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Defeated. And just... tired. Need Career advice.

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
My health has been terrible over the last three months. I have missed a significant amount of work. And it is just opening up my eyes.

This job was everything I wanted. But I can't do it. Physically I can't.

So... I think I may have to go on long term disability and while I am doing that... get training (on line) for a new career.

Can you guys help me think outside the box?

I need something where I am largely my own boss. But I have clients I work for. Where I can work from home part of the time (two days a week) and go into the office 3 days a week.

I'm scared. And just... beaten down. I need to do things differently cause what I am doing isn't working.
 

happybear

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
302
Oh, Gypsy
I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm not sure what you do, but are you able to negotiate with your company to allow you to work from home 2 days each week? I've heard of such practices in some companies, so it may work.
Or, if you have been in the same industry for years and have the relevant network & knowledge, you can work freelance.

I'm sorry I can't offer much advice as I'm not familiar with the employment opportunities at your area.
Plenty of hugs to you!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Gypsy -- I don't have a lot of time to post right now, but have you given any thought to going back to school? Is there something you've wanted to do but never had the chance, career-wise? Teaching, IT, business administration, jewelry design, etc...just trying to think out of the box here.

What are your strengths? Passions?

I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time.
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
4,563
Gypsy,

I'm really sorry to hear that you have not been well. I think it bears some significance that the job you have now is/was everything that you wanted. From your past posts, I know that you've had some tough times with prior jobs, and I'd hate for you to move on so quickly from this one if it really is ideal for you. Sounds like something else is going on, and perhaps it isn't the job at all? Perhaps you just need to work on whatever is going on medically and then reconsider whether the job is something that you can do?

Sometimes we think we need to try something new or go someplace new, and it's that change that will help us feel better, when in reality we are the ones that need to change. Change our perspective, how we look at things, how we deal with things. I speak from experience, if that's not already clear from my writing.

I don't know. I know this isn't what you asked for, but it's something to think about. I know you have a lot invested (education, time, effort, experience) in where you are now.

I really like happybear's suggestion of working from home for two days. Would that help? Would your boss go for it?

Take care,
LV
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Gypsy, sometimes physical stuff can affect our moods & make us depressed -- it's only natural. That makes us more tired, makes us feel everything is blah. It might help you over this hump to see about an anti-depressant for a short period, till you feel better. I'll tell you from experience, they can do absolute wonders. Mental attitude has SO much to do with physical wellbeing, too -- when I was deeply depressed I felt like s**t most of the time. Anti-depressants simply return you to your own self; they don't make you different in any way as some fear. Think about giving that a try -- you sound awfully down & sometimes we get into a hole we have a hard time climbing out of without help.

All kinds of dust for you. Don't give up on yourself or the job!

--- Laurie
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,163
Your ideal work situation sounds almost exactly like DH's job. He's a web developer and owns his own company. He has clients that he works for. Some of his projects are consistent (ie he's been doing a certain number of days per month for the past few years) and some take as little as a few weeks to complete. He has office space so he splits his time between home and the office. He decides on his own hours, but he does have set meetings.

The good: In theory he can take projects that interest him. The different projects make things interesting. He can go to the beach during the day and work at night if he wants to. He can work on the road so his work never interferes with vacations.

The bad: Due to the economy several clients declared bankruptcy without paying him. The projects are all in a similar domain so they get boring. He is loosing clients to large programming houses overseas. He has to put in a lot of networking time to get new clients. If something goes wrong, he's accountable and has to work until its fixed, even if that means staying up all night and still working the next day. He has to buy a lot of different types of insurance that a large company would already have in place. He never has a vacation since he can work from anywhere.

It sounds like the bad outweighs the good, but he hates having a boss and loves being flexible with his hours. I don't think he could function in a corporate environment because he constantly dwells on how horrible my company treats me. They actually treat me well. I started with 15 days vacation, 12 holidays, 10 sick days, and 3 personal days. He can't get his head around the fact that I can't just tell them I'm leaving two hours early and go.

