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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    My partner and I have different career aspirations. How do we support each other's goals?

    Michelle hunched over the dinner table, pinching her lip between her fingers. "We're so different," she said. Her husband, John, slowly lowered his fork. "You mean your job aspirations? We have different career goals, but that doesn't mean we can't figure it out," he replied.

    Though it may be tough for a couple with divergent work paths, it's still possible to find ways to support each other’s goals. Here are a few tips to assist in fostering a supportive partnership.

    Power Through Communication

    Though it gets exhausting, communication is key. It's worthwhile to invest the time and effort in discussing difficult topics such as separate career aspirations and how they will affect the relationship. Even though it may not be easy, maintaining an open dialogue remains the most effective way to stay connected.

    It's important to acknowledge what could be a potential issue and discuss potential solutions. In particular, couples may want to map out their individual career paths and touch upon topics surrounding their future such as relocating, making financial decisions that work for both of them, or surpassing any other challenges that may come up. Doing this allows the entire partnership to move forward with two voices.

    Finding the Benefits in Being Different

    Different aspirations can have many benefits, starting from the beginning of the relationship. Opposites can attract, which can add sparks to the union. It's quite interesting to delve into another way of thinking, plus different ideas create a unique and dynamic relationship.

    As the relationship deepens, having diverse views about work can be beneficial. It opens up debates, facilitates mutual respect between partners, and encourages couples to learn from one another. It's helpful to take in the advice from the partner’s experiences and the world of possibilities available.

    Create a Mutual Plan

    Having a mutual plan to move forward can help both partners feel comfortable stepping forward together. Especially if there's a need to relocate, it's essential to sit down and plan carefully so no one person feels overwhelmed or neglected. If one person has more opportunities and it involves a big shift, it might be useful to provide support by talking through potential options, setting a timeline, and finding a backup plan if things don't pan out. Creating achievable goals along with tackling potential issues may ease some of the stresses and presentation a clear path.

    Take Time For Yourself

    Life can sometimes take a toll on both individuals' career aspirations, making it hard to stay focused. Allowing time for being together and alone can refresh, restore, and reignite goals and perpetuate both partners in the process. Taking time to focus on oneself helps put things in perspective and can bring newfound perspective for couples — which can often be all the encouragement and support needed.

    Embrace Your Own Journey

    Supporting each other’s dreams and ambitions should stay in the center of the relationship. People make commitments to each other to stay together through thick and thin and journey together, but it doesn't mean to give up their own desires or disappear. Individuals should be encouraged to keep striving for their dreams and supporting each other in their own paths.

    Though careers can stick spouses in opposite poles, it's possible to foster a supportive relationship. Crocheting friendship bracelets, bear hugs, and living an adventurous life together can make space for two while patiently walking down different paths. Having a separate yet parallel journey can ultimately boost the vibrancy and dynamics of the union.

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