Dual career concerns from the perspective of both partners and different life stages

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Research and practice have focused on dual careers at time of hire almost exclusively. Additionally, dual career discussions in the literature have mostly focused on the experiences of what has been called the “first hire” rather than what has been called the “second hire” or “trailing” partner/spouse. However, it is often the trailing spouse that directly experiences the career “sacrifices” of the dual career relationship. Therefore, we sought to examine perspectives of both partners to obtain a more complete picture of dual career issues. Participants were drawn from different life stages. They discussed how they thought dual career should be defined, the various stigmas they faced, and the advantages and disadvantages of dual career that they have experienced. The experiences shared by participants in this study serve to broaden and deepen the understanding of dual career in the research literature to include partners and later career stages. We consider implications of the study’s findings for managing dual careers in organizations.

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© 2017 Academy of Management

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Academy of Management Proceedings