Entries tagged with “job loss”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Wed 27 Jan 2010
By Diva Nikki
(c) January 27, 2010
In one of my recent posts, I talked a bit about how the journey with a spouse in career transition can be a long one.
So what do you do when the magical end date for unemployment insurance is getting closer and closer at hand? How, you may ask, do you cut things back even further when you’ve already been cutting back?
I’m going to preface the following with a disclaimer. (Thank you, 11 years of working with lawyers in a highly regulated industry.) I am not a financial advisor, nor do I suggest any of the following as official financial advice. You really need to consult your own professional financial about what makes sense for your situation and what your options are. What I do want to offer, however, is food for thought from my own life.
Here are some things to consider as the journey gets longer.
Look at your budget…again.
There are “nice to haves” and “need to haves.” For example, saving for retirement is a really important strategy. And…it also won’t kill our entire future if we stop investing for a few months.
Here’s an example. Our cable bill just went up. And we started thinking hard about whether cable is a necessity or just a nicety. Especially in the days of Hulu.com – is it worth over $100 a month for the convenience of flipping through a bunch channels just because we’re bored? Or could we get by with Internet and more time to read books?
Protect the income you do have.
As the sole breadwinner, I decided to take out a disability insurance policy for myself, above what my employer already covered. It’s an added expense (at a time we don’t need additions), but for me it was worth knowing that if something happened to me while my husband’s still looking for work, the income we do have would be safer.
Encourage your spouse to start broadening the job search.
Undesirable as this prospect may be, if the realities of this economy and job market are such that he’s just not finding a job that fulfills his worth and experience, it might be time to broaden the options. Discuss the possibility of looking for less senior positions or positions in former fields of expertise. Or, if your family situation would allow, discuss the possibility of broadening the geographic part of the search. There may be more opportunity in other areas.
If dire straits are truly near, consider part-time work.
Not that any career professional (let alone an MBA) would relish the thought, but asking if “you want fries with that” would at least help make ends meet if you need to make up for unemployment insurance when it ends. And a part-time schedule would allow for networking and job searching time. If you want to be really supportive, you could consider part-time work, too. Perhaps working weekends at a shop you love.
Consider the value of your clutter.
Do you have things around the house you don’t use but may have value? For instance, since my husband and I got iPods, we realized we never used our CDs anymore. So we sold them to a used book store and made several hundred dollars. Look around to see if there might be things you could trade in for cash.
Hang in there and keep supporting each other.
You will get through this. Together. There will be a better future.
Wed 13 Jan 2010
By Diva Nikki
(c) January 13, 2010
I have a phrase I’ve shared with many people: “Patience is a virtue. It’s just not one of mine.”
Tolerance, I’ve got plenty.
Love, in abundance.
Understanding, in spades.
Patience…not so much.
So when I tell you that if you have a spouse in career transition that you should be prepared for this journey to be long one, I want you to appreciate exactly how hard that journey is for me.
I’m a doer. I’m an action girl. I love to help. I adore making things happen. How does that work into helping my husband find work? It really, really doesn’t.
The reality is, in today’s environment it can take a long time to find a new job. There are lots of really talented, highly experienced people out there and available for hire. I remember a time when job descriptions might have said they wanted 10 years of XYZ experience, but didn’t necessarily require that of a potential employee. I remember a time when they might have taken a chance on someone with different industry experience but who had the right skills. Now, companies can be entirely prescriptive of exactly the length and type of experience they want – and have 46 people apply with those exact specifications.
I’m not going to lie: the waiting is hard. And it’s especially hard as the spouse of the one doing the looking. Because really – there’s nothing you can actively “do” to help. And as the wait gets longer, the more stressful things can get.
So how do you get through the seeming eternity that is your spouse’s transition? How do you keep your household – and marriage – going?
Occasionally, revisit your plan.
You put together a budget, agreed on compromises and schedules within the first few weeks of transition. But it’s a good idea to revisit those if the journey is taking a few months. Make sure the plans you set will still work if things go longer than you thought.
If need be, create a “worst case scenario” plan.
What happens if unemployment insurance runs out and your spouse still hasn’t found a new career? Take another look at finances, support networks and possibilities. Create the “holy crud” plan now, while things are still okay. That way, if it needs to be put in place, you won’t have to create it in a panic.
Find ways to re-energize.
