You think you know, but you don’t…

My husband has a friend who is the same age as us…*cough*…in his 40s…*cough*, but whose life has very little resemblance to ours.  He is single, a party-er, a spender, and has a dog.

Absolutely no judgement on his lifestyle.  Well, that’s not true.  I pretty much judge everyone, but what I meant was that it’s his life – he can live it the way he wants if that’s what makes him happy.  Except that I don’t believe he is happy.  Or at least he’s lonely.

I’ve listened to him talk about the kind of life he would like to have, the kind of woman he would like to be in a relationship and have a family with, and what kind of person he would then be.

The problem, as I see, it is that his current lifestyle is not reflective of what he wants his future lifestyle to be.  And my argument to him is that his ideal woman/future mother of his children is not likely hanging out at the bars and pubs he frequents…and if she happens to be there one night, she is not likely going to be attracted to a stumbling, cursing, loud-mouth guy hanging with the boys.

I suggested that maybe he needs to start doing the kind of things he wants to be doing NOW, instead of waiting until he has met Miss Right.  Seriously – if you want to attract a stable with minimal baggage partner who is interested in the same type of relationship that you are, then you need to start acting the part.

And I see this at work, particularly during interviews for internal competitions.  Employees will sit there and tell us how they want to take all these courses, get an MBA, work on challenging projects, learn the business, build their network…if they get that next level job.

What?!

Are you are telling me that you know what you need to do and how to do it, but unless there is a real possibility that you are going to be promoted, you aren’t going to make the extra effort?

Do you realize that if you were to start taking those part-time classes or asking your manager to get involved with that project or talking to people in other departments about what it is they do…if you were to do these things BEFORE a job opportunity comes up…yes BEFORE…then you would actually be in a better position to actually get the job.

  • Initiative: check
  • Self-directed: check
  • Project experience: check
  • Business knowledge: check
  • Good a building relations: check

Damn, that looks pretty damn impressive.  I’m thinking less about how much of a risk and the length of ramp up time with someone who takes responsibility for their career development.

But unfortunately some people need to have their feet to the fire to motivate them to change.  I’ll slow down on the partying when I meet the woman of my dreams, I’ll quit smoking if she wants me to, I’ll act like a mature adult only when I have to…

…and really, you don’t have to.

But let me warn you that your decision to maintain status quo until you HAVE to change doesn’t demonstrate adaptability (as you like to think it does), it tell me that you are just waiting for things to happen to you instead of making them happen for you.

And quite honestly, any woman (or job opportunity) worth waiting for is not interested in that kind of attitude.

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