Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why Jobs and Relationships are the Same Thing

I'm in an abusive relationship with my job.

It treats me terribly, and I know it, but until recently I haven't had the guts to work toward leaving it. I've made all the excuses that one tells oneself in an abusive human relationship.

Stress ReductionIt doesn't mean to hurt me; it's just stressed out. When a company is in financial trouble, as mine has been, those in charge start to take desperate measures to work their way out of the hole. The casualties, of course, are overworked, underpaid employees. The implication is that if we just work a little harder, a little longer, we can dig our way out. The whispered threat being that if the company doesn't start to improve, it's kind of our own fault.

Well, the job does have some good qualities. I love my boss and my coworkers. I enjoy the work I do. Really. So what if I haven't had a raise in 5 years, there's no room for growth, the upper management seems neither to respect nor even notice the work we do, and the company might not make it another 5 years?

Wincing, that leads to thoughts like...

It's probably not better with anyone else. Every company has problems. What if I jump out the frying pan into the fire? I may as well stick to the evil I know, right?

With the love and support and slapping of family and friends, I finally am applying to other jobs with cautious optimism. Unfortunately, I forgot how much the job searching process can be aggravating and soul-crushing. Just like online dating!

Resume? Cover letter? Just like your online dating profile. You list your best qualities and pertinent experiences, along with your goals and a little bit of bragging, and see who wants to date you. I mean hire you.

victory shakeIf you get to an interview, it's both exciting and nerve-wracking. Will you like them? Will they like you? How is this different from a first date? It's the exact. Same. Thing. You ask each other questions and later assess the vibe. Did you get along? Did they like you? Were you attracted to them? (What? Sometimes the Human Resources manager is really hot.)

Afterwards, you wait to hear if they call you back. If they don't like you, the decent thing for them to do is to tell you, but that never happens. The majority of the time, you never hear back. So it's back to the applications and stupid messages that no one likes to send. Don't ever get your hopes up prematurely. Odds are, it's not The One.

But OMG sometimes you get a boyfriend! Or a job! And then your favorite coworkers become like significant others. You spend so much time with them that you equally love and hate them. You defend them, yet complain about them. You put up with their annoying habits because the sex is great. (No? It's just me? Whatever.)

Your relationship with your job can be draining or fulfilling. Sometimes both. Like a human relationship, it has its ups and downs. You can change jobs every couple years, or stay with one 'til you expire retire. But the biggest thing to remember about a boyfriend, husband, or job - it's a big part of your life, but don't let it become your whole life.

A lot of things in my life are due to change soon. Can't wait to see what—and who—the future brings me.
If this fortune cookie is any indication, things are going
to change a lot more than I thought.

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