How can your wife or partner help you look for work?

Wife/partner that helps her husband/partner

When my mother got married, she was given a booklet with a whole series of instructions on how to be a good wife, or the "queen of the house" as they once called it. That was back in 1954.

I could write an updated version of this manual focusing on the conduct and characteristics of a good wife for a husband who is going through a difficult period professionally. Lately, I have heard many such stories. For the first episode, here is a part of an email I was sent:

"Good morning Mrs Gianotti, I am writing to you after reading ”E’ facile cambiare lavoro se sai come fare” [It’s easy to change jobs if you know how]. It’s actually not for myself but my husband as he needs guidance in confronting some issues he is currently facing. To give you some extra information: he is 52 and is a manager ... he has been responding to job listings (although there are very few for his position) and is even willing to relocate or accept a different role. To date he has had no success at all. I am not expecting you to work magic, but I would like to meet you face to face to get some ideas about how to move forwards. My husband is sceptical about pursuing alternative routes, but I reminded him that when I got my first interview at a sports goods company a couple of years ago, it was after I had described my passion for running to the HR manager. He told me: “The position in question is far more junior than yours and we simply don’t have the budget to offer you a higher salary ... but I have to meet you after reading your email”. I'm pushing my husband to contact you directly, so I hope you hear from him soon (Needless to say, I am writing without his "permission"... ;-)) "

– The wife

What about the second and third episode?

The second episode was an email from the "husband", while the third was a career coaching course that we have started. We are still in the early stages, but things are looking up.

The support I provided is unique to this person, whom, incidentally, I had already met in the past during another period of professional transition. So, he should have been comfortable with the methodology but sometimes even if we know actions are required, we still don't take them.

A close and trusted person - in this case, the wife – can give you a nudge in the right direction. But that is all they can do more because, like any other person with an intimate or strong personal relationship with the person in question, she was unable to intervene professionally, even if she had the specific expertise.

Therefore, if your partner or husband are having professional difficulties - not only because they are unemployed, but maybe because they are stressed or unhappy and your "sixth sense" is telling you something is wrong, then seek help and information and ask questions. There are no magic wands or genies around, but there are still people who can offer invaluable assistance.So a resourceful and pragmatic woman plucks up the courage to reach out to someone she knows of through a book or article...

People offering advice generally do their job professionally and with passion. Of course, like everyone else, they do it to earn a living and once again it is worth reiterating that work should be remunerated fairly. These people should be open to considering the task at hand, offering advice and will perhaps even recommend a different approach if they feel they’re not the best person for the job.

At least that's how I do things! Try me!!

About the author
Cristina Gianotti
For more than fifteen years Cristina Gianotti has been working in Coaching - Career, Executive and Business Coaching – supporting managers, professionals and entrepreneurs that are interested in investing in themselves and their own professional development. She comes from a management consulting, management and entrepreneurial background. In 2016 she published her fisrt book "E' facile cambiare lavoro se sai come fare" (It is easy to change job if knowing how) with bookabook. In 2018 the second one "Connecting Dots: il networking questo sconosciuto" (Connetting dots: the unknow professional networking").

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