Workplace 2030: What’s the ROI of your life partner?

“I don’t want to make a career choice for personal reasons”

I heard this some time ago from a protégé referring to her sense of failure or embarrassment for wanting to be closer to family and a potential life partner.

Choosing a partner is as important as any internship, MBA, or sponsor but it doesn’t show up on the CV and there aren’t any college counselors who would dare broach such a subject.

It’s a challenge as we look to prove ourselves at work yet also figure out how to move beyond the “me” phase of adulthood in to a broader network of obligations and ambitions, especially with many couples relying on dual incomes. How do you decide when struggling to find a city you and your partner can both live and work in without both feeling compromised? When your child is sick, do you have the person with the least income stay home, the one with the most flexible schedule? Who will be the ‘lead parent’? Do you take turns? What are the career or emotional implications?

More men and women are coming forward as role models. Sheryl Sandberg has been vocal about the importance of picking a spouse that believes in equality. Last month at an event to support the Asian University for Women, Chairwoman Cherie Blair, mentioned the importance of having “a supportive life partner”.

There are no easy answers but it is a great leap forward that such things are being discussed. The ROI of your life partner is something that may seem relegated to the days of arranged marriages but modern women and men may have to give their relationships more credence as they can be a huge pillar of their work success.

The only way for couples “to work and to love” is to work together.  

How have your partnerships affected your work?

Read the complete Workplace 2030 Series: 

Part 1 of Workplace 2030: Do You Know What Success Looks Like?

Part 2 of Workplace 2030: Tales From the Coalface

Part 3 of Workplace 2030: A Parent’s Place Is In…

Part 4: This Article