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“Strangled by self doubt, fear of failure and low self esteem”

I hear from women every day who are suffering greatly from job loss. My staff and I offer them whatever advice, leads and resources we can, but it’s often challenging since we can’t possibly give everyone the one-on-one help they really need.

So now we’re turning to you—our resourceful readers. We’d like you to offer your advice to one woman in particular who wrote to me last week. Her email resonated with us because it summed up so clearly the frustrating sentiments of others.

She’s been out of work for a while after being laid off from a top job. Now she’s buried in severe debt and is facing a family crisis because of the strain poor finances have placed on her family. She says, “I’m strangled by self doubt, fear of failure and low self esteem.” What’s your advice to help her get unstuck to rebound with gusto?

What’s YOUR advice to this woman—and countless others like her? Tell us how can she reboot to rebound with gusto? Let’s rally together to lift everyone up.


  1. Karen

    I think we can all relate to feeling some self-doubt whether it is from the loss of a job, loss of a marriage, children not living up to thier potential. We were designed to be the comforter of others, which adds tremendous pressure on women in general. My advice would be to stay connected with close friends, find at least one day out of the week for yourself, no husband, no kids, just you. During the time ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen? Money is a way of getting the things you want, but at what cost? Keep your mind on reading positive uplifting materials, volunteer somewhere that could use some help and through spending less time worrying, a blessing will open for you! I know and I am speaking from experience. Keep the Faith!

  2. dave segal

    Use the job alerts feature on the Women For Hire website. It is a strong tool linking in to top employers.

  3. ROC

    My situation is identical to this Women’s situation. H E L P.
    Thank you.

  4. Paula Caudiano

    My advice to women with low self-esteem, fear of failure get yourself in a routine, get out and away from your computer your phone and the family. Go for a walk, even if its around the corner, in a park, if you belong to a gym, go and work out, it will clear your head. Networking is meeting people. Volunteer! Get involved!

  5. Volunteer to help others that are in worse situations. They’re not hard to find.
    Sign up with a good, network marketing business. You don’t have to order a lot of products to be involved. You can grow slowly and steadily as your finances allow. Some, like doTERRA, refund the initial sign up costs ( around $50 ) with product from time to time. It’s more than product. These companies encourage confidence building through free local Master Mind groups and reward programs.
    Stay involved with Tory and Michelle.

  6. S R

    I would tell her to go back to when she started her job and tap into that feeling of wanting to succeed and how empowered she felt back then. I would also tell her to volunteer what little time she may have. Volunteering is a good way to feel good about yourself and it may also, down the road, lead to a job. You never know who you may come in contact with.

  7. Paula

    This probably isn’t the advice I would like to hear if I were in your situation, but it is what I think to give in hearing about it. -It’s in the worst of times that we have the greatest opportunity to shine. Your children will likely far better remember you if you can turn a really bad situation into a good one, then they will all the days you went to your high powered job like normal and quietly received your paycheck without a blink. No one likes to cut back on their luxuries, but if you rally the family you’ll probably find you have more power to solve this than you thought. Give your self the gift of time by doing whatever you can to eliminate the expenses you have (sell the house if you have to) so that your survival isn’t dependent on finding that same top line position. Show your kids that you can dig deep when you need to, and you’ll give them the best lesson of their life.
    I’m sorry to hear that times are so tough, and wish you the very best of luck.

  8. Actually, when your fears and self doubt are the strongest, you are in the best position to bring the old unconscious and limiting beliefs to the surface. With a new awareness of what is driving your emotions, you can begin to release what is no longer true for you. Then there is room for a new belief that can help you easily create your dreams. In our book “live a life you love, and make a living doing it’, we provide a step by step approach to do exactly that. To read the first 3 chapters for free – go to Happy to chat on the phone if you like as well – call Wendy at 973-853-2123

  9. Johanna R

    When I lost my job I realized I was losing my identity. I had created my importance measure by my success – international work, many clients nice life- and suddenly at post 50 I was ‘over qualified. It took lots of small steps to feel good again – I began by giving away my services and then a friend hired me at a low rate and I created growth for her company and felt useful again.
    One sector that is hiring is government and as a college grad I am able to be qualified to teach. Take the state tests and apply for some of these opportunities – start by substitute teaching to bring in a pay check and make a difference!
    Amazing how great you feel with this method. I then was able to move onto other opportunities and currently back to school retooling for health services – sonography for example, dental assisting things that won’t go away to foreign soil.
    I cut out all expenses such as cable and fast speed interenet – used computer at the library to save money along the way and did not creat any additional debt – that is a major item to keep cutting back to current leifestyle needs.
    I went from a 6 digit income to 26k a year and learned to survive while retooling good luck it is not an easy task but it is a way to survive nonetheless

  10. vicki

    Reflect on something you do well. Take those skills to a not for profit where they would welcome your abilities. Their needs matched with your qualities will quickly bring back to you your confidence. Plus you are doing good and filling in lack of job gaps. I began a child’s birthday club for children in poverty. I am still unemployed but during this time i was able to begin something I had wanted to do for years!!!

  11. Lois Ellen Schwartz

    Here’s what I have to say to someone strangled by debt, fear and concern about work, money and their future. First of all, cut up those credit cards and live within your means: easy to say but hard to do. However, when you live within your means (sometimes you will need to downsize), you don’t wake up in the middle of the night worried about your finances. You will of course still worry about finding a job but the fear won’t be as intense. As far as your future is concerned, you can only control what you are doing right now! Get centered, get support, start taking actions. Taking actions will dissipate the fear. And remember: this too shall pass because nothing stays the same…

  12. Nana

    I am experiencing a similar situtation. For 20 years, I had a wonderful career which involved several top executive positions before being laid off. I’ve lost all confidence, am depressed and fear each job opening and application process. HELP! I would also like to hear Tory’s advice. Thank you!

