IT Employment

How good can a job be?


Some time ago I was working with a guy who was the business development lead for new ventures and strategic partnerships for his company. It was clear he really enjoyed his job. He was good at it, helping his employer to successfully move into new areas never considered before his arrival. I remarked that it was clear he loved what he was doing. His response was particularly telling:

"John, when things come together, this job is better than sex!"

Ever considered just how seductive the job you do, or the company you work with, can be?

You can have huge praise lauded onto you; raises, bonuses, and promotions. And each action comes with a nice message - "You! You're GREAT! We love what you do around here! We're SO LUCKY to have you! We don't know what we'd do if you ever leave us!"

Pretty heady stuff. It doesn't take long until it starts to feel very nice.

On the other side of your life is the home front; frankly not many folks get those kinds of compliments or that type of praise heaped on them regularly.

In this way and others, companies can romance you. As a result, you can become very emotionally attached to them. And like any affair, this feeling can cause you to lose perspective when considering options - like leaving them.

Recently I was working with a woman employed at a large soft drink company. She'd just been offered a job by a competitor. That job was a significant jump in responsibility - a level that would probably take her a couple of years to reach with her current employer. In addition to a bigger title, the other company was offering a company car which she didn't have now, a much bigger potential bonus, and she could telecommute a couple of days a week if she chose. The last was important because she was a new mom.

Yet she didn't think she should take the offer. When we huddled together to consider the pros and cons; she realized that she wasn't making a lot of sense. However, she justified her thinking by saying that she felt "obliged" to stay at the current place. "They've been good to me in the past, and it's really not that bad currently."

She sounded like a lot of folks contemplating leaving a lover, husband, or girlfriend because the relationship has gone downhill. They usually recall the good things from the past and forget about the other opportunities which may exist to have a happier, more satisfying life with another person. "It's not really that bad..."

In the end, she made the right decision and is very happy. But it wasn't easy for her. And - by the way - that's exactly what companies want you to feel: obliged to them.

They want their best talent feeling loyal and dedicated to them. So they design their comp plans to act like golden handcuffs. Additionally, they may offer two or more incentive programs so it's even harder to walk away.

But in the end, any relationship based on stuff which causes us to temporarily feel good, but doesn't provide any authentic joy and long-term satisfaction, will crater. And if a relationship is going to collapse, it's better that you're the one who walks away first.

john

Leadership Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

32 comments
DMambo
DMambo

But I do go to work more than once a week :(

maecuff
maecuff

complaining about once a week, are you?? My husband's cousin was whining about lack of sex with his wife. He told us it had been 146 days. And that was a month or so ago. Poor guy.

DMambo
DMambo

What's his wife like?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Although it would help if she'd show some enthusiasm. She's better than unaccompanied self-abuse, but most phone sex workers provide more for your money.

jdclyde
jdclyde

some people just....

jdclyde
jdclyde

that most of the ex's wrinkles come from yelling all the time, more than sucking on a smoke all day long. B-) My boys are getting ready to take drivers ed, so I talk with them about what I am doing and why as I drive. I have been careful about how I react to people that cut you off and such. I point out that as long as I assume that everyone else is a complete moron and prepare for it, they have room to get in and won't inconvenence me more than about 10 seconds and I can spare 10 seconds. They piped up "if that was mom, she would be screaming and hitting the steering wheel right now."

maecuff
maecuff

I smoked for years, but I don't have the wrinkle problem. Yet. I'm starting to get a few lines, but for my age, not too bad.

maecuff
maecuff

Appeal to their vanity while they're young. No, the cousin's wife isn't a smoker, but I don't think her mom taught her about moisturizer. And yes, of course she drives a mini-van. We both had kids just a few months apart and she really played the comparison game with them. My son is a few months older, so he passed milestones before her son did. Okay, in some cases, it was waaaay before her son did. I could handle that part, I figured it was her problem. However, for my son's 2nd birthday, she gave him a toy with small pieces meant for older kids saying "Well, it's Joey and he's so advanced, I thought he could handle it." I gave it back to her and explained that while Joey WAS advanced, he could still choke to death. We're not really friends.

