When you lose your job, whether you realize it or not, you’re not the only one going through the loss. Behind every great employee is a supportive and loving spouse. (Well, most of the time, that is). When one of you loses your job both of you go through a roller coaster of emotions. Whether you or someone close to you is going through a job loss, it may affect you both differently. You are going to need all the support you can get during this transition. Do not alienate your partner by ignoring their thoughts and feelings. Instead, get wise to what they’re going through.
If you’re the one who recently lost their job, your spouse is going through a transition of his/her own. Here are some things you may want to know about what’s happening with them:
- …they are worried about you.
- …they may feel desperate to help you.
- …they understand pain and loss and they want yours to stop.
- …they want to help you, but likely don’t know how.
- …they have your best interest at heart.
- …it’s hard for them to sit idly by and watch you go through this.
- …they want to fix this for you, but they don’t know how, so they try EVERYTHING!
What can you do to comfort them?
Part of your new responsibilities is to communicate with your partner about the progress of your job search. You are not necessarily accountable to them, but you must communicate what is going on, so they have an accurate picture of the future. This situation is happening to you both and it is now part of your job to keep your spouse informed about where things stand.
Talk to them – let them know what’s going on with you. Talk to them about what you have been up to; even if it means telling them you’re taking the day off from job search tomorrow because you need to re-gain some perspective. Letting them in, will help keep the two of you connected and alleviate some of the stress. If they are willing, talk to them about how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and what you anticipate may happen over the next few weeks. Sometimes talking about it can help you gain focus and clarity on what steps to take next.
Share your plan with them – some spouses want to be involved in the job search process while others may not be too interested. If your spouse wants to be involved, let them know what your plans are, or where you’re stuck. They may be in a position to offer some advice, or resources to consider. They may not have all the answers, but even the simple act of talking it through may help you gain a new perspective.
Update them on your progress – your partner wants to help you celebrate your successes and support you during your losses. Let them know where things stand with your current prospects. Brainstorm ideas about how to approach employers, write cover letters, or network. There are plenty of ways a spouse can support you during this time, don’t be afraid to let them.
Be honest when you take time off – there is no reason to withhold the truth from your partner about how you’re feeling today. We all need time to think and reflect about our future. Taking some time off from your job search can help you gain much needed perspective on what to do next. Don’t be ashamed to talk about what you’re feeling. You’re going to need to work through the roller-coaster of emotions from losing your job, before you can positively present yourself in an interview.
Keeping the lines of communication open is going to ease the stress of your situation. Your partner’s support will help you during this time of transition. Start the conversation with your loved one this week. When they ask you how it’s going – tell them what you need, and let them help you.
Related Categories: Job Search
About The Author
Maureen McCann is an award-winning career coach, master resume writer, and master certified interview, employment, and career strategist whose clients include C-level executives, managers, and professionals in all industries including the Canadian banking, oil and gas, healthcare, IT, and government sectors.