Part of being in a committed relationship is going through major life changes together. Some of them will be challenging, and some of them will be exciting. The most important thing, however, is that both you and your partner are on board.
A career change can be huge. You might be used to a certain way of living that is about to become something completely different. Or, your new job might require you to move somewhere. Whether your finances, location, or schedule will change, you need to discuss it with your partner and make decisions that are best for you and your relationship.
So, how can you discuss career changes effectively? How can you stay true to yourself and what you want while remaining committed to your relationship? Let’s cover a few ideas to keep in mind as you approach that conversation, and why the right kind of communication is important.
Deciding How Your Life Will Change
When you’re deciding on a career change, both of you will probably instantly think about how your life will change right now. That’s especially true if your career change involves moving or a difference in your financial situation.
Finances are often one of the biggest stressors in relationships. To make yourself and your partner feel more comfortable about financial changes, do some prep work as you’re discussing your career. Create a budget together including things like:
- Home/car insurance
- Home maintenance
Laying things out on paper can make you both feel more comfortable about your financial situation, especially if you have to make a move. You’ll see where you can cut back and how you can get ahead with a new job.
If you’re not sure how to discuss a change with your partner, knowing it will impact your lives, your best plan of action is to tell them the truth. Fear is a huge threat to relationships. Is it scary to talk about something that could change everything? Yes.
But, telling them now will make it easier to work together. If you’ve been unhappy at your current job and need a change, talk to them about it. Over 60% of Americans are unhappy at work, and you don’t need to be one of them. Ask your partner to help you navigate the change rather than “springing” it on them. That sets the stage for you to discuss everything from money to moving together.
Committing to Your Relationship
During a career change, it’s easy for your relationship to take a back seat. Unfortunately, career moves are stressful – especially if they require you to move or adopt a different lifestyle.
If either of you is struggling with the stress of those changes, it’s a perfect opportunity to give your relationship more attention. Take a break from all of the changes you’re going through to set up a date night. You both will benefit from the relaxation, and it can bring you closer together in times of stress.
If you’re married, consider this career change a new chapter in your relationship. You can cement that new chapter in place by renewing your vows and commitment to each other. Vow renewal ceremonies can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. Consider some of the following ideas to bring your celebration to life:
- A small party with a few friends and family members
- An intimate ceremony with one or two witnesses
- A “theme” party
- A renewal with your children involved
It’s not uncommon for both people in a relationship to feel a little uneasy about major life changes, including a career shift. By recommitting yourselves to your relationship, you can have more peace of mind, and walk through future changes and challenges together.
Thinking About Your Future
Speaking of the future, it should be an important point when you’re discussing career changes. While thinking about the present and how your lives will change feels obvious, you both have to decide what you want your future as a couple to look like.
For example, will your career change take you somewhere you’re not comfortable living? If you want kids, will you be making enough money to support them? What about retirement? Be sure to discuss the various forms of retirement accounts between you. For instance, perhaps Bitcoin’s not for you, but your partner is a steady investor in the cryptocurrency. Now’s the time to ensure your accounts are diversified enough that you can make your dreams come true.
According to the Holmes Rahe Stress Scale, making a career change is one of the top 20 most stressful things you can do in life. When you’re in a committed relationship, it’s even more stressful because you’re not the only one to consider.
But, when you’re willing to be open and honest with your partner, and you’re committed to navigating these changes together, switching careers doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming. Decide what you want for your present and your future while making your relationship a priority, and a career change could be a positive thing for both of you.