Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Should I stay or should I go? 36: couples and family considerations 1

Posted in career development, job search, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on January 2, 2017

This is my 36th installment to a series on intentionally entered into, fundamental job and career path change, and on best practices for deciding both when and how to carry through on it (see Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3, postings 416 and following for Parts 1-35.)

I have been discussing stay or go, job and career decisions from the individual employee and career developer perspective here, and that is certainly a valid starting point for any narrative that would address the issues of this series. And I concluded that progression of postings with a set of seven installments that deal with retirement and approaching it. I turn here to consider the fact that many if not most of us have families, where that can mean spouses and our being part of couples, or our having larger families that are financially and otherwise dependent upon us. Children obviously enter into this narrative, but so can caring for aging parents or others. And family responsibilities and our efforts to meet them can significantly affect and even fundamentally shape the key jobs and careers choices that we face, and decisions that we make.

I ended Part 35 of this series by stating that I would consider “retirement and the path towards it from a family perspective.” In this, and with the phrase “and the path towards it” in mind, I explicitly state here that my intent is to consider a significantly longer timeframe than would be encompassed by our eventual final years of work and career as considered alone.

The needs and the goals and priorities of others, of necessity enters into any work and career planning that we would pursue, and as soon as we as individuals find ourselves taking on family responsibilities. Then we have to assume that our jobs and careers planning, and how we carry through on them will have significant impact upon others who we care about and who we feel responsibilities toward. And we have to expect those others and their needs to have matching impact on us and our planning too, and on how we carry through on that.

I mentioned the possibility of aging parents towards the beginning of this discussion. Who is included in this expanded perspective, as directly and immediately involved family can significantly change, and that change can happen literally in an instant if for example a parent who had been able to live fairly independently has a sudden and unpredictable health crisis – and certainly if they suddenly now face need for ongoing, long-term care of some sort, and with need of family support as a part of that.

I am not just writing here of the perhaps more predictable plans of having children, and with birth control measures used to intentionally manage their timing and numbers. Even there, unplanned for pregnancies can and do happen. And even children who were carefully planned for and expected can sometimes have special needs. The unexpected and the less than fully predictable can and do arise and even when we plan the most carefully and have the most carefully considered expectations.

• So I am going to consider both expected, and some unpredictable family complications to the baseline singles-oriented narrative that I have been presenting up to here.
• And I will at least briefly touch upon a few areas where this can become definingly important well before you would seek to retire – and even when you are still closer to starting your overall work life and career path than you are to concluding it.
• Then I will consider retirement in the couples and larger family context.

And I will begin addressing this list of issues in my next series installment. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 3 and at the first directory page and second, continuation page to this Guide.


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