We talk about how we have managed to grow our careers while also maintaining a fulfilling family life.
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Have you ever wondered how highly successful people still find time for the families we will tell you in this episode of Happily unmarried.
Hi my name is Danielle.
And my name is Daniel.
And you're listening to the happily unmarried podcast podcast about adulting and living your best life.
In this episode we will talk about how we have managed to grow our careers while also maintaining a fulfilling family life. We will start by outlining what a growth focus career looks like,0:00:24–0:00:31
why an egalitarian relationship is important for both partners and what specific steps we have implemented in our relationship to support our career growth.0:00:32–0:00:35
How do you have a career without giving up your family life?
I think the more important question is how do both partners have a career while not giving up their family life?
Both partners should have the opportunity to work full-time jobs.
Not just full-time jobs. I think these days most couples do work full-time jobs. But way to often one partner takes a step back and kind of0:00:54–0:01:06
gives up their career ambitions in support for the other partners career or raising children are running the household. I think both partners should have that opportunity for a career.
So what's the difference between a job and a career, how do you define career.
I think before we define career we should probably define what it means to have a have a job.0:01:19–0:01:28
I would say that a job is more transactional that a career. It's something that you do, so that you get paid. You go, you put in your time, you collect your paycheck,0:01:29–0:01:36
and you go home and you live your life. I also think that at times a job is,0:01:36–0:01:41
tends to have little to no potential for growth. So,0:01:41–0:01:48
I think that folds into the whole transactional piece but to be...
Well no potential for growth or the person working the job has no interests.
Right, so the job itself may not have a lot of potential for growth but the person in the job may have no desire for growth. So they may be perfectly happy coming in and doing their job.0:02:05–0:02:16
You're getting hopefully a 2% market raise, 3% market raise every year and they're happy. They're not necessarily looking for more.0:02:17–0:02:19
Well how would you define career though?
So I think you made a couple of good points. And I think0:02:23–0:02:32
a career is kind of on the, is a reflection of the opposite of what you just described. Right, so there is potential for growth,0:02:32–0:02:44
and with a potential for growth is also a desire for growth. So, a strive for progress along this career path. The person is aiming for promotions, acquiring more responsibilities,0:02:44–0:02:53
and ultimately get pay raises as part of that. Often this is driven by a desire for better pay,0:02:53–0:03:01
obviously. Personal fulfillment, so the person striving for this is getting something out of that and then,0:03:01–0:03:08
a lot of people that that are looking for a career, they do that out of passion, so they're really invested in whatever0:03:09–0:03:17
that job is that they're working. A career then requires investment by the person working it so.
What kind of investment?
I think they're ultimately play two kinds of resources that you can invest into a career to advance it. That's ingenuity,0:03:26–0:03:37
or like "smarts," your know how, your ability, and then time is the other resource. So, you can think of this,0:03:37–0:03:46
as two factors in an equation. So, you can increase one or the other of both, to invest into your career and advance.0:03:47–0:03:55
Join us next time and we will discuss our approach to family finances. To not miss that, or any other episode, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or wherever else you listen to podcasts.
So, for the sake of this conversation, are we saying that we think that everyone should be career-driven?
I don't think so. I think this is a very personal choice. There can be all kinds of reasons why people choose to not pursue a career. In fact,0:04:13–0:04:24
a lot of relationships, one partner chooses to pursue career and the other partner chooses to not, and that can be for various reasons. I can think of for example that it0:04:25–0:04:31
make sense financially to them. Maybe the career doesn't pay as well,0:04:32–0:04:40
for the other partner or doesn't have the potential to pay as well, and so staying at home taking care of the house when the kids makes more sense financially.
Sure yeah, I have been getting quite a few people, actually, that have made that decision just due to the cost of childcare.
And another reason can be that they feel it's the best for the family. So, they don't want to disappoint their family, the children, people around them.
I don't know if I would say disappoint their children. But, I think that there are there are people who think that, you know, what's best for their family is if they are the person that steps in and takes care of the family rather than maybe utilizing outside resource.
Yeah, disappointed is maybe the wrong word, but they feel an urge.
Sense of obligation.0:05:20–0:05:30
I guess we could even point out that one partner may just not be interested in having a career, so choosing to.
Oh that's, yeah that's very true. I guess we're trying to say here is that whatever reason a couple might have for one partner to stay home and not further grow their career. It should be one that,0:05:43–0:05:50
they are in agreement on, and which that both both partiesare comfortable with the arrangement.
I would like to point out though that many couples come to this agreementbecause they believe it is impossible for both partners to achieve career growth.
