How to talk about your job search with your family

Share your frustrations and worries


No one likes to talk about their job search, especially when they're not making much headway, which is unfortunately the case for most unemployed professionals these days. But talking about your job search with your immediate family can be particularly frustrating. After all, they're the ones who have the most to gain or lose from it.

Several of the unemployed IT executives interviewed for the story, How to survive unemployment, said that they didn't like talking about their job searches with their families because their efforts weren't going well. Plus, they didn't want to worry their families any more than they already were.

Another reason they didn't want to discuss their job searches with their families was because 'fessing up to the fact that they weren't getting anywhere made them feel even worse about themselves. They already felt inadequate because unemployment robbed them of their ability to provide for the material wellbeing of their families. Not making progress in their job searches, and having to share that with their families, exacerbated their feelings of failure and incompetence. Consequently, many just stopped talking about their job searches with their spouses.

The IT executives' partners (most of whom are women) generally reacted in one of two ways: Either they asked their husbands every day how their job search was going, or they didn't ask at all. Neither reaction is ideal, say career coaches.

"If your significant other is constantly asking, What have you done today? Are you getting out there?, it makes you feel like you're being judged, like you're not doing enough," says Michael Thompson, an executive coach and career counselor. "That becomes more destructive than not getting a job or an interview because it sets up a cycle of more yelling, more judgment and more negativity."

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