A Marriage, a Job, It’s All the Same

How long did you date your spouse before you decided to get married? Three months? Six months? 14 years? An hour?

An hour? Some of you are shocked, yet we make decisions to offer job and accept jobs based on an hour or two of interviews. On a day to day basis, we spend more awake time at our jobs than we do with our spouses. Despite the difference in courtship time, manager/employee relationships are very similar to marital ones. Especially the problems that erupt.

The New York Times ran an article about the problems in marriage. Almost all of them can relate to the workplace. For example:

For instance, when the couples were asked whether they would start a family within a year of their marriage, nearly three-quarters said they hadn’t discussed the timing and were in disagreement on that point

Oops, did you discuss everything you really should have before you accepted a job? For instance, is your department’s policy to work late into the night any time someone in senior management says “boo!” or do you push back? I’m a push back person (and, by the way, it’s never hurt me), but right now I report to a “jump” person. It’s a conflict, but I never would have thought to bring it up in a job interview.

Another example from marriage:

“A young man, a newlywed, thought his role was to be responsible for all the decision-making for the couple,” Mr. Eisenberg said. “However, the couple had never discussed those issues, and his assumptions came as a surprise to her.”

Did you discuss how decisionw were made when you were interviewing? Do you discuss it with the people you interview. In lots of departments all the decisions are made from the top, but all the responsibility is on the lower levels. If you are in those lower levels, would you have taken the job if you had known?

New questions to think about next time you are job hunting–or hiring. You only have a couple of hours, let’s make it quality interviewing time. After all, you’ll spend more time with this person than you will with your spouse.

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3 thoughts on “A Marriage, a Job, It’s All the Same

  1. This couldn’t be more true. My department just went through a traumatic “divorce” and if some of the most important “working togethe” questions had been asked it could have been avoided.

  2. Exactly, but those questions are rarely asked. Maybe I should write a book: 101 questions to ask before you accept a job.

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