Do Men Care What Women Do for a Living?

Yes. And no. It really depends on why you're doing what you're doing.

Cubicle Coach
(Image credit: H. Weis)

I was kicking it with a male friend of mine the other day, and we were discussing a few career opportunities that have come my way. It's all pretty exciting stuff — although I have no power over whether or not any of these things will actually turn into dream gigs come true. All the decisions are in the hands of the bigwigs.

Anyway, my friend and I were talking about how cool it would be if stuff worked out. And also talking about what it would be like if it didn't. And then, because I am a neurotic with low self-esteem, I said to him: "You know, it's quite possible I will run out of things to say about dating, and I'll lose my blog job, and I'll be much less cool than I am now. Do you think anyone would want to go out on dates with me if I was temping and writing on the side?"

He responded: "Men don't actually care what you women do for a living, when it comes to the question of romantic attraction. As long as a woman does her job well, and I like the way she thinks in general, that's all that matters." He is, by the way, a 29-year-old guy with a well-paying job in the tech world.

It was good for me to hear that. Here in New York, it's easy to think that no one cares who you are if you're not doing something cool for a living.

But then I wondered: Would my other guy friends agree or disagree? I decided to ask them.


My 38-year-old brilliant lawyer friend, Bear Cummings, said:

"I agree completely. If a woman has an interesting job it's a plus, but it's not essential for attraction. If she has a cool personal style and is fun to hang out with, that's much more important. All the same, I have a friend who is frustrated by the vast number of underemployed women in this city — so I guess it depends on who you ask."


My 40-year-old friend, Easy Walnut (who is pursuing his dream career), said:

"I like women who have jobs they are happy with and passionate about. I would so much rather go out with a thoughtful medical receptionist than a bored Wall Street lawyer. I'm not at all intimidated by female success, but I am cautious about women who seek out success for no other reason than just succeeding. There has to be some soul in it."

Somewhat similarly, my 30-year-old friend, Kermie Ottawa, said:

"Sure, her job matters! But it's not about being a huge success as much as pursuing something you're interested in. So, for example, I'd be very happy to date a waitress who was hoping to open her own restaurant one day, but not someone who is doing it because she's afraid of failing at something else she really wants to do. The worst is dating someone who 'hates' her job."


Frisky Forbes, a 26-year-old friend of mine who works in the health-care business agrees, saying:

"If she's unhappy with her job, she's likely to be unhappy in other aspects of her life — and who wants to date someone who's miserable?"


Frisky adds:

"I'm also not into women who work in douche-heavy industries, like finance, or who work for relatively evil companies, like ones that make junk-food or cigarettes. If it's the former, she's likely to have a lot of douchebag friends. And if it's the latter — if she's helping to sell cigarettes that will give people cancer or sodas that will make people fat — that speaks poorly of her ethics. It's a lot easier to look past someone's flaws if you know she's spending her days helping others."

What do you all think about this? Do you think in these tough economic times, many of these guys are being kind of unfair — that many of us are forced to do work we hate, or work we think is slightly evil, because it's a choice between that and going on welfare?

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