April 19, 2010,
A.S. asks from Houston, TX on April 17, 2010
My Husband Lost His Job. Unfortunately, T
He got hired at a great place, that would provide further training to him, because he is a recent graduate in the field and had great internships, so the boss knew he just needed more exposure and to learn further policies as he was looking for someone that was fresh in the field.
The day before his start date began, the person who was going to be his trainer lost his family in a tragic situation. He could no longer train him and understandably left the company to deal with his grief, and the boss couldn't train him either because he didn't know much about the job and was busy with his own job.
So, for 6 months, after we packed up and moved here for his new job, he has been training himself, going to conventions for further training and his performance reviews are always wonderful, all his tasks are met on deadline with good results, but the boss started to plain ignore him and distance himself from him.
Yesterday, on his review, he told him to leave, that even though his performance is great and is doing well, he is just not a "good fit". He also said my husband's failure was 50% the boss's fault for failing him as an employee by not providing him with the resources he needed. Though the boss said he would provide an excellent recommendation and even look for places that are hiring where "he would be a better fit".
We are just so hurt by this. His job is in a field where everyone talks and now we feel like he is going to be seen as not teachable or qualified for any positions in an area that is already tough to get into.
He is already searching for employment, sending his resume out, but in the meantime, we are going to have to leave our home because we can't afford it, move in with family and put our belongings in storage, all the while having to answer everyone's questions about his unemployment, so for now, we are keeping quiet about his job loss.
I will probably have to get a job making next to nothing while he job hunts and watches the kids during the day part time, and he will have to get a night job or something to help, as all of our savings are going into the heavy fines of breaking our lease.
Well, this is a long story, but I needed to vent and encouragement since I know this happens too frequently. He is considering going to school to get his master's now, to maybe help get a leg up in the industry, but that's 2 more years of uncertainty and poverty again.
What would you do? (and yes, we do qualify for benefits because his firing was not performance based.)
So What Happened?™
Thanks heather, but we aren't 'freaking out', my husband is a 'big boy', and we already have all of our bills as low as they will go and we do not have cable or any other memberships, nor do we have any credit card debt. We have to move b/c the college and other job opportunities are several hours away and we can't afford our rent. And yes, I do actively search for jobs for him as well. While he was completing his degree, he worked 2 internships and held a full time job, so we aren't strangers to hard work and no free time. and we haven't given up, it's only been one day, just seeking other stories for encouragement. Unfortunately, this isn't a case of a company downsizing, we are pretty sure now they are going to hire back the original employee who my husband replaced when they quit. We are looking into the online master's program for him in his field. Thanks all!!!
H.A. answers from Dallas on April 17, 2010
I'm not sure what field he's in - my husband is a programmer - and he's been going to school for his masters while working, it's taken him 3 years (including summer) but now he's finishing his thesis and will have his Master's in the fall.
Yes, it's a lot of work - and I get a lot less hubby time, help time, etc. We talk and when people say how great it is he's going to school he's quick to comment it's a sacrifice his family is making - because it's extra work for all of us.
My point is, he is able to do both living in the DFW area there are a LOT of schools with a variety of offerings. Thankfully, this area isn't hurting like a big part of the country. It's certainly not easy, but it could be worse. I think your husband needs to have a positive outlook and not let himself dwell on this one lost job. It doesn't mean he gets to pack it up and hide back in school. He's a big boy - time to dust himself off and FIND A GOOD JOB. Find one that will pay for him to go back to school, or at least work with him if he needs a little flexibility for school.
You said he's already looking, that's great. You can help him -- I always look when my husband is job hunting and send him listings I've found.
Why do you assume you have to leave your house? Do you not have any emergency funds? :( Between his unemployment and you getting a job - could you pay your living expenses until he gets something better? Look at your bills and see what you can cut out. Lower your cell phone plans, put your home phone on "vacation" mode (usually $5 a month), cancel cable/dish, lower your internet service speed, cancel anything unessential -- gym memberships, gaming monthly fees, etc. Buy groceries through Angelfood Ministries https://www.angelfoodministries.com/ --- there are a TON of things you could do for the next few months before assuming you have to turn your life inside out.
Sounds a little like you're freaking out and not thinking of solutions beyond giving up. You both need to take a breath and see if there are other possibilities you're missing. Good luck.
