Treat your Job like a Relationship

Welcome to my blog! I put up new content every Wednesday, about anything from crafts to careers, from clothes to prose poetry.

I recently wrote a post called Job Hunting for the Anxious Person, which lots of people liked (it was one of my most-read and most-liked posts!) and it got me think about what our careers mean to us.

Now, this post won’t cover everyone, and it may not cover you at the place you are in your life right now. For example, this might’ve applied to you 3 years ago before you had a baby, for instance, and now you’re taking some time out (and therefore my section about quitting a toxic job is not feesible, now matter how tempting or relatable!). Or maybe you’re long-term sick or you don’t work for whatever reason; however, I think whatever you fill your time with may still be for all intents and purposes “your job”.
It’s the thing we spend most of our time and effort on and it all too often is something we wish we could break up with.

But maybe we SHOULD treat jobs like relationships! Why? Because that’s exactly what a career is: it’s a relationship between you and the job.

Maybe your boss is the wicked in-law and your co-workers are the bratty stepkids, while the job itself is the hideous partner you can no longer stand and you’re wondering what on earth you ever saw in them.

Hopefully not; hopefully you love your job and your career is going smashingly well. Unfortunately for me, I’ve experienced every one of these examples below, and that’s why I’m able to share this with you today: because I know what’s like.

Without further ado, here’s why I think you should treat your job the same way you would a relationship:

Some jobs are trash. Dump ’em.

There’s no sugar-coating this one. Your family warned you about this. We’ve all gone through it (and if you’re like me, you’ve been served trash several times) Maybe you were on a low-ebb and blindly walked into another disastrous role, or maybe you had high-hopes and yet your coach turned into a pumpkin. Either way, this job is nothing but bad for you. Your boss is unsupportive, your co-workers are bullies, and nobody actually cares; there’s not a hint of professionalism to be found. The pay doesn’t make up for the crappy facilities, the awful clients, and the shady accounting going on behind the scenes.

This is the job that you know you are far, far too good for and there’s nothing to gain from staying – in fact, this job is dragging your worth down. You don’t even want this job on your CV, because you are out of there.

Like a trashy partner, you should have never given them a chance. You’re embarrassed to say you ever worked there. You dump them and move on.

Some jobs help you grow.

These jobs can be bitter-sweet. Maybe this was your first serious job, or it was a job you had on the road to something much better. You loved this job! It started out great; you learned lots and everything seemed to be going so smoothly. But then it started getting a little dull and repetitive, and those things you learned very quickly became old hat. It dawns on you one day that you’re bored and, yeah, while this has been great, the job’s on one path and you’re looking at taking another. You could stay, but is this job really going anywhere?

You’ve learned all you can and it’s time to move on to something more within your pay grade. You amicably split with your job, knowing that if ever you need it, it’ll be there for you: even if, deep down, you know this is probably the last time you’ll meet.

Some jobs just weren’t meant to be.

All right: it’s not you, but it’s not them either. You two got together and it should’ve worked on paper, but you know what, it just doesn’t. Things go wrong from the start and you never quite fit in there. Something just doesn’t feel right. You’re capable, yes, but it’s like fitting a square peg in a round hole. You know it, the job knows it, and your boss knows it. You can’t understand why you aren’t happy in this role. Your skills matched (roughly), you were interested in the job, and you were hired. So what’s missing?
Your heart is just not in it, that’s what. And things only get more and more strained and eventually, someone has to make the first move and admit that this just isn’t working. That someone is you.
You didn’t want to do it, but you’ve got no choice – and once you leave this job, you’re relieved. You’re just too different, and that’s okay.
You learn from this job and you move on.

Some jobs are utterly toxic.

This one nearly kills you. You feel sick when you get up in the morning and weekends are spent laying in bed, dreading Monday. Your world is bleak, grey, dark. This role is bringing you nothing but misery and pain, and it isn’t going to get better. But you’re tough, and brave, and you think you can make this work. If you just put in the hours and put in the hard work, things will start looking brighter and everything will just snap into place.

But it doesn’t, and you know it never will. You feel bullied and belittled in this role. Your boss treats you like a moron, you butt heads with your colleagues and you can’t seem to put a foot right. You don’t even care who’s to blame anymore; you just wish you’d never taken this on.

But you’ve got bills to pay and you’ve sunk a lot of time into this job. It can’t have all been a waste of time and effort, can it? Plus there’s the guilt! What you don’t realise at the time is that you’re feeling guilty, but your job, your boss, your co-workers – none of them could care less. You’re breaking your back for people who just don’t care about you.

Eventually your body makes that decision for you. You buckle under the stress and your body is plagued by in colds, coughs, aches, pains, rashes, and migraines. You start calling in sick and now they’re angry at you for that, too. You’re having a mental health crisis and you can’t stand it anymore.

When will it ever end, you ask?

Then you realise: you can end it. The sooner you get out of there the better, because this job is just plain toxic.
When you eventually leave, you feel bruised by the experience, but thankful that it’s over. You move on to something else (and hopefully much better).

Some jobs are marriage material.

Where oh where has this job been all your life?

When you start working here, everything just clicks into place. The pay is good, the benefits are fantastic, and you feel like you’ve joined a great family. Instantly you feel totally comfortable with the idea of working here for the foreseeable. You don’t have any doubts and the pace suits you just fine. You had no idea it was going to work out so well, but it did! Imagine if you’d never filled in that application? Your paths might never have crossed!

Your boss is always pleased with your progress, you get on famously well with your co-workers (who are more like friends) and the relationship is mutually beneficial. You don’t want to lose them and they don’t want to lose you either. You carry out your tasks with pride because you truly care about this role; it’s not just about the money or the fact you’re duty-bound to do it. You’re proud to put your stamp on the work you do.

You know this job is for keeps and you feel a sense of stability that you haven’t felt before, or at least not in a very long time. It’s time to put down some roots and settle in for the long-run, because you’ve found the love of your life!

It’s true what they say: when you know, you know.

So what do you think about that? Do you agree with me or have you got other ideas? How many of these examples sound familiar to you? Get in touch and let me know.

Until next Wednesday, toodles!

Best wishes,

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