Ep 143. Jennifer Petriglieri: Couples That Work
“Acknowledge the ambivalence. It’s OK that ti’s not always OK.”
Jennifer Petriglieri is an Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD and the author of Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive In Love and Work. Jennifer’s award-winning research and teaching focus on identity, leadership, and career development. She is particularly interested in how people’s close relationships shape who they become professionally and personally, and how moments of uncertainty and crisis make us who we are.
Jennifer was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 New Thinker and Talent awards and named one of the world’s best 40 business school professors under 40 by Poets & Quants. Jennifer earned a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from INSEAD. She also holds an MBA from IMD, Switzerland, and a BSc in genetics from Nottingham University, UK. Prior to joining INSEAD, she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Organisational Behaviour at the Harvard Business School.
In this episode, Stew and Jennifer discuss the three key choice points that couples face, moments that challenge them to combine their parallel lives and form a joint life. The first, early in the relationship, often relates to external events, such as the birth of a child or a career opportunity involving relocation, and to whose career takes precedence. The second, at midlife and midcareer, is less about external events and more about internal questioning of whether one’s life is going in the direction one wants. Both partners may be outside their comfort zones, for different reasons. In the third critical juncture, the joint projects of childrearing and career building are past and couples confront the question of what remains. There’s either something like a “gray divorce” or there’s a renewal. Jennifer shares insights from her investigation of over 100 couples and offers advice on what works and the vital importance of having conversations about what really matters.