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双职工家庭躲不过的难题:谁的工作优先?

更新时间:2017-12-14 20:01:26 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The special skills power couples cultivate
双职工家庭躲不过的难题:谁的工作优先?

There’s no question that George Clooney is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. But it wasn’t until he teamed up with Amal Alamuddin, a barrister specialising in public international law and human rights who has represented high-profile clients like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that he suddenly made up one half of another status all together – that of the power couple.

乔治·克鲁尼(George Clooney)无疑是好莱坞最成功的演员之一。但直到他跟艾玛·阿拉慕丁(Amal Alamuddin)结婚后,才突然与自己的另外一半共同拼凑起了另外一重身份——也就是所谓的"双职工夫妻"。阿拉慕丁是一名律师,她擅长国际法和人权官司,曾经担任过维基解密创始人朱利安·阿桑奇(Julian Assange)等著名客户的代理人。

Power couples – those in a relationship who strive for success in their field while supporting each other’s ambitions – come in many different forms. It’s obviously not necessary that both have careers, but research shows that if you are coupled up these days, there’s a good chance both you and your partner are in paid work.

双职工夫妻指的是那些希望在各自领域取得成功,同时又能支持彼此雄心壮志的两个人,这种关系有多种体现形式。很显然,情侣二人未必都要有自己的职业,但研究表明,如果你现在与人结为伴侣,你和你的另一半多数情况下都有带薪工作。

Today about 48% of married couples in the US, for example, are dual income, compared with 25% in 1960. That percentage increases to 61% if the couple has children. In the UK, two thirds of two-adult households are dual income. In Denmark and Sweden, nearly 70% of couples with children are dual earners. In Chile, that figure is 40% and in Mexico, it’s 20%.

例如,美国现在约有48%的已婚夫妇是"双职工",1960年只有25%。如果是有孩子的家庭,这一比例则会增加到61%。在英国,有两个成年人的家庭约有三分之二都有两份收入。在丹麦和瑞典,有孩子的家庭约有70%是"双职工"。智利的比例为40%,墨西哥为20%。

While there are advantages to being in a couple where each has an independently ambitious career, including the obvious increase in income, there are also significant challenges to juggling a relationship and two successful careers, especially with children in the mix. In a 2015 Pew study, for example, 42% of parents that were married or living together said they spent too little time with their partners.

虽然夫妻二人都有各自雄心勃勃的事业确实存在一些好处,包括收入的明显增加,但要同时经营好双方的关系和两份成功的职业却要克服巨大的挑战,尤其是有了孩子之后。例如,皮尤研究公司2015年的一份调查显示,42%的已婚或同居父母表示,他们跟伴侣待在一起的时间太少。

So how do successful dual income couples balance the demands of their careers and relationship?

那么,双职工父母应当如何平衡职业需求与家庭关系呢?

Phyllis Moen, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota who has interviewed hundreds of dual-working couples in her research, says that it begins with understanding that when you commit to an ambitious person with a demanding career, you are committing to their career as well as your own.

明尼苏达大学社会学家菲利斯·摩恩(Phyllis Moen)曾经在她的研究中采访过数百对双职工夫妻,她表示,首先应该明白一件事情:当你的配偶是一个心怀抱负的人,从事的职业要求也很高时,你也要同时为你们两个人的职业献身。

“I’ve found that the [dual-working couples] with the highest quality of life overall were those that didn’t have children. If they had children, either one or both partners were stressed,” she says. “The things that ameliorate stress from dual-working couples is having a job with considerable flexibility, and not working long hours if possible. Today that is not always possible. So it’s important to make a commitment to both careers, which can be very hard to do.”

"我发现,整体生活质量最高的(双职工)都没有孩子。如果你有孩子,要么一个人有压力,要么两个人都有压力。"她说,"想要缓解双职工夫妻的压力,需要找一份灵活性很强的工作,如果可能,工作时间也不能太长。在今天,这几乎不可能。所以关键是要献身于双方的职业,这很难做到。"

Are there practical steps you can take to emulate the power couple success?

能否采取一些实用的措施来模仿超级夫妇的成功呢?

They use the ‘leapfrog’ technique

使用"轮流跳背"技术

Moen says that committing to both careers often means that one person will have to sacrifice for the other – for example, if one person can advance his or her career with a stint abroad or in another city. But these sacrifices should be taken in turns with long-term goals in mind.

