Ok, so you've spent the last few years in a relationship...with your career. Just like the "honeymoon phase" with another person, you walked into this thing with bright eyes, eager to please, staying up late and dreaming of a grandiose future. Just like a relationship with another person, there were problems. Maybe Career confessed it wasn't ready to support you yet or you secretly started Googling what it takes to be an independent sustainable farmer (in another life, perhaps). But you never left. You put in the time and care to make it work with work. Career cleaned up its act and here you are. After taking all of the right steps to end up with a serious career, when are we allowed to start exploring the other parts of our lives? This time of year (Valentine's Day and tax preparation season) has the Velvet Cartel team thinking about love and careers. Can you have a truly fulfilling career and a happy, healthy romance? Desperate for answers, we turned to the vast depths of the internet to supplement and confirm our own experiences.
What's your relationship with your job?
Entrepreneur and blogger Penelope Trunk offers the advice, "Do not what you love; do what your are". It's worth mentioning that there are a couple of different types of people in the world. There are those who get a traditionally good job so that they may support their desired lifestyle. They passively advance through the ranks and retire to Florida at 65. We're not talking to you. We're talking to the folks who believe in self-made success and those that are hungry for it. It takes heart to climb a corporate ladder; it takes heart plus all of the rest of you to build something of your own. Naturally, inviting a whole other person into this structure should be a thoughtful process.
You don't necessarily get to choose when you fall in love, but you do get to choose when you put time, effort and emotions into dating. Actively dating is really time consuming. You have to plan, make yourself presentable and hold conversations with strangers whose only known mutual interest is how you look. Did you know that there are about 50 million people using Tinder? That's a lot of potential dates. Our best advice is to try this feat only after you feel really, really solid in your relationship with your career. That's right: satisfy yourself first. This makes it easier for the other person to get to know you on an even playing field. Don't use dating as an escape from work. That's the makings of a relationship that's based on distance from your beloved career. Don't use dating as a reward, either. "But I want someone to share my successes with as they happen". Call your mom. Call your best friend. Blind dates probably won't appreciate your win-streak as much as your homies do anyway. Date only when you're ready to honestly look for companionship. That's advice for everyone.
The hiring process
“Some women choose to follow men and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore”
- Lady Gaga
A worthy partner is one that admires your hard work and success. It's someone who can handle a little distance while you're off kicking ass. Most importantly, they are just as driven as you are. One of the biggest complaints we heard in our search for the answer to a balanced life was that it's hard to be in a relationship with someone who is already in a committed relationship with their job. Our solution? Find someone equally dedicated to their own passions and/or work. Really, it's that simple. But you might have to kiss a few frogs.
Basically, we all agree it's a matter of timing; after self-fulfillment and construction on your own life is well under way, you'll find happiness with someone else to be a lot easier.
Have any sage advice for those attempting to balance a healthy work life and social life? Is it possible? Tell us below!
Every Thursday, Velvet Cartel addresses subjects important to you, the busy businessperson. For more Thoughtful Thursday posts, click HERE.