You floated through the dating phase, glided to the altar, maybe even welcomed one or two new additions to the family. But somewhere in the natural flow of life together, you’ve found that the careers you envisioned so clearly in the early relationship stages look very different today. His job requires travel and long days; hers demands the night hours. Relationship quality begins to waver in the light of strenuous schedules that refuse to coincide. So, what do you do when the plot twists of life lead to a place where dream jobs don’t align?
The average American worker will change jobs 12 times throughout his or her life. Transitions like this could result for any number of reasons, from a company relocation to more appealing schedules. Regardless of the reason, career change is a highly probable occurrence and possible stressor at some point during your life. In addition, recent data indicates that upwards of 60% of households in the U.S. have both parents working outside the home. Understanding the changes and possible conflict that can result from lack of alignment when it comes to jobs can promote resilience and reinforce teamwork as you confront the challenge.
How to Navigate When Your Dream Jobs Don’t Align
Identify the Non-Negotiables
Sit down and hash out what is most important to your partner. Acknowledge how important Saturday night football is to him and how much she needs that massage for her own self-care. Set specific things in stone on the calendar, including date night or the agreed-upon vacation time that will give you both a mental and physical break. Calendar time may be a crucial weekly event that is done as a team. Your jobs may not align but you can navigate the situation by aligning yourselves!
Be A Cheerleader
You may feel like a sideliner when it comes to your significant other’s career, but you can still serve as the most enthusiastic advocate. Align yourself with your loved one as he or she pursues personal dreams and achievement. This can be exciting as you both celebrate success together. Spend time investing in getting to know your person’s chosen profession. Take up opportunities to let your partner know you are there for support.
Make New Memories
In the midst of a crazy life season or transition, make new memories while you learn to navigate some of the challenges of your career paths. Maybe it’s a quick lunch while you both have an hour to spare or evening walk for some quality time at the end of a hectic day. Don’t forget to find time to laugh together.
Recognize That This Isn’t Easy
You’re juggling life and facing the challenges that arise when your dream jobs don’t align. But know that this can be navigated together. Keep the love connection strong while you chase your dreams and make a dual-career relationship work!
Check out the book “Couples That Work” for additional insight or give us a call to find out how you can walk through life’s challenges with a seasoned therapist. How have you made the dream job and family life work?