Kathy Caprino a career growth and personal success coach, writer, TEDx and keynote speaker, and leadership developer dedicated to the advancement of women worldwide, discusses how to plan effectively with your spouse to achieve your career goals.

In the years she served as a marriage and family therapist, she worked with many different kinds of couples who were struggling in one way or another in their relationships. She saw over and over exactly where partners were facing irreconcilable differences about the directions they wanted to take in their lives and careers. They were at an impasse, and didn’t know how to navigate through it.

Often what she’d see is men and women who came to a point where they viewed their partner’s career dreams to be at significant odds with how they themselves wanted to live, and how they envisioned their family life should be.

How do you choose a partner who will continue to support your biggest career dreams, even through the deep challenges of making those dreams a reality?

She has seen that the career goals people start off with early in life often end up being the wrong ones, or need significant revision in later years. People dramatically change and shift as they grow and mature, and what matters most in later years is often extremely different from what people cared about 10 or 20 years earlier.

With every couple, she’d ask this question:

Are each of you able to fully support your partner to do what they long to do in this life, to reach their highest potential in the way their life calls them to? Are you able to get behind them to give them the emotional support they need to pursue their vision of the happiest life?

If the answer is “no,” it typically bodes very poorly for the long-term success of the relationship.

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How can you effectively work together with your partner so your career planning aren’t at odds?

She’d say this: If you want a career change, and you’re exploring your options, at the start of the exploration, don’t be overly concerned about what you think your partner needs and wants.  This should be your time to explore and brainstorm in an unencumbered way what YOU want to do with your career.

How do people build the ultimate and best career for who they are at theircore?

The best quote according to her on the idea of what makes a happy life and career is from Maria Nemeth’s great book The Energy of Money in which she says:

 “People are happiest when demonstrating in physical reality what they know to be true about themselves, giving form to their Life Intentions in ways that help others.

To do that, people have to be free to engage in a very deep excavation and inquiry about who they really are and what they want to stand for in their lives and work.  You have to first have the space to understand yourselves more intimately, and be free (for the moment) of the worries of how the outcome of our exploration will impact your partner.

How can you build a career that allows for as much flexibility and control of my own time as possible, from the start of your career?

Decide what matters most to you, then take the right steps from the beginning of your career to the end, to ensure that the flexibility and control you want remains within your reach.  Be brave, and say “no” to roles, employers and situations that will take you away from what you value most as a human being in this lifetime. If you remain strong, clear and courageous, there are plenty of amazing opportunities in the world for you to work as you want to, and honor your core values and visions in ways that will bring great happiness and reward.

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