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To be annoyed with my DH about work?

(18 Posts)
Awhiteelephantintheroom Thu 16-Jun-11 07:13:21

Basically I am quite cross with my DH at the moment about his work. DH is in a trade and due to being made redundant from a permanent post several years ago, has been doing subcontractor work. This is well paid but there is no holiday pay, no sick pay, no employee rights as such (so they could get rid of him at a moment's notice) and therefore no stability.

The company that he is currently subcontracting for recently offered him a permanent, employed, job. They offered him slightly less per hour than he was hoping for, equating to roughly 2k per year and he flatly turned them down, despite being keen to accept the job until he found out the pay. It actually wasn't a bad salary he was offered, and there would have been overtime if he wanted it, and in addition I'm pretty sure we would have got a bit more in tax credits (we have 3 children), so we would have managed.

DH wants to climb the career ladder but just won't job hunt. I have tried explaining to him that it's "easier to get a job if you already have one" but he takes no notice. I feel that you have to start somewhere, and the job he was offered would have been ideal to start from. He says he wants to specialise in an area of his trade, but isn't sure what and won't look into anything or like I said apply for any jobs. I am currently a SAHM to our 3 children. I would be happy to reverse roles and go to work myself but he doesn't want me to as he says he wants to pursue his career, and in any case if I went back into my field (sales) it would take me a couple of years to reach the level of money he's on at the moment.

So I don't know what to do really; DH is happy to just drift along and has all these ideas of what he wants to do but won't actively do anything. He came home from work yesterday moaning and moaning about how he hates subcontractor work and I said the only person who can change things for himself is him. But he won't. I am cross because I think the job he was offered would have been an ideal opportunity, and it's not like he even tried to negotiate the 2k extra he wanted, he just basically told them to stuff the job.

What do I do?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 16-Jun-11 07:16:16

So he turned down a job although the salary, once you factor in sick and holiday leave, was equal to what he was currently on, doesn't like his current subcontractor role, won't apply for any other work and won't 'let' you reverse roles and be the breadwinner.

He sounds charming.

How old are the children? Is it feasible for you to go back to work part time and look into some care, and start building back your career?

Awhiteelephantintheroom Thu 16-Jun-11 07:20:38

The children are 12, 6 and almost 2. I think I might start jobhunting anyway for a full time sales job and then take it from there, perhaps DH will change his mind about staying home with the children if I was offered a job.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Thu 16-Jun-11 07:55:27

I would do what you want to do regardless of him. Work at your career and let him get on with behaving like a child.

dreamingbohemian Thu 16-Jun-11 08:20:01

It sounds like you are doing okay income-wise, but the lack of stability is a big concern for you. Is it less of a concern for your DH? Do you think that's why he's less bothered to get something more permanent?

Often if one person in a couple has a non-stable job the other person will at least take a part-time permanent position so that there is some guaranteed income coming in every month. You could suggest to him that if he's in the same position in X months (perhaps when the youngest gets free day care hours?) you feel it makes financial sense for you to get something more reliable.

Awhiteelephantintheroom Thu 16-Jun-11 09:06:32

He doesn't particularly seem to like the lack of stability either and always moans about not getting paid holiday or any sick pay. In fact, at the moment he complains constantly about the job. He just says all the time "I want to earn lots of money", but doesn't/won't do anything to further his career or even apply for jobs.

He says that there are "no jobs", yet if I do an online search I can find several that he could apply for.

dreamingbohemian Thu 16-Jun-11 09:24:01

Ah. I do sympathise, I have gone through this before, I know it's really annoying!

In my experience though, you can't 'make' your partner apply for jobs or further his career, it just causes endless fighting.

Can you guess what the root of his problem is? For one of my ex-P, his confidence was really shaken and it was a basic fear of failure that kept him from applying for better jobs. Not excusing the behaviour, but if you can figure out the source that will help you put forward the best arguments to wake him up.

Is it a pride thing? Like, he doesn't want to do anything 'beneath him' or that pays less than he thinks he's worth?

But, you definitely shouldn't put up with the moaning. If he's miserable he should do something about it; if he's not willing to, then he can't be that unhappy, so he should keep it to himself.

He can't say 'there's no jobs', he just turned one down!

Awhiteelephantintheroom Thu 16-Jun-11 09:32:50

I know, it's ridiculous isn't it? He can't see the irony about what he's saying.

I think the root of the problem is he wants to earn a lot of money but doesn't realise there is a lot of groundwork to do, applying for jobs etc to climb the ladder. I think he wants a job paying 50 or 60k basic without actually trying to get it.

dreamingbohemian Thu 16-Jun-11 09:51:22

Hmm. So do you think it's just ignorance -- he really doesn't understand what he needs to do -- or do you think he's sort of pretending to be ignorant because deep down he just doesn't want to go through that process, either because he's lazy or has a fear of rejection or whatever?

