6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2009 5:03 PM by itinerant1

    Single in uncertain economic times


      I am divorced, lost my position and I am having a very difficult time finding employement.  It is scarey to be 63 female, unemployed.....is anyone else facing these situations.  I am an attractive, bright educated woman, struggling alone.  Any thoughts, suggestions or comments.



        • Re: Single in uncertain economic times


           I was in Arizona when I managed to get two different jobs after age 60.  That was more than 10 years ago and the Valley was in good economic health. Last year when I returned to AZ, I found the economy was not kind, and I was no longer the most talented kitten in the litter.  Mainly, I was just not ready to retire totally.  My office skills were still good, and I could remember things.

          So I tried the usual employment agencies and happened upon a small agency doing mostly temp jobs, and since I do have some retirement income, I find that occasional temp jobs help with special things.  The other part of not feeling needed, I am going to fill with volunteer stuff - as soon as I have time--don't ask.  I have no idea where the time goes.


          • Re: Single in uncertain economic times


            Sadly, you are not alone. Divorced women are a large percentage of the "new poor". Although it's never happened to me, my mother got married and divorced four times, and I remember how she really struggled when by herself. I've always had the greatest respect for how she picked herself up every time and kept on plugging away. She must have been so terrified at times, but she never showed it and was never bitter about it.

            Most critical is to develop a personal network. Not just social, not just work-oriented (e.g., former co-workers/bosses), but combining both. Try to stay upbeat and interested in what others are doing. Not only do you never know what leads may open up, but it's just good therapy to keep in touch with friends & acquaintances. Remember the good side - no office politics, no dreaded performance appraisals, no exhausting commuting! E-mail is great, but meeting up in person every once in a while is even better, as long as you make sure not to appear pushy or anxious. I'm not big on contacting people by phone unless I'm sure it'll be quick, like confirming an email exchange about having lunch (or just coffee). My jobs were always phone-centric and personal calls needed to be short and to the point.

            Is there no church or other social group you can join? Try to make at least one new acquaintance each week.

            Also, be realistic about finances. Find out what kind of charitable services you are eligible for in your area, and USE THEM. False pride is meaningless in your situation. Nobody is going to judge you a failure, the only person who can do that is yourself. Times are hard and people are sympathetic to that. When you need a helping hand, take it. Repayment in kind is a responsibility you can save up. When things get better for you, either return the favor to the person you owe, or perform a random act of kindness for a stranger in need. My DH and I have had plenty of help from others, most of whom never needed repayment. So instead, we try to help friends/family in need, and give generously to charity. Like they say, what goes around, comes around.

            If you have to find or be a roommate, then do so. If you have to take a lower-paying job out of your field, do it. Approach this as not just one problem (finding a job) but a series of smaller problems where maybe you can find solutions to some of these, reducing your stress level. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Keep your chin up, and all of us here will be rooting for you!


              • Re: Single in uncertain economic times
                I am also a single mother of 2 adult children.  My youngest is just finishing college and still living at home.  We are making ends meet but my only goal right now is GOOD- Get Out Of Debt.  I started late in life understanding good financial management so I am playing catch up.  One thing I did do right is retire on disability from a civil service position & educate myself into a new life.  I am trying to keep up the family home but the area is changing and the thought of downsizing is very tempting.  At 53, I am not too concerned about looking for employment.  I have 2 businesses in addition to my full time position, which keeps me active, meeting new people and having fun.  The business travel is starting to increase as I am eligible for some of the free trips.  I never knew building a business could be so much fun.  Having a laptop and being computer sauvy helps a lot.  I'm looking forward to more time freedom as my finances improve.  I guess being born not knowing I was really poor helps with my outlook on owning too much stuff.  Being comfortable is enough, as long as I can enjoy my family and friends.  Money helps, it's just not the end all and be all of really living. Relationships & attitude have a lot to do with the quality of one's lifestyle.
                  • Re: Single in uncertain economic times
                    Boy can I relate. I got divorced after 27+ years and my standard of living went downhill fast. While the court divided up the bills fairly equally, my x-husband filed bankruptcy as soon as the divorce was final. Seems the creditors don't have to follow what the court has ordered and they came after me. I ended up paying ALL the debts. I had to refinance my house and roll the debts in. In the meantime, I couldn't keep up with the payments and my credit took a nosedive. It took me 7 years to bring my credit rating up to a half way decent score and it's still not what it should be. To make matters worse, the court took into consideration how much my X was "going" to pay in debts and subtracted that from the amount I would receive from his retirement. I got very small amount of his retirement and all bills.
                  • Re: Single in uncertain economic times

                    That was nice!  Being single with no other income to help buffer you is scary.  I was a single Mom for a lot of years.  I hear the ache in my daughter's voice when things have piled up on her, now in the same situation.  So some of the strategies of getting by are keep moving, don't let the stress wreak havoc with your disposition.  Find something temporary if possible. Sometimes temporary turns into something permanent.  I went from temping to a permanent position, to a completely new field in two years back in my early forties.  Don't limit yourself to just what you do, because you know so much more than you realize! 

                  • Re: Single in uncertain economic times
                    I am sure you are using SSA's job search facilities, but you should also look into the other benefits they have.  I earned a certificate in business services through them.  I took classes in Windows, Word, Excel and Access and met people of all ages who were doing the same thing.  Not all states offer such extensive training, but it wouldn't hurt to ask what your state and your region offer.  Good luck; I know how difficult it is to look for work when interviewers judge you by how you look rather than by what you can do.