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3 professions with the most arrogant workers

MarketWatch MarketWatch 3/09/2016 Catey Hill
Chief executives are No. 2 on the list. Above, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co CEO James Dimon. © Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chief executives are No. 2 on the list. Above, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co CEO James Dimon.

If you work in certain professions, beware: Your co-workers may be egomaniacs.

Fully 74% of private chefs, 72% of chief executives and 65% of art directors say they feel that they are the best performer in their company for jobs similar to theirs, according to a survey of more than 380,000 workers across about 480 professions released this week by compensation research company Payscale.

You might think that professions like lawyer and psychiatrist would land top spots on this list, but instead they are in the bottom half of the spectrum. Instead, these professions round out the top 10 with high percentages of self-important employees: floral designers, bartenders, airfield operations specialists, plant and systems operators, sound engineering technicians and farmers and ranchers.

Even if you don’t work in one of these fields, there’s a high chance you’ll work with someone with a huge ego. Roughly one in four people — across all professions — say they are the top performer in their company for jobs similar to theirs, the survey revealed.

More on MSN Money: What are the highest-paying jobs in America?

The more money a person makes, the more likely their ego is inflated. Fully 56% of workers who make more than $200,000 a year say they are their company’s top performer in jobs similar to their own, compared with just 3% of those making less than $25,000 a year.

© Provided by Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Of course, many supremely confident employees have every right to be, and confidence can serve you well in the workplace: In fact, confidence was one of the top three traits employers looked for in new hires, a survey of more than 400,000 students and professionals by branding firm Universum found.

Still, as many a more humble employee has learned, “it’s difficult to be around overconfident people in large doses,” says Cheryl Palmer, the founder and a career coach at career counseling firm Call to Career. That’s one reason she advises keeping the time you spend with egotistical co-workers at the minimum amount of time necessary to still do your job well.

Other advice for dealing with overconfidence, whether warranted — or not: Don’t come on too strong, as some overconfident people don’t like to be challenged, says Palmer. “Instead of telling the person directly that the person is wrong about something, ask questions about some of the person’s basic assumptions,” she says. “The right questions asked in a non-threatening manner can guide the person in the right direction.”

Table: 10 professions with the most arrogant workers

  • 1. Private chefs
  • 2. Chief executives
  • 3. Art directors
  • 4. Floral designers
  • 5. Bartenders
  • 6. Airfield operations specialists
  • 7. Plant and systems operators
  • 8. Sound engineering technicians
  • 9. Farmers
  • 10. Ranchers

New York-based career coach Roy Cohen advises workers to avoid competing with overconfident co-workers and bosses as well, as they are “often intent on promoting their own agenda,” which could lead to a lot of hassles and arguments down the road. If you manage an overconfident employee, you may face arguments and hassles as well, as they may challenge your authority.

But, notes Cohen, workers can often learn something from uber-confident co-workers and bosses, such as how to enhance their own image and build up their own confidence. Ask yourself “are there elements of their swagger that I can borrow for myself,” he says. Plus, being confident (in the right amount) can help some workers ask and get what they want such as a pay raise or a new title.

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