I am trying to figure out what is the right kind of guy for me to be dating now that I’m getting a divorce. As an incorrigible go-getter — with all things I do — I am getting a jump start on dating. So if it’s offensive to you that I’m dating before I’m divorced, you should probably stop reading. But I want to warn you that you are probably from the same contingent of people who do not approve of looking for a job from your current job, and I’ve got news for you: Everyone’s doing it. Both.

At first I thought I should be dating people who are recently divorced. You know, shared experience. So I went out with this guy who was married for sixteen months, and his wife is getting about three million dollars in the settlement. Of course he is very upset about the whole thing. But mostly because he thinks she’s crazy.

My alarms go off immediately. I think he might be crazy. Because, as my divorce lawyer says, “A ten never marries a one.” Which is to say that you get what you are.

I ask my date why he’s so upset that she’s getting three million. Because, after all, he earned way more than that while he was with her. (Yes, true.)

He says that she is a raving alcoholic and he didn’t know that when he married her.

Then he orders his second Jack and Ginger.

I have had so few drinks in my life that I don’t even know what Jack and Ginger is.

But here’s what happens: We go out on one date, and I drink. It only takes me about a half a glass of wine to be way more easy-going and flirty than I could ever manage if I were sober. And he asks me out again.

On the next date, he has four beers and I don’t drink, and it is obvious to me that things are not going well.

And it is also obvious to me that he will marry another alcoholic. He likes that in a girl.

But he still complains that he can’t believe he married someone who is so unstable. I can’t believe he doesn’t see what marrying that person says about him. I do not tell him that people who have four drinks on every date marry alcoholics. I do tell him, “A ten does not marry a one.”

The wisdom falls on dead ears.

But I know this is true because after our marriage counseling ended up in our divorce, I went back to the marriage counselor to understand why I chose my husband in the first place. Really, all the things I loved about my husband when we got married are still there. I just need to understand why, of all the things I could love in a person, I picked those to marry. There are millions of reasons to marry someone, really, like that the person is a genius (my husband) or that the person is fun when drunk (definitely not my husband).

It’s easy to judge other people for what they pick. But to be honest, all reasons have their pluses and minuses and we’d do best just to understand why we do what we do. My friend married a woman because she had little world experience and he could show her what he knew. Lame, right? But the marriage is working. And another friend married someone because he’s the male version of Mother Theresa. Great, right? But the marriage fell apart because in the end, she wanted someone to pay attention to her, not save the world.

So I try to not complain about my husband because there’s a lot that is good about him. I try instead to focus on how to be better at understanding myself. Because who you pick to be around says a lot about who you are.

And this is true for a lot of areas in life. Like, look at your friends. Good-looking people hang out with good-looking people. And who you hang out with is so influential on you that fat friends make you fat.

It’s true at work, too. A former boss used to tell me that you should always hire A players because one B player brings everyone down — teams perform to their lowest performer. I think that’s true. I also think that when an A sees a B on the team, the A doesn’t want to come.

So if you are complaining that you are in an office with people who are terrible at what they do, ask yourself why. And instead of broadcasting that you chose to be with terrible people, do some self-reflection and figure out why, so you don’t do it again.

It’s very hard to avoid duplicating the same mistake over and over again — that’s why most second marriages fail, and that’s why people who work at lame companies generally make their next move to another lame company. But if you are really honest about your own responsibility for choosing lameness, then you are less likely to choose it again.

Now, if I can only get as good at choosing dates as I am at choosing companies…

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  1. Lorri C
    Lorri C says:

    You made some really good points in your blog. I really enjoyed it. Sometimes it takes really difficult events in our lives to make us see the obvious.

  2. michael cardus
    michael cardus says:

    After spending much of my life chasing something outside. I developed a new inside me view. I used to date horrible girls who were mean and nasty, now I am engaged to a wonderful kind woman. I have changed and now work on reflecting and working out my “issues”
    Thank you for your insight and sharing!

  3. Vidya
    Vidya says:

    I kinda agree with Penelope’s article (about 1’s and 10’s but I’d like to take it to another level)

    Firstly both the 1 and teh 10 are subjective and secondly it keeps changing.

    I know that at times in my life – I’ve been a 3 (as an employee and a spouse) and sometimes I’ve been a 8.

    I feel that, especially in a marriage – when you behave like an 8, your partner is going to behave like an 8. If you behave like a 3, your partner will behave like a 3.

