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Question
Posted by: Zanie | 2012/01/25

Career choice for my husband

Good evening. My husband has been in the same field for 20 years. in these 20 years he has had 5 jobs and lost 2 of them. It feels as if he is not in the right career for his personality. what do i do, how do i support him and what advice can you give me. This is financially and emotionally affecting me and our 3 young children. Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its not easy, but possible, to change careers and work-fields after 20 years. You seem to be talking of how YOU feel frustrated and limited by his work choice, but you don't mention how he feels about it.
Purple's comments are worth re-reading. Testing by an educational or vocational psychologist could help suymmarize his strengths and weaknesses, and identify fields in which he would be both competent and happier.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2012/01/26

He could perhaps see an industrial psychologist or career counsellor to help guide him towards finding a career that makes him less of a square peg in a round hole. it will mean that he then needs to commit to studying after hours or by correspondence in that field and continuing to work in his current field until qualified.

Although 5 jobs in twenty years is probably about average (many people do move every 3 - 5 years on average unless they are in a big company and move internally) and its no longer considered job hopping (moving every 2 years would still be considered job hopping though), that he has lost two of his jobs is not a good sign.

Perhaps its not what career he is in that is the problem, but more that he is a difficult person to work with, or he doesn''t focus his efforts where they are required and is considered a poor performer, or he is doing things that are dismissable. You don''t say why he lost the jobs, but those are often the reasons why people lose their jobs, even if the specifics differ. If he was fired, he either had numerous chances to change his behaviour or improve his performance, or he did something so serious he was fired at the first incident. If he feels he was unfairly dismissed, there are processes to follow (CCMA) for getting re-instated or getting paid out in compensation - or the company is found to have acted fairly.

If it is genuinely a need for a career change, you can support him by showing an interest in the active steps he takes to make the changes. you can''t do it for him and finding informaiton for him just comes across as nagging. If he is that keen to make a change, he will seek out information. It''s not hard to find UNISA or Technikon SA or Damelin etc.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/01/26

Its not easy, but possible, to change careers and work-fields after 20 years. You seem to be talking of how YOU feel frustrated and limited by his work choice, but you don't mention how he feels about it.
Purple's comments are worth re-reading. Testing by an educational or vocational psychologist could help suymmarize his strengths and weaknesses, and identify fields in which he would be both competent and happier.

Reply to cybershrink

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