Career focussed at a young age and relationships (1 Viewer)

seremify007

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I found this on LinkedIn and despite being American it really resonated with me and my ups and downs when I was in Uni and trying to meet someone. It also reflected on maybe how my ego felt at times thinking about my early start on a cadetships as well as my initial inability to realise everyone runs a different race. All in all, an interesting view from the other side of the table and hopefully helps provide some insight and maybe wisdom to those with career front of mind and assuming that it's the benchmark by which all success is measured.

I was going to post this on the commerce board given the high number of people looking up cadetships, scholarships, co op, BAcc and the like, but it really applies to anyone.

On Our Third Date He Said 'My Career Comes First' - Forbes

I lived in Chicago in my twenties. My friend Angelica took me to a party at her brother’s house and there I met her brother’s friend, named Joel.

Joel was about my age, twenty-three or twenty-four.

He worked in downtown Chicago at a tax and audit firm. At that time I had no idea what a tax and audit firm was.

Joel was funny and smart. He liked some of the same things I did – books and theater and film.

On our first date, Joel and I went to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant. Vietnamese food was a new phenomenon in Chicago back then.

We took a cab from the restaurant to my apartment, where Joel dropped me off.

“Are you free next weekend?” he asked me. “I don’t think I have anything scheduled,” I said.

On our second date we went to a movie. A couple of weeks went by and then Joel called me again.

“Want to go to a lobster boil with me?” he asked. I said I would. I had never been to a lobster boil before.

I asked my friend Nina for advice.

“This guy Joel is nice,” I said, “but he’s pretty buttoned-down. That’s okay I guess, but he’s a very serious person for his age.

“I’m spontaneous. I like to go out dancing and sit on the rocks by the lake at two in the morning. I’m not sure Joel is that kind of person.”

“How did he ask you out those three times?” asked Nina. “Do you and Joel talk on the phone between dates?”

“No,” I said. “The first time, Joel got my phone number at Angelica’s brother’s party and he called me the next day to ask me to dinner.

“We had a nice time. We didn’t kiss or anything. Then he called me a week later and asked me to the movie – same thing. Then he called me a third time and we went to the lobster party and that time he drove his car, because the party was in the suburbs. He dropped me off and gave me a peck on the cheek.”

“Are you into this guy?” asked Nina.

“I’m not sure,” I said. “He’s smart and he has a sense of humor, but he’s very stiff at the same time. Maybe he’ll relax over time. I don’t know if I want to invest the time to find out. He’s a good-looking guy but I can’t say there’s any spark between us.”

“Why not go out with him one more time and lay a little reality on him?” asked Nina.

“Just be yourself. Tell him that three-quarters of your friends are gay and that you’re a party girl at night even though you have a responsible job in the daytime. Invite him to come hear you sing opera at a punk rock bar at three in the morning sometime.”

“That’s a good idea,” I said. “If I want him to loosen up I need to loosen up, myself.”

Joel called me a fourth time and asked me to meet him for coffee.

I walked to a coffee shop in Lincoln Park and met him on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

“Look, Liz,” said Joel, “before we go any further in this relationship, I need to tell you something.”

Yikes, I thought. This could be interesting! I couldn’t wait to hear whatever Joel wanted to tell me. Maybe he had a secret side that I hadn’t seen before.

“Here’s what it is,” said Joel. “I’m very serious about my job. If you’re going to be my girlfriend, you need to know that my career comes first.”

“I have to be honest,” I said. “I don’t understand why we are talking about this. I haven’t called you once. Have I been bothering you or making any demands on you?”

I was confused. I didn’t understand where Joel was coming from.

“No, of course not,” said Joel. “It’s just that my job asks a lot from me. My social life is less important than my career is at this point.”

“Okay!” I said. “That’s fine. You have to live your life. I think it’s great that you have a job you love.”

“I didn’t say I love my job,” said Joel. “It’s just that I’m paying my dues. I have to invest the hard work now to rise in the corporation in the future.”

“Cool,” I said. I was bored. I wanted to leave and take another long walk.

“I only mention this,” Joel continued, “because we’ve had three dates and you’re cute and the next step would be for us to be a couple. I assume I’ve passed your boyfriend test, since you’re here today.