摩恩表示,献身于双方的职业通常意味着其中一个人必须要为另一个人作出牺牲——例如,当一方可以通过调往国外或其他城市来推进自己的职业发展时。但为了长远目标,双方应该轮流作出牺牲。

“People found that one career might have to come first. And it wasn’t and shouldn’t necessarily be the same career over time. You can leapfrog over time so it will be a different person whose career takes priority.” She adds that it’s easier to prioritise your partner’s career over your own when you know it’s temporary and will even out over time.

"人们发现,伴侣当中一人的工作可能要获得优先待遇。但不能总是让同一人的工作获得这种待遇。长远来看,可以采用轮流跳背方式,这样就能让另一个人的职业获得优先待遇。"她补充道,如果知道这只是暂时的,最终能够轮到你,那就更容易通过牺牲自己来优先发展配偶的职业。

Andrew Alford is an interior designer and the chief creative officer for real estate company AJ Capital Partners, where he is designing a line of new hotels nationally. He is married to Jeffrey Norberg, a senior counsel at law firm Neal & McDevitt who specialises in intellectual property litigation. Alford says that in the early days of their relationship in San Francisco, the relationship sometimes had to take a back seat to Norberg’s demanding career.

安德鲁·阿尔福德(Andrew Alford)是一名室内设计师,也是房地产公司AJ Capital Partners的创意总监,他在那里为全国各地的一批新酒店做设计。他的配偶杰弗里·诺博格(Jeffrey Norberg)是律师事务所Neal & McDevitt的高级顾问,擅长打知识产权官司。阿尔福德表示,当他们在旧金山确立关系之初,有的时候要把双方的关系退居二线,让位给诺博格那份要求颇高的职业。

“In the beginning I had to accept that if we had dinner plans or concert tickets or even travel plans, they would all be considered tentative because in a law firm career, things can change quickly or Jeff would have to stay at the office until 10 o’clock.”

"一开始,我必须接受一个现实:如果我们想要一起吃晚餐、看音乐会或者出门旅行,这些计划都只能暂定,因为他在律师事务所工作,情况随时都会发生变化,杰弗里可能会工作到晚上10点。"

Rather than feeling resentful, Alford says the financial security provided by Norberg’s career allowed him to pursue his own. “I left my job to start my own practice and had the freedom to pursue and grow my career in a way that I probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of doing if we weren’t together,” he says. “The goal was to get to the point where I was successful enough to flip the equation a bit.”

但阿尔福德并未充满怨恨,他表示,诺博格的职业提供的财务安全感,让他可以追求自己想要的东西。"我离开了我的工作,开始做自己的事情,我有足够的自由来追求和发展自己的职业。如果我们没有在一起,我可能没法这么奢侈地做事情。"他说,"我的目标是让自己取得足够的成功,以便稍微平衡一下。"

Several years later, when Alford was offered a position at AJ Capital Partners, Norberg says he didn’t hesitate to leave his job and relocate to Chicago.

几年后,当阿尔福德得到了AJ Capital Partners的职位后,诺博格毫不犹豫地辞掉了自己的工作,搬到了芝加哥。

They carve out time for each other

为彼此挤出时间

“Carving out time and holding it sacred for families is critical,” says Roberta Neault, president of Life Strategies Ltd, which provides coaching for organisations and career couples.

"关键要挤出时间,为家庭做出牺牲。"罗伯塔·尼奥特(Roberta Neault)说,她是Lift Strategies公司的总裁,这家公司专门为组织和职场夫妇提供指导。

“And if it falls through because of work, it’s essential to rebook that time somewhere else,” she says.

"如果因为工作而落空,必须换个时间重新安排。"她说。

Some couples, like Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, acknowledge the time commitment officially. They reportedly have a “relationship contract” that requires 100 minutes of dedicated time together a week.

有些夫妻还会专门规定时间,马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)和普莉希拉·陈(Priscilla Chan)便是其中之一。有报道称,他们签订了一份"关系合同",要求每周都要抽出100分钟待在一起。

Other power couples emphasise quality time over quantity. This is important since research has shown that while the positive benefits of being engaged in your work, like vigour and dedication, can cross over to partners, negative feelings, like exhaustion and cynicism, can be transferred too.

其他的双职工伴侣更看重质量,而非数量。这一点很重要,因为研究表明,虽然参与工作可以给伴侣传递一些积极因素,例如活力和风险,但同时也会给他们带来疲惫和冷漠的负面情绪。

Yunuen Lizcano and Patrick Rea are both second-year MBA students at Harvard Business School. They both previously worked in consulting.

