When you’re both struggling with your careers

Have you hit that point when you’re both struggling with your careers and it’s taking a toll on your relationship? 

This is an issue that commonly crops up in our career conversations. Perhaps this is unsurprising, as we all know how life has that (not so!) funny habit of throwing everything at us all at once. So why aren’t we seeing this problem discussed more in the press?

Thankfully, The Muse has run an excellent article on this topic.

In summary, they recommend…

  • Respecting each other’s job hunting methods; recognising that these can often lead to the same result.
  • Using mutual encouragement to motivate you through the process – and teaming up for valuable interview practice.
  • Working out how best to support each other (as you may each be looking for a different response or support mechanism). Sometimes simply letting your partner vent without input!
  • Seeking external help where needed; whether from a career or relationship expert.

You can find all the advice in full here.

Some tips we’d like to add…

While The Muse piece is focusing on partners’ shared career struggles, experience shows this issue can crop up in other relationships. For instance, with housemates, siblings, parents and close friends. Even among similarly disgruntled colleagues!

We’d say the above advice all still applies…although you’re somewhat less likely to visit a relationship counsellor with your housemate or Jenny from Sales!

  • Buddy up: whatever the relationship, try to make yourself a job hunting ally. Where possible, chat through the elements that you’re each struggling with and where you would like some help and support.
  • Don’t let resentments build. When you’re in the job struggle bubble, you may forget to ask about their challenges. Try to check on them as much as (if not more than!) you vent. Arrange a regular catch-up slot if this works for you both.
  • Consult an expert. Just as The Muse suggests, this can help lessen the relationship burden. Although we’d like to add the idea of contacting a REC-accredited recruitment agency in your field. All member agencies have to adhere to a Code of Professional Practice, which means you get a best practice service along with your expert advice.
  • Find other things to talk about. It can become draining when all you think and talk about is finding a new job. Try to make some time together when you’re doing anything but this. And this doesn’t have to cost a penny – go for a walk together. Watch some shows or listen to some podcasts if you need work-free conversation fodder!
  • If necessary, create some space. This is less easy to do with your partner than in other relationships. However, if the buddy system’s not working you may want to invest your time and energy in other less strained relationships. Dependent on how things are going, you might want to explain your absence as a focused effort to avoid further relationship challenges. Let that person know you’re still there for them if they need you.

Bored of your job hunting strategy?

Refresh your approach. See if there’s anything you haven’t tried from our 7 Days of Job Hunting Tips or make like the pros and think like a brand!

Let us know what you want to see more of in future for better-tailored career and recruitment advice.