“I assume I’m successful enough for you – is that right? I told you I have a good job at an international firm. I’m definitely on a career track – future executive material!”

“Successful enough?” I asked. “What made you think I care about whether someone is successful in the business world, or not?

“You’re the first business guy I’ve ever dated. I’ve dated out-of-work actors and punk rockers. My boyfriend in New York was a bartender. I couldn’t care less whether a guy is successful in business, or not!”

“A bartender?” gaped Joel.

I thought about Nina telling me to get real with Joel the next time I saw him. I thought it was funny that he reacted more strongly to the bartender reference than to my punk rock and out-of-work actor stories.

“Yes,”I said. “I dated a guy named Richie in New York. He’s a bartender and a screenwriter. He saved me from a huge New York City rat that was racing toward me as we stepped out of McSorley’s Old Ale House one night when I was slightly tipsy.”

“I assumed you would care whether or not a guy is successful,” said Joel in a wounded tone, and a maternal feeling leapt in my heart.

I felt sorry for him. “Everybody has a different definition for success,” I said.

“I care about whether someone is doing what they love and enjoying life. I don’t care about money and titles. Those things are boring. People who care about their titles are the most boring people on the planet.”

“Well, do you want to go out with me or not?” asked Joel, out of sorts now.

“You’re awesome, Joel, and I know you’ll meet the right person,” I said.

“I’m not the right girl for you. I like to stay up all night and dance in gay clubs and take spur-of-the-moment road trips.”

“Wow, I had no idea,” said Joel. “I thought you were a career-minded professional person, like me.”

“Who said I’m not?” I asked as I rose from my chair, grabbed my purse and headed for the door. The sun was still shining. “Good luck in your career advancement, and thanks again for coffee!”

The guy’s name was not actually Joel of course, but I can’t remember what his name was.

I would have liked to look him up on LinkedIn and find out what he’s doing now.

Did he make partner at his firm, or quit his job one day to follow some other passion? Unless I remember his name one day, I’ll never know.

Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Follow her on Twitter @humanworkplace.
Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/12/12/on-our-third-date-he-said-my-career-comes-first/


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Katsumi

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I remember going through a phase like this at one point. It's hard, but it's very easy to believe that others judge you in the same way that you judge yourself. This is of course not true

Nice find
 

seremify007

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I remember going through a phase like this at one point. It's hard, but it's very easy to believe that others judge you in the same way that you judge yourself. This is of course not true

Nice find
It really resonated with me from when I was a cadet (at times). Yes I had an ego and thought it made me invincible. Glad I got humbled sooner rather than later.
 

enoilgam

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I love Liz Ryan, I pretty much read every article of hers on LinkedIn - even though she has a very distinct style, I didn't realise it was her until the final line.

It was a good read, but I dont necessarily disagree with Joel's approach. True, he probably was a big arrogant, but at least he was straight up and honest. From a personal standpoint, Im not very invested in my career as I see it really as a means to an ends and nothing more. For some people though, career advancement is a big deal and I dont necessarily think there is anything wrong with that (even though I dont think that way).
 

seremify007

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I totally forgot about this article and just happened to see it... it's interesting because I hear my friends being offered decent jobs requiring them to move overseas but the relationships/significant others cause them to think twice and prioritise.

Based on my limited sample, I observed the couples which broke up to pursue their career objectives were more likely to be junior roles whereas some of my older and more (professionally) experienced friends in the >$180k category declined to take on jobs which would force them to do long distance or be apart from their significant others.
 

Chronost

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I totally forgot about this article and just happened to see it... it's interesting because I hear my friends being offered decent jobs requiring them to move overseas but the relationships/significant others cause them to think twice and prioritise.

Based on my limited sample, I observed the couples which broke up to pursue their career objectives were more likely to be junior roles whereas some of my older and more (professionally) experienced friends in the >$180k category declined to take on jobs which would force them to do long distance or be apart from their significant others.
To add with my limited experience,


A very close family friend of mine used to work at a top tier MC firm, around the same time he also started having kids. He managed to do it for a few years and then quit to take on CFO,CEO roles at start ups, small listed etc as less means of travelling...but that was still overseas. Eventually his wife (now ex), basically couldn't stand it and told him to quit which he did, and he settled to just become a GP (he did his MD before doing an MBA at a Go8 which got him the MC job) - you figure he probably could've retired by now and/or having a very nice executive role (Board Director cruisy life anyone?) if he didn't quit (having that top tier MC and MBA pedigree plus around 20 years experience from when he started),but had to settle for something else.

