6 Strategies That Are Equally Useful In Your Love Life And Your Career

In more ways than you might think, dating and your career can have a lot in common. They can both be a source of major anxiety, both can take a long time to get right, and both change throughout your life. In both your career and your relationships, you want to be always growing, learning, and bringing/becoming your best self. And in both cases, they're mostly about finding love, whether that's the thing you love doing every day or the person you love loving. It therefore follows that we should be able to apply certain tactics for success in both dating and careers.

When I say "tactics" or "strategy," I mean it not as in "game playing" but more as in "approach". We should and can approach dating and careers with some of the same expectations, attitudes, and actions. It doesn't mean we need to be conniving or manipulative; just that we should be assertive and know our goals when we're looking for love in work and our relationships. Obviously, there are also lots of things that don't apply to both. Like, don't have sex with your work. I don't know how you'd even go about that, but don't. It's not advisable. I imagine a lot of paper cuts would ensue. Likewise, don't treat your partner like a problem that needs to be solved or a job that needs to be delegated. Here are some strategies that work for both dating and your career:

1. Go out of your comfort zone

If you've found yourself dating the same kind of person over and over again, or going through the same motions in your career, and it's not paying off in either case, then it might be a good idea to change things up. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone. If someone you wouldn't usually be interested in asks you out (for instance, if you like bookworms and an outdoorsy type asks you out), do it! Or if opportunities come up at work that aren't necessarily in your wheelhouse, try those. You can only learn from new experiences and being uncomfortable, and sometimes challenging yourself and your expectations is where you'll find the most rewarding results.

2. Be honest

If you're dishonest in either your dating life or career, this will work to your detriment, not only for the person getting to know you romantically and your co-workers, but for yourself. You fail yourself when you lie, whether it's about who you are as a person or what skills you have to apply in certain situations. When you're honest, you'll find that while things wont always go smoothly, people will respect you, and your life will be far more fulfilling and relaxed. People, both romantically and professionally, aren't going to shirk away from your deficiencies; rather, you'll find people helping you work around them, and yourself fitting into teamwork (where your skills, whether emotional or practical, shine to cover the gaps in other people's skills) better. After all, both relationships and your career are about teamwork.

3. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want

When you keep mum at work and in relationships, you might find yourself drawing the short straw every time. If you're dating and looking for a relationship, wear that on your sleeve. If you want higher pay, address that, too. Set your expectations out, and if others can't meet them, then you can move on and find what you need elsewhere. If you don't ask, you might never know, and waiting in limbo for the things you want will wear down your sense of self worth in both dating and career.

4. Stand up for yourself

Don't let people tread on you! Whether in love or at work, stand up for yourself when people are walking on you, because it will happen. You don't have to be mean about it; standing up for yourself is simply saying, "I appreciate your stance, but I feel like it's doing me a disservice," and finding a way to negotiate around that. Healthy relationships and fulfilling workplace environments will look for ways to make you feel valued, and you might want to reassess your situations if in either case you're unjustly and consistently silenced.

5. Don't settle

Have the wherewithal to know when to walk away, both in love and work. One argument with your SO or one stressful day at the office probably doesn't warrant you storming out (with the good comes the bad!), but if, over a period of time, you're consistently unhappy, know when it's time to bail. There will be other dates and other jobs, and your main obligation is in making this work for you, not to pandering to some false sense of obligation.

6. Be proactive

Nothing comes to people who sit around and wait. Beyoncé didn't marry Jay Z by sitting around. She was wholeheartedly involved with him and his life, and put effort into making their relationship work. Nor did she become Beyoncé by sitting on her ass. She went out and worked really hard for it. When it comes to dating and work, don't wait for things to happen to you, because they won't, and when they do, they might not be what you really want. Grab life by the balls (literally in love, figuratively in work).

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