June 17, 2011
Post-recession dads: Less willing to give up breadwinner role?
When it comes to work/life balance, the recession has left more than a few working dads gun-shy. According to CareerBuilder's Annual Father's Day Survey, working dads are more reluctant to let go of the breadwinner role than they were before the economy tanked and the job market became so tight.
[Flickr photo by mastermaq]
In survey of 800+ working dads conducted online, 33 percent of respondents said they'd be willing to stop working if their significant other's salary was large enough to support the entire family. Five years ago, that figure was much higher, at 44 percent.
Although dads want to be more hands-on, CareerBuilder reports, the skimpier staffs and fatter workloads of this post-recession era can make doing so tougher. As proof, CareerBuilder offers these statistics:
- One in five dads polled puts in an average of at least 50 hours a week at the office.
- One in five of them also brings work home three times a week after logging a full day at the office.
- Two in five fathers surveyed spend two hours or less with their kids each day. Sixteen percent spend one hour or less.
- A third of respondents said that work obligations caused them to miss at least two major events in their kid's life (games, recitals, and the like) during the past year.
- One in five dads polled said their work has "a negative impact on their relationship with their children."
These dads are in the minority, of course. That fact that four in five working dads polled don't think their job has a negative impact on their relationship with their children is pretty great. I find it more interesting that dropping from two incomes to one -- even one that can provide for the entire household -- is a prospect that's too scary for two-thirds of the fathers who responded to this survey.
There will always be dads (and moms, and people without kids) who want to work outside the home. There's certainly nothing wrong with that. But since the recession, 11 percent more men polled in this annual survey said they wouldn't want to be a stay-at-home dad -- even if their family could afford it. That strikes me as a testament to how squeamish we've become as a workforce these past few years.
What do you think? If you're part of a two-income household, would you be any more or less likely today to embrace not working if your household could survive on one income?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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