John and I have worked together for over 22 years; and, John is my husband.
It’s always fun to listen to responses from other couples when they discover we work together. Some could or some would never work with their spouses; and, then hearing the varying reasons why is always interesting. Working together definitely has its advantages and its disadvantages.
The advantages are fairly obvious. We know each others coworkers and we understand completely the challenges we face each day at the workplace. I think it’s nice to see my spouse here and there throughout the day. Also, when one of us gets overwhelmed the other naturally realizes the stress and offers to help out if they can. Each of us has sales responsibilities that keep us in and out of the office so we are independent of each other. It’s not like we share the same office space. I think some people might imagine that we go home every night and discuss the day and all its adventures. We don’t. One of the most valuable behaviors we developed early on was to never bias our natural relationships with coworkers. How does this work? Well, you mind your own business and behave on a professional level.
Reflecting back over the years, the disadvantages seem more personal than professional. It’s hard sometimes to witness the strategic maneuvering that occurs in every business environment. On a professional level we can not fight each others fights even when it feels personal. While keeping autonomy at work seems difficult, it’s not if you truly walk the walk.
John earned my respect years ago and continues to by his growth as a leader and his hard-earned success in sales and sales management. John is a big picture kind of guy, me, I’m the detailed conservative one. I have to constantly remind myself that you can’t steal second if you keep your foot on first. John, he’s already half-way around the field. That’s what ultimately makes us so good together.