  13. Hi,first let me tell you, I know how you feel. If you are feeling strangled by fear and self doubt, you are close to being so stressed you may literally “seize up”. You need to do triage for yourself as action will be the only thing to help your situation. The first course of action is for you to line up your resources: make sure you have your unemployment flowing, look into any support services like food stamps and call all your creditors and explain your situation before it’s completely out of hand. Then since you are unemployed get a part time job to help bring in some money. Assuming that has been hard to come by, consider anything – consider doing demo’s at your local Costco. If you are close to a true crisis you need to treat this like one. Hold a garage sale this week and make some money cleaning out your home – ask your neighbors and family to contribute. In other words, the best way for you to stem the crisis is to muster all that same great work ethic into solving this problem. You can do this, we’re here to help.

  14. Karen

    I am in the same situation and scared! Anyone in Miami, FL?

  15. Darlene

    It’s funny but I never been on a horse but I always compare my life to it. If you fall off just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on until you tame that stallion:) I just turned 55 last week and never would believe I would be underemployed( working parttime right above minimum wage)and trying to reinvent myself once again. Our society have us so focus on credit and credit scores that we get in a tizzy if we know these things will be affected by our lack of income… let it go.What family and friends think…let it go. And reflect on things that happened in your life that you really didn’t do anything but have faith and was in the right place or doing the right thing to make it come to pass. This too shall pass!

  16. Jennifer Zach

    Speaking from experience, I have found the following 5 things helpful to rebounding from life’s hardships and trauma:
    1. A regular practice of self-care
    2. Prayer and Scripture reading
    3. Taking one day at a time
    4. Thinking outside the box
    5. Reaching out for the support of others
    I have alot of experience with rebounding and resilience of which I wish to offer in service and support to other women. I invite the woman who reached out to you, as well as any other woman in similiar circumstances, to email me at [email protected] for further dialogue and discussion of ongoing support options.

  17. Adrienne

    I’m not perfect, but I am human, and have been unemployed before, and it’s a disheartening experience, but you can make it through and you will persevere. Don’t lose hope, continue to encourage yourself. It’s most important that you do and that you stay occupied with + activities that will keep you in tune with your family and distract your mind from the stress of providing for them. Get involved in volunteering w/an organization that represents something you like/enjoy or research free programs at a library/internet that will inspire you. Make sure to meditate/pray or get quiet time and listen to the inner voice so that you can quiet the voices of doubt. F-O-C-U-S on + things speak against the negative thoughts you have so you can rebuild your self-esteem and become the woman you’re meant to be. You’re opportunity will come, just prepare yourself and believe.

  18. Vanessa

    Hello and God bless. I know exactly what she is going through. I myself have been out of work for a year and a half but I refuse to give up. What keeps me going is prayer, reading my bible and my little girl. It is hard to stay focused when u have so many obstacles and rejections in your way. But whenever I feel overwhelmed and when things feel hopeless I turn to Jesus and my family for support and comfort. Just know that u r not alone. So, if u belong to a church reach out to your pastor or any church member. If u don’t reach out to family and friends that u trust to help you get back on track. My daughter always snaps me back into focus. Be blessed.

  19. The time between a loss and a new beginning has been called the “neutral one” by William Bridges, a leading expert in change theory. It has also been called the “no where between two somewheres.” I suggest looking at it as the “vantage point from where anything is possible.”
    When we are not sure of our next move after a major loss we are in that “WHAT NOW?” neutral zone- Anxiety rises, we feel disoriented, old patterns of negative behavior might emerge-our system is in flux-.
    A great book to read while in transition is the classic “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter—a fable about of a colony of penguins that at first refuses to heed the warning signs that the only iceberg they ever lived on was melting and hence their way of life-it illustrates the concepts of resisting, fighting, accepting, and then finally embracing and adapting to change-in the penguins’ case-creating a lifestyle of moving from iceberg to iceberg and learning the new skills of scouting as well as fishing.
    To learn how to navigate getting to another iceberg, it helps to identify what tools we need, and consider whether we have those tools or how we can get them. Tools can be finding a coach, a financial advisor, joining a job club, creating a goal-setting club, taking free classes or training, or even exploring “right-sizing” our lives. Taking action in areas we can control will support rebuilding confidence, essential when looking for the next job opportunity.

  20. Alberta Green

    Hello Ladies,
    First, I would like to say, Pray, and build up your faith. As a family, everyone should be supportive and try to be resourceful in giving up something that would help the family out.
    Update your resume, and don’t be afraid to look for jobs out of state. It may be time to leave a comfort zone.

  21. Nury

    Hello …
    I think during these trying times most of us, if not all have had a moment of self doubt. However, we cannot and must not let this fog our vision or difuse that confidence we felt when everthing seemed to be in place. We should take time to refocus. Direct ourselves in a new direction while maintaining the our goal clear; success. What are our talents? Passion? Can this talent help you find a job as a consultant, freelancer, or start your own business?
    We need to learn to take advantage of the free networking tools we have at our disposition to kick start our plans.
    In these trying times, we need to remember, if we were once able to climb the “Corporat America ladder” at work then we can definitely climb our own ladder in our own lives.
    Good luck everyone!

  22. Dr. Niama L. Williams

    The answers are within. Not the blame; do not turn that critical voice on yourself. Know, however, that the answers you need, you were born with; simply turn to that inner stillness, that inner guidance system, and LISTEN. Your inner wisdom will tell you what to do. It is speaking; the hard part is doing what it tells us to do.
    I was recently saved by a beautiful yet demanding prayer blessing passed on by Luisah Teish; I highly recommend it:
    ORIGINAL SERIES LIBRARY: Recorded February to April.2010
    Luisah Teish interviewed by host Stephen Dinan
    The blessing she left us with:
    I want to take this moment to share with the audience the important message that was given to us at the last Festival of the Bones in November; it was sort of a grey time; a lot of people were sick and broke and unable to see what was going on
    And the trance mediums in our temple, collectively, the message went like this: and i want you to see this as i am speaking it:
    The ancestors said if you feel as if your back is pressed up against a brick wall the solution is to turn around and look at the brick wall; the substance of the brick wall will turn into a plate glass window through which the future can see you
    I want you to feel that for a minute because it takes courage to turn around and face that brick wall, but know that the substance that bricks are made of and the substance that glass is made of is the same substance viewed differently with the molecules rearranged, you see?, so rearrange your trials and see them as something that is honing you for the future, forcing you to see things more clearly so that the future can see you, and then follow the inspirations that come
    It is my prayer that everybody here be able to transform their brick walls into clear glass so that the future can see them.

