Careers and Friends: How to Have Both

Having a career and keeping your friends close seems to be a struggle that most of us feel frustrated by.

When school and uni have finished, we are suddenly thrust into the world to find the careers we have studied so hard to get.

The once close-knit friendships we have made all through our school and university years are suddenly more difficult than ever to keep together as the responsibilities of becoming a full time, working adult pile on top of us.

Is it just me? Or are we all feeling the tiresome burden of growing up?

Working less whilst still making enough money to get by and securing that great job feels like an unrealistic option.

So how do we have a career and still have a social life?

Be super organised

First thing is first! You need to get organised. Use a diary or laptop or smart phone or whatever other technology the super-nerds have shoved in our faces to help us know what day it is and plan ahead. Plan way ahead!

Planning is key to having a social life. It’s unlikely you will be able to go for a sneaky cocktail if your mate has called on Thursday, straight after work for a catch up. Not only will you be exhausted and dreaming of when your bottom can sink into the couch so you can eat a pack of Tim Tams and watch Friends Reruns, but you may also have to stay back at work to catch up on your large workload.

Let your friends know that they have to book you in. It sounds a bit formal, but it’s the only way to ensure your friends get to see you, and you will be happier knowing it hasn’t suddenly disrupted your working week.

Manage your time well. If you can work later some days, you could finish earlier on others. This will give you more time to be social and do the things you love.

Work mates can be your best mates

Yes, it is sad that some of your school or uni friends have drifted out of your life. However, it’s only natural for people to find their own way in the world as we grow older and take on more responsibilities. Plus, not everyone wants to party like its 1989 anymore… which totally sucks!

So wipe your lonely tears aside and get some new friends. If you’re too busy with work, why not incorporate work and friends together. Work friends can be super fun and for some reason, Friday night drinks can bring out the beast in pretty much anyone, so hold on tight for the ride.

Work friends can be easier to keep because they can understand the pressure you are under, as they are seeing it first hand and their schedules may be similar to yours.

If there isn’t much of a social gathering at your workplace, get off your sad arse and make it happen.

Be realistic

Many of us believe that if we work incredibly hard to get to the top, once we are there, it will become easier, but that’s not always the case.

In fact, now that you’ve secured the top job or that dream position, try to relax a little. You could be doing it for the rest of your working life, so you need to ease into the role, otherwise, you could burn out and drastically effect not only your personal life, but your career as well.

Doing a great job at work doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run around like a mad-man, stay back until ungodly hours and do everything yourself. In fact, if you’re too busy, you could miss things that make your career turn on you.

So turn to your friends for fun and support. They are there to whinge to and you’ll feel better for it.

Choose to be happy

It’s great that you have your big fancy job, but are you really happy? Do your friends consist of the three cats that visit you each night from the neighbourhood, or the weird old bum that yells at you for money as you walk to work? Feel like you’re missing out when you see annoyingly happy photos on Facebook of the friends you used to have?

It’s easy to get bogged down in work and sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But you and only you can make changes in your life. You need to leave work at work, keep to a strict schedule and connect with your friends. Making time for yourself is really important too. After all, it’s not much of a life if you’re working all the time.