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Supporting my partner's career goals

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  • Supporting my partner's career goals

    Hi all,

    I've been with my partner (long-distance) for 1.5 years. She decided about 6 months ago to make a career shift and begin self-studying computer programming. We talked through the decision together and I am 100% supportive and aligned. It makes perfect sense with her interest and our future goals. However, she's been having an issue with day to day motivation. Her programming goals for the day often go unmet.

    Self-motivated learning is challenging and we've tried tactics abound. Brainstorming motivation tactics, explored how to free up more time, and different time scheduling systems to name a few. I've asked her how I can best support her, especially when she doesn't hit her goal. She said that positive reinforcement, but assertively following up with her when she commits to something is ideal. This is exactly what I've been doing. At the end of the day I ask her how programming went and I often find that she didn't work on it. However, it's beginning to get frustrating for me as this cycle has repeated itself many times.

    She works from home in a job that demands an average of 20-30 hours/week, so its not a time issue.

    I want to keep supporting her, but seeing her unable to find the motivation to code is getting wearisome, especially with the active role I'm playing.

    I know she has the ability to motivate herself as she started and runs a nonprofit organization. Any thoughts on how I can shift strategies or approach this differently with her?

    Potential approaches:

    1. Be more harsh with following up. Though I don't think she will respond well
    2. Disengage. Though I want to stay involved and it will frustrate me regardless.
    3. Have a discussion about whether she truly wants to break into programming as there is a disconnect between actions and words
    4. Discuss motivate techniques/approaches again. We've been here before
    5. Any ideas?

    I truly want her to succeed.

    Thank you for your time!

  • #2
    If she can't get herself going, you're not going to be able to. Why won't she enroll in a teacher-led course where she will have specific projects and deadlines to meet?


    • #3
      I'd tell her to quit to be honest lol.

      She runs a non Profit organisation and is likely motivated out of passion for it.
      Doesnt sound like she has the same passion for computer programming which ultimately means she'll be crap at it.
      What was her initial motivation? A financial gain at the end of it ? Certainly doesn't sound like she is actually interested in the work itself.

      Since she works from home, I assume can work from any home, so why is the relationship still long distance ?
      Are there plans in place to reduce the distance? I'd be more concerned about that.


      • #4
        I work in accounting and I recently decided to go back to school (after twenty years finishing my degrees/uni) to upgrade in a specialized accounting program. And oh boy, school is harder than life.. After working for so long it is not easy having to work through exams and assignments and I have to be honest I hate half of it but it also keeps me busy and is interesting. The reason why I hate it is because it is really difficult to go back to the drawing board and work through problems manually when real life situations are mostly computerized and there are specific systems in place with work or real life.

        I don't know why you are so concerned about how she does in school. My partner is supportive but he maintains his distance as he knows better than to meddle. He is also busy with his own career/life goals and his own interests outside of our relationship although probably 95% of our interests are shared before we even knew each other. For your own self, I would suggest distancing yourself and living your own life instead of worrying so much about her. Even if you are assisting or helping to finance her studies, it's honestly not your call to keep babysitting her about it. If you feel that your partner is unnecessarily dragging you down with her lack of motivation and is a drain on your finances, perhaps it's time to draw the line and have a heart to heart. It doesn't mean ending the relationship but it may be mean stopping classes for the time being until she decides what she wants to do.