Career Over Love

Choosing a Career Over Love

The choice between having a career or making time for love is an extremely personal and individual decision. There are many factors which can affect your choice, and there are many people who have discovered how to achieve a healthy work life balance that allows them to have both.

Careers and love fulfill us in different but important ways. Having a solid career gives us a sense of accomplishment and self worth, aside from the practicalities of paying the bills. Many people develop their entire identity based upon what they do, elevating their career to a level of great importance in their lives.

Then there are those who measure their success in terms of having a pleasant and rewarding home life. They develop their identities based upon the accomplishments of their children, and derive their self worth through the love and support of a spouse.

So what happens if you cannot or do not wish to make room in your life for both? While the happiest and healthiest people have managed to develop a work life balance that allows for both, it may not be for everyone. Consider these factors when pondering which is more important for you.

1. Your Career May be More Important When You are Young

Many people these days focus on careers first and family later. The reasoning is that, while you are young and unencumbered, you have the time and energy to fully devote yourself to a career. If you have lofty career ambitions while you are young, it may indeed be the time to start making progress towards those goals.

Once you get married and begin to build a family, much of your time and energy – by necessity – becomes devoted to your family. This is as it should be. You should not start a family unless you are willing to devote time and attention to your loved ones.

Many people who accomplish great success in their careers when they are young, and establish themselves in a secure position, are then more willing and comfortable later on to devote themselves to family. By the time they do settle down, they are more prepared to handle the responsibility.

2. Falling in Love can be Better When You are Older

More and more people these days are choosing to wait when it comes to making decisions about family. It is not unusual for people to delay marriage until their late 30’s or even their early 40’s. Delaying family decisions allows you to be better prepared for those obligations, and creates a better likelihood that you are in touch with your most important goals and values. You have had the opportunity to completely grow up, greatly reducing the chances of feeling like you are “missing out.” You have had the chance to purge the foolishness of youth from your system and are now confident with the wisdom of maturity.

3. Choosing Both

If you can find a work life balance that allows you to experience the joys of love and maintain a successful career, you will have a truly happy and rewarding life. A loving family at home can help you celebrate all of your successes, and bolster your confidence through your failures. There are many people out there reaping the tremendous rewards that come with including love and work in their lives, and finding the balance that allows for both.

A life that only has room for a career, or that includes a consuming love that stifles your personal development, is likely not a lifestyle that is healthy or fulfilling. Our personal needs and feelings of self worth need to be met, which is normally gained from having a good career. Our hearts and souls need to be nourished, and we need companionship to support us through life, which normally are derived from loving relationships.

The truly healthy and well balanced person will recognize the benefits of having both. He or she will take steps to achieve the work life balance necessary to assure the continuation of career growth while nurturing and maintaining the health of personal relationships. It is only when we can maintain this delicate balance that we are living life to its greatest potential.

This article was written by David B. Bohl – Husband, Father, Friend, Lifestyle Coach, Author, Entrepreneur, and creator of Slow Down FAST. For more info visit his blog at Slow Down Fast blog.

Image by Dirty Feet.

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  • http://dipetupdate.com Pete Scholtens

    If you wait too long with love, there won’t be anyone left.

    Not only that, if you’re planning on having a family, age is an issue. Women are progressively less fertile as they age.

  • http://www.empoweredreader.blogspot.com Jennifer

    David, this is a struggle that affects many people. It is real. It is a matter of maturity and priorities and perspective. If someone knows that they can’t devote that time to someone because they are so involved in their career, then maybe they shouldn’t commit to a relationship. On the other hand, we can ask “Is a career really that important?”

    I believe this post I wrote will help people determine if they can or should try to fit both into their lives:
    http://empoweredreader.blogspot.com/2008/04/ingredients-for-inner-peace.html

    Also, I’m doing a series of post now on wisdom that may help.

  • http://www.varsityblah.com/about Eugene (Editor, Varsity Blah)

    It’s impossible to go through life without interacting with other people on a regular basis. And it’s also impossible to ever feel completely fulfilled without strong relationships. You can be the smartest, sexiest, and richest person in the history of the world. But without people to share that with, none of it will matter.