Anyway, my point is that working from home and being your own boss comes with a lot of stress and headaches. It works for some people, but its really not what most people think it is. I think you really need to evaluate all of the pros and cons before taking a step like leaving your job. Is your job very physically demanding? I ask this because long hours and stress are definitely part of owning your own business. I'm not sure if there would be a huge improvement.
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
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May 1, 2007
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:wavey: hi gypsy! unfortunately i don't have any good advice for you, i just wanted to say that i was sad to read this. i hope you find the strength you need to find your way through this and i will keep my fingers crossed that you find a positive solution!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
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56,157
I'm so sorry, too, Gypsy. This is the world's worst time to think about career change. Almost no one is hiring and to start one's own business would be a horrific risk. I can't even think of anything worth retraining in at this time.

I'd try hard to work with your employer to reduce your job to 60% or something so you can only work 3 days. I don't think working from home 2 days will really help. I would think long and hard about giving up a job you really like. I'd try to get the hours reduced. My daughter hated classroom teaching and really cannot find anything else and she has a master's degree. There just aren't any jobs out there, and with all the cuts, many people are doing the jobs of two people. Therefore, you could find yourself in the same situation in the next job.

I agree with those who said you need to find out if you are depressed and need something medical. But there is nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed if you are simply working too hard for two many hours. Life is more than a job. Balance is the key.
 

kenny

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Sorry to hear this Gypsy.
I also had a major career change a few years ago and it was the hardest time of my life.
In our culture we are made to feel we are what we do, and how much money we have.
When that gets threatened we feel who we are is threatened too.
It takes great internal strength, therapy, religion, love of family and friends, or whatever works for you to establish a secure sense of self that does not depend on the circumstances that flow down the river of life.

It's easy to tell someone, 'Oh, just follow your heart and the money will come", but these are hard times and health issues have a way of zapping our outlook.
So I feel for you and I wish I had a magic bullet to give you.

I respect you for just blurting this out and being honest with yourself and us; that can't be easy.
Hugs.
 

vc10um

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
6,006
Gypsy,

IIRC from your previous threads, you are going through exactly the same medical issues as my mother did. She was having the same issues with exhaustion, both physically and mentally, and I think the only thing that may have saved her was being able to work 67% of the time from home.

She has since had major surgery to correct the issue, and is an ENTIRELY different person. She has returned to her "old self"...the young, vital, all-around positive and pleasant person she was before she started having serious medical issues.

I know you love your job. I would encourage you to take advantage of long term disability, should you decide to use it, to continue to seek out further medical options instead of seeking out different employment. The latter is merely a temporary fix. The former will hopefully allow you to return to life as you know it AND to a job that you love and enjoy.

Best of luck to you.
 

Upgradable

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
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5,537

princesss

Ideal_Rock
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*hugs* Gypsy. I'm so sorry that things haven't improved as much as we all were hoping.

I wish I had more advice, but I'm still new to the whole adult thing, so all I can do is tell you I'm thinking of you and there is a ton of love and *dust* coming your way.
 

asymons412

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
247
Hi Gypsy,

I am so sorry for the way you are feeling. I haven't read through this thread yet, but when I read your criteria, medical billing popped right into mind. My aunt does it and, when successful, you can make a substantial salary and work from home!

I hope this helps. Feel better! Never give up, and most certainly never let a job break down your spirit!
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Gypsy, I'm sorry you're feeling so defeated. I've been there more than once with my career, and I firmly believe that finding the *right* spot professionally can make an enormous difference in your life.

What are your strengths? Hobbies?
What did you study in your formal education?

Your ideal job sounds like something where you will be building a business from the ground-up on your own. If you're in a position to do that, then I encourage you to think really far outside the box about the things that you enjoy doing. My husband and many of our friends work for themselves and they really love it, though it did take some time for them to build up their clientele, of course.

SOME IDEAS:

- My husband is a Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist, he's been doing it for ten years now, and he sets his own hours and has clients come to our home rather than to his studio when he needs to be around for the dogs or something. He completely supports up on his income, and does much better than I ever will.

- A friend of mine is a FT personal trainer and she works entirely for herself. She started out working for a gym and built up her independent clients over a few years.

- Another friend owns a gift basket company. She bought it from the original owner who sold the warehouse and all of his inventory and clients to her. She has three small children and takes them into work with her every day. She loves her work.

