What’s Love Got to do With It?

What about love? You may not think of love as a professional decision, but I’m beginning to think that it is.

Until now. I have made decisions with little regard to love. I mean, I love my farmily, but that has never kept me from moving to pursue a great personal opportunlty. I moved a thousand miles from home to attend Scripps and moved farther to attend graduate school In upstate New York (Ithaca).

After finishing my master’s at Cornell, and after two years in a great relationship, I left Ithaca to accept an exciting job opportunlty in Washington, D.C. So far, this relationshiph has survived via phone calls and bi-monthly visits, but it is certainly not ideal.

On the professlonal front, I’ve realized that the Congressional Research Service is- not the right place for me over the longterm. I’m ready to make a change, but my decision making process keeps getting hung up on some aspect of the same question. What about love’ Specifically, when and how is it appropriate to factor my relationship into career-related decision making? The dilemma is this: Do I move back to Ithaca where the job prospects are fairly limited, or do I stay in D.C. and try to maintain a longdistance relationship for another few years?

I haven’t made up my mind, but the decision seems to rest on my willingness to glie as much weight to my relationship as to my professlonal ambitions.

Speaking of professional goals, I am re-evaluating my options. I have been making professional decisions without really thinking about what I would truly enjoy doing. Now, I am trying to take a fresh look at my options without imposing constraints based on notions of what I “should” want to do, or based on societal definitions of success. Rather, I am trying to define professional success in terms of short and long-term happiness.

Ths is a tough exercise, but it has allowed me to consider completely changing my career path. Now, everything seems to be back on the table, and I am excited to start learning about and then trying-out different careers. In the short term, I need to decide where I want to work next. That, in large part, depends on where I want to live. Therefore, for the first time, I’m faced with making a conscious decision regardng how my relationships will or will not affect my career-related decisions..