Yeah in some cases both partners have an interest in growing their career, but simply just don't know how or where to start.
So let's provide some guidance, by sharing how we manage our career growth while also maintaining our family and household.
Sure I'd say when you and I met,0:06:23–0:06:28
I was out of college for about 8 years. I,0:06:28–0:06:40
up until that point had been struggling a bit to find a career with growth opportunity that I was also passionate about. Right before you and I met I had started the job0:06:40–0:06:47
at the current company that I'm working at now. I'd been there for about a year,0:06:47–0:07:01
and you know I also think it's important to point out that at that time I was a single parent. So I was really hustling. I knew that it was kind of now or never and if my career was going to pick up steam and I was going to be able to support my child that I needed to make it happen0:07:01–0:07:03
then. What about you?
I was very early in my career as well, relatively early. In fact, the job I was working that I'm still working is my first job out of college. I graduated quite late from college, I have to say and I was in to the job maybe a little bit over two years.
I think the the point that were trying to make here in sharing where we were at before we met was that we didn't come into this relationship with our careers at,0:07:18–0:07:30
And I think the the point that were trying to make here in sharing where we were at before we met was that we didn't come into this relationship with our careers at,0:07:30–0:07:37
its highest point. So, we joined this relationship together where we were both in a place that are career.
Beginning of a career.
Beginning of our careers. It was just starting to to take off and now we've essentially become a family.0:07:46–0:07:51
If you like our podcast please leave us a like and subscribe and don't forget to hit the bell icon to never miss an episode.
So, I think there are five steps that we kind of follow,0:07:56–0:08:03
that allow both partners to have career growth while still maintaining a healthy family life.0:08:04–0:08:13
Let's start with the first one that is the most important one in some ways, which is sharing household and family responsibilities equally.
Yeah I think this is really important to note. You know, we we mentioned that having an egalitarian relationship is what,0:08:24–0:08:25
is one of the things,0:08:25–0:08:37
necessary for us. Specifically, to and order for us to grow our careers and and maintain a happy family. And we can't really talk about this without addressing kind of the0:08:37–0:08:50
the elephant in the room. And I think that, that would have to be sexism at home. And for the sake of this conversation, you know we're primarily talking about heterosexual couples,0:08:50–0:08:58
but this whole idea that housework is women's work. Right, so it's up to the woman and only the woman to keep,0:08:58–0:09:06
a clean house, make sure everybody's fed, make sure all the clothes are washed, and essentially doing all of that house worth.
nd addition to house work, women also take care of the children, are responsible for raising children because there's this.0:09:17–0:09:32
perception or notion that women somehow are inherently more suited towards that kind of job. Which I don't think is true. I'm currently on paternity leave. I'm staying home with our son,0:09:32–0:09:33
and he's still alive.0:09:36–0:09:41
So I think men are perfectly able and,0:09:41–0:09:53
to enable a successful career for both partners, they have to pick up a broom, scrub the bathtub, or take the kids to after-school activities so.0:09:54–0:09:57
To enable both partners to have a career.0:09:58–0:10:06
The traditional role models have to be broken down not. only at work but also at home.
I think that the second thing that we do to support each other in our careers and at home is that we respect one another schedules. So we we understand that,0:10:21–0:10:29
you know at times we may have to step in and pick up the slack for the other person because they are0:10:28–0:10:38
have a work obligation. Whether that's working late or going through crunch time. You know both of us travel for work occasionally.0:10:38–0:10:47
You are on call sometime. So, it's very possible that you know, at 7 at night, all of a sudden you have to stop whatever you're doing and work for0:10:47–0:10:56
couple hours. In order for you to to do that, I have to I have to be flexible and vice versa.
So basically, what this means is that we support each other in such a way that if unexpected work obligations arise that we can follow through on them and if you can take care of that.0:11:10–0:11:17
The third step that we take to enable each others career growth is leveraging outside help,0:11:17–0:11:27
for household and family duties. So, there's two aspects two it. So, for one utilizing family and friends so for example,0:11:27–0:11:31
your parents pick up.
Yeah, there's been plenty of times where I'm running late, you're at work, I'm running late and we've,0:11:38–0:11:47
our daughter has to be picked up before a certain time otherwise they start charging us $5 a minute if we're late. So, you know my parents will,0:11:47–0:11:52
can run in and pick her up to help or are they all you know they pick pick her up one one day a week.
