If you’re happy in your career but thinking about leaving it to accommodate a relationship, I have one word to say — DON’T. Excluding some rare situations, I’d advise against letting your career suffer in the name of love. In fact, I think you should always put your career first. I did, and I totally don’t regret it. Not only did I accomplish much of what I set out to do in my professional life, but I found a husband in the process.
My career always came first.
Early on, I made a promise to myself that excelling in my career would be first on my list of priorities. Between the long-term commitment that was college and the various placeholder jobs I had along the way, I’d invested too much time and effort to short-change myself. No matter who I dated or met along the way, my career was always most important. That didn’t mean I was closed off to love, only that I vowed never to let it distract me from my goals.
I managed to snag my dream job.
Growing up, I was one of those kids that figured out pretty quickly what I wanted to do for a living. I was so determined to make it that I didn’t have a backup plan if it fell through. Through a mix of hard work, luck, and just being really stubborn, I eventually got the job I always wanted. Shy of Prince Charming himself sweeping me off my feet, there was no way I’d give it up for a guy.
I learned how to be financially independent.
From my first job forward, I loved getting paid for the work I put in. It was satisfying to save up for something big I’d been wanting without bugging my parents for it. I felt responsible and accomplished, and I carried that feeling well into my twenties. Investing in my career meant investing in myself, especially when it came to finances.
Being successful made me confident.
Let’s be real — getting a raise, promotion or even just vocal praise from the workplace feels amazing. Finishing up a project with time to spare legitimately gives me the warm fuzzies. I feel like I’m good at what I do at work, which also makes me feel confident outside of work. Even the best relationship couldn’t give me that same sense of satisfaction.
My ambition is what attracted my husband to me in the first place.
When we were dating, I realized how much he appreciated my love for working every time he asked me about it. He showed genuine interest in the projects I was working on, how excited I was to move on to something new, and supported me on the rare occasion I got stressed by being there for me.
I liked paying my own way.
The dating phase in a relationship is a tricky one. You’re getting to know more about the other person, but don’t want to overstep personal boundaries before you’re both ready. Even though he offered to pay, it was fulfilling for me to pay my way when we went out on dates.
Being committed to our careers made us closer.
Beyond being an all around great guy, I was impressed with how committed he was to his career. We pushed each other to get better in our respective careers. I’ll go ahead and admit it was a huge turn-on for me to see a man that ambitious, and I can safely say he felt the same about me.
If things didn’t work out between us, I still had bills to pay.
The biggest reason I’d never put my relationship above my job? When you break up, the relationship’s over, but your life isn’t. At the end of the day, you still have to go to work, pay bills and too many other things to name. Excluding a pretty serious commitment, like long-term partnership or marriage, I’d never suggest leaving a career you like for a guy.
I’d never turn down a chance to advance my career.
Chances are at some point in your career, you’ll have to work some pretty long hours, or even travel if the position calls for it. During that time, you’ll be away from friends, family and your partner. It has the potential to cause strain in the relationship if you’re away too long, but never put opportunities to advance in your career aside for a guy. It’s just not worth it.
If it was meant to be, he’d be there no matter what.
With my career being non-negotiable, I knew the right person would be nothing short of supportive and loving. I knew I’d found the right person when not only did he show compassion in my current career, but expressed confidence in me if I ever choose to pursue something else.
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