The Career Love Story
“One of the reasons romantic love is often so intensely wonderful is because it makes us aware of the very best parts of ourselves. When you are head over heals in love, simply being in the presence of your lover makes you love your self more than you ever thought possible. One love nurtures and increases the other. If we pay close attention to the deep lessons in romantic love it will become an incredible source of inner healing and growth.”
–Dr. Matthew Anderson
They say there’s someone out there for everyone, and if you’ve ever walked downtown in a big city and people-watched, you’ll realize this is true. Couples come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and superficially the match-ups are often difficult to decipher. Whether you’re observing a strange pairing or the perfect couple, the point is the same: When you open yourself up and look for love, you’ll find some. It may not be the love of your life. In fact, it may be a case of Mr. or Ms. Right Now as opposed to Mr. or Ms. Right, but love on any level is too valuable a commodity to be discounted or dismissed. Careers are no different.
With the right level of skilled application, higher education and plain old-fashioned hard work, you can find the right job. Whether that job is the position of a lifetime or merely a stepping-stone up the career ladder, you can apply some of the same “rules” to your career development goals to ensure that you’ll be lucky in love and on the job.
- Only you know what your non-negotiables are. When searching for a new partner or evaluating the suitability of a current love interest, only you can determine what you will and will not accept. The same goes for a potential employer. Research increasingly shows that work environment, the effectiveness and fairness of your immediate supervisor and the congeniality of your colleagues are often more highly rated than salary or the level of power you hold in a current position. The intensity and depth of soul-searching you might do in a love relationship is similar to that required when you assess your career goals in comparison to your current job or a job that you have been offered. If you were contemplating marriage you’d naturally weigh all the pros and cons before making that oh so important final commitment. Similarly, we spend too much time at work not to give career development its due attention.
- Love of self impacts your ability to love others just as self-discipline, often a reflection of self-love, affects your potential for growth and opportunity in your chosen career or industry. Self-discipline can take on many forms, including the ability to restrain a fiery temper on the job, adhering to a demanding certification study schedule or meeting a series of perilously tight project deadlines. If you love what you do you will make the necessary sacrifices to meet your career goals. Just as if you love the person you’re with, and they decide to randomly get on your last nerve, you will be forgiving and make exceptions in order to maintain the peace or not to hurt your sweeties’ tender feelings.
- There are situations in one’s career, even jobs in some cases, where it’s best to walk away. And when you do, the world probably won’t end. So, as in love, when things go bad, or you realize that you’ve made a mistake, don’t hesitate to correct it. If you see that Ms. Right Now is actually Ms. Raving Psychotic in sheep’s clothing, don’t be afraid to say adios! But as in the case of love gone wrong, when exiting from a career or job situation, do so with tact, grace and an unquestionable professionalism that will leave the door open should you need a reference, a free-lance assignment or a bit of career- or love-related advice down the line. In the love arena, a little tact can turn an ex into a friend rather than a stalker or a raving virago who routinely slashes your car tires. On the job tact and consistently professional conduct can ease the path to promotion, garner you a bonus or a plum assignment from an appreciative boss, or simply make it easier to get those personal days off when you need then. Love, like your career, is a two-way street. Which direction you choose and what you make of the journey is entirely up to you.