That being said he is a bit of an exception because he switched to a GP role which it's nature isn't just around money but of course helping people, and he enjoys that part of work, so he'll probably work past retirement age anyway. He basically makes only slightly more as he did at the end of his business career

The point of the above is that family definitely takes a toll on someone's career path or can at least delay it in many circumstances - I guess you need the right/understanding partner and what your personal values are (i.e are you willing to sacrifice some of the time of your child's early years to progress in your career, or do you want be heavily involved in it as a parent)


Even without children, circumstances,values etc.. can make your career a second priority to other things in life.
 

seremify007

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To add with my limited experience,


A very close family friend of mine used to work at a top tier MC firm, around the same time he also started having kids. He managed to do it for a few years and then quit to take on CFO,CEO roles at start ups, small listed etc as less means of travelling...but that was still overseas. Eventually his wife (now ex), basically couldn't stand it and told him to quit which he did, and he settled to just become a GP (he did his MD before doing an MBA at a Go8 which got him the MC job) - you figure he probably could've retired by now and/or having a very nice executive role (Board Director cruisy life anyone?) if he didn't quit (having that top tier MC and MBA pedigree plus around 20 years experience from when he started),but had to settle for something else.

That being said he is a bit of an exception because he switched to a GP role which it's nature isn't just around money but of course helping people, and he enjoys that part of work, so he'll probably work past retirement age anyway. He basically makes only slightly more as he did at the end of his business career

The point of the above is that family definitely takes a toll on someone's career path or can at least delay it in many circumstances - I guess you need the right/understanding partner and what your personal values are (i.e are you willing to sacrifice some of the time of your child's early years to progress in your career, or do you want be heavily involved in it as a parent)


Even without children, circumstances,values etc.. can make your career a second priority to other things in life.
Wait maybe I misinterpreted this but are you saying he gave up some great opportunities and unfortunately things still did not work out at home for him? That's a shame :(

I'd also say priorities change as you get older. I used to think it was career or nothing but now I'm a little more balanced.
 

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Wait maybe I misinterpreted this but are you saying he gave up some great opportunities and unfortunately things still did not work out at home for him? That's a shame :(

I'd also say priorities change as you get older. I used to think it was career or nothing but now I'm a little more balanced.
It was kind of like he wanted to continue onto the business path at the time, but his now ex wife had enough of his travels and told him to come back home and for the kids (fair enough), so he took a different career path - it didn't work out with her, but it did work out for him on a job basis, he did have a "what if this and this happened" moment though.
 

Rhinoz8142

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We can't really say who is the bad person in this role, can we ? I mean with Joel, we have to give him the credit that he is dedicated to something and that he finally found his passion. With Liz, she sorta did the right thing to let him go. I guess everyone is different and that no one is the same.
 

seremify007

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We can't really say who is the bad person in this role, can we ? I mean with Joel, we have to give him the credit that he is dedicated to something and that he finally found his passion. With Liz, she sorta did the right thing to let him go. I guess everyone is different and that no one is the same.
Maybe there is no 'good' or 'bad' person.
 

si2136

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Honestly, I am a really ambitious person. I have a lot of philosophical, financial and romantic goals which I would like to achieve, getting into a top tier firm with a stable job is my first aim. I've always had high expectations for myself, it's a bad mindset, but I wouldn't accept any job lower than a specified income in Uni. For example, my first job wasn't any fast food store at all, but Officeworks.

In contrary, I don't give a crap about reputation, but I do care about getting the respect that I desire. Hard to grasp, but retiring early is my goal. And Prop. or HFT is a good way in doing this.

People have told me to be realistic and such, but little do they know how much knowledge I know much more than them at such a young age :rotfl:
 

Simorgh

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I have a lot of philosophical, financial and romantic goals which I would like to achieve, getting into a top tier firm with a stable job is my first aim.
Ooh la la tell us more?
 

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