Help your partner get back to work without taking over
The job search can be incredibly difficult. That’s why people give up; they’re tired of getting their hopes up only to ultimately be rejected.
This is especially difficult when the person in question is your significant other. You want to help them land a great job, but where do you start?
If your partner has been job searching for quite some time, it can be tempting to take over the job search process. You might even want to start calling companies or submitting resumes.
Even though you have the best of intentions, telling your partner how to job search isn’t the best idea. The legwork and idea generation need to come from the person trying to get a job. If your significant other just does what you tell them, it’s easy to blame you for a failed job opportunity. And you wouldn’t want them to get a job offer for a position you applied for that they end up hating.
So instead of telling, listen. This covers everything from letting them vent their frustrations to celebrating successes, however minor.
Realize that Job Searching IS a Fulltime Job
Although it might seem your loved one has more free time on their hands and can therefore handle more household chores, this isn’t the case. Job searching should be a 30-hour a week job.
Being unemployed is not necessarily something they chose—they’re most likely not staying at home because they enjoy the free time. Usually, they’re even more stressed than you are about the situation. So never ask if they’ll get a job “soon.” Your guess is as good as theirs.
Offer to Proof Their Cover Letters and Resume
Constructive feedback is always helpful, so why not offer it to your partner? Keeping an eye out for grammatical mistakes or offering your opinion on a cover letter is not only helpful, but also shows that you value the time your partner has spent job searching.
You can’t be the one submitting resumes or interviewing, so how can you help? By celebrating the little things. Tom Washington of CareerEmpowering.com has a few alternate definitions of success for job hunters:
“Success is writing a tailored cover letter which may help get an interview when the standard cover letter would not have. Success is talking to someone who provides a lead. Success is a positive meeting with a person who may have a job in the near future. Success is obtaining useful insights from a friend or a person at the library.”
In short, you can help your loved one set achievable and empowering goals. These can be things as small as revamping a resume or getting coffee with a new contact. Job offers might be few and far between, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own version of success.
Your significant other has a lot on their plate. With job searching consuming so much of their time, it can be hard to get out into the world and network. While you should absolutely encourage them to join professional groups or volunteer associations, you can’t really attend such functions yourself.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage your own network to further their job search. Contact friends and family and see what they have to say. And even though it may seem like your network is completely different from that of your partner, you never know where that next job might come from.