  23. Sabrina

    I would need to know more about her to answer the question. If she has a lot of debt was this debt she created during her months of unemployment or debt that has grown before her layoff. If she had severance pay then the key is to live within her means as someone else suggested. To continue to live as if another job is right around the corner is unrealistic and undermines the family.
    Luckily I had savings, a severance and unemployment to rely on. But I did not have a lot of debt because I had been dedicated to paying it off. Too many us live off of credit cards. She needs to seek the help of a debt counselor. You also don’t mention if she is married or not. Who is her support system? Does she have a clergyman she can speak to?
    Once you are unemployed, looking for work is your full-time job. Thus she needs to create a ‘work’ week that includes all the activity she needs to do to look for work, request informational interviews, network with other unemployed individuals that will hold her accountable and still take care of the home. It can be done but she needs to get in “action” and stay there. Saying your stuck is a nice excuse for not doing anything.
    I hope since she’s received your advice she’s actually been tasked to do something. Being unemployed is not the end of the world. I am actually a better person for the experience and have met and made some wonderful new friends along the way. This is her chance to expand her life. I wish her the very best.

  24. Marlene

    This is very difficult for me to even comment my feelings, but I had too after reading some many comments. I too feel of sense of lost more so than when I lost my husband. I know I have a lot to be blessed for. However, I feel like I have lost myself in a maze. I keep reading the bible, and staying close to family members that I know love me and would hate to see anything happen to me.

  25. MEadvice

    I am in a similar situation, with medical issues, rather than children. I am disillusioned, but find that taking action helps. Get some free retraining through WIA. Check into professional organizations that allow networking online and in person. Attend any event that allows interacting with professionals, as one never knows where that lead will arise. Take advantage of online resources, but beware of the scams. EXERCISE! It will help with the stress, and improves your health so that when you find that job, you are at your absolute best physically. This has been my salvation, because I have multiple health issues that increase my stress level during this tough situation. Most importantly, find that good friend who can listen effectively and serve as your support system. Not all our friends can play this role, but we can identify the one who can. Best of luck, you are not alone!

  26. Millie H

    First, take time out for herself.
    1. Cut off your cable, turn off the cells phones, iPods, and TV.
    2. Get trusted friends or family to take care of the kids and/or animals for free for a few days.
    3. Go somewhere safe away from home where she can spend quality time with herself.
    4. Spend quiet time alone and do some meditation
    5. Get in touch with what her heart is telling her to do that she isn’t doing. Ask for direction and advice from her inner guidance and intuition.
    6. Most importantly, listen to your heart and everything else will follow.

  27. Wendy Stevens, SPHR

    Unfortunately I am in the same boat. To top it off, I am one of the people praying that the unemployment continuation is quickly approved because mine just ran out. It is terrifying. BUT…. Keep this in mind, it has helped me to put things in perspective recently. Several weeks ago I was offered a top Human Resources position with a rapidly growing company. Everything was finally looking up and just in time to pay the rent…then the recruiter called me- the three people who were supposed to start (including myself) we are in a permanent holding pattern…we were not starting on Monday. The owner was just diagnosed with cancer and the partners do not want to be directly involved with training the new executives- they are busy with their own on-going responsibilities. However grim my job and housing situation look at the moment, at least God has blessed us with health. Having millions in the bank will not always help someone survive cancer.
    My heart goes out to everyone in my situation. It is terrible to not only have to find a job, but to also overcome the feelings and thoughts that go hand-in-hand with that situation. We will get through it!
    If anyone is looking for a seasoned certified human resources professional please contact me.

  28. I have to begin by saying: Good news first, (I like to cut to the chase)
    You are not alone, I hear this every week as I coach from women who have jobs and who aren’t making the kind of money they want to. This is an opportunity to align yourself correctly spiritually, physically and relationally. And here is how you are going to do it by the grace of God.
    1. Acknowledge your past identity is not going to empower you for long term success. Anytime we get our affirmation through money, men, and our own good works, it will leave us unfunfilled and disappointed in the end.
    2. Humble yourself, ask forgiveness and run to Christ. God delights to give us our rightful inheritance when we acknowledge we have stayed and will use this situation to bless you and others if you let go and don’t allow shame or condemnation to overtake you. We have all fallen short and made mistakes. I have been sabotaged so many times. Including an ID theft for almost a million dollars. God loves restoring your momentum and fortune when you allow him to prune.
    3. Practically: Set some big physical goals right now. Walk/Run a half marathon with a friend. I have a team formed right now that won’t cost you a dime and you can raise money for orphans and it will help you serve others while God is healing your heart and finances. When you are struggling with shame, a consistent cardio program is scientifically proven to eliminate depression and release positive endorphins. If you are out of work, this is not an option. Not to mention it will enable you to eat more chocolate which is another fun thing.
    4. Connect with people in prayer who can help support you during this time while you build the practical skills necessary to feel empowered again.
    Bad news: If you don’t utilize this situation correctly, you will see the same scenery again. It is not about the money, it is about your heart and where you are putting your trust.
    If I can serve you in anyway, please contact me at [email protected].

  29. Brenda

    It is a difficult position to be in. I have been downsized for over 3 yrs. Being over 50, with over 20 yrs of IT experience, I am applying for any job, including cleaning.
    Keep the faith. Search your heart and find out what you are truly supposed to be doing during these times. It may be that your talents will carry you through. There are things that you do well. Tap into them. Ask for guidance and go forth.
    I sew and bead. I’m looking forward to my talents to carry me through these days. It will take time to establish yourself but as you are working toward your goals, the Universe will put the right people in your path.
    Fear is the absence of faith. Pray to release your fears.

