Let’s talk about partners. I know it seems like a strange topic to write about, especially in regard to Speech Pathology and your career. But hear me out. 

I was recently asked to speak about the topic of health leadership, burnout, imposter syndrome etc. It got me thinking about the choices that I have made in my career. The opportunities that came my way, the chances I took. What got me stuck? What moved me forward? 

I realised there was a common theme, both in my 20’s and again in my mid 30’s to now. 

That theme is my partner. 

I have been incredibly fortunate to be in long-term, loving, nurturing relationships. 

My partners haven’t been threatened by my success. They haven’t felt left out. They’ve supported me, even when it has meant late nights working, changes to our plans or time not spent with me. It has also meant that they have called me out when I’m overworking or heading towards burnout, been a sounding board, a guide and a huge support. 

I’ve also been in shorter relationships where my partners haven’t been as supportive. 

They found my ambition a threat. They have questioned where they fit in if I achieved x, y, z. They have worried which made me worry. Their doubt caused me to doubt. Their fears meant I played smaller, I didn’t take up opportunities, I felt less confident, less self-assured and I feared judgement. 

Had I stayed in those relationships, I wonder where I would be now, and more importantly who I would be? I have had friends in long-term relationships with partners like these and I have seen the effect it has had on them. 

Your choice of partner is vital to your career success. 

They are often the last person you see before going to sleep, the first person you see in the morning, the person’s opinion who matters to you the most. They are a big part of your life and if they can’t cheer you on, they can’t put their ego aside, they can’t support you to follow your dreams, to listen to your fears and to be a safe place for you to return to both physically and psychologically, your career choices and success will reflect that. 

So if you are looking to build a successful career, one that you can grow and thrive in, keep this in mind. 

Your choice of partner matters.