You said you just recently moved here. I was trying to help and point out this area has a LOT more jobs then most. I don't know what field your husband is in - but technology is doing really well here and unemployment in DFW is some of the lowest in the country. I just didn't, and really still don't, understand why you feel like you guys need to immediately leave this area because of this job loss? Why be willing to take the hit on breaking your rental contract? I was trying to give you solutions to work your budget between his unemployment and you possibly getting a job to make ends meet while he looks.
You original post came across like you felt he wouldn't be able to find anything else, you guys had to move in with family, and kind of like you had already given up. That's why I told you it seemed like you were freaking out and not looking at all solutions.
I also complimented that he was already looking and tried to give you other ideas (I have no idea the condition of your finances - just trying to help, which I presume you wanted.. since you asked). I don't know if you checked out Angelfood.. at the link I provided. It's a non-profit, with no income requirements. Its a great way to get groceries half the price you would find in the store.
I wasn't trying to offend you, just bring your attention to the fact it sounded like you guys had already given up.. You guys are adults, parents and in this together. I stand by what I said - I think he can do it, and you guys can make it here. Like I said, good luck - whatever you decide.
By the way, the US Census is hiring temp help that pays $15 an hour in our area. That could be a great way to make ends meet while he's looking.
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J.L. answers from Minneapolis on April 17, 2010
Your husband should not worry about his credibility under these circumstances. As so many have already said, this is becoming the "norm" for many highly qualified US workers.
I'm pretty certain, if your husband had more contacts in the inner circle at this company, he'd realize these cuts were probably already in the hopper. The company is clearly doing it's first rounds of downsizing, and unfortunately, new hires are the most susceptible.
I have 3 friends who have been laid off in similar circumstances (recent hires...first to be fired), and many more who have been laid off after more than 10 years at their company. Blame the economy... thanks to economic uncertainty, companies are being forced to let people go for a myriad of weak reasons in order to stay in the black.
If your husband has left his employer on good terms, his credibility will remain intact. He should not second guess that, or cause himself anymore undue stress over whether or not his layoff will affect future employment. It won't.
However, the economy may be problematic. If he's specialized in an area where companies are cutting back, or he's in a narrow field where choice jobs are slim he's going to have his work cut out for him, as clearly competition will be high.
For 1 of the 3 friends in the same situation as yours, he's been looking for work for over a year this month with no prospects. He did get two offers from competitors right off the bat, but at less than half of the pay he had at the company where he was laid off. He mistakenly thought more and better offers would come...but they've since dried up.
For a little background: He got his masters a year and a half ago, and was promised a job upon graduation that paid 6 figures and a house. One month into his job, the economy went sour and because he was the last hire, was let go with a tiny severance package.
At first he wasn't worried, as he had his masters and good references from his employer. What he found is that his masters was keeping him from getting his foot in the door for interviews. He was so specialize, potential employers would hedge saying he was "over-qualified" or "too specialized". He, his wife, and four kids are now renting a hotel suite because they don't want to get locked into a lease or mortgage in the case he does get a job. His days are spent pounding the pavement trying to find work.
He has even tried to get work outside of his field to no avail. He's even been turned down for fast food jobs and sales positions because he's "too qualified." They're getting pretty desperate, as their savings is almost gone. He's to the point where he's going to "dumb down" his resume in hopes this improves his pool for jobs. If he doesn't get any bites soon, he and his family are going to move back home and live with his wife's parents.
Another friend, one who worked at her company for 10 years as a department head wound up finally taking a job after a year of joblessness, as a secretary for a person who does what she used to do, but at a competing company. She makes 1/3 of her orginal salary and the benefits stink. She says it's humbling in her new position as she's now a secretary though she has a masters and years of experience in her field. But she was desperate, and hopes that perhaps she can work her way up the ladder at this new place, or at the very least keep her eye open for somthing better elsewhere.
With those two stories, I'd say all signs point to NOT getting an advanced degree in this market. Especially if money is tight. The chances of making getting a good financial return upon graduation are slim, and from what I'm hearing they don't improve your chances at getting a good paying job.
There are also plenty of articles on this in the news. Here's one from Forbes magazine : (link down below)
I know this isn't good news. But at least you can really think VERY carefully before making a big financial commitment such as returning to school. Just remember, savings run out very quickly. Housing and food should be top on the list right now.