  30. pat

    lots of Talent out there too much Burn Out
    too many in WRONG FIT
    pray find a Work Ministry or Career suppourt group FIND A Cause to suppourt but DO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE stay away fro all NEGITIVITY

  31. Anonymous

    Speaking from experience, five things I have found instrumental to rebounding from life’s hardships are as follows:
    1. Maintaining a practice of self-care
    2. Prayer and Scripture reading
    3. Thinking outside the box
    4. Taking one day at a time
    5. Reaching out for the support of others
    I’ve had a lot of experience with rebounding and resilience of which I wish to use in service to others. I invite the woman who has reached out to you, as well as any other woman in similiar circumstances, to email me at [email protected] for further dialogue and discuss ongoing support options.

  32. DC

    I certainly have empathy for her and others. I too had an ailing parent, attending college for the first time and seeking full-time employment in my late forties. My parent had expired during that time; I completed college but never got the full-time job. For me it’s harder because I had no career just survival jobs over the years. I’ve been at this for nine years and counting. I have been through all of those emotions, but support and being a spiritual person brought me out of it. You will probably have those moments again, I do, but walk it off; read Bible scriptures; self-help books; exercise; I hear yoga helps, etc…. Good luck, you will overcome this; life throws us curve balls, but you have to “take it by the throat!” then persevere:)

  33. Luciana Morais

    The most I can relate to here is that I’m unemployed, take care of my mother, and have serious college debt to pay off. I do experience high levels of stress, and depression. For my part, this is what I’m doing:
    1. Creating a blog. I think she should create a blog and tell her story. This “over 50” discrimination needs to be made known. Otherwise, create a blog about something she loves, and build a network with it.
    2. Spend sometime at the library, and learn new computer technologies, like HTML, CSS etc. A friend of mine is 63 years old and she gets plenty of freelance editing and proofreading jobs – as well as offers for web editing.
    3. Volunteer. Look into Volunteer or If you have a skill, you can often find a place to utilize it. You can then network, and use them for job references.
    4. Start a dog walking, or pet sitting business. I did that for a year when I was first unemployed, and managed to make a bit of money. Plus, you can tax deduct almost everything (cell phones, place of business etc…) and you can claim yourself as an entrepreneur. Honestly, it’s easy stuff to do as well.
    5. Create or participate in an Meetup ( group. Find something you love, or create a Meetup group to network. The worst thing to do is feel isolated.
    6. If you’re not on Linkedin, make a Linkedin page. Join groups there, and try to find people you previously worked with. They may know of some opportunities.
    7. If you can, apply for a scholarship and take some classes. Actually, a friend of mine used to sneak into University of Maryland (each class there is 300+ people) and just sit and listen to lectures on her time off. Hey, it may not be moral, but neither is firing someone over 50…so go for it! LOL. Just make sure the class size is gigantic.
    8. Apply for a retail job at some place you like. I once worked for REI (Recreational Equipment) because I was unemployed, but also because I developed an interest in biking and kayaking. If you like the store, it will be less painful.
    9. Ultimately, focus on your accomplishments, meet new people every way you can, and keep your mind engaged.
    Good luck!
    Luciana Morais

  34. marygirl

    Yes, I do understand the path you have found yourself on. Myself,55 plus, no degree, worked all regular hours plus OT. Ran myself ragged to fill the hats for 4 people, was always physically sick and mentally maxed out. I wasn’t even nice when I came home to my loved ones, as I was always tired and worn. Then one day my work card key didn’t work. I kept calm as I had read the writngs on the wall. Because I had been through 2 lay offs before, I told myself I am where I should be and said a pray to God, I was allowing myself to let God do his job. Now unemployed 1.5 years. I separated myself from familly concerns and remarks, meet with unemployed friends for encouragement and coffee, look for jobs for each other. Keep studying/ reviewing software lessons. I live below my means,but I know that God is keeping his eyes open for me. Tiny prayer..
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean Not on your own thinking”.

  35. Cindy Gibbs

    WOW! Look how so many women are there to help, I love that!
    My two cents is…think back to your mindset when you were on the top of your game. Put yourself back there. Draw a picture of it. Post it and start moving back in that direction.
    GOD is not finished with you yet. You are simply on to the next chapter of your life. How exciting is that!
    I can’t wait to hear more of your book.

  36. hopeful

    I have been there and even though I am currently employed have not fully recooped my financial stability. Please know that you are not alone, although you may think that it is easier said than done. First, thank God for his blessings over the years and his current blessings of allowing you to rise each day, he will continue to guide you through this situation. Secondly, unless you truly messed up in your previous employment, acknowledge that you are not necessarily responsible for what you are experiencing today. Third, surround yourself with positive people, and not those who keep bragging about how great their current job and family life is, making you feel insecure, guilty and embarrassed. Fourth, evaluate your financial situation and begin to call up your creditors explaining your situation. Fifth, sit with your family and explain the situation and solicit their assistance is helping to reduce the bills in your household. Sixth, begin to work on your resume, additing all the new experiences you have acquired over the years since you last created your resume. Each morning pretend you going to work, get up offer a prayer, take a shower, remember to sing at the top of your voice, get dress and begin to send out your resume. Check your email for Tory’s inspiring job information and start your day positive. I wish you success for the future, not LUCK, because LUCK is what you make it. Blessings and keep on keeping on.

  37. marygirl

    Oh yes….since i have been unemployed…my sweetheart says i’m a nicer person…..more grounded. I’ve no income coming in, but healthier, my hair has been gowing back in, my weight dropped, chlorestrol has lowered, I do all the cooking and maintain a very large home……yes..I don’t have the materialistic opportunities, yes, I’m living way below on 21 thou per year now……..but I’m being slowly replaced with a better person inside by the hand of God.

