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Engaged to be Married: Supporting Each Other’s Career Ambitions

Updated: 6 hours ago

A successful relationship involves more than just romantic companionship; it involves teammates who tackle life's challenges together. Investment in certain skills can strengthen the bond between couples and pave the way for a fulfilling relationship.

This four-part series explores four essential areas where couples can invest time and effort to foster a deeper connection and achieve shared goals.

Supporting Each Other's Career Ambitions

Planning a Family for the Future [coming soon] 

Engaged to be Married: Supporting Each Other’s Career Ambition

Many of us have career goals we have been working toward. Couples also have their own marital dreams, goals, and aspirations. Happy couples respect and celebrate each other's career choices and achievements. They also respect each other as spouses and strive to support one another's needs. 

Building a life together for two ambitious people requires a thoughtful and planned balance between marital and career success for both spouses. Here are seven tips for balancing the act. 

Communication and Shared Goal Setting

Some spouses tell us that they struggle to share their career ambitions because they assume it'll create anxiety or unnecessary concern for their partner. Assumptions in a relationship are an enemy of support. 

Effective communication forms the bedrock of any successful relationship. When it comes to supporting each other's career ambitions, open and honest communication is key, particularly because how we feel about work and career sacrifices can change over time. 

Regular discussions about career goals, challenges, and aspirations are healthy and allow couples to manage the ebbs and flows of their feelings. Moreover, setting goals together can strengthen the bond between spouses and provide a sense of shared purpose.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Aliyha Amani is a Tax Attorney at ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas. Before joining ExxonMobil, Aliyha worked as a tax associate at Baker McKenzie, LLP, a world-renowned international law firm. Aliyha is married and coordinates her time with her husband, Zo, who still lives in Washington, D.C.

Lorenzo “Zo” Amani, who is the vice president, compliance officer at Industrial Bank. Prior to joining Industrial Bank, he served as a policy advisor in the Office of Consumer Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department. 

Together, they can coordinate their busy professional schedules while thriving in a marriage where they spend much of their time living in two cities. Both were past podcast guests who shared a bit about how they can work together to support each other’s career ambitions.

Modern Husbands Podcast Episode

Navigating career ambitions often requires flexibility and adaptability, especially when faced with unexpected challenges or opportunities. Spouses can support each other by being flexible in accommodating career-related changes, whether it involves relocation, career shifts, or balancing work and family responsibilities. 

Financial Support, Planning, and Professional Development

Financial stability is crucial to pursuing career ambitions. Spouses can support each other by jointly managing finances and creating a solid financial plan that aligns with their career goals. 

We go to great lengths to provide insight into how couples can do so in our Transition to Marriage Toolkit and articles on our Money Marriage U Relationships and Family pages.

Supporting each other's career ambitions also involves nurturing personal growth and development. Encourage and invest in each other's continuous learning and skill enhancement. 

Whether it's pursuing further education, attending workshops, or acquiring new certifications, prioritize personal development as a shared goal. And, of course, this could come at the high price of post-secondary education degrees. 



Division of Responsibilities

Balancing career ambitions with household responsibilities becomes difficult as work responsibilities and demands at home increase. And for many couples, both tend to happen simultaneously. 

Couples are promoted and children enter the picture. That’s when the real chaos begins. Perhaps that is why the research shows that couples experience a decline in happiness after their wedding days that is persistent in their marriages.

Transition to Marriage Toolkit

Communication is key in ensuring a fair distribution of tasks and finding a balance that allows both partners to pursue their ambitions without undue strain, but communication alone is not enough. 

Folks who manage both with excellence have systems in place prior to big changes in their careers and homes.

We share best practices in our Transition to Marriage Toolkit for doing so, a toolkit that is used to build and rebuild marriages. 



Emotional Support

The journey towards fulfilling career ambitions can be filled with highs and lows. Providing emotional support is crucial during times of uncertainty, setbacks, or self-doubt. Spouses can offer a listening ear, words of encouragement, and reassurance during challenging times. 

Understanding the support your spouse needs requires a thoughtful approach to your conversations after work. We included in our straightforward toolkit the graphic below, which illustrates the three primary options to consider when supporting the challenges your spouse faces at work. 

Support for your spouse

Modern Husbands Podcast 

Networking and Collaboration

Networking plays a significant role in career advancement. Spouses can support each other by leveraging their networks and connections to create opportunities for professional growth. Encourage each other to attend networking events, introduce each other to contacts in relevant industries, and collaborate on projects or initiatives that align with mutual interests. 

Celebrating Milestones

Amidst the pursuit of career ambitions, it's essential to pause and celebrate milestones along the way. Whether it's landing a new job, securing a promotion, or achieving a long-term career goal, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate each other's achievements. 

Celebrate these milestones as a couple, reflecting on the journey traveled together and the triumphs achieved through mutual support and dedication.

Learn More

For engaged and recently married couples who want to manage money and the home as a team.

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