Making the Best of a Double Job Loss

Believe it or not, a spouse out of work may help your own job search.


It's hard to imagine a more nightmarish recession scenario than losing your job after your spouse has lost his or hers. It would seem to be the kind of scenario with no apparent upside. The financial burden is huge--and there's no rest for the weary job hunter.

But a WSJ story today argues that there are actually some positives to a dual job search--you've got a partner to assist your search:

Practical assistance ranges from sharing networking introductions and outplacement services to interview role-playing. Even the idea of relocating may be easier to manage when one partner doesn't have to quit a job to follow the other.

So, basically, you're both focused on the same goal. Efforts are shared--you can review each other's resumes, hand out your spouse's business card at the same time you hand out your own, and you have the time to help each other prep for interviews. The extra energy and support of a motivated spouse can even help keep the term of unemployment to a minimum--a very good thing when longterm unemployment (27 weeks or more) is a growing problem.

These positives are not, obviously, in lieu of major financial challenges. Hands down, the best situation is for at least one spouse to have a regular paycheck. Unfortunately, the number of households with both spouses out of work jumped by about 43 percent between 2006 and 2008.


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