Trading Paychecks for Passions – Breaking the News to Your Partner

Welcome to Career Craft a weekly roundup of expert advice on building your second act career.

Does watching the Royal Sussexes decamp to Canada make you a) crave a Megxit-level career change of your own, b) worry that your significant other will freak out and start issuing tersely worried statements a la Buckingham Palace, c) curious about how Kate Middleton would have dropped this bombshell, or d) all of the above?

Five experts share smart advice for telling a significant other you are ready to trade a steady paycheck for a second-act passion career.

Choose Patience
“Plan to have this tricky conversation once you feel confident about your decision and your general plan. A positive mindset will help you navigate doubts and concerns and respond with conviction. Remember that your new career plan also affects your spouse. Approach this conversation with the same passion, persistence and
patience needed for your new career adventure!” 

Dr. Brooke Picotte is a psychologist in private practice in New York City. She specializes in working with clients in transition.

Bank Some Money
“The best thing you can do when you are thinking about making a move is to start living on what would be your new salary and saving the difference. Then, when you bring up your desire to shift careers to your significant other, you have a plan, all the specifics, and money in the bank.”

Marie Zimenoff is a career transition expert and CEO of Career Thought Leaders and Resume Writing Academy

Make Your Partner Your Partner
“I hated being a lawyer — my husband watched me endure near panic attacks on Sunday nights, on vacations, at family parties, for years. When I hit my eventual breaking point one Easter Sunday – a child on each hip and another on the way – he looked at me and said, “Enough.” But I was the primary breadwinner and my decision to leave law required financial sacrifice.

It was hard, but he knew I had more story to write and encouraged me to dig deep each time I started something new (in my case 3 companies over 8 years – two food businesses and a travel company). Being married to an entrepreneur requires patience, optimism and steady communication. You BOTH need to be willing to take risks and be okay with a certain degree of financial unpredictability. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster — you have to ride it together.” 

Michelle Capobianco is a corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur who founded a cooking school in Port Washington, NY and a boutique travel company specializing in tours to undiscovered Abruzzo, Italy.

Side Hustle Start
“Tell your significant other that you plan to transition with a side-hustle – one that produces income. This strategy will help you discern if your passion career is something you want to do full time – and if it can pay the bills. If you are considering launching your own new business, think about keeping your day job (perhaps with reduced hours) as you launch your new service or product to see if your idea is marketable. If it takes off – then it’s time to quit that day job!”

Gail Kastning is a workforce expert and the CEO of Purposeful Careers. She is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Be Business-Like
“Break the news of your career pivot to your significant other in a business-like “meeting.” Then prepare yourself for that meeting just as you would prepare for a presentation in the workplace. Orchestrate a quiet moment, make sure you are facing each other at a table or in a communal setting, and that your time together will be uninterrupted and on point. Be direct and confident on all of your talking points. The goal is to be heard and respected and to lead this important conversation from a place of intention and personal belief. 

Make sure that you have done all of your industry research and fully understand your next steps prior to sharing your thoughts, and then outline why this is important to you NOW. Summarize with 3-5 action steps that you are taking in the months ahead to make this a reality and be sure to include how this will impact gaps and surges in income.”

Randi Levin is a transitional life strategist based in New York and New Jersey.


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