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wallop/['wɔləp]/ vi. 乱窜, 猛冲 vt. 猛击, 击溃 n. 重击, 冲...

爱与工作不可兼得?

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I am a management trainee at a well-known company and have been offered a sought-after posting – a year's stint in our New York office. My difficulty is that it would mean leaving my boyfriend – a junior hospital doctor – behind. He says I should go, but I'm worried our relationship won't survive. Part of me wants to tell my boss the truth, but I fear it would make me look drippy and uncommitted. This isn't fair – I am committed – but I don't see why I have to choose: why can't I have love and interesting work?

Management trainee, female, 24

LUCY'S ANSWER

You can't have love and interesting work because life tends not to be like that. Some people manage it, but most don't. Women, in particular, spend their lives having to choose: job or love/family, etc.

All these decisions are wretched because you are being pulled in two directions and because you are never in full possession of the facts. In your case, you don't know if this lovely doctor is going to go on being so lovely when you are 3,000 miles away. And you don't know if the ideal job in New York really is going to be ideal.

The real question to ask yourself is this: which is harder to find, a good man or a good job? Both are devilishly hard, but in my experience a good man is harder. If you have a good job with a big multinational, you could switch to another company and find it was much the same. With men, the same does not apply: some are very much nicer than others, and a really good one is worth keeping.

Quite possibly your relationship would survive New York, though equally it might not. Many readers seem to think that if it failed through absence, it would have failed anyway. This seems like strange reasoning to me, as relationships are hard enough even without a 3000-mile gap between you.

Your actual choice isn't as stark as between love and job. Instead, it is between a good man and a slightly less fast-track job, or a fast-track job with possibly no man at all.

If you stay behind, you will not be giving up your job altogether, you will be just giving up one opportunity now. Your boss might think you are wimpy, and maybe your career would suffer a bit. But he is not going to fire you.

One proviso. All this depends on you being good at picking men.

I am assuming this doctor isn't the latest in a series of giant passions that have burnt out with indecent speed. If he is, go to New York and don't look back.

YOUR ADVICE

All at sea

If you were a sailor, there would be no question – shipping out for a year is part of the job. With globalisation, we're all sailors to a degree. I turned down a job abroad to be with a woman. We broke up six months later. The Russian poet Yesenin once wrote: “From love no one demands promises.” At least your employer will provide you with a contract.

Analyst, male, 29

You drip

This IS drippy. You sound like someone who also thinks life owes her a right to be a full-time mother without it affecting her career. Telling your boss it's a really bad time for you and you want to do it next year is reasonable – as long as you make your decision, present it clearly and stop whining about life not being fair.

Banker, male, 26

Job first

If you turn down NYC, I can guarantee you won't be on the fast track any more. There is no guarantee that your current BF will be your life-long partner, so risking your fast-track opportunity is absurd. True love will survive distance and time. Unfortunately, in professional life we are all replaceable and if you don't embrace the opportunities you get left behind.

MD, female, 36

Love first

At 23 I'm already tired of this corporate rhetoric that tries to convince you that a dream job can make up for a miserable personal life. I've lost my boyfriend as a result of something similar. Don't try to find all your fulfilment in your work, you'll spend all your time looking for it and will never find it.

Banker, female, 23

A good man

If he's a good enough man to support you pursuing your goals as he pursues his, take advantage of that because there are still a lot of men who won't go near a woman who isn't inclined to let her goals take second place to his. Live it up and take New York by storm.

Anon, female

NYC blues

Why on earth would you want to work in New York? It's dirty and has an uncouth culture. Remember today's fast-track manager is tomorrow's redundancy candidate. Ignore all this career nonsense and say no.

Anon, male

我是一家著名公司的管理培训生,并且得到了一个梦寐以求的工作机会——在我们的纽约办事处工作一年。我的难处在于,这将意味着我要离开我的男友——一位初级医师。他说我应该去,但我担心我们的恋情无法维系。一方面,我希望告诉老板实情,但又担心这会让我看起来很麻烦,没有责任感。这不公平,因为我是有责任心的,但我不明白为什么我必须做出选择:为何我不能爱情与好工作兼得呢?

