Some People Just Want to be WANTED!

Some People Just Want to be WANTED!

I’m reminded of a true story that highlights the similarities between an individual’s employer relationship and their romantic relationships. Let me explain. . .

Have you ever had a friend who constantly complained about their romantic partner, but they refused to get out of the relationship?  Often, these individuals are just attempting to change him/her, instead of simply breaking off the relationship to find someone more compatible!

This is what psychologists would call a dysfunctional relationship! Now, I’m no psychologist, although recruiter is fairly close, but this seems like a very unproductive, unhealthy way to run your personal life. Unfortunately, I see that same dynamic with some people with their professional lives. And this story involves a friend of mine who we’ll call, Helen. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent)

Helen has been a retail store manager for over 10 years for the same, retail company. Since I’ve known her, she has complained bitterly about the company, her boss, how they refuse to promote her because she is a woman, and how she never gets the respect or recognition she deserves! Her more recent complaint is about how the company hired someone from the outside, for the Regional Manager role, instead of promoting her into the position.  She clearly feels unappreciated, disrespected, undervalued and overlooked!” Then, one day, BAM… out of nowhere, the owner of a very successful, competing company calls and recruits her for a (you guessed it) Regional Manager role! So if you were friends with Helen, at this point, you would be thinking how fantastic it is that she has an offer for the position and title she has wanted.  But alas, not quite… After weeks of jerking the potential employer around, Helen stayed at her current job! Why?  Because of her codependent relationship with them, she reveled in the drama of being wanted by another company, waived it in her employer’s face, and they temporarily, they made her feel valued, wanted and respected with a small pay increase and a different title. But they were still unable to give her the regional manager position she really wanted.  You see, deep down, she wants to change them. But it didn’t work, and in fact, it probably made her current boss feel blackmailed.  Getting a counter offer was a huge ego boost.  Let’s face it… It feels great to be wanted, right? But remember, that’s only temporary, and if you stay, like Helen did, it will most definitely be business as usual in a short period of time. Just like in romantic relationships, you have the need to feel respected, valued and appreciated in your job.  And it’s important for you to be able to identify the difference between temporary frustrations, which accompany all jobs, and circumstances that truly justify making a change.

When an opportunity to make a move crosses your path, simply examine your motives. You may even enlist the help of your closest friends and family to provide input on how often you complain or appear unhappy. Ask yourself…why are you interested in interviewing for this new job? Is it going to move you closer to your career goals? Improve your work/life balance? OR . . . Do you just want to be wanted?

If you decide it’s time to leave, and the opportunity is right for you, it’s important to be committed to your decision and resign, without getting your ego caught up in wanting to be wanted.  Otherwise, you’ll burn bridges with the potential employer, and your current employer won’t trust you, as they did before. You see. . . regardless of pay increase and title change to get Helen to stay, her current employer won’t take long to disappoint her again.  And Helen will feel those old familiar feelings of being disrespected, undervalued and unappreciated.