Some Good Advice: Discussing a Job Change With Your Significant Other

job change advice

Who do you go to for advice when you’re contemplating a job change? If you said your spouse or significant other, you’re in good company. In a recent Accountemps survey of senior executives working at U.S. companies, more than four in 10 (43 percent) said they talk to their spouse or significant other first when evaluating an employment offer.

Friends and mentors were close behind, cited by 21 percent and 20 percent of those polled, respectively. Coworkers (9 percent) and other family members (7 percent) rounded out the responses.

It’s hardly surprising that significant others garnered the largest response in the survey. When you’re making a list of your closest confidants, they’re probably right at the top. They know your career goals and ambitions better than anyone else. They’re also most likely to recognize what makes you happy and understand how well a job opportunity would fit into your professional and personal life.

Moreover, a spouse often has a stake in any job change you make, even if it doesn’t require you to move. A new job with a longer commute, for example, can have a domino effect on everything from your spouse’s work schedule to childcare options.

Here are some guidelines for productively discussing a job change with your spouse or significant other:

Set aside time to talk.

With everything else you two have going on – your current job, your significant other’s job, your children’s activities, and all of your other household duties – it can be hard to find adequate time to discuss the finer points of the possible career change. But it’s nearly impossible to properly review an opportunity in five-minute chats here and there. If you can, schedule at least an hour during which the two of you can go over the pros and cons of changing jobs.

Decide on salary requirements.

Maybe you want to move from public to private accounting to cut down on your hours and your travel obligations. However, that could mean a salary cut, as public accounting jobs tend to pay more. That’s why it’s a good idea to sit down with your spouse and assess your financial situation before you make any decisions about taking a new job, so you can determine your salary needs.

Keep an open mind.

Taking a new job can mean a big lifestyle change for everyone in your family. You might have to move to a new city or start working longer hours, and your spouse may not be as open to those things as you are. Even if you really want to take the new position, keep an open mind when listening to your spouse’s objections.

Find other people to talk to.

It’s never a bad idea to get alternate opinions about a big job change. Your mentor and friends might be able to provide a perspective on the situation that you and your spouse haven’t considered.

Who do you talk to when you’re contemplating a job change? Share in the comments below.

job change advice