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OT Husband is looking to change careers

CLove's picture

My Husband (sometimes Dear...) is by trade this past 15 plus years, a mechanic. He has worked day in day out every week for the same small locally owned business.

They want to retire. They had been grooming this younger dude (Golden Boy) for YEARS to take over and buy the business.

They really want to retire this year. They were turned down by Golden Boy who got a better offer somewhere else. Hes not likely to change his mind. They shopped the business around and someone else is biting, this someone who owns a mercedes dealership. Who is considered by those in the know to be an A$$ in general and especially and A$$ to work for. 

Husband is looking to ask to be laid off. And collect unemployment while he does odd sidejobs here and there. He insists that he will be able to meet all his financial obligations, but I am seriously not sure how. He might be in for a serious rude awakening. 

I told him I trust him to do the right thing, but inside I dont know if I can trust him to really know what he is getting into. With his knowledge and experience, hes pretty much in demand and can find another job quickly. I do know a bit about his financials, but hes been a bit secretive lately. 

We shall see. I know that Toxic Troll wont stop asking for that TT-support check every month. Just another off topic vent to release a bit of stress to start the morning...


strugglingSM's picture

Based on my experience trying to get two different cars repaired in the last year, there are a lot of shops looking for mechanics right now...especially anyone with skills (based on my experience at my local dealership, they seem to have a lot of people who have no skills working as mechanics). He should start shopping around now for shops that might be a good fit for him. Side gigs while collecting unemployment can get you into trouble. If your state finds out you were not reporting all income while collecting, they can demand you pay back all unemployment money that you've received. I know this because my husband works in a trade and while he was collecting unemployment, a family member requested some work, so DH did it for free, because he didn't want to jeopardize his unemployment (his family is entitled and probably wouldn't have paid anyway, but it was thousands of dollars worth of free work). 

CLove's picture

Just on our local craigslist. And its a small community. I think also that he will need to really stop and think about what he wants to do until really really wants to do, and probably even do some training for it.

strugglingSM's picture

I've talked to DH about this, too. He loves his job, but it's very physical and I don't know if I see him being able to do it until retirement (he's nearly 20 years out from retirement). It's also fairly sensitive to economic downturns, so he needs to be thinking about that, too. 

Survivingstephell's picture

Sit him down and make him prove his idea will work with numbers and facts.  Make a budget with him.  I swear the only way to get a man to see his ideas in his head are ridiculous is to make him crunch the numbers.  

SteppedOut's picture

Not reporting income (and not paying taxes) has negative implications for social security. 

Also, IMHO, it's crappy to do. 

CLove's picture

I know his credit score, truck payment, credit card current balance, and what he makes now...

I guess I need to sit him down and talk budgets.

Ive looked at estimated unemjoyment tables for his current income level. Its half what he makes monthy. Now Im getting more stressed.

SteppedOut's picture

Max UI benefit where I live is $365/week. 

thinkthrice's picture

But your taxes are probable a LOT lower!

advice.only2's picture

Why is he waiting to be laid off?  Why not get his resume out there right now and start looking for other locations if he’s in such “demand”.   I cannot understand the bass ackwards mentality of I will wait until it’s too late.  Eesh!

CLove's picture

He is planning on asking to be laid off. Which I dont think thats what they will want. He makes too much money for them and they will want both the current cash flow into the bank as well as on the books for when the buyer wants to look at cash projections. Its what I would do...

Rags's picture

lay someone off on request unless there is a major reduction in force (RIF) coinciding with that request.  Even then, if that person is critical or in a critical role, it is unlikely that the reqest for layoff will be granted.  I fought every unemployment claim by someone terminated for cause when I owned my own company.  It kept my UI rates down. I never had a layoff so I have never had the experience of managing the type of request your DH is making.

In the event of an actual lay off, most companies closely advise impacted employees on filing for unemployement, COBRA, etc...

Most recently my company had a RIF. One of my direct reports begged for the RIF so he could draw UI while he finished getting his live aboard boat ready to sail off into the sunrise.  My company refused through I had another great resource for that role who wants to be here.  The legal team decided that terminating someone on request raised too much legal liablility.

All in my experience.

caninelover's picture

I was RIF'd in 2017.  Company paid severance but told us they would not contest any UI claims.  I didn't need it as I got a job right away but I don't think any small business would lay off an employee at their request to collect UI.  Too costly for their rates.

ESMOD's picture

I can totallly get where he might have some concern about working for someone he doesn't think has a very good reputation as an employer.

But.. Here are the options he has.

