Being a woman and loving your job or wanting a career is like a double-edged sword in this country. It does bring financial security, independence, and satisfaction, but also: family, social judgments, and a burden of responsibilities! Women are presumed to be homemakers – cooking, cleaning, taking care of the household and catered to everyone’s needs are tasks that are meant to be for the women. So, many women are encouraged and even forced to give up their careers for the sake of marriage.
While this arrangement works well for those who do not prioritise their careers, it may spell dismay for career-oriented women in the workforce. They are left juggling between expectations of their in-laws, society, spouses, and practically everyone who decides to judge them.
However, instead of calling it quits professionally, here is what working women should consider before giving up on their career for marriage:
Let’s face it. Life is tough without money in the bank. While marriage solicits that your partner back you financially, it may or may not work that way. What happens when your husband faces a monetary crisis? What if he loses his job or is unable to cope with the financial needs of the family with his income? Instead of stressing out over these problems, you can provide for yourself and your spouse with a job in hand. By not giving up on your career, you can avoid financial strain and protect your family from unforeseen monetary troubles. After all, two helping hands are surely better than one.
Women in the workforce are accustomed to their financial freedom. Giving up on your career means you must depend on another for your needs. If you have a supportive partner, this might work fine, but there is a chance of this arrangement going downhill. You may feel conscious to make purchases or ask for monetary help all the time. Eventually, this could hamper your self-esteem and make you compromise on the things you want in life, especially the luxuries. Keeping your job post marriage can ensure that you do not have to let go of your comforts. You can fulfill them on your own without having to rely on your partner.
It is great marrying the man of your dreams and starting a family. But it doesn’t end at that for several women in the workforce. While growing up, many of you have dreamt of climbing up the corporate ladder and tasting professional success. Giving up on your jobs post-marriage could prevent you from fulfilling this much-cherished dream. Similarly, you tend to leave supplementary goals such as travelling the world or buying your dream house on the back burner if you are not earning for yourself. Letting go of your career could compel you to put a full stop to these and many such desires in life.
For women in the workforce, some of their social credit comes from their work. Hanging out with colleagues, meeting new people, and being surrounded by like-minded folks is all a part of pursuing your profession. Quitting your job could mean that you may need to give up on this sooner or later. While you may eventually make peace with it, it could leave you feeling lonely or regretful as well. It’s only sane to consider the social factors of your life before bidding goodbye to your career.
If you have been a working woman or have always visualised yourself in an office space or professional set up, letting go of your job could lead to identity issues. To top this, homemakers are often made to feel like they aren’t doing any wonders, despite them toiling away. This can further dishearten a career-oriented woman in the long run. Letting go of something that is an integral part of you could also culminate into a prolonged identity crisis and mental health trouble in the future.
Evidently, women in the workforce can face several issues while quitting their jobs for marriage. The situation is tougher when you must shift base to accommodate your partner’s professional journey while leaving everything of your own behind. However, this does not mean the end of the world.
You can persuade your families and convince them with tact to create a win-win situation for all. Opt for counselling if nothing works and try talking to your partner openly instead of giving up your choices. What’s advisable, however, is that you try to build a common ground instead of bidding adieu to your career and your earnest aspirations in life.
(Edited by Neha Baid)