I have lived through two major life experiences in the last couple of years. And no, I’m not including the 50 “likes” I got on my TikTok video, although, that is a top highlight. It’s actually starting my first job and getting my first-ever real-life boyfriend! It’s been incredibly exciting and during this time I’ve come to realise that having a boyfriend is a lot like having a job. Both make you feel very accomplished, validated and happy. But they also require a lot of your time and energy and sometimes will make you cry. Both your relationship with your job and your boy teach you so much about yourself. They make you feel feelings you’ve never felt before. Great advice can help you get through both of these integral life events and I’m here to give you just that.

Here are 5 work tips that also double up as fab relationship advice

1. You Are Your Own Person

You are not your job and you are not your relationship. Tattoo this piece of advice somewhere you can always see it, this will help remind you when you forget. Both your job and romantic relationship will bring you joy and validation but also probably self-doubt and anxiety, especially if they’re your first.

It can get easy to base your self-worth on what others say about you, especially when everyone tells you you’re amazing. Outside appreciation is fun, it’s like the yummy icing on a cake. But knowing you’re amazing on your own, just based on who you are as a person, outside of your great-kisser boyfriend and cool job, that’s the main cake. If you don’t have that, the icing alone will eventually make you want to throw up.

It’s very easy–and understandable–to get lost in your job, always trying to impress others or to get overly obsessed with the person you’re in a relationship with. The honeymoon stage in any relationship is fun but don’t lose what really matters in the process. And what really matters is YOU and who you are.

Your relationship failing is not you failing. Getting a promotion doesn’t mean you’re a better person than you were before. You are your own person first. Please remember this because sometimes, it gets easy to forget.

2. Make Time For Yourself

Don’t stop going for walks just because you’re too tired from working all day or because you want to spend an extra hour with your boy. Make time for yourself and your own happiness so you can be your professional and personal best.

Remember, compliments from the person you love are great, and appraisals at work are even better, but knowing who you are and truly loving yourself is the best. If you are your number 1 priority then you’ll thrive at work and in your relationship because you’ll be more secure, confident and honest about your needs and those are all integral for success in your relationship and at your job.

3. Express Yourself

Telling someone else what you’re feeling is sometimes intimidating and can give you lots of material to overthink everything. But it’s imperative that you do it so they can help and understand you!

10/10 would recommend telling your boyfriend that he hurt your feelings when he said he wouldn’t love you if you were an ant. Also, you should tell your boss that you can’t handle the pressure of extra work because you have to make time for other, more important things, like sending DMs to Harry Styles. If you’re too tired from work for the things that make you happy, you’re going to end up sad.

It will definitely be challenging to do at first but I promise you, it is the most liberating. Please also let both your manager and your significant other know that you thrive on compliments and need validation because it helps with your self-esteem issues or whatever else your thing is. If they know what you need, they can give it to you. No surprise that people aren’t mind-readers and that boys are stupid. It’s important to express your wants and dreams in both situations and feel like you’re getting as much as you’re giving. If you don’t speak about your troubles, they just pile up and then one day you have an outburst and it’s not cute at all. So just express yourself.

4. You Have To Put In The Work

You will be shocked to find out that jobs and relationships require more than just showing up and looking cute. Let me tell you a trade secret: You actually have to put in work. Crazy, I know! And you know how there are days you’re just not in the mood to work or to tell your boyfriend what you ate for lunch? Those days where you just want to take a nap? That’s normal! But just like you can’t call into work sick every day of the week, you also can’t always avoid telling your current love about your breakfast because he probably won’t survive without knowing. So, you must push through. Once you get started living your workday or talking to your significant other about the dream you had the night before, you kind of forget that you didn’t want to do it in the first place.

Some days though, you just need time for yourself and you should take it! Mental health days are real and being busy watching movies on Netflix by yourself is a thing. You just need to send a text saying you’re going to be unavailable so you don’t hurt any feelings with your boy but also, don’t get fired from your job.

5. Know When To Leave

Chances are, your first job and your first relationship will both not be your one and only. Sometimes relationships and work environments can get toxic or worse, too comfortable and you need to get out. It can’t be easy to let go–you’ve invested so much, given so much of yourself and made so many great memories. There are also so many things left to do that you wanted to do together. Will you ever find a job as nice as the one you’re in? Will you ever love again? The future is uncertain and you’ve gotten used to the way things are.

But the best gift you can give yourself is to leave what doesn’t serve you anymore. If you’ve stopped growing, if you’ve become too set in your routine or if you’ve just become bored–it’s time to wear your big-girl shoes and leave. It’s easy to be friends with your ex-boyfriend and coworkers when you part ways before shit hits the fan. And trust me, shit will eventually hit the fan. Maybe you’ll need a break to help you move on and maybe you block everyone on Instagram and stay off LinkedIn for a bit so you don’t have to know who replaced you. But eventually, you’ll find a great new place of work and a new person to kiss and it will be better.

In the end, your first love and your first job won’t be perfect and will probably be completely different from what you imagined. They’re both scary but also so much fun and you learn so much from them. People say you never really get over your first love and I see that happening for your first job as well. Both really impact your life and become a part of you and your story so make sure to enjoy them and always ask for help if you need it. Here’s to a life of fulfilling jobs and more importantly, lots of cute boys.