I went through a similar spell once and in hindsight I can see that it was really fear of rejection holding me back, just a thought.

AngryFeet Thu 16-Jun-11 10:00:20

It's a shame he doesn't view this as a joint decision. DH and I were in exactly the same situation 18 months ago. He had been running a company for a few years and things had been tight. Then he got a contract working with a large UK company and was doing fairly well with his day rate. This went on for a year and they decided they wanted him to work for them full time so offered to 'buy out' his company (so he would close the company and they would pay off any liabilities). They offered him a fairly good salary.

He came to me and we talked about it a lot - at first he was keen to say no as his company was doing so well and had good scope to expand. However I wanted stability and a a regular paycheque. We made a joint decision that things are too unsettled at the moment to not have a stable job so he went for it and it is the best thing he has ever done. He loves it and has already been promoted and is looking to do really well fast.

I think things like these should be joint decisions in a relationship. This is your future together. He needs to stop being selfish.

TotallyLovely Thu 16-Jun-11 10:32:06

I was in that position once and turned the job down but for me it would have been about 6k less, plus an extra 2 days a week work. It would have been stability though and of course sick pay and maternity leave. I had already been there a while and was really bored as well. Do you think your DH is bored?

The job was slightly more respnsibility as well, mostly just holding meetings, but I am terrified of public speaking so I think that turned me off as well. Do you think there is something else like that going on?

Awhiteelephantintheroom Thu 16-Jun-11 13:26:28

I'm quite baffled as to why he turned it down TBH; he had wanted to be taken on as a permanent staff member and even asked his boss before he was asked. His boss said they were going to ask him to come on board anyway as someone has retired and there is a vacancy. DH knew that he would earn less in an employed position than as a subcontractor. I can understand that he probably felt a bit undervalued but I keep saying to him that he has to start somewhere and if he took the job he could maybe start jobhunting in 6 months or so to find something better paid and more challenging.

He has said before that he'd like to go into the sales side of his trade, so basically business to business selling of specialist parts etc, and looks at suitable jobs online a lot but never applies. I mean, how hard is it to email your CV over?

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 16-Jun-11 13:30:45

How is he going to climb the career ladder if he won't put a foot on the bottom rung?

I hate to break it to him, but the job fairy won't come in the middle of the night and make all his wishes come true grin nor will someone bang on the door and offer him his dream job.

It sounds like he wants to do nothing and have things fall into his lap.

I'm like that in a way. I want to eat cream cakes and chocolate all day and be a size ten.

There's about as much chance of that as there is of your chap waiting by the front door for someone to come and beg him to accept a Director's post on a squillion a year grin

He needs a hefty dose of reality and a bit of a boot up the bum grin

(as do I wink )

Awhiteelephantintheroom Thu 16-Jun-11 13:34:49

Hahaha TheMagnificentBathykolpian, your post has really made me chuckle! Thanks for that, I needed it!

I totally agree, and I've said the same thing to him, that he can't climb the ladder without being on the ladder in the first place. He does want things to fall into his lap and although he works hard when he's at work, I don't think he fully understands how you do need to work hard networking and applying for jobs if you want to move up in your career.

you're right, he does need a dose of reality and a boot up the bum! I've just spent the morning looking on job sites and have found a few jobs that would be good, one is a sales one and has the potential to be highly paid if he worked hard at it and did well. I phoned him and he's going to look at the jobs tonight. I think in some ways he wants me to do the groundwork for him.

dreamingbohemian Thu 16-Jun-11 13:37:07

If he knows what he wants, and looks at jobs but doesn't apply, that sounds like fear to me -- fear of rejection, lack of confidence, uncertainty over what he should say, etc.

Not to excuse his behaviour, it is selfish and a bit childish, but probably not much is going to change until he gets over himself. He probably does need a boot up the bum smile but not the kind that makes him feel worse about himself, I guess.

EndangeredSpecies Thu 16-Jun-11 13:38:46

hmmm.... vacillating, refusing to email cvs, turning down what in today's climate is a good job offer... he sounds insecure, and very very indecisive. Neither of those qualities will get him anywhere if he wants to be self-employed. You only get results through hard work even if at first it's not the work you want to do ... this is the kind of thing my dad used to tell me when I was 12!!
Try confronting him with the prospect of something even scarier than a second-rate salary... being a SAHD.

TotallyLovely Thu 16-Jun-11 13:46:56

dreamingbohemian I think you are right about it being fear.

The thing is though that if he took the job he can use the time to build his confidence.

Awhiteelephantintheroom Thu 16-Jun-11 13:48:48

I think you could well be right about it being fear/lack of confidence. It's funny though because outwardly he is very confident and seems to have the gift of the gab.

He is quite laid back generally and just won't talk about things. When he got made redundant before he started subbying, he knew the redundancy date was coming up and he wouldn't talk about it or discuss what we were going to do.

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