As Career Girls, we can’t help but talk about our jobs and what we love to do. Naturally, we will bring it up when we’re on our first dates or meeting other singles. How many of you get some form of these statements in response?
- “You sound really busy.”
- “Wow, you’re a better person than I am.”
- “You must be smart.”
- “So I can’t use bad grammar when I send you a text message?”
These are all real statements and questions that men have said to me when I tell them what I do, for work and in my free time. Some of them might not sound so bad on paper, but I can sense something else in the man’s tone. I told someone I volunteered with a women’s organization as a mentor, and I got that second response. Naturally, hearing these kinds of responses can be somewhat discouraging. As a result, I sometimes find myself wanting to tell only the bare minimum — leave the details for later, after I’ve charmed them with my wit and personality. I have to try not to overwhelm anyone with my many interests and projects.
But I have another challenge to overcome. I’ve told you before that I am currently living with my parents. I finished graduate school in August and I accepted that changing careers meant some sacrifices, and that sacrifice was living in my own apartment. Yes, I miss it. But I don’t miss working at a job I don’t love.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of men who don’t understand this move. When they discover this about me, I am immediately ruled out. I usually brush it off, but it has begun to bother me to the point that I’ve wondered — Can I not date until my second career is fully established? Or when I go on dates, do I lie by omission?
But something in this troubles me. Why should I be ashamed of who I am, what I’ve accomplished, and what I hope to accomplish? I’ve heard some people say to me that they’d like to switch jobs or careers — but they’d never live with their parents again, they’d never risk living without an income or working two jobs at once. And therein lies the difference. The problem is not with me working on my career: it lies in the fact that this other person would never take that kind of risk. They’d rather be safe in a job they don’t love than take a risk with a job they do.
So here’s what I’ve learned: A man who does not appreciate your career and accomplishments, who does not understand the work you’ve done to get to where you are, is not the right man for you. Find a man who understands it, who gets it, and who is worthy of your time. I haven’t found my match yet — but I do believe he’s out there somewhere.