The Cheating Boyfriend

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Many of us have experienced this: you are dating a guy; everything seems good. The relationship continues for years. What you didn’t know is that, two months into the relationship, he has been cheating on you with some random chick. Is this really fair? You just wasted years of your life with someone, and all-the-while the guy has been having his cake and eating it, too …

In organizations, managers have been infamous for being the cheating boyfriend. They string employees along who they know aren’t an organizational fit but keep them around because of fear: fear of finding a replacement; fear of retaliation; fear of feeling guilty for letting someone go.

Managers — stop being the cheating boyfriend!

You are doing this person a disservice. Be an advisor. Be honest. In my experience as a manager and staffing advisor, I make it very clear to people where I think they should fit. Recently, I told one of my recruiters that I think she would be an excellent office manager. I probably put an idea in her head, and maybe she’ll leave to become an office manager — but, hey, I am not going to string people along. I’m not going to be the cheating boyfriend.

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At the June 2005 Stanford University commencement, the late co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, stated: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.

That’s exactly right, Steve. As an organization, we need to be hiring for fit. As a job seeker, we shouldn’t settle. It’s about passion. Passion will allow you to find the perfect match — your soulmate. No more cheaters!

Jenny Hayes Rhoten has been a leader in the technology and staffing industries for more than 10 years. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma and will be graduating with her MS in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco in 2013.


6 Comments on “The Cheating Boyfriend

  1. What if, your cheating manager learned these traits from his Cheating manager (mentor)?
    Some organizations have systematic approaches to dealing with and or NOT dealing with issues that lead people on.
    Taking a hold of your career and managing your own professionals expectations is the sure fire way to get out of any ‘dating’ rut you might find your self in.
    Unless you prescribe to the ’50 Shades of Mgmt’ style…

  2. What an interesting spin! I wholeheartedly agree that managers need to uphold complete honesty with their employees as far as where they will fit into the company. A mis-hire in the company can cost a lot of money in the end. So being upfront is not only right, but also can save time and money.

  3. Thanks Jenny.
    You want passion? Get a lover, partner, or spouse.
    You want “a mission from God”? Join the Blues Brothers.
    I just want work that pays well and on time and doesn’t leave me at the end of the day feeling like I’ve been run over by a steamroller or like my back is filled with stab wounds.


    Keith “Is That Too Much To Ask” Halperin

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