  • http://www.emkom.dk Eva Maria Knudsen

    Hey,
    … i find it hard to belive, that its a choice you make if you choose not to have love. If there is love – you dont choose it – it is just there. It is not like choosing muffins over pancake for breakfast, i find. but maybe it a cultural issue – im from Denmark.

  • http://www.mens-sexual-health.org/ Ron

    Hey, if you have the Health, Stamina, and Desire for both, I say go for it.

  • http://www.orbis-writings.com Don Vaillancourt

    Although people need people, if you are very involved with your career where it becomes your 24 hour life, it is quite easy to not worry about relationships. Your career becomes your challenge, it is something you look forward to everyday.

    As for love, if people don’t want it, sometimes they avoid the people that would offer it. I’ve done it and other people have done it. Of course, if you spend so much time with one person and love does occur, then obviously as stated, you have the time.

    As for meeting someone when you get older, I have noticed a lot of women in their 30′s who are single and willing. Most of them either have had kids but are not in a relationship. Or the ones who are childless I find are not trying very hard to make a connection.

  • AnduinX

    With the exception of a very few of us, most people go to work not because they want to work, but because they need money. That is to say, if you ask people if they would prefer to have free time, they’d say yes in a heartbeat.

    For me, if it’s a choice between “career” and family, I’ll go with family every time. I firmly believe it is better to live a lower standard of living in a loving family then it is to live in a higher standard of living in a distant family.

  • http://www.mypromdresses.co.uk/ prom gowns

    totally agree with you!

  • my le

    i think, love is very important for our life, but if we don’t have money and stabel jop, how we can buit up a happy family?
    the first, you must find a good jop, then you’ll have more relationship and you can find a truthlove!

  • Rudhralife

    love at 24 , girl is also 24 , wanna study MBA in IIM ,still wanna marry her .. she has to be married in 2 months… MBA or marriage???

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  • Loli_belle73

    I’m having this issue now. I just received my Bachelor of Science and have always felt that I absolutely needed and wanted a career. Not for money. Not for fame. It is how I find fulfillment in most ways – how I do in my job and why I do my job. I want to be that strong, powerful woman who lives her career. I want it more than anything. But, I’m in a serious relationship and very much in love, but I don’t know if I have what it takes to devote myself to settling down and starting a family. I fear I’ll have to end it, sooner rather than later. I have no idea what to do. 

    • Jdihdh

       I have the same problem. Im younger than you, Im just starting my studies of marketing. I always wanted to have money, friends, some parties and of course a job wich I would love. But Im in a serious relationship with a man I love, but he is too jelous and too simple to understand my dreams. So, I guess make a desition for you not for him. If you feel happy doing your work and beeing without him.. I just need to think about it and about my bf…

      • Bradybloom

         Jdihdh, Loli_belle73 –

        I know you both replied some time ago, but perhaps I can give you a small story that may help?  I have a friend — she was totally into this guy and things were hitting off really well, but she just didn’t think she could handle both going after her career and her relationship with him. So she ended it.  Fast forward 6 years, he’s married and she’s been single since him (a few dates here and there, but no long term relationship).  I saw her recently at our mutual friend’s wedding.  She said, “I don’t regret the career I have, but I do regret that I didn’t at least try with him.  Was I too selfish?  Here is married and happy…and I’m all alone with my job.  I have money, but I don’t have him.”  I’ve never felt sadder for her.
        Maybe you can try both?  If it doesn’t work out…it doesn’t work out.  But if you think it’s worth it, I would at least try.

  • Isabel

    Its better to come back home after your work and see your wife happy and smilling. You think money is important – you can have them in so many ways… But you can´t buy or win love.
    I would choose love becouse in the end of my life I want loving people around me not people who just cares about my fortunes.

    • Fame

      Thank you for your input.

  • in germany

    I am young (24) and in love. I moved to another country to be with said person and now I have (finally, after two months of searching and not speaking the language very well) a part-time job which is not enough to support me. My significant other has a good job, but I am home alone most of the time and cannot speak the language most people here speak. Thus, for me, I’m starting to think in this situation–while I’m still young, as the author stated above–maybe my career is more important. I’m not saying love is not worth our time, but how can someone have a healthy relationship when they are slowly becoming financially dependent on their lover and don’t have friends of their own? It’s not healthy–simple as that. 

