Frustrated People Only Bring You Their Troubles?

If you work in Social Services you’re likely inundated with people constantly telling you their problems. Not many people book an appointment just to say, “Nothing’s wrong at all, just thought I’d like to talk with you about some good things going on of late.”

People I know outside of my job who work in other lines of work sometimes say things like, “It must be depressing when all people do is bring you their troubles”. Funny how I’ve never agreed with them, and I usually go on to tell them what an actual privilege it is to be in this position where I can be of help to those in need.

The guy I share an office with at work and I were just discussing this yesterday. Last Christmas I made a present for him which is a 4′ x 2′ collage of inspirational quotes; all printed off with pictures reinforcing the quote. I turned to it and said that I recalled a quote on it somewhere that spoke to our discussion. I found it in a few seconds, and it went, “Never regret that people only bring you their troubles. Consider yourself the candle that people think of first when they’re in darkness.”

And I thought today that this concept was worth reminding us all about. In this field, (and there are others as well), we interact with a large population of the disadvantaged, the persecuted and the needy. In the case of my colleague and I, we work with people in receipt of social assistance. Many of them present multiple barriers to living happy successful, financially independent lives. Some present with issues of abuse, addictions, low self-esteem, dysfunctional families, failed relationships, depression, anger, criminal records, hygiene and grooming, poor communication skills, and the list goes on.

It’s humbling sometimes to pause and just consider how versatile, patient, skilled and compassionate one has to be in order to best listen to and then act to assist people presenting with various combinations of all the above. In only a few minutes, we’re expected by them to know enough about their plight in order to give them the help they need. This ability to quickly assess what the immediate need is and who we are dealing with, is an acquired skill just as is the way in which to best respond in kind.

There are dangers in this field when you work with such populations. It could be that you get numb to the position you are in, listening all day to these stories, and just as people are explaining themselves, you mentally jump ahead and categorize their problem and the most often correct solution. “Stop talking, because I’ve stopped listening; here’s how you solve your problem”. No one I hope would ever actually say that, but there is a danger that you may think it, and then your actions follow this course. You’ll be wrong more than right unfortunately and lose the relationship of trust with the person that’s so critical in this work.

Another danger is taking on their problems and issues as your very own. You can’t, ‘save them all’. You can’t take them home and turn their lives around. That’s condescending and playing God don’t you think? Oh my colleague was saying this about a client he had just worked with for 5 straight days, but of course neither of us would ever serious entertain the idea of suggesting such a thing. It’s unhealthy to take on all the problems you’ll encounter as your own, for otherwise you might end up with compassion fatigue; and that’ll make you less than effective.

The best of workplaces I really believe has a system in place whereby if you’ve personally just spent a significant amount of time dealing with someone in an extremely rough situation, you can call on colleagues to takeover and debrief if needed. This process gives you the opportunity to step back, share and deal with what you’ve gone through, and then return better prepared to cope with the rest of the day. I call it Mental Health Maintenance. It’s caring about each other enough that you do for them what you’d appreciate them doing for you in return if needed.

If you find yourself constantly frustrated; annoyed more often than you used to with people, ‘dumping’ their problems at your feet, look inward. What’s changed? Why does this frustrate you so much now when in the past you found it energizing, and looked forward to helping? For a variety of reasons you may yourself need either some time to pause and rekindle that mental stamina that’s been overtaxed, or it may actually be your inner self saying it’s time to move on.

Don’t get the idea I’m advising you to quit. There are many occupations where someone with your skills could be most effective; perhaps even within the organization you currently work for. In order for your clients to get the maximum help they need, someone in your position needs to be at their compassionate and caring best however. You’d be doing them and more importantly yourself a favour in either re-igniting your passion or finding it other places.

But I suspect you are pretty good at what you do. You’re here for the right reason. Whether it came as a calling, or it came as a job but you’ve discovered it’s a career, you make a difference in the lives of others. Go ahead, be a problem solver; it’s an honourable profession.

Don’t Apply For A Job; Apply For The RIGHT Job!

Been getting no response to your on-line applications or resume drop offs? Wondering why employers aren’t beating down your door to call you in for an interview or offer you a job? Well that could be a number of things, but please, please, please make sure at the outset that you aren’t applying for the wrong jobs.

