Last year, I met a man online and we hit it off. Since he has joint custody of two children, and I lived in a city with a high crime rate and public schools of questionable quality, we agreed that I’d move from my city to his town, a community of roughly three hundred thousand people. I’d visited there several times and thought it would be easy for me to find work there.
It’s been three months. I live with him, we’re happy, and plan to get married, but I can’t find a job. There are only three companies in his community that hire employees with my type of expertise. I applied for work with all three, never dreaming that none of them would hire me. Since I’ve always had great performance reviews and brought stellar references with me, I thought I’d have my pick of job offers.
Two of the potential employers turned me down because my soon-to-be husband works for an organization they consider a competitor. This doesn’t seem fair, since it automatically assumes I’d betray my employer. My last choice was going to be working at the company that employs my almost-husband, but it turns out that they have a nepotism policy barring them from hiring spouses. Since neither of us has made a secret of our marriage plans, his HR officer said if they hired me, they’d just have to let me go as soon as we married.
What do I do? I love this man and don’t want to lose him by returning to my former job, but I’ve invested six years of my life educating myself to be able to work in my chosen field and have another six years of work experience that should qualify me to be a highly-sought-after hire.
Have you considered working remotely? Many employers now employ remote workers and you could put together an information packet, complete with detailed information about your skill set, references and past reviews. If you take this option, start with your former employer, and then submit your package to the best companies in your field.
Alternatively, perhaps it’s time to broaden your horizons. Whenever you limit your career options to working in a single specialized field, you risk becoming a dinosaur should either technology or the marketplace change. In ten years, you may find yourself grateful that circumstances pushed you to develop new and different talents.
Finally, if you need help repackaging your single-field work experience to appeal to other employers, let me know and I can direct you to resources that help you.
© 2017, Lynne Curry. If you have a career questions you’d like Lynne to answer, write her @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Lynne is an executive coach and author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully, AMACOM. You can follow Lynne through her other posts on sheknows.com, via www.workplacecoachblog.com, www.bullywhisperer.com™ or @lynnecurry10 on twitter.
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