Pick yourself up. Brush yourself off. And move forward onto bigger and better things.

The last month has been a stressful one, but never did I think that it would come to this level of stress!  Being a working, single mother comes with it’s own set of challenges – being both mom and dad to the children, balancing work with family life, being the sole provider to cover the bills, etc…  Over the years, I have had few complaints about it.  I love my children and my career.  I love being a mom and all of the challenges.  A little over a week ago, I was faced with a challenge that I truly was not expecting – my position was terminated at work.

I know for anyone that loses their job, it adds a level of stress to their life, but even more so if you are the sole provider for your household.  There are so many emotions that rise up that you have to deal with – letting your family down, how to pay the bills, what fall-back plan is there, how do you keep your children from worrying, what skills make you marketable…  I allowed myself a few days to just feel all of the emotions before pulling myself together and focusing on what needs to be done.

One thing I am grateful for is the great values that I have instilled in my children over all of these years.  Two of the kids at home work jobs in the food industry.  Immediately, they were helping to determine how and what they could contribute to keep things going.  They bought groceries and stepped up to help keep things running in the house while I fell apart.  They have volunteered their income to pay the bills while things fall into place.  Part of me is sad to have to accept help from my children – a parent should be taking care of them – not the other way around.  Part of me is proud to have children that pull together in a tough time and stand up to fight beside me to make it through.  I couldn’t ask for better kids.

Last week, I aggressively applied for as many positions as I could find.  By this weekend, I settled in my mind that, while I will continue to apply for positions, I should also take this time to brush up on some skills, do things around the house I have been putting off and spend time with my kids – maybe even make a few new recipes I have been wanting to try.

I don’t know what the next month will bring.  I pray that it is a new job with a good company.  But, in the meantime, I am also using the time to re-evaluate what I want my career to be.  I loved my job and didn’t question what I was doing.  Now, I have the chance to do and be anything that I want to be.  It’s almost freeing to get a chance to start again!  Sure, the money portion has me stressed beyond belief, but I have faith that it will all work out.  It is in times like these that I can teach my children valuable lessons.  Adversity will present itself in everyone’s lives – even at times you least it expect it.  It is what you do with it that makes the difference in who you are.  My children – they have shown me that I have taught them that they can get through any situation and to lean on family in those times.  Myself – I am teaching them to accept what is presented to you, take it in, then don’t dwell on it.  Pick yourself up.  Brush yourself off.  And move forward onto bigger and better things.

So, what advice do you have for times like these?

7 thoughts on “Pick yourself up. Brush yourself off. And move forward onto bigger and better things.

  1. I was laid off a year ago. Luckily, I had interviewed for a job a week earlier. My office had suspected we were going to get cut, and I was right. I was offered a new job. I took a month off in between jobs, and spent it with my daughter. As the breadwinner in my family, I enjoyed the time off with my daughter, but I knew I had a job, waiting for me. Now, I spend 60+ hours a week at a job I don’t love, and missing my daughter I love dearly. I wish I would have taken more time to think about what I really wanted, what my family needed, and what I could cope with. I have received a new job offer, and am hoping to take a position that is more likely 45 hours a week.

    Good luck!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear the news. It is extremely stressful to lose a position. My advice? Let everyone know you’re looking. If you know what kind of position you are looking for, tell them that too. During 2 months of unemployment, I wrote messages to so many people I’d previously worked with. Many people never wrote back at all (which was a bit depressing) but many wrote and kept me in mind. A lot of the jobs they think of are not going to be a great fit but you’ll find out a few nuggets from people that you never would have heard about otherwise. It truly is “who you know” and I managed to find a position through the sister of an old friend from high school.

    So just littile personal messages to people (not a big group e-mail) to let them know what you were doing, where you were doing it and what you hope to find. Update your linkedin profile, ask former colleagues to write you recommendations on that site and then you can easily send that link out to people without worrying about attaching your resume.

    Good luck!

  3. Becky, you are a trooper and I’m sure you will find something soon. I think Janet has some good advice about tapping your network. Think of all the people YOU’VE helped over the years — now is the time to collect on some favors.

    I also think it helps to find a good recruiter to work with, especially in your industry. Have you heard of Mom Corps? They specialize in placing professional moms like you in flexible jobs (full-time, temp, perm., you name it).

    Finally, it couldn’t hurt to get in touch with your favorite charity or nonprofit and see if you can donate your services. It’s a good way to build up your portfolio, give your days some purpose OTHER than job searching (can’t do that 24/7), and maybe make some good new connections.

    You know we support you 100%! Love ya.

  4. Hang in there! Stay focused and take the time to find something that you really want to do. As difficult as it is to live through it, the break can be a good time to re-shift things in your life. Tell everyone that you know that you are looking for a job! Networking is powerful and can lead to something great. Good luck!

  5. Just look on the positive side, at least you have children to help you out. And don’t you worry, for sure you’ll be getting a new job soon. 🙂 I know it’s hard to relax and not to think about the bills etc, but try to do so. And for now, just keep yourself busy on the stuff that you we’re not able to do when you’re busy at work.

  6. Paul Younger says:

    My, what a great article. I know that most comments about your article were from women, not men. I just wanted to respond. I am 56 years old male living in Holland The Netherlands, and have had to pick myself up several times for many different reasons. With the help from above we will make it.

  7. I can understand the stress you are going through. I went through the same thing. Just think you are not alone. Pray and trust that God will open that position for you… your focus should be in doing everything possible to get it. Write a great resume and send them daily to different companies. Do this as a job every day. Get up, have your coffee and send resumes for about 2-3 hours. Then move one with your day…complete projects, meet old friends, cook healthy meals, organize your life, etc. You will feel productive and in time the job will come.
    The best to you. Looks like you are raising a great family.

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