Career Issues

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Career Issues.

Is Your Spouse Ruining Your Career?

Is Your Spouse Ruining Your Career?

Marie worked for a national engineering firm and remembers one engineer whose wife called him at the office incessantly for the littlest things. "He was always leaving the office and running home to help with some 'emergency,' and once told me he felt like he couldn't do his job anymore because of it. It was very wearing on him."

Sound familiar? Does your spouse refuse to pick up and move one more time, promotion or no promotion? Is your wife the life of the company holiday party, much to your chagrin? Does your husband refuse to help out around the house so you can concentrate on your MBA?

A spouse can be very important to your image and career. Your mate can either be a willing partner in your success and a positive reflection on you, or could keep you from achieving the career heights you aspire towards. If the latter describes your domestic situation, it may be time to examine your life, your career and your relationship.

Career Interrupted?

Here are some tips on addressing you partner's inappropriate behavior in the workplace:

1. Overindulgent Partier -- Does your partner don the proverbial lampshade at every company outing? Then it's time to pull him aside and let him know his antics are out of line. Guzzling "upside-down margaritas" may have been impressive in the frat, but in business it just makes you both look like buffoons.

2. Constant Caller -- Her lightning-fast calls to the office put speed dial to shame. Inform her that your company has a policy limiting personal phone calls (most companies do) and her hounding phone calls could get you fired.

3. Chicken Little -- He is forever cooking up emergencies at home to get you to ditch that client dinner or shorten you business trips. Remind him that his role at home is an important part of your job as well and that without it, your family would not be able to succeed.

Get to the Root of the Problem

Quite often, many mates' antics are just a way of acting out their frustration or may be desperate attempts to secure your attention. It's important for you to sit down with your spouse or partner and talk about the goals you have for yourselves and your family and what it's going to take to get there. You need to work on your relationship like you work on your career to head off any problems between the two.

Don't let your career take over your life. Be sure to set aside some time to spend together regularly.

Don't make your partner feel the need to compete with your career. Discuss your day with her -- good or bad -- so they don't feel left out.

Just because your career is fulfilling to you it doesn't mean it's fulfilling to him. Encourage him to set his own goals and achievements.

Perhaps a career coach can help. Amy Dorn Kopelan, founder and executive director of COACH ME, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides executive coaching to women in the early stages of their career who cannot afford it on their own, contends, "In many cases, people hold themselves back because they don't want to approach their mates and talk about what they really want."

Sometimes Professional Help is Needed

If the problem persists, Sue Murphy, Association Manager for the National Human Resources Association, says the employee may want to contact the company's Employee Assistance Program, where counselors can address the spouse's issues and behavior.

Today, more than 80 percent of Fortune's Top 500 have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place, according to Katie Borkowski, professional services director of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

While sometimes it just takes a neutral third party to help you talk things out, some partner problems require more than counseling. In the case of the engineer, his wife eventually entered a mental health facility to deal with her issues. If your company doesn't have an EAP, often mental health services are often covered under medical insurance plans.

Source: Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

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