If you’ve ever followed a diet plan, you know that even when you begin a plan with utmost dedication, after awhile, you can lose energy. Find ways in the midst of this transition to re-energize – individually and as a couple. Talk to each other. Encourage one another. Pursue (affordable) hobbies or activities that make you feel good. Build romance into each day.
If you think you’re feeling dragged down as the career transition timeline continually drags on, how do you think your spouse feels? No matter how hard it is, keep offering support. Let him know every day you love him and believe in him.
Fri 8 Jan 2010
Guest Column By Marni Hockenberg
(c) January 8, 2010
A job search can easily be put on the back burner during the holidays, especially if the search has lasted six months or longer.
It’s good to recharge yourself during the holidays to avoid job search burnout. But, like allowing yourself just one more holiday cookie, the temptation to play now and pay later can be dangerous. Moderation is the key.
Hopefully during this holiday season, you enjoyed your down time while also taking some simple and practical steps to jump-start your 2010 job search. But even if you didn’t, it’s not too late to boost your efforts now that the first days of the new year are upon us.
Reflect on your 2009 job search.
Write down five activities you did that successfully moved your job search in the right direction. Keep doing them in 2010. Then write down five activities that didn’t provide traction and discontinue them in 2010.
In other words, make a resolution to be intentional and use your time wisely.
Find an “Accountability Buddy.”
Job searching can be lonely—but with a buddy, you don’t need to be the Lone Ranger anymore. Write down and review your daily, weekly and monthly job search goals with your buddy. Ask him or her to hold you accountable. When you achieve your goals, your buddy can celebrate with you!
Flashcards will give your interview “flash”
Remember flashcards? I used them in school to learn math (where are they? I still need them!). Buy a pack and write down the tough interview questions that stump you.
Formulate your answers and ask your Accountability Buddy to participate in a mock interview with you. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.
Preparation is key in a job interview!
Attend job search educational workshops, forums and meetings.
Even if you learn one tip that will propel you toward achieving your goal, it will be worth your time.
For example, I’m offering an interactive Interview Workshop on January 12, 2010, titled “How The Hiring Game Is Really Played: Experienced Recruiter Reveals 9 Interview Secrets!” from 8:15-10:30 a.m. at the Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka, Minn. For those of you in the Twin Cities area who’d like to register, visit my Web site at www.hockenbergsearch.com/calendar. For those of you in other parts of the country, seek out workshops that will help you build your skills to become a more confident and prepared job-seeker.
No matter what you do, the simple steps you take now can pay dividends as the new year unfolds!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Guest columnist Marni Hockenberg is principal of Hockenberg Search, a professional and managerial recruiting firm based in Minnetonka, Minn. With more than two decades of recruiting and business consulting experience, Marni Hockenberg has a proven track record of providing focused, personalized search services to small- and medium-sized businesses to help them find, recruit and retain top-tier talent.
Wed 6 Jan 2010
By Diva Nikki
(c) January 6, 2010
Guilty pleasure admission: I’m a “Gleek.” Since the very pilot episode of the TV show Glee, I’ve been hooked.
There’s something about the absolutely over-the-top portrayal of a group of high school misfits, their weekly slushie face-dousing trials…and the way they continually fight through the negativity and adversity to do what they love…that endears this show to me.
Their wildly successful pilot episode featured the small group of initial Glee kids doing an amazing version of the Journey tune “Don’t Stop Believin’.” I will admit – I went out to You Tube and watched it several times.
There’s something about that song – and the show – that resonates with my life right now. As the wife of a husband in career transition, I feel like negativity exists every day in our household. While I’m quite happy (as is my unstained wardrobe) that I don’t literally have a grape slushie thrown in my face each day, there are certainly days where it’s hit me or my husband in a proverbial sense.
Like every time he applies for a job and gets the lovely standard form rejection letter (sometimes within a day, which really hits you). Or each time he tries to sell a great new idea for a startup business to a new client and never hears back from them. When we count the days until unemployment insurance runs out. As I’m in a store and don’t get to purchase something I want because we’re on a budget. And when we have to endure well-meaning people who say really trite, insensitive things about my husband’s current employment situation, essentially saying, “You’ll never be able to pull this off.”
Every day we live through the adversity, I feel just like one of those poor high school kids, getting up every morning and just knowing the cold, icky (though maybe not bright purple) reality that’s going to be sloshed in my face.
