DH made redundant - needs to keep his mind active

(28 Posts)
JosMorgan Tue 01-Jan-13 22:17:50

As from today my husband is out of work, he was made redundant at the end of Nov, his employment ceased yesterday. While he spends his time searching for a new role I have encouraged him to spend some time getting fitter and doing some of the things that interest him instead of spending every waking hour looking for a job. He has said to me today that he needs to find a way to keep his mind active. I'm at a loss for ideas apart from the obvious, like reading.

Can anyone help with some ideas pls?

Festivedidi Tue 01-Jan-13 22:20:51

Could he do some part time studying? An evening class or something?

Or voluntary work? I'm sure there are voluntary roles he could take on for fairly short hours (so he does have time to look for paid employment) that would keep his mind active. I don't know where you would start looking for them though, google?

BellaVita Tue 01-Jan-13 22:23:21

How about an allotment? Just think of all the lovely veg and salad you could have in the summer.

Sorry he was made redundant.

dabdab Tue 01-Jan-13 22:25:07

Take a course! Online, or not. Maybe some professional development as well as something of personal interest. You meet other people and it makes you think in new ways.

Welovecouscous Tue 01-Jan-13 22:27:55

Jo my DH had exactly the same in nov - sorry to hear you are in the same boat as us sad

A few ideas:

Become a school governor - call your lea governor services team and they may well have vacancies for lea governors.

Ask your local nature reserve if they need volunteers

A walk a day

My DH is tackling our messy filing system and getting it shipshape!!

Take up a new hobby - a language? Bell ringing? Sailing? I know money may not be flush though sad

Write an article for a local paper?

ohfunnyhoneyface Tue 01-Jan-13 22:30:49

what did he do for work before?

What qualifications/education does he have?

What are his interests?

BettySuarez Tue 01-Jan-13 22:39:11

Sorry to hear this.

DH was out of work for 12 months, so first hand experience of this.

He was very disciplined. Set alarm early and long brisk dog walk to get wet up for the day.

He then made sure he put in at least 4 hours 'work' a day. Lots of opportunity to do further research in his professional field (I.T) as well as networking on LinkedIn for example.

I did a snag list for him of all the odd jobs needed around the house - went from room to room grin and do he started on that.

He is quite a keen photographer so was able to enjoy the spare time as well as upping his fitness levels.

He was hoping to improve his golf but this sadly never materialised grin

tribpot Tue 01-Jan-13 22:42:43

Have a look at Coursera and similar initiatives offering massive open online courses. I'm doing one at the moment where the deadline has passed, so I can't get a 'passing grade' from it, but the auto-grader still marks the assignments and there is still some support available through the forum.

Hope something turns up for him soon but you're quite right to suggest he put the time to other uses as well as job hunting.

housesalehelp Tue 01-Jan-13 22:49:02

This is a good place to find volunteering oppertunities - friend of mine found a day a week doing something was great

www.do-it.org.uk/

There are loads of really great online courses -although what I needed when I was job hunting was to get off the computer and see people!

twitter I found good for keeping up with my area and possibly jobs goi

springlamb Tue 01-Jan-13 22:55:31

Volunteering locally is also a good way of networking and making new contacts which may result in an opportunity popping up.
I volunteered at a local church lunch group one day a week and met lots of local businesspeople, many of them volunteered just once a month due to work commitments. Word of mouth is still a viable method for jobseekers! I now work in a field I never would have imagined myself and it's the best job I've ever had, found via a fellow volunteer mentioning that a friend of hers etc etc.

housesalehelp Tue 01-Jan-13 22:58:07

I agree networking is a very good way of getting a new job- I certainly got my present role though it

Avuncular Tue 01-Jan-13 23:05:48

First time this happened to me I initially did something I'd always wanted to do but never had the time - took the car off round the UK for a few weeks using budget accommodation/ relatives/ friends and just enjoyed myself exploring. (though maybe not in January....)

Sense of achievement, plus space to think and get a perspective.

Now we've got a (cheap) caravan it's even easier - but as a semi-retired person I'm too busy most of the time to do this !!!

Then - all of the above advice - especially how can you use your educational / experience assets in new ways. Get your CV up with agencies; different CVs for different possible job avenues.

