For twenty years I have had Valentine’s Day covered. Dayton, Ohio has a fantastic chocolatier, and a great family-run Italian family restaurant, and we’ve (almost) always got a sitter to watch the kids. Even before I married my marvelous wife, I had things wrapped up. In fact, I used to ride an Estonian Love Bus every February 14th. Yes, that is a thing.
In more recent years, I’ve started to think more about the larger question of love that is at play. When you feel love either romantic or otherwise, what makes that love real – and what makes it last? What I’ve found is that the key to lasting love love is striking a comfortable balance between giving and taking. To cultivate a lasting love, as you give of yourself, the people and places that you’re committed to should make you a better person and contribute to your personal growth. I don’t limit myself to contemplating only romantic love. After all, I love my kids, I love my pets (despite the rabbit’s nasty temper), I love my guitars (yes, all of them), I love spring and fall, I love taking a walk, and I love my job.
Maybe lots of us say it but few of us take the time to figure out what that really means. After all, love and marriage have some similarities to love and work. Not in a “you’re married to your job” way, but in a manner that shows that we’ve chosen to take a job and work at it, have faith in it, and grow with it.
I am very happy to say that after numerous professional relationships, at Marxent I’ve found “the one”. Maybe that sounds a bit too romantic, maybe even foolish – after all the average IT professional changes jobs almost 14 times in their career (Not me, however. I am not that kind of guy). I say that because – just like in my marriage – I’ve found out what it means. A lasting professional relationship – just like a personal one – is made up of mutual respect, shared interests, compatible differences, a positive outlook, honesty, transparency, excitement and stability.
I am not saying it hasn’t taken some work. My professional relationship and I have had to grow and develop, have some honest talks, have had to make some changes, and I have had to put in the time to help this relationship to grow. But as a result I can say that after spending the past 18 months at Marxent I am a better and stronger professional. In fact, things are better than they’ve ever been. I don’t say that this to gloat – after all I think we’d all agree that there are some out there with truly remarkable and fascinating careers. There are dirty jobs and jobs in space. There are jobs running cattle auctions, driving zambonis and even as comic book dealers – but for the type of work that I do, I appreciate the rewards that working at Marxent brings.
This Valentine’s Day I hope you’ll reflect on your loved ones both personal and professional, and re-commit to another year, and another lifecycle of kindness, friendship, laughter, forgiveness, honesty, and, most of all, love.
Nick Kizirnis is Marxent’s Product Management Lead for UX Strategy.
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