WORK Unemployment can rob anyone of their self esteem, and relationships suffer when the pressure is on. So how do you offer your significant other the right support—without sounding like you're nagging?
When your man has been out of work for too long, the difficulties, both financial and emotional, can drive a wedge through the relationship. The key to solving the problem is to help your partner find his motivation to be successful in the job search.
Employment data from the region suggests that females are faring much better than males in finding work. This may be due to discriminatory practice by some employers where they are able to pay less for females compared to male employees. But whatever way you look at the figures, the unemployment rate amongst Caribbean males is far too high.
When a family depends on the man for their income or perhaps both partners need to work to be able to keep the family in home, food and clothing, it is important that women encourage their men not to sit idle, and try to help them find work.
If some members of the family are working and others aren't, it is encouragement of the right kind that will help get everyone contributing to the household income, and when they do, everyone will benefit.
Sometimes, when people are out of work for a long time, they become depressed about finding work and start expecting to be unsuccessful. This leads to feelings of hopelessness as people wonder why they should even apply for jobs, anticipating that they are almost certainly going to be refused.
Some job seekers feel they have a lack of control over the situation, because of failing economies, employers' stringent requirement and the impression that other job seekers have better CV’s.
Searching for a job is often called a numbers game, and as you get refused more and more times, you begin to expect a lack of acceptances for interviews.
Many job seekers have previously been employed for a long period with one business and find themselves outside their comfort zone as they search for a new job, because this means talking to strangers and asking for help. Not knowing how to compile a CV or apply for a job can become extremely demotivating for job seekers. Once another person in the family becomes the main income earner, the other partner may suffer from a lack of respect, especially if they are reminded how useless they are. A mixture of confusion and embarrassment causes the job seeker to become more depressed.
Telling someone how terrible they are will not motivate them to get out and find work. It is better to show patience and love. By accepting the difficulties of finding work, it becomes easier to support the job seeker, but it doesn't help when you take over the job search for them; they need to be active themselves, and keep striving to find that elusive work placement.
Developing new skills and deciding which transferable skills you have will help you look towards a different career path, opening up more positions and possibilities. A decisionmaking ability within one industry can be applied to another, so encourage your loved one to stretch themselves.
Employers are seeking a range of skills which include punctuality, great time management and attention to detail. When someone presents themselves as a candidate with a range of abilities, a willingness to help others and to accept substantial responsibility, they are offering transferable skills which will make you more attractive to employers in their job search.
Remember, your unemployed partner needs your support and strength to help keep them motivated, not a nag who will make them feel even worse.