Rita Barone – Letting Go and Finding Myself

My story began in 2012 when I unexpectedly lost my job after eight years as an Executive Assistant to the President of a small insurance brokerage. The company lost a big account due to the client being bought over and was no longer able to be our client.

I was unemployed for about eight months and was hired as an Administrative Assistant/Customer Service Rep but was let go a little over a year later due to downsizing. Last in, first out—nevertheless, I was let go again.

My daughter was getting ready for college. My husband had lost his job of 22 years when his entire department was let go in 2007. Our income decreased tremendously when he could not find another job in his field and was now making pizza for a living. We also lost our medical benefits for the family.

I started sending out my résumé, applying for jobs while our bills were piling up. After months and years had passed, I was frantic because I wasn’t getting calls for interviews, and if I did get called, I did not get hired. I would search through the job boards, newspapers, magazines, and go to workshops and networking groups as a volunteer to keep my skills current. Nothing.

I was finally hired as a Customer Service Rep at a small company where there was no communication between the employees. It was a toxic environment because everyone working there was unhappy. I became unhappy even though I was working, which was not like me. A few months later I was let go, but not given a reason why.

It was January 17, 2016, as I was reading through the newspaper, I came across an article written by a retired Career Counselor, Gloria Schramm. From the article, she seemed to really care about people. I just thought to take a chance and connect with her on LinkedIn. Although I had seen a Career Counselor before, I did not get any answers or help with finding a job. Gloria willingly accepted my invitation to connect and had me send her my resume to see if I had something missing. She gave me a few tips but thought my résumé was surprisingly good!

Gloria would give me the boost I needed to apply to the next job or go to the next interview. We would talk every day about what I was going through and gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. Gloria was my sounding board, my “go-to person” for advice about the jobs I would apply to, the interviews I went on and whenever I was let go, she was there to help me through it.

I began my search again but now I was frantic, and anxious! After searching awhile, I was hired as a Customer Service Rep. I needed a job and would take anything at this point. I was surprised that I was hired during the interview and was able to start on Monday! Little did I realize that once hired, I was placed in a Call Center, calling people and asking them to sign on with this radio station, which I felt was not what I was hired to do. Needless to say, I was let go again because I did not meet my quota of people signing on.

I was beside myself! I was frantic, anxious and now depressed—what was wrong with me? I was losing it! After months of searching I was hired as an Administrative Assistant but I was placed in an Order Department with no phone, just processing orders via email and fax, all day. This made me more depressed and after two months, I was let go again.

As I mentioned I volunteered to keep my skills current. I was volunteering for a non-profit company and crossed paths with Mark Hubbard who is a Wellness Practitioner at MKH Healing Arts. I started to speak with him about my situation—searching for a job, having no income as my unemployment ran out, bills were piling up, and I was trying to stay out of foreclosure, not knowing what to do next. Needless to say, I was very depressed.

Mark helped me to see that I was not only depressed about my job situation, but I was dealing with depression from 2006 when my Mom passed on and I stopped “living in the now.” If I had not crossed paths with Mark Hubbard at MKH Healing Arts, I would not be where I am today.

I am now working full-time as an Executive Secretary for a President of a small finance company and am there ten months. I am very happy at my current job and am able to feel good about myself, pay my bills, and be aware of my surroundings—see colors of birds, butterflies and rainbows, actually hear words to songs while listening to music, things that I did not realize were happening around me. I had blocked out everything in my life when my mom passed.

So, after all these years of being let go and searching for a job, I can honestly say I am not depressed anymore, I am happier now than I ever was when I was first let go in 2012 and I now have a friend named Gloria Schramm.

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