    So the analogy is correct but the only additional point is that even a person can vary a lot in how they behave and interact

  4. donna birch
    donna birch says:

    Penelope, as I am reading your latest blog about dating, may I give you my advice, even though not solicited? It seems to me that your life, with the importance of your career and of course being a mother, that adding dating to your life might not be the most wise thing to do right now. I have never been divorced, and don't have the experience that you are going through right now, but I am a mother and grandmother, and I know that with the time you put in with your work must not give you very much time to devote to your family, so adding dating to your list takes time away from them and probably adds more stress to you.
    Take a breather. Just think, if you do meet someone that you like, what that will do to your children. It will add another person for them to have to figure out. It's not easy for kids. I did come from a divorced situation, and it is very difficult to understand for them. I remember as a child being so afraid that my mother would remarry, because I saw what happened to some of my friends when their mothers did remarried. It usually did not turn out very well and turned their world upside down once again. I was very fortunate that my mom waited until I was 16, but that did not take away the fear that I lived with for most of my childhood.
    I wish you all the peace and love for you and your family wherever your future holds.
    Donna Birch

  5. Robin
    Robin says:

    About twitter: I assumed Ms. Trunk had a surprisingly appropriate (for her, merely common sense for the rest of us) case of tweeter’s remorse after tweeting about a bikini wax. How she ever thought that it was appropriate to include such personal information on an investor-backed website where she promotes herself as an expert on “the intersection of work and life” is beyond me. Intersection is one thing; the bikini wax tweet was closer to a car wreck in the middle of that intersection.

  6. blink
    blink says:

    > “A 10 does not marry a 1”.

    Well, no kidding, right?

    > “A 10 may marry a 7, or even a 5.5”

    I think this is more interesting to think about. But in reality don’t think this is true. I think more likely each person is marrying what they see as an equal (or perceived slightly above themselves). Perception is key, as are all the factors.

    From the outside, we may see a beautiful woman with an average guy and wonder how that can be. (a 10 and a 6?) But maybe he has other traits that make them more equal (wealthy, funny, charming). Or maybe she is actually dull and uninteresting.

    In the end, the system balances out that everyone marries the best they can get. Apply it to both sides and everyone will marry about an equal. Occasional variations are “lucky” (or via deceit) and may bring better children than yourself in the long run. Nature rewards deceit in these cases unforunately.

  7. mrshall
    mrshall says:

    I’d recommend Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix. Sounds like a lame self-help book, but in fact it has a great explanation of why we choose the people that we do.

    That said, the best advice I ever received was… “Stop thinking about why you pick them and how to pick them better. The one thing all of your relationships have in common is you. Work on yourself.”

    • Sacha
      Sacha says:

      This book — well, Harville’s philosphy and Imago therapy in particular — changed my romantic life. The counselor for my first marriage recommended this book and I really connected with it…but my not-yet-then-ex-husband did not. About 2 1/2 years after my separation/divorce I met someone on eHarmony and became involved. Once it was clear to me that that relationship was SERIOUS I booked us a weekend Imago workshop in our city. Those two days made a huge difference in our understanding of one another and (semi-)regular counseling with the same professional helps maintain the tools we use to communicate. The emotional safety we feel thanks to practicing Imago is profound.

      I feel like some sort of cultish evangelist when I read my own words in this comment but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Harville’s philosophy on relationships and marriage. It really is all about knowing yourself and healing yourself through healing your partner. I can’t praise its influence on my life enough.

  8. Ulyana
    Ulyana says:

    The thing is that with marriage, you can predict certain things by courting for a while. When you are looking for a job, it’s similar to going out on a blind date with someone and then marrying them the next time you see them.

    People, when divorcing, often say, “He/she turned into a completely different person after we got married.” THAT is definitely more likely to happen to your job.

  9. david rees
    david rees says:

    @blink

    I see your point, but must disagree with it. Healthy people want to find an equal.

    There are plenty of people who want a situation where they can control their mate (you don’t think a guy who is a 6 is going to be in fear of losing a woman that is an 8+ ? how much power does that give her in the relationship?) or avoid getting hurt by picking people that do not scare them or threaten them or whatever.

  10. Alion
    Alion says:

    Blog interesting.
    Twitter is getting out of hand.
    Sheets, wax. Not related to why I subscribe to your blog.

  11. mark
    mark says:

    One big difference between jobs and marriages. The line-up card doesn’t really change in a marriage.