The lesson for me here really is: “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Don’t stop believin’ in my husband’s brilliance and abilities.
Don’t stop believin’ that everything will be ok.
Don’t stop believin’ that there really is a greater Plan unfolding.
Don’t stop believin’ that the economy will improve and more jobs will become available.
Don’t stop believin’ my husband is doing everything he can to find a new career.
Don’t stop believin’ in my own ability to keep supporting my husband emotionally…and our household financially.
I think I need to go work on my jazz hands…
Mon 21 Dec 2009
(c) December 21, 2009
One day, when Chuck Solomon was in high school, his dad announced to him: “You’re going to help me re-roof the house.”
Taken by surprise, Solomon asked his dad, a pharmacist, “What do you know about roofing?” to which his father replied: “I went to the lumber yard and asked lots of questions.”
The roof got built (and lasted for years) and so did a new do-it-yourself hobby for Solomon, who went on to do the occasional home repair project for friends and was frequently hired to do some painting for a few of his college professors.
After a circuitous career over the next decade as a social worker, nonprofit administrator, information technology recruiter and, later, a stay-at-home dad, Solomon eventually returned to his hobby handyman business when his son started school. Before long, it had grown into a full-time venture.
Today, Handyman Solutions is the go-to resource for homeowners in North Carolina’s Triangle region who are seeking help with everything from stringing Christmas lights to simple repairs to full-on bathroom remodeling projects.
Solomon is the editor of the HouseFixer blog and recently published a book, Building Your Successful Handyman Business: A guide to starting and operating a profitable contracting business (available for purchase on Amazon), to help tradesmen better hone their business skills.
He shares his three best tips with others who have recently started, or are considering starting, their own small businesses:
1. From losses come gains.
The financial crisis led to the collapse of many businesses, both large and small, but for Solomon, it’s also sparked innovation. Instead of bemoaning lost income streams, he challenged himself to be creative in exploring new ones.
“I saw the writing on the wall when the banks crashed, so I went back to the well,” says Solomon. Back in the real estate heyday, for example, a significant portion of business came from real estate agents who needed help with basic home repairs contingent on closing a sale. When real estate activity dried up, Solomon flexed in a new direction: providing “on the ground” repair services to homeowners who had moved out of town but were forced to rent their homes rather than sell the property at a loss.
“I consider myself lucky, but also purposeful about taking steps to counteract potential challenges,” he says. “And, even in this economy, people are still living in homes. We’re not going back to caves and huts. There’s still a need for help.”
2. Being the expert in your field doesn’t mean being an expert on everything.
There’s a lot involved in starting a small business—but many proprietors make the mistake of thinking they must go it alone. And that often leads to guesswork, which can be time-consuming at best, or costly at worst.
Take, for instance, taxes. Small business owners typically are required to file quarterly tax estimates with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and failing to do so can be a costly mistake.
“When you work for someone else, they take the taxes out for you before you ever see your paycheck and you never think twice about it,” says Solomon. “But when you start your own business, you alone are responsible for withholding the appropriate taxes. Guessing is hard—and I recommend that small business owners hire a CPA to work with you from the very beginning.”
And, if hiring a professional advisor is too costly for your checkbook, consider bartering services. Many small businesses are just starting out, like you, and bartering services is a great way to accomplish what you need, while also helping your collaborator build his or her own professional portfolio.
3. Be confident about pricing.
One of the challenges many small business owners face is what to charge for their services. When starting out, it’s tempting to panic and start cutting prices or offering discounts just to get business—but that’s often a bad strategy for long-term success.
“I tell my clients that I run an above-board business,” says Solomon. “I have insurance, I pay taxes, I pay the people who work for me. I need to be profitable, and my clients need me to be profitable. They want to know that when they call me in a year, I’ll still be there.”
Even so, it’s important to determine a competitive pricing model. Solomon calls competitors to see what they charge for similar services, and he keeps impeccable client records to keep tabs on what his clients paid in the past. “People tend to buy by price, not value,” he says. “And most people won’t choose the provider who charges top dollar or the lowest dollar—they select someone right in the middle. So, I always try to make sure my prices fall right in the middle, and I always give my clients my best price upfront.”
