As another workweek draws to a close, I am reminded of one of my favorite phrases: “Mo’ money, Mo’ problems”.
But… not really. Whoever believes that having more money would really be a problem is a liar. I enjoy nice things. So, in order to finance these things, I gotta’ bring in that money. At this point in my life I was pretty convinced I would already be married and living off my rich, powerful, and sensitive Alpha Male’s steady income (not to mention, his health benefits). But, since I’ve woken up from that dream, I have to pick myself out of bed every morning and hoof it to my job. Let’s discuss the difference a job and a career.
Careers define you. A career is what you’ve always wanted to do. When people ask, “Now dear, what do you do for a living?”, you are able to actually smile and truthfully tell them. You go to work satisfied and you can see yourself doing this for years to come. There is a sense of stability, plus room for advancement. Obviously, not every day, every week, or even every year, within your career will be sunshine and butterflies. However, you are as close as you are going to get to perfection. *Bonus: In this perfect world, your expensive college degree helped launch you into this career.
Jobs, on the other hand, are soul-suckers. A routine morning while working your job most likely includes pulling crinkly pants out of the dryer and pouring yourself a gallon of coffee five minutes before you head out the door. You don’t tell anyone what your true job title is. For example, if you are a cashier at a coffee shop, you tell everyone that you are in finance. Cashier, money… Money, finance… Sort-of see the connection? Anyway, while driving to your job, stuck in rush hour traffic, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the review mirror. You worry your whole life is passing you by and you wipe one stray tear off your cheek. This tear represents your hopes and dreams. In layman’s terms, jobs suck.
I like to think others are stuck in this rut between jobs and careers. I like to think many people are confused about what the future will bring. I also choose to believe there are others out there who put on their armor and head out each day to charge the battlefield.
As you are probably aware, this professional battlefield is riddled with bosses and co-workers. These bosses and co-workers come in many different variations and here is my two-cents…
Bosses: We’ve all experienced the goofy Michael Scott’s, the Office Space inspired Lumbergs, the tyrant Miranda Priestly’s and the ever-so-greedy Mr. Burns’s at the workplace. If you are blessed enough to have an amazing boss, count your lucky stars. The boss is the commander of the workplace, they give orders, determine camaraderie, and choose who lives and who dies. There are several different types of bosses you will encounter in the workforce.
Best Buds Boss: This boss wants nothing more than to be liked. This boss wants the 411 (they’ll, of course, use annoying catch phrases like 411) and will do anything to be on the inside of an inside joke. They are constantly walking around laughing in the middle of conversations they were not apart of, popping their nose over your cube to seeing what your plans are for lunch, and always refers to themselves as the cool boss. And as you know, the cool boss never has to refer to themself as the cool boss. Although this boss can be annoying at times, it is definitely the lesser of the boss evils.
The Dictator: Although you have worked there for 5 years, this boss still doesn’t know your name. You give them undeserved credit for somewhat knowing your name. Example if your name is Jane you also go by Joan, Jess, Jamie, Jenny, and your personal favorite Michelle. You are convinced this boss was born with a permanent scowl tattooed on their face. You live in constant fear of the day they crack a smile because it probably means you’re dead or in some alternate universe. This boss doesn’t know how to do anything around the office. You and your co-workers have absolutely no idea how they got promoted or even hired in the first place. These bosses are amazing at delegation. They delegate their job to you. It is important not to quickly finish up your daily tasks because this boss will not reward you for getting done early and send you home — They will remind you of that 200 slide PowerPoint they need from you for their presentation. While working for this boss, you spend your time daydreaming of the Christmas Eve when your boss is visited by three ghosts and miraculously awakes the next day a change person. Hang in there daydream-believer, it could happen.
An Officer and a Gentleman: This is the boss you respect. You look at this boss as a mentor and they not only make you better at what you do but they push you to be the best you can be. You’ll bend over backwards for this boss. (No, not in bed – Even if you might want to). These bosses are usually the main reason you have stuck by this dead-end job for six years and counting. You dread the day this boss gets married and you have to change jobs due to emotional distress.
Co-workers: These are the people you were not given the chance to choose nor did you ask for them to be in your life. You are paid to interact with these people 40+ hours a week and even if you were paid in gold, you’re still not sure if it would be worth it. Yes, sometimes you do have those co-workers that become outside-of-the-office friends, but that is a rare blessing. (Note: The following descriptions are designed with the single gal in mind – You’ll understand, keep reading)
Here’s the starting lineup for your office:
Mother Goose: This co-worker has married off all seven of her children and made you her next conquest. As soon as she finds out you’re single, she will deliver you a daily list of her available nephews, neighbors, the mail guy, and even the bagger at the grocery store whom you are convinced is only 14. She’ll give you that awkward winky-face whenever a cute guy walks in and will slyly ask about his wife/girlfriend/fiancé to check on his relationship status. Even though she brings the thought of your single-ness to the forefront of your mind on a daily basis, you know that she means well and plus, she is one of the few people out there truly trying to help you snag a husband. *Bonus: You don’t mind her homemade treats and dishes she brings to the potlucks.
Miss Off-The-Market: This co-worker will sow her wild oats by living vicariously through your dating faux pas. She laughs hysterically at your single gal stories and is the first one to ask how that ‘big date’ went. This one always makes you feel like a dating warrior when she asks questions or makes statements such as: “I don’t know how you do it, I’d be so lonely!”, “I’ve just never been single, so I don’t know what its like!”, or “You just do whatever you want, whenever you want?” These comments, again, bring the fact that you are single to the forefront of your mind on a daily basis. It’s fun to talk to these people because they seem to have a slight twinge of jealousy about your solo-riding life.
Mr. Off-The-Market: While you gaze upon this guy as a success story for some other female out there, he sees you as, Seabiscuit, a horse with a bum leg who should just be put out of her misery. To him, you’re past your prime. In his opinion, if you haven’t been scooped up yet, you ain’t neva gonna get scooped up. He views your funny dating stories as a stairway to bitter spinsterhood. He is quick to give examples of how his girlfriend is superior in every possible way to you. This guy doesn’t understand how you manage to survive without a male presence in your live. Your goal in life is to prove him wrong.
Mr. Office Casanova: This is the guy you fell in love with on the first day on the job. Of course, you didn’t act on it because you’re a classy lady. This guy knows how to work the crowd around the water cooler. This is the guy the other guys look up to and the guy all the girls shamelessly flirt with. None of the women in the office truly want to start a full-fledged relationship with Mr. Office Casanova, but they want him to want them. This guy is the Venus flytrap — Alluring at first, but if you get too close you’re gonna get snapped at. Be careful with this one, I’m 99% sure he has an STD from Lisa in accounting who always has lipstick on her teeth and wears work inappropriate outfits.
Mr. Prince Charming: This is the guy you wake up and go to work for everyday. You get the butterflies when this guy is around and you always go home and tell your friends stories detailing how he stopped by your desk and told you a funny story or gave you a piece of gum (Such special moments). This guy is on a pedestal you will never climb. Every weekend you tell yourself that you’re over him and that this week you will just look at him strictly as a friend… Then Monday rolls around and he is somehow holding a baby at work and he looks so completely adorable it makes your uterus skip a beat. Andddd you’re sucked right back in.
…There are many other work place people and dilemmas I will be discussing, so keep an eye out for Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems Part II.