According to Sigmund Freud, love and work are the cornerstones of our humanity.
Too often, however, those cornerstones shift shape and are ill-fitting. One feels too much, the other not enough. As a result, the whole edifice of our life feels out of balance.
Because it is not enough to find love and work to thrive. We must learn to love our work and work our love, too. This is how.
First, stop treating love and work as two separate domains. They are inseparable. When we are happy in love, we are often happy at work. When work stresses us out, our love suffers.
Second, get past the logistics. Thriving in love and work takes much more than agreeing on how to divide the housework. Devote time to conversations about your hopes and fears, the roles you expect each other to play in your shared life, and what success means to you.
Third, invest in each other’s fulfillment. Couples who thrive approach their work and personal choices as opportunities that benefit both partners. They take pride in imagining each other as the best version of themselves and in helping each other become that person.
Most career guides assume you can just pack up and follow your own dreams, no strings attached. My new book, Couples That Work, honors your dreams, and your strings too. Because dreams propel us, and strings hold us together when we risk breaking apart.
Jennifer Petriglieri is an Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, and the author of Couples That Work, a forthcoming book on how dual-career couples can thrive in love and in work. Her award-winning research and teaching focus on identity, leadership, and career development. At INSEAD she directs the Management Acceleration Programme and the Women Leaders Programme. She has been shortlisted for the Thinkers50 New Thinker and Talent awards and named one of the world’s best 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets & Quants.