The FINANCIAL — When you’re young and are just starting your career, it’s difficult to make proper evaluations of what your life will be like in 5 years’ time. Are you going to have a good career path or lead a happy private life?
A recent study in Social Forces, a research journal, found that women, even those with more “feminist” outlooks, are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner.
My two friends Mike and Ann are both 22 years old. They’ve been working for 1 year already and seem to have problems with managing time. They can’t find time for their private lives and are turning into typical workaholics. Being asked which one they would choose: a successful career or happy private life, this is what they said.
“I would for sure choose the tremendously happy private life. After all, a successful career, even “great success”, doesn’t guarantee happiness, or even vague satisfaction. Life can be successful, but at the same time miserable,” said Mike.
“It’s difficult for me to imagine a happy private life without a successful career being some part of the combination. It of course depends on one’s own definition of success. It can be money in the bank or just personal satisfaction with work. For me it’s work,” said Ann.
The word career has an interesting and suggestive origin. The word originates from the Latin word carrus, meaning “a wheeled vehicle” – something that takes you from where you are to where you really want to be. The Italian word carriera denotes a road or racecourse. Today the word commonly stands for “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life, and with opportunities for progress.
“Families, religious institutions, businesses, educational institutions, and other associations of all types bring people into contact with each other to develop a sense of what it means to be a part of a democratic society. The trust and alliances generated by these relationships that have developed over time, are usually begun in earnest, for so many of us, during our university years,” says Dr. Peter Chiaramonte.
“It is during this period of our lives that some of our most trusting relationships and career networks of alliances are formed, and these in turn become the foundation for our personal and professional lives – as lived – experienced as part of one long song. Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which buttress a society – it is the fastener that holds them all together,” continued Chiaramonte.
“This sense of connectedness develops out of shared beliefs and values that go beyond purely economic considerations, and that rest on shared assumptions about the nature of society and how each of us should live and work together. These values are rooted in culture, religion, history, and tradition. And whatever the future may hold – it is certain that it is likely to bring with it more connectedness, more change, and more complexity.”
“In such a world, leading corporate citizens will need all of the social and intellectual capital they can muster. Value can be added in many ways that empower and involve us all as partners and collaborators in the enterprise of living our lives together,” he added.
Today more and more companies are facing the dilemma of whether to hire a person who is married or a person who is single, because of the employee’s potentially divided sense of attention and responsibility when it comes to work.
“While talking about networking we often face this dilemma. Should companies take into account the family factor while hiring a person? Of course the final decision during a recruitment period depends on the experience and professionalism of a person. If the applicant is able to show that he can handle the duties that the company expects, the family factor doesn’t represent a criteria for career appraisal. The most important is to be clear in your own goals,” stated Mikheil Bregvadze, an expert in Human Resources and Networking.
For many companies it’s a problem when one married couple work in two competing companies.
“In our company we do not have any such examples. None of the spouses of our staff members work at our direct competitors. If it was so I think there might be some problems. In general every company should start building stakeholder loyalty by building loyalty among its employees first. I think an organization can be quiet successful if it isn’t against supporting corporate family factors from time to time.”
“Companies frequently conduct questionnaires where one of the questions is “Would you advise your friend or relative to start working at your company?”. Every company should be proud if their employees would advise others to choose their company; in simple words it means adherence and loyalty to the employer,” said Mr. Bregvadze.
When you’re just starting your career you dedicate a lot more energy and time in order to receive as much practical information as you can to develop yourself.
The interesting thing that I’ve seen is that people mostly in the early stages of their careers often forget about the importance of their private lives. They don’t have enough time for friends, family, for beloved ones, but in the long run it matters a lot. Only as time passes do you understand that you need to organize time sharing more efficiently, and it should not happen too late.
“Well some advice that you will probably need is this: to not too frequently spend extra hours in the office, of course each of us has spent long hours in the evenings at our desks that it has become normal; so as to be more prepared, more productive, stronger in your field. Though we should never forget that our life is one and unique, which consists equally from private and social parts and only by finding the right mix to balance them will make us happy,” explained Bregvadze.
“I would like to use here one good saying, which belongs to Brian Dyson, one of the Ex CEOs of Coca Cola Enterprises. Juggling five balls: work, family, health, friends, and spirit. Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. We should strive for balance in our life!”
When asked would he prefer to work with his wife in the same company, one of my respondents answered:
“Without hesitation, Yes. I’d want to be John to her Yoko. I don’t see how it would be possible to live in any partnership at home, at work, in a daydream or at some other sort of play and live to enhance and enjoy the true nature of things. We don’t, or we shouldn’t, be carving our lives up into any more fragments of holographic plate than we are already.
“People around me seem to keep locking themselves up in different compartments. I prefer more permeable boundaries. Why work together with my spouse? If I had one, why not? Some people hook up for many reasons, and the trade-offs are unique to each case. I can see why some people might not want to work together in the same organization. But I would prefer it, if I had the circumstances.”
“The conditions for success come largely down to this: the people you meet and the books your read. But time spent with one is time taken away from the other. The only solution would be to live and work with the same partner.”
When your spouse works outside the home, the chances increase that he or she will meet someone more likable than you, according to a research. “The work environment provides a host of potential partners.”
According to a recent study, college women in general plan to have both career and family, yet they expect family to be more important. The women were not prepared to commit to long-term, full-time careers but rather expected to take lengthy breaks to raise children. More than half (56%) planned to interrupt their careers until their youngest children were in school.
Written By Levan Lomtadze