Mochi Answers Your Pressing Questions on Love and Work

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How do I survive a long distance relationship?

To put it simply: Both individuals have to put in the effort to make it work. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and there are some other factors that make the process a bit easier. First of all, you should have a common goal to eventually be together in one place, whether that’s within one year or five. Knowing that the circumstances are temporary and that there’s an end in sight will help ease your heart and mind when you wish your significant other was just a five-minute drive away. In the meantime, make it a point to communicate at least once a day—even if it’s just a text saying “Hello” or “I just saw something that reminded me of you!” Letting each other know that you’re on each other’s minds will help you feel close, and technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected.

Along the same vein, with distance testing your relationship, it’s also important to show the other person that you care, not just assume that he or she knows it. Not only do the little things matter, they also make the biggest emotional impact. Send a care package. Email a note to kick off the week. Set up Skype dates. Visit as much as possible.

It’s also important to be realistic about what you’ll have to sacrifice. Visiting each other means social as well as financial constraints. Depending on how frequent the visits are, you’ll find yourself with less time to hang out with friends, run errands, or simply enjoy some alone time while you’re away or while your significant other is in town. And, of course, there are travel expenses.

Finally, rest assured that long-distance relationships do successfully become short-distance ones. One of our editors recently survived a 13-month long-distance relationship, between Philadelphia and Maryland, with visits every weekend. Thankfully, they’re a mere 25-minute drive away now. Another editor has so far survived three and a half years, with “just” another year to go. Don’t give up!

How do I deal with working in a male-dominated workplace?

While society has come a long way when it comes to gender equality, females still face many disadvantages in the workplace. We get paid less for the same time, effort, and output as men, and, in many cases, men make up all the high-powered, chief-level folks (CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, and the like).

If you’re currently working in a male-dominated workplace, you’ve probably wondered how to best deal with it. The answer is simple: Be assertive and be yourself. While it’s true that women often feel the need to overcompensate, it’s important to maintain your integrity (in yourself and in your work). Focus on the quality of your work, and don’t feel shy about sharing your ideas. The bottom line is that your work speaks for itself. If you work to produce fantastic results and create opportunities to further your credibility and visibility, you’ll earn your co-workers’ respect.

Which brings us to the next point. If you want something, whether it’s a raise or a new project or more leadership, ask for it—and don’t be afraid to negotiate! Find out whether or not your company has a regular review policy because that’s a great time to bring attention to your long-term needs as a professional. If not, request one when you round out a year at work or finish a major project. Just make sure you’re prepared to demonstrate why you deserve what you’re asking for and why you kick butt.

It’s true that there are companies where it’s all about being in the boy’s club, and you might never get in with them. If that rings true for you, then you know when it’s time to pack your bags and move on to a company that will really utilize your skill set and challenge you. Remember this: If one company doesn’t appreciate what you have to offer, another will.