May You be (with) the Force – Enabling your Spouse’s Career Comeback!

Enabling your Spouse's career comeback
Returning to a Career after a break takes skills, preparation, info, but it also needs the mindset first. As Husbands and Partners, the mantle to help women find their way to the workplace lies on your shoulders as much.

You support and pamper the woman in your life. Flowers, gifts, lunch outings? Yes to all of that.

But beyond these, it is also about recognizing and resolving the issues that matter most to the women in your life, a key one being their career destiny.

There are over 10 million women in the U.S alone who are stay at home moms, and hundreds of millions worldwide. Being a parent first is a choice of the heart, but circumstances evolve. Children grow up but many Moms end up with misplaced career aspirations or are floundering to find answers. Lots more feel like their family can’t manage without them and there are others who struggle with confidence issues after their years away.

Returning to a Career after a break takes skills, preparation, info, but it also needs the mindset first.

As Husbands and Partners, the mantle to help women find their way to the workplace lies on your shoulders as much.

Encourage & Inform: A Career Comeback isn’t a step – it’s a process.

Sometimes a long, involved one, depending on how much time one has been away. Keeping up with the job market or  entrepreneurial trends is easier for someone who’s already in that space. Share info and resources that women can use professionally. Find any useful articles and links that can help her stay current in her profession or start something new? What does she need to know about the changing world of career choices or evolving technology? Does she need to add new skills and how can she do that easily.

As first time parents, the Grahams got into the habit of sharing articles from the internet on child-care. After their twins started playschool, Lynn wanted to do something, but didn’t want to get sucked into the lifestyle of her previous corporate career.  That’s when Josh encouraged to start looking at work options online. “I didn’t even know that jobs like Virtual Assistants existed. Now thanks to Josh, I’m happy to be able to work from home at my own pace and be there for my family too.”

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Enable: Honey, it’s doable if you want to achieve this.

A lot of women who want to take the career steps get daunted simply because they’re already juggling a lot and don’t feel like they have the the bandwidth to add more. Yes, they’d like to work but it’s easier to shelve their own aspirations at this point. But does it have to be so?

When Kim Avery started night school for a Diploma in Pharmacology, she was very apprehensive. With four young kids and a busy spouse, it seemed like too much, too soon. But her husband Steve stepped up to the plate – he cut down his weekly Poker Night with buddies to just once a month and started what he called Fun Fridays with the children. He also took on some of their afterschool activities and after a few hits and misses, they managed to find a steady rhythm.

 

Empathize: Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.

What would a few years’ break do to your career and confidence? How would it feel if you had to start all over again? What would you expect from your partner at a time like that?

When Stan. M lost his job and was unable to find another one for over a year, his wife Angie took on part time work to help out. She also reached out to her network of PTO moms and one small introduction led to a good role at a leading software company.

 

Support: It’s a team effort.

A salute to every spouse and partner who helps out, but child and family care needs a constant and predictable support system. A helping hand, planned participation and prepping together for a career comeback goes a long way. But even the best laid plans will go awry.

Diya Sharma went back to her job as an HR Manager after her daughter turned 2. She hired a nanny for her daughter and planned a meticulous schedule with backup care. But things fell apart and as she struggled with keeping everything manageable, her husband Girish took time off so she could make the transition back to work without losing her mind.

 

What Women Want

The right help when it counts means a lot. A lot of women also feel that small things matter.

“Making custom jewelry needs money so my husband agreed to co-sign a business loan provided I did my homework on costs and profits. It worked out for us and now it’s a family venture.”

“Jeung starting walking the dog and doing school drop-offs so I could leave for work early and be back before the kids came home.”

“It sounds funny, but it was Carlos who told me about Pinterest when it  was new. I managed to get so many graphic design jobs because of posting my work there.”

“Feedback helps but not too much of it. My husband used to make me so nervous before a job interview with loads of suggestions, so I stopped telling him when I had one.”

“When I started my own Consultancy business, Brian not only advised me on what to do, he actually did some of my accounting. Huge help!”

Sometimes the balance of responsibilities is skewed. Factors like frequent travel, on call professions, medical needs and many others reasons make some family-career situations more difficult for some couples than they do for others, and mutual spousal understanding is important. But if there’s a solution, each partner can and must try to make it work.

So go ahead and motivate the woman you love into grabbing that career dream.

To paraphrase that incomparable Jedi Knight, Qui-Gon Jinn  “Your focus will help determine their reality!

Luck often happens by design, so don’t give up!

Pooja Krishna is an Entrepreneur, Consultant and Mom. She has worked both in large corporates and managed startups over the last 20+ years. A co-founder of Maroon Oak, she’s also founded Win Thinks, a small business consulting company, and Trading Paces, which educates and mentors amateur and pro stock traders. 

