To Top

Ask Rene: How Do I Turn Around My Job, My Marriage, My LIFE?


Ask Rene:
How Do I Turn Around My Job, My Marriage, My LIFE? 

Hi Rene:

I watch you on The Bill Cunningham Show and the advice you give the guests is so real and makes so much sense. I’m hoping you can help me too.

I am married to the love of my life. I am a mother of a 25-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son.  My son lives with his dad, a mutual decision we made after our divorce eight years ago.

I lost my job in November and my car died a couple of months later. My husband and I were having marital trouble so, due to financial hardships, I moved in with my parents and he stayed at the home we shared with his mom and my brother-in-law.

My husband, Jeffery and I are working on our relationship. I go over and spend a few days with him every week so we can stay connected even though we are living apart but, for the first time in my life,  I haven’t been able to find a job (I was an office manager  and have been doing management work for almost ten years).

I just need a chance to start anew a get back into the game of life. I miss some of the simple pleasures like dinner, movies, shopping, manicures and pedicures. Without a car it is very limiting to where I can look for a job. It has to be on the bus line so I can get there. I need a car to get a job and need a job to get a car.

I have friends but they are working and traveling with their families. I feel as though the world is for the haves and not the have-nots. Now I am a have not I see things so differently.

Need Help In New Haven


Hi there!

Right off the top, as I see it, the two main issues are your unemployment and your relationship with your husband. Regarding the job situation, the first thing you have to remember is that nothing stays the same forever.  I  know it may not feel like it, as  this has been one long, incredibly ugly recession.

A lot of people are out of work, many of whom had jobs that went away and, because of  technology or other factors,  may never come back. I only point that out to say that this is a different time and place and we all need to think differently about it. So here’s what I would do if I were you. 

1 of 5  


 I have a friend, Debbie Mitchell, who spent most of her adult life as a television producer. When she lost her job, she had to figure out what to do. While the jobs in TV were scarce, the jobs in the information field were not; she just had to figure out how to use what she already had in her arsenal, in a new way. Now, she still “produces”, not for television but rather her own business. You can do that too. You have skills;  you just have to figure out a way to use them in this new world order.

Read more: 5 Things To Learn From A “Take-This-Job-And-Shove-It” Moment 


 When I was a cub reporter working at a small TV station in Reno, NV, one of the things that helped me feel a little more in control of my job seeking efforts was to make a list of actionable things. Then I would do them and check them off. One day would be to update my resume, another might be to make a resume tape, still a third day I might spend making calls and contacts. At the end of the day, seeing the things I had done and crossing them off my list was very fulfilling; it felt like I was making baby steps toward a larger goal. And I was.

Read more: My Target Moment: How I left TV News Behind



I know this sounds basic but taking good care of yourself (rest, exercise, proper nutrition) is imperative. You need energy to power you through the job search but more than that, you need it to keep your mood in check. Ever notice how how dire a situation feels when you’re fatigued? Yeah, don’t let that happen.

Read more: What Is Success? 4 Things To Learn From Adele And Jeremy Linn


Sometimes the path is convoluted. Sometimes the line is not straight. Sometimes you have to go around and in the back door. That might be the case here and a way to do that is to volunteer. First you keep your skills sharp. Secondly, you give your time to people who really needs you. And lastly, you’ll widen your circle of contacts.  Let’s say you go to a luncheon on behalf of the organization you’re volunteering for. Who knows who’ll be sitting at your table? You might decide you like working there and a paid position becomes available or they decide they can’t live without you and make one for you. The point is, anything can happen. There’s also something wonderful that happens when you take the focus off yourself and put it on someone less fortunate than you. And they are out there. 

Read more: Eyes Wide Open: It Really Is All About Connections


 I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here but I do think if you get moving in some other directions of your life, this will improve. Right now there is stress on this relationship, and it’s coming from all sides. I’m not saying that getting a job, paid or otherwise, is going to make your marriage better but at least that will be one less thing to worry about.

Read more: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: An Unvarnished Look Inside A Real Marriage 



The world is (and has always been) about the haves and the have nots. There will always  be someone who has more or less than you, that’s just fact. What you do with that is on you.  Secondly, while you won’t be without the finer things forever, there is a chance you might have to forego them in the immediate future, at least until you get back on firm financial footing. And no, you do not  need a car to find a job. Use public transportation to get to the general vicinity then use your feet to propel you the rest of the way. Stop throwing up obstacles; you can do this. Now figure it out.

Good luck!

Do you have a question for Rene? She has an answer.  Click here and fire away and don’t forget to follow the conversation on Facebook and Rene on Twitter.

 More from GEM:



Your Marriage:

1 of 5  


  1. Tesha

    November 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Hi Rene, I must share with you that your website is becoming difficult to use. When clicking on articles to read on your site for whatever reason it is now taking an extremely long time to load the articles. I even checked other websites to make sure it wasn’t my computer and it wasn’t. So in trying to alleviate the situation I got on my phone to read articles from GEM only to have Ads block the article and the ads don’t have an option to remove it from the screen so I am unable to read the article at all. So annoying seeing as though I love to read your articles. Please help! Thanks for all you do.

  2. Rene Syler

    November 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Thx Tesha: we’re working through some stuff as we grow. Hope to have this resolved shortly! Thx for your comment and support!

  3. Debbie Mitchell

    November 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Hi Need Help In New Haven,

    Rene’s advice is right on target. As Rene said when I lost my job in television after 25 years in the business I had to figure something out. It’s taken almost three years and during this time, I’ve lived on less and downsized my lifestyle quite a bit. I’ve also had to learn a few new skills and network my little butt off. I’m still figuring it out but realize that nothing stays the same and change is all apart of life. My advice.

    Keep yourself healthy, structure your job search, don’t be afraid to ask for help and think positively. Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Ask Rene

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

Copyright © 2014 Good Enough Mother® Designed By ABlackWebDesign