One of my friends at the church who is a well-known blogger in the Philippines (naks, haha) interviewed me almost a month ago for his blog. (If you are fond of reading romantic stuffs, you can visit his page at http://doctoreamer.com/ ). I was just reminded of this interview again when my friends were asking me about career and lovelife so I thought maybe I should share it as well here.
Here are his questions and my honest answers, haha.
1. How does lovelife affects someone’s career? Explain or cite some scenario.
Some take lovelife as an inspiration while some perceive it as a distraction (especially when the timing is not right). I think both can be right but at the end of the day, how it will affect someone’s career depends on the person.
INSPIRATION – Having someone by their side would give more meaning to what they are doing. Someone to remind them who they truly are and what they are capable to accomplish. They have someone to share their stress at work and vent out their sentiments. Yes, they have their families and friends but to them, having this special someone is a lot more different in a lot of ways. It’s like a magical feeling, haha. So in effect, lovelife can even boost them to become more successful.
DISTRACTION – I am a romantic person so I would rather take lovelife as an inspiration rather than a distraction, haha, but when someone makes “lovelife” as the center of their life, then it becomes a distraction, not just in their career but also in other areas of their lives. There are also those who get affected by their unmet expectations from their relationship and in effect, may derail them from thinking straight even when they are at the office, hence, affect their performance badly.
But then again, it depends on the person.
2. What do you think are the factors why there are people choose lovelife first before building their career?
There are various reasons but I think people tend to make decisions based from their “happiness”. Their feelings are their compass. It’s the same way in entering into a relationship, maybe it’s their lovelife that are giving them the pleasures in life more than anything or more than their career. Sad to say though that many settle with the short-term happiness without considering their long-term plan.
(I am not saying that it’s wrong to choose lovelife over career because I don’t think there’s a crystal clear answer to that; it’s always a case-to-case basis. Besides, like my answer in the previous question, lovelife could be their inspiration and they perform way better when they are inspired.)
Based from the people that I have counseled who pursued lovelife first, most of them don’t really put career as their top priority. It’s not that they don’t want to succeed because in fact they also want to reach their dreams like anybody else, but lovelife is making them feel good about themselves. That cliché of “I’m a better person with him/her.” That feeling of you-and-I-against-the-world is giving them that sense of belongingness.
I also know someone who entered into a relationship even before her career has started because she just knew that she already found the one. Why wait? (And they are happily married now and both have good career status).
3. How does career affects someone’s lovelife? Explain or cite some scenario.
Oh I’m an expert to this because I am a “NBSB”, haha. *sarcasm intended*.
I remember when my boss in Singapore told me while I was working so late in the office, “You are married to the company!” haha. It was my first year in Singapore and my appetite to grow then was so high. Then a friend (guy) told me, “if I’m your boyfriend now, I will be jealous of your time.” (The same guy who asked my friend, “nagpapaligaw ba yun?”) Then I remember one Valentine night when another friend (guy) was rushing to my office to pick me up for a special event. He called me many times just to check if my work is done but told him many times that I will be late (I didn’t know that he planned to pick me up anyway. I was just surprised to see him downstairs waiting for me).
I guess those few stories of mine somehow answered the question (indirectly), haha. We are all given 24 hours and sometimes our drive to succeed in our own careers may interfere with our quality time with the people we love.
But that’s the other side of it. Of course, there are also good stuffs. There are also those who find more excitement in spending time with their partner when their careers are booming. They get thrilled to meet their partner to tell their stories at work. Their success at their career is giving them more joy in their relationship.
4. What do you think are the factors why there are people choose career first before pursuing their lovelife?
All lies with the priority of the person. It also depends if you are a woman/man.
5. What are your pieces of advice on how to balance lovelife and career?
I know that some people think that when you love someone, you should be able to give up anything for the person. It’s true to some extent but I also believe that when you truly love the person, you will also prepare yourself for the future. Life is not always a fairy-tale. Giving up your “dream” for “love” is not always the answer because sooner or later, these dreams may haunt you if you have not settled it within yourself.
On the other hand, while you keep pushing yourself in your career, make sure that you will not miss your season for lovelife. Discern your times and seasons. Evaluate where you really want to go at this stage of your life. Pray and always be open for God’s intervention. You will never go wrong when you stay in God’s alignment – whether it’s time to pursue it or time to wait some more.
I strongly believe that having the “right” person will help you a lot in hitting the balance. Someone that will understand you when you have to extend some more time at work when you really have to. Someone that will find joy in your success. Someone who will celebrate with you. Someone who just know you well and your purpose in doing the things you do. In short, your partner should help bring out the best in you – be it in your career or other matters.
And when you are already in a relationship:
Communicate. No matter how seemingly small “concern” that is, do not under-estimate the power of communication. Communication will help you both set the expectations.
Make your partner part of your career-building… even if you feel that sometimes, he/she is not expert on your field. Make your partner feel that she/he is valued. His/her opinion matters.
No matter how busy you are, always find time for each other. If you really have to cancel your date for a business meeting (and you can’t avoid it), make sure you make-up for it.
Pray. Pray that both of you will be guided all the way.
At the end of the day, I believe that it should not be a competition between your career and lovelife but they should flourish hand in hand… For me, the purpose of having a relationship (lovelife) is for you to help each other in accomplishing God-given purpose as an individual and as a couple. Your career is part of your purpose. Hence, my take is that, “career AND lovelife” instead of “career vs lovelife”.
PS: Photo used not mine.