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My life has just stopped  Actions...
Posted: by diagonallyparked on Thu. 22 Sep., 2011 at 2:18:07 PM
My life has just stopped, well, except for my body, it keeps chugging away. Chugga-chugga-chugga. I was laid-off a while back; went back to school, got another job in that field, but that didn't work out which totally threw me for a loop because I didn't have a Plan B; have been looking for another job every day, have found nothing, no one is biting. I'm a loner so I don't have much socialization to begin with, but what I had has died down practically to nil; I don't have much family and what I have, they are busy doing other things.

Has anyone else experienced this? How did you deal with it? I don't know what to do next. Feeling stuck.

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And one more thing, I'm 55 years old. /eom  Actions...
Posted: by diagonallyparked on Thu. 22 Sep., 2011 at 2:20:31 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"

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yeah, well  Actions...
Posted: by __Don__ on Thu. 22 Sep., 2011 at 2:40:22 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"

I expect your work satisfied much of your socialization needs, so you're hit by a double whammy (no work, greatly reduced opportunities for socialization).

a) I urge you to consider seriously volunteer work, just get your toes wet at first doing anything and if you find you've a knack for it, this could prove a great way to pass your time;

b) if you're in a larger community there may be a seniors help group oriented towards older employees re-entering the workplace.

c) I think your emotional and physical health are at risk of both standing to take a major hit if you don't promptly create some way to keep yourself usefully active and occupied; to fill in some spaces on your calendar (if your health permits this) I urge you consider designing your own walking program (chart your progress in distance and perhaps also track how your blood pressure / resting pulse is doing); perhaps join (and use!!) a gym / fitness center, too.

d) now that you've time on your hands, you could see if you can improve on your cuisine (perhaps head for a more 'Mediterranean' style cuisine, to inch away from animal fats that predominate in Western food choices). 



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I think Don has some good advice  Actions...
Posted: by PinkMermaid on Thu. 22 Sep., 2011 at 5:32:34 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"

Though the one about volunteer work is kind of what everyone says to people in situations like this and it may or may not lead to finding a job. I've been doing volunteer work for years with a dog rescue - I transport and foster. Something you might consider. Having a loving dog around who gets you out to dog parks where you can meet people might be the ticket. And yes, most everyone at dog parks is very chatty about their dog, your dog, your job, etc. But so far it hasn't led to any job offers. Neither when I volunteered with seniors. Volunteering is something you do for yourself and for others, not so you might find a full time job.

I hate to say it but at 55 its very tough to find a job. Age 40 is about the age where finding employment gets tough. I know some people will jump in and say they're 50+ and have found a new job but the reality is most employers are looking for younger employees. The older employees at every company I worked for - I'm talking over age 40 - had been there for years. Very rare for a new older employee to get hired.

The reality is the most common types of jobs available to all age groups are lower income high turn around type jobs in retail, restaurant, and clerical. Getting a job should be relatively easy and some income while you look for something else. Also depending on your skills the most common thing for the over 40 unemployed crowd is to start their own business.

I wouldn't recommend going back to school  unless its something that interests you and you want to shell out the money for this interest. I know people will say it never hurts to keep learning new things and certainly when I was at university we had some men in their 70's showing up to audit some classes, but depending on school to be the path to a new career and spending a lot of money on classes might not be the route to go at this stage of life.

At any rate good luck. Its not easy knowing that career choices and social life is going downhill. Another suggestion might be relocation. Some areas of the country have a lower cost of living. Also check out the website www.meetup.com

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I had just turned 56...  Actions...
Posted: by TheCoho on Thu. 22 Sep., 2011 at 10:53:02 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"
when I got terminated/fired from a job I had held for 7 months in a field for which I had also re-trained so I do understand some of what you are going through because it took me 9 months to find the job where I still am more than 2 years later and which I love.


Like you I didn't have much of a support system or a large network of friends and contacts who could help me because I was a fairly recent arrival in this city....and it's a small city where with the recession opportunities were even more limited.

