More and more people are seriously thinking about career transition during these tumultuous times — some by choice, some by necessity as they’ve been laid off or are facing a possible lay-off.  In either case, career change doesn’t happen in a box.  And career change isn’t mutually exclusive from your home life.  

So how does one face the downturn of the markets and yet conjure up the courage to not only change careers but ALSO go after a job that’s more fufilling?  Having a secure job loaded with benefits and a great salary may not be as much of an option these days.  So, if you’re going to have to work for less money and fewer benefits, why not at least go for something that will make you more happy and fulfilled?  But the decision to do so involves chatting with your spouse and family.  You need their support.  Here are my tips in doing so:

1.  Listen openly to your spouse’s concerns, fears and objections.  No knee-jerk reactions allowed.

2.  Take your partner’s concerns seriously.  They are valid even if you disagree.

3.  Address the fear(s) – don’t let them fester or sweep them under the rug.

4.  Compromise with your spouse and family.  You CAN compromise and still get to where you want to go.  Do you need to keep your current job longer than you want?  Start your new career part-time on the side?  Do your research and planning and consider all options.

5.  Establish clear parameters for compromise.  If you do compromise, make sure the extent and limits of the compromise are clear.

6.  Don’t overcompromise.  You still need to go after your dreams.

7.  Get help.  If you have trouble talking with your spouse about these issues, see a counselor.  These are big, life-shaping issues you’re facing.  Both partners need to feel heard and honored, and both need to be happy with the outcome.

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