- My dear friend's husband works as a rep for a medical machine company. He travels to hospitals all over our region and teaches doctors and nurses how to use a particular machine. He likes his job because the hours vary and he has all these different clients (the hospitals) that he deals with regularly, rather than going in to an office and seeing his boss and the same old colleagues every day.

ANOTHER IDEA is to take a break from FT work for a while to pursue different things and see which fits. I worked as a personal trainer while in graduate school to become a teacher, and a part of me did it to consider whether I wanted a very low stress job. I chose to be a teacher, but at least I had the experience of being a personal trainer to decide that I didn't like it. Depending on your formal education, you could likely pick up a couple classes as an adjunct at your local community college, if that's something you might be interested in. When my best friend was laid off from her job a year ago she worked PT in a local chocolate store and fancy pet shop and loved it. It was a nice break that gave her the time to really figure out which direction she wanted to take with her career, and she made a huge change in fields when she accepted her next FT job, and now she's very, very happy. I know a girl who lost her job and decided to work as a sex toy representative for extra cash. She basically goes to a lot of bachelorette parties and sells sex toys, and she loves it so much that she invested in the company and now that's her job.

ONE LAST IDEA might sound a bit out there to you, but I thought of it as I was thinking of all my friends who work for themselves. Another friend of mine is a life and business coach, and he once did a life coaching session on me. It was really amazing, and if you can find a recommended life coach in your area maybe it's something you might want to do to help figure out which direction you'd like to take. He basically had me focus on the future, and draw on the things that I really enjoy and it led me to focus on a vision of my future and what I want from it. It really reaffirmed the choices I made for myself and the goals I already had, but had I not already made those choices I think it would have been a great help in figuring out what I wanted to do. (This friend now coaches corporations and individuals. He loves his job and is doing very well.)

Good luck to you, Gypsy. I know how hard it is to be in a bad place with your career, and I really hope you can find some resolution soon.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Haven|1307551156|2940800 said:
. Depending on your formal education, you could likely pick up a couple classes as an adjunct at your local community college, if that's something you might be interested in..[/quote]


2nd - check out continuing education classes at a community college or even a parks department. Often they have classes which are for one month but only one day a week. Even if the topic/subject isn't a career move type of class, you may find yourself feeling more full filled.
 

Lula

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
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Haven|1307551156|2940800 said:
ONE LAST IDEA might sound a bit out there to you, but I thought of it as I was thinking of all my friends who work for themselves. Another friend of mine is a life and business coach, and he once did a life coaching session on me. It was really amazing, and if you can find a recommended life coach in your area maybe it's something you might want to do to help figure out which direction you'd like to take. He basically had me focus on the future, and draw on the things that I really enjoy and it led me to focus on a vision of my future and what I want from it. It really reaffirmed the choices I made for myself and the goals I already had, but had I not already made those choices I think it would have been a great help in figuring out what I wanted to do. (This friend now coaches corporations and individuals. He loves his job and is doing very well.)
Life coaches have helped many people. However, I would not recommend their services to anyone who has not been given a clean bill of health re depression and other biologically-based brain and neurological disorders. If your unhappiness is due to some sort of mental health issue, a life coach is not (typically) trained to deal with these issues and could actually make your situation worse. If you are seeing a doctor/counselor/psychologist and are under their care, then, yes, indeed, seeing a life coach may be helpful, once your mental health/medical issues are stable.

Best of luck to you, Gypsy, in sorting this out! Sending positive vibes your way.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
Oh L! I am so sorry. I didn't realize things were that bad off. :(( How frustrating. I wish you the best. I think it is great you know your limits and are honoring that. I know, and we have discussed, your true passion for jewelry design before and think that could be an amazing career for you. I would stay away from life coaches. They scare me b/c there is no required education or ethics board to monitor them. There are career assessments you can take to identify your strengths but I think deep down in your heart you know what you want to do. Best of luck and hope to see you soon!!!
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
Gypsy, I don't have any advice but wanted to send lots of **dust** and **hugs** your way.
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,660
Aww, I am so sorry to hear you are going through some rough times. ((Hugs)) I hope things get better for you.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I just want you guys to know that I am reading your responses and thinking about them. But frankly, I'm just really depressed right now and I just ... I don't know what I am doing, or what I am going to do.

