As Valentine’s Day comes to a close, romantic relationships are very top of mind. While we hope for everyone to find happiness through a significant other (or on your own), the sad truth is that many people are not. Similarly, we find that many people are also unhappy at their current jobs. What you might not realize is that there are actually several similarities between a bad job and a bad romance – and thankfully many are avoidable. Since both work and love are incredibly important pillars in your life, we’ll break apart the common characteristics to empower you to find excellence and balance across the board.
A bad job and a bad relationship are fueled by a common source: a lack of appreciation. Whether it’s your manager not acknowledging your hard work, or your significant other taking you for granted, it all leads to the same results – a dissatisfied partner or employee. If you’re a people manager, take close note – personal recognition is the #1 motivator for employee performance (even ahead of increased pay), and a Blueboard survey found that 62% of employees are unsatisfied with their current recognition program (so it may be time to give yours a quick once-over).
When you’re involved in a negative relationship with your partner or career, it’s common to experience social isolation. It can be hard to find people who relate to your exact situation, which can make you feel alone and even start to withdraw from social situations to protect yourself from disappointment. You probably complain constantly about how awful your boss or boyfriend is and allow your negativity to spill over into your interactions with friends and family, which causes them to further withdraw. This type of isolation can be difficult to cope with, especially when it happens during a time when you really need support from your loved ones.
When you don’t trust the person you work for or are romantically involved with, you won’t feel safe openly discussing your problems with them, which inevitably leads to secrets being formed. This can manifest itself in the form of snooping through your partner’s phone or secretly searching for other jobs and will always cause a lingering tension between both parties. And your manager and significant other aren’t oblivious – they’ll sense that you’re withdrawn or hiding something and may grow increasingly suspicious of your actions, which only further exacerbates the problem.
Obviously, a bad job and a bad romance both lead to unhappiness. What may not be as obvious are the detrimental side effects that this unhappiness can have on your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Recent studies have shown that this kind of stress can lead to lack of sleep, unhealthy fluctuations in weight and susceptibility to illnesses. So even though your dissatisfaction stems from a specific source, it can easily spill over and significantly lower your quality of life. Social Media Today shares that 88% of employees DON’T have a passion for work – which can be incredibly detrimental for an entire company. It’s the responsibility of managers and human resources to take drastic action should you find your team to be in this state of mind.
So it’s up to you to make a choice – stay or leave: If you’re reading this now and realizing you’re not your happiest self, it’s up to you to instigate change. You can try to find the good in your job or partner and find ways to improve your situation. Or you can move on to the next phase of your life. While it can be incredibly scary to think about the latter, you ultimately have to decide what’s best for yourself. If you stay, do you genuinely believe your employer or partner values you enough to change their ways? Are the problems in your relationship easily fixed through communication, or are they a result of deeper, core compatibility issues? Is this your first time trying to manage this conflict, or are the issues repeating events? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself before making a final decision.