Top Ways to Best Support Your Spouse in Their Career

Your spouse or romantic partner is supposed to be the person who has your back through thick and thin. That’s truer now than ever, and yet it’s not always practiced the way it should be. According to recent research about the effects of the coronavirus shutdowns on parents in five different countries, working mothers are taking on 15 more hours per week in domestic tasks, like housekeeping and childcare, than their husbands. Many of these women are putting certain aspects of their careers on hold in order to take care of their families during these times.

But even looking beyond the corona virus pandemic, what are ways that you can support your spouses as they try to advance in their careers?

Discuss Your Long-term goals

Good partnerships, whether in your romantic life or your professional life, start with open communication. Your spouse cannot support you if he or she doesn’t know what your long-term career goals are. This is a conversation that you and your spouse should be having on a regular basis, especially whenever those goals shift. Be on the same page about what the future career path will look like for you.

  • Is it likely that you will have to relocate in order to move up in your career?
  • Are you planning to go back to school to make yourself more attractive to potential employers?
  • Will your career require you to travel a lot or work extra hours during evenings and on weekends?
  • What is your long-term salary potential in your role?

If you know the answers to these questions, but your spouse does not, that sets you up for trouble down the line.

Split Household Chores and Childcare Equally

Perhaps you and your spouse are both on the same page about each of your long-term career goals. Great. Now, are you doing everything you can to ensure your spouse actually achieves those goals? Are you taking on your fair share of the household chores and childcare responsibilities? Research has shown that women in heterosexual relationships tend to take on far more of the emotional labor in their households, even when both partners are working full-time jobs. This imbalance puts an undue burden on women who are seeking to advance their careers. Because women tend to do more of the emotional labor in their marriages, they have less time to devote to their careers, which puts them at a disadvantage at work compared to their male coworkers. This means the single best thing a husband can do to support his wife’s career is to make sure he’s picking up his fair share of the slack at home

Cheer On Successes & Encourage Risks

Sometimes you’ll be doing better in your career, and sometimes your partner will be more successful than you. Either way, you should always celebrate your spouse’s wins, rather than feeling jealous. And finally, encourage your spouse to take big risks. Urge them to apply for that promotion, even if they’re worried about being under-qualified. Support them when they want to pursue an advanced degree that will help their career. In short, you are their biggest and loudest cheerleader.

For more tips about taking your career to the next level, take a look at my blog or contact me on my website.