1.  Proactively look for a job and take a job NOW...if he has enough qualifications.. and here is an additional certification an employer might want.. they may even be willing to hire him and send him to school for it.  End result.. he has no gap in employment.

2.  Wait for new owner to take over.. and see how things go.. see if he can work in that organization.. and look later for a new gig if it doesn' pan out well.

3.  Since the company is being bought out.. does it mean the employment of the people goes with it? not sure about how that exactly works.. will everyone be automatically terminated then rehired by the new organization?  (he needs to understand how it would work).

If he elects to not be employed he won't be eligable for unemployment.. and his employer (new/old) will likely fight it because it does cost them money for him to file.  

If he quits and works side jobs.. and files and gets unemployment.. he could be found to have defrauded the state and could be subject to severe penalties.

If he quits and works side jobs and is denied unemployement.. he may not have enough to pay his bills.

It seems the smart thing is to dust off his resume and interview skills and see what options are out there.  Clearly his current employer is on the way out.. one way or another.  Unemployment is unlikely to be an option.. and as you saw.. he will not make much from it.. probably not enough to cover what he owes for his joint and CS obligations.  I get that he is freshly seeing this as a problem now.. that leaving a long term employer was not in his plans.. and it's scary to think about new stuff.  But.. at this point.. the writing is on the wall.. he needs to proceed in a way that will protect you both.. that means not engaging in FRAUD.. and not quitting when he has an option of staying and working for mr doodoo head.. even if that's not what he wants.. at least it pays the bills and he can be looking for a job now.. and ongoing so working for mr jerky pants should be short lived hopefully.

The option he likely does NOT have is asking to be laid off.. it just usually doesn't work out that way.


CLove's picture

I must say  ESMOD that you do have a great way of mucking through the murkiest of waters and "poof" clarity. So thanks for that list. It really does help. And the more I think about the financials, the more I understand he really needs to start looking for a new job somewhere else, or take the time to really think hard about the next step...before thinking about leaving the current one.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

He needs to research how unemployment works. It costs the company when someone goes on unemployment - they pay for unemployment insurance. Since the company will be changing hands, the existing owners and/or the new owners may not want to go along with this "plan." An employer can fight an employees request for unemployment.

In most states, you have to prove you are looking for work in order to stay on unemployment. Given the need for workers and your husbands skill set, he would have to lie on the forms because he could get a job. You can't stay on unemployment forever - that differs by state as well.

This plan is not well thought out from a financial or moral aspect. I know you have been struggling with some of his choices when it comes to how his actions effect your marriage - and this seems like another huge problem.

CLove's picture

I have to also mention that a little over 4 years ago, he had been supporting me. Even before that...but 4 plus years ago, I quit a job and took on unenjoyment and he supported me. I paid for my cell phone bill, and I paid gas and I paid for a little food and gave some towards rent. I also did back to school shopping lol.

So, I try to be supportive right now, while hes going through this.

I did mention it this morning that it was easy, because its all online but that you have to be looking for jobs to continue the payments.

It hopefully wont be a problem...if we can get ourselves on the same page.

ESMOD's picture

I get that partners should support each other.. you were out of work (assuming laid off in some fashion.. aka not voluntary).. he carried a bigger load.  His situation now is fairly different if he is going to potentially make a voluntary choice to be unemployed.

I get that his potential new boss may be a hard driver and not someone he wants to work for.

I get that he doesn't want to be in this position at 50.. 

But.. things are what they are.

If he can't find a job NOW at another place of employment.. his best bet is to suck it up in the short term until he DOES find a new gig.  (He can still do those side jobs btw.. and without unemployment.. he doesn't have to worry about that being a fraud shoe to fall ).  

He could also do as many side jobs as he can.. now.. save that money until he has Xmonths of salary saved up then quit and find another job.. or do training to get an extra cert and cover costs while he is not working.  

I don't doubt that you would be supportive if he was fired/laid off.. you would help him figure it out.. help cover joint costs if it came to that.  but he is not likely to be in that exact position.. he is more likely going to be facing an employer he might not prefer.. but in the end.. he is not likely to be unemployed.. and it is sooo much easier to find a job  while he still has one.

In fact.. a couple of reasons he can give prospective employers is that he 

1.  knows his current employer is looking at transitions.. and he wants more certainty.

2. He wants to venture out and hone new skills.

la_dulce_vida's picture

Did you WANT to be on unemployment? Most people don't and I would call it a red flag that the idea of being on unemployment is attractive to him. I also think it's a personal red flag that you think you owe it to him to support his voluntary unemployment because he supported you through your involuntary unemployment.

He has a valuable trade and could easily find a job. If he wants a short vacation, then let him be honest about it. He should be saving money now to cover his expenses during his said "vacation from work."

