Got the man now switch to the job?
April 23, 2012 8:46 AM Subscribe
Switching careers... to the same one as my new boyfriend? How weird is this, and how to navigate?
I'm in kind of a weird spot and would like advice from the hive mind. I started dating someone a few months ago. Things moved fast and we're very much in love. We've talked about spending our lives together. But there are a few issues to navigate...
He's just finishing graduate school in a hard science field that I have never before considered, but the more that I learn about it, the more interested I become. I am currently in graduate school for social science, but might be able to transition to his field (not sure how yet) because some of the research methods overlap. I am fascinated by the prospects in his field, and it seems much more meaningful to me.
Since way before I met him, I've been struggling in my graduate program because I am disillusioned about the kinds of questions my field addresses, and have been searching for something more substantial and with greater potential for social impact for a long time. Learning more about the work he does has really inspired me that I might find something professionally satisfying in a way that I've never before imagined.
We've talked about it, and he will be supportive of whatever I choose. I just want to know what kinds of issues we might face as I pursue this.
- In my family, almost all of the long-term couples work together in one form or another. I've sort of taken this for granted as normal, and has been an ideal for which I strive. He'd be open to this, but it's not the default for him. Does anyone else have this background and how do you handle the clash of assumptions with someone who does not?
- We're a bit competitive since we're both in graduate school and working on side projects as well. He usually bests me because the stuff he works on is just so cool and in the beginning this really bothered me. How do I tone down the competitiveness in the relationship so that it doesn't get worse if I switch into his field?
- Switching into this field will likely require that I take a couple of steps back. He advises that I just stay in my field and take on outside projects that will have an impact in his field, instead of, for example, switching into a new graduate program. I'm not sure about this and might want to add a masters in his field to my current program. How do I handle the sense of being behind that I feel if I have to take a big step back to re-calibrate my career?
- How would you approach this in your relationship? What kinds of issues are likely to come up? What else should I be thinking about?
Keep in mind that I come from a very dysfunctional family, have had a lot of bad relationships, and this is the best relationship I've ever been in. So if I'm missing something really obvious, please feel free to point it out!
Thank you, hive mind!