I’ve been dating my boyfriend for four years - sorry all you interested internet people out there. A relationship can contribute both helpful and misleading influences. Those misleading influences are subtle and many times difficult to observe, as your partner in a health relationship, of course, does not intent to cause issues. I’ve observed some of these in myself and realised how to control those influences to make choices for myself, not someone else.
Understand their experience to decode their opinions
My boyfriend and I are in separate industries - design and tech. And the type of design and tech that don’t magically crossover. Our industries have their own needs, business structures and personality types. When he makes suggestions on how to maneuver my industry, I take it in context. If it’s completely irrelevant, usually a, ‘Yes that works in your industry, but is not applicable in mine’ does the trick. Sometimes it’s worth explaining, and other times it’s just easier to move over and on to another topic.
Stand up for your interests and their importance to your development
In addition to core 9-5 or freelance job, you will explore other interests. Some with the intention to generate revenue in the future or move your career forward. They could be a side project or education. Firstly, every partner should be supportive of your self-improvement. However, there might be opinions on cost, time spent and importance level. If it’s important to you, explore that option. Most of us have enough years to go in one direction and then another, and another, so pursuing an interest is never time lost.
In the end, your career transition is your call
As I was transitioning jobs, I explored numerous options and did extensive research. This was my chance to discover another path combining both my current knowledge and future aspirations. Along the way, my boyfriend offered direction and application suggestions, but something did not feel right. It was difficult to identify why at the time as there was enough uncertainty circling. However, if my instincts are trying to tell me something - I’ll listen. In the end, you need to live and be satisfied with your career decisions, not your partner.
No one is psychic and knows every outcome
You could be deciding between two career paths. There could also be a very dramatic difference between the two. Perhaps you believe one is better, and your partner the other. After doing a pro and cons list; separating practical wants from emotional needs and discussing it with others, if your direction still stands strong, than go with it. If diligent and level-headed about a career choice, you should never allow anyone to get you down if it goes wrong. No one is psychic, and if they are, than damn they better be using it for winning the lottery so you both can do whatever you want.
If you’re happy, they will be happy too
Say you make a career decision and initially your partner doesn’t agree. Just wait. If they see its made you a happier person, more engaged and operating on a higher energy level, then there’s no doubt of your decision. A happier you makes for a better relationship and this is the most important result of taking or not taking your partner’s advice. If you know your career decision will make you happier, than everyone benefits in the end.
Your partner probably knows you better than anyone else. They understand your pressure points, positive attributes and near-godly talents. If this is the case, everything said is meant to either encourage, and even push you further. Just understand it’s OK to disregard their advice and go with your own judgement. Career transitions or changes can be stressful for everyone. Which is why it’s important to give yourself the permission to do what you feel best. And of course give them a kiss and let them know you appreciate their interest and care. Because when you bat away all the drama, they just want you to be happy.