管理培训生,女性,24岁

露西的回答

你无法做到爱情与好工作兼得,因为生活往往如此。一些人可以处理好这种选择,但多数人不能。特别是女性,她们一生都必须做出选择:工作,还是家庭/爱情,等等。

所有这些决定都很不幸,因为你同时受到两个方向的牵引,而且因为你从来都不会真正全部拥有它们。在你这种情况中,你不知道当你远在3000英里之外的时候,这位可爱的医生是否还会一直这么可爱,而你也不知道,这份纽约的理想工作是否真的很理想。

你真正需要问自己的问题是:哪个更难找,好男人还是好工作?两种都很难找,但就我的经验来说,好男人更难找。如果你拥有一份跨国大公司的好工作,你可以跳槽到其它公司,你会发现两者差不多。至于男人,则是另一回事了:一些男人比其他人好得多,真正的好男人值得珍惜。

在你去了纽约后,你的恋情很可能会继续经营下去,不过,破裂的可能性也有一半。许多读者似乎会认为,如果分开,恋情就会告吹,那么,无论如何这段恋情都会失败。这个推理对我来说似乎很奇怪,因为即使你们之间没有3000英里的距离,恋爱也非常困难。

你真正面对的,并不是爱情与工作之间的极端选择。相反,你只需确定自己是要一个好男人,还是要一份升职不太快的工作,或是一份升职快但可能压根没有男人的工作。

如果你留下来,你并非完全放弃你的工作,只不过是放弃了眼下的一个机会。你的老板可能会认为你没出息,你的职业生涯或许会受些影响。但他不会炒掉你。

这里存在一个限制性条件。上述所有情况取决于你是否擅于挑选男人。我的假设是这位医生不是一系列迅速燃烧的激情中的最新一个。如果是,那么去纽约,千万别回头。

读者的建议

茫然的水手

如果你是个水手,那就没什么问题了——出海一年正是你工作的一部分。随着全球化的发展,我们在一定程度上都是水手。为了跟一个女人在一起,我拒绝了一份国外的工作。6个月后,我们分手了。俄国诗人叶赛宁(Yesenin)曾写道:“没人可以向爱索要承诺。”但至少你的雇主会给你提供一份合同。

分析师,男性,29岁

你很无聊

这很无聊。你的口吻就像某个女人抱怨生活令她无法又做全职母亲、又不影响她的事业。告诉你老板,目前的时机确实很糟,你希望明年去,这种说法合情合理——只要你做出了自己的决定,那就明确地说出来,别再抱怨生活不公平了。

银行业人士,男性,26岁

工作至上

如果你不去纽约,我保证你今后再也上不了快车道了。谁也保证不了你的现任男友会成为你的终身伴侣,所以呢,拿这么好的快速发展机会去冒险,实在荒唐。真爱应该经得起距离和时间的考验。而不幸的是,在职场上,我们大家都是可替换的。如果你不把握好机会,就会落伍。

医学博士,女性,36岁

爱情至上

23岁的我已然厌倦这种上班族的套话。它试图让你相信,一个梦寐以求的工作会弥补你悲惨的个人生活。我就是在类似情况下失去男友的。别指望能在工作中找到满足,你会花上一辈子的时间找这种东西,然后什么也得不到。

银行业人士,女性,23岁

好男人

如果他真是个好男人,在追寻自身目标时也支持你追寻自己的目标,那就抓住这次机会吧。因为现在仍有许多男人不愿接受那些不想“男人目标第一”的女人。放纵一下自己,然后冲向纽约吧。

匿名, 女性

纽约的忧郁

为什么你想去纽约上班?那里脏兮兮的,文化又粗俗。记住,今天快车道上的经理人,就是明天的废物。忘了这些职场的胡说八道,说声“不”。
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