  38. marygirl

    Oh yes…..for ourselves….especially ourselves..get up every morning…prepare yourself for the day…because God gave you this day….24 hours. Remember to treat yourself right…as you are a women first-and above all. Make yourself pretty. Stand in front of a mirror. Put that lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick on to feel beautiful and in charge, practice smiling. Fix that hairdo. Then sit down, write a letter to yourself…about what it is that people like about you, what is it that you like about yourself. Write another letter to you…..telling yourself about your plans, small or big. Congradulate yourself on what you have accomplished up to this point. Spray perfume on it. Mail the letter to yourself right away, Or ask your best friend to mail it from another country on her-his travels. When you get your letter back…..sit back and read it-twice. Feel the magic….really….try it once, twice 🙂

  39. M.Taylor

    Start with self reflection. Remember you are somebody because God makes no junk. We can tell you a lot of things but you must TELL THEM TO YOURSELF at some point and time then PUSH-pray until something happens-even if you just notice a smile on your face. Don’t ever let work define you again. Find your passion and work your but off accomplishing what you really want to do for the rest of your life-but do it in a “I’m broke” sTate for if you do get another job, start and succeed at a business you won’t be apt to over induldge again. God puts us where we need to be sometime for our own good. You WILL be ok, you WILL succeed at life not making a living!
    Be Blessed

  40. Marianne Meeder

    I would like to say Hang in there, there is HOPE! You ARE NOT ALONE!! I am a business coach and I write motivational articles you can check out at I write articles like, Self-Sabotage When We Throw Ourselves Under the Bus and many more. It all starts with our beliefs. Whatever we have in life we have created from our thoughts. She needs to surround herself with POSITIVE people, ASK for HELP from those around her in practical ways and create something new and powerful in her life by first creating it in her head. YOU CAN DO IT! Now is the time to go back to school, start a side business, figure out what your passion is. I am a career, business and life coach! I can help

  41. Marjorie Sutter

    I am awed and inspired by the women who have already commented! After 25 years, I chose to retire last year. I now volunteer as the facilitator for Power Break, a local support group for those in career transition (unemployed). Women and men have in the group have experienced low self-esteem and financial difficulties. The lessons learned so far that have benefitted Power Break members are – continue to reach out to others. take classes/learn a new skill, explore new career possibilities, volunteer (there are always others less fortunate), and trust that God has a plan for you. We may not know that plan now, but it will be revealed. Be sure to smile, laugh, and hug someone every day! God bless you!

  42. Denise Tessier

    In same boat – trying to keep afloat myself. Things helping me:
    1. YMCA – multiple fitness classes, including Yoga. Mix it up and try something new, even if you don’t lose weight, you’ll have more energy and feel good. Try something you’d normally not do if you were working and now have timeL active (kickboxing/zumba) or mello (yoga, pilates, swimming)
    2. Reconnect with EVERYONE, family, friends, old collegues. You’d be very surprised at the positive response you’ll get if you reach out via Linked In or email and offer to take folks to lunch or for coffee. It is a bit awkward at first to confess you’ve been out of touch for x years and am now unemployed, but there are a lot of people who can empathize with your situation, and you’ll find it is a wonderful thing to have time to network. And vow to keep in touch – jobs are found via people, not websites, nowadays
    3. Volunteer, anywhere, even a little. If you have kids, do something extra for their school. If not, do something for the community. You never know who you’ll meet and what you may learn.
    4. If you do have a bit of savings, see what you can squeak out to travel. MOst of us either have time or money, usually not the same at both times. A change of scenery in any form can be rejuvenating, whether to a beach or to visit distant relative, and there are lots of ways to travel economically even internationally.
    5. Make a “to do list” of things that normally would drive you crazy around the house when you are working, and do them. Clean closets, paint, garden. Learn Quicken. Learn how to use an MP3 player effectively. Do all the things that you used to say you don’t have time for…
    Good luck !

  43. Been There

    There is no easy fix here and unfortunately, many of us have found ourselves in equally dire situations. While it is unfair (and unproductive) to compare one’s situation to someone else’s, it does strike me that while we cannot avoid adversity, we DO have a choice in how we handle it.
    I am still unemployed after an extended period of time (2+ years) and after almost a year and a half, received a very serious medical diagnosis on the verge of losing my COBRA benefits. Talk about traumatic! I’ve since been successfully treated, but I required several surgeries and time away from my job search.
    Probably in shock from the diagnosis, I taped a post-it to my mirror that read: “Falling Apart is Not an Option”. Because really, what other options did I have?
    I did not choose to get sick or lose my job or deplete my savings, but I realized there were MANY things I could control and I focused exclusively on those things.
    First and foremost, you need to get control of your expenses. As someone else posted, there are many areas to “find” money in your budget. Do you have a Starbucks habit? What are you paying in cable? What kind of cell phone plan are you carrying? Do you check local circulars (CVS, Rite Aid, grocery stores, etc.) and stock up on regularly used items when they are on sale?
    A thorough review of all of your expenses could probably save you a few hundred dollars a month.
    Yes, this is all discouraging but it is also temporary and as I learned (even in the darkest days of my diagnosis) there is always someone who is worse off than you are. I have always loved the quote, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” … think about it. We all have many skills and attributes that we dismiss. This is a time for you to take inventory of focusing on what you do have to offer and not allow the gravity of your situation paralyze you.
    I have also found that worrying about the things that I cannot control is very counter-productive. Don’t think I don’t have many moments of self-doubt, but rather than ruminating about these things and commiserating with friends and family, there are many proactive and positive things you can do to improve your situation. Volunteer. Watch a friend’s children for an afternoon. Get involved. Start a blog. I’m so sorry you are going through this but you are also far from alone.

