Wedding Woes

Career counselor? Therapy?

Dear Prudence,

My husband has always had high-pressure, long hours, and steep salary types of jobs. Since before we were married three years ago, he has talked about shifting careers. He has even taken a couple sabbaticals to try and figure it out, but never came up with anything. So I was thrilled when six months ago, he left his corporate job to work in-house for a charity (which to be fair was still quite highly paid). I make a decent salary, but he has always been the higher earner. The new job quickly went tits up, frankly. It was totally different to what he expected, the hours were still really long, and he had the added pressure of leading a department, which was new. He started having serious anxiety and panic attacks, and has been on sick leave for the last couple months.

Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to have a lasting issue and has recovered well. He’s due to return to work soon, but he doesn’t think he wants to go back. Now we’re back in the position where he’s constantly talking about ANOTHER career shift. He might go into restaurants, or teaching, or politics (?!) . I love my husband, and I want to support him, and I especially want him to protect his mental health, but I am exhausted from having this conversation over and over again. I just want to tell him to suck it up and get a job! He deserves this time off, but it can’t go on forever.
What should I do?

— Work Weary Wife

Re: Career counselor? Therapy?

  • Husband sounds like he needs to talk to a profession with these erratic flux of changes. Therapy might be first step but definitely a career counselor. I feel in this sense, both might be beneficial.
    Handle mental load and career.
    short+sassy
  • Career coach for the job stuff, therapy/counselor for managing his feelings. These are BIG changes and the husband is moving through them like there isn’t much impact, until he couldn’t anymore. 
    short+sassy
  • If he's looking to shift this much he should talk to a professional who can guide him. 
  • I feel bad for that charity!  The guy just started 6 months ago.  Only worked 4 months and then took the next two months off for sick leave.  And now he's thinking about not going back.

    If the job wasn't the right fit for him because he couldn't handle it mentally, that's fine.  No shame on that.  But then quit.  Don't milk them for 2 months of sick leave for a job he's not capable of doing anyway.

    I agree he needs to see a career counselor and a therapist.  They also need to look at their finances and make appropriate plans.  He absolutely should not take another stressful, long hours job.  He will only be setting himself up for failure because he cannot be in that type of role and work environment anymore.  That might mean he will need to take a major cut in income.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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