Are you treating your job like your love life?
The two biggest decisions in your life are who you marry and what work you do.
That makes sense, right?
Except what’s interesting is the way most people search for their spouse and dream job is completely different.
We know people date countless other people before they find “the one.” Sometimes they date for a few days, weeks, months, or years. The whole time they’re constantly evaluating how happy they are and the character and traits of their significant other.
If it’s not working and they’re unhappy or disrespected, then they quit it like a bad habit. That’s the end of it. And then they put themselves out there to meet new people.
They put this much effort into it because they know that who they marry is going to affect the rest of their life. They want to get the decision right.
But when it comes to their job, people lose the same perseverance to get it right that they have in dating. They often do the opposite and stick with their job no matter if they hate working there and every Monday morning feels like a day in hell.
They’ll reason that the job pays well, work isn’t supposed to be fun, or some other unqualified reason for settling at a job they never imagined they would be doing.
So many people look at their job like they’re locked in it for life, yet are dating someone else every other week searching for love.
I believe you should seek your spouse and job the same way. Because if you treat your job like your love life, you’ll have enough experiments and sample sizes to know what it is you want and the steps to get it.
How To Treat Your Job Like Your Love Life
If you can remember to execute the following steps, you’ll find a job you love sooner than you can imagine.
Be Honest With How It’s Going
After you get through the job orientation and officially are settled into the day-to-day responsibilities, you must be super honest with yourself about how your job is going.
Because if you’re not honest, you can falsely justify good reasons for bad problems: like justifying why the boss treats you like crap, why your company’s product doesn’t sell, and why it’s so difficult to get a salary increase.
So you owe it to yourself to be truthful about each element of your job. Because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to make positive decisions going forward.
Everything starts and ends with personal honesty, without it the rest of this process is a joke.
(This same honesty happens in dating. After the honeymoon phase wears off, you’ll quickly see the real traits and flaws in your partner when you have your eyes open.)
Understand Your Specific Likes And Dislikes
Now that you’re honestly observing your job, look out for tangible likes and dislikes.
Here are some sample questions to help you get started:
- Are the job responsibilities what you expected?
- Do you feel your input matters?
- How are your co-workers?
- Is the job too easy or too challenging?
- How is your boss?
- Do you have anxiety about going to work?
- Are you able to do your free time hobbies with this job?
I recommend you spend time making a pros and cons list about it. Writing these details down will help you visualize the big picture for a better evaluation.
Plus, you can use this list to vet other job openings in the future if you decide to look for a different position.
(You wouldn’t normally write a pros and cons list of your partner. Though you’d know what they specifically do well and don’t do well, assuming you spend any amount of quality time together.)
Don’t Be Complacent
The hidden notion behind the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is “if it is broke, fix it.” In our case, if your job is broke for your personality or ambitions, then it needs to go.
The worst thing you can do is admit your job sucks, yet reason you’ll stick with it because it will take too much work to find another one that’s better. What kind of attitude is that? Don’t be complacent.
You only live one life, so you need to do what you love.
(If your boyfriend or girlfriend mistreated you on a consistent basis and doesn’t see your worth, I’d hope you would have the dignity to break up with them. You know you deserve to be happy in your relationship.)
Realize The Grass Isn’t Always Greener At Another Job
Here’s where I could contradict myself to some of you if you don’t listen closely.
Yes, I’m telling you to evaluate the personal happiness your job provides on a consistent basis. Yes, I’m telling you to identify the specifics of what you enjoy and don’t enjoy about your work. And yes I’m telling you to leave the job if it no longer delivers what you desire.
However, understand that no job is perfect. There will be ups and downs at every position.
So please realize that the next job you get may not be as good as this one. Many times a change of jobs could leave you missing your old job.
Take the decision to switch jobs seriously and think it out well before you go jumping from company to company, unhappy at each one.
(For a dating example, don’t break up with your significant other on the basis that you assume someone else is better only to realize you didn’t know what you had until it’s gone.)
I strive to practice what I preach and only recommend actions that I’ve taken and found success doing.
This past February, I took an honest look at my job and decided that although I enjoy it and they paid me well, now is the time to chase my dreams of being an entrepreneur. If you want to know more about it, read Why I Quit My Job After Becoming An Author.
When you’re young is the time to take risks and find what you really enjoy doing. Because the older you get, the less freedom there is to pick a job you love and only take care of yourself.
Promise yourself you will do whatever you can so you don’t end up not happy at work like 70% of Americans.
And take on this mindset if it helps you: Treat your job like your love life.