I thought I was in the professional relationship of my dreams … then things started to change…
I went through a professional break-up earlier this week…
The company and I decided to part ways. The company, let’s call it Brad, and I had been dating for just over three years.
Brad was nice at first and full of cool opportunities. “You’ll meet a ton of new clients if you date me,” Brad said. “Think of all the exposure!”
Brad buttered me up quite a bit too. “You are exactly what we’re looking for – tons of corporate management experience and perspective we want. Plus, you’re a great presenter,” Brad would text me over-and-over.
It was great dating Brad for a while.
I did meet a lot of interesting professionals dating Brad. Got to travel a little bit too (in coach, though – Brad was kind of cheap haha).
Things were good. Brad was contributing a lot to my experience and a lot to my checking account as well.
Then things started to change with Brad. About 6 months ago in the Spring of this year.
Brad started to ghost me. Brad started to get selfish. Brad started to become a jerk.
I spoke to Brad’s dad (the guy in charge) about the situation and that’s when it really hit me: Brad’s entire family is full of jerks! Their values (turned-out) were not in alignment with how I like to operate as a person.
Now even though I’m a Scorpio (you can wish me happy birthday later), I pride myself on patience, benefit-of-the-doubt, and forgiveness. That’s exactly what I did with Brad and his extended family – even though they were operating in conflict to my values (integrity, authenticity, fairness, and fun) I was going to give them another chance.
Brad was a pretty popular guy and you guys know I’m, well, not…
So, I continued to date Brad throughout the summer. Man, it was tough though – I started down the path of disengagement…
Because my values were at conflict with how Brad viewed our relationship, I never felt good. The relationship never felt the same after the Spring. My blood would boil at any wrong move. I felt “weird” being in a relationship where it felt so one-sided. I wondered if this would ever get better.
I thought it was me.
Brad asked me to continue our relationship late last week. In typical Brad style, he wanted an answer NOW and wouldn’t hear my requests for changes to how we dated. His response, “For the next year, we date like we have for the past 12 months. Sign or we’re done.”
So, I broke-up with Brad. That instant.
And you know what? I couldn’t be more clear, confident, excited, and relieved in my decision. Why is that? I’m leading with my values.
I need to date someone who values integrity, who values authenticity, who values fairness, and who values fun.
I’m so glad I had my OWN Professional Dashboard to turn to when things with Brad got off track. Even though I tried to stick-it-out for a while, the conflict(s) to my values made the relationship (long-term) doomed. I’m so grateful I had this resource (and yes, I know I’m patting myself on the back here, but give me a break – I just got out of a rough relationship!).
Incorporating values into the career journey is one of the main reasons why I started this company. It’s not something that many professionals think about, and I think that’s a big miss.
Disengagement INSTANTLY occurs when values are at risk. I’ve seen it with a ton of my clients, and I experienced it myself with Brad.
Knowing your values and (more importantly) sticking to them is the only way to truly create an engaged professional experience.
Are you dating a Brad, and do you know your values??
Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!