Get used to it, sister -- the workplace is filled with annoying, jealous and self-important co-workers. While you may stomp your feet and start fuming every time that co-worker starts doing whatever it is that you find super annoying, the harsh reality is you're not going to be able to control everyone's behavior. You can certainly try, but when your co-worker continually shows that she thinks her job is more important than yours, often the only thing to do is learn to deal with it.
Assess the situation rationally. Ask yourself whether her behavior is simply irritating, or whether it's actually affecting your ability to perform in the workplace. Take note of a few situations that have really irked you, and then talk to a trusted friend or advisor to get a read on the situation. In many cases, simply deciding that she's a petty, self-important ladder-climber can give you the boost you need to stay on the moral high ground and ignore her.
Ensure that your bosses know your role and how well you're doing, as this act may assist in your move up the corporate ladder. While your job title may currently put you on par with that self-important co-worker, one sure way to eliminate that issue is to get promoted. Do your job well and keep track of your accomplishments so you have something to show your bosses when it's time for that quarterly or yearly evaluation.
Resist the urge to play her petty game. Keep your head down and stay professional and focused, even if she makes comments to undermine you. In the ideal work world, professionalism and solid performance overcome pettiness.
Talk to the co-worker during a quiet moment. Don't come right out and accuse her of being self-important, but instead tell her you're looking for ways the two of you can work better together. Assure her that you want to partner with her on projects and to make sure there's a good amount of cohesion between you. In some cases, this may wake her up to her self-important behavior; in other cases, you'll need to rely on the grin-and-bear it tactic to keep moving forward.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.