How to Support Your Spouse's Career Decisions
The days of working for a single employer your entire career has become a quaint thought. Here are some tips for couples to consider in today's changing employment landscape.
The job market is changing, and changing quickly. More and more people are moving away from the 9-5 job and into the gig economy or entrepreneurship. In fact, freelance workers make up 35 percent of the U.S. workforce, according to a study by Freelancers Union and Upwork.
This growing trend doesn't mean it's an easy career path however. If your significant other is making a big career decision, here are a few ways you can support them:
Understand the Decision Being Made
It's important for you to know why your spouse wants to make a change in their career. If they hate their boss and want to find a new company to work for, you need to provide a different type of support than if they are bored with their industry and want to try something completely new. The more you understand about the "why," the better support you can provide.
Discuss the Details
Don't be afraid to discuss your spouse's career decision and how it affects you. If this change requires you to move, you should know well ahead of time so you can figure out your own career. Or, if your spouse would be working different or longer hours, you should discuss how this affects your schedule as well as the amount of time you can spend together. If you have details about the new position, you can better discuss how to cope with the changes and keep your relationship strong.
Once you have some of these answers, you can help your spouse achieve their goal. If they don't already have a position or industry in mind, you can help them explore their passions and find a job that fits. For example, if your significant other loves cooking dinner for your family and going to farmers markets to find new ingredients, encourage them to go to culinary school and find a restaurant job.
Alternatively, if your spouse has always wanted to work for themselves but doesn't have a specific industry in mind, suggest looking into different types of freelance work. Direct marketing companies like Amway can be a great place for your significant other to try their hand at entrepreneurship because they are able to learn new skills in sales, marketing and running a business. If they have a specific skill, such as graphic design, let them know about freelance platforms for them to try, such as Upwork.
When you're making big life decisions, you need to make them together. You should support and encourage your significant other to pursue their dreams, just like you would want them to do in return. Not only should you help them find the perfect position or continue their education, but you can support them by telling them how proud you are or by picking up some of the extra slack around the house.
You also need to work together on your relationship. Career changes can be stressful and time-consuming, but that's not an excuse for letting your relationship suffer. Be sure to schedule time to go out to dinner together or do one of your favorite hobbies, such as hiking or going to a movie. Taking a little time to appreciate each other can make all the difference.
Sara Parker is a word nerd and storyteller at heart. From fixing grammar mistakes as an editor to writing anything from lifestyle how-tos to cloud computing articles, she loves fitting words together to connect with people.