So what exactly are the wrong jobs? These would be the jobs that you quite frankly aren’t qualified to do. Don’t waste your time trying to convince an employer, (and perhaps yourself) that you have the necessary qualifications to do something you can’t. And the second kind of wrong job is one you can actually perform, but will be regretting every single day should you actually get it. Life is too short.

Okay, so first of all you may have what it takes to do a job that’s been advertised. You read over the job description or the job posting and say to yourself, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I could do this job!” However, maybe in your enthusiasm to do the job you just take one of your resumes and change the job objective and fire it off. After all, you’ll sell yourself in the interview right? Uh, you won’t even be getting an interview. Why? Because on the paper you just so confidently fired off, you aren’t the best candidate and won’t get asked in. No interview; no sales job.

I don’t know how many times people need to hear it, but there are a massive number out there from what I’ve encountered both personally and professionally who still don’t understand that you need to tailor your resume to each and every job you apply to. That’s not a lot of work as most assume. It saves you time because you actually get interviews with a higher degree of frequency, and hence, less resumes are needed because you get offered jobs more if you actually land the interviews to start with.

Now I haven’t forgotten the other scenario; applying for a job that will fry your brain, cause you unwanted stress, or be so simple to do, you’ll loathe it from those first few days until the day you resign or get fired. So let’s say there’s you with your university degree in Oceanography. You graduated with all the hopes and dreams of someone bound for greatness. And the first job you apply to after the graduation party your friends threw for you is a Receptionist job. What are you doing?

Nothing wrong with a Receptionist position. Some of the nicest people I know are Receptionists, and they love their work and its a good fit for them. However, that skill set is quite different from what you learned in school. Weren’t you planning on putting those skills to use in that field of work? Bet mom and dad thought so when they paid for tuition! And again, a Receptionist position is one I’ve picked at random, and not in the least a slight against that profession. But it’s the wrong job for you because you may regret every moment of it when you compare and contrast it against the job you dreamed about and thought you’d get when you were sitting in school.

The key is to go after the jobs that will draw best on your skills, education, personal preference and interests.

Applying for the wrong job diverts your limited time and resources, not to mention energy, hopes and dreams away from what you might otherwise be doing that would bring you long-term happiness. This is backed up by several various survey’s I’ve learned of recently where people with jobs were interviewed and a high number of people said that their current job is not providing them with the fulfillment they had hoped, and the job they really want is something else. Yep, it’s the happiness factor.

So let’s say you take the time to track down the job that is a good fit for you; maybe the perfect fit. You can really see yourself doing this job and enjoying the idea of working at it. You can visualize yourself in the role because you’ve got training in the field, past education that prepares you well today, even the location and salary are good fits. Wow!

What is essential is to take your best shot at getting to the interview stage, then on to performing at your best in the interview so you leave nothing on the table. How to start? Research the company and really look at the job. Ensure your application follows the directions given, right down to the paper stock, font and paper size, the spelling and grammar are correct etc. This job application stage does take work, and you won’t put out as many applications as the woman standing at the photocopier running 50 copies.

Good advice is to initially apply for jobs as close to your ideal job as possible. Then gradually expand on that ideal job and apply for jobs closely related to it. This approach differs from the buckshot approach where you’re applying for anything and everything out of desperation. The wisest thing for anyone in school is to start job searching…while in school. Do research on companies you could potentially work with, network and meet people in companies you come in contact with. Then when you graduate, you just might transition into a job faster.

A Fatal Flaw Working People Should Avoid

While many of my blogs are aimed at helping the unemployed track down interviews that lead to employment, some (like this one) are also intended to help those who are currently working get ahead. This blog however, is aimed squarely at those who are currently employed in order to help them get a job in the event a future day comes when they find themselves out of work.

For the purposes of simplifying things, I’m going to take the liberty of dividing working people into two categories; those who continuously learn new things and network on a regular basis, and those who have become comfortable in their positions and make little effort to upgrade their skills and work their professional networking circles.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell people: At some point, be it for a number of reasons, you just might find yourself out of work. With a lack of ongoing training your skills may be obsolete, even though your length of service was commendable. And the networking? Well, if you’ve not taken the time to maintain communications with others, you may now have no contact information for them, and they have no strong motivation to help you now even if you do seek them out.

