The Artisanal Worker
Much is discussed these days about the Generation Y worker, who values a fun and balanced life over a power career. This works well for ESP! An equal sharing lifestyle works best when both parents are dedicated to sharing the breadwinning roles, but yet still make enough money to enjoy their balanced lives. This type of lifestyle usually requires that you don't wait until your 30s or 40s to land a job that pays well. Working hard and establishing yourself as an excellent and loyal employee in your 20s pays off later when you are ready to scale back and make room in your life for marriage and parenthood.
I think of the ideal equal-sharer as an artisanal worker. Artisans work hard to learn their craft, putting in long hours and intense training time to become extremely good at what they do. They generally love what they do. They stay in their fields for decades, becoming ever more proficient and well-known for their artistry. They don't make much money at first, but as they mature in their expertise, they command bigger and bigger prices for their work. They are valued more as they age because they are so efficient and masterful.
An artisan doesn't have to be a world-class sculptor. You can be an artisan at anything that fits well with your interests and passions. You give to the world by your experience, expertise, and desire to grow and contribute.
Regardless of where you are in your career, dedication to your craft is of the utmost importance. The intrinsic rewards of a job well done are the fuel to propel us along the path. As a result, our market value will continue to improve and our desire for a meaningful work life will fluorish.