  44. Geraldine

    I understand where you are and I hope all the kind words and suggestions will lift you up a little.
    Things that helped me.
    1) Make a plan. This week I will contact X, Y, and Z. I will post my resume to X jobsite such as dice or monster (or if they are already there, I will update them). I will call X recruiter and have X phone introductions. Write down in a notebook every contact you make or action you take and see how satisfying it is to be moving forward (even if the path is not yet clearly visible).
    2) Use this time to get everything else in order. Have the tidiest bathroom closet in the state, your garage is in perfect order, there is not a scrap of paper to be filed on your desk. These things cost no money, give great job satisfaction (you are the CEO of you!), and you’ll wish you had them done once you do get back to work.
    3) Do something for yourself everyday. Walk the dog (it’s free) or go to the park (that’s free, too) and volunteer on a one-off event each month such as handing out water at a local race or being the traffic controller for an event or something at a local church or community hall. This will take your mind off not working and will keep you busy; basically you are working and being productive and getting out of the house without spending any money.
    4) Examine your expenses and if it’s not an absolute necessity it’s out. Rent, utilities, car, gas, food; everything else is gone. I lived without TV for years – you can get a digital ariel and have free TV and subscribe to Netflix for $15 a month. You can’t afford to pretend you can afford these things when you are not earning money. You can totally live without them and won’t even miss them. You will also spend more time with friends when you are not posted in front of the TV feeling sorry for yourself.
    5) Try to stay positive. Think about all the things you can do and all the things you do have. Be grateful. Once a day think ” I am so lucky that I have . . . . my health, my friend, my pet, my home, etc” listing the things you do have will make you feel lucky and blessed.
    6) Move forward. This is just a moment in your life. If this is the worst day it’s not so bad.
    Good luck! Lots of people out there rooting for you.

  45. Traci

    I have the same feelings of self doubt and inadequacy and struggle daily with anxiety. I am comforted and encouraged by the comments posted here. We will make it through this, if God graces us with life each day it means he’s got more in store for us. I thank you all and Tori for this post and may God continue to bless you all and have his way in our lives.

  46. Jennifer

    Like so many others here, I can completely relate to your situation. Three years ago, I lost 2 jobs in a six month time frame. I was making over 50K a year and, after a year without working, ended up taking a job waiting tables just to have some kind of money coming in. I was also doing pet-sitting, house cleaning, etc. All jobs that I never would’ve considered as a college-educated person. Situations like this totally stink. You feel completely helpless because you can’t FORCE somebody to give you a job.
    The good news is, everything changes, and this will, too. In the meantime, trust that your life will be better in the end. My detour allowed me to realize how unhappy I was on my current career path. I’m now on a new career path that is making me incredibly happy-I’m in grad school and working at a job I love. I know in my heart I’d still be miserable if my life hadn’t done a 180-degree turn.
    It’s not all roses-I’m financially devastated, and my new job pays less than what I was used to making. But I’m still going, and I know my financial situation will work itself out.
    The three things I can share with you that helped me are:
    1) Never, ever give up. Know that isn’t even an option.
    2) Don’t let this rough period take anything from you that you really want to keep and I mean this on every level–i.e. house, spouse, friend, dignity, courage, sense of humor….
    3) Give yourself permission, for just one day, to not worry/think about any of your problems. This may not be easy, but believe me, it’s doable.
    You will be okay. You’ll be in my prayers.

  47. Neicey Eubanks

    I think it’s all about perspective. For starters, consider the worst case scenario. Really, think about it. Losing everything you have, right? Well, you didn’t have it all when you started, and you managed. You can and will manage again. You got what ever possessions you have by working hard. That just illustrates how capable you really are. You couldn’t possibly be a failure. You made it to get to that top job. It’s a matter of reassessing what is really important to you and your future happiness. I get it that you are overwhelmed with your current situation. Any of us would be. You’re allowed that, I believe. But, then I also believe, you have to rise up and start pushing forward again. Start with believing in yourself again and all of the possibilities life has to offer.

  48. First of all, thank you to you all. I just joined Women for Hire today. The discussions have been very inspiring and informational. I have been there, laid off from a job I thought I was going to retire from, experienced a robbery at gunpoint and then a divorce. It was a time. I remembered that my now ex-husband didn’t hug me and there was this spiral – circular – not down or up – I called it the Hamster Wheel. I looked in the mirror and I did something that was really tough. I asked, “how did I contribute to a relationship where my husband even when things are this bad, couldn’t find the compassion to hug me?” I went inward and then I came out with grace, strength and peace. There is much, much more…. Take this time to Ignite the Peace within YOU! What is your passion? How is it showing up in your world right now? When are you happy? What are your stories? Who can you be now? WWWWWH. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? There are a lot of good suggestions here on Women for Hire. Recently Spirit gave me 21 words for spiritual and success hygiene. Cleansing “victim” “hurt” “scared” ‘lonely” and more. From your soul’s inspiration you will inspire yourself, the people and the world around you. 21-days of release through breath. These words arrived at 6 a.m. and by 9:34 it was all down. Forgive yourself of the shame and maybe for choices and the effects of each. I promise you there are great things inside of you to bring to the world. Success is Your Sacred Right!

  49. Ethel Bowman

    I realize that it is hard to find a job so have you ever wanted to work for yourself, well now is the time and if you are interested in working from your home then shoot me an email and I will be glad to give you the particulars.

  50. Frieda

    With regards to the woman and women who are feeling like a failure. I myself who have encountered similar circumstances. I would suggest prayer and embrace new possibilities inspite of your past.
    Frieda/2gether We Build

  51. Peggy

    I feel this way a lot. The way I bring myself up is to spend time with friends and colleagues who know how wonderful I am. Seriously, sounds boastful, but it is true. I am “worth it”!!!

  52. Jennifer

    I posted earlier and wanted to add one more thing-I got to the point where my family was tired of listening to me, my friends were tired of listening to me, and I was tired of listening to them give me the same advice I’d already taken 10 times over. I finally (after my wonderful mother told me she was tired of hearing about it) found a counselor. If you think talking to a counselor/therapist would help, but haven’t done it because of money concerns, don’t put it off. I went through Catholic Charities and it was practically free. I am Catholic but they would’ve helped me even if I weren’t. Check with your house of worship, your county, and local colleges and hospitals. Don’t put it off because you think you can’t afford it-many places will work with you, especially if you don’t have insurance.

