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[1]

TERM PAPER
On
Career Issues for Dual Career
Couples

Submitted To:
Submitted By:
Miss. Mariyn koul
Arun sambyal

Lecturer MBA (LSB)


MBA 2nd Sem

RR1903-A17
[2]

10902802

Acknowledgement:

I would like to take this last opportunity


to thank all my teacher for providing me with their invaluable
help in all my activities & experiences. Today I am able to
present this Term paper because of the knowledge that I
have gained in all the months in this institution. I would
specially like to thank Miss Mariyn koul, subject teacher for
being my inspirer. Last but not the least I would like to thank
all my friends for their constant effort in making this term
paper a success, without their help it would have not been
completed.

Thank You

Arun sambyal
[3]

Contents:

Objectives
4

Introduction
5-6

Review of Literature
7-13

How Companies are handling these problems


14

Summary/Conclusion
15
[4]

Conclusion
16

Objectives:
The objective must be prepared with some objective. If
there is no objective of the study conducted, it will give
no drawbacks and we will be left in midair to know why
we have prepared so. So an objective must reflect the
advantages & disadvantages including all basic materials
which define it and could bring out a conclusion.

In my study I am to find the career issues for dual career


couples. I need to find out what are the causes for the
couples stress life. We can sum up the objective into the
following:-

Career issues for the couples

Their approach towards the problem.

The overall consequences of the problem.


[5]

Introduction:
Work Life and Personal life are the two sides of the same coin. It is
very hard to have a balance between work life and our personal
life, especially the females who have to balance their Personal as
well as their professional and have to work twenty hours a day.
The increasing work pressures, globalization and technological
advancement have made it an issue with both the sexes, all
professionals working across all levels and all industries
throughout the world. Achieving “work-life balance” is not as
simple as it sounds.

Work life and personal life are inter-connected and


interdependent. Spending more time in office, dealing with clients
and the pressures and of job can interfere and affect the personal
life, sometimes making it impossible to complete the household
chores. On the other hand, personal life can also be demanding if
you have a kid or aging parents, financial problems or even
problems in the life of a dear relative. It can lead to absenteeism
from work, creating stress ad lack of concentration at work.
[6]

Work and personal life conflict occurs when the burden,


obligations and responsibilities of work and family roles become
incompatible. Obligations of one can force an individual to neglect
the other.

A decade back, employees used to have fixed working hours or


rather a 9-5 job from Monday to Friday. The boundary between
the work and home has disappeared with time. But with
globalization and people working across countries, the concept of
fixed working is fading away. Instead of just 7 or 8 hours a day,
people are spending as much as 12-16 hours every day in office.

For this today a new subject has been added in our life called
Stress management, i.e how to manage your personal and
professional life. Stress management is the need of the hour.
However hard we try to go beyond a stress situation, life seems to
find new ways of stressing us out and plaguing us with anxiety
attacks. Moreover, be it our anxiety, mind-body exhaustion or our
erring attitudes, we tend to overlook causes of stress and the
conditions triggered by those. In such unsettling moments we
often forget that stressors, if not escapable, are fairly manageable
and treatable.

But the thing to see here is how one couple manages one’s
life in this stress life, consequently managing their home as well
as their office. In the life of a couple it has to see both the needs
of their home as well as the demands of their office. A male has to
perform his job in office as well as looks into the wants of his
house, whereas a woman has look into her office job as well as
has to meet the day to day affairs of home. In this situation both
of them lead a stress life and have to come up with the
challenges of life where 18 hours of the day they are involved in
work.

Stress can lead to many factors like:


[7]

Potential Sources Individual


Differences: Consequences
• Perception
Environmental Factors: Physiological
• Job Experience Symptoms:
• Economic
Uncertainty • Social Support • Headaches

• Political • Belief in local • High blood


Uncertainty of control pressure

Organizational Factors: Psychological


symptoms:
• Task demand
Experienced
• Anxiety
• Role demand Stress
• Depression
• Interpersonal
demands • Decrease in

Personal Factors:
Behavioral
• Family Symptoms:
problems
• Productivity
• Economic
• Absenteeism
problems

Review of
Literature:

Hartwell F. (2010), in her article “Work life balance-are you


balancing your work and life successfully?” analyzed that when
the balance between work and home life is disrupted, the stress
and worry experience also affects a person ability to think clearly
and perform at their best. If you were at your best you don’t know
just what to do right? According to her one should first get start
by drawing a large circle, which represents your life and divide it
[8]

into 8 slices and label each slices with areas of your life. i.e
finance, health, relationship, career, personal development etc.
now take each area and ask yourself “how satisfied am I with my
life”. To have a balanced life, the numbers should be roughly
equal. The idea is to wheel the roll smoothly. If you have a 0 in
your health and a 5 in your finances then the imbalance could be
affecting your experience of life and how happy you feel. This
unevenness is giving you a bumpy ride. Take each area and write
down one thing you can do today to feel better. It could be make
a phone call, arrange to see a friend who you haven't seen for
ages, to eat a healthy meal, anything just do it. Notice the
immediate difference you feel when you take the action you've
been putting off.

