- Isabella Lenarduzzi

The Most Important Career Choice You’ll Make Is Who You Marry!

Women continue to feel as if they have to make the false choice between success in their career and success (happiness) in their personal lives. We cannot honestly disagree with the premise that many women hold themselves back in business because they have one eye on their career and the other eye on their personal/family lives. Women usually make professional choices based on the fact that they are also wives and mothers. You rarely hear men debate and struggle with this issue; even if many young men do express a desire for a more balanced life than their fathers had, they do not see this as an either/or proposition.

Make your partner a real partner

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is right in saying that one of the major pieces of advice to women for helping them to achieve their personal and professional goals is to choose the right guy. “Make your partner a real partner” which means make sure that your partner has it in him to be a real partner.

As Emily Bazelon  writes “There is no advance test for this or contract to sign, but there are some pretty reliable signals. Does your partner walk the feminist walk by taking women who are high achievers in stride? Is he equally comfortable with men who see their wives’ careers as equal as or even more important than their own? And what kind of work does he do – will he have the regularly spare hours that it takes to raise kids, unless you want to outsource them Mary Poppins style?”

Having a supportive spouse – a real partner – will play a huge part in your success.
The book “Not Tonight Dear, I’ve Got a Business to Run!”, by the expert in relationship, Dr. Patty Ann Tublin, highlights the importance of having an intimate partner who does whatever it takes to support your work, including the dishes, cooking, cleaning and being an actively engaged parent at all times, not just one who shows up for the school play. “I’ve seen many women’s career(s) compromised due to lack of support from their partner manifested by obsolete role expectations related to parenting, housekeeping and a slew of other unrealistic expectations. Many enlightened men talk the talk but few actually walk the walk. As I’ve always taught, choose your partner wisely, they will have an incredible impact on the course of your career via their support of it, or lack thereof.”

As our world changes and progresses, our expectations also change. This includes the expectations we have of our relationships. In today’s modern relationships, we really need to be as conscious about what we’re doing as we can. Then we’ll have the very best chance of our relationship having a fairy tale ending.

When a woman marries a wealthy successful man who earns more then her, everyone will congratulate him for this wonderful marriage. But when it is the woman who is recognised and respected in her job, people wonder how the poor husband must be coping with his wife’s complex, difficult and demanding character. It is exactly these stereotypes that imprison women and men in societal roles that are too constraining for the realty of our modern day lives; .

When men lose control of what they often believe is their most important contribution to raising a family – an income – the balance of power gets skewed and loving relationships can become difficult. Men may resent their wives for stripping them of their importance; women may begrudge their husbands for not carrying the financial burden; or women may feel guilty for being more successful than their partner. There is this societal belief that whoever has the money in a relationship has the power, and if she makes more money than he does, she’s somehow going to take over. Even if this view is somewhat subjective, statistics show that the more a woman earns, the more a man’s time at housekeeping increases.

A successful way to reconcile our work and family responsibilities is by creating a family plan  that complements, rather than competes with, our business plan. The old paradigm of keeping your business and personal life totally separate from each other no longer works. Creating a family plan will help ensure that you and your partner are travelling down the same path, in the same general direction. Thoroughly discussing your business dreams and planning with and for your family will help you make business and family choices that offer the most potential for satisfying your long-term individual, couple, and family goals, as well as your professional ones.

Men need to learn to keep their egos out of it, and women need to learn not to be intimidated. A woman can’t keep herself smaller to make her husband feel bigger or the relationship will never work. He needs to feel strong and competent too.

The JUMP newsletter is coming back in September, until then we wish you a wonderful holiday season for a relaxed and chilled out summer.