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Balancing Career Goals with Your Relationship

As my four year college journey is coming to a close and my wedding gets closer and closer; I’ve had a lot of change happening in my life and many questions about my future career. I think it’s safe to say I’ve never really known what I wanted to do career wise except for be the world’s best mom one day (second of course to my own). My goals to be a mom were always my top, but I was and am excited to be a career gal as well. I think I spent less time focusing on this because in my mind, I could picture motherhood pretty easily. My mom was fortunate enough to be home with my brother and me when we were little, and she always speaks fondly of those times. But a career? What career would I even go for? All I knew was being a student where my work and topics of study were decided for me. What careers were really out there? And what career would be a good fit for someone like me?

My fiancé on the other hand, has always been fascinated by the human body and caring for others. When we met in our early teens, he was interested in physical therapy. In high school, he interned with a physical therapist where he realized he wanted something more hands on. It wasn’t too long after that he decided to pursue a degree in nursing. He graduated in December 2019, and is currently an ICU RN and has even more goals to continue his education and eventually become a nurse practitioner.

We started dating pretty young, and while he already had a path figured out, I was considering all types of jobs such as interior design, counseling, but overall, still feeling pretty clueless. We had only been dating for about a month when I told him my serious plans to be a stay-home mom, and essentially told him he needed to be okay with it because I was set on it. Luckily he agreed, but he did still want me to think about my career as well.

My junior year of high school I started writing for my high school’s newspaper and I was in LOVE, but wasn’t sure if I was sold on hard news reporting just yet. After talking to my cousins who had both been communications majors in school but had very different jobs, I decided a communications route would be the perfect for me. Flashforward four years to right now, and I still don’t really what exactly what I want to do career wise.

a woman in business casual stands in front of a white board, writing with a marker in an office space
Christina Morillo | Pexels

Throughout my uncertainty, one thing has been consistent: support from Brandon while I figured it out. Brandon has always been a huge advocate for internships to get a feel for a field and see if it fits. My junior year of college, Brandon was pushing me to get a summer internship. Whenever I got interviews, Brandon was my biggest cheerleader. When I finally landed my first internship with a government agency, not only was Brandon impressed and excited, he constantly asked me about what I was doing and what I was learning, and if I enjoyed it and could see myself doing something similar. The same process occurred in my second internship in the marketing department of a homebuilding company. Now, as I’m applying to jobs, Brandon always asks me what I’m excited for in each role and what appeals to me on each listing. He reads all my cover letters and lets me know he’s there to help in any way he can.

Sometimes he does give me some tough love however, like when I take too long to search positions or let an important email sit unreplied to for a bit too long. Along with being my biggest advocate and cheerleader, he also pushes me when I feel like giving up. Honestly, often that is more helpful than the support. Brandon is understanding of my uncertainty but loves me too much to let me sit in it for too long.

Admittedly, sometimes I get jealous of him for having it all figured out and being on his path already, but overall, I am bursting at the seams with pride for him. He is the hardest worker I have ever met, and everything he has he earned. It fills me with so much joy to see him thriving and loving his job so much. I love his ambition and drive, and though we’re mentally at different places about our careers, I support him in his desire to go back to school and go even higher in his field.

When trying to balance a career life and a relationship, the most important thing is respect and communication. I may not have it all figured just yet, but Brandon never makes me feel stupid for it. We have an open dialogue about not only what careers will work for me, but also his plans and how his journey will impact our life and future family. No matter what, we are a team. I’m so excited to see him excel in his field, and he’s so excited to help me discover mine. Our journeys may look different, but more than anything, we’re proud of each other and will cheer each other on every step of the way.

For all the uncertainty in my future career, I know I have my partner right there with me.

i love you card
Naomi Irons on Unsplash

HCXO, Lyss

Alyssa Dicker

Millersville '20

Alyssa will be graduating in May 2020 with her bachelors in Communications-Public Relations. She also is double minoring in English-Journalism and Marketing. Drawing inspiration from her relationship since 2014, Alyssa's favorite topics to write about are relationships and relationship advice. After school, she is getting married in October to her fiance Brandon, an ICU nurse at UPMC Pinnacle. Professionally, she hopes to work somewhere where she can be an advocate for children. 
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