Here's what I did during my bouts of unemployment over those nine months. (I say "bouts" because I did get a couple of good temporary placements through an agency while I continued to look for something permanent).:

* got up every morning no later than 7 am, got dressed in smart casual clothes (important for the morale IMO), did my makeup, ate breakfast, walked the dog, cleaned up the kitchen and then....

*"went to work" and by this I mean that I sat down at my computer and scoured every single local job listing. I set myself a daily goal to apply for at least one job and felt proud if I found more than one to apply for. I read articles published locally regarding job search tips and possible networking opportunities. I discovered, for example, that I was eligible for career counselling, workshops and access to job search facilities at Spectrum because I was an EI recipient within the past three years. (Check out Spectrum!).  I called temp agencies where I was on their books to see about possible upcoming work. I kept busy but would also go out for a power walk or run towards noon, come home for lunch then go back to perusing the job listings online.  I would not let friends who didn't work sidetrack me until at least 4pm each day.

* I told every single person I met that I was looking for a permanent job...and that is actually how I found out about my current job. At the time, I was singing in a choir and mentioned that I was job hunting...and that's how I made the connection which resulted in a job.

*if you can afford it, invest in some career counselling. I used it initially before I re-trained and learned so much about current trends in résumé writing along with interviewing techniques.

Good luck and stay motivated!


Coho salmon are prized for their excellent fighting abilities and acrobatics

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...  Actions...
Posted: by Mary__ on Fri. 23 Sep., 2011 at 2:13:04 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"

I know it probably feels like nobody else has, but I think that most of us have been there at some point or another. You will get through this, and someday you'll be a better person because of it.

Keep job hunting every day. They say that looking for a job should be a full time job, so keep with it. There are always dry spells in job hunting. I would also start thinking about an alternative job- is there something that would not be your preference but that you will take if one in your field does not come up at this time.

Do try to get out to socialize. When I was in a dry spot, I started a gym routine. I forced me out of the house, around people and it was a healthy thing to do and I felt better after. I also kept my volunteer work going and was grateful for those connections. Force yourself to stay connected with family and friends too.

One of my friends identifies small projects to tackle each day, often things at home and it helped her when she was off work.

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Update  Actions...
Posted: by diagonallyparked on Fri. 23 Sep., 2011 at 3:55:44 PM
In reply to: Mary__ "..."
Thank you for all your suggestions. I appreciate them all because I'm trying to hang on.  I was laid off from a job of 17 years and then went got training for something else which didn't work out. I've been looking for a job for many months now. I don't want to go back to what I was doing for 17 years because I'm burnt out from it. I don't have the money to join a gym. My unemployment will be running out at the end of this month. I just finally got the correct phone number to phone Social Assistance and they told me that I 'if' I was eligible, I would get $485 a month from them. That wouldn't even cover rent. I don't want to have to struggle like this. Is it worth the effort? Is it worth going on?

I do try and get outside each day and away from the computer of doom. I find going outside is really good for me and I would recommend it for anyone else in my position. I'm usually a positive person, but this has thrown me for a loop. I'm going to go for that walk now, this is all so discouraging.

I do appreciate all your replies because all of your replies seem to know exactly what I'm talking about. You've been there.

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well, (editted)  Actions...
Posted: by __Don__ on Fri. 23 Sep., 2011 at 7:04:44 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "Update"

> (1) I don't have the money to join a gym. My unemployment will be running out at the end of this month. I just finally got the correct phone number to phone Social Assistance and they told me that I 'if' I was eligible, I would get $485 a month from them. (2) That wouldn't even cover rent. (3) I don't want to have to struggle like this. Is it worth the effort? Is it worth going on?