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Chuck Solomon of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, is the owner of Handyman Solutions, a small business specializing in residential home improvement services from carpentry, flooring, painting and general handyman repairs. He blogs about various home repair topics on House Fixer and he is the author of the recently published guidebook, Building Your Successful Handyman Business: A guide to starting and operating a profitable contracting business.
Fri 18 Dec 2009
By Jennifer Cohen
(c) December 18, 2009
Every job I accepted, I secretly knew (deep down in my gut, which I tried hushing at every interview) it was probably not the exact job for me…but then again, no one gets their dream job the first time around…or second, or third, or fourth. Right?
So, just because the job didn’t meet every one of my requirements and I knew I would be pigeon-holed in my responsibilities, I didn’t think it was a smart decision to just pass. I mean, why not give it a shot and maybe my instincts would be deceiving me?
But I was always right. The job would last for a bit, but I was very cognizant to the signs indicating it wasn’t going to be forever. I probably could’ve made a very aggressive over/under bet and made half my salary for pinpointing the day/time of separation.
I also think my appetite for success and leadership was never being fulfilled, since I was always required to start at the bottom and report to someone who wanted to prevent me from advancing. It seems as though the cut-throat environment of some corporations does not foster teamwork when you spend most of your time with bus tire tracks on your back.
What I can say, though, is that from each experience, I definitely took away something great and I do not regret any opportunity that came my way.
I am actually forever grateful for the positions and even more grateful for the separations. In every position, I always learned something new, expanded my network and learned a lot about management and how to communicate using various styles.
I can also confidently admit that I definitely knew that each of the positions was not going to be where I would stay for long—and hopefully, I stayed just long enough in each before I was fired (four times).
The moral of this story is we should be in tune with our emotions. We should listen to what our gut is telling us and take it into consideration when making big decisions. There is constantly a struggle between what is true, what we want to be true, and our final decision. We should also understand that ultimately, the decision we make is the right decision and the way it was meant to work out.
So don’t regret anything from which you can learn something, but make sure you are not hushing your gut when it is screaming in your face.
“Fired…Four Times” is a monthly column written by 20-something Jennifer Cohen, chronicling her experiences being fired, four times, and ultimately reinventing herself in a new and successful career as a marketing and social media consultant.
Wed 16 Dec 2009
By Diva Nikki
(c) December 16, 2009
As 21st Century women, we’ve grown up being told we can do anything—and everything—we put our minds to.
We balance careers and families. We volunteer, cook gourmet meals and wear fabulous shoes while doing it. We can do it all. We’re superwomen.
AND we’re now supporting our households financially and emotionally while our spouses search for their next careers.
The first time my husband was unemployed was within the first year of our marriage. We were both working toward our MBA degrees full time while working full time, and I felt like I still had to prove I was a perfect wife.
When my husband lost his job, I tried to keep things going as “normal”—which meant that not only was I working and studying full time, I was also still doing all the cleaning, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, remembering of all family birthdays…you get the picture.
Eventually, I cracked. It was eating me up inside that I was doing ALL this work and my husband was home. All day. Watching curling during the Olympics and playing video games.
At first I wanted to blame him. “I shouldn’t have to ask him to help,” I thought. “He should just recognize what needs to be done and do it!”
Then I realized: The reason he wasn’t helping was because I’d never asked him. So I finally did. I learned that there are ways to ask for help that are more effective than others.
Ask. Don’t tell. Don’t yell. Ask.
Truthfully, unless you ask, your spouse probably doesn’t even realize you need help. Yelling at him or telling him what to do are not effective. Be calm, be specific.
Specifically, ask for help.
Your spouse isn’t going to say, “Gee, honey – I’d LOVE to do a bunch more work I’ve never done before!” But loving spouses do get a feeling of purpose by helping those they love. You’re giving them an opportunity to do that. Plus, by taking some of the incidental sources of stress off your plate, you’ve got more capacity to provide emotional support for him.
Teach him what to do.
If you’re asking for help around the house with chores he’s never done before, your spouse may need a bit of instruction. Show him where supplies are, how to work appliances, etc.
Make things easy.
Gather cleaning supplies into one area. Buy ready-made frozen meals or mixes. Separate your dirty laundry. Make detailed lists.
Adjust your expectations.
Your spouse is not you. Do not expect that things will be done exactly as you do them. Rather, appreciate that things get done. Even if towels are folded differently or you eat spaghetti for four days in a row, celebrate the fact that you have clean towels and a meal prepared for you when you get home.
