Q: As a successful career executive, I’m gratified to now be hearing from “headhunters” who are recruiting me for even better positions across the country. I want to provide the best for my wife and children. Are there “family principles” I should keep in mind as I weigh my options?
A: A change to your career can be a great opportunity … or it can be the worst thing that ever happened to your family. It all depends on how you handle the choices you’re facing.
Couples often make decisions about their career based on one thing: their financial bottom line. But your family life can be severely affected as well. Say you have the chance to relocate for a new job. Is moving across the country worth leaving behind your support system of family and friends? Are your children emotionally prepared to start over in a new school? And how will the changes you’re considering impact your relationships with each other as a family?
If the answer to all of those questions points to making a change, you’ve laid the groundwork for success, not just in your career, but in your home as well. On the other hand, if all the pieces aren’t in place, you’re asking for trouble.
We’re all trying to get ahead financially, but we encourage you not to make decisions that will compromise the most important relationships in your life. More money and responsibility are excellent achievements, but they usually come with a great deal more stress, too. So don’t assume a greater income will sweep family issues under a rug.
Decisions about your career will impact far more than just your budget. Don’t let your ambition for money and success come at the cost of your family. Have some foresight and make good choices that will protect what really matters.
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