The subject for today’s blog came to me twice; once yesterday afternoon and once this morning – and it’s only 5:45 a.m. as I write this! A fellow on-line colleague weighed-in with her thoughts and mentioned the number of older workers she is assisting whom took little effort to continually upgrade their skills and now have learning gaps to overcome. And yesterday, a senior long-term co-worker of mine asked me to do his work for him and issue some benefits to clients in his workshop – because he doesn’t know how to do it.

Although I’ve given two examples above about what prompted me to write today, there’s a third more prominent example I’m thinking of. I have a personal friend who worked at a management level in a company for nearly two decades. While good at his job, he had mentioned for some time how the job didn’t challenge him anymore and he had actually started to think seriously about other opportunities that he might check out. Unfortunately, the decision was made for him as he was released from his job a couple of months ago.

Now in a smaller community of 74,000 people, and as the top guy in a retail outlet that supplies the public with office material, I would have thought that he’d have networked with other business owners and Managers on a regular basis to attract their accounts and supply them with their supplies. That apparently wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, he didn’t forge those contacts, and so now out of work he has no history of interaction to draw on where they might alert him to openings or upcoming job possibilities.

Technology alone is one of the most obvious and most-cited areas in which a person can and should stay up-to-date with their learning. Can you imagine going into an interview and in 2014 proudly stating that you’re a wiz when it comes to using your Commodore 64? I’m willing to be the graduating classes of 2014 have likely never heard of that or if they have, they’ve likely not seen one. You not only need to be using currently hardware, you need to stay up on the software too and use latest versions.

And if technology doesn’t affect you a great deal in your line of work, think again. A man in his fifties came in the other day and said he was looking for a job as a Driver. He figures with no computer skills he can at least drive a truck for a company. Surprisingly, he’s not aware that the inventory in that truck isn’t being kept on paper attached to a clipboard, but rather on a hand-held device electronically scanning the load. Even the driving is guided by a GPS these days, not a folded map.

Now it’s true, you may be banking on the fact that you have a job for life; that unemployment is something that happens to other poor souls but not you. And furthermore, you might be relying on your past track record of being able to get a job quickly if you ever were out of work, because it’s always come easy to you. I hope you never have to find out if your track record continues to be that good.

2014 is much different for job seekers than it used to be. Essentially there are more people out of work and looking for employment than there has been. Fewer companies are hiring in many jurisdictions because of the economic climate. That combination of many job seekers and few jobs means you’re in for some tough competition. Oh but right, you already have a job and don’t need to worry about that.

I wonder however what discussions are being held, and decisions being contemplated behind corporate doors that you don’t know about yet but will soon. It might be that you regret decisions you’re making now to avoid working your contacts and upgrading your skills. Take better care of these things now and it could pay off handsomely in the future.

At least look into skill development. If you are lucky, maybe your company pays for this training. Go to a conference or at least dialogue with people in your field. Never bad advice.

Why No One Will Hire You

“Why can’t I get an interview? I know I can do the jobs I apply for.”

Sometimes; okay quite often, I’m asked that question in my job as an Employment Counsellor. With rare exception, I’ve got a pretty accurate idea of exactly why the person I’m working with isn’t getting hired, or often even interviewed.

It’s usually at this point that I pause for a few seconds and look squarely at the person whose just asked the question. In these few seconds, what I’m really doing is making a quick assessment of how to answer the person in such a way so that I’m truthful, but address them in a way where I’ll get through to them. In other words I’m trying to speak to them at a level they’ll understand and in words that they understand. It’s reading your audience 101.

Now this might remind you of your own experiences when dealing with others. Take a child who asks, “Where do babies come from?” Don’t you immediately think to yourself, “Oh my…uh….” and then quickly assess the age of the child asking and what their brain might be thinking and what they are capable of understanding? Not very likely you take a 4-year-old and start telling them about the human reproduction experience and the usually nine month gestation period. Have a version of that question posed in a medical student course, and you’d get an answer from a health care professional instructing his audience on what’s going on inside including the journey of the sperm and it’s going to deal more with anatomy and biology and a powerful microscope or two will be introduced. Different audience, different levels of understanding.

So in that few seconds when someone says, “Why can’t I get an interview?”, I start assessing the person’s age, how well or little I know them, whether they have a sense of humour or not, how fragile or strong their ability to handle constructive criticism might be, and is this a public or private setting in which the person is about to receive the information.

For some people, it’s just the resume. Their resume isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on quite frankly. Other than their name at the top, there isn’t one thing – one thing mind – that doesn’t need an overhaul or adjustment. Spelling errors, grammatical errors, improper wording, false information, misleading and tired phrases repeated over and over, entire sections missing and the order of the resume confusing etc. With others, the resume is only needing small revisions.

