Advice: "My husband is asking me to get him a job at my company. I want keep my work and family life seperate. What should I do?

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Dear Quota Team,

I’ve worked in sales for years. I absolutely love it and I couldn't picture myself doing anything else. I’ve been with the same company for about three years now, and recently got promoted to Director of Sales (Yippee!). The company I work for is a 1500 person company, so definitely not small. 

Here is the (really bizarre) problem: my husband, who is a wonderful man, also works in sales, but he’s really unhappy with his company. He complains about it constantly, and it’s been getting worse and worse for the last year or so. It’s almost unbearable to listen to now. 

He’s interviewed at other places, and gotten a few offers, but there’s always something that he doesn’t like – the comp plan, the person he’ll be reporting to, the product, etc. Long story short, he hasn’t accepted anything yet, and now, he wants me to get him an interview at my company. 

He brought it up once a few months ago, and I kind of ignored it, but now he’s bringing it up constantly and asking me to get him in the door. I don’t think I can keep putting it off anymore. 

The truth is I don’t want him working at my company. Not only is my job my personal domain, but it would also mean that not only would we live together, we’d be working together too. And I also would not want to deal with the office politics of having a spouse who works with me. I can handle stress, but I can’t handle that type of stress. 

How can I let him down without having him resent me? Should I lie? Or should I just be upfront about my reservations. Help!? 

Reluctant on the East Coast   


Dear Reluctant,

Well, this is definitely one we didn’t expect, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give it a try!  

We definitely don’t blame you for wanting to keep work and home separate. After all, we usually go to one in order to get away from the other, and vice versa. So don’t feel like a terrible person for wanting your space. 

What can you do?

Lying is a bad idea. It could backfire and create a whole host of problems that you might not even be considering. 

The best thing to do is to tell the truth, in a kind and gentle way. Explain that you think there are too many things that could go wrong, and that you want this one part of your life to remain separate and that it’s very important to you.

And then, offer to use your big network (and the networks of people you know) to help him land a job that he’ll want. Offer to sit down and help him come up with a plan of attack. And remind him that you think he’s a “wonderful” person, as you said. 

Honesty is almost always the best policy, especially when it comes to difficult conversations. If your husband understands how important this is to you, then he’s very likely to drop his requests. Good luck! 

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