    One week from tomorrow I leave a position I’ve been in for just over 12 years. After 10 years I sat down at my desk and the realization hit me that I hated the d@mn place and never wanted to come back and didn’t really know why.

    I started looking for jobs basically like what I had. Got lots of interviews but no offers. On a whim I applied for a position managing a staff of 14 instead of being just one of the professionals on the staff. I got the job.

    After I accepted the offer I met my new boss for lunch and really wanted to ask “Why did you hire an outsider with little experience in this subset area instead of hiring within like everyone else does?” Before I could muster the courage to ask, I got my answer. I was being hired to bring in an outsiders view to managing. The boss perceives the staff as lacking focus and caught in the rut of “that’s the way we do it” my predecessor was promoted from within and hesitated to get people back on task because he was once one of the gang.

    What had sealed it was during the interview when asked my management theories, I talked mostly about holding the laggards accountable to stop them from dragging down the achievers and using the built-in pay system to insure merit raises went to those who do go work rather than passing them out willy-nilly to anyone who hadn’t screwed up too bad.

    Without realizing it at the time, I was actually venting about the very things that had left me hating my job. When my old boss left five years ago, my new boss was hired within and while no manager can make a lazy person work hard, bad management can make hard workers lazy. It resonated with my new boss because those were the very shortcomings the boss wanted fixed.

  12. matt
    matt says:

    though people might and should disagree on such contraversial topics as this post, in defense of PT, her title is “advice at the intersection of work and life”.

  13. Chud
    Chud says:

    “So if it's offensive to you that I'm dating before I'm divorced, you should probably stop reading. But I want to warn you that you are probably from the same contingent of people who do not approve of looking for a job from your current job, and I've got news for you: Everyone's doing it. Both.

    With that kind of flawed reasoning, you could justify anything. You could justify your selfish divorce, you could justify pot smoking because “everyone is doing it”. This is poor advice anyone can see through this.

  14. Charles
    Charles says:

    In response to those who would like to separate and compartmentalize their lives: in many respects we cannot wholly separate the many masks we wear and roles we play into neat little compartments. Work is a part of life and what happens in one sphere often spills over and ripples into other spheres (especially if one is an outgoing and engaged person). Also the lessons learned in one sphere carry over into others. Case in point: A coworker was discussing his experience during the Viet Nam War and relating it to the management scenarios playing out in our office. He admitted to using techniques he learned during the war to better leverage his position and avoid unnecessary office drama.

    Also, some of us cannot help but have relationships that intertwine directly with our careers. Add our public personas to it, and as much as we try to have private lives, we are forced to face a gossip hungry public.

  15. Matt M
    Matt M says:

    On the work side of this post: You had a fantastic point that each person needs to analyze why they are complaining about work to figure out what to do and whether the problem is you or the organization. No job is perfect and everyone has things they would like to change about their jobs, whether it is possible to change them I don’t know. I don’t know that the other commenters grasped this point.

    I think that you didn’t fully develope the point that in analyzing their job someone should think about why they took the job the way that you think about why you married someone. If that attraction to a job or a mate has been lost then maybe it is time to move to a new position or mate.

    On the relationship front: I think it is very unrealistic to try to put together a laundry list of “must have items” in a mate and frankly a little bit arrogant. Instead it would be better to have a list of complete deal breakers (from your post it sounds like you don’t alcoholics) that are unacceptable in a mate so you can avoid those people. Also, I think each person has a different idea of the perfect relationship dynamic and it won’t work if you try to model your relationships around those of someone else. I always tried to come to relationship more as equals (which it sounds like you have a similar ideal) than as one person as older, wiser, more powerful leader and the other as follower. You need to know what your potential mate sees their role as and make sure that is compatible with yours.

  16. julia
    julia says:

    I just read your entry from april 13 and was appalled by the comments your readers left you. Stay strong and do what you need to do to find work life balance. I am a physician and mother of three …I get it. I posted an entry on my blog about you. Read it if you have a free minute..if not I totally understand ha ha.
    julia

  17. Mrs. Micah
    Mrs. Micah says:

    @Robin, the whole thing is more like a magnificent train wreck…the occasional good post on the blog only making it harder to look away from (after all, the train wreck of a mediocre or crappy blog isn’t interesting).

  18. Cleveland A
    Cleveland A says:

    Robin and Mrs. Michah- just stop reading!If you don’t like it – can’t appreciate P as an open, honest human being- just take your negative energy somewhere else.

    For the rest of us, rock on, Penelope. You’re real, you’re human, and you reflect all of us through your witty, always insightful posts.

  19. Janee
    Janee says:

    This post was enlightening. I spend a lot of time reflecting on my own culpability with regard to my personal relationships and my career, but I have yet to connect the two. I just had one of those “aha” moments when I realized that a lot of the company practices that annoy me at work are the same things that attracted me to this employer in the first place. In the beginning, I applauded the company’s encouragement of autonomy and individual empowerment, yet now I’m frustrated by the lack of a structured training program. I was initially excited by our aggressive growth initiatives which have since turned our organization into a fragmented mess. I’m not sure what to do with my newly acquired enlightenment, except use it in my next job search and be glad that attorneys aren’t involved.

  20. Wolfgang
    Wolfgang says:

    Maybe if you didn’t spend so much time blogging with strangers and more time working on your marriage…The reasons that most second marriages fail is because marriage gets old no matter who you marry. The excitement and high of being in love wears off, and usually that is that. Men and women are very different chemically, and men, especially crave diversity in their love life. We are not “monogamous” by nature. In the old days people lost the love, but stuck it out for kids and maybe had affairs to keep themselves satisfied. Now, after all of this love propaganda, people think that they have to be “happy” all of the time.

  21. Rick P.
    Rick P. says:

    Aah. Work and life. It’s an odd stage of society we live in, that we have the pleasure (?) of considering such an intersection. For the farmer in rural Romania or the taxi driver in northeastern China or possibly the hunter-gatherer somewhere in a Central American rain forest, there is no “and.” Work, life…I’m guessing they blend.

    But in our society, we have reached the Era of Navel Gazing. So be it. Frankly, for me, there are a few permutations of work and life. There are workaholics. There are, if you will permit me, “lifaholics” and there are those who shade gray to either side.

    Wander with me for a moment to a forest of ideas. The first idea is that passion will drive people to odd behavior. Passion for theater or music, for instance, might drive someone to forgo college in pursuit of a more artistic endeavor. It works for some (e.g. Kelly Clarkson), but perhaps not as well for the statistical majority. Passion in love might be comparable.

    Here’s another idea: I don’t know the percentages, and I’d be quite interested to learn whether people who fall in love and get married have a higher success rate (staying power, “happy” marriage) than say those whose marriages were arranged through some cultural tradition. Honestly, I’d be surprised if there was much of a difference; or if so, that the difference would favor the arranged marriage.

    So what does that mean for work? As it happens, I work in the field of talent management. My job is to help my company identify and development its star managers and leaders of tomorrow, fusing the best of the talent base into the company for increased productivity, better market forays, and so on. The literature of human resources and of talent management tell funny stories, however. Like the process of finding someone we can love and who will love us in return, companies will set out with a set of criteria — call them competencies, behaviors, what have you — either to recruit from the outside or to develop from within. Not surprisingly, these efforts don’t always pay off. Perhaps it’s the set up; perhaps it’s the execution. Either way, just a like so many marriages, the gap between expectations and reality can be quite wide. People are a tricky business; there’s not always just one answer.

    Is it a matter of competing in your class? Are you a lightweight employee trying to work in a heavyweight company? Sure, that presents some problems, and the fit will likely not be there. But I have witnessed some pretty amazing things that people do, how they stretch themselves or allow themselves to be challenged, and then meet those challenges, to give up quite that easily. Notice how we don’t have a “reality” show called “American Actuary?” At this stage in our society, we have arrived a singular focus to identify what we would do if there were no obstacles in our way. Most people say “retire.” Then they go into a laundry list of what they might do, what they might buy, etc.

    I recall there was a Presidential debate not long ago in which the candidates were asked about their dream job; what would they do if they could do anything? The best answer, of course, was “be President of the United States.” Seriously, that’s exactly the kind of job/life that, if it’s not your number one passion, you really ought to get out now. The sacrifices are just as tremendous as the “starving artist” who paints/dances/composes because they feel compelled to do so.

