Job layoffs are becoming a weekly occurrence. Somewhere in America, at least one company decides to layoff employees. Layoffs are becoming so common that you may know someone dealing with one firsthand. In fact, that person may be your husband or wife. Losing a steady full-time income is stressful. You may have your own worries, but you need to be available to support your spouse after their job lay off. How?
Be there to talk. Sometimes, you just need to listen. Your husband or wife will go through different stages of emotions. Anger is usually the first. Listen to them rant and vent. Then, fear and panic usually comes next. Assure them everything will be okay. It may take a few months, but they will find a new job. Moreover, there is still your income to fall back on. If the situation does not improve, depression may come next. Unfortunately, your shoulder to cry on and ear to listen may not be enough. Professional help may be needed.
Talk about health insurance. Many families have two health insurance options, but rarely need two coverage plans. For that reason, either you or your spouse are providing health insurance for the family. If your wife was laid off and she provided insurance, closely examine all options. This should be done immediately to ensure your family, especially the children, are not without medical coverage. Is it cheaper to buy COBRA coverage or health insurance through your work?
Provide support with finding a new job. With the poor job market, it is harder to find a job after a layoff. There are millions of Americans looking for work. In the past, a job that may have only had 50 applicants may now get as many as 250. Your husband may have a great job interview, only to later learn he didn’t get the job. Finding a job in today’s economy isn’t easy; it will be a bumpy road. Once again, be there to listen and provide support.
Tactfully provide advice. Some Americans getting laid off from their jobs have worked with the company ten, twenty, or even thirty years. If your spouse is one of these individuals, he or she likely hasn’t job searched, applied for jobs, or had an interview in years. They may not know where to start and they are likely to make mistakes. It is easier to catch them from the outside looking in. Notice your wife isn’t dressing properly for a job interview? Mention it, but be polite. In fact, offer to take her shopping to get a new outfit.
Give your spouse freedom to make a new choice. They may want to go back to college, take a few career-training courses, or even change career fields. As long as you can afford it, let them try. Not only that, offer your support and encouragement. Layoffs are scary, but they provide many Americans with a clean slate.
Don’t expect your spouse to do it all at home. If actively looking for a job after a layoff, your spouse will be in and out of the house. However, much time will be spent right at home. Do not create unrealistic expectations. Yes, your wife is home each day; however, that does not mean you can expect her to have dinner ready each night, clean the house, and care for the kids. Take it one-step at a time. Of course, they should not spend their days at home sitting on the couch doing nothing, but don’t overwhelm or burden them with too much.