I will reply when I have something sensible to add... I just... all I have is anger and upset and ... anger again for the situation I am in and at my body.

I so appreciate your support and affection, I just want you to know that. I am considering long term disability. I just have no idea what I will do AFTER the disability.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Gypsy dear, I am so sorry you're depressed right now. I'm thinking about you and sending dust for your health and well being.

HUGS and HAPPINESS to you, Gypsy. Heaps and loads of it.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,931
Bodies don't last forever or perform perfectly even if we expect them to. You have your mind going for you. Talk to your company...as a first resort, let them know what you're willing to do hours-wise, from home. Then see where it goes. They may be accomodating, or they may not. If they aren't, time to explore other options, and I would think first would be freelancing, for you. If that becomes "not an option," get back to what you're otherwise most passionate about. Follow your heart. Do what makes you happy. No one was ever remembered for how much money they had in the bank, or what kind of jewelry they wore, but people ARE remembered for the lives they touch while they're alive.

You are a wonderful person, Gypsy, and you have given me some great advice since I have been on PS the last 6 years or so. You have already touched lots of lives online, I can only imagine how many you've touched personally. You definitely have gifts, as far as dealing with people, and just professionally. I think you can do whatever you want to in life, I really do. You're only limited by your self. Your body will come around eventually...sometimes the mind can heal the physical, and I think at this point your mind is so stressed that your body has manifested this stress in itself. Hope that makes sense...email me anytime. Rooting for you! :wavey:
 

dreamer_dachsie

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Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Gypsy, do you and your husband need your income to make ends meet? Can you scale back your lifestyle so that you can not work a traditional job for a salary? Would he support you in a decision to stop working in the traditional way?

Sometimes in life we have to make drastic changes. If your physical and mental health needs mean you cannot work in the traditional sense, and instead look after your home and husband, perhaps pursue jewelry design or another hobby you love, and basically just be a great partner for your husband and contribute to your life together in other ways, well, I don't see anything wrong with that if you can swing it financially. In fact, I would personallyt do just that in your situation if there was any way to make it work financially.

ETA:

And I wanted to add that the mind and body are intimately connected. The state of one affects the other, and there is a real feedback loop between the two. Eastern philosophy and medicine has been saying this for ages, and only more recently has western medicine started to examine the possibility. Some of the most exciting research in psychology in recent years, for example, has been trying to document and explore the incredible power of meditation to really change how people's brain's function and respond to the world, and to heal and reset the body's stress response -- the root cause of many phsycial ailments from cardiovascular to endocrine disorders. Exploring eastern philosophies of mind-body connection and health might be something to consider, particularly meditation and yogic practice as serious healing endeavours, might be a great tool in your arsenal to fight to find a place of happiness and health in your life.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
40,198
I feel like I am in the doctor's office or the hospital every week and I pretty much am. Yes, we need my income. We need both or at least having me make about 60% of what I making... which would be tough but doable if we made some changes.

I just feel so frustrated by this. They don't know WHY the stuff that is happening is happening. Just that it is. And I'm just left to deal with the symptoms.

**** This section NOT FOR MEN***


I posted a while back about my cycle and how it's been excessive for a few years despite an D&C. And I'm severely anemic (had a blood transfusion week before last) and iron deficient (and IV Iron plus I'm on 1000mg of oral iron, and Vitamin C for absorption a day) right now. I am exhausted, prone to bad headaches, weak, and dizzy plus not healing from things quickly and... also bleeding to the point of hemorrhaging (was in ER yesterday for hemorrhaging) and unable to leave my bathroom for more than an hour max at any given time when I have this particularly unpleasant symptom.

Got an IUD in March. Ultrasound yesterday couldn't find it. Neither could the physical exam. They have no idea where it is.

But it's not in me and clearly not helping keep the bleeding down.

Plus I have a condition which results in me passing out and being prone to passing out pretty easily. And right now because of the bleeding it is not under control. So I am either passing out or so close to it as to not make a difference at least once a week, usually more. And everyday if I am having my cycle.