And obviously the amount of,0:11:57–0:12:11
friends and family you have available to help you out is different for different people. But if you have them available, you should utilize them. And the other aspect to this is utilizing Services. So,0:12:11–0:12:20
day care, cleaners, having your groceries delivered. All of these things, they free up time and.0:12:21–0:12:26
These services generally cost money obviously. Right, so they're not free but you can consider this,0:12:27–0:12:36
kind of like an investment into your career. Right, so all the services free of time that you then can utilize to grow your career and ultimately,0:12:36–0:12:43
that career growth will lead to pay raises that will then offset whatever money you have invested into those services.
Number four is an interesting one, we like to call this ruthlessly prioritizing at work. The 80/20 rule which I believe is kind of a well-known way for managing your time.
The idea is that you can achieve 80% of the results with only 20% of the time investment and,0:13:07–0:13:15
as you make more progress as you reach the long tail, so to the say, you need to invest more and more and more work,0:13:16–0:13:23
To achieve the same results. So, think about it this way. If you are able to unlock the first 20% of your partners career,0:13:24–0:13:32
which will lead to 80% of the impactby sacrificing your last 20% in your own career.0:13:32–0:13:40
Which will barely have any impact on your performance on your own career then that's a really good trade.0:13:41–0:13:56
But it's not quite a zero-sum game. It's not that your last 20% are equal to your partner's first 20%. Your partner's first 20% have significantly more worth in terms of how much impact they can create.
So, I would say though, that this is probably the hardest step. And the 80/20 rule, I think is a little bit difficult to master. At least at the start. You know, how would you recommend, where's a good place to start with that.
So the hardest part is0:14:15–0:14:22
you will have to find the most impactful work and focus on that. Double down on that. And finding that0:14:23–0:14:37
work. Identifying those work streams and things to do. Isn't necessarily easy and I think in general people struggle with that a lot of times and that's what is actually impeding their career growth.
I think what you're saying is that someone may spend too much time on the things that have little to no value but actually do take up the most amount of time.
yeah and so wasting your time on stuff that isn't really contributing to the career growth is not going to help you in general in your career. But especially if you want both partners to be able to achieve career growth.0:15:04–0:15:12
Sothere's several ways how you can identify the things that are most important0:15:12–0:15:26
At work. In general, it's always good to speak to a manager. Your manager tends to have a big impact on your career progression. Maybe he's making the calls if you get a promotion or not.0:15:26–0:15:33
At the very least he is involved in all the discussions around career progression, so he can tell you exactly,0:15:34–0:15:37
or she, can tell you, thank you, can tell you exactly,0:15:38–0:15:49
what the things are that you need to improve on or that in general people perceive to be very impactful. Right, so talk to your manager and then also talk to your peers. A lot of times,0:15:50–0:15:54
feedback is considered in promotions and so.0:15:55–0:16:05
if you can be helpful to your peers, then they will write you good feedback, and getting good feedback will generally help you progress in your career. So talk to your peers and your managers about what they think is the most impactful work for you to do,0:16:05–0:16:06
and then follow through on.
And I also think that there's this idea that,0:16:11–0:16:21
the more work that you hoard and keep and make yourself responsible for kind of in the sense that you're the only person that could do it. That that essentially make you a more valuable employee,0:16:21–0:16:30
I don't believe that and I think that similarly to how you said earlier if you can give up that,0:16:30–0:16:40
last 20% and delegate that or hand it off to somebody else where for them it may be that first 20%. Not only are you freeing yourself up,0:16:40–0:16:48
to focus on your 80. But you're also helping somebody else achieve their goals as well.
delegating work to others around you ,can be another great way how you can focus more on the stuff that you are the best. And that other people do the things that they are the best at.
I think the other thing to is, when you look at the work that you do, if you really want to try to.0:17:10–0:17:20
reduce that that last 20%. Is looking at your processes and how can you streamline your processes. How can you do the same amount of work in less time.0:17:20–0:17:31
Where are you wasting time? Is it in the process that you're using? Can you easily turn something that you spent an hour on into 15 minutes or less by automating it in some way.
When do you do certain jobs? Can you check your emails in the morning on your commute in the train? Organizing your time more efficiently, streamlining your processes and potentially for me and being an engineer,0:17:45–0:17:49
we have the ability to automate a lot of things. Right so,0:17:49–0:17:55
finding those things, repetitive things that take up a lot of time and try to optimize them so they take less of your time.
All right so we said five steps that was 4 what's 5.