Sonia M. (2010), in her article “What is the real meaning of


work life balance?” has explained the meaning of work life
balance. According to her once you begin to establish healthy
boundaries between your work life and your personal life, you
begin to feel more fulfillment and personal satisfaction. The study
done by CEB showed that more than 60% of the employees polled
identified flexible schedules as the most important work-life
practice their employer could provide. In reality time is of
incredible value to both the employer and the employee.
Confident employers are realizing this and using work life balance
programs and perks to attract talent which they may not be able
to afford. These days, many talented workers are not looking for
more money. They are instead looking for better quality of
life...that which we get through work- life balance.

Granth C. (2010), in her article “How is your work – life


balance?” analyzed that hard work can be held as the promise of
reward, but there is a down size if you find yourselves not
[9]

enjoying the living of it. If balance between work and life outside
of work is not maintained, your well-being can suffer, harming
your peace of mind, physical health, and your relationships. Even
if you love your work, thrive on it, and can do it all day and into
the night, it is important to take some time to rest and create a
balance. Your relationships need attention, your spirit needs
nurturing, your body needs care, and your mind needs some time
off. If these are neglected, there is no how you can make up for
their loss? Accordingly you can do 10 different things every day to
aid you in this worthy endeavor.

1. Inhale with awareness.


2. Walk in nature, even for just 10 minutes. Aim for 30.
3. Sit in silence and still your mind for at least 10 minutes
each day.
4. Notice if you are thirsty, hungry, tired. What do you do
about it?
5. While eating, slow down and give your full attention.
6. Avoid people who consume your energy.
7. Embrace people who accept and support your endeavors.
8. Regard the beauty of your surroundings.
9. Appreciate the freedom and ability to work or establish a
business of your own.
10. Exhale completely.

King W. (2009), analyzed in his article “How important is the


work – life balance?” that work life balance is the separation
between your work life and your personal life. It is the boundary
that you create between your career, business and every other
segment that makes up your life. Aside from your career, these
segments include your family, personal growth, spirituality,
fitness and health, and community and friendships. He has
mentioned that there should consistent separation between your
job and the other segments of your life; which enable you to truly
be present in each realm of your life. You no longer worry about
work projects while at home and even don't worry about things
[10]

you need to do at home while at the office. This allows you to be


sharper, more efficient, and better-focused. It also enables you to
use your time more efficiently, be more effective with your
communication, task completion, and decision making, and to
enjoy your time at work much more than ever before.

Helene M. (2008), in her article, “shared identity and strategic


choice in dual-career couples” analyzed the concept of a couple-
level shared identity as forming the basis for the development of
dual-career couples' strategies regarding involvement in work and
family roles. A model is developed that is intended to help
researchers in this area conceptualize the relationship between
career choices and career progression between members of a
dual career couple. Examining career development at the couple-
level extends one's understanding of how the decisions made by
one member of the dyad influence the career of the other.

Reitman F. (2008), in his article “Enabling the new careers of


the 21st centuary” analyzed in his article about the new careers of
the 21st century are turbulent compared to the ideal corporate
climb of the 1950s. Owing to the greater presence of women in
the workforce, diminished job security, and increased focus on
psychological aspects of success, many workers have moved onto
non-traditional career paths provide. The new careers involve
changing organizations, lateral rather than vertical moves, and
often include interruptions in employment. The expectation is that
employees will manage their own careers, choosing to work for
companies that opportunities to meet their objectives.
Organizations need to embrace the realities of 21st century
careers and recognize the importance of programs and policies
that enable the careers of their employees. Career-enabling
programs address time-control issues (e.g., part-time options, job
sharing, flextime, telecommuting, and leaves) as well as
knowledge and skill development (e.g., training, job rotation,
tuition remission, mentoring). Such programs help employees
[11]

meet both career and life goals and will promote the long-term
success of the organization.

