Working for a company can seem a lot like being in a romantic relationship. You go to a job interview that resembles a first date and are asked questions about yourself, your background and history, your interests, and your hopes for the future. You have to decide whether to commit to this job position or look elsewhere.
This Psychology Today article even compares hating your job and feeling exhausted at just the thought of going into the office every day to needing to escape an unhealthy partnership. For better or worse, your commitment to the company you are a part of is the most significant in your life. Check out these 5 signs you’re in a relationship with the company you work for and see if you relate.
1. There's a honeymoon period
Our feelings toward our jobs always start out very positive. We go for the interview, answer the questions well, are comfortable and feel a connection with the people who are interviewing us and whom we would be working for or with. We receive the phone call that we’ve landed the coveted position and we jump for joy (or at least smile a lot). We go into our first day at the office feeling hopeful and optimistic and ready for the challenge. Then the dullness of each day sets in, the novelty wears off, and we can get bogged down by how hard we’re working and start to dislike the very job that we loved so much in the first place.
This is common in many romantic relationships as well. Any romantic partnership will begin with both parties being completely excited and enthralled with each other. Then, reality sets in and what is referred to as "the honeymoon period" occurs. The term "honeymoon" comes from two Old English words and literally translates to "the indefinite period of tenderness and pleasure experienced by a newly wed couple" that will go away after a short period of time. In general, you’re supposed to experience this period for 3-6 months of a new relationship, and then you start seeing the cracks and flaws. The same is true of your job.
2. It takes you for granted sometimes
Have you ever stayed late at the office only to get zero recognition? Or spent all weekend slaving away at home working on a presentation and have another colleague take credit for it? Unfortunately, life isn’t fair, and the working life isn’t always fair, either.
In love and in work, you have to do things that you don’t necessarily want to, and that won’t give you any bonus points but which you do anyway. If your partner is sick, you make them chicken soup. If you have a live-in boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, you probably do the dishes and clean the bathroom at least sometimes, or all the time, depending on how you’ve divided up the chores.
Your partner should say thank you, of course, but life happens, and people get busy and sometimes these nice things just get taken for granted, expected and ultimately ignored. The same happens at the office. You could get your boss an extra coffee one morning or attend a conference or work all weekend at a company event. You won’t always get a thank you or even some acknowledgment. The extra work, after all, is part of your job description.
3. You can never truly leave it
Our modern lives are busier and crazier than ever. Thanks to the fact that we check our emails 24/7 and are always looking at our smartphones or social media, we can never truly unplug or leave the office. Even if we’re sitting at home, we are just a click or email away from being right back at our cubicle or desk. We even take our iPhones on beach vacations with us, unable to stop checking in with work.
It’s the same when we’re in a romantic relationship. At least in the beginning, we are constantly checking our phones to see if our new love interests have texted us, and we’re in constant need of contact.
And even if we do take the leap and quit our job in order to find a position that we’re much happier in, we will always have the lingering memories of our past position, much like a bad break-up that keeps running through our minds. It’s even harder to forget your old job if you still have a friend or two that work there, as they will always keep you updated on everything from company news to office gossip. And you can’t help but be curious about the person who has filled your position, even though you know you shouldn’t be asking.
4. It will keep you up at night
If you’re going through an overwhelming period at the office, you can bet you won’t be sleeping much or at all. Work stress is a huge problem. A 2006 survey from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America discovered that stress affects 72 percent of those living in the United States every day and changes how they function "at least moderately." Nothing will give you insomnia like being overworked, being overwhelmed in your job, feeling like the workload is endless and/or dealing with a political or social issue at the office that has your power and job position being put in jeopardy.
Just as a bad work situation will make it guaranteed that you won’t sleep, so will a relationship problem. We put a lot of ourselves into our partnerships and when something isn’t right, it has a terrible effect of us. Making us lie awake in bed tossing and turning, wondering if we can solve the problem or what we can possibly do.
5. You will give 100 percent and more
It’s a modern reality that we don’t just do one job now -- our positions often involve the responsibilities and tasks of several people. To survive in the working world, you will, of course, accept that and do your job to the best of your ability. You will get in early and stay late. You will make an effort to get to know your coworkers in order to feel more like part of a community and in order to foster more harmony when you need to work with someone else on a project. You will gladly attend any Friday night happy hour or weekend company event. You will go the extra mile and ask your manager if there is anything else you can do.
You will also give as much of yourself to your romantic relationship. You will meet your spouse’s parents, siblings and extended family. You will offer to help their mother. You will meet their friends and take an interest in their lives. You will try any hobby or interest that your partner enjoys because you don’t want to be left out, you want to stay connected to them, and ultimately you want the relationship to succeed.
See Also: 10 Reasons Why You Need to Love Your Job
Do you ever feel like you’re in a relationship with the company that you worked for? Perhaps you relate to these 5 signs that you are in a committed partnership. There are many ways that your job and romantic life mirror each other, and at the end of the day, you have to decide if either is worth putting all of your effort into.