The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use our anonymous form, and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact information is here.

GREAT JOB VS. FAMILY?

Dear Career Doctor:

I have a job offer with a new, dynamic company in the Health Information Technology field. I have been doing this work for a couple of years and I really think this job would be a great career opportunity. They offer amazing benefits, high salary, 4 day work weeks, etc. The only problem is that the job requires up to 80 percent travel -- meaning I would travel all week and be home on weekends.

The idea of traveling excites me, but I have a husband and we are thinking about having children. I just turned 30 and feel that my "clock is ticking." I am having a hard time deciding if the great career opportunity and potential contacts I can make is worth the potential detriment to my relationship with my husband, as well as delaying starting a family. Any advice?

Jolie S.

Dear Jolie:

The first question is: how supportive will your husband be if you take the job? Will he help keep the home running smoothly? Will he help you or undercut you?

The second question is: will it be a detriment to your marriage if you DON'T take the job? In other words, will you be so resentful of your husband if he thwarts this opportunity that it will hurt the marriage?

While I would never recommend that any person who cares about family be away 80% of the time, there are men and women who travel that much and still have solid marriages and healthy kids. The key is that they devote the 20% of the time they are home to the family. They give up almost all interests and activities except those they can share with their partner and kids when they are home. The other key ingredient is hiring people to take care of the chores, so time at home can be devoted to fun and intimacy. If they have children, they are careful to hire loving caretakers and are not jealous if the kids sometimes seem more attached to the nanny than to them.

It sounds like you really want this job. I hope you will have the opportunity to try it and see if you like it -- and that your husband is the kind of guy who will support your trying it -- as, perhaps, you would support him if he had a similar opportunity. After all, if you take the job and find it's too damaging, you can quit.

The Career Doctor

The Career Doctor cannot answer every question here, and she does not respond to personal emails. Please use this form to ask your question.

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The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.