Hall S. (2004), analyzed in his article that Qualitative research


has investigated distinct couple types that divide work and family
responsibilities based on employment circumstances and
relationship characteristics, but such research is not conducive to
identifying frequencies of couple types or statistically comparing
work-family circumstances across couple types. The current study
incorporated both employment and family variables in identifying
four distinct dual-earner couples types among respondents from
the National Survey of the Changing Workforce. Couple types
were compared regarding demographic information and
memberships in couple types was predicted based on this
information. Some significant differences emerged that may begin
to explain the circumstances and motivations behind selecting
certain work-family arrangements, though the more peer-like
couple were less distinct and in some ways less economically
advantaged than expected.

Lockwood, Nancy R. (2003), in their article “Work/life balance:


challenges and solutions” have analyzed that in organizations and
on the home front, the challenge of work/life balance is rising to
the top of many employers' and employees' consciousness. In
today's fast-paced society, human resource professionals seek
options to positively impact the bottom line of their companies,
improve employee morale, retain employees with valuable
company knowledge, and keep pace with workplace trends. This
article provides human resource professionals with an historical
perspective, data and possible solutions--for organizations and
employees alike--to work/life balance. Three factors--global
competition, personal lives/family values, and an aging
[12]

workforce--present challenges that exacerbate work/life balance.


This article offers the perspective that human resource
professionals can assist their companies to capitalize on these
factors by using work/life initiatives to gain a competitive
advantage in the marketplace.

Moore M. (2002), analyzed in the article about the findings from


a Catalyst study that explored why there are so few women with
global assignments. The study reveals several prevailing
assumptions in corporate and professional America about
women’s willingness and ability to relocate. One of the most
pervasive is that dual-career issues hinder women’s ability to
relocate internationally. This assumption is applied universally to
women regardless of personal situation and discounts how men
are also in dual-career relationships. Furthermore, the study
provides recommendations for employers to support dual-career
couples relocating globally, thereby increasing the likelihood that
assignment offers will be accepted and the assignment completed
successfully.

Moore M. (2002), analyzed in his article about the findings from


a Catalyst study that explored why there are so few women with
global assignments. The study reveals several prevailing
assumptions in corporate and professional America about
women’s willingness and ability to relocate. One of the most
pervasive is that dual-career issues hinder women’s ability to
relocate internationally. This assumption is applied universally to
women regardless of personal situation and discounts how men
are also in dual-career relationships. Furthermore, the study
provides recommendations for employers to support dual-career
couples relocating globally, thereby increasing the likelihood that
assignment offers will be accepted and the assignment completed
successfully.
[13]

Tryon W. (2002), in his article “Issues in the lives of dual-career


couples” analyzed in his article that presents a systematic review
of the issues involved in dual career marriages. A definition of
dual-career couples/families is provided. The literature is then
reviewed with respect to employment issues, employment issues
specific to dual-career couples, career interruptions, household
chores, child care, and marital difficulties. Some suggestions are
made f or conducting therapy with dual-career couples.

Riusala K. (2000), analyzed in his article that the relationship


between foreign assignment and career development has been
stated to be unclear, and further research has been called for with
regard to career challenges and career management programme
of expatriates. Furthermore, today an extensive proportion of
marriages are dual-career partnerships with both partners
employed, and thus a need to take this into account has been
stressed in expatriate literature. The present study covers these
issues based on the experiences of about 300 Finnish expatriates.
Career arrangements after repatriation were a very prominent
concern among expatriates. On the other hand, the results also
indicate that career-related support practices were not very
common in this sample, but there was clear inconsistency
between perceived necessity and actual use of these
programmes. Dual-career couples’ career considerations played a
central role as in the case of expatriates. However, dual-career
support was not commonly available although it was again seen
as necessary.
[14]

Smith C. (1997), in his article analyzed in his article that


Presents findings from a study investigating the career transitions
of a sample of dual-career managerial couples within Australian
organizations. Results confirm that job changes are complex
processes, which are determined by biographical factors such as
sex, age, parental status, and stakeholder influence and career
salience. However, they are very much influenced by work factors
such as the culture of the employing organization which
recommends more flexible career paths, employment practices
and managerial conventions, to facilitate the career development
of the growing numbers of dual-career couples, and to enhance
labour retention and organizational productivity.

Smith C. (1997), in his article “Career transition of dual-career


couples: an empirical study” analyzed in his article about the
Presents findings from a study investigating the career transitions
of a sample of dual-career managerial couples within Australian
organizations. Results confirm that job changes are complex
processes, which are determined by biographical factors such as
sex, age, parental status, and stakeholder influence and career
salience. However, they are very much influenced by work factors
such as the culture of the employing organization, Recommends
more flexible career paths, employment practices and managerial
conventions, to facilitate the career development of the growing
numbers of dual-career couples, and to enhance labour retention
and organizational productivity.

