In a personal relationship, one per person loves the other, and the other loves them back. Pretty simple and works, right? However, if one person doesn’t love the other, or both aren’t in love with each other, chances are things are pretty miserable and the relationship will fail. The same can be said about jobs. Let’s take a look at the different work scenarios that are a bad relationship.
Scenario 1: You love your job, but your work doesn’t love you back.
Day in an day out for over 10 years, you have religiously showed up to work on time. You are mindful of others’ vacation days, and never request a Monday or a Friday off because that’s when your coworkers and your boss take off. After being in a field this long, you are great at what you do, and you know you are amazing at it. No one has as much people skills, confidence and patience as you do, and your workplace really misses you when you do take time off.
However, you’ve never been promoted. You’ve been told there’s no opportunity for growth, but at least they’ve given you minimal cost of living increases a couple times over the course of 10 years. Looking at time card, you are still only getting 2 weeks (80 hours) of vacation/sick leave in one year. Also, there’s no flexibility. If you have an 8am dentist appointment, you can’t work late to make up the time. Between yours and your kids’ appointments or sick days (at least one or two a month during the school year), there goes your 80 hours for the year.
In my personal opinion, if you are interested in career growth and your company doesn’t offer it to you or make an effort to try and retain such a valued and irreplaceable employee, you should be updating your resume. If you are receiving only 80 hours per year for vacation AND sick days, your company is living in 1970. There are many places out there that offer much more. Such as I started earning 106 hours of vacation a year, in addition to sick leave which I could use on medical appointments, etc. After a couple years, I was up to 156 hours a year. In a few more years, I know I could be earning up to 208 hours per year. Also key factor – I can carry over 200 hours per year. A flexible work schedule also allows me to vary my lunch for any type of appointments, so I am able to really bank my sick leave if I had an extended medical leave situation.
Scenario 2: You don’t love your job, but your workplace loves you.
You can’t leave a boss and coworkers that love you and you need THIS job (security) to support your family. However, you wouldn’t stay in a personal relationship if someone made you feel guilty to stay, so why do you do it with your job? My friend, you are going to be miserable. I can speak from personal experience, this is the scenario that affected me the most, and once I finally bit the bullet and left, I was so glad I ended that bad relationship as I wrote about here.
Scenario 3: You don’t love your job, and your workplace doesn’t love you either.
If you are a loyal person, this is going to be a bad situation for you and everyone around you.
You may not notice, but if you are miserable in your job and your workplace is making no effort to improve it, it also affects your personal life. Family may be noticing you are quieter, or withdrawn and seem uninterested in them. Social gatherings are a drag. Your partner may want to go to keep building the friendships, but, in the end they feel guilty for making you go because they could see that your heart wasn’t in it. You may even be lashing out at your partner because of their success or happiness, and you are miserable; any comments about their flexible work schedule, vacation hours and happiness can be taken as a dig. In the end, you have nothing to talk about together. They don’t want to bring up your work, because you hate it, and they don’t want to bring up theirs because they feel stupid for going on about their great work day, or fun things that happen, and it makes you more withdrawn.
And finally, a good work scenario: You love your job, and your workplace loves you.
A good match is when you know you’re awesome at your job, you love what you are doing, and your workplace knows it too. They give random recognition when they can in the form of a certificate (just a piece of paper saying ‘good job, we appreciate you’ can go very far), a 1 hr time off award, treats and investing in your personal growth. I’m not looking for a promotion anytime soon since I just got my new job, but there are still other ways to keep me focused and growing in my career.
For instance, in my article here I mentioned a leadership academy was canceled due to funds this year. However, my boss found an opportunity for me to do a financial review on a sister business in another state. It really only cost them gas and hotel a few nights, but was a wonderful opportunity to see how another place conducted business and learn what they are doing well we could take back, or I could see areas of improvement there.
They also found other funds for me to take a course that was in my individual development plan for almost 10 years at my other workplace, and they are making it happen my first year here.
Overall, a successful career relationship is when you love what your doing, and your workplace loves you back. If you are investing your time there, they should also be investing in you in return. Which scenario above would you fall in and which would you like to be in?