Tips & Tricks

How to Spend Your Money When Your Career Feels Like a Blind Date

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Chances are if you are reading my blog I have never met you in person. How did we stumble upon each other, then? Well, at some point the both of us were sitting on the couch, happily watching Caroline Manzo, when we realized that we had to go to work the next morning. The next thing you know, you miss Teresa Guidice cooking because you were frantically looking at company reviews on GlassDoor. Sound familiar? You, me, and thousands of Millenials are all the same. We all were in college when the job market dried up, so some of us changed our majors to accounting, and the rest of us grabbed whatever job we could as soon as we had that degree in our hand. We are also hanging on to our optimism and therefore we make ourselves fall in love with a job when we get an offer. The problem happens when the fairy tale falls out, we start from scratch, and then all the sudden our career feels like a bunch of bad (insert whatever dating app you want here) blind dates. We have all been told that things will work out, and as gosh darn it as a stubbornly idealistic generation, we know they will. But in the meantime we need to pay bills. These tips will help you do that and maintain your sanity at the same time so you can get back to watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey. You know, the important things in life.

If you feel a little shaky in either your career or your dating life, you always need to spend time focusing on yourself to rebuild your confidence and maintain your well-being. Luckily for you, this means you get to splurge a little bit! I know, when did you think you would hear that from me? The caveat to this is that you must splurge wisely, and do so on something that will bring you happiness and relaxation more than once while not exceeding $30. For me, a $25 happy hour with an old friend or former co-worker will do me wonders, and the texts and funny side comments that follow will help for days on end. For someone else, it may be a manicure, a new statement necklace, or a good old Groupon deal that brings a smile to your face. Emotional confidence and a positive attitude are key when barreling forward in your career or group date, so in time the investment will pay off in dividends, especially if you continue to make a point of taking care of yourself on a semi-regular basis.

For those of us who still have our unemployment virginity, there is a big mazel tov involved. However, for those of us who do not have it, we know it freaking sucks. But there is a silver lining. If you are put in that situation, you face the realization that makes you become a responsible spender out of complete necessity. Honestly, it is a great learning experience, just like you would if you suddenly became single and came out on top like the feisty, funny, and smart girl you are. This piece of advice may seem unconventional, but when this happened to some of my friends after working on a political campaign, I decided to put myself in their shoes, spending as if I didn’t have much (if any) income. Relationship wise, it’s easy to compare this to maintaining a relationship with your closest friends while involved with a partner romantically. Just as a dinner with one of your girlfriends turns into one of the most awesome nights ever after too many margaritas, spending as if you had very little income coming in will turn out better than you think. You become more resourceful, you will be able to sharpen your budgeting skills, and you will realize how supportive the most important people in your life are to you, so give it a try. You will be surprised to find how well you can do, and it will give you more confidence to take on any difficult situations that may come your way.

I know these two pieces of advice are the polar opposites of one another, but I suppose the moral of the story is that life can come at you from all angles, regardless of whether it is in romance or in monetary situations, and the most important thing to be is prepared. By having the skills to know when and how to boost your mood as well as having the self-confidence in your ability to get through tough times, you will be able to make it through life’s worst blind dates. And yes, that includes a startup that doesn’t have the funds to hire you full time and the guy who just wanted to be friends your second semester of your senior year at college. In the end, who wouldn’t laugh about the guy who picked his nose in front of you or that boss who fired you because you didn’t use the Oxford Comma? It will be a great story to tell your one true love. Over some margaritas, that is.

By Jenna Heffernan

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