When we aren’t eating, sleeping, playing, or working out, the vast majority of us are working. In fact, nowadays Americans work on average almost 8.6 hours per day, according to a 2010 survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even though we spend well over half of our waking lives at work, do we allow our careers to define who we are? More importantly, do we bring up our careers on a first date?
According to the majority of our respondents, the question of one’s career on the first date is an inevitable topic of discussion, with 53% of both men and women saying they feel comfortable about bringing up the subject. However, 32% of men and 26% of women said they would only mention their careers in passing, but avoid the details, at least on a first date.
So, do you bring up your career on a first date? Why not? Your career path is certainly a valuable insight in to who you are as a person. However, don’t let it dominate the entirety of the conversation. On the other hand, acting completely aloof about your career will make you seem a bit cagey.
Traditional Ideals or 21st Century Living?
Interestingly enough, men and women end up diverging when it comes to ideas about career paths, money, and unemployment or underemployment. Our survey uncovered a mix of attitudes between the sexes that suggested longstanding traditional thoughts about who should provide in a relationship, yet also demonstrate modern ideas about the “career-oriented couple.”
Consider this: do we want to date someone with similar professional aspirations in mind? For men, the concept split fairly evenly, with 49% saying they would like to date a woman on a similar track, and with 51% saying similarities in careers do not matter as much. For women, however, the stakes were slightly different. A clear majority of women (68%) said they prefer to date a man with similar career aspirations.
It’s even more interesting when it comes to the question of money. Women have a more egalitarian approach to the question of who earns what. While the majority of men, over 71%, wouldn’t care if they deduced their date made far less money than them, women were more split on the issue. About 22% said they wouldn’t care if they made more money than their date. Yet, 47% of women surveyed said it would be a bit of a concern to them and a further 24% said it presented a big concern.
In summary, when it comes to earning money in the 21st century world, there’s something to be said about being on equal footing. After all, we’re well past Mad Men and Downtown Abbey-era thoughts on employment.