  53. Holly

    It’s important that you “shout it from the roof tops,” that you need help! This is a time to lean on friends and family and it’s not failure, it simply means that from time to time, in our lives, we will need help. Getting assitance with your living is important. Too, get involved with the local chamber of commerce and in most cities there are tons of networking events. Go to as many as possible. Volunteer in your community. Get involved with your local community college. Keep active, assign yourself a list of things every single day.

  54. Lisa

    When I read the request for helpful comments I went to the site as quickly as possible. As many who have written before me, I too was laid off from a top HR job almost one year ago so I thought I could help.
    I felt like I was running to help you as I did many times as a First Responder at work. I wanted to get there quickly to assist as needed.
    Well, I was humbled and more than a little teary eyed when I started reading the comments. These ladies have truly “been there-done that” when it comes to adversity.
    I ran across an interesting note today on another web site that I’d like to share with you. It obviously sounds simple . . . it isn’t but (trust me) it works!
    Per Steve Beseke, DLR, CWP, President/CEO – Resilient Communications / Resiliency Motivational and Corporate Speaker, “The Three P’s of Resiliency Are Keys To Personal and Career Happiness: Perseverance, persistence and patience. Wow! They can make the difference between personal and career happiness – or times filled with struggles, high drama and a sense of hopelessness in an economy of uncertainty.”
    Dear Friend, we have two choices in life. We can truly believe with all our heart that “GOD HAS A PLAN” or we can give up and let the devil have our mere being. I struggle every day with that and the ‘3 P’s’ but God sometimes makes us wait far past our comfort zone. While we wait, though, HE grows us! And, he helps us learn to walk in faithful obedience, Christian fellowship and trust. THE TIME IS NOT WASTED.”
    A prayer I’ll respectfully share is “God help me to wait patiently upon You today. I know You’re at work, even when nothing seems to be happening. Please, quickly, grab my attention every time I look in the wrong direction. Amen”
    That is my gift to you and my prayer for you.
    Lisa in TN

  55. Beth Tarbell

    I am in a similiar situation and was spiraling downward fast. In addition to that, I have very little support because my family members live in another state. The single best thing I did was join an unemployment support group. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it. I mean, why sit with other unemployed people? How can they help me? That’s what I first thought. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have received great support from the others in the group, along with great ideas and someone to talk to when things are bad. We also help each other – if one person is great at writing resumes and the other can’t balance a checkbook, we put those two people together. The finance person gets a great looking resume for free and the resume person has a handle on finances. It’s very empowering. Know that you are not alone. As hard as it is, reach out and be strong enough to admit that you need help and ACCEPT the HELP. Also, offer help wherever you can. You will feel more empowered and productive and you’ll be making great connections. I am in the same situation and my heart goes out to you.

  56. Kacey

    Begin each day as if it were the first day, with a sense of “I can” and renewal. Make a list of one or two things that you want to accomplish that day and set about doing them. Try to think positively. Get rid of the debt by starting over — divest yourself of possessions you don’t need, downsize to a smaller house or rental apartment, give away or sell clothing you don’t wear. Ask community organizations for help — your church or temple might be a good place to start. End each day with a review of what you have accomplished.

  57. Erika

    Several years ago I became unable to work, teach high school. I went 6 months without any money coming in. I applied for food stamps, electricity discount, telephone discount and medicaid. I found it hard emotionally applying for this help. My church also helped me. If you don’t belong to a church (or other house of worship), I would strongly recommend you join one. I found a lot of support (both emotionally and financially) at my church. I was also able to network.
    The thing that kept me going was volunteering at an Elementary School. The 3rd grade teacher allowed me to help her teach math (my specialty). I really enjoyed teaching and interacting with the kids. I only helped 2 days a week for about 2 hours each day, but it helped me keep going. 9 months after being on disability, I was able to work again. I credit my volunteering for helping me recover. It brought a lot of joy in my life and I felt useful. The kids and teacher were sad when I left, but I kept in touch with them. Volunteering in an area I enjoyed helped me get through the difficult time.

  58. Tammy

    It’s very easy during this time to open the door of self-doubt and feelings of failure. Maybe it’s time to change your perspective . . . your outlook. What if this is actually a door of opportunity waiting for you to walk through it. Take this time to complete a self-assessment of your skills and your passion. Take what you learn and start moving forward, connecting and networking with people. What you may discover is what you have been waiting for has actually been waiting on “you”. It’s been in “you” all the time just waiting for you to discover it. Remember, this is just a temporary situation. If you have a hard time reaching out to family and friends this could be a lesson in self-control. At some point in life we will need to ask for help and that is the hardest thing to do but we have to understand that it is okay because it is only temporary. Keep Moving Forward!!!!!!

  59. Nisaa

    I truly understand this situation and my heart goes out to you. It’s been 20 months of unemployment for me. I also, worked with a top company for more than 22.5 years. Now, I am fighting, age discrimination, and basis because I’ve been unemployed so long. It’s very difficult, but you really have to find something that will give you self worth. There are some days when I don’t want to go through the same process of calling, searching, networking, I am tired, but I CANNOT, WILL NOT, give in to this situation. I have been volunteering with a non-profit community based effort; I have returned to school (although I never thought I would) to get a degree in something I believe will bring me satisfaction.
    After working so many years in one business industry, I found myself looking for work in that comfortable area, but it had become just that “work”. I realize that I want more than “work”, I want live my best life”. With my children grown and me facing retirement age, I decided that I am too young too retire, and too old for some employers – so, getting more education and re-tooling myself may help. I know one thing for sure – I am determined not to allow this mess to swallow me! Hold on, pray and continue finding you! Peace and blessings.

