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Does Your Spouse's Job Hopping Cause Your Family Anxiety?

written by: Amber Neely•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 12/10/2012

Do you have a spouse that keeps changing jobs, or are you yourself guilty of this stressful behavior? Learn about the damaging effects of changing jobs too frequently, as well as why your family might be feeling more stress than you are. Also included are our great tips for sticking with a job!

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    Why Changing Jobs Causes Stressed Home Life

    Working Family When a spouse changes his or her job direction, this can create a lot of stress in the relationship. Feelings of guilt, hurt, anger and confusion can arise over someone's inability or commitment to keep the same job for an extended period of time. Do you find that you continually have to move your family from place to place because your spouse disrupts stability? Maybe you just notice a general feeling of unease hanging around your household; it might be time for your spouse to abandon his or her feelings of wanderlust and change their ways! Below are some of the ways that changing jobs can impact both your personal and professional life.

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    Lack of Job Security

    When a new employer takes a look at your spouse's resume and sees how many times he or she has changed jobs, chances are the boss will not take them very seriously. This puts them at risk for decreased job security. Chances are, your family will feel the stress, wondering if future employers are going to replace your spouse with someone who as a better reputation. Even if this isn't the case, your family will probably assume that if your spouse doesn't get fired or laid off, he'll likely just get bored with his job and look for employment elsewhere.

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    Difficulty Finding Future Jobs

    Workplace Employers are not going to be impressed when they see a resume filled with a lot of job changes over a short period of time. This can severely hurt your spouse's chances of being hired, as employers will likely assume this person is going to skip out of completing tasks that they have been assigned. Your family will feel the pressure as they will likely have to search harder and settle well below what your spouse may be able to provide to a company.

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    No Advancement Options

    Employers are less likely to hand out promotions to employees who have a record of not sticking around. This includes raises for all the hard work that they've done. This means that if your spouse is starting on the low-end of an hourly wage or salary, other members in the family, be it you, live-in relatives such as retired or part-time working parents, or even older children might feel like they're forced to take up the slack by picking up extra hours at their own jobs.

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    Inability to Plan for the Future

    One of the nice things about having job stability and security is the ability to plan for the future. Planning vacations, romantic getaways, adding on or remodeling a house, buying a new home, and saving college funds for the kids are all things that have generally happened thanks to people being able to hold down jobs for an extended length of time. While you might continually make a comfortable living, knowing that you have to stow away money for the eventuality that your spouse will likely change jobs can delay things your family might not want to wait for! When a spouse keeps changing job direction, he or she is likely creating undo stress on the family's funds, and therefore their future!

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    Living Paycheck to Paycheck

    One of the most dangerous things about frequently changing jobs is not knowing where your next paycheck is going to come from. Living out of pocket and from paycheck to paycheck is dangerous, risking food, shelter, and medication in many circumstances. If you find that your spouse's job hopping is making it hard to get your family the things it needs, you should not hesitate to try to find some stability as soon as possible.

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    The Steps to Changing

    If you're truly concerned that your spouse is causing your family stress by changing their job direction, there are a few steps you can take to get onto the path of career stability. Below are three fantastic tips for alleviating stress and sticking with a job.

    1. Talk to Family & Spouse

    If you're unsure if your family or your spouse feels the stress of your job changing, talk to them. Opening the lines of communication with your family, including the job-hopping spouse, is one of the most critical things you can do in this situation. Hold a family meeting and allow each family to bring his or her thoughts to the table. You might be surprised to find that some people are in favor of your spouse finding their dream job, but fully expect someone to have some concerns to share with everyone.

    2. Realize Every Job Has its Faults

    When it comes to jobs, there is no Shangri La! Remember that every job is going to have its faults, and your spouse needs to decide if they're worth changing jobs over, or if they might just have their standards and expectations set too high. For example, the problem might be not getting along with one or two co-workers, but otherwise the job is fairly easy, pays well, and offers chances for advancement. Don't let petty feuds between coworkers ruin what may be a chance at a fantastic and stable future. Encourage him or her to stick with it!

    However, if you find that a job is too stressful or too difficult for your spouse to perform, changing jobs - or even careers - might be in the family's best interest. Make a list of the pros and cons of the current job, and see what can be fixed or ignored, versus what is a potential deal-breaker.

    3. Set Goals

    By setting goals, you can reward your spouse and your family for sticking with a job for longer than usual. For example, if your spouse used to switch jobs every few months, set goals for staying longer than that - about every six months. Let your spouse reward themself every time they hit the six-month mark. Who knows, they might even find they like their job and realize other benefits.

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