One day, I was having a conversation with a junior colleague regarding career pathways and marriage plans. There is no such thing as a perfect piece of advice but here is a summary of the tips I shared from my little experience…
Your career path can be determined by a lot of factors, including your personal interest, causes that you’re passionate about, financial goals/responsibilities, etc. You may combine two or more pathways and you may use one pathway as a stepping stone to another, but avoid acting like a Jack of all trades.
Marriage is a Sunnah, therefore, an act of worship. If you approach it with the right intention and the right person, Allaah will surely assist you. But you should make your career plans known to your spouse so that you can make family-friendly choices together.
Things could be a little more complex for ladies. If you are the family-centred type but you still want to keep your career active, you should choose a more flexible pathway. Your progression might not be impressive, but you will be happy with the time you spend with your family. But if you are the career-driven type, marry someone who is willing to support you and push you towards achieving your dreams. If you settle for less, personal fulfillment may prove difficult. Nevertheless, a blissful relationship should not be traded for anything.
Taking a career break is not the end of the world. People take breaks for different reasons: childcare, travel, etc. But you must be mentally and financially prepared to manage your career gap. When you are on a break, your spouse should be fully responsible and supportive. Have a side hustle or productive engagement that you can fall back on, while observing the break.
Sometimes, life may not go as we plan it. Be ready to face challenges along the way. Job loss can be very stressful for you and your family, even if you are not the breadwinner. Spousal support is very important. Just because you are financially buoyant does not mean you will cope with the emotional effects of the layoff. Again, the support of your spouse is crucial here.
In a nutshell, choosing a career path can be tricky. Mistakes can happen. You may shift your goal post if things do not work out in a certain direction. Marriage on the other hand, should be seen as a direct act of worship and a deeper commitment to the people that matter most in your life – FAMILY.