Why She Doesn’t Want Your Help With Her Career
If you’re a man who has ever tried to give your girlfriend or wife career advice, you might have been a little confused by her reaction. She may have become short and cold with you, changed the subject, or downright said she didn’t want to talk about it. You just wanted the best for her. You saw her making a decision or taking a step in her career that you didn’t think was the best idea. Shouldn’t she be happy that you’re taking an interest in her career? Yes! And she does like when you take an interest—but not when you become a part of it. Women have very different relationships with their careers than men do. It’s hard to explain, but we’ll try. Here is why your girlfriend or wife doesn’t want your help with her career.
She wants to know she can do this solo
Your partner wants to know she can do this solo. You may be thinking, “I know she can do it alone! It’s just easier with help and guidance.” Well maybe you know that, but she doesn’t know that. And the only way she can be sure of it, is if she in fact does do it alone. Your partner needs to know she can be independent. If we can be honest: she wants to know she can thrive in her career, even if you’re no longer in her life one day. This is something she needs to be all her own.
What if you break up?
Speaking of your partner needing this to be all her own, she doesn’t want you leaving your stamp on her work. What if you help her get a promotion or get a loan for her business or make that first sale at her shop? If you two ever split up, she doesn’t want your prints left on the one other major joy in her life. Even when you just argue but don’t split up, she needs this to be her own.
She doesn’t want to become reliant on you
Your partner is downright afraid of becoming reliant on your help. Because what if you do go away? Or what if there are times you’re just too busy to help? She wants to know she can solve problems and come to the best conclusions on her own, with or without you there.
She doesn’t want you taking credit
Can you blame her? She doesn’t want you taking credit for something that is 98 percent hers. Do you like it when other people take credit for your work? Considering that we live in a world where tabloids always claim this or that female celebrity only got where she is by sleeping with or dating this or that male celebrity, women are very sensitive to men taking credit for their work.
She wants to separate business and pleasure
Plain and simple. She doesn’t want her work having anything to do with you and she doesn’t want you having anything to do with her work. Everything is cleaner that way. She doesn’t want a fight with you affecting her work or a problem in work affecting her relationship with you.
Because why do you think she needs help?
She’s proud, damnit! The moment you try to offer help you’re suggesting she needs it, or you’re hinting she was doing something incorrectly. Unless she asks for your input, don’t give it. The mere act of giving unsolicited opinions will make her shut down.
She doesn’t want you invested in her losses
If you start trying to help your partner with her career then you’ll put too much pressure on her to succeed. She doesn’t want you to be just as let down as she is if things don’t go well. She doesn’t want to worry about not getting what she wants and disappointing you in the process.
She talks about work enough at work
She wants a safe space where she can know work won’t come up (at least not much). If you start wanting to know too much about her work, or wanting to be involved in it, she’ll feel like her home is no longer a home, but rather an extension of her work.
She needs to vent without judgment
Sometimes your partner needs to complain about the struggles of her job or the annoying people she works with, without you knowing outside information. As far as you should be concerned, her colleague is just a b*tch. She doesn’t need you knowing about the inner workings of her company, and why what her colleague did was actually the best thing to do. She needs you on her side.
She doesn’t want to get involved in yours
If you start getting involved in her career then she’ll feel like she has to get involved in yours. And frankly, she’s tired and busy enough. And she has no idea what you’re talking about when you speak in detail about your work (and she’s not up for learning the jargon).
Career isn’t everything
For women, career isn’t everything. We tend to prioritize personal relationships over our careers. And we should—at the end of the day, it’s personal relationships that dictate our happiness. So she really just doesn’t want to give her job more space in her mind or conversation than it needs.
There’s other stuff you could be doing
Why don’t you worry less about how she’s wording that email or which investors she’s hitting up for a loan and more about your dirty towels you haven’t washed for months?
It can feel like criticism
When you give your partner notes on her work, it can feel like criticism. You don’t mean for it to come off that way, but it does. Why? Because you’re a man and men aren’t really great at couching things or putting things delicately the way women are.
You might mansplain
You may accidentally mansplain. There is enough mansplaining going on. You tread in dangerous waters when you try to tell your partner what she should be going about her career in a different way. You tread in waters that could make you sound like a mansplainer!
I don’t know if you noticed but, um, women weren’t really given much of a voice in the workplace, taken seriously as professionals or granted powerful roles in companies for most of history. Now that that is changing, don’t touch it. Don’t get it all smudgy with your man fingers.