How to Support Your Wife during Her Job Search
Whether your wife recently lost her job, left her job, or is returning to the workforce, job searching can be a challenge. Both of you may be experiencing a wide variety of difficult emotions, including fear, discouragement, or sadness.
You are your wife’s first line of support. As you help her seek employment, create an atmosphere in which she feels comfortable and secure in asking for your help and feedback. As soon as possible, the two of you should sit down together and make a plan. Here are some practical ways to be equally invested in her job search:
Looking for a job can be discouraging. Your wife may be struggling with feelings of low self-worth or even depression. Be supportive and patient as she deals with the mental, emotional, and physical challenges of a job search, and help encourage and motivate her as she seeks employment. Remember that her methods of coping may not be the same as yours.
Together, identify her skills and talents. Help her think of opportunities to learn and grow, such as training, certifications, or other classes that she could engage in while she is unemployed. Don’t try to be her coach—just be her cheerleader.
Take into account that the higher your wife’s desired salary is, the longer her job search will most likely be. Build more time than you would expect into your job search plans. Simultaneously, maintain an attitude that treats unemployment as a temporary, manageable situation. The more the two of you stay patient and focused on her job search despite the challenges that may arise, the quicker she’ll find a new job.
Take Care of Yourself
You may find yourself to be just as stressed as your wife is about her job search. Take care of yourself—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Get enough sleep and stick to a consistent routine. Make it a family goal to support each other through this trial. If you are working, don’t let your wife’s job search distract or detract from your own employment. Strive to fulfill your Church calling and don’t withdraw from your normal social interactions.
Discuss Possible Resources
You can be an important resource to your wife by reaching out to people in your network. Talk about who you know that she might benefit from meeting. Encourage her to seek out a mentor and a job coach.
A mentor can be anyone in her family or social circles. This individual can help her define a career path or improve her existing one. A job coach is someone who would work more directly with your wife to identify what is and is not working in her job search and help make improvements. He or she would meet regularly with your wife to help her accomplish her employment goals, improve her résumé, and practice job interviews. Having a job coach allows her to be accountable to someone outside of the home who is not as emotionally invested as you are.
Include Friends, Family, and Ward Members
Don’t limit yourself to being the only person helping your wife look for a job. Support her as she reaches out to friends, family members, and home and visiting teachers, who can help network, provide assistance, and direct you to other available resources. They may also be able to help with childcare, finances, and providing encouragement.
Take Advantage of Church Programs
The Church has many programs already in place for members dealing with unemployment. Take advantage of LDS Employment Resource Services by asking your wife if she would like to go to an employment center. There she can attend the Career Workshop, find a job coach, and enroll in the Accelerated Job Search program. She can also search for jobs by creating a profile on LDSJobs.org.
Be a Helper
Searching for a job often requires as much effort and energy as a full-time job. Look for ways you can lighten your wife’s load, since interviews and networking opportunities may change the daily routine that she had before she began her job search. Counsel together about how you will accomplish the daily tasks of parenting and managing your household during this job search.
During a job search, it’s important for your family to have fun together and not always be focusing on the job search. Do everything you can to strengthen your relationship with your wife, and surround yourselves with friends and family. These things can help reduce stress and maintain a sense of normalcy during a time of unpredictability.
Include Your Children
Your kids will be affected by this period of unemployment, so do what you can to make it a positive experience for them. Refer to 9 Ways to Help Your Family during Unemployment for specific ideas about how to counsel together as a family, help your children feel secure, and strengthen your family during this challenging time.
Seek Heavenly Father’s Help Together
Continue to pray, read the scriptures, and attend church together. Consider fasting with the special purpose of helping your wife find employment. Set aside time to go the temple together as circumstances allow, and look for opportunities in which you can both serve others. Seeking spiritual strength will bring peace amid the challenges you’re facing and provide you both with revelation in making employment decisions.