I found a (paid more than shelf-stacking) job as a co-ordinator / first point of contact for a debt advice charity (very topical).

I recall they provided full debt advisor training as well - which was useful in helping us to understand how to avoid a financial crisis ourselves.

Dromedary Tue 01-Jan-13 23:09:46

If he can find an evening class, how about creative writing? It's a fun and sociable evening out, and gives you something to work on during the week, with feedback at the class. Also good for writing skills, obv.

slambang Tue 01-Jan-13 23:11:22

My sympathies. My dh was there this time last year. It's bloody tough.

There is a totally unpublicised government fund called Rapid Response held by the DWP that will pay for training for those who have been made redundant in the last 13 weeks. It only pays for short necessary training/ certification etc that will help you get back into your field but it will pay for expensive commercial courses like Prince 2. You access it through the National Careers Service and need to be claiming JSA.

Dh got funding for a fairly obscure but increasingly sought after qualification in his field that he really wanted to take and he spent much of his time studying towards this. Frankly, it was having this goal and having something constructive to do with his time that kept him sane just.

He never got round to the DIY jobs that needed doing.

BettySuarez Tue 01-Jan-13 23:47:38

slambang my DH didn't start finish the DIY jobs either. Funny that grin

I agree about not spending whole time job hunting, it can quickly become very soul destroying which is no good in the long run.

OP - are you able to say which field your DH is in?

JosMorgan Wed 02-Jan-13 09:24:28

Ladies, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. You lovely ladies don't know me from adam and you are all offering heartfelt ideas and thoughts. It just reminds me how incredible us females are. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My husband worked in the Retail sector of a major mobile phone company. He started with them 10 yrs ago as a project manager, with the Prince qualifications, he then went onto become a 6-Sigma Black Belt (process improvement). 4 yrs ago we moved with the same company to Qatar in the middle east for him and another chap set up all of the retail side of said company. We have been back in UK nearly 2 yrs now and he was working in Retail for them but at a more strategic level, which he found very boring. He very much would like to get back into Operations.

I have taken on board all the ideas and passed them on to DH.

My other concern is how am I going to stand him being around the house all the time, I am sure its going to drive me made. Pls don't get me wrong, I love him dearly, but I have no desire to spend every minute with him. I don't work but I am currently study for a degree as well as looking after the house and all the requirements that go with 2 boys 6 & 8 yrs.

BettySuarez Wed 02-Jan-13 10:45:26

OP - could your DH set himself up on Twitter?

There are always lots of interesting changes and developments in Telecoms, so he could tweet about the latest industry news. It would be a great way to network and to demonstrate his 'expertise' in his field which prospective employers will find very impressive.

With his work experience to date, his LinkedIn profile would look very impressive too.

My DH was head hunted for a job through his LinkedIn profile smile

tribpot Wed 02-Jan-13 11:11:03

I think Six Sigma is quite popular in financial services - but as ever his difficulty there will not be having a financial services background first. However, it's worth seeing how he can exploit the Six Sigma experience to his benefit!

I would be quite open with him, that you're worried about having him under your feet all day, and agree a strategy now before tempers get frayed smile

Snazzynewyear Wed 02-Jan-13 11:16:49

I would add to the list considering applying to be a magistrate. If they are recruiting in your local area, you have to observe courts and reflect on your experiences then apply. It is something I would really like to do myself and in a few years I may do so. In theory he could keep this up when back in work too if his employer was amenable - I think it's a half day a month or something like that.

Northernlebkuchen Wed 02-Jan-13 11:21:13

The classic 'mind active' thing is crosswords. If you can afford the paper then dh could walk to buy one every day and time himself finishing it - either quick or cryptic versions.

As you have young children he could see if school need volunteers for anything and definately get him to be a parent helper on any schol trips that come up. My dh did that when he was made redundant and he really enjoyed it because it was the sort of thing he would never normally have time to do.

housesalehelp Wed 02-Jan-13 11:26:17

I would agree some kind of routine for the week - and so at least say one day you go out for a bit and one day he does - my mum had to do this when my dad retired - also and it depends a bit on your DH but agree what he is going to do around the house with the DCs - I personally would find it quite annoying to be doing everything in your circumstances -
In your DH's circumstance networking and probably LinkedIn are going to be the most useful - and he should find out what recrutiers are used in his area and send a CV in with a follow up phone call

RedTinsel Wed 02-Jan-13 11:28:35

Freelance/ contract work. I used to do project management freelance but at the lower end of the scale as I didn't have Prince 2. Having P2 and 6 sigma is a real asset. Would he be interested in freelance work?