Ah but the resume itself is but one part of the application process. Maybe the person has never heard of a cover letter, can’t be bothered to write one, doesn’t possess the vocabulary to properly compose one, or has one but it’s actually better if they didn’t use one at all because it’s so atrocious.

Oh and in that few seconds I’m looking at the client, I’m checking out their posture, their clothing, personal grooming, cleanliness and listening to their voice. Everything from their language skills, slang, accent, eye contact and mannerisms is sized up. I even quickly look at how disorganized or neat the table they are working at is arranged. Are they sitting there alone working with focus and I was in the area, or did they bring along their mom, a friend, a spouse or their children while working on finding a job?

Yep. All that goes on in the few seconds that it takes for the person to ask the question and then take a breath or two and decide how to respond. Now please don’t think that I’m under some illusion that I’m playing God and have some superiority complex where I’m treating this person like the 4-year-old I mentioned earlier. If you’re thinking that, you’d be off.

The quick assessment is something developed over a long period of time and interacting with people on a continuous basis; years. I and others who work in this field get better at it with every interaction and while we might assess incorrectly sometimes, most of the time the approach settled on is the best one because it’s worked well on others of similar presentation.

So here’s why no one will hire you. Rarely is it one single thing. It’s several individual things that when compiled together, form the overall impression your creating. That overall impression is not attractive to the companies you’ve been applying to. If you go about job searching and applying for jobs in the same way you’ve been doing things unsuccessfully, the results are likely to be the same only a small possibility of success.

Being open to doing things differently is the first and most significant thing a person can do in the short-term to increase the probability of being successful in the future. Yes it’s like saying, “It’s not working your way; try another way.” Be warned; the other way usually doesn’t mean just a re-written resume. Like I say, it’s likely you might actually benefit from learning how to interview better, maybe an honest chat about looking and acting like the people who work where you want to get a job. Doing some research on the job and the company too might be suggested.

All of the ideas and suggestions you might get are meant to be helpful. They just have to be given in a way that doesn’t offend the person but rather starts a relationship that will eventually produce desired results.

All It Takes Is One Person To Believe

I want to think that everyone has had at least one person in their life who really believed in them. You know, that person who told you that you were a wonderful person. Maybe they said you had great things in store for you ahead, or that you meant a lot to them. Like I say, I hope everybody out there has had the good fortune of having at least one person believe in them. And here’s a positive way of looking at things if you haven’t had this experience; it just means that you’ve still got this one person who believes in you in your future.

Now this isn’t a blog about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, and I’m not talking about finding a soul mate or life-long partner. I’m talking here about one person who thought, (or thinks) you’ve got what it takes to become employed and do meaningful work.

One of the easiest things to do is put down or dismiss others. You’ve overheard no doubt in your lifetime people make comments like, “She’ll never amount to anything”, “He’ll never get a job” or “Who’d hire them?” These are the broad kind of statements that when on the receiving end, can demoralize even the most determined person. Think about it for a moment; imagine these kind of comments and others like them coming from your teachers early in life, your friends and their parents as a child, possibly even your own family and parents. Then this trend carries on to include employers who consistently reject or ignore your applications, and those who don’t hire you if you are lucky enough to finally land an interview. All that reinforcement of your low value and worth. That’s got to hurt.

One more extension of this could be that upon reaching out for help, you find yourself being told things similar to the above by various social agencies. While the words might come more gently, the message might be received as the same; you don’t have what it takes.

Fair enough, lets start rebuilding your self-esteem and hope for the future. What you are really in need of is that one single person who sees something in you that with some effort on your part, and some patience on theirs, can grow and flourish.

I do think it important to realize that you are going to need some coaching in order to be successful. No matter much an athlete believes in themselves, nor how much raw talent they have, it takes a coach; sometimes a team of coaches to take that raw talent and develop those skills to the level necessary to realize the athletes’ potential.

So the first thing you can do to help yourself is tell someone who’s offering to help you that you are open to listening to them and taking their ideas in. And this means being open to constructive criticism. To move forward and get a job might really mean not actually even applying for a job for a while. There may some foundation work needed first; work necessary so that when you do apply you not only have a good resume for example, but the proper interview skills to compete, and the job maintenance skills to keep a job once you land it.

