DEAR ABBY: I am an older IT professional (58) who had a very successful career until a year ago. I was part of a major layoff at the company I worked at for many years. I have not been able to find a job in the IT field since.
Besides my skills and knowledge in IT, I'm an accomplished handyman with skills in most of the trades. The issue is, my wife is insistent that I get another job in IT -- mostly for the benefits.
Older IT workers have a very hard time finding work in the field. I'd like to start a handyman company since I enjoy this kind of work. If I start a handyman business, my wife, for the first time, would have to go from being a part-time worker at her job to full time to provide us with benefits. This will cause a lot of strain on our marriage because she has made it clear she does not want to work full time.
I think she's being selfish. I have provided her with a very nice lifestyle for many years and feel it's time she step up and do her part. I'm not sure how to broach the subject without an argument ensuing. Help? -- SWITCHING GEARS IN NEW YORK
DEAR SWITCHING: Expect an argument and be prepared for it. You are not responsible for having been laid off. It seems there is plenty of ageism in your field, and it isn't surprising you can't find a comparable job in IT when the preference appears to be for hiring younger, cheaper workers.
Frankly, you are fortunate to have both an alternative and the initiative to start a handyman business. Good handymen are hard to find, and your wife should make the effort to support you in what could be a successful endeavor once it gets on its feet. That's what partners in life are supposed to do, isn't it?