Every job I have ever had, at some point or another, took a backseat to my relationship.
This doesn't mean I have never achieved career success. It just feels impossible to thrive at work while juggling the scheduling and drama that comes with a relationship.
Sometimes I felt like Anne Hathaway in the Devil Wears Prada. I had to justify every sacrifice I made for my career to a whiny, needy boyfriend.
Sorry Adrian, you're cute, but anyone who would choose you over Meryl Streep as a boss is lying or an idiot.
I love working and am a self-proclaimed workaholic. I will never say no to my boss wanting me to work long hours or weekends.
Career success is as important to me as breathing and being single for the first time in ten years has made it possible to not only focus on work, but to professionally thrive.
So if you do happen to be single for the time being, here are my suggestions for taking advantage of the career boosting time you have before Prince (or Princess) Charming swoops in and distracts you with frozen pizza, binging Game of Thrones and great sex.
1. Work late.
Skip a few happy hours with your friends and put in the extra hours. You have an advantage when you don't have to get home to a significant other or kids. This will win you major points with your boss.
Those extra hours are also much more efficient than the standard 9-5. You will get so much more done when the office is quiet and you're not distracted by coworkers.
2. Do some solo networking.
Go to work and networking events to mingle with your coworkers and other young professionals. I cannot tell you how limiting it felt to have a boyfriend at an event when I just wanted to work the room and make contacts.
Sure, sometimes having someone on your arm can be an advantage, but going alone builds confidence and keeps your head in the game.
3. Seek out professional development opportunities.
Ask your boss what professional development opportunities they are willing to pay for. This can be anything from online classes to attending a conference. If you can find something that will really be an advantageous new skill set, your employer may very well be willing to make it happen.
Not having to worry about your boyfriend's sister's best friend's wedding, baby shower, and child's first birthday, means a lot of free time to get better at your job and learn something new.
Your resume will thank you.
4. Find your passion.
Maybe you're not in your dream job, but at least you're spending less on dates and presents. Being single allows for you to live economically and pursue what really makes you happy.
You might even find that you have the free time to take on a part-time job or freelance work. Putting your career first means you will be earning more than you're spending, which will only help you in the long run.
5. Take time for you.
This was a hard lesson for me. I threw myself into work after my breakup and realized that I'm better at my job when I'm taking time to take care of myself.
Work hard. But after that long day at the office, practice some sort of self-care. This could be pouring a glass of wine and going to bed early. It could also mean hitting the gym after stocking up at Whole Foods.
Either way, your body will thank you and your career will benefit because of that boost. You will be much more focused and excited about work once you're not sharing your scarce free time with another person.
Chances are, we won't be single forever. For right now, prioritize your future. Spend a little less time swiping right and a little more time being the badass career woman you are.