It’s amazing how many couples I know, including myself, my parents, my coworkers and friends, where when they got together, both of their careers started to move in a distinctly upwards direction. Part of it could absolutely come down to age and having done the ground work before they got together, but in my observations, those with strong romantic partners achieved career success well before those without.
I will freely admit that this is not a brand new theory – its been spoken about at length on other blogs.
It was also something Sheryl Sandberg wrote about a lot in her book; that nothing she achieved could have been done without her partner. What I’m interested to know is – why is that??
1. Your thinking has switched from “Just a Job” to “My Career”
When you start thinking “long term” in one aspect of your life, this inevitably flows over to the other. When you first start out in a job, its all about making it through the week without stuffing up. But when you really invest in that romantic partner, your starting to think longer term about your whole life – where you want to live, what goals you want to achieve, and ultimately how your career is going to support that. You stop seeing a pay cheque or an easy working environment, and start identifying career paths and progression. You start to think about what your ultimate end game for your career is, and exactly how you are going to get there,
2. You start to take big financial steps that you couldn’t achieve alone.
Particularly in the Australian Economy, the biggest investment most people make is their first home. I’ve spoken about it before, and I maintain that this kind of financial commitment is made much more achievable by having two incomes. Who would have thought it. But there are some flow on benefits to purchasing your own home that affect your career – it provides a great impression if you are job hunting, by proving that you are stable and motivated to move forward in your life and have the ability to think longer term. Again, it comes down to mentality – by demonstrating that you are thinking long term enough about where you want to live as to purchase a home, you demonstrate that you are thinking longer term about your career. You will also find that the location of your home can direct which jobs you choose to take. No longer will you suffer a long commute “because you might move closer” or will you take a job with far too low a pay “because its a cool product to work on”. So places you might not have previously worked for become options, and that can yield big results.
3. You have the ability to hunt down the job you WANT, not the job you have to take.
Job hunting sucks. We have talked about that. But when your first starting out its all about waiting for the first offer available and then pouncing. With a partner though, you have the luxury of a safety net. Whether that’s starting your own business because you know there’s someone else there to help pay the mortgage in the tough first few months; or taking a big promotion because you know that there is a loving and supportive person at home to share dinner, dishes and cleaning duties with. Ultimately you have the luxury to take the time to really think about what position and decision is going to move you and your career in the direction you want. This is not to be taken lightly or taken advantage of however!
Ultimately, behind every strong person is their partner. If you have someone in your corner every day telling you that you can do it, and achieve anything that you want, whether its a big career change, a new degree or a promotion; it gives you the confidence and nurtures your own belief that you can. They are honestly on your side every step of the way, and that unconditional love and support is what makes you believe that anything is possible.
I truly believe that a strong partner and the right partner can be the best thing you do for your life professionally. I say that because I have seen it and experienced it myself, but it’s meant as no shade to those single guys and gals who are out there kicking it and killing it every day. It really becomes all about mindset, and if you’re lucky enough to get into that mindset early, you can’t help but achieve more and do better.
I would love to know what you think of my thoughts here – of course I can only talk about my own experience, so please let me know if you disagree! You can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or email.