尤努恩·利兹卡诺(Yunuen Lizcano)和帕特里克·雷亚(Patrick Rea)都是哈佛商学院MBA二年级的学生。他们之前都曾从事过咨询业。

Lizcano says with so much socialising involved with their studies it can be hard to find alone time. “But we try to have small dates and put rules [in place] like let’s not talk about whatever stressful thing is happening, for a while.”

利兹卡诺表示,由于学业中掺杂了许多社交活动,所以可能很难找到独处的时间。"但应该尝试一些小约会,还要定一些规矩,例如暂时不谈论任何有压力的事情。"

Rea says they have also made a conscious effort to separate the stresses of his work as a consultant from their relationship. “If I had a bad project at work or something, we would try not to bring it into the relationship,” he says. “Yunuen would say, ‘I understand that you’re mad, but can we not talk about it for a while.’ That can be hard but was ultimately very helpful.”

雷亚表示,他们还自觉地从双方的关系中隔离掉因为从事咨询工作而产生的压力。"如果我工作时遇到了糟糕的项目,或者其他什么糟糕的事情,我会努力不把它带到双方的关系中。"他说,"尤努恩会说,'我理解你发疯了,但我们能不能暂时不要谈论这件事。'这很难,但最终的效果很有帮助。"

They share or outsource chores

分摊或外包家务活

One piece of good news. Though in general, surveys indicate mothers still do more managing of the household than fathers, couples in which both are parents and work full-time tend to share housework more equally.

有一条好消息。虽然调查表明,母亲通常仍会比父亲从事更多的家务劳动,但如果父母二人都要从事全职工作,那就会更加公平地分担家务。

Alford says it’ critical to outsource household work when possible so it doesn’t fall on one person over the other. He and Norberg, who are also fathers to five-year-old Kate, employ housekeepers and a dog-walker.  “We’re both maxed out in terms of bandwidth. And I think it’s important to recognise that when that happens and rather than heap more on each other, look at bringing in extra hands,” he says.

阿尔福德表示,关键是在可能的时候把家务活外包出去,这样就不会出现分配不公的情况了。他和诺博格还有一个五岁的女儿凯特(Kate),他们聘请了专人来打扫卫生和遛狗。 "我们都会尽量包容。我认为关键是在问题出现时不要给彼此更大的压力,而是应该找人来帮忙。"他说。

They make an effort to be flexible

保持灵活

But the number one piece of advice everyone had? Be flexible, which can be particularly difficult for ambitious career-oriented types.

每个人的首要建议是什么?保持灵活。对于满怀雄心、看重职业的人来说,这一点尤其难以做到。

“It’s important to have open and regular communication about your plans for juggling your various responsibilities,” says Neault. “But the reality is that it doesn’t always matter what you decide or plan for, it doesn’t always work the way you think it will.”

"必须定期进行开诚布公的对话,阐述你对于应对各种责任制定的计划。"尼奥特说,"但实际上,你的决定或计划未必总是那么重要,事情并非总会像你预期的那样发展。"

She says that power couples often look at options other couples wouldn’t consider, like living apart and commuting back and forth.

她表示,双职工配偶往往会考虑其他夫妻不会考虑的选择,例如分居两地,相互探望。

Rea says he and Lizcano have had to be more flexible in their planning than if they were single. “We also have to think [further] ahead of what will happen. What will be the second or third step after this decision and what we will do if something goes a different way than expected.”

雷亚表示,与单身时相比,他和利兹卡诺在制定计划时必须保持更高的灵活性。"我还必须在事情发生前展开进一步的思考,思考决策之后的第二步或第三步,以及如果发生了意料之外的事情,我们应该如何应对。"

“These things are a partnership,” says Norberg. “You don’t have assigned roles necessarily; you jump into whatever’s necessary to move things forward. And if you love each other and are willing to do these things for each other, success flows from that.”

"这其实就是合作。"诺博格说,"你未必要分配固定的角色,而是要从事任何必要的事情。如果你们深爱彼此,那就应该为对方做这些事情,成功来源于此。"

They say the payoff is worth the sacrifice.

他们认为,最终的回报值得自己作出牺牲。

“Both of our careers are interesting, different and constantly changing,” says Alford. “We always have something to talk about.”

"我们俩的职业都很有意思,也都与众不同,而且不断变化。"阿尔福德说,"我们总是有话题可以谈论。"

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