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Backed In A Career Corner: Strategies For Managing Your Work And Your Life

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

The road to wedded bliss may sometimes have a few bumps along the way. And, for many couples the first “fight(s)” they have revolve around financial fiascos. Yet, according to experts working out your differences regarding work and money can literally pay off (in your favor) in the long run.

Here are just of few of the most common concerns:

1. Single Income: Whether one of you decides to stay home or you get laid off, relying on one income can take quite a bit out of your lifestyle and it can leave both partners frustrated and easily agitated.

It’s especially important to be extra sensitive to the one going through the most frustration. If you’re home by choice, you may have to show some extra special attention to your working partner who may feel he or she is doing all the work on his or her own. If however the single income is the result of a layoff, you need to show your mate love, compassion, and understanding. And, don’t forget to make comments that are sure to boost their confidence and motivation However, you want to make sure you don’t pour it on too thick and allow it to get more and more subtle over time. Finally, make sure to be helpful in getting a game plan in order.

In the meantime, make sure to do what you can to keep you and your family afloat.

· Nix the extemporaneous expenditures. Cut back on how often you eat out, how much, and where. You may also want to curtail your spending, even if it “is” the cutest “little black dress.

· Should the situation persist (despite your efforts to change it, and that doesn’t mean waiting for opportunity to come find YOU), discuss making more drastic moves such as cutting back on fine dining, shopping sprees, junk-food purchases, and even postponing some family outings and trips.

· Make it a team effort. Consolidate your funds and your resources and begin networking as a team. Have someone else review you mates resume and offer his/her honest input and as them also to spread the word. Plus, when it comes to building a (solid) financial foundation, two heads are often better than one, especially when it comes to getting the word out there.

· Maintain a pleasant disposition and positive attitude. It’s going to be easy for the non-working partner to get discouraged or complacent in their new “unemployed’ state of mind. It’s up to the other mate to continue exhibiting love, kindness and confidence without sounding critical or demeaning their partner, the partner’s choice or progress (or lack thereof).

· Keep your mate’s mind occupied. From dynamic dinners (that may require a bit more effort) to finding a hobby (perhaps even for both of you) it’s imperative to do what you can to lift your partner’s spirits and to keep him/her felt valued, important and positive

· And, last, but not least, make sure that you have a nest egg set aside for rainy days (like this). I may simply be an account allocated to spending, but only in the case of emergency.

2. Location, Location, Location: Just when you’ve settled in and get comfortable, one of you gets relocated. But before you simply pack and go you’ll need to decide if the move is a good one for (both of) you.

· Determine the likelihood of career stability and growth

· Are there other companies (in the same field) that would be a viable option if things did not work out? And, how about work opportunities for your partner?

· Research the area and the surrounding areas including government, taxes, cost of living and school district. You may also want to look into climate and visit in some less than favorable conditions before making your decision.

· Earning potential. Will you be earning enough to live in your new neighborhood, especially if your mate needs some time to join you and/or secure a job? And, if your mate will remain behind, until you are sure about your new move, your salary should cover the cost of frequent calls and visits.

· What are the other costs associated with the move such as happiness factor. Will you be able to make new friends and will the kids be able to adjust or are they at an age where they need the stability of friends and family? And, don’t discount the importance of the availability of amenities such as your favorite stores, shopping plazas and/or hobby centers.

According to experts, the best approach is taking it one step at a time. Develop a checklist denoting reasons “TO” move and reasons “NOT TO” move, and know what the deal-breakers are. It’s also a good idea that one of you goes ahead while the other stays behind holding down the fort, until you are (both) confident and sure.

3. Toxic Environments: Perhaps one of you is miserable at work and is in need of a career change, which may also entail or mean opting to be a stay-at-home spouse/parent, or switch environments for your sanity.

Experts suggest refraining from making any drastic moves without consulting with your mate and establishing a mutually acceptable game plan.

· Come to a conclusion and an established goal, including what you each expect from you new situation and each other. You may also want to set a time limit for your new plan and have a backup plan in case it doesn’t quite work out as expected.

· Develop a schedule dedicated to your new agenda and finding a new job or position

· Unite in your networking options and don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family.

· Show support for your spouse by remaining positive, encouraging, and helping him or her achieve his or her new goals.

· Keep stashing away some extra cash just in case, especially if your partner chooses to make your home and family his or her new career. And, to prevent and avoid frustration make sure you each have some time alone and/or apart that don’t involve finances or work so that you can refresh, revitalize and want to stay on track.

4. All Work And No Play: You may have a sufficient amount of money or your partner may be working so hard to make ends meet that the one thing you don’t have is time together. And, unless this is a by-product of a busy season at the plant or office, it can take a toll on your marriage and relationship. However, the key here is embracing your partner’s passion for his/her work/career and remaining supportive such as by offering a backrub at the end of the day, as a means of once again drawing you both closer together.

You may also want to find out why your spouse is spending so much time away from you and your home.

· Make attempts to set aside date nights or just time for the both of you.

· Loving confront your partner and let him or her know how you are concerned about the hours he or she is keeping, the toll they could be taking on his or her disposition, attitude and health, and certainly the adverse affects it is having on your relationship.

· Knowing how your partner “is” or when his or her busy season is, begin by scheduling time aside each month where he or she can break away from his or her routine and compromising some money for some much needed and probably appreciated time.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Backed In A Career Corner: Strategies For Managing Your Work And Your Life

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