Rever S. (1995), in his article “Today’s expatriate family”


analyses about the multinational organizations which avoid
contemporary family issues, which only compound the problems
already plaguing them due to a lack of strategic key staffing and
planning on a global scale. These shortcomings may pose serious
questions about US industry's ability to compete globally. But for
HR executives, these obstacles also present an opportunity: They
can help their companies gain a competitive advantage both by
developing programs to attract, develop, and retain the best-
[15]

available global talent and by specifically addressing family issues


that stymie the process. To date, few multinationals have made
serious attempts to build a global talent pool and analyze the
needs and wants of expatriates and their families. But without
this internal analysis the multinational firm will not be able to
develop and implement cost effective programs.

Cooper C. (1995), in his article “Working together: men and


women in organizations” analyzed in his article some of the issues
that prevent men and women working together effectively in
organizations. It explores the impact of gender stereotypes and
the perception of women as the “weaker sex”. In addition,
attempts to highlight organizational strategies that would ensure
the successful working practice of men and women in
organizations

How Companies Are Handling These Issues:

Work – life balance is a very situation to maintain in one’s career.


One has to deal hard to face with day to day problem. Companies
like Goggle provide one with the choice of doing your work at
home, which works vice-versa for both the employer as well as
the employee. The employer gets the work done and the
employee does in his flexible way. The companies today also
provide Maternity benefits to women employees. Companies like
IBM, Wipro, SAP, Infosys etc, provide a lot to their employees like
flexible Work Hours (Where Appropriate) Basic and Supplemental
Life Insurance Short‐ and Long‐Term Disability Insurance and
Supplemental Long‐Term Disability Business Travel Accident
Insurance Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance SOS
Emergency Evacuation (for illness or injury incurred while
overseas on Action Aid business) Bereavement Leave Interest‐
free Computer Purchase Loan (After six months of employment)
etc.
[16]

We can see with the following example how companies today are
handling these issues:

Alcatel, for one, has structured a remarkably effective policy on


international mobility, as one of our clients, Jan Van Acoleyen,
Vice-President Human Resources of Alcatel Microelectronics, says:
"Family issues remain the sensitive aspect of international
mobility. Today, we place a great deal of attention on dual career
problems. The opportunities for work for the partner may turn out
to strongly affect the acceptance of an international assignment
and will later prove to be fundamental in guaranteeing the
integration of the transferee and his/her family in the new host
country. One often forgets that for the transferee, the continuity
of his or her career is unaffected, as there is no change of
employer, merely of country of residence. For the partner,
however, the change is total."

Recent studies show that a substantial percentage (60%) of


international companies now provides specific support for partner
job searches. Thirty percent have a systematic approach and a
clear and structured policy.

Conclusion:

We can lastly conclude that work life balance is an important


aspect of our life, which needs to be maintained. In our life a lots
of career related problems arises which should be adjusted
accordingly. Juggling between the obligations towards the families
and expectations of the organization and constant struggle to
maintain a balance can work can have serious implications on the
life of an individual. Therefore, it is important for employees to
maintain a healthy balance between work and their private lives.
[17]

This will help them achieve their personal and professional goals
as well the organization they are working for.

In 1950, the typical family structure consisted of a full-


time working father, who was the sole wage earner, and a stay-at-
home mom. Today, less than 3% of the population fit that
stereotype. A couple can define their own sense of equity within
their relationship. The distribution of roles does not necessarily
have to be equal. It can be different depending on peaks and
valleys of the couples work schedules.

Bibliography:

1. Hartwell F.(2010), Work life balance – are you balancing your


work life successfully, 3d.ed,

http://ezinearticles.com/?What-is-the-Real-Meaning-of-Work-
Life-Balance?&id=3906672
[18]

2. Sonia M.(2010), what is the real meaning of work life


balance?,3d.ed http://ezinearticles.com/?How-is-Your-
Work---Life-Balance?&id=4091971

3. Granth C. (2010), how your work – life


balance?,3d.edhttp://ezinearticles.com/?What-is-the-Real-
Meaning-of-Work-Life-Balance?&id=3906672
4. Scott s.(2009),a typology of dual earner marriages based on work and
family arrangements, vol 30, journal of Family and economic issues,
pp.215

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3
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