Show sincere appreciation.
Your spouse is helping you out, during a time when he’s already feeling stressed. Let him know that you truly appreciate what he’s doing to help make your life easier.
Thu 10 Dec 2009
Guest Column by Jane Stubblefield
(c) December 10, 2009
Whether it’s expected, or comes as a complete surprise, being separated from your job is a shock to your psyche as well as to your savings account.
I joined the ranks of the unemployed last February. After the normal cycle of blaming and raving, I realized what happened to me was truly a blessing in disguise.
Finally I could step back, evaluate my experience and decide how to reclaim my purpose in life, which was much more about creating a livelihood than it was about just having a job. Obviously I would have to devote many tedious hours to finding a full-time position, but I also wanted to make that search process creative, nourishing and outwardly focused.
After spending months networking within industries related to my diverse background, I ultimately decided to return to my passion and focus my job search on finding a position as a Director of Volunteers for a nonprofit organization.
Working with volunteers had always brought out the best in me, both personally and professionally, so it seemed logical that the next step in my job search should be seeking an appropriate volunteer opportunity to keep me nourished and connected to the professional community. My goal was to find an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution, network with the people in my industry, and gain new skills to enhance my resume (pretty ambitious for a 63-year-old grandmother who recently had retirement in her sights!)
I soon was energized by a great opportunity! I am completing an unpaid internship at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. My assignment is to write a volunteer policy manual—a perfect fit for me right now. I’m “working” for a highly recognized and respected organization with professionals who appreciate my skills and experience. I’ll add this project to my resume, and I’m gaining valuable knowledge while conducting the research required for the assignment. By taking the initiative to pursue volunteer work while unemployed, I’m hopeful potential employers will see me as a resourceful, energetic and creative person who also takes responsibility for making a contribution to our community.
Whether you’re seeking employment in the private, public or nonprofit sector, the benefits of volunteering in these economic times are invaluable—a win/win for everyone!
Charities are experiencing unprecedented needs for skilled volunteers as requests for their services skyrocket and resources dwindle. Volunteers can provide much-needed expertise and in return, have the opportunity to freshen skills, add depth to their resumes and network with a wide variety of resources that can make valuable connections for them.
As for your psyche—volunteering turns your focus outward and helps you keep your own situation in perspective as you help those in need.
Ready to volunteer? I offer a few tips to help make your volunteer experience successful.
- Explore your passions and determine what matters most to you before beginning your search.
- Target your approach. Find a position that will enhance your skills, and once in a position, seek project opportunities that showcase your talents and leadership ability.
- Be genuine and don’t over commit. Be honest about what your expectations are and make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you.
- Always be professional and do the best job you can, no matter what you are asked to do.
- Take every opportunity to learn everything you can.
- Temper your expectations. Nonprofits don’t always have the same level of resources that corporations do, so don’t complain about what the organization may be lacking.
- Always speak well of the organization. You never know who is listening!
- Be humble and helpful, and always respect the staff and their clients.
- Don’t leave the organization in the lurch! Seek short-term projects rather than long-term commitments, and if you find a job and need to leave the position before the agreed upon date, figure out a way to finish the project before you go.
- Request a letter of recommendation from your supervisor when you leave, and be prepared to make specific connections from your volunteer experience to a job interviewer.
David McNally, international business speaker and author, suggests that “the seeds of thriving are sown through giving.” Aren’t you ready to thrive rather than just survive? You have the time; you have the skills; now go find your passion and volunteer today!
No matter where you live, organizations are waiting for your help. Step away from your computer and engage in a healthy activity with untold benefits. You never know where this path may lead!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Guest columnist Jane Stubblefield is experienced in volunteer and event management and is currently serving in a “nontraditional” internship with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. She lives in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where she sings in the church choir and enjoys spending time with her toddler grandson.
Wed 9 Dec 2009
By Diva Nikki
(c) December 9, 2009
In the long-running TV show, being a “Survivor” is the best thing that can happen. Competitors will go to great lengths and low depths to outwit and outlast.
But in the workplace, being a survivor doesn’t come with near the glory…or the monetary prize.
In the midst of more corporate layoffs than most of us have seen in our lifetimes, there is rightly lots of news attention being paid to those forced into transition. But what about those of us who are still employed? The ones still left in the office, taking on piles more work, listening to crickets chirp in all the silent, empty cubicles around us?
