July 23, 2012
When you're happily married -- to a job
Sheryl Cattell’s passion for her work is so intense she is often still at her desk at midnight.
“I just go into a zone and literally have no idea of space and time,” Cattell says.
With such single-minded focus, Cattell, an online marketing director, says that personal relationships have been challenging. “Most partners are jealous when you love your job that much,” she says.
An increasing number of singles say they are happily married to their jobs. On television, “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest and Bravo’s Andy Cohen are high-profile examples, two single entertainment/media mavens who devote most of their waking hours to their careers.
As of 2011, there are 101 million people in the United States over the age of 18 who are single, up from 83 million a decade ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s America’s Families and Living Arrangements survey. Of the singletons, 62 percent of them have never been married and about 2 million of them earn more than $75,000 a year.
'Totally a workaholic'
Research often cites the ideal worker as someone who is perpetually available, has no outside responsibilities or interests, rarely gets sick and prioritizes work above all else. Barbara Teszler, 26 and single, says that describes her 100 percent, and she’s OK with it.
“I’m totally a workaholic. I’d much rather be doing something I’m insanely passionate about for 80 hours a week than getting off at 5 like Fred Flintstone and doing something I didn’t enjoy.”
Teszler started a Los Angeles public relations firm six months ago. She wants a social life and relationships, but work gets top priority. “The last couple of guys I’ve seen have accused me of being cold," she says. "They thought I didn’t show as much interest in them as I did my job. I’m not going to apologize for that. My business is my baby, and that has to come first.”
Miami relationship expert Bari Lyman says that making a relationship work when you’re married to your job often requires a new mind-set. “If finding true love is a priority, you have to make the time and space to meet someone,” Lyman says.
Then, to sustain a relationship you need communication, maybe even an agreement that emphasizes quality time together rather than quantity, says Lyman. “What’s important is to find someone who shares your vision of work-life balance.”
Paul Streitz, author of “Blue-Collar Buddha,” says he used to be married to his business. When he sold his company, Advanced Lighting, for $7 million, he became emotionally bankrupt.
“I signed the papers, became an ultra-millionaire and cried,” he says. “I look back and say I could have done it differently, juggled better.” He now runs a new business as a motivational speaker, but plans to give a relationship priority.
While an all-consuming career can complicate relationships, the benefits of being married to your job can be significant. Singles often climb the corporate ladder more quickly and experience a greater sense of job security.
Cattell, 56, director of online marketing for Cross Country Home Services in Sunrise, Fla., says that her devotion to her job has allowed her to travel the world, take overseas assignments and start two professional interactive marketing associations.
Cattell says that after a failed marriage, she’s now in a good relationship. “I’m blessed to be with a partner who is also married to the job," she says. "When I come home at midnight, I don’t have to explain where I’ve been.”
- career profile (164)
- cool jobs (68)
- education and training (61)
- entry level (70)
- etiquette (107)
- events (71)
- featured (416)
- finding your passion (96)
- health care (74)
- interviewing (88)
- job fairs (61)
- management (89)
- market trends (92)
- networking (274)
- resumes (102)
- salary (85)
- social media (91)
- technology (113)
- unemployment (55)
- work/life balance (91)