So five is what remains.0:18:04–0:18:18
We've taken care of career and made sure that both partners have an equal opportunity to grow their career. So, now we need to make sure that our family life stays intact and stays healthy. The best way to do this,0:18:18–0:18:25
is simply by making sure that the time that you do spend with your family is high quality time.0:18:25–0:18:33
there's a bunch of things that you can do and I think for a lot of people those things in detail may be different. So I could imagine for example,0:18:33–0:18:45
having meals together is really important for us. So, we try to have dinner every night and over the weekends also have breakfast together. Spending time together for doing activities.
Yeah we have a board game night every Wednesday. So, that's, no TV we play a game as a family we also have,0:18:53–0:19:05
no screen Mondays which means we're not watching TV or on our phones or tablets. Which means we're spending time together as family as well. We also try to plan things to do over the weekend like,0:19:06–0:19:13
going to a movie or park or the zoo to really cash in on that family time.
Yeah and I think the important thing which we didn't really point out yet but is you need to schedule this time,0:19:22–0:19:32
if you have a very tight schedule around your work life which you will have to have if you want to be able to progressive career with this limited time that you have available.0:19:32–0:19:45
Then you will have to make sure that there are spots in your day and your weekends and whatnot that are reserved for family, and it doesn't mean that if something important for what comes up that you can't shift around the plans.
And it's not always going to work out but you could have set the time aside. So for example, you know I cook dinner every night. When you are working you do your best to get home by a certain time but sometimes you have to work late and I'll either eat with,0:19:58–0:20:10
our oldest or I'll feed her and then wait for you. But, we know that we always have that time set aside and we do our best to meet that. Whether or not we can accomplish it everyday we are more open and flexible to that.0:20:11–0:20:17
If you have a topic that you would like us to discuss, let us know on Twitter @UnmarriedMedia and don't forget to follow us.
Cool, so I thinkwe should quickly recap what we talked about.
Yeah so first thing we talked about was the difference between having a job and a career. A job being something with a bit more transactional you go in,0:20:32–0:20:41
put in your time, you get your paycheck, and go home. It may not have career growth opportunity or you may just not be interested in growth opportunity.
And a career on the other hand is something that provide you a growth opportunity, progression along a career path,0:20:49–0:20:56
you tend to invest time and ingenuity into your career to grow the path with the goal of,0:20:56–0:21:02
finding fulfillment or better pay or just out of passion.
We also acknowledge that for some couples,0:21:06–0:21:19
one partner just may choose not to focus on their career and instead stay home with the family. There's many reasons for this, it makes sense financially, it's what they feel is best, maybe they don't even have a desire for career.0:21:19–0:21:22
Main point being that you're agreeing.
What the arrangement is, and then we talked about our five step process,0:21:30–0:21:40
on allowing both partners to achieve career growth. So we started out with talking about how we share household and family responsibilities,0:21:40–0:21:43
and we specifically mention sexism at home,0:21:44–0:21:55
and how men are just as capable and should have the same responsibilities in caring for the household and family as the women. Especially if both partners are0:21:55–0:21:57
trying to achieve career growth.
this is only going to work if both partners put in 50% at home so that they can focus on their careers at the same time.0:22:07–0:22:14
We also talked about how we support one another to enable each other to0:22:14–0:22:27
take last-minute calls or travel. We need to be flexible enough that and understanding enough, to know that things come up, and when they do, you know, we'll make it work in an effort to support each other0:22:27–0:22:28
in our careers.
Ann then we talked about leveraging outside help to free up time. So that can manifest itself in.0:22:38–0:22:51
by asking friends or family to help out in certain situations, either on specific occasions or regularly. But also in hiring services. So for example,0:22:51–0:22:57
cleaners or daycare for the children or groceries deliveries.
Then we talked about this idea of ruthless prioritization and the 80/20 rule. And how you can achieve 80% of the results with 20% of the effort.
Yes and when we was specifically talked about how you should utilize your peers and your manager in identifying the high impact work that you need to do to achieve this effect.
Right, because unlocking the first 20% of effort in your partners career by sacrificing the last 20% in yours will give them 80% of results.
In the last step we talked about how you want to make family time quality time.0:23:36–0:23:50
You want to schedule time that you spent with your family .Make sure that this stays available as much as possible and you want to plan specific activities that you can do with your family so that those moments are special.
Awesome we hope you enjoyed some quality time with us today and found value and our strategy for providing both partners an opportunity for career growth.
We would love to hear from you. Do you share household responsibilities? How do you spend time with your family? Do both you and your partner actively grow your careers.
Share with us your tips and tricks on Twitter @UnmarriedMedia and if you want to ruthlessly prioritize more with us don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or wherever else you listen to podcasts.