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Ask E. Jean: My Crush Is Getting In The Way Of My Career

Dear E. Jean: Several years ago, I sent you a question about finding direction after law school. Your advice worked (thank you so much!). Now I need your help again. I have a very challenging, intense, rewarding job in television news, by which I've been so riveted, I haven't dated for eight years. However, I've now met a guy—nice, thoughtful—and we've shared some romantic moments. Rationally I know it could go nowhere, but I've developed an extremely distracting crush! It's interfering with my work responsibilities, which I take seriously. My managers have treated me with great respect over the years because I'm supersharp and on my game every day—but now! I'm on the phone giggling, gabbing with girlfriends, checking my e-mail constantly, and spending every idle moment fantasizing that he will be The One.

To get more travel opportunities (the guy lives on the other coast), I must keep up my performance. How can I focus, accomplish both my professional and personal goals, force myself to stop daydreaming, and look at my task list? I know this is a silly question! —Trying to Focus

Trying, My Tender Trollop: Pah! Nothing's more serious. If you want to impress your managers, you must daydream of the bugger. Why? Dwelling on the dude drenches your brain in natural amphetamines. And what is more prized in television news than speed? Hmm, Miss T? Indeed, I advise you to ponder the lad seven and a quarter, even eight minutes an hour. Your managers will be so thrilled with your new energy (and gregariousness and optimism), they may promote you to chief of both coasts. Of course, any pleasure you might receive from the fantasies—apart from the career boost—is, naturally, entirely secondary.

P.S. You are an intriguing woman, Miss T. The last time we met in this column, you were chock-full of career fantasies. You're good at making reality out of fantasy (an unimaginably cool talent). On this occasion, don't let the reveries lead to premature expectations (e.g., the lad being The One).

This letter is from the E. Jean archive.

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