If you’re married or in a serious relationship, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you both are on the same page when it comes to careers. No matter how talented you may be, or how many opportunities come your way, if your spouse or significant other isn’t in agreement, your life will be miserable – and no amount of money can heal that frustration. Here’s a good example:
I have a friend who was at the peak of his career as a television producer. With a long string of TV movies and episodic dramas under his belt, he was at the top of his game. But out of the blue, his wife suddenly decided that she was sick of living in Los Angeles. The traffic, the cost of living, and hustle-bustle of the city – all were driving her nuts. So although disappointed, he agreed to move to the Midwest. It wasn’t long before he discovered that although he was talented and in demand, once he moved outside LA, he was out of the loop. Quick network meetings that used to be a simple drive across town suddenly became a major travel event. Although he tried desperately to fly into town at regular intervals and great expense, it simply proved too difficult, and today, this former top producer is looking for a local job in another industry.
And it’s not just about geography. Many businesses demand long hours, intensity, or travel (or all of the above). Unless both spouses are in agreement with career demands, the relationship easily disintegrates. In situations like this, it’s not really a matter of who’s right or wrong, but a matter of unity. Coming into agreement regarding expectations, the definition of success, and lifestyle are critical choices toward making a marriage work.
This principle alone will make a powerful difference in helping you transition from a job to a real career, because in my opinion, your destiny is far too big to settle.