sometimes also polarize. We look forward to you sharing your thoughts with us and the other readers. The comment function is available to you.

Photo credit: kentoh /


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