“I Couldn’t Be More Proud of Her”: Male Spouse Perspective on Relocation

Male Spouses Accept the Unknown to Support Wife’s Career

Relocation decisions are never made lightly – especially if one spouse/partner must sacrifice their position so the other partner’s career can advance. Our People Perspective on Relocation Survey revealed that 20% of relocating spouses/partners are male. Men are very supportive of their spouses’ career goals, even if it detours their own.

Highly educated and advanced in their career, 38% of male job seekers haven’t searched for a new position in more than five years. This sometimes means getting creative about their next career. Thomas Caruso and his wife Carol discussed their relocation at length before deciding to move from New York to Georgia. He was aware that the move could either be very good for his career prospects – or be a total disaster.

A Chance to Re-invent

“Not many people have the chance to re-invent themselves at my age. The relocation has opened new possibilities,” he shares. In fact, 36% of our male participants change careers during the relocation process. He goes on to say, “There is a tremendous amount of pressure involved in not knowing what I will be doing. I am a licensed professional, so I must obtain a license in our new state. I did not realize the amount of time it would take or the number of roadblocks I would face.”

Download a copy of our The People Perspective on Relocation survey here!

Male job seekers tend to be more comfortable networking in their day-to-day activities. “The males I coach are more intensely focused on the job search from the beginning,” says Career Coach Wendy LaBenne. “They hit the ground running to pursue their career path.” Understanding their career choices and opportunities in the new area often drives how they feel about the move. Career Coach Jean Renouil points out that, “Male job seekers follow up on opportunities quickly and don’t hesitate to reach out to contacts to set up meetings.”

Caruso shares how exciting the relocation was for the couple. “I’m gratified to see my wife grow by successfully meeting new challenges and taking on new responsibilities,” he comments. “It is a pleasure to see her actualize more of the potential I always knew she had! I am proud of her and glad to support her.”

Proud of Her Success

During an in-country relocation from Calgary to Toronto, Thomas Story and his wife, Shanna, decided the move was a no-brainer since it was in recognition of Shanna’s growth potential. He has found immense joy seeing her thrive. “It’s exciting to see all of Shanna’s hard work pay off,” Story shares. “Being so good at your job that your company relocates you is pretty impressive. I couldn’t be more proud of her!”

For his own career path, Story is using the transition to reassess his career aspirations. “This move opens up options for me. As an elementary school teacher, I have to wait for my teaching credentials to transfer to Ontario. This time is allowing me to think about getting my Master’s degree,” Story shares.

Increases in Gender Parity

As we do our part to increase gender parity and the number women in leadership roles around the world, IMPACT Group has seen male relocating spouses steadily climb from 20% to 50% of our participant population in the coming years. A strong support system at work and home is a difference maker in women’s career prospects.

For more on the male relocating spouse perspective, check out CEO Lauren Herring’s insights in the Wall Street Journal: “To Help Women Advance, Their Trailing Spouses Get Job-Hunting Aid.”