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8 Reasons Why You Should Discuss Your Career Before Marriage

Posted: April 20, 2015

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Marriage comes with lots of dreams, hopes, changes and uncertainties. Here are 8 reasons why you should discuss your career before marriage.

You read it correct! A supportive marriage is a must for a successful career, both for men and women, and particularly for women in a country like India.

You may not find this article interesting if you do not have plans to marry at all. This post is relevant to women like me, who try to balance work and marriage day in and day out. For some people, who dedicate themselves to their careers, like entrepreneurs, scientists, and people working in emergency services, work and life are not separate; their work is their life. But for most people, work and marriage are two separate things, with their own separate demands.

In the society we live in, a man may have a career without the support of his wife, but it is almost impossible for a woman to pursue a career without her husband’s support. Frankly speaking, I thought of marriage as a personal decision. I was aware that the person I marry would have a huge impact on my personal life, but never thought he could make/break my career.

My husband and I discussed many things before we got married, including his career choices, but never my career. When I asked him recently about it, he said, “I assumed you would work after marriage and kids, and I decided to support you.” Luckily, I found the right person.

Here are eight ways how your marriage influences your career.

1. Your time outside work is no more ‘your personal time’

If you want to take a part of your time back to your work, now you also need the consent of your partner. You promised to share your life with someone and so, you have to share your time too.

2. It is not easy to move jobs or cities, or accept promotions

You may want to move to a new city or a new company for a better role or your current employer may offer you a better position in a different city. It is not easy to move two careers to a new city. Now that it is a family, your partner would have his own job and his own location preferences.

3. The nature of your jobs may be parallel or opposite

Every job is not the same. Demands change based on the type of industry, the nature of work and the job. Some job profiles are much more stressed, and some are relaxed. It is important to understand your spouse’s job demands, to meaningfully converse about careers. I think it is important to have same time shifts to spend quality time with each other. If you are in the same field, you could also help each other.

4. Your careers would be constantly compared with each other’s

It is not easy to fly against the wind. Everyone you meet, would compare companies, your designations and salaries too. Almost all of them would think a man’s job is more important than a woman’s; wives are expected to have low profile jobs. You would have trouble if yours is not! Their opinions and comments may disturb your marital peace and also, your husband’s support for your career.

Almost all of them would think a man’s job is more important than a woman’s; wives are expected to have low profile jobs.

 5. Financial independence

Money is the one of the biggest motivators to work. After marriage, just earning wouldn’t be enough – you need to learn to manage money. It would not be easy for both you to agree where you would spend your hard-earned money.

6. Managing a house is no less work than your full-time job

After marriage, you might have moved from your parents’ house or hostel into a new home. Running a house – purchasing groceries, paying gas, water, and electricity bills, cleaning the house and managing domestic helpers consumes a large portion of your me time. You do not come to a neat home every day, you have to arrange it. Initially, it would be very interesting, but you may eventually feel tired and bored of household work. You would start looking for weekends or for your mother to visit you!

7. Even simple decisions are not just yours

You want to eat outside, but your husband wants homemade food. What would you do? One of you have to compromise. And, I am not referring to the effort of cooking after a hectic day at office. You may need to take many more complex decisions for your career, and you may not get the required empathy from your spouse, if he doesn’t understand your priorities in life.

You may need to take many more complex decisions for your career, and you may not get the required empathy from your spouse, if he doesn’t understand your priorities in life.

8. Kids make it more complicated

Kids add a lot of fun to our lives, but they also demand a lot of time and attention. Now, your me-time outside work and sometimes, part of work time, would also go towards taking care of kids. If you do not have a full-fledged support system at home (spouse, parents and in-laws, domestic helpers), you wouldn’t have a career.

In general, the Indian marriage system discourages women from working after marriage. Many women drop their careers after marriage, and research says that 50% of those who continue after marriage drop the ball for their kids. If you are in a joint family living with your in-laws, it gets much more difficult unless you got married into a family that treats you exactly like their daughter.

This post is not meant to scare you, but to help you prepare well for career after marriage. It is important to discuss your career plans, priorities and financials with your prospective husband. Do not assume that he would support your career because he knows you are working now.

Your marriage may break your career dreams, if not planned well.

Image of aman and lady talking via Shutterstock

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