In short, you might have it suggested to you that you work on things in stages; talk about what employers are really looking for in the people who hire them, what it takes to get along with co-workers and other people, how to deal with conflict professionally and effectively when it inevitably does come up, how to dress, talk, act, walk, speak and oh yes, get a better resume and interview skills.

Does this seem like an extensive amount of work just to get a job? Isn’t all you needed just a resume? If it seems like a lot of work to you, imagine the effort being put in by the person who thinks you’re worth investing all that time and work in. Somebody must think you’ve got what it takes to be successful if they are willing to work with you this much.

Can you walk away if you want at any time from this kind of pre-work training program? Sure you can. But thinking back to the athlete analogy, no professional athlete in any sport plays at an elite level without attending practices. In fact, the ones most successful and truly great are often the ones who show up before anyone else and stay after the rest leave. So how can you really expect long-term positive results if you aren’t willing to put in the work to work on things that you need to improve on?

You see having one person believe in you does not necessarily mean they say, “You’ve got what it takes to go get a job right now so go get ‘em.” It may in fact mean they say, “Sure I can help you, but the plan will take some commitment on your part; perhaps some workshops, a haircut, some self-esteem and skill development seminars.

All it takes is that one person to believe in you, but do yourself the biggest favour and first give yourself some credit and believe in yourself. It can get better, you can be successful, you can reach your goals. It takes effort, it takes work and learning means replacing old ways with the new. Believe.

Take A Job But Want A Career? Good Idea; Maybe.

Generally people see careers as work done that lasts a significant number of years in a field that you have a strong interest in, and it generally follows some associated education. A job on the other hand is sometimes seen as a shorter term engagement, not necessarily in a field you are dedicated to over a long period of time, and it need not follow that you went to school to learn how to do it.

Working on this kind of premise, suppose you have a career in mind. Having spent two, three or four years in school, (or more), you’ve set out on the path to put that education to use and land a job in the field. So far so good. Your family and friends will see this as a logical and sensible process. So then why on earth would taking a job outside that field seem to be a good idea?

For starters, employment of any kind on a resume communicates to a perspective employer that you have recent work history. Aside from whatever you are specifically doing in that job, what is then inferred and understood is that you have a routine. That routine includes getting up and getting going, being dependable, developing a work ethic where others depend on you. In any job you will be familiar with taking direction, being accountable and probably working with others. These are transferable behaviours in that you take these to any job.

Of course taking a job while waiting to get your career on track also provides you with much-needed income. Jobs do generally pay less than careers, but any income will be an asset as you pay down education debt you incurred, pay the rent, buy the groceries and get around.

A job will also provide you with something your schooling just can’t give you and that is a work reference; assuming that is that you are a good employee. Many employers who have, ‘jobs’ available instead of, ‘careers’ expect a fairly continuous turnover. Very few people for example make a career out of waiting tables. The person that makes your burger isn’t likely to have worked there for 15 years or so, although I’m not saying that isn’t possible.

Another benefit to taking a job outside your career field is one not a lot of people think of at the outset. If on the off-chance the position you take doesn’t work out well, there is a very small probability that word will be spread to people who do the hiring in the field you want to make a career out of. In other words, if you want to break into Information Technology but are pumping gas in the short-term just to pay your living expenses while you job search for the career, if you ever got fired or quit, those that might consider you for that IT job will never know about it unless you tell them.

It could also happen that you take on a job outside your ideal career and find you like it. Maybe not forever, but I do know of a person who went to school and planned a career in Merchandising and Retail Management. They took a job as a cashier in a financial institution and found they liked it so much that they ended up making that job a ten-year position. Once employed, the doors within the organization to other opportunities opened up, and that person applied to and was successful in making first a lateral move and then moved up into a Management position.

A wise person sees the value in all types of employment. Should you take a job that doesn’t work out for example, it’s a good idea to think about what it was that you really didn’t like about it. This way you can move forward and avoid making a similar decision in the future that will bring you unhappiness. So too you should look at a job – any job – and think seriously about what you might find appealing about it.

Now me personally, I can’t see myself wanting to ever be a Personal Support Worker. Working with the elderly and frail by and large isn’t a strength of mine, especially when you add in declining health issues. I know that about myself. However, if I DID visualize myself in that job, I could see the benefits of being a Personal Support Worker because I’d be in the helping profession; and helping others who are vulnerable is something I do take great pleasure in doing.

