Dr. Phil Feels Your Pain

Dr. Phil McGraw"You've done nothing wrong!"

That's one of the most important messages Dr. Phil McGraw wants to send you as you try to recover from these difficult times and try to find work. "The decisions that caused this economic crisis happened at pay grades way above you and me. We're kind of caught up in the flow here."

"It's not your fault!"

That's the main thing Dr. Phil wants you to realