Clash of Careers: Whose Is More Important?

Our career pursuits can sometimes clash. Whose career should take priority?

When you and your spouse are both very passionate about the future, your career, and your dreams (both individual and shared), those things can sometimes collide.What do you do when that happens? Whose career and dreams should take precedence?

In marriage, it’s important to negotiate a shared relationship–because when the goals and dreams of two people in a marriage clash, things can get very complicated. Today, we’re talking about ways to work together through conflicting career goals.

Goals often require one spouse to sacrifice on the other’s behalf. Even if dreams do overlap, they might feel mutually exclusive. What’s more, vocation isn’t just an expression of your gifts and talents, but a means of providing for your family’s needs. That makes the conflict all the more important, yet potentially all the heavier to find harmony in. You have to work together to create a balance.

Put your heads together and ask yourselves:

  • What are our provision goals for our family?
  • What gifts are we each passionate about?
  • How can we work together to compromise and support one another as we both grow in our careers?
  • How can we negotiate this so we’re both willing to step forward when needed?
  • What will our life look like 10 years from now if we make this decision?

A helpful exercise we recommend is the 10-10-10 Rule. Ask yourselves what life will look like 10 weeks, 10 months, and 10 years from now if you move forward with a particular decision. It’s a great decision-making tool that will pull your focus and emphasis from the short term to the long term, forcing you to examine multiple levels of impact your decisions will have on your life.

“Compromise” is a key concept here, because neither of you can have everything you want all the time. We see couples getting hung up on what’s “fair,” and keeping score. But life isn’t fair. It comes in waves, and you have to ride those waves. Making decisions together is crucial in order to keep your marriage strong and survive the changing seasons of life.

Have you and your spouse experienced a career clash? How did you work together to overcome it? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.


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