You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

8 Types of Coworkers You Must Seek and Avoid to Achieve a Happy and Lucrative Career Your peer group at work is one of the most overlooked decisions when deciding where to work or when to leave a job. It's not just who you work with but also who you don't work with that determines your career trajectory and opportunities for success.

By Jairek Robbins

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The average person will work 90,000 hours in their lifetime. According to the Harvard Study of Adult Development, who you invest those hours with will determine how long you live, how happy you are and how much you earn over your career.

It's not just who you work with but also who you don't work with that matters. Do you want to be in an environment where everyone is trying to outdo each other? Or do you prefer collaboration over competition?

The people you work with can significantly impact your job satisfaction and career growth. If you're not happy with your current situation, consider looking at your peer group and see if it's time for a change.

You know the saying, "you can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends"? Well, the same goes for choosing your coworkers. There are coworkers you should seek and coworkers you should avoid at all costs. Let's first discuss the three types of coworkers you'll want to avoid:

1. The complainer

No one likes a complainer. This person is always complaining about something, whether it's the job, the company, their coworkers or anything else. They're never happy, and they're always bringing everyone else down.

Related: What to Do When Your Co-Workers Don't Work

3. The competitor

The competitor is the person who is always trying to one-up you. They're always trying to make themselves look better by making you look worse. Your success threatens them, and they'll do anything to bring you down.

3. The dramatizer

The dramatizer is always making a big deal out of everything. They're always overreacting, and they're always looking for attention. They're also probably the ones who are always starting drama.

Related: 7 Ways to Create a Friendly Environment at Work

Of course, not everyone fits perfectly into one of these categories. But chances are, if you're constantly surrounded by complainers, competitors and dramatizers, chances are your work life is pretty miserable.

Now that we've established who you should avoid, let's talk about coworkers you should seek. These are the five types of people you want to spend more time with at work:

1. The mentor

A mentor can help guide you in your career, offer advice and support, and be a sounding board for your ideas. Look for someone successful in the field you're interested in and willing to share their knowledge with you. Make sure you find a way to add value to their life before asking them to be your mentor.

Related: You Need a Mentor. Here's Where to Find One for Free

2. The connector

A connector is someone who knows a lot of people and can help introduce you to new contacts. This person can help expand your professional network and open up new opportunities for you. In his book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell describes connectors as people who "link us up with the world...people with a special gift for bringing the world together."

3. The challenger

A challenger is someone who isn't afraid to push you to be your best. They may offer constructive criticism or different perspectives that force you to think outside the box. This person can help you grow professionally and reach your full potential.

4. The advocate

An advocate is someone who believes in you and your abilities. They may be a mentor, friend, or colleague, but they will always support your goals and cheer you on along the way.

Related: How to Attract New Employees Who Want to Do Great Work

5. The coach

A coach is someone who can help you develop your skills and reach your goals. They may offer inspiration and insight, but they also know how to listen and let you figure things out for yourself. A coach will help you grow in your career and become the best version of yourself.

Spending more time with these people can help you reach your full potential and be happier in your career. If you don't have a strong peer group at work, it may be time to look for a new job or build relationships with new people. Don't underestimate the power of your peer group — it can make all the difference in your career satisfaction.

Jairek Robbins

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Chairman and CEO of High Performance Ventures, LLC

Jairek Robbins is the bestselling author of LIVE IT! Achieve Success While Living With Purpose.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.


I Got Over 225,000 Views in Just 3 Months With Short-Form Video — Here's Why It's the New Era of Marketing

Thanks to our new short-form video content strategy, we've amassed over 225,000 video views in just three months. Learn how to increase brand awareness through short-form video content.


94% of Customers Say a Bad Review Made Them Avoid Buying From a Brand. Try These 4 Techniques to Protect Your Brand Reputation.

Maintaining a good reputation is key for any business today. With so many people's lives and shopping happening online, what is said about a company on the internet can greatly influence its success.

Personal Finance

How to Get a Lifetime of Investing Experience in Only One Year

Plus, how day traders can learn a lesson from pilots.


6 Habits That Help Successful People Maximize Their Time

There aren't enough hours in the day, but these tips will make them feel slightly more productive.

Growing a Business

Looking to Achieve Your Goals But Don't Know Where to Start? Try These Proven Goal-Setting Strategies.

Find a more effective way of creating – and achieving – your goals. Get clear on your vision, make your plan, take action, reassess and then revise.