Saturday Morning Rounds September 7, 2019 - Power Couples

Posted by BossB, MD on September 7, 2019
BossB, MD

Saturday Morning Rounds
A weekly round-up of everything that captured our attention over the last 7 days
What we're reading

How Dual-Career Couples Make It Work by Jennifer Petriglieri - part of Harvard Business Review's Sept/Oct 2019 issue, "Power Couples"

In this article, the author starts by highlighting how this topic has been treated (ie neglected) historically:

"But for the couples themselves, little guidance is available. Most advice treats major career decisions as if one is flying solo, without a partner, children, or aging parents to consider. When it’s for couples, it focuses on their relationship, not how that intersects with their professional dreams, or it addresses how to balance particular trade-offs, such as careers versus family, or how to prioritize partners’ work travel. What couples need is a more comprehensive approach for managing the moments when commitments and aspirations clash."

She then goes on to outline 3 transitions that are especially important for dual-career couples, as well as 2 pitfalls to avoid within each transition:

  • Transition 1: Working as a Couple
    • Pitfall 1: Concentrating exclusively on the practical
    • Pitfall 2: Basing decisions primarily on money
  • Transition 2: Reinventing Themselves
    • Pitfall 1: Mistrust and defensiveness
    • Pitfall 2: Asymmetric support
  • Transition 3: Loss and Opportunity
    • Pitfall 1: Unfinished business
    • Pitfall 2: Narrow horizons

It would take a lot more space than this newsletter has to dive into each one of those topics, but trust us when we say that if this subject matter is of interest to you then the article is worth a full read. Plus it looks as if quite a bit of the material for this issue is available for free on HBR's website, so if you want to dig deeper all you've gotta do is keep scrolling!

Who we're following

Dr. Sasha Shillcutt, MD ("Brave Enough MD" @RUBraveEnough) is a physician and podcast host who recently recorded a fascinating conversation about being intentional when you say "Yes" in the workplace with Dr. Sharonne Hayes, MD, (who is clearly qualified to speak on the topic, being both a Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Mayo Clinic).

BBMD tip of the week

The article we highlighted this week mentioned that basing decisions primarily on money is one of the most common pitfalls when couples are managing a dual-career life. We would say that it's one of the most common pitfalls for professionals in general, and physicians in particular. With the pressure of student loans bearing down on most, and a decade or more of delayed gratification affecting pretty much all physicians, it's totally understandable that picking the job with the highest pay might seem attractive.

However, jobs that pay a lot often come with a high price tag as well. It's not necessarily the case that the highest-paying job is a bad one, but we get to see a lot of contracts and job searches from our vantage point, and it's a consistent theme that the roles which pay highest do so because they've had trouble keeping people. So how much money do you actually need? That's going to vary from person-to-person based upon your situation and your goals, but here's a summary of research on the topic that we cover in the Lifestyle Design portion of our curriculum (add your annual student loan pmts to these numbers):

Quote we're contemplating

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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As always, please let us know your requests and suggestions on Twitter. Which section above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Just send a tweet to @BossB_MD and put #SaturdayMorningRounds in there so we can find it.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!