If your husband finds himself struggling to get interviews, he might consider signing on with a temp agency to get his foot in the door at a good company. That is how my friend who was the department head got her secretarial job. Until then, she had no bites, and she has fantastic credentials. As she keeps telling herself, something is better than nothing.
Here's a link to the Forbes article. Yahoo! news also had something yesterday, but I couldn't find it today.
I'm so sorry that you and so many others are going through this. Stay strong and keep reassuring your husband that he's alright credibility wise. I'll keep you in prayer.
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S.S. answers from Chicago on April 18, 2010
That has probably happened to quite a few of us in life. I know that happened to me. And I still am not quite sure why. I have since gotten another job and have had that for a year and a half now.
I was told in this economy that the same stigma is not attached to losing your job as it was before. Some places simply cannot afford to keep us. Some places are family based and we are seen as outsiders. Some people at jobs get very jealous of others (perhaps your husbands boss was like this). Some people are just plain old ardvarks (can't say what I want to here). The point is it really is horrible that you and he will be suffering the consequences of a selfish nasty human being but you will find out later that things really do work out -lots of times for the better and the selfish boss will eventually reap what he sowed, also. Believe me. I am older and I have seen it really is true. You are in a firey tunnel, but you will come out of it.
I had a review at my new job recently and while I thought I was doing excellent work I was surprised at how negative my review was. I told the person I disagreed with her. I was also told that places do not want to give raises so they give negative reviews, in spite of the fact that they have great workers. Tell your husband for me that he and you will be in my prayers, please turn this over to God for some peace of mind and try to limit the time you worry. I have been throught some horrible things and I know how awful this is for you, so hang in there and keep venting to us. That is why we are here.
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L.W. answers from Dallas on April 18, 2010
For sure apply for unemployment benefits! ASAP! they are for folks like y'all.
I'd also put off, for a time, the fines for breaking the lease. Or see if you can set up a more reasonable payment plan...$50 a month 'till you are back on more solid ground. I wouldn't spend my little bit of money on them, they can wait or take less. You gotta eat!
As far as what I would do? I'm not sure. Could he work part time and go to school? Would the master's really pay off in his field? Two years goes by fast, but when you're actually IN the two years it can seem long, I know. My husband is currently making that sacrifice so I can go to school full time and it is harder with me not working...much harder financially. Sometimes I even feel guilty about it. these is a lot to consider. I can work, but it's not easy. It's only two years though - which if it will be worth it money-wise, may be worth the sacrifice now. I'd research that - his industry.
Sorry for your hard time. It seems to be going around...
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B.C. answers from Dallas on April 17, 2010
Have you guys checked out the unemployment benefits in your area? If they let him go and he wasn't fired for performance, then he might be entitled to benefits. It was a god send when my husband was laid off in August! We would have drowned without it. He was unemployed for 7 months and now has a great new job at a new company making more than he ever has. Keep your chin up and pray for some guidance. Good luck to you!
Here's the website for Texas benefits:
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H.F. answers from Dallas on April 18, 2010
We had a similar situation several years ago. My DH started a job, he loved it, got along well with the boss, got excellent reviews. But after a few months he was let go because he didn't fit with the junior partner. We were very upset, it had been excatly the job that he wanted.
But he got out there and the boss did give him good recommendations, and it wasn't long before he found a new job.
So basicaly all I can say is have faith that it will work out. It sounds like you have already taken steps to reduce your expenses.
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C.S. answers from Las Vegas on April 17, 2010
I don't think his job loss will appear he is untrainable. You just state what happened...upon the training period his direct supervisor lost his family and unfortunately parted with the company. The job was no longer available. No one is going to ask anything further. If they looked in to it, it is the truth. You will be fine. I raised my daughter on my own and look back and wonder how I ever did it...but I did. Hang in there.
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T.S. answers from San Francisco on April 17, 2010
Have him go back to school to become better qualified to work in his field, if he doesn't find a job quickly. Two years of uncertainty is better than a potential life time of uncertainly. Poverty sucks! Be thankful you have someplace to go.
My husband is out of work and has been trying for a long time to get another job. Things are really tough where we live and he only gets a few temporary, part time jobs. My work hours have just been cut so drastically that we, too, can't continue to live here. Only we have no place to go, or anyone to go to.
Sacrifices now will be rewards later. Best of luck to you both!
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