You see, it’s not a bad thing to admit to yourself and others that there are some jobs you just aren’t cut out for. Does not wanting to work with the frail who are elderly make me a bad person? No. Being a, ‘bad’ person or a, ‘good’ person has nothing to do with it. It’s finding out what you like and don’t like, where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and taking jobs can identify that.

Employers like to hire people with recent work experience. If you are holding out only wishing to work in a career position that fits your field, you could be missing a very valuable job experience that can give you the ammunition you need in an interview to answer those questions that want you to provide answers drawing on real-life, recent job experience.

Something to consider.

Flux Caused By Job Changes

I’ve read over the years how many people will in their lifetime change jobs about 8 or 9 times, and change fields entirely 3 or 4 times. That’s quite comforting actually if you find yourself in that position not by choice but by necessity. The anxiety and stress that can come on in this period is ever so slightly mitigated when you come to the realization that this is a normal thing; not something specific to you alone.

You can perhaps draw on your own life experience, but for those just starting out in their careers, or those who got their current job right out of University or College and have yet to experience this, I’m happy to provide examples.

I’ve a friend who worked almost 20 years in retail. Starting out in an entry-level position, he rapidly rose in the retail world to the point where he was managing a national chain store. After having been in the position of Manager for years, the challenge was pretty non-existent on a daily basis. Living in a smaller community, he was in a position of needing a change for his mental stimulation, but his income was never going to be matched if he left to pursue another job. And after being in retail for all those years, what else could he possibly do outside of the retail field which had lost its lustre?

In this case, the decision was made for him as he found himself one day out of work and not of his own choice; change was wanted, savings found, and the easiest way to start that in Head Office’s view was to start at the top. Forced out of work, what to do? Where to go? The flux he was living was a period of transition from what was known to what could be.

A second example is the case of a respected fellow who actually made his own position redundant. He found himself also out of work after having been in the highest possible position in his field. Relieved of his duties he was close to retirement but still had 4 or 5 years before he could officially retire. Again, that what-to-do mentality was both exhilarating one the one hand and just a little unnerving on the other. Flux; change.

I too have experienced a great deal of this over my lifetime. I’ve been in Retail, Municipal Government, Non-Profit, For Profit, Provincial Government sectors as well as self-employed. While there was a time where I changed jobs every three years over the early part of my working life, it didn’t seem to lessen the anxiety I was feeling at the time while in the moment.

You know if you were reading a book and found that you didn’t like where the Protagonist was at any given moment, you could skip forward 20 or 30 pages and see if things were going to get better for him or her. Why you could even read reviews ahead of time that sum up the conclusion and then gain some reassurance. Real life on the other hand – your life – doesn’t work the same way. Life has to be lived. It’s like turning the page only to find blank pages that have yet to be written, and they only get filled in once each day is over. That wouldn’t be so bad until you realize that whether the story turns good or bad, you are entirely responsible for what happens.

That whole thought process around, “What do I do now?” is an opportunity. While some people would prefer others just tell them what to do, most of us are both excited and uneasy about where to begin. Because we are all so very different, some folks leave a job and immediately start looking for something else. They put out feelers everywhere and in short order are working somewhere else. Not spending much time on career exploration, they find a job quick and their mental energy is spent learning the new job and the procedures at the new company.

Others however, well they take their time. Could be these folks do nothing career-wise for months while they just process this period of change in their own minds. They think long about who they are, what’s happened to them, and turn their energy to doing house chores they’ve put off or travel a little. Then they eventually turn to looking for work doing whatever they’ve settled on obtaining. Neither approach is right or wrong, just different processes.

When transitioning from one job to another, whatever you are feeling is normal. You may be angry, confused, anxious, exhilarated and motivated or feel betrayed and let down. And if you are fuzzy on the whole, “Now what?” thing, that too is a typical reaction. You may find it helpful to have a guide or support person in place to help you deal with your feelings of the present.

If you are an older person, find an Employment Advisor or Counsellor who specializes in working with people of your age group. But if you end up with someone younger don’t fret. You may need a younger person’s enthusiasm and energy in addition to their youthful outlook. It could awaken something in you that’s been missing.

A period of flux is in the middle of two periods of stability. How long does it last? Sorry but that page is still blank in your book of life. You’ll get through it however, and that’s important to remember.