With 20 years of experience under her belt, Jolina Magdangal is undoubtedly one of the most commendable actresses to grace the current showbiz scene. Her range of acting roles, the songs she has recorded, and the various ways she has drastically revamped her image throughout the years have earned her a special place not only in the world of entertainment, but in the hearts of the public as well.
Moreover, not only does she have a fruitful and progressive career at present, she also has an excellent love life to boot (namely with Mark Escueta, the drummer of the band Rivermaya).
Earlier this month, Jolina guested at Showbiz Central and was asked to answer questions from three unidentified informants. The third informant asked her if she would give up her career should her boyfriend propose. According to this PEP.ph article, Jolina, after a brief pause, replied that she would not, considering how much she has loved making other people happy through her work—a fact she says Mark both accepts and understands. She did acknowledge the possibility that getting married would entail certain limitations on her work, but all things considered, she said she would still continue her career well into her married life.
Like Jolina, a lot of women choose to be independent and career-driven, with or without a significant other. Of course, this decision allows women to establish long-term goals for themselves and to seek self-growth, experience, and self-fulfillment as they work hard to pursue these goals. But once in a relationship, career-driven women should also learn to reconcile their work responsibilities with their responsibilities as a partner. You need to invest in your love life as well; otherwise, your partner may feel neglected and get the impression that all you care about is work (and consequently, yourself).
Here are a few tips to remember when striving to balance your career and your relationship:
Have a Game Plan: Know Your Goals
Share your prospective goals (both for your career and relationship) with your partner. That way, he won’t feel that you’ve excluded him from your long-term plans. This is also a way of letting him know that the effort you put into work is not only for your benefit, but for the future you’re both working toward. He’ll feel encouraged to be supportive rather than feel averse to the idea of you being constantly busy with work.
Know Him, Know Yourself: Establish Your Expectations
Take time to sit down and talk about your expectations of each other as you try to balance work with love. This will make the adjustment period easier for both of you. Be sure to let him know what to expect with regard to your regular work schedule, as well as the possibility of occasionally working overtime and going out of town if the job should require you to.
Listen to what he expects of you as well, and try to take these expectations into consideration when planning your daily work routine. Also, try to agree on how to best work around each other’s schedules, and, if needed, clearly outline your ground rules. For instance, you may both agree that certain days of the week should be designated for you to spend as a couple, but it might be harder to make time for each other on other days.
Last 2 Minutes: Manage Your Time Effectively
“Proper time management is very important,” says Gina Wee, a flight purser from Philippine Airlines, when asked how she balances her career and love life. Learn how to efficiently plan your work schedule and actually stick to it, considering the fact that you will also have to allot a significant amount of time for your number 1 guy.
Avoid procrastinating and concentrate on what you’re doing at work in order to finish on time—and consequently, have more hours to spend with him.
No Pain, No Gain: Make the Necessary Life Adjustments
Balancing your career and your love life won’t be easy. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to choose one over the other. Both your career and your love life are your priority, so you have to accordingly devote time and effort to each of them. Evangeline, a working mother of three, says: “Both one’s work and one’s married life are important. However, I choose to view work simply as an opportunity to earn. My marriage and my family are still my top priority.”
Acknowledge that it will take some time to adjust and learn the skills you need (such as efficient planning, good communication skills, effective time management, etc.). Says Jolina of her own situation, "Siguro mayroon akong hindi na puwedeng gawin at siyempre pag nandoon ka na sa sitwasyon, e, magpa-prioritize ka talaga. So hindi naman siguro talaga kasi love ko talaga magpasaya ng tao."
Leave Work at Work: Separate Your Career from Your Love Life
Remember that work is work. It would be highly unprofessional (and inconvenient on your part) if you would let your love life distract you from focusing on your job. You have to remember that your bosses are not going to take “I had an argument with my husband” as an excuse for a poorly prepared presentation, and neither should you. Neither is “my boss got mad at me today” a good excuse for picking a fight with your honey.
If you feel the need to talk shop, consider setting aside an evening for an after-work drink with your colleagues. This both lets you unwind before going home to your honey, and lets you vent with people who understand what (and who) you’re talking about.
Basically, learn to concentrate and learn to compartmentalize. Put your cell phone on silent (or switch it off) when you’re on a date. Answering a call from work when he’s in the middle of telling you about his day, or worse, in the middle of a passionate make-out session, is both rude and potentially hurtful. When applied vice versa, you’re not going to take a call from your sweetie in the middle of a meeting, are you?
Show, Don’t Tell: Make Him Feel Special and Loved
You can surprise him in many ways, just to let him know how important he is to you, and that you remember him in spite of your hectic day. You don’t have to buy him gifts or go to extraordinary lengths to surprise him; go for something simple, such as sending him a sweet text message or e-mail every day. This will only take five minutes—a brief amount of time that you can afford to take while on your break or while commuting.
Also make it a point to find time to converse with your partner. Talk to him about your day (without ranting too much about work, of course), and listen to the thoughts and experiences that he has to share in turn. Maintain constant, genuine communication between the two of you, because once this aspect of your relationship deteriorates, this may seriously deplete the trust and emotional intimacy you share. Remember, it’s not enough to simply tell him you love him; he wants to know you’re interested in him and in what he has to say.
Take a Chill Pill: De-stress with Your Partner After Work
Don’t take the frustration, stress, and disappointment from work home with you. While a long, tiring day at the office is enough to keep anyone’s temper and stress levels running high, the last thing your boyfriend or husband would want is to have you take it all out on him.
Keep your temper in check and find ways to relax with your partner after work. You can get a massage together, maybe share a dark chocolate fondue for two, unwind in front of the television, or simply cuddle in bed after a warm, relaxing shower.
Sweet Escape: Take the Time for Dates and Weekend Getaways
Planning dates and getaways creates something for both of you to constantly look forward to. Moreover, not only does a reprieve from work allow you time to relax and de-stress; it also gives you and your partner the opportunity to bond, rekindle the romance in your relationship, and concentrate on nothing or no one else but each other.
Says Lily, a customer care specialist, “My husband and I try to schedule at least one trip someplace new every quarter—especially if we can get a promo rate or can drive there and during a long weekend—it feels like going on our honeymoon four times a year.”
(Photos courtesy of PEP.ph)