Supporting a Spouse Through a Career Change


“I’m thinking about getting my MBA,” he tossed out, dropping this mini-bombshell right in the middle of our chit-chat about daily minutiae.   “Hmm. Interesting,” I thought.   He went on to explain that his employer would cover the expense, so long as he met a few guidelines, and he thought it would be a wise career move.   I couldn’t argue with that– getting additional training and education is rarely a bad move in the job market!   What I didn’t really put much thought into is what would be required as the spouse of someone going through a career transition like continuing education.   So, in case you happen to find yourself in my situation– or if you’re the one making a career transition, so you can warn your spouse– here are some things you should expect:

Allow time to work.   As the spouse, you’ll need to allow time for the student to get his or her work done. Online learning makes it possible to “do school” anywhere– and that’s awesomely convenient. It also means that your husband or wife might be trying to complete coursework right in the middle or your kitchen or living room. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that serious work is happening, but it’s important to realize that that time on the computer is important.


Create a calm(er) haven.   My husband does his schoolwork right on the living room couch. This is his choice and it means that life goes on all around him. I’ve done my part to try to make it a little more peaceful by providing him with high-quality headphones and reminding the children that Daddy is not a jungle gym while he’s studying economics. Your spouse might require even more calm and quiet in the way of a dedicated room or space to complete coursework. Do your best to help meet those needs to support your student!


Provide pep and energy.   It’s not always easy to work a full day and still have schoolwork to do. While the long-term gains and rewards are great, it can be a tiring and challenging load some days. I find that encouraging words and some extra caffeine both go a long way in helping him feel like he can tackle all his responsibilities and assignments.


Provide support with your own gifts.   Perhaps you’re super organized and can help make sure he always has the right books and papers with him each morning. Maybe you’re a rockstar at breaking down assignments and can help her better manage her time for each task. It could be that your eye for grammar and syntax are invaluable when he’s trying to proofread a paper. While you can’t complete your spouse’s assignments, you can provide peripheral support– this keeps you involved and helps the student know that you’re in his or her corner!   As the spouse of someone continuing on in pursuit of more education or a career change, you should expect some changes in your everyday life. With the right mindset and, I won’t lie, some extra patience, you can help make it easier and smoother for the whole family.


Whether you’re seeking further success in your current role or a new opportunity, Kaplan University can help you prepare for the exciting possibilities ahead.*


As an accredited university built on more than 75 years of experience,† Kaplan University offers a wide range of career-focused programs designed to develop the skills and knowledge leading employers seek. Our focus: to offer you the most direct educational path to achieve your goals.


Are you ready for a change?  Learn more at


* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.


† Kaplan University is regionally accredited. Please visit for additional information about institutional and programmatic accreditation.

Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Email Tumblr

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>