Everyone's career trajectory is unique, which means that not one path is superior to another. But, let's be honest, that's not so easy to hear when your significant other is killing the career game and you're...well, not.
It could be that your partner has gotten their dream job, achieved that insane promotion, or is making way more money than you. You want to be happy for them - but that's easier said than done, isn't it?
There is certainly no shame in not being at the perfect job right now or having a smaller salary than your significant other. But, whether it's societal pressure or some other external force, we tend to get threatened when we feel "inferior" to our partner.
Here are a few tips to work through that insecurity and get to a place where you can support your mate's career - without any lingering resentment.
Start With Open, Honest Conversation
Odds are, you've gotten into more than one row because of your partner's successful career. They might not have known that was the source of the diagreement at the time (hey, maybe you didn't know either!) but once you get to the bottom of your insecurity, it's important to open up about it.
It might be a little embarrassing to admit that you were intimidated or displeased by your SO's career, but any good partner will understand that you are simply human. We all feel anger, resentment, and jealousy - even at the person we love.
What matters is that you are owning your emotions and sharing them with the individual in your life. This should make navigating future frustrations or arguments much easier.
Examine Why You're Upset
Is it that you thought you'd be at a higher position by this point in your life? Do you squirm at the idea that your partner makes more money than you? Although it might be painful, take some "you time" to unearth the root of your resentment.
Not only will this open up opportunities to combat these feelings, but it might help you determine what you clearly want out of your career that you're just not getting.
Consider the Idea of Shared Success
Individual accomplishment is, in my opinion, crucial for a relationship. I firmly believe that for a long term relationship to work, each person needs to be able to thrive on their own.
Co-dependence can become more pervasive than you might imagine and it doesn't typically result in two happy, healthy people enjoying each other's company.
However, the dreaded "we" is also essential in some circumstances. This could very well be one of your specific circumstance!
Say your partner makes more money than you. That might be a source of insecurity for you - but maybe less so if you consider the money beneficial to you, too.
If you're married or live-in parnters, your SO making a little more cash might mean you can pay a little less rent or you have someone to help with your student loan when money isn't so great for you. Even if you don't share anything like bills or a home, maybe you don't have to pay every time you go to dinner!
Whether it's little or big impact, try changing the narrative. Rather it being their success, make yourself a party to that. Their success is also your success, and vice versa.
Make the Career Moves You Need To
Once you get to the bottom of what you envy in your parnter's work life, your next step is to accomplish those things for yourself.
Jealous that they found the right field for them? Hit the books! Figure out what makes you happy in your current job (or just in life in general) and aim for a career where you can exploit those skills.
Even if that passion becomes a side gig or an un-paid hobby, you'll never regret devling into what sparks your interests and brings you joy.
Want to make more money? Get a side hussle - maybe get two side hussles! Maybe consider talking to your boss about that raise or promotion, or consider going back to school so you can ask for a higher salary.
Whatever the issue might be, there is a solution you can apply directly to your life. And working toward that career fulfillment is going to be positive for you, your partner, and your relationship.
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