(1) in my area (major metropolitan center in B.C.), there are free ('L.I.F.E.') passes to a selection of community recreation centers (pool / exercise facilities) for those who meet low income requirements (<$18,000/yr I believe), there's a $0.25/visit charge for use of lockers.  The pass entitles you to 52 visits/year + $40 credit towards any specific programs offered (else, usesable towards a 10-swim pass punch ticket).

A weekly frequency's not terrific, but is way better than nothing imo, for anyone on a tight budget.

(2) you're renting?  And you've not saved up a hefty nestegg towards retirement or a few years of sparse times?  Then yes, $485/mo is not much, that's for sure.  I suppose if push comes to shove, you could consider alternatives, such as:  renting a room in 'shared' accomodations (a house? a 2 BR apt.? with family?) for that sort of money in many areas, while you continue job searching.  Even if you completely strike out in a job search, if you can hold out until 65 (or even merely 60!) link you ought to be entitled to our government's Old Age Security and (depending on income) the Guaranteed Income Supplement ('indexed' for inflation and presently around $1,000/month in total I think rates ).  editted to add:  Let's not forget Canada Pension Plan CPP (65, but earlier if need be).

A car is a major expense for someone who's unemployed if you're an active driver.  If you can possibly manage without, you'd likely save thousands each year for insurance, gas and upkeep costs (a backpack can become invaluable for combining walking with shopping excursions).  editted to add:  And a homemade 'carry strap' (I'm recycling a wheelchair seatbelt I'd had made up), for managing items too large or awkward for putting into a backpack. 

The September 1st conversion to digital has been a boon for non-cable subscribers (combining 'powered' rabbit ears with a newer TV or, an older TV plus a digital converter box for about $60) allows for receiving several (I get 6) clear channels in urban centers at no cost ('basic' cable's ~$50/mo, who needs dozens of cable channels?).

(3) attitude is critical.  I think we can talk ourselves into or out of just about any frame of mind.  (It may help to remember that our present 'minimal' standard of living is so very much higher than royalty enjoyed a century or two ago.)  I urge you to be careful about what direction you allow your thoughts to dwell on, keeping occupied can greatly help.  I suppose it comes down to what you want out of life.  Many people would be content with a pleasant stimulating existence free of notable pain.  Others might feel fulfilled focussing outwards on helping others once their own needs are satisfied.


ps.  And then (tongue-in-cheek, but a reasonable premise imo), there's parental support (you could contemplate seeking financial aid from your children if you've some adult children of substance).  3 x $750/mo would go a long way if this mother's successful in her lawsuit.


edited Fri. 23 Sep., 2011 @ 7:15:52 PM by __Don__
edited Fri. 23 Sep., 2011 @ 7:23:54 PM by __Don__
edited Fri. 23 Sep., 2011 @ 7:37:56 PM by __Don__
edited Sun. 25 Sep., 2011 @ 5:37:45 PM by __Don__
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Don's got sensible solutions....  Actions...
Posted: by TheCoho on Fri. 23 Sep., 2011 at 8:27:01 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "Update"
to your current dilemma.

And you know...you can always go back to your former occupation in these tough times as a way back to earning a liveable income. A friend had to do that and found that she could cope.

If you plan to keep your car, you can also consider taking on some morning paper routes. Same friend as above also did that.

Keeping my fingers crossed that you'll find a way out of this.


Coho salmon are prized for their excellent fighting abilities and acrobatics

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short term plan  Actions...
Posted: by Mary__ on Sat. 24 Sep., 2011 at 7:48:26 AM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"

If your EI is running out soon, you'll need to look at a short term plan to get by. Can you reduce expenses, as mentioned above go without your car if you have one, or take in a roomate for a while. I would really start looking at any job at all, just something to keep you going. Also, call all the temporary hiring companies to see if they have any work available, and look at things like delivering papers or flyers if you can squeeze it in. Is there anything that you can sell that you don't need.

You do need to get out around people, even those who have introverted styles need kind human contact. It could really help you. I know you can't afford a gym, but you can get out and walk or start to jog. If there's a park nearby there may be some regulars that go there. Maybe your gym will even have a monthly trial membership (I think Curves does). Looking for something to get you out, have some contact with others, and stay healthy.

