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. 


 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!

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