Though relationships are and always have been important, in the modern environment, more and more of us find ourselves being extremely career driven. An article published in the Psychology Today magazine briefly goes over balancing career ambitions and your relationships.
This is a pertinent question and one that concerns many of us. How does one strike a healthy balance between a career they love/need and a relationship which is equally if not more dear?
How to Strike a Balance between Career and Relationship
Again there are no hard set rules here as different relationships come with different nuances. Careers can demand different degrees of one’s time and energy hence coming up with a one size fits all type solution for such a situation is tricky.
There are however a few things you could do which most certainly help maintain that balance between career and relationship!
Consult and Communicate
Sure when you’re on your own, you take decisions as and when, possibly without a second thought. If you’re in a serious relationship or married, the decent thing to do is to keep your partner in the loop regarding any big career related moves and decisions.
Communicate what your situation is and consult with them to see how they feel about a decision you are looking to lock down. This is not to say that you allow them to run your life completely. This is simply giving them and yourself the room to see if or not certain decisions impact the relationship as well as to look for alternatives. This works both ways.
See Where You’re Putting in More Hours
Sure there are times when we might be required to work late or take a business trip away from home for a few days. This is alright. At the same time, if you find yourself spending too much time at work on a regular basis to the point that your time at home is being cut into; maybe reorganize.
Similarly if you feel your relationship is taking up too much of your time and energy, talk it out. The idea is to give an adequate (as possible) amount of time and energy to both. If you feel your scales are tipping, put in the work to cover where it’s lacking!
Separate the Two
At times we may get worked up at work and take it out when were home or vice versa. We may even sometimes carry troubles from one place right into another. Try your best not to do this. When you’re at work, focus on it and when you’re home, unless it’s something interesting; don’t carry it to the dinner table with you!
Keeping your work and home space separate mitigates conflict and helps keep things streamlined.
Busy is Not Unavailable
A mistake many people make is becoming completely unavailable to their families and loved ones, the standard response being; “I was working”. Though this is acceptable, being busy does not equate to unavailability.
If you have access to a phone or to the internet, it helps to check for any messages and to respond to them in your free time. It is your partner after all and a little effort will go a long way!
Sometimes all a relationship needs is a little more structure when things are too up in the air. If you feel you have a choppy work and home time table, try organizing a little. Make schedules. Give your partner a heads up on times or portions of the day where you won’t be available.
In the same spirit, take out a few hours daily as well as maybe a day or two where you devote yourself to the relationship and are unavailable to any employers or other co-workers. This is not only healthy for you and your relationship – it’s your right as a human being!
There are other things you could do to help balance your career and your relationship ensuring one doesn’t overshadow and damage the other. You could even seek couples counseling to help you and your partner navigate the space between the two of you and your respective careers.
If you’re located in the Bay Area or in Palo Alto, get in touch with us! We specialize in couple counseling as well as other relational therapeutic work!