A trivia buff, travel lover and yoga & hula hoop enthusiast, Pooja loves spending time with her family cooking, playing board games and watching documentaries.

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29 Comments
  1. This is amazing advice to help partners. It’s so important to be supportive of one another.

  2. Elizabeth O. 1 month ago

    I love it, it’s awesome to be able to support your spouse in making a comeback with their career. These are lovely ways to do that too.

  3. Jennifer L 1 month ago

    I absolutely love on focusing on the spouses career comeback. Many times we can focus on one part, but stepping back and giving one another the support they need to feel confident to take the releap is so important.

  4. Enricoh Alfonzo 1 month ago

    this is such a brilliantly inspiring and insightful post! i’m shocked that there are over 10 million stay at home moms in the US alone. I love that this promotes more understand of them. #madrespect

  5. Megan 1 month ago

    This is so spot on! I’m going to be sharing this with some friends!

  6. kioandlew 1 month ago

    I have a lot of friends who still wanted to have a career even though they already settled down and have kids. Their husbands are every supportive. And in a family, it’s both practical that both of the parents will still be given a chance to pursue their career while taking care of the family.

  7. David Elliott 1 month ago

    I agree with you that when you make those decisions you get together and get on the same page. And then you be supportive of your spouse. It can be difficult at times but that support is essential for success.

  8. Anna nuttall 1 month ago

    This is great advice. Thank you for sharing this. My husband has always supported me So I it only fair that I support him. xx

  9. Sincerely Ophelia 1 month ago

    Love your Star Wars pun. And totally agree with you! Good vibes go a long way! Support!

    XOXO //
    SINCERELY OPHELIA

  10. Katy {ashadeofteal} 1 month ago

    I love this post. It’s such an important topic for women re-entering the workforce, I just hope my husband does these things when it’s time for me to get my career back.

  11. D Silva 1 month ago

    Great advice. We have 2 little ones so will be looking this in a few years.

  12. Ashvin Nankoo 1 month ago

    This is really awesome and helpful. I need to share this with my wife! We both need to support each other!

  13. Tiara 1 month ago

    I couldn’t agree more with you. Although I stay home because we have a 9 month old, my husband knows that this is a team effort and encourages me day after day to become better and pushes me to be the best I can be.

  14. Brandi Crawford 1 month ago

    This is a great post. Encouragement in all areas of life is so important, especially returning to a career.

  15. I am actually a housewife for 9 years now and this touched a cord. You are so right about the fear of not being market ready and the feeling of too much too soon. Thank you for this article because these are really some practical tips on how to get back on my feet

  16. Amber 1 month ago

    I just love this! So helpful for those wanting to get back into the work force.

  17. Cheryl 1 month ago

    This is so important. I was a stay at home for 10 years before getting a divorce. I literally had to start all over again. It’s been about 7 years since then and I’ve finally gotten back on my feet. I have a blog that I would love to work on full time, but it’s not financially possible. I’m lucky enough to be with someone now who is very supportive and is helping me find a way to make this possible.

  18. Jessica Taylor 1 month ago

    This is such a nice article. Going back to work can be such a stressful thing, especially if you don’t feel supported.

  19. Terri 1 month ago

    I’m not married but if I was I think support would be key. I know someone who’s hubby made a career change recently and there was some conflict surrounding it. I think I would have handled it differently.

  20. robin rue 1 month ago

    I encourage my husband as much as possible 🙂 He didn’t switch careers, but switched jobs a few years ago and it was a great move for him.

  21. Betty 1 month ago

    It is crucial to have the proper support when planning a career comeback. I can’t imagine going back to work but then have to worry about all the chores when I come home!

  22. This is really important, so that both spouses have the same opportunities and fulfilment.

  23. Lindsay 2 months ago

    This was a beautiful read! As someone who struggled with getting back into the swing of things, this was a great eye opener and extremely helpful and relieving to hear and read. Will definitely be sharing <3

  24. Armida Torres 2 months ago

    Love this post. The number one thing is definitely having support from your spouse, at least that’s what helped me 🙂

  25. Alexandra 2 months ago

    Encouraging your spouse to pursue a meaningful career is so powerful (and essential!). Thanks for outlining these tips. Very powerful suggestions and helps break down an overwhelming process.

  26. Toni R
    Toni R 2 months ago

    Today morning I shared with my husband. Its really important to have this understanding from your spouse.
    Thank you.

  27. Maria Estevaz
    Maria Estevaz 2 months ago

    Very true. I have so many friends who worry about what will happen to the home if they can get back to jobs. Sharing this one with them and their husbands 🙂

  28. Linda James
    Linda James 2 months ago

    Thanks for posting such a nice and practical article,a must read for every Husband

    • Pooja Krishna Author
      Pooja Krishna 4 months ago

      Thank you for your comment, Linda. A few of our readers have shared their comeback experiences on social media and how their partner’s support really helped them.

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