Being a layoff survivor can come with lots of emotions and challenges:
- Sadness as you watch dear friends and long-time colleagues leaving.
- Anxiety as you wonder if you’ll be next.
- Stress as you figure out how you’ll now do the work of others on top of your own, because let’s face it: most companies don’t reduce work when they reduce staff.
- Guilt over your continued employment while other talented people are let go.
- Frustration over the seeming halt in your own career path while the whole company freezes hiring and salaries.
What can you do?
In the midst of all these emotions, it’s important to take the time to acknowledge your feelings and find ways to help cope with them.
Express your feelings to your co-workers. Let them know you will miss them, and find ways to help with closure like goodbye lunches.
Offer to help them in their job search efforts. Connect to them on LinkedIn, give helpful feedback on resumes or cover letters, and offer to give recommendations.
Talk to someone about your own stress. Many companies offer employee assistance programs for temporary counseling as a benefit. Take advantage of those services.
Do what you can to stay motivated…and healthy. In such a negative environment, this is hard. But find ways to keep yourself going. Set small goals, celebrate (in a subtle, sensitive way) your own achievements. And be sure to keep getting sleep, good food and exercise. In short, take good care of yourself mentally and physically.
Have a tactful, practical conversation with your boss about how to prioritize your work. As one of the few resources still available, you have value. Work together to create a plan for what’s most important and what you can realistically accomplish in a work week.
Focus on your career development. That seems almost impossible in a downsizing environment. But taking on new tasks also means gaining new expertise and skills. Use this time to learn and grow yourself. The economic downturn won’t last forever, and you could come out on the other side with many more tools to help on your journey up the ladder—or wherever you want to go from here.
- JoNel Aleccia, “Guilty and stressed, layoff survivors suffer, too,” MSNBC, December 15, 2008.
- Mary Zeiher, “Layoff Survivor Syndrome in the Workplace,” Associated Content, January 2, 2009.
- Susan M. Heathfield, “How to Cope When Co-Workers Lose Their Jobs,” About.com
Read these other recent Desperate Workingwife columns:
Wed 2 Dec 2009
By Diva Nikki
(c) December 2, 2009
Let’s face it—living with an unemployed spouse is darn stressful. You spend a lot of time focusing on him: listening to his job search struggles, finding ways to keep his spirits up, discussing budget issues, being understanding about his emotional ups and downs…
And it’s not like your own life or career is without stress either. It’s possible things at your own company might be less than secure. You still have your own job duties and career development to think about, volunteer meetings to attend…and it’s even conceivable that having your spouse without a job right now might cause you some additional stress.
Unless you’re a superhero or a saint, it’s time you think about relieving some of that stress. If you don’t, it’s eventually going to explode—all over your household. And that, my friend, will do no one any good.
Find a venting partner.
Spend time with a friend you can trust and who will listen to your feelings and struggles. Your spouse already has enough struggles of his or her own to deal with and probably doesn’t need yours. But you do need a safe place to let your hair down and get it all out.
Look for other support.
Investigate your local workforce development board to see if there’s a support group for unemployed spouses. If not, offer to help start one. Meeting with others in your same situation could give you great ideas and encouragement.
Finish a project.
Get out that craft or hobby project that’s been sitting unfinished in a closet or garage for a year and finish it. You’ll do something you love and have the satisfaction of being productive. It’s something you can do during a time when you feel like there’s a lot you can’t do.
You’re not going to be able to be supportive for your spouse if you’re feeling like crud. Maintain your exercise routine, try to eat healthy foods and get as much sleep as you can. Your health is very important right now.
Sing or laugh loudly.
Put your favorite CD in the car and belt away. Watch your favorite funny DVD. In general, find things that make you happy and offer a positive release of energy. If you and your spouse can do this together, even better!
Make your own spa night.
Take a bubble bath, give yourself a manicure or facial. Talk your loving spouse into giving you a massage with candles—a bottle of massage lotion is much cheaper than an hour at the spa. Plus, once he’s got you relaxed and feeling loved, you never know what might be in it for him.
Focus on your own personal and professional development.
Be sure you keep up with your own career, even though your spouse is in transition. Read a business book, attend a seminar or network with people you think can help you grow.
In general, be sure your own stress is dealt with so you can help your spouse deal with his.