jdclyde
jdclyde

I didn't know you had family in Michigan. And come to think of it, my ex (while wearing a ring) must have [i]forgotten[/i] to invite me to the wedding? :0 Also having Mambos said "smokers delight" of the early wrinkles. Not that I delight in the early aging of someone that doesn't have a personality to fall back on should start looking rough..... :D :^0

DMambo
DMambo

Does she smoke? Nothing ages a lady faster than having smoke roll up her face 20-30 times a day. That's one of my weapons for keeping my kids from smoking. I introduced them to a lady here at work. She's about 45, but smokes a couple of packs a day and her face looks like the @ss of an elephant who has lost 300 lbs. It left my girls with emotional scars, the good kind.

maecuff
maecuff

She's an uptight b*tch. But that's just my opinion. :) Physically? Average. Slim, aging a bit too quickly. Wears soccer mom clothes.

LarryBoy2
LarryBoy2

It has been rightly stated that no one is ever known to have said, at the end of one's days in this life, "I wish I'd spent more time at work."

DMambo
DMambo

I'll bet a lot of people say "I wish I'd spent more time having sex"!!!

gadgetgirl
gadgetgirl

There are VERY few things in this life that are better than sex, and work just [B]AIN'T [/B] one of 'em. Remember the old adage: Work to live, don't live to work. If work gets to that stage and impacts, through indecision, it's time to get a life. (Personally, that's this years' New Years Resolution: change jobs, change home and GET a life!) GG

DadsPad
DadsPad

The sex reply sound flipant, unless the real action was at work. :D Actually, to people in a job they enjoy and people they enjoy working with, can become like a family extention, or better. So it is much better to have a good home life and a good work life. Kind of balances things.

shaky1967
shaky1967

We definitely need balance, but I would much prefer regular good sex (at home or at the office -I don't much care, as long as it's good). Are there still actual companies who treat you that well out there at this day in age? Nowadays, it seems that when it gets to the point that things are so bad you want to leave the company -and you give your notice (two weeks or whatever), the next thing you know there's a police officer & a H.R. person standing beside your desk asking you for keys, blackberry, passkey, ID, etc. Then they escort you out of the building and tell you that they'll call you when you can come to pick up your personal things (after they have gone through everything to make sure that you're not stealing company effects). There is no love, no "what can we do to make you feel better?" or "what reason do you have for leaving" or whatever -not anymore, we're all expendable now.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"...I would much prefer regular good sex (at home or at the office -I don't much care, as long as it's good)." I can only remember one occasion when it was only OK. My wife agreed so we left that sofa behind when we moved. Other than that it's always been at least 'good'.

maecuff
maecuff

If work is better than sex, then you either have a VERY stimulating job, or, your sex life needs some improvement. GG..good luck with getting a life! I'm going to stick with finding contentment with where I am now (a hard task) and losing a little weight.

jdclyde
jdclyde

If your job is better than sex, clearly you are NOT doing the sex part correctly. John, you DO know it is better when your not alone, right? ;\

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

There is some truth to it. Sometimes you do feel appreciated more at work than home. But I agree with you; Work to live not live to work.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

.. work is life. To get paid for doing what I enjoy doing most in life .. IS life. I used to be envious of professional footballers back home. They make a fortune for doing what I would pay to do in my spare time. I have found a job that allows me to have fun and get paid for it. That's life. Les.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

do you work to live? Or do you live to work? :)

Canuckster
Canuckster

Unless you work in the sex trade.

shady108
shady108

id hate to see the women youve been sleeping with :)

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I haven't read the article yet, but whatever it is can't be better than sex. :) The only thing in life better than sex are your children...which are a direct product of said sex, so sex is still on top. Was that a pun? :)

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

.. given the choice between my current job and sex, i'll take my job. Is that sad? I love my job, it's less emotional than sex and doesn't make anywhere as much mess. Les.

jdclyde
jdclyde

No big deal, until your not getting any..... :0

shaky1967
shaky1967

Just how much mess do you make, and can you expand on how?

Editor's Picks