5 Ways Jobs are Like Romantic Relationships

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5 Ways Jobs are Like Romantic Relationships

Category : Gifts

1) Some jobs are bad news.  The employer is abusive.  Or the environment is hazardous.  Doesn’t matter who’s doing the job, it’s just a bad job.  And there are some people who will be harmful to whomever they’re in a relationship with.  Doesn’t matter who.

2) Sometimes the  job is OK but you’re not ready for it yet.  You’re underqualified, don’t know enough, wrong timing.  And some relationships might work for you five years from now but you don’t yet have what it takes.

3) Some jobs you’re unsuccessful at because you don’t put enough into it.  You wait for your employer to fix everything, assume everything is your employer’s fault and you come to work everyday waiting for all your negative expectations to come true.  And they do because you’ve created that outcome for yourself.  Just like when we assume everything is our partner’s fault and offer nothing – we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

4) Some jobs fail because we have unrealistic expectations.  We assume everything is going to be exactly how we dreamed it would be.  We’re not prepared to work through the bumps in the road.  We’re disappointed when we discover some of our ‘dream’ job is not what we imagined.  Just like when we think our relationship will be an airbrushed Hollywood movie and then find out that it’s imperfect, just like the rest of real life.  Some of us spend our life bouncing from job to job, always disappointed, never able to invest in any of them.  Just like some people spend their life bouncing from person to person and never find anyone who to lives up to the unrealistic ideal.

5) Some jobs fail because you fell into them by accident.   You were unclear or never thought about what you wanted in a job and you took the job that was available.  Or you took the job that, under the circumstances, was the best option.  Or maybe  you didn’t think there was a better job out there for you.  A lot like relationships: sometimes we fall into them, never really took the time (or knew how) to figure out what we wanted.  Sometimes, in both work and relationships, we get lucky and wind up with a job/person we love, and find fulfillment.  But more often most of us just ride the wave and make do with the job/person that presents itself rather than actively seek what’s right for us.

For those of us who are gifted, our search for the right career has specific challenges.  We may be placed in a job that we are not yet ready for – our unusual strengths often masking our equal weaknesses.  We are often unaware of our own responsibility for creating a work environment that will suit us and/or don’t have the skills to find meaning and satisfaction in our work.  Many of us, with our ideals and high expectations of ourselves and others become disheartened and disillusioned when our job doesn’t live up to our expectations.  Sometimes we expend a lot of misdirected energy, applying ourselves to our job in the extreme and then become disappointed that our effort and contribution is not appreciated and/or resented and we become unhappy and burnt out.   A lot of gifted adults simply resign themselves to being unhappy and isolated at work and settle because we don’t think there’s anything better out there for us or because we don’t know how to find it.

Standard relationship is advice is: start with your self and determine: what do you need, what do you want, what can you offer.  Once you know that, you improve your chances of finding a meaningful relationship.  So if a job is like a romantic relationship, then the place to start is to take responsibility for ourselves.  It’s great when we wind up with an employer who recognizes our strengths and tolerates our shortcomings, just like it’s terrific when we find a partner who does the same.  However, we increase the odds of this happening when we have the self awareness: realistic expectations, understanding of our role of the employment relationship, knowledge of what it means to be a gifted adult and the unwillingness to settle.


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