Your Most Untapped Job Search Ally Sleeps Right Beside You: 5 Ways to Enlist Your Spouse and Land Your Next Role
Yesterday, I noticed two spouses on LinkedIn take time out of their day to type a sincerely supportive post about their wives landing new jobs. As I read, feelings of admiration and respect rose in me, and then I began to think:
“Wonder what he did to help her get the job?”
In my opinion, moms have very few flaws, but one that seems to be a hurdle for many, including myself, is asking for help. We relieve burdens, so it seems counter-productive to our role to impress one upon someone else. Time over time, day after day, I relearn the falsity in this theory. I also preach its falsehood to the clients I support. The golden rule of career growth is:
Success lies underneath requests for help.
The intense time spent with our spouses over the pandemic months is unnatural. One dear friend remarks on time spent with her husband in their co-working/co-living space, “I now know all of him. And I have had to accept parts of him that are not at all attractive.” I also think about the meme that reads: “I never knew I was married to a ‘let’s circle back’ man.”
On the contrary, our spouses have seen the ardent work we as mothers put forth day-in-and-day-out. Our invisible work has been uncovered, allowing us to be unmistakably seen for the intelligent, capable, problem-solving, tactful, budget juggling, patient, communicative professionals we are inside and outside our homes. Now our spouses are more equipped to SUPPORT YOUR CAREER!
The most important thing about asking for help is to be specific and clear. Here are 5 ways your spouse can help your return-to-work success:
1.Read your resume, view your LinkedIn, and listen to your elevator pitch
Leave their phone in another room because your spouse’s understanding of your professional brand, skillset, and career goals are the backbone of successful support. Carve out an hour of his/her time after the kids go to bed and lay it all out. Encourage questions and possibly prepare a pop quiz.
2.Help him/her connect the dots.
It’s one thing to say, “It’d be great if you could help me find a new job” the most you’ll get out of that line is a few links emailed to you from Indeed via a 5-minute quick scan. The same goes for any networking request; you need to be specific and connect the dots for them. Think about his/her inner circle and start there. Are there friends that work in similar industries or companies you aspire to join?
3.You wash their underwear. You can stalk their LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the most comprehensive public network display. Use this tool to help further connect the networking dots. Scour his first-degree connections and align them with companies on your target list.
4.Connect with his Recruiter.
Most people keep in close contact with the recruiter or HR specialist that guides their onboarding and company growth. A quick email to this contact can open up worlds of professional possibilities because many folks in the talent acquisition world are interconnected; they know word of mouth is the most reliable channel for talent. So even if you don’t want to work at your spouse’s company, his talent connection may know someone who hires at your top pic.
5. Become Their Go-to Plus One
As vaccines and hopes of COVID’s demise rise (still crossing fingers for the latter), more corporate events are starting to pop up. Join in on the happy hours and post-conference events to collaboratively expand your network. You may not feel comfortable announcing that you are looking for your next professional opportunity to the group; an alternative is to aspire to connect with three people, get their contact information, and request their support afterward. Saving a career request for later takes the pressure off the initial meeting and allows you and your new professional connection to speak more authentically.
You may wonder how to formulate your specific outreach messages. Here’s a draft template to help:
I’m so glad my spouse ________ introduced us. He has appreciated your influence on his recent ___________. My career paused to focus on family needs during the pandemic. I’m now searching for a __________ position within the ___________ industry. I remember _________(spouse name) mentioning your wife works at _________ which is on my target list. I wonder if you’d share her contact information with me to ask her about her experience at the company and any opportunities there.
I appreciate your time on this!
When you begin to gain some traction on these networking leads, book a career coaching call with me to strategize your next steps and review your resume to land your next role. You can access my calendar directly from the Home and Services page. Talk soon!