Serious Question: Would You Work For Your Ex If You Desperately Needed A Job?

March 21, 2016  |  

Corbis Images

Corbis Images


Unemployment is scary. Period. Mounting bills and minimal income will have you exploring all kinds of options—ones you would have never previously considered.

Recently, a girlfriend from college, Janelle*, asked my thoughts on her going to work for her ex-boyfriend, Tyler*, who also went to college with us. Janelle and Tyler dated from freshman year to the end of junior year, which is when they decided that they were better off as friends. At the time, Tyler was still struggling to find himself and Janelle didn’t want to hold him back, so they chose to dead the relationship in order to save the friendship. There’s no bad blood between them whatsoever, and they are still friends to this day. Last fall, Janelle was laid off from her job in marketing, and she’s still looking for a new position; however, the market sucks, and she’s pretty much blown through her savings at this point. The unemployment checks are barely covering half of her expenses, and she’s really unsure of what she’s going to do. Enter Tyler.

Over the weekend, Janelle and Tyler met up for coffee, and she shared what she has been going through. Surprisingly, Tyler had a solution for her problem:

“Come and work for me,” he told her.

Back in college, Tyler was a struggling photographer. However, these days, dude is doing quite well for himself. After years of shadowing a seasoned veteran in the business, Tyler has his own lucrative photography business. He’s getting so much business; he sometimes has to turn clients away. And well, as successful as his business is, he’s been looking for an assistant to help him better manage the administrative and financial side of his company. Ironically, during our college days when Tyler was just an amateur, Janelle handled all of his administrative duties, and she really helped to keep him in line because he can be extremely unorganized. Oh yeah, I should add that he’s willing to pay her handsomely for her services.

Seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, there’s just one problem: Janelle has been in a relationship for the past nine months and her new boyfriend isn’t too pleased with the idea of her going to work for her ex. He’s also troubled by the fact that Tyler is single. In fact, Tyler hasn’t had a steady girlfriend since he and Janelle broke up in college. Janelle’s boyfriend has never been fond of her friendship with Tyler, but he tolerated it. However, he believes that going to work for him is taking things  way too far.

While Janelle doesn’t want to wreck her relationship with her boyfriend, she really needs the money and with her savings account drying up the way that it is, she’ll be forced to move back in with her parents if she doesn’t find a gig soon.

I definitely understand her plight, but unless her man is about to find a way to help pay her bills until she can get back on her feet, I’m not really sure that she can afford to turn down this offer.

What would you do? Would you go work for an ex if you really needed a job?

*Names have been changed.

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