How can I help when my husband can't find a job?
The penny-pinch of a single-income house is such a burden to bear. It doesn’t matter if they recently graduated, experienced layoffs or are just having a hard time; if you're the sole breadwinner, it can be a struggle to make ends meet. Look, whether it's your husband, wife, roommate or family members, of course you want to sing their praises to the human resources world. You can't just sit back and do nothing, right?
It's difficult when your finances depend on someone who is struggling. You want to help them find full-time work not only for their confidence but your own well-being. You’re at your wits end.
Take a deep breath. Relax.
Ok, let's look at a few things you can do when your husband can't find a new job (plus a few things you shouldn't do!)
Look for job postings and signs
Back in the old American job market days, a simple glance through the newspaper or walk to area windows was all you needed to see who was hiring. No matter what your parents or grandparents might say, those days are long gone now.
Spend some time checking job boards for part-time or full-time jobs that might be of interest to them. When you find a job that's a good fit, don't stop at just forwarding it to them. Tell them about it excitedly and hype up the great fit that it appears to be. You want them to go into the application feeling confident.
On a day you’re out and about, check to see if their favorite stores have a now hiring sign and snap a photo of it. There's usually a web address for applications, so be sure to get that in the photo for when you refer your special someone.
Check their application process and documents
Not everyone is born into the adult world with an in-depth knowledge of resume writing or the job search process. The information you get in high school is usually outdated and doesn't factor in a lot of real-world situations you may find yourself in. Help your significant other look at the application requirements while they’re job hunting to be sure they didn't miss anything. Often, if the application asks for a cover letter and they forget it, that application can end up in the trash.
Also, before submitting an application, ask if you can give it a once-over for grammar and spelling errors. A second set of eyes never hurts, especially during a weary job search.
Brainstorm for keywords
Applications for large companies tend to use systems called applicant tracking systems (ATS). Much like search engines use keywords to help you find the right website, these programs help hiring managers find the right applications and resumes. If your resume or application doesn't match the keywords they're looking for, you may not be seen.
Sit down with your sweetie and brainstorm some keywords that represent their skills, work history, and talents. Then, look at the types of jobs they're applying for and see if you can find any specific words that pop up a lot. You're looking for keywords that describe the job title or duties performed.
Now, encourage them to use these keywords organically in the cover letter, job titles and job descriptions in the application.
Your partner is likely feeling down about this employment situation, too. It can be so frustrating not to get calls back. Sometimes it feels like your skills aren't desired, you're not talented or you're yelling into a void. Be a positive force in the job hunt. Lift his spirits and help his self-esteem when the going gets tough. If he seems like he's in a rut, sit down and talk to him about it. Job loss, or just being jobless for an extended period of time, can take a toll on his mental health. Let him vent those frustrations, shake the negativity and get back on the job hunt horse.
Encourage them to try a temp agency
If your significant other continues to have problems finding full-time work, look into a temp agency. These companies test your skill sets and place you in temporary or temp-to-hire jobs quickly and easily. Sometimes they’ll be filling in for a receptionist for a few days or working to fill emergency orders in a warehouse, but other times these assignments turn into full-time jobs.
Don't contact companies for him
All points of interaction need to be between your husband and the company. This includes even seemingly simple things like asking for a paper application at a small store. Leave it to your husband to create his own first impressions and earn his role within a company. This means no visits and no phone calls from you. If you call and ask for a job for your husband or loved one, it does nothing but embarrass the person you're trying to help and potentially give them a bad reputation within the company.
Don't go to the job interview
Whether it's your husband, kiddo or cousin, you must let the birdy fly from the nest. They need to go to the job interview alone. Allow them to be independent and build their own reputation. You don't need to be in the room and speak for them--it only creates a bad impression. You also don't need to wait in the car. Give them some space to start building their professional image for themselves.
Whether it's a period of unemployment or your loved one is an entry-level job seeker for the first time, it can be frustrating to watch them struggle from the sidelines. Just be helpful, supportive and let them find their way. A little guidance is appreciated, but they have to do the job searching legwork themselves.
Just remember, jobless periods don’t last forever. You’ve got this!