Real Talk

Career or love? How to find the right balance in your 20s

In your 20s, in a relationship and trying to climb your way up the career ladder? Snap.

Finding your feet in the working world, hustling your ass off to advance to the next step in your career and then having time for your friends and family let alone yourself can be hard enough. Add a relationship into the equation and your mind is literally pulled in every direction. But does it have to be like that? Do our 20s have a to be as hard and unpredictable as everyone says they will be? We say it’s just a question of finding the right balance…

Leave your work life at work

Sometimes you have a rubbish day at work, everything goes wrong and you spend the day being stressed AF. It can be easy to bring this mood and mind-set back home with you, or take it out on the people who are closest to you. All this will do is put pressure on your relationship and most likely result in you and your partner having an argument, thus having an even worse day. Instead, when you walk out the office, take a deep breath and try to leave any stresses and worries there. Take seeing your partner as something to look forward to, a silver lining of your day and a realisation of what actually matters in life.

When you do spend time together, make the most of it

Maybe you’ve had a chaotic week, working round the clock and you haven’t had a chance to spend any time with your partner, then finally on Friday night you have a well-earned date night. So, make sure you’re 100% in the present moment, making the most of the time you get to spend together. This means no scrolling through your Instagram feeds, messaging your friends or checking if you’ve hit 11 likes. And no constant work chat! Sure, it’s great to share an exciting project you’re working on but your entire conversation shouldn’t revolve around it – this is precious time, make the most of it.


Always communicate

It’s date night and you’ve booked to go to this really cute Italian but it’s 3pm and a whole load of urgent work has just been dumped on your desk. If you work your ass of for the next few hours there’s a chance you can get it all done and make your 7pm dinner reservation, right? Wrong. Well maybe you can but in these kinds of situations communication is always key. Make sure you let your boyfriend/girlfriend know you may need to work late, say they can make other plans and if you get out at a reasonable time you’ll still do something, but no stress. Always communicate, even if it’s to say you’re having a crazy day and you’ll speak when you get the chance.


Any good relationship will know how important it is to understand and compromise. If you have a last-minute work commitment plans have to change without resentment, or if you are working on a big project which is coming to an end, your other half should understand this and support you. Careers are important, especially when we’re new to an industry and trying to make a name for ourselves. So, if you’re in a happy, healthy relationship you should be understanding of this and encourage each other’s professional growth. Just remember compromising is a 2 way street – if this isn’t the case then maybe the relationship needs to be re-evaluated.


Don’t ever be the reason why someone regrets something

Your other half gets given the opportunity to work abroad for a few months – what do you do? My answer would be let them. It may be a challenge to your relationship but if you’re in a strong relationship you’ll make it work, and if it doesn’t work then your relationship was never going anywhere in the long term. Plus, you’ve got the perfect excuse to travel over to see them or maybe even move abroad with them for a few months! You never want to be the reason someone looks back at an experience or chance they didn’t take with regret – your 20’s are that one time in your life when you can just say yes.

Evaluate your happiness

If you’re working 24/7 and having zero time to hold down a relationship that’s important to you then you need to step back and evaluate things. If you love what you do and know the grind is only temporary then so be it, careers are important and if you’re in a good relationship your other half will understand this and support you. But if work is taking over your life, you’re hating every second of it and there is no end in sight, this isn’t so great. The likelihood is you can find another job which allows you to also have a life – jobs are always out there but finding the right person for you isn’t. At the end of the day you work to live, you don’t live to work.

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