June 15, 2009, 5:00 am

The Relationship with Your Employer is like Having a Girlfriend

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career
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If you have been reading my recent articles, you have notice that I am in the middle of serious negotiation about my salary raise. While I truly believe that I deserve more money, my employer is trying to keep me as an employee for a reduced price (this is a fair game, I would probably do the same if I were them 😉 ).

I had some interesting discussion during my previous weekend at the MBA. While I was receiving job offers from a few other managers, I also spoke with other people working for the same employer as me. One told me that he wouldn’t leave the bank even though they would cut down his income. He just loved the bank. This is where I came with an interesting comparison: having an employer is like having a girlfriend.

You want to make sure she is happy with you

At the very beginning of a relationship, you surely want to make sure the other person is happy with you. You try to do your best everyday, surprise her and you gradually fall in love. Having a job is no different. You make sure that your employer is satisfied with your work and if you want a promotion, you will definitely try to surprise them with great ideas or by working late at night. Gradually, those “extras” comes part of the day to day and you eventually love working for this company.

She invites you home after your date

If you have been nice and funny and if there is a match between the two of you, there are good chances that she invites you home after your date (maybe not after the first one 😉 hahaha). Nonetheless, when there is a “match”, your chance of “having a promotion” is higher ;-).

This is what happens with your employer as well. You may do all the great things in the world, if you do not fit in the employer’s culture they will either notice or you won’t feel good about it. Therefore, your chance of having a promotion and climbing up the stairs for a kiss are pretty small.

Everything goes well but you notice that she doesn’t care that much

Have you ever been in a relationship where you really love the other person but you realize that she doesn’t love you that much? That she prefers hanging out with her girlfriend or she is checking up other guys? If you get to this situation, you have two choices; you talk about it and validate your perception or you look elsewhere too just to see if you would be happy with another girl. Both choices are good solutions, it all depends how the other party react.

The relationship with your employer is pretty much the same. You may feel used or not considered at your fair value. I suggest then that you validate your perception with your manager and see what is coming for you within the company. The other option is to look with other companies if you would be happy working for them.


In both situation (girlfriend or employer), if you take the option #2, you may realize that you can be elsewhere with another person/employer. Temptation is great and today, mobility (in both situations) has never been so easy. Just make sure you make the right choice before going too far 😉

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I love the analogy here. I think a lot of people would do well to heed this wisdom. I have seen on many career forums “My boss doesn’t appreciate me.” My response is generally talk to him/her and/or look else where.

Thanks for the post.

Matt Howland
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