When I started my job as a Customer Champion at Zapier, my manager impressed upon me very early that I shouldn’t try to compete with the others in my position. I should compete against myself.
In other words, do a little better than you did the day before. When I first started, the idea of sending out 50 replies in a day seemed unattainable. How on earth could I possibly troubleshoot these issues that quickly, given that we support 1,500+ apps? Ok, at the time it was probably less than 1,000.
STILL! Most support teams only have to worry about their own product. It’s not an exaggeration to say that we support some of our partners' apps as well or better than they do.
But each day I would get a little better. If the previous day I had 19 replies, I’d shoot for 20. If was able to send about 4 replies an hour, I would aim for 5. If I was able to get 15 replies by the half-way point of my day, I’d try to get 16. You get the idea.
Yeah, a little friendly “I wonder if I can get more than such and such” can be motivating, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t compete in that way with some Champions who’d started around the same time I did.
Here’s the thing, though. Just because two people start the job at the same time doesn’t mean they have the same skill set. So someone could send 40 replies a day within a matter of weeks while the other person could take a year to get there.
Maybe you’re comparing yourself to someone else who’s doing what you’re doing, and thinking you’re a failure because you’re not as good as they are. There’s always going to be someone looking to YOU the same way you look at someone else.
In the gym and wishing you were as fit as that super buff dude or dudette? Well someone could be looking at you thinking they’d love to be as fit as you are.
So you just focus on being better than…you. Keep progressing, improving, moving forward, learning. And yeah, maybe see how you stack up against someone better than you. Just don’t let it consume you.