Why my husband has always been my toughest client

Why my husband has always been my toughest client

Toughest client? My Husband? You’d think one of the benefits of having an in-house resume writer and career professional is that you don’t have to go far to get services. All of our family has had a Design Resumes resume at one point or another. My sons have used their resumes, interview coaching, and career services to get new positions.

And my husband? I certainly have written many resumes for him but he has been my toughest client. I think one of the reasons I focused on the career industry was that I was always writing his resume. But he is not easy to work with. In fact, he creates his own career roadblocks. (By the way, he gave me permission to share this post in case it fits someone else who is struggling.)

What is a Career Roadblock?

Are you attracted to positions or roles in direct conflict with other values you hold higher and you are not willing to compromise to stay employed or grow the skills to make you viable in the position?

Bill readily admits that he is not fond of authority. He started his career as a high school math and physics teacher but he hated following the rules and found himself in conflict with administration. He also hates paperwork but management roles requiring massive amounts of paperwork seem to be his target.

Toughest Client Career History

When we met, he was with the Boy Scouts as an Exploring Executive. He was 32 and I was 22.

He was in recovery from a major motorcycle accident he had at the age of 29. At 22, I really didn’t understand the issues that head trauma could present as far as his future career would go or anything else for that matter. I’ve come to realize how little I knew about anything at 22.

  • The Exploring position lasted 9 months. He started a job search targeting high level positions in management, often in government roles. It was a frustrating search because he was aiming at the wrong targets. A sign he could become my toughest client.
  • It took him awhile to land but he became Assistant Manager at Kresge’s, a division of Kmart in April 1980. He loved that job and his manager but agreeing to the management trainee program in the Kmart system meant transfers. Two months after our August wedding, he was transferred to upper Minnesota.
  • A clash with the manager (authority) right after our arrival almost sent us back home before the movers got there with our belongings but Bill negotiated a truce with the manager. The pattern was set and in the 13 months we were in Minnesota, Bill had 3 positions and applied for many more.
  • We applied together for a property management position back in Wausau and moved home for 5 years. It had its ups and downs but we did have steady jobs. It worked well for Bill most of the time because he did have autonomy to plan his own schedule, be as creative as he wanted, and use his resources to solve problems.
  • Eventually, as a frustrated wife and resume writer, I encouraged him to follow his love of construction. He operated a remodeling firm for 20 years and launched a home inspection company. In the long run, Bill enjoyed his period as a contractor and as a home inspector.

Solutions for Career Roadblock

If you find yourself like Bill hitting roadblocks often along the way, do yourself a favor and take a long hard look at why. If you are honest, you may realize what is causing your problems.

  • Do you need to be in a position or company that allows you more freedom and autonomy because like Bill, you are not fond of answering to authority figures?
  • Are you targeting positions that don’t fit you? Bill was drawn to management roles because he came from a family with many successful business leaders. But he hated paperwork and often lacked the qualifications to really do what the job required.
  • Are you someone who really should be an entrepreneur? That’s OK too but then you need to be willing to research the business before jumping in and hire specialists when you don’t have the skills to do everything in the business. (hint: most people don’t). Hire the accountant, attorney, and marketing coach instead of floundering.

If you are frustrated with your career progress, take some time today to review your career and see if you see patterns. Understanding a pattern will help you stop repeating it in the future.

To get your career or job search launched with an outstanding resume and career marketing strategies, simply click here!



  1. Mark Anthony Dyson on May 24, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Spouses helping other spouses is as common as one spouse snoring louder than the other. Although most of us are glad that we do not have passive spouses, it is harder to provide credible, objective advice to spouses. I just wrote my wife’s resume, and after fending off the usual cliches that people usually use, the resume produced 3 interviews in 2 weeks.

    • Julie Walraven on May 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

      First of all, congrats on a successful resume for your wife and secondly, you are so right. It’s true about everything from home repairs to resumes. When you are helping a spouse, there are issues with role definitions – are you the spouse or the professional. We tend not to be taken seriously by family members… wonder if doctor’s have their spouses rejecting their medical advice?

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