I would also call the EI office (or service canada I believe it's called) and ask if they have some job search assistance.

You'll get through this and it will get better, for now though try to stay focused to make sure your short-term needs are covered. And remember your short term needs include taking care of yourself in every way, you deserve and need that.

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yep  Actions...
Posted: by Koda on Sun. 25 Sep., 2011 at 5:09:26 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"
been just over two years for me, I have now given up. 

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. — Simone Weil

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I gave up too  Actions...
Posted: by _temp_ on Wed. 5 Oct., 2011 at 8:01:42 AM
In reply to: Koda "yep"
I am 60
and my last permanent employment was 4 years ago
I still go for interviews and always get amazing reviews but I do not get hired
but the ones that want me I don't want them and vice-versa
I will not just take anything I almost thought I had a job back in August and the interview process dragged on for about a month
it is very frustrating

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Don't give up - each day is a gift  Actions...
Posted: by tef1964 on Mon. 26 Sep., 2011 at 7:21:48 PM
In reply to: diagonallyparked "My life has just stopped"

Hi Diagonally Parked: 

Please don't give up!  With your work and life experience, you have something to offer!

I am making a plan for a possible/probable layoff later this year, so I read all of the replies below. 

It seems that getting up in the morning, getting some exercise, and then getting smartly if somewhat casually dressed, and made up, is essential.  I find even making phone calls is a bit easier if you actually feel professionally attired.

Getting exercise every day, maybe even two or three walks a day.  I don't know about you, but so many times I have blamed work for keeping me from getting as much exercise as I would like or should.  So while it is a very unwelcome gift, perhaps this gift of time offers some benefits. And time allows for cooking for healthful foods, from basic ingredients, which are more affordable than processed or prepared foods.

And being able to volunteer - do you have any things you wanted to learn about, anybody / thing that tugs at your heart?  Another opportunity.  Even it doesn't lead to a job, it will get you out, keep you active, make you feel good, and it will fill in the blank on your resume.  I would just be certain that your time is used to advantage in whatever opportunity you choose.  I have volunteered, and almost every time I showed up, despite checking in advance that there was something to do, found myself waiting for somebody to give me some work.  That is demoralizing in itself, and there are so many organizations that actually do need help.  So many places are in tough financial straights and having to cut back on paid staff.

Would you be willing to work part-time at anything, just to get yourself out of the home and get some money in?  Tim Hortons?  Cashier?  Bookstore?  A friend of mine who was a CA worked at Starbucks and really liked the social aspects of it, and didn't mind the work.  If you live in a city with an Ikea, apparently they are a great employer, and hire cashiers and I don't know what else.  It is really unfortunate that workers in these customer-facing, low-paying situations are poorly treated, making the jobs less desirable.  But there are some good situations.

Do you have any ideas for a small business, services you can offer?  Don't discount your ideas.  I believe that there are gov't programs for assistance in starting a business, including workshops.  I think it is surprising the number of things people are "outsourcing" because they don't know how to do them, don't want to do them, or can't do them.  Not an easy route for sure, but maybe there are possibilities there.

I feel for you.  My mother lost her job at 50, and struggled afterwards, and I am now 47, and facing unemployment as well.  It seems like a very harsh working world now.  I feel quite distressed sometimes by the state of our economy, and the state of our society, and employers that feel no responsiblity for or loyalty to, their employees. 

Best of luck.  Each day is a gift.  Many pleasures that can sustain us cost nothing:  the early morning quiet, a sunrise, the first cup of  coffee or tea, a walk in the crisp fall air, that golden autumn light, the sound of a child laughing, an invigorating shower after a good bout of exercise, chopping vegetables for a soup, a warm, lingering bath, beautiful music, a funny joke.  I hope you find your joy and your persistence is rewarded.


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