WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 19, 2013
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How to Balance a Career with Your Love Life

Not a month goes by when there isn't a breaking news story concerning a celebrity's relationship ending due to their demanding career. Most recently, it happened to actor Orlando Bloom and his supermodel wife Miranda Kerr. On the surface it seemed like they had it all; money, fame and successful careers. But alas, the pressures that come with the latter drove the couple apart.

Now you might be thinking that your situation is worlds apart from that of an A-list actor or model. But think again. We've all been there, after a grueling day at work with deadlines approaching, colleagues complaining and reputations on the line, the last thing we want is to face further tensions at home with our partner.

In fact, for us common folk, it's even harder as we don't have an entourage to take care of all the daily tasks that are just as time consuming as the workplace. However, instead of ignoring the issue (which often seems like the easiest option) you can avoid it by following these simple rules.

Leave your stress at work

Don't take your work home with you. Yes you should be able to talk about your career with your partner but don't bring all that baggage to the dinner table. Find a way to unwind after work. Whether it's a quick session at the gym or a brief social with colleagues before the commute home, the smallest of activities can help clear your mind.

Battle of the sexes

In the old days, the consensus was that the male was the breadwinner in a family and the woman the homemaker. However, we as a species have rightly progressed past such archaic social roles. In some cases, however, this has been replaced with an ideology as regressive; namely, a hostile competitiveness between couples in regard to careers.

The last thing you want is a competitive atmosphere at home. Instead, the focus should be on celebrating one another's achievements and motivating each other to obtain personal career goals. Additionally, you should support one another through the tough times - in particular if one individual is unemployed and finding it difficult to obtain work.

Money talks

Yes it does. But you should find time to talk about it. Discuss your financial situation regularly with your partner in order to avoid one of the most common arguments that couples face. Whether one of you is unemployed or in between jobs, having a frank discussion about the allocation of finances is better than repressing your anxieties or doubts. The same goes for your financial goals. Think of how best to use any hard earned extra cash - whether from a promotion or extra working hours - in relation to your lifestyle. 

Time management skills

Use those organisational skills you learnt at work and apply them to your relationship. Set aside time to go on dates and for general recreational activities. And remember to make a contribution around the house. Skipping household chores because you had a tough day at work simply won't cut it. If you organise these tasks, as you would at work, they will get done in a much simpler manner and free up time for the good stuff.

Above all, keep in mind that your relationship itself can help reduce stress and provide a safety net in the uncertain world of career choices. Therefore, if you can find the right balance – and hopefully by following these tips you will – you can find success in both walks of life.

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