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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work Relationships

This Strategy Makes Your Career Benefit—From Someone Else's Success

Glamour Magazine just named one of my co-workers at The Muse, Lily Herman, as one of its Top 10 College Women of 2015.

In the past, I probably would’ve been a little jealous (okay, a lot). However, as I explained in this article, my jealous tendencies went away when I discovered how to take pride in others’ successes by reminding myself of how I contributed to that success.

Well, I have a new discovery: Taking ownership of someone else’s achievement shouldn’t end in your head. While that technique can boost your spirits, taking ownership of someone else’s achievements externally can boost your career.

I don’t mean you should claim credit for another’s victory. I’m talking about the opposite approach—sharing that person’s victory as if it were your own.


You can do this in several ways.

For example, when Lily revealed her amazing news, several of her connections tweeted about it to all their followers; Erin, our editor, sent out a company-wide email congratulating Lily; and several of Lily’s co-workers reposted the Glamour list on their social networks.

Next time someone in your network does something great, try one of the following (just make sure your contact has made it clear the news isn’t a secret!):

  • Tweeting about it
  • Crafting a Facebook post
  • Writing a LinkedIn status update
  • Sending an email to your team, department, or the whole office
  • Giving a short, public congratulations to him or her at the next meeting
  • Sharing the news informally, like when you’re talking to your co-workers


Obviously, each of these public shout-outs is a well-deserved pat on the back. But they have many other positive effects, as well. Sharing someone else’s news:

  • Makes other people more likely to share your achievements when the time comes
  • Strengthens your reputation as a collaborative professional who’s great to work with
  • Links you to highly successful people in other people’s minds (hey, associating with successful people makes you seem more successful, as well)
  • Gives you a mood boost
  • Acts as a networking tool
  • And, of course, reinforces your relationship with the person whose success you’re sharing

I already knew Lily’s news by the time I read Erin’s email, so my first reaction was, Wow! That was so cool of Erin to make sure the whole Muse office knew about it! It reinforced my view of Erin as a warm, generous supervisor invested in her employees’ success—and I’m pretty sure it had the same effect on everyone else who read the message.

Plus, I’ve subconsciously made the association between “Lily’s success” + “Erin.” There’s no doubt Erin’s tutelage played a role in helping Lily get to where she is today, so this mental connection is definitely merited. However, I probably wouldn’t have made it if Erin hadn’t publically shared Lily’s success.

And in the future, when Erin does something awesome, not only will Lily probably be the first to promote the news, but everyone else is more likely to promote it as well, because we know Erin is the type of person who deserves it.


It’s not every day that your co-worker lands on a high-profile list. In fact, if you waited for an occasion like that to celebrate one of your peers, you’d probably have to wait a pretty long time.

Fortunately, you can share others’ good news whether it’s big or small. (Sometimes, smaller is even better, because you’ll be one of the few to recognize it!)

Here’s a general guide to the type of news you could share on behalf of your peers:

  • Doing an awesome job on a project
  • Figuring out a more efficient way of doing things
  • Reaching a personal achievement, like running a half marathon
  • Fulfilling a goal, such as meeting a sales quota or helping a specific number of clients
  • Receiving an honor or award
  • Publishing a paper or getting interviewed
  • Learning a new skill

Trust me: The more you look for opportunities to promote your colleagues, the more you’ll find. (As an added benefit, you’ll be even more aware of others’ work and successes—which will naturally improve your office reputation.)

I don’t know about you, but after realizing the incredible effects sharing someone else’s achievement can have, I’m dying for more people I know to do more great things.

Photo of men on mountain courtesy of Shutterstock.