JOB SEARCH / JUL. 30, 2014
version 7, draft 7

Searching for Jobs as a Couple

When you pledge to live your life to another, your careers are linked together anyway. A promotion could take you away from home, a job loss could do the same. This is why many couples opt to search for career options together, and some job-seeking sites are taking notice.

Love and Career

Many people meet their mates through work. Lots of couples work in similar career fields already. So when one is searching for a job, why not the other?

They’re known as dual-career couples, and they are being targeted by job-seeking websites that wish to cater to their needs. The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, HERC, has the largest database of higher education and education-related jobs. The site provides job listings from hospitals, universities and colleges. Dual-search technology allows couples to search for jobs together.

According to a study conducted by Stanford University, 35 percent of males and 40 percent of females in the academic career field are partnered with other academics. Their careers are as entwined as they live together, and one truly depends on the other. Because of all the factors involved -- money, geography, chlidren -- dual career searching makes a whole lot of sense.

The Dual Career

Approximately 47 percent of married couples in America have two working spouses. Between 1996 and 2006, the number of two-income couples rose by 31 percent. In the UK, around two-thirds of households with two adults have two working professionals. Around 70 percent of married couples in Canada both have jobs.

When both members of the marriage work, both members of the marriage have to think about career needs and goals for their partners as well as for themselves. Studies show that work-related and career problems can cause the ruination of a marriage. Problems like distance, money and time constraints can put too much strain on the relationship.

Two-career couples have to take extra steps to keep their respective careers strong while still maintaining their marriage. Talk to your partner about your career expectations. Lack of communication, particularly when it comes to career goals, will wreck a marriage. Don’t just talk about future goals and aspirations, either. Talk to your partner what you need now, and on a day-to-day basis, in order to successfully balance your career and family life.

Dual Job Searching

When searching for jobs as a couple, it’s important to focus on the same region. Decide where to look for jobs together, and stick to the geography. Often, one person will get a job before the other. However, it’s important that couples don’t treat the job search like a race. Don’t let the first job offer dictate the rest of your shared lives. Each job offer should be evaluated by both parties, judged by its merits and its ultimate effect on the marriage.

Compromises will be needed, but try not to set time limits or strike a deal with your partner. For example, don’t make any plans that “in 6 months, so-and-so will quit their job.” When such deals don’t work out as planned, it can cause resentment and that can ruin a marriage. Searching for jobs together means doing it together, so both parties get to weigh in equally.

In today’s modern world, it’s usually necessary for both parties in a relationship to maintain their own careers. Being a dual-career couple is challenging, but it’s not insurmountable. Searching for jobs as a couple can make it much easier to reach those career goals together.


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