************************** Okay Men can read now************


Plus I tested positive for lupis and they don't know if it is active, and if it is to what extent it is complicating all this.

All this means I am a risk for driving. I can't risk driving when I am faint. So I have to stay at home. My job requires me physically present daily.

I am asking for accommodation and meeting with my bosses and HR tomorrow. So far however they have been rude and belligerent to the point that my VERY VERY even tempered husband almost decked my boss-- not exaggerating-- and would have if he had been physically present. I kid you not. That bad.

So... I'm just scared and upset and angry. And venting.

I don't know what to do. I feel like my body is on a roller-coaster and my job a minefield.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Wow, Gypsy...I am scared for you! Your health sounds much like my mother's was a few years after she had me! You have GOT to slow down and take care of yourself. Definitely take a LOA, hopefully a paid one for as long as you can so you can figure out your health. I am so sorry to hear that you're going through all of this. Keep your mind busy with dreaming about how you can make money, not spend it, and maybe use a fraction of brainpower to think up a reward for when you get back on your feet. Keeping you in my thoughts! You will be ok...you need some time to rest and tackle these health issues, though!
 

VRBeauty

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Gypsy - I'm so sorry to hear that the health issues are continuing. I haven't had to deal with anything like what you're going through, and I have no ideas, but... have you exhausted (sorry about that choice of words) all of your diagnostic possibilities? You're near two teaching hospitals that I know of, including Stanford. Is there any way you can get a referral to either Stanford or UCSF? Your situation certainly
seems to warrant that level of intervention.

I'd suggest going down to 60% time if you can swing it, but I'm not sure if that would then become the basis for your disability if it turns out that you need to go that route anyway. You might want to do some research on your own, or talk with some people who know about disability outside of your employer's HR department so you can figure out what all your options are. I believe disability is administered by EDD.

I can't even imagine how discouraging this must be for you. I'm so sorry you're going though this.
 

Jennifer W

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Gypsy, I don't know what to say. I don't have any suggestions, but I do want you to know that I'm thinking about you and that I think you're pretty darned fabulous, so I'm optimistic for you, even if you aren't right now. Hugs and much love to you.
 

rosetta

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Messages
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I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues gypsy. It sounds like you may have an autoimmune condition like anti phospholipid syndrome or lupus. They are treatable but do impact on your life with all their troublesome symptoms. Your doctors don't seem to have gotten the whole picture yet. I'm just guessing from the bit of information you have written so ignore me if I'm completely wrong. Perhaps the career may have to be put on hold until your health is more stable? A friend of mine with lupus makes greeting cards at home: are you the crafty type at all?
 

Jennifer W

Brilliant_Rock
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A friend of mine with lupus edits the Student BMJ. She's an inspirational woman who showed me that even very significant health issues can be managed - I know Gypsy will face this with her usual grace and courage.
 

Lula

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Hi, Gypsy, I'm so sorry you're experiencing such serious health problems. I believe you are a lawyer by training (right?) so I apologize if you are already familiar with this resource, but have you checked with your state's EEOC about your rights under the ADA? They can answer questions about what documentation you need, and how to ensure that your rights under the ADA are protected. Disability law is a speciality area, so if you are not well-versed in this area of the law, consider seeking outside counsel. Also, if you are entering accommodation discussions with your employer, you may find the Job Accommodation Network's resources helpful. Here's a link to a JAN info sheet on accommodations related to lupus:

http://askjan.org/media/lupus.html

Lupus can be managed, but in my experience, as someone who works with people with cognitive and neurological disabilities, proper diagnosis and treatment can take a while, and can be extremely frustrating, because not everyone with the disorder experiences the same symptoms. Many people I have worked with, who have been diagnosed with lupus, multiple sclerosis, or have experienced a stroke or other brain injury, are able to keep working with accommodations. You may also want to consider making an appointment with your state's Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. The intake and assessment process can be lengthy and time-consuming, but they do have have funds available for retraining and accommodations, if you qualify.

As a lawyer, you have been trained to serve as an advocate for others; this time you'll be advocating for yourself. My impression of you from PS is that you are a strong and determined woman -- and smart, too! -- so I am confident you can get through this.
 
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