    Personally — since we’re about revealing the personal here — I’ve never had much interest in my career. Funny thing for a guy working in the talent field, yes? But my interest is that I’ve always been interested in too many things: the corporate thing, professional voice over, flying (as in airplanes), etc. And until recently, I’ve not really had as much interest in my love life as perhaps I’d convinced myself I had (never married, no kids). But my career has sorted itself out and it looks like my love life might do as well. So I’m a bit sanguine about trying to “figure it all out.” Let’s face it: we Americans are a bit goofy when it comes to work. Two or three weeks vacation, hyper-sensitive about whether or not we’re being productive, Crack-berries everywhere (and we wonder why marriages fall apart). We don’t even take our vacations, as a whole. Or, when we do, we take our work with us. Well, not me. But then, as I say, I’m not all that much about my career.

    So, may I suggest we kick back a bit, take it all a little less seriously and spend a bit more time enjoying the here and the now? Of course, this assumes you can enjoy it and that you haven’t lost your job, your mortgage, your pension, your 401k, etc. In which case your work, or lack thereof, will certainly and very soon impact your life. If you’re on your own, well, the impact is tough, but not catastrophic. If you’ve got people who depend on you, then I’d say you and the farmer, the taxi driver and the hunter/gatherer are going to have a bit more in common for the time being. And then it’s a choice that doesn’t require any navel-gazing. Just a will to survive.

  22. Mark Mahorney
    Mark Mahorney says:

    Well, no one at Enron complained about their company until it was too late and they were all out of jobs. There certainly are exceptions. If someone had anonymously taken it upon themselves to blow the whistle about wrong doings there a lot sooner, perhaps jobs, pensions, and stock holdings could have been saved.

  23. Mary
    Mary says:

    You know business is business and a marriage is a marriage. They don’t work the same way!! Sure both do better with good people skills but they aren’t the same!!!! You are approaching your marriage/divorce/remarriage like a business or job interview – it ain’t gonna work!!

  24. finance girl
    finance girl says:

    My ex-husband, bless his heart, was not someone at the end of the day I could respect. I married him because it was a total low point in my life and he made me laugh (stupid, stupid!!).

    Neither of us married because we were in love, we married because we had our own agendas (me, because I wanted the social status of being married and didn’t want to be lonely anymore, him, same reasons: social status and didn’t want to be lonely).

    But we were like roommates. It was so weird. Married less than 3 years.

    My Point Being? That absoulutely you do not want to talk negatively about your ex, nor be around someone who does….really shows you that they haven’t moved on and accepted the curveballs life throws them, whether they are fair curveballs or not.

    (oh and I started dating immediately after we separated, so ignore those that say you have to wait a certain amount of time; do what’s right for you and your kids).

  25. finance girl
    finance girl says:

    oh wait, i forgot to say, I then less than 2 years later met my total soulmate, never thought it would happen, so don’t lose hope! (and we got married not 9 months after meeting and it’s been awesome since!!)

  26. insane entrepreneur
    insane entrepreneur says:

    Has Webster’s Dictionary started using your name as the definition for self-righteous.

    Maybe you should suggest it….it would probably be good branding for you, and a warning to others.

  27. Foosha
    Foosha says:

    Just an observer who is guilty of getting caught up in reading your scandal on a blog. Nothing more. Moving on.

  28. HooHaa
    HooHaa says:

    Hey, what happened to the juicy responses. I was having fun reading them. Where’d they go? Drama online is so much more fun than work. Please put them back…..

  29. liquidskinn
    liquidskinn says:

    yeah well.. he (nino) seems to be enjoying himself coz he’s still watching your Twitter. :)

  30. Dale
    Dale says:

    Life is seldom fair but it always tells the truth – at least until well meaning people or those with with a vested interest in changing the outcome, don’t revise the “truth”.
    That truth is easiest to see when we look at our lives and those of people we care about or just know well.

    My initial discomfort at the statement, “a ten never marries a one,” and my disagreement with the advice to only hire “A” players, stems from the fact that I, way deep down, consider myself a “1” and a “B” player. The strange thing is, my wife of 19 years is a “10” and an “A” player, so what gives?

    When we look at life, we have so much invested in who we think we are, and what we are afraid of, that it colors our perspective – even when we aren’t consciously thinking about who we are or what we fear. And to be honest, the people who can honestly remove themselves from the analytical equation in making any decision are most likely to be the ones who benefit from conventional wisdom or the “unfair” rules of life. They also tend to be really polarizing elements.

    So… now I know I must be a ten or at least further away from the 1 side of the spectrum than I still think I am. This makes my day :)

    Just my two cents worth.

  31. Simone Breedlove
    Simone Breedlove says:

    I was single for 20 years between marriages and my second one also failed. I’m a really great person…too giving, too nurturing. Seriously. I’m too good for my own good.

