A #Glutenfree Girl's Guide to Turn a Breakup into a Career Breakthrough

Suddenly, after years of dating who you thought was your soulmate, it’s over. You met his parents, window-shopped for a house to buy together and even picked what would be your side of the bed – only now you’re frantically trying to disguise your puffy, red eyes as you head into the office on Monday morning.

According to The Date Report, 85 percent of relationships end in breakups. My first relationship wasn't an exception. Recently, I shared five gluten free lessons that my first relationship taught me - and it's actually one of my most popular posts to date. My breakup, though, taught me just as much - and, in some ways, it actually helped me find work at Entity Magazine, where this article first appeared!

casey the college celiac

Although it may feel like it at first, when a relationship ends, that doesn’t mean the rest of your world has to go with it. In fact, with these tips (from my personal experience and experts) you can turn a breakup into a career breakthrough.

1. Consider any restrictions you also lost.

We know, we know. You wanted to be tied down – or at least have a cute guy tagging along for the ride. But after a breakup, it can help to consider all the restrictions you’ve also lost. Your relationship restrictions could involve places you could live, jobs you could take or even hobbies you could explore. The important part is to realize that your newly single status might open plenty of doors in your career and overall future.

(In fact, if you're a Type-A girl like me, you may even create a spread sheet of your new grad school options the same night as your breakup. Don't be afraid to use your frustration as fuel to make your dreams a reality!)

2. Embrace new activities…

The hardest part about a breakup is that your routine suddenly shatters. No more Friday date nights or texts when you wake up or go to sleep. According to Metro, one of the best ways to adapt to this change is, ironically enough, inviting even more change! Laura Yates advises trying to learn something new, whether by taking a cooking class or a course in cage fighting. If there’s anything you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time, here’s your chance.

casey the college celiac
Or checking out the local festival for Dia de los Muertos!
This adventure-lovin’ behavior can be a secret weapon for the career girl. Suddenly, that work conference you didn’t have time for or were too scared to attend sounds like fun. The extra training your boss recommends turns into an exciting challenge and, if you’ve wanted to switch career fields or seek a promotion, maybe this is when you finally have the guts to do it!

While it can be helpful to keep some parts of your life the same (think of them as a grownup safety blanket) after a breakup, new activities can help you grow and discover new passions.

3 … and new people to mentor.

With your social calendar suddenly wide open, this is also a great time to dive into networking or even find someone to mentor. According to therapist, author and TV host Dr. Sheri Meyers, studies show that the happiest people give the most to others. In the context of a breakup, cozying up to your fellow coworkers – for instance, by having girl’s night on your old date night – can not only make the office a friendly place, but it can also give you other relationships on which you can now focus.

casey the college celiac
You may even get the chance to teach your peers!
Not to mention that you never know what opportunities could emerge from your networking. If you dedicate your spare time and energy to mentoring a new office member, you could build a close personal and work relationship for life. Or, if you spend more time networking with others in your field, you could meet future employers or people who wouldn’t mind acting as your mentor.

4. Cuddle with your computer instead of your ex.

What about those nights that feel so empty without your favorite cuddler? At least in my experience, cuddling up with your computer makes for a decent replacement. I don’t just mean drowning your sorrows in Netflix, though. Instead, spend your free time updating your LinkedIn and other work-related social media profiles and upgrading your resume. If you’re currently unemployed or curious about other fields, you can also spend this free time exploring your options and researching possible career skills you could strengthen. You might not have had the time, energy or motivation to chase these opportunities while in a committed relationship.

5. Embrace healthy habits.

Eat better, feel better, do better. It’s a pretty simple equation, but in the chaos of everyday life – especially as a working woman – it can often be forgotten. After a breakup, though, Dr. Sheri Meyers stresses that eating healthy and regularly, getting plenty of sleep and developing an exercise routine is especially important. Not only do you have extra time to cook healthy meals or take trips to the gym, but you also have some extra energy. Instead of caring for two people, you can focus on yourself.

casey the college celiac
You could even do a mud run!
You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish at work when you’re fueling and treating your body right. According to Business News Daily, studies have shown that workers who eat healthy foods and exercise regularly did 15-25 percent better on job performance than their less healthy coworkers. Maybe nailing that office presentation or earning a promotion really is in the bag – your grocery bag, that is.

6. Reflect on your life and past accomplishments.

You’ve probably heard of the cliché that people’s lives flash through their eyes when dying. In terms of a relationship ending, that is not only true, but also healthy. As Metro explains, the end of a relationship allows people to reflect on their lives. What worked in the relationship and what didn’t? What, if anything, would you change? This reflection involves more than just the romantic actions of two people, though. You can also consider actions you’ve taken in all areas of your life, including work.

Perhaps your breakup reveals that you work too much and need to cut your hours. Perhaps it motivates you to set higher goals for yourself – as a romantic partner and as a career woman. At the very least, it can help you learn what you really want out of life, which is part one of getting it.

7. Pat yourself on the back for what you've accomplished since.

Take a moment and – whether you broke up two hours or two years ago – pat yourself on the back for everything you’ve accomplished since then. Maybe you’ve scored an awesome new job or maybe you’ve just managed to go to the office every day without looking like a sobbing mess. In fact, what you accomplish isn’t actually the most important part; instead, it’s that you’re doing, trying, succeeding at something. It’s working to prove to others and yourself that, yes, the breakup hurt. But you will survive and even thrive.

casey the college celiac
Who knows what mountains you'll climb?
In fact, losing your relationship might pave the way to winning the career of your dreams.

*Although I wrote this post, it first appeared at Entity Magazine. Check out my other Entity articles here!*

*Also found at Let's Get Real, Dare to Share and Share Fest*

What has a break up taught you? Can you relate to any of these tips? Let me know! 


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