Get onto LinkedIn and start telling people you are looking for work.

slambang Wed 02-Jan-13 17:05:18

Yes, Jos, the having him under your feet syndrome is a real problem.

My advice would be discuss and work out together how much extra 'house stuff' he thinks is fair to do and how much of your company does he feel he wants. Does he want to keep to a routine? What routine? e.g. get up at the same time as he used to for work, spend the morning job hunting, spend the afternoon on a hobby/ exercise?

I found we had quite different expectations of what dh's new role would be, which caused a few rows. I had assumed he would step up a gear with helping with housework, cooking etc seeing as he was 'doing nothing' all day. Dh felt that his every spare moment should be spent on job hunting and studying and so would feel unfairly got at if I asked him to do more. On the other hand, he felt that when I was off work on Fridays that we were on 'weekend time' and I was a free agent to keep him company. He was insulted that I got up and grabbed a piece of toast on the go (as I do on school mornings) instead of sitting down with him at the table for a leisurely coffee as we do on weekends.

In the end we pretty much kept out of each other's way during 'working' hours except for the odd cuppa. It worked for us. But , oh boy, did I appreciate my first Friday alone when he was finally back at work.

letseatgrandma Sat 11-May-13 14:32:46

I've just been depressingly trawling through some of these threads! My DH was made redundant 7 weeks ago from an IT job in the city and the jobs really seem to be thin on ground in his field at the moment sad

Slambang-can I ask about the rapid response funding you mentioned for courses via the National Careers service. This sounds interesting as there are a couple of areas that DH could do with developing but the courses are prohibitively expensive when you have no income. How did you find out about it and how did you actually apply for the funding? Did they pay for the entire cost of your DH's course-did you pay for the course and they paid you back? I've been looking at a couple of the Learning Tree courses as the's done trainig through work with them before and they are over £1500 for a 3-day course sad

Funding such as this would be incredibly helpful, but it sounds too good to be true. I wanted to try to send you a PM to ask, but couldn't work out how to do so, apologies for all the questions!

I am struggling a little bit with getting used to having DH around the house-I'm really fed up with the whole redundancy situation and can't seem to cheer up. He's ok, but getting despondant with the lack of jobs and my misery, I expect. Meanwhile, the letters demanding money for trips (both Y4 and Y6 children are going on imminent residentials), dance, piano and scout subs and plus mortgage, bills...oh, and all of the children's friends seem to jetting off to somewhere exotic over the summer.

I work p/t so am getting as much extra work as I can. This is tiring (which is probably a good thing as I just can't seem to get to or stay asleep at the moment and it might help!) and means the house is a tip when I get home as DH is always 'answering the phone' to agents instead of emptying the lunchboxes or putting away the washing. None of the agents seem to have any jobs that aren't development though, so this doesn't seem a terribly productive way to spend time.

Please let there be light at the end of the tunnel. I can't help but feel that all the graduates will be job hunting now/soon and the market will be even more competitive. How do future employers look on people who have been out of work for ages?

Littlefish Sat 11-May-13 14:39:35

Letseat - just click on the "message poster" words on the right hand end of the blue bar above Slambang's message to send her a private message. As this thread is a few months old, people may not be checking it anymore.

Slambang Sat 11-May-13 17:51:18

grandma I've seen. Am pm-ing you now. smile

ThreadPirateFanjoBeard Tue 04-Jun-13 11:55:23

Another one in the same boat. These are great tips. Thank you!

JosMorgan Mon 22-Jul-13 20:45:41

You know I have just re read all these posts and I can safely say DH has not taken any of these ideas, still doesn't have a job and our marriage is seriously in trouble.

I am positive he is not trying EVERYTHING he can do to get a job, to get an income into our house. I say, "have you tried this, have you tried that", I come up with ideas, but he does nothing with the ideas I come up with. He will not get a routine together and stick to it. I believe he is probably depressed and have suggested its important to get regular exercise, but to no avail, I have suggested he see his doctor, still nothing.

I am at the end of my tether.

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