Organizations can promote dual careers in innovation by explicitly mentioning the possibility of dual careers in their job postings and accepting dual applications from people in a partnership. Further, they should facilitate a high level of internal mobility between different locations and network with partner organizations in their region. In any case, the best solution should be discussed with all parties involved and adjusted to the unique circumstances. The settings should be discussed in regular meetings and adapted if necessary.
Dual career paths differ from “job sharing” in several respects: both partners can, but do not have to, work in the same field. Usually, they both have a higher workload, pursue independent professional goals, and excel in different areas of expertise.
Especially in research & development, a long-term professional career often requires a high degree of location-based mobility. Due to the limited availability of positions in extremely specialized fields, highly skilled individuals are often faced with the choice of pursuing their own career or considering their partner’s location-related professional conditions. Usually, one partner has to put his or her plans behind those of the other.
Employers can enable highly qualified couples to combine individual career goals with their partnership and family plans by offering dual career paths. When successful, dual career paths lead to better job performance and higher satisfaction, keeping top performers in the organization longer.