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You Asked: My Boyfriend Can't Land A Job, Can I Help?

You Asked: My Boyfriend Can't Land A Job, Can I Help?

Dear Sugar --

My live-in boyfriend of five years has had trouble landing a full time job since he graduated from his master's program last July. I am a very dedicated and determined person who has never had any trouble finding a job. He is much more shy and laid-back and is a bit of a procrastinator.

I must say that most of the time I love his more relaxed perspective, but he spent all last summer and fall looking for something permanent with little luck. He finally landed a part time position, making enough to pay the rent but little else. I suspect that his whole heart wasn't into finding a job because it took a great deal of nagging to get him to do even simple things like calling to follow up on job leads or buying resume paper.

My problem is that he has recently started the full time job search again and I can feel myself getting frustrated with his job search tactics all over again. I know that I shouldn't blame him solely for his lack of luck, but supporting him and a good portion of the bills definitely puts a strain on our relationship.

How involved should I be in this year's job search? Should I just mind my own business and love him for all the wonderful aspects of our relationship, or do I have a right to get annoyed? I don't want to be a control freak, but I can't help but think how much easier things would be if he landed a job. HELP! --Breadwinner Brenda

To See DEARSUGAR'S Answer,

Dear Breadwinner Brenda--

Your boyfriend is lucky to have such a supportive and patient girlfriend like you, but yes, you do have a right to get annoyed by his lack of motivation and his failure to pull his own weight financially.

Your involvement in his job search really depends on both of your comfort levels. If he genuinely seems to appreciate your help and support, and you don't mind offering it, then by all means do what you can to help him out. If he seems to resent your involvement, I would back off. Chances are, he is just as frustrated as you are with his lack of success in the job hunt and may not need the constant reminder of his bad luck from the woman he loves.

Dating someone that does not have the same work ethic as you is bound to be problematic in your relationship. You need to ask your self a few questions: Do you see this as a temporary problem that will be solved once he has landed a promising long-term position and regains his self confidence? Or, do you think his lack of motivation is something that will continue indefinitely?

If all he needs is a little push in the right direction, be as supportive as you can and try to project your frustration elsewhere. If you feel his lack of motivation is a deeper issue, you need to ask yourself if you can accept him for his good, and bad qualities. I wish you both luck.

Join The Conversation
mom2 mom2 10 years
dump him
andaman andaman 10 years
I think a bit of unhappiness in a career doesn't do any harm. It could make him more determined to go after his dream job more.
andaman andaman 10 years
I wouldn't nag him, I would tell him 'sometimes we have to do things to pay bills'. I'm sure everyone would love a perfect job but sometimes we have to be flexible. It's only considered not to let a partner shoulder all the responsibilities! He needs a kick up his butt, if you ask me. I think you're being too soft.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
ever hear the saying "a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still"? he doesn't really want a job. if a partner that is a go getter is important to you; this is not your guy. after 5 years i would guess that there is more to this relationship than his ability to provide. go with that. let him be the one to stay at home with your children, keep house, etc. you cannot change the fiber of a person. either he is enough as he is or he isn't. only you can decide.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I agree, he needs support, not criticism. It sounds like he has a great education, and I'm sure there are many employers who would appreciate his calm attitude. Encourage him in a positive way and accept that the two of you have different personalities.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
First quit nagging him about what he needs to do he knows. When and if he wants any help he will ask you for it. You need to let him know that you need the help financially but not turn into a job seminar. Having a masters doesn't always mean you land a job any faster than someone that doesn't.
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
Maybe he's scared or insecured because of his shyness. Maybe you should help by building him up a little bit tell him how smart he is and you know he can get a really good position specially with his education and skills. Maybe he just needs a little pep talk.
andaman andaman 10 years
I think you need to come clean and tell him "honey i need help with the bills". A friend of mine have had that problem and his wife was very upset towards the end :). She finally told him "get the -ucking job", I'm not saying you should say that...each to their own
Marci Marci 10 years
I would only help as much as your boyfriend asks for or wants from you. Otherwise, it could be a big source of tension. You and he operate on two different planes on the job front, but I'm sure he'll work it out eventually.
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