    I was single for a year and a half after my last divorce, and am now in a relationship with a man I’ve known for 28 years. I love him dearly. He did’t wait after his separation to get involved with me, which I think, in hindsight, is a huge mistake. Our relationship is great, but there are still issues with his family that need resolving, and I don’t see how that will happen now that we’re together.

    Anyway, I wish we hadn’t been in such a hurry. It doesn’t diminish the way I feel about him, but I found out a lot about myself while I was alone that I wish I had more time to explore. Alone.

  32. Jim Bell
    Jim Bell says:

    I agree here. It’s a bad idea to complain too much about your current job. Seems everywhere you look, there’s discontent in the biz world. Bad management seems all too common. If you take a bad job, there’s noone to blame but yourself. Finding a good job takes patience and a sense of knowing yourself. The best way to avoid the lackluster organizations is to look for signs of their bad habits prior to the interview process. Do your company research – read news, financial posts, etc. Learn where these companies are positioned in the marketplace. Have a list of questions ready for your interviewer.
    All of this takes work but, it will pay off by helping you qualify the job better. Look for warning signs during the interview process. Your attitude must be, that you are there to interview the company too. You and the employer are looking for the same thing – to get you placed in a job you want to do. Once, I showed up for an interview of a job searching for “An experienced Field Sales rep with 5-10 years experience”. I had two phone interviews leading me to believe the company was looking for a high-level, independent worker with past sales results. They used all the right words and attention getters. Once I got to the interview, the sales manager told me I’d have to work from the office for 6 months and make 50 cold calls a day. This set me off guard. His answer led me to think he wanted to monitor me for 6 months to see how I’d work out. This was probably his normal method of managing people. For me, it did not feel right and, therefore – it was an instant disqualifyer. I’m not perfect at this. 2 years ago, I accepted this current job. I finally found a company that noticed my field sales experience and worth. I have independence, good pay and flexibility to be creative in my work. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good relationship with my boss. I made the mistake of working for someone who I typically avoid. Boss is loud, sendom listens, operates in an evironment of chaos. I’m organized to a fault. Well, now I’m learning a new tough lesson – make sure you like the person who hires/manages you, now matter how great the job is. I found good pay and flexibility but, now I have an uphill battle for promotion and advancement. I’m currently working on ways to manage his personality better.

  33. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    i am befuddled. I fell in love with an alcholic although I didn’t know it at the time. we were togather for 9 year, two of which I was recovering from a major accident ands subsequent depression that went along with it. Afte all of this one day e tells me he wants my to leave. DUH. Talk about blindsided. Needeless to say between the accident, the breakup and the .loss pf a part time job that keot my head above water I had a mini break down. I got into sleeping pills ans xaxax, byut wht the hell I didn’t want to get put of bed let alone face the day. I see him ofen and he calls me many times ady and I am so confused as to why he does this. My pain is now turning into anger. Is this normal. Any feedback , good or bad will make me feel better. Ihave lost mu selkf convidence and ego and I know that some day it will come back, but so far it has been a failure. I still don’t understand how someone can love you and ask you to marry him and then when things are so bad he runs. what kind of man does this ?

  34. VisualHarmony
    VisualHarmony says:

    Hi Penelope,

    Thank you for sharing such personal aspects of your life to convey a point. I began my career in the non-profit and public sectors because I wanted to make a difference in society. At the time, I didn’t feel I fit into for-profit organizations because I believed the private sector was out to lie, cheat, and steal to make a buck, and this of course was and is not me. My generalized views about the private sector have changed. And as I’ve developed personally and professionally, finished college, and a graduate education, I’m very frustrated in the public sector because bureaucracy, complacency, and heavy politics do not jive with my creative and high-achieving personality, and entrepreneurial spirit. Now I face the challenge at 31, of leaping from the public to the private sector. My concern is that government employees are stigmatized as being “go with the status quo, I’ll do what you tell me to” kind of people, something not valued in the private sector. Of course, I won’t let this fear stop me from achieving my career goals. I’m confident that doors will open; however, I do need tips. That’s why I’m reading your blog, Penelope. Thanks for being such a great inspiration!

  35. Clueless
    Clueless says:

    I’ve been taking work from a poorly run corporation. Initially I thought when switching to the corporation I would be better off, more security. But now that I’m here, I’m seeing how poorly run it really is.

    Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re getting into until you’re already in it.

    So what’s my next move…

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