An incredibly gifted mentor of mine tells a great story about how he returned from work one day and announced, “Honey, start packing – I’ve accepted a new job and we’re moving.” His wife was understandably upset and blindsided that he made such a big decision without consulting her. I see this scenario on a much too frequent basis in the executive search world – from a recruiting standpoint, executive placements rarely “stick” if the spouse is not on board with the decision.
Why is it important to involve your spouse in your career decisions? Looking at it from a biblical perspective, I believe the Lord gives the spouse an incredible amount of intuition and discernment in making big decisions. Wise counsel can help us to avoid any shortsightedness or biases and also help us to consider alternative options that may exist. In my experience, more often than not, the spouse verifies the “gut feeling” regarding the path that you’ve already unconsciously chosen. In addition, prioritizing your spouse in your life will not make every decision easy for you, but it can likely eliminate and weed out some selfish decisions you may be tempted to make that would hurt the person closest to you. At the very least, by involving one’s spouse early in the decision process, there will be no surprises once the final decision has been made.
When working with married individuals that are making critical career decisions, I always ask the question, “what does your wife/husband think?” If the spouse is not onboard or has not been consulted, that’s a huge red flag for me as an executive recruiter. In addition, I try to get the hiring manager + spouse and the executive hire + spouse together for lunch or dinner as a final step in the CXO recruiting process. Involvement from a candidate’s spouse during the decision making process can either uncover potential areas of concern or bring confirmation and ultimately, greater peace to candidate as he/she moves forward in negotiations. Spousal intuition plays a vital role in placement and ultimately benefits both the candidate and client.
Posted: 12/12/2012 2:07:13 PM
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