NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- We don't generally associate work with love. The ancient Greeks had five distinct words for love, yet none describe the warm, contented attachment we feel from a job well-done.
Yet we'd be hard-pressed to name a "one percent" professional who wasn't entirely enthralled with their career. Compare the bemused but bored expression on Mark Zuckerberg's wedding portrait with the gleam in his eye when his speaks about Facebook. And one of Warren Buffet's secret loves is spending Saturday evening pouring through a stack of 10-Ks.
Social scientists tell us that happy, engaged employees both live longer and have a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Marriage counselors report that career dissatisfaction is one of the top three sources of marital discord. However a successful career -- like a successful marriage -- is a long-term relationship with abundant ups and downs. We experience love at first sight during our interview process; we enjoy the honeymoon period of our first closed deal -- and then real life sets in.
For many of us, the Great Recession was the career equivalent of an over-large mortgage combined with a colicky newborn and a recently moved-in mother-in-law. In the new normal we're all working the equivalent of two jobs with little recognition and even less self-actualization. Love, indeed, can be cruel.Punch line -- there's no Valentine's Day at the office; no specific time when we're prompted to reflect on the passion that we yearn to bring to our work. So it's incumbent upon us all to step back occasionally and reflect upon that first blush of romance that we felt for our careers. Business partners, like life partners, need to be managed for richer and for poorer; and in sickness and in health.