Career Confessions: Love, Marriage and Your Career
Last month my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. Like many other couples, we’ve found it challenging at times to create balance in our marriage while we’re focused on building our careers. Though it hasn’t been easy, we continue to try each day and have even learned a few helpful things along the way.
Here are four tips that you can implement into your marriage to make balance seem less elusive:
1. Always Be Supportive.
When we first got engaged, I was still in college, but my fiance had just graduated and was still working at his college job – one that he happened to really love. When it came time to put our engagement announcement in the city paper, I was hesitant to include a description of what he did for a living. I thought to myself, “It’s not going to be his ‘real job’, so should I include it?” I didn’t hesitate to include my career description, however. I had already started down the path that I was planning to take post-college and proud of it!
The thing is, my husband to be happened to really love his gig at the time and was in no hurry to move on. And it wasn’t a bad paying job – I couldn’t complain! At that point in time, I learned that loving my husband for who he is includes also loving what he chooses to do.
Which brings me to my second point…
2. Don’t Take Anything For Granted
We had a long engagement – about a year and a half. Three months before our wedding I got laid off. We had just bought a house the year earlier, and had three expensive months approaching us, both having out of town bachelor and bachelorette parties, a wedding, plus a honeymoon. So here I was, so proud of where I was going, until I wasn’t. I learned pretty quickly to stop assuming that I was just going to continue to go up and up the ladder (in income, title, etc.). Not all careers are ladders, most these days are jungle gyms – thank you, Sheryl Sandberg. My fiance was so supportive during this phase in our lives, encouraging me to pursue many different, unorthodox options. With his support, and after five months of searching, I was able to nab a job that I really enjoyed. Lesson learned? Six months of saved income, low debt and living within your means comes in handy – you never know when life with throw you – or him – a curveball.
Both my husband and I love to travel, so this one has been much too easy for us to implement. It’s important to take a break from the daily grind and get away together. Sometimes it’s big trips and sometimes it’s small ones. This February my husband and I traveled to Hawaii for 10 days and last month we checked out early on Friday and roadtripped to Steamboat Springs. Whatever you can do within your schedule and your budget – take the time to do it and refresh your relationship. Reconnect and shake off the rush of life – technology aside.
4. Be on the Same Page About Kids
Kids have never been a big point on our radar, which was confirmed in our pre-marital counseling. But knowing that kids weren’t a priority up front was important for both our relationship and our careers. We’ve been able to take risks and bounce around when needed to find the right fit. We’re able to have some of that freedom up front and not feel pressured to stick with something just because its a paycheck.
If you’re struggling to find balance in your marriage due to the demands of your career, I urge you to sit back and reconsider your priorities. Ask yourself what is important – both now and in the long run. Having a happy home life makes you even better on the job and trust me, the extra few emails can wait.
Do you have any other advice for relationship-career balance and success? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @mscareergirl!