Have a Great Career and Relationship
Relationships take work, commitment and dedication. But in the ruthless economy and fast-paced environment of D.C., it can sometimes feel difficult to maintain a good relationship with a significant other while also focusing on advancing your career.
Although it can be a difficult conversation, it is important to set boundaries with your partner, especially if it is a new relationship. Let your partner know your short-term and long-term career goals. If they are wildly different from that of your significant other, there is a good chance that one of you may end up feeling like he or she has to sacrifice something for each other’s career. This can cause a very large strain farther down the road. But if you have both laid out your plans and do not cross boundaries, you will have a much better chance of making things work long term.
Fall out of the rut
If you are not in the beginning stages of the relationship but rather in a more serious stage, it is easy to fall into a rut and begin ignoring each other to stay late at work and finish assignments. If you have been together for two years or more, it is natural to begin subconsciously feeling that your partner will always be there and put him or her last in your priorities. However, if you are committed to your significant other and can picture being with him or her for the rest of your life, it is imperative that you try different ways to ensure that you are still spending time together.
One way to create time for each other is to schedule time out. The idea of work-life balance is a current hot topic. More and more supervisors understand that to have happy employees, they must be flexible in scheduling. A great way to make sure that you are keeping both your relationship and career balanced is to schedule a fun date with your loved one and then block out this time on your shared work calendar. You can simply put “personal time” in the appropriate time block. This will serve as a subtle reminder to your coworkers and supervisor that you need to leave by a certain time on that day and decrease the chances of being asked to stay late.
Spend quality time together
It is also important to make sure that the time you have scheduled for your partner is good, quality time. If you both have busy schedules and only see each other on a limited basis, ensure that you will be in an environment that you both enjoy and that will be conducive to conversation. Face-to-face communication is something that cell phones and the internet cannot replace. Conversation is the best form of communication and will allow for you to keep in tune with each other.
If you find yourself attempting to implement these strategies but still prioritizing your career over your partner, I would encourage you to take an inner look at what it is that you really want. It’s okay to want to take time away from relationships to focus on your career and yourself. After all, you cannot be happy in a relationship if you are not happy with yourself.