  • Blackdiam0nd_girl

    I always had  career on the top of my priorities list, because it was all about accomplishing my childhood dream. I don’t regret it now but i think i should have tried to manage my time in a more appropiate way.My sister was reading a book on her ebook reader a few days ago “what career to choose?” by Alice Laurent and showed me some phrases which really caught my eye and made me realize how important it is to know how to keep a balance in your life. Of course I knew that, but I was hiding it in my subconscience because I did not wanted to see the sad truth.I really recommend this book.

  • Ginelle

    Okay as a young women just starting her career and entering the workforce I must say that I strive for a balance between career and family. Now if you made me pick one, it would be career. Sure, the idea of raising a family is definitely an option and I know people are saying well women age and they become less fertile etc…but what about adoption? Has anyone considered that? I know some people say oh but it’s not the same as your own biological children but why does it matter. They have your last name, you are raising them as any other parent would, so how is it not the same? I’m not too worried about the whole marriage and family thing. The way I see it, when considering “starting my own family” the first thing I would assess is my economic and emotional situation anyways, if I don’t have those bare minimums, then my children won’t be happy and I won’t be able to give them every fighting chance they have in this life (in my opinion). I don’t think as a young person just kick starting their career, I would have the resources to start a family nor do I have any desire. I come from a big family and tight knit community where a lot of people I know will be having more kids than I can count. I would be more than happy at just being the awesome aunt/ godmother to all my nieces and nephews and godchildren. As for measuring success, it’s always a balance. I definitely want to make strides in the workplace, as a minority woman as well as foster close relationships with family and friends. Personally, I don’t think children and marriage are the “ultimate” goal in my life. It’s a big world out there, tons of people, tons of places, tons of things to do. Besides, I enjoy my freedom way too much, I’m a wild one, activist, community volunteer and mentor for young women and the lists goes on…cheers!

  • Ginelle

    Okay as a young women just starting her career and entering the workforce I must say that I strive for a balance between career and family. Now if you made me pick one, it would be career. Sure, the idea of raising a family is definitely an option and I know people are saying well women age and they become less fertile etc…but what about adoption? Has anyone considered that? I know some people say oh but it’s not the same as your own biological children but why does it matter. They have your last name, you are raising them as any other parent would, so how is it not the same? I’m not too worried about the whole marriage and family thing. The way I see it, when considering “starting my own family” the first thing I would assess is my economic and emotional situation anyways, if I don’t have those bare minimums, then my children won’t be happy and I won’t be able to give them every fighting chance they have in this life (in my opinion). I don’t think as a young person just kick starting their career, I would have the resources to start a family nor do I have any desire. I come from a big family and tight knit community where a lot of people I know will be having more kids than I can count. I would be more than happy at just being the awesome aunt/ godmother to all my nieces and nephews and godchildren. As for measuring success, it’s always a balance. I definitely want to make strides in the workplace, as a minority woman as well as foster close relationships with family and friends. Personally, I don’t think children and marriage are the “ultimate” goal in my life. It’s a big world out there, tons of people, tons of places, tons of things to do. Besides, I enjoy my freedom way too much, I’m a wild one, activist, community volunteer and mentor for young women and the lists goes on…cheers!

  • 1clavdivs

    I was offered my dream job in a wonderful and beautiful area of the country. I LOVE MY JOB! I have spent 12 years working on a project, it is finally coming together, I am finally making real money, I am finally getting a lot of recognition for the vast amounts of effort I have put into this project, I am finally happy and satisfied with my career. What I do is so specialized, there are NO other jobs anywhere in the world doing what I do. I am the guy. On earth. If I quit, it will engender so much bad blood with the company that I will never have a job doing what I do again. Anywhere.
    My wife is demanding that I immediately give it up, that I immediately quit my dream job and move to a state I swore I would never live in — so that she can have her dream job, and because she simply doesn’t want to live in the area where my job is.I now get to choose between giving up my dream job to be with my 3 small daughters, or keeping my dream job and living 2000 miles away from them.

    • Kubrick9274

      you’re fucked

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