Q: I had a successful work record in accounting for 10 years prior to returning to school for an MBA. My husband had been laid off from his unimpressive job, so he convinced me to temporarily move back to his hometown in Iowa to be near his aging parents. We both looked for jobs, but there were no large companies in the area, so we both looked for jobs that were beneath our education and work experience.
The pay was extremely low for these jobs, but we took them knowing we were not going to be making this our permanent home. The interviews were personal and unprofessional, as if they didn’t know what they could and could not ask interviewees. I didn’t challenge any of the interviewers because I kept telling myself it was temporary.
We’ve been here three years now. His parents are doing fine, and I’ve had it. I feel if we don’t move to a big city, which is what I’ve always liked, my education would be a complete waste of time and money. Having grown up here, my husband seems to like being back home near his family.
If I decide to move to where I want to live and get a divorce, will it hurt me to be honest in the interviews about why I lived there and took a basic job during these three years? I prefer to be honest, but I don’t want to seem like a bad person for leaving or weak person to have moved somewhere I didn’t want to go in the beginning. I had always been strong and independent, but now I feel like a fool to have given up three years of my life for a husband who wasn’t successful to begin with. When I married him, I didn’t realize how attached he was to his family.
A: It sounds like you’re beating yourself up for marrying a man you should not have married. The divorce rates vary according to different studies and statistical methods used, but one study reported 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce or separation; 60% of second marriages end in divorce; and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
Whether you married the wrong person from the beginning or didn’t know him long enough to know your core values clash with his is irrelevant. It is not in your best interest to stay married to someone who you do not respect and who does not share your values, goals and lifestyle. This is the reason individuals benefit from learning who they are, what they stand for and what they want in life before committing to another person. Love does not solve everything.
Everyone deserves to be happy, so attaining that happiness may require you to move to a new city, get a new job that matches your experience and education, and live the lifestyle you want. Move first so your resume will show your new location. When you receive job interviews requesting an MBA and qualifications that match to your past work experience, don’t reveal your life story and all its regrets.
You may say you moved to the small town on a temporary basis and realized it was not for you. You will get the job because your work experience matches the requirements and your personality seems like a good fit into the company culture. Be friendly to your new coworkers, but keep your divorce as private as possible until they know you.
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