Let him know you'd fully support him taking a break from working between jobs, but it seems foolish and somewhat childish to even consider ASKING to be laid off so he gets a paid vacation. Don't encourage that nonsense. He still has a minor child to support.

Rags's picture

In 2001 I was RIFd in the Semiconductor bubble implosion. I was out or work and on UI for a year.  DW had our backs as her job was stable.  We took on a ton of debt to avoid gutting retirement accounts, 401Ks, IRAs, etc...  I did do some gig work that paid well but was not steady enough to replace my RFT income.

The 8 years we were Expats DW took a mid career sabbatical.  It was a mutually agreed thing.  The increased income, extremely low Tax burden on rull time Expats, and all of our living expenses being covered by the company allowed DW to not work with no impact on our financial status.

When we got back from our Expat adventure in 2018 she re-launched her career successfully. I got hit in another RIF a year after we got back.  I ended up mostly unemployed for 2019 and 2021 with only periodic consulting income after my UI expired in Fall of 2019.  That 2yrs sucked beyond belief.  Being locked in due to COVID, the hydrocarbon industry collapse, etc.. made those two very lean and stressful years.

DW worked herself nearly to death that two years and up until the tax season that just ended.  She has decided that it is time for her to move on to a different industry so she will likely make a move to corporate accounting rather than remaining in public.

With the exception of the 8 years we were overseas and DW did not work, the employment gaps we have weathered were not by choice.

I hope DH gets what he is looking for in his career shift.

Survivingstephell's picture

What's the chance that he would STAY unemployed?  Is that your true worry,  that he would run with the "great idea" of his and become dead weight you carry?  As if you haven't done enough for him already, putting up with all the drama from his baggage.  I would not offer much in financial support and insist that he carry his own financial weight during this job transition.  You can't blame all of the SDs problems on BM, they have their father as a role model also.  

Winterglow's picture

You are always in a much stronger position when looking for jobs when you are still in full-time employment. You have negotiating power. Once you are unemployed, you no longer have that advantage. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

The best time to get a better job is while you're employed. Fact. Give his age, he'll probably have to work a bit harder to find a good one. Also fact.

I think this is one of those times when your H's history with addiction is showing. He's not making logical decisions and panicking a bit. Side jobs, seriously? He might as well join the circus.

In this, you're the grownup. I second the idea of putting together a spreadsheet of expenses and going over the budget with him, then guiding him in his job search. Be calm and emphasize he could find a better job for better pay in this market. And if he wants to be a baby, tell him he can sell the big boat to meet expenses. That should make him straighten up.


Livingoutloud's picture

My DH had a situation where the facility he worked for was bought by a new company. He didn't want to work for them. He looked in a rush and got a different job. I was supportive of that. It's not uncommon for people look for a new job in situations of mergers or ownership switch 

DH also was in a situation where he was unable to return to the employment after surgery because surgeon wouldn't give him a permission out of a fear of re-injury so he had to hurry up and look for a new job. I was supportive if there had to be a gap in employment in case he can't get a job fast enough (was no gap, he got the job quickly), and I was supportive if he had to take reasonable pay cut as his health is more important (ended up actually pay increase not cut).

id also support my DH if at some point his job becomes way too much for him health wise and he might have to stay in the field but in a less demanding and less pay position. The time will likely come and I'll support that. We are way into our 50s. second half. Not getting younger 

Having said that I'd not support anything illegal or stupid. Just because he's my husband it doesn't mean I must be dutiful wife supporting idiocy. Asking for being laid off (no one lays off upon request), collecting unemployment while doing side gigs (it's illegal and dumb). Hhhmm no. Nothing what he proposed sounds even remotely appropriate or wise. He better rethink it ASAP. 

CLove's picture

We are so affected by it, but his business doesnt really decrease. Plus everyones been trying to make their vehicles last longer.

Harry's picture

As doing 10 hours of work in 8 hours by beating book time .?    Any place would love a person who can beat book time  ,,,more money for repair place. ,,,More money for worker.   
Secong thought, can he buy the busines ?   Work sometimes out. So much down so much per month for X number of years.  Nobody can get a business load, the old owners will have to hold the note no matter who buy it. Unless national chane 

CLove's picture

1. He gets paid a good hourly, the business invoices on "book time", which yes he beats it.

2. Hed LIKE to buy it. It includes the property, which in our area runs in the millions. We just arent there at that level. But its a hope!

3. Good note. Who knows if anyone right now can afford to buy that including the land. They may just have to liquidate inventory and sell the warehouse and land separately from business.