  60. MP

    I am in the same situation and while some days are tougher than others, I remember what my husband tells me ……….”a job doesn’t define who you are, your family does. We can always start all over anywhere and build back what we have as long as we have us.” That keeps me going, so I hope it helps you. Hang in there!

  61. Priscilla

    One of the hardest lessons to learn when you have financial issues is the you are not your job/career, and you’re not your possessions; so downsize, downsize, downsize in every area of your life. After you decide to take all your problems and turn them into challenges, you become strong & focused by taking your power back. Give up everything you can, including selling jewelry, clothes, handbags, and yes, shoes. Do what ever it takes to sum up the strenghts to take “YOU” back; what I mean by you, is the essence that is you, this no one can take from you. I lost everything not once but twice, and I am still in financial turmoil and all my belongings are in storage, some days I even sleep on a sofa since I had to give everything up, I now take time to see who I am and what I want to do next and after it’s all said and done, I feel liberated and know that all this must be for a good reason. I did all the right things or so I thought. I went from a excellent credit score to one of the worst, the good news is I found me.

  62. Go to a place (in your mind) that really makes you feel good. When I got downsized from my good job in 2008, and no job prospects in sight, I started thinking about an idea I had for a software product to get people into open job positions (yes there are some) in a much better way.
    Fast forward one year later – I launched my company in March, I have a candidate base that’s growing, and I have one client whom I’m helping, and more interested.
    I know you have that place in your mind.

  63. Kate Mills

    I help people who are honest, ethical and hardworking with a managerial, teaching, training, sales, marketing, HR, or recruitment background, or who possibly have taken a career break to have a family, faced redundancy and want to start their own home-based businesses. The business can either be part or full time, or indeed can be run alongside their existing commitments. A business that is professional, fun, ethical, simple and hugely rewarding in the massive organic health and nutrition sector. Full ongoing training and support is provided. This is an international opportunity so your location is not an issue. If you would like to find out more please contact me for a no obligation informal chat.

  64. Wendy Stevens, SPHR

    Watch this step by step video on Doctor Oz on how to meditate, done by Deepak Chopra- both healing meditation and attraction meditation. It was discussed on his show today. This is the best and simplest I have seen. This should help you relax and focus better. (copy and paste the link)

  65. Kasey

    Whatever you were doing before, you are now a salesperson. You are selling your knowledge, skills, and abilites and you need a buyer. Take on the salesperson mentality and think positive. Each “no” you hear from a potential buyer is putting you one step closer to a “YES”. Best of luck!

  66. The Flint Interpreter

    Yes, these are hard times right now. Yes YOU are having a hard time. Here in Flint, not even the Mayor’s job is safe anymore.”
    Don’t let the fear take over you, you have to keep moving. “Fake it till you make it!!! Whatever you don’t have, ACT LIKE YOU HAVE IT AND KEEP MOVING!!!! If you stand still, things will only get worse.
    From Flint, MI.

  67. Phoenix8

    Fear stops you in your tracks. It blocks you from advancing. If you believe that anything is possible then focus on that, that nothing is impossible. Create an affirmation for yourself that you are able to repeat every day about the fact that you are safe and that you are okay. Envision the job you want and focus on those things rather than on fear or doubt which will inevitably keep you exactly where you are. By being positive, proactive and believing in yourself you will succeed! Keep the faith! Check Louis Hay, founder of Hay House (Facebook) for affirmations you may use.

  68. Phoenix8

    Fear stops you in your tracks. It blocks you from advancing. If you believe that anything is possible then focus on that, that nothing is impossible. Create an affirmation for yourself that you are able to repeat every day about the fact that you are safe and that you are okay. Envision the job you want and focus on those things rather than on fear or doubt which will inevitably keep you exactly where you are. By being positive, proactive and believing in yourself you will succeed! Keep the faith! Check Louis Hay, founder of Hay House (Facebook) for affirmations you may use.

  69. When something like this happens you tend to find that you cannot help but focus upon what you have lost and are likely to lose in the future. But this creates a total feeling of negativity and this negative energy is going out into the Universe attraction more negativity to you.
    You have to find a way to stop this cycle. There are many things which can do this for you. Some are simple, others are more complex. A walk in the park can boost your mood and self-esteem, exercise helps, writing down the things you have got – these are simple things which can help.
    Sit down and make a list of anything and everything which makes you smile or laugh, and anything which you can do to make you feel good. Pick out the easiest to do and do them. Then focus upon getting your dream job; imagine it clearly, visualize it as if it was now. In this way you are emitting positive energy which will attarct that job to you.

  70. Sandra

    I’m in a similar situation, umemployed for 14 mths after 18 yrs. at my former employer. I am now facing financial hardship however I get up every morning and am thankful for that. I do a little yoga (drs orders to combat stress)and spend time gardening. I have been seeing high school classmates I havent seen in 30 yrs too. It has been terrific to catch up with them. I read, create greeting cards, and am spending time with my mother who I saw little of when I was working. Try not to dwell on the finances, work on convincing yourself you are capable of anything and trudge on. Volunteer your time if able. It all works to keep you from being depressed. A wise teacher once told me to remember these letters I.A.L.A.C; I am lovable and capable! It works when I am feeling down. I hope it works for you too!

  71. Marianne

    Contact Life Coach and Meditation Teacher Brinda Chande in Tampa, Fl. Wesley Chapel FL to be exact I think! She is phenomenol and exceptional. Went to her at a very bad time in my life. She has a healing way to her

  72. Melissa Esquibel

    If you have decided that getting back to work is a goal, be intentional. Treat looking for a job, as a job. Set a schedule and commit to the hours. Set goals and meet them, such as: locate 10 potential employers, 3 resources for assistance, send 5 resumes and cover letters, etc. Where ever you feel lack, be intentional about finding what fills you. Have friends you can cry with and just vent. Have friends that bolster your courage and inspire you. They may not all be the same friends. All the best to you and anyone else in the struggle. I have been there and there IS another side to this.

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