What does a job description have to do with being happily married? The answer to this question in one word is: everything! This week’s article takes an excerpt from my new book: “Not Tonight Dear, I’ve Got a Business to Run!” where I provide a proven system for reconciling your work and family responsibilities. One aspect of this proven system discusses how to create a job description for both your marriage and your entrepreneurial business that ensures success in both your business and your marriage. Entrepreneurs and corporations use job descriptions to clarify employee expectations. Job descriptions get outdated quickly, encompass many unexpected tasks under “other duties as assigned”, or prevent a willing employee from exceeding the basic requirements. Nonetheless, they provide good general outlines so that all parties understand what is expected from each other.
When we marry or make a lifetime commitment, we implicitly agree to a loose job description called “husband” or “wife”, or the equivalent thereof. If we are in business together as well, then we agree to “business partner or associate”. The job description you imagine you have may differ from the one your partner expects of you. Therefore, it is imperative that you write a clear job description for both your marriage AND your business to significantly reduce both domestic and office tensions by forming a shared understanding of your roles and responsibilities at home and at work. To avoid and/or minimize conflict at both work and at home, follow the suggestions below for creating a well-written, carefully-orchestrated job description of roles and responsibilities for each spouse.
If you work or plan to work together, write a job title and description for each of you that clearly defines intended job responsibilities. Your title might be more traditional (head of operations) or innovative (office mover-and-shaker or wife-in-chief). You might divide responsibilities by functions, expertise, working shifts, products/services, client needs, or site of activity, in or outside the office. If your business has identical or interchangeable roles for each of you, then write one job description and add details where relevant.
If you are in the process of deciding whether to partner in business with your spouse or life partner, create a help wanted advertisement and a job description of the ideal business partner. The written word acts as a much more powerful tool than a mere thought or idea. A written job description will help you decide objectively how your partner’s skills and experience measure up to what you are looking for.
If you live together, create a job summary that clearly defines your separate duties at home.
You can detail your own job description as much or as little as you please, but plan to review and revise it at least once or twice a year, or with the addition of children, pets, or any circumstance(s) which require physical and emotional care or time and effort on your part or your spouse’s. If appropriate, create a job description for your kids, nanny, virtual assistants, or any other person who shares the requisite tasks for running a profitable business and an efficient household. You’ll quickly discover that events like the birth of a child, relocation, or a financial setback all affect your roles at home and office dramatically.
Remember, as I state in my book: “Not Tonight Dear, I’ve Got a Business to Run!”, creating a job description does not guarantee that your marriage and your business will not hit stormy seas, but it will insure that you have a compass in hand to help navigate you out of the storm, intact and on course!
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