Jobs Are Like Boyfriends (and Girlfriends), It’s Okay to Get a New One

My friend’s boyfriend is an idiot. I mean, honestly, I have no idea what she sees in him. He treats her terribly, he’s not good for her, and no, his looks don’t compensate for his behavior. So why does she stay with him?

I found this quote by Johnny Depp that seems to answer my question. Turns out that in addition to being one very sexy pirate, the man is a genius…

“I think when you’re young, you’re hoping that this person will be the right one, the one you’re going to be in love with forever. But sometimes you want that so much that you create something that really isn’t there.”

Well…umm…I know I’ve done that before.

And I know that no one’s interested in my romantic failures but this same concept applies to work.

You see, we go to college and immediately have to decide what to study. Yes, while some of us can’t even do our own laundry, we have to pretty much decide what we want to do with their lives. No pressure.

Then we graduate and we’re forced to find jobs so we don’t starve to death.  But in our job search, we think and we hope that the first job we get will be the perfect one. We want it to work out so badly. We believe that it HAS to work out.

Let’s take me for example. I went to school and got my degree in Health Services Administration. While in school, I landed a job as a secretary at hospital. That made sense. But you know what? Now that I’ve been working for about two years, I realize that there are a lot of other things that I like. There are a lot of other things that I’d rather be doing.

Look job, it’s not you, it’s me. I don’t think we’re as compatible as I once thought.

So I have a choice. I can either create something that really isn’t there and force myself to like it or I can realize that it’s not working and move on, knowing that there has to be something better.

I think a lot of people feel this way. A lot of people land jobs immediately after graduation and think, “this is it.” A few weeks, months, sometimes years later, they realize that they’re not happy.  But instead of doing something about it, they settle.

And what happens? By the age of 25 they get hit in the face with this lovely thing called the quarter life crisis which isn’t nearly as fun as the mid life crisis because at 25 people are broke and can’t afford to buy convertibles.

So listen, it’s okay if you graduate and your first “dream job” turns out to be an epic fail. CONGRATS! You’re one step closer to finding something you DO like. Try to learn as much as you can from every job you have. That’s what this time is for. This is the time to figure out what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re good at, what you suck at, etc. So don’t be afraid to acknowledge that what you’re doing isn’t the right fit for you and that you need something different. It doesn’t make YOU a failure.

Because really,

If your job doesn’t challenge you…

If your job doesn’t interest you…

If your job doesn’t make you a better person…

And if your job is causing you to consume excessive amounts of alcohol…

Then it might be time to break up. And I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard thinking that you invested so much time into that degree that’s hanging on your wall. So many freaking papers and exams. So many all-nighters. How can you possibly think of doing anything different?

Understand that sometimes things just don’t work out. It sucks, I know. But you know what? It’s better to accept that you need a new job and find something that you DO love as opposed to spending years and years being a bitter and miserable a-hole.

Too many people stay in relationships that don’t make them happy. Too many people stay in jobs that they hate. Is that really what you want? To spend 15 years at a job that you hate? I definitely don’t.

Because at the end of the day, pretending to love something or someone when you actually don’t is very stressful. And quite honestly, I don’t want to be stressed because stress causes wrinkles and botox is expensive.

Comments
9 Responses to “Jobs Are Like Boyfriends (and Girlfriends), It’s Okay to Get a New One”
  1. I am certain that I will KNOW when I have found that RIGHT job…

    I have done the same thing with boys…it MUST be right because Disney movies are REAL and this HAS to be my prince…now where’s the white horse I was promised?

    Yea. OR NOT.

    It is like falling in love though, too. Just like jobs are like boyfriends and it is okay to get a new one…it is also like falling in love becaues when you DO find THE ONE…you know. It’s just a feeling you get. I haven’t found it yet, but I know the feeling because I am in love. And, when I feel that again, I’ll know I found the right job for me!

  2. Greg Zander, the Cultural Architect says:

    Great thoughts, Kayla! I turned 40 last year and spent the previous 5 years trying to find my place as I moved away from my first career choice and my college major. In just the last 6-7 months have I really gotten a clear picture of what I want to be doing now and I am pursuing that with all that I have and all that I am. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I’m not even going to worry about if I found the “right” job until I’m at least in my 30s! 😉

  4. jfeinerman says:

    Kayla, I really enjoyed this post and I agree with you completely! I think new grads are so focused on finding the right job when really they might not know what the right job for them is just yet. It’s definitely not worth suffering through a bad job when there are opportunities out there that you could be enjoying much more. Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Lol definitely agree with this. I think people are also just afraid of the unknown. Afraid of the job or singles market. Afraid of getting rejected from something they might want. That’s why it takes strength to do something like that, and that’s why we need to cultivate that strength to do what we really want. Good post.

  6. Reblogged this on Being Your Brand and commented:
    “Look job, it’s not you, it’s me. I don’t think we’re as compatible as I once thought.”
    I don’t think I have read an article that explains the relationship with one’s career better than this one. Kayla Cruz does an excellent job explaining why sometimes you need to leave your job to be happy; in the same way you sometimes need to walk away from an unhealthy relationship with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

    My favorite aspect of this article is that it is very positive. Not finding your dream job right away is not a bad thing, it is just one stop on your career path. Kayla states that “It’s okay if you graduate and your first ‘dream job’ turns out to be an epic fail. CONGRATS! You’re one step closer to finding something you DO like…So don’t be afraid to acknowledge that what you’re doing isn’t the right fit for you and that you need something different. It doesn’t make YOU a failure.”
    No matter where you are in your career, I recommend reading this article.

  7. Tope says:

    hahahaha *I don’t want to be stressed because stress causes wrinkles and botox is expensive.* dat is my favourite line

  8. Tammy Davis says:

    I’ve often lamented how unfair it is that we have to choose college majors and careers when we’re young and inexperienced. I might have made vastly different choices had I had the benefit of experience and getting to know myself first, but of course that’s a bit of a conundrum. The real challenge is to do exactly what you’ve outlined: to break up with the job, the career choice, whatever isn’t working–WHENEVER it isn’t working. Youth doesn’t have the market cornered on that one. Wise advice, thanks.

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