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Accepting a Job Offer for My Spouse?

Accepting a Job Offer for My Spouse?

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

• The manager is hiring your husband, not you (despite the fact that you do work there too). The particular relationship in question is one that he’s entering into with your husband, not with you, and by having you call to discuss a business arrangement that doesn’t involve you, he is signaling that he doesn’t understand that. If I were the manager, this would raise all kinds of questions about what else he won’t understand about professional boundaries — is he going to involve you in salary negotiations, or interpersonal disputes? Is he going to ask you to tell his boss when he can’t meet a deadline?

• Accepting a job offer isn’t just a matter of checking a “yes” box. There’s discussion to be be had. When I make a job offer to someone and they accept it, I want to talk to them — them personally, not an emissary! I want to welcome them to the team, tell them how excited I am to have them. And I want to talk about logistics — start date, maybe even initial projects. With them, not their spouse.

So that’s for your husband. But now I have two points for you too:

• Making this phone call will make you look bad too. You’ll appear to condone it and think it’s appropriate, and the manager will start worrying that neither of you understand that you each have separate, independent relationships with the employer. Don’t jeopardize your professional reputation.

• When two spouses (or two significant others) work at the same company, you have to really make a point of drawing appropriate boundaries. You guys should be talking about what strategies you’ll use to handle the potentially strange dynamics of both working at the same place, but I’m going to guess that he has zero appreciation of the need for that, as he seems to think you’re both just attending the same neighborhood picnic or something. You’re going to need to do what you can to get on the same page about this.

Do others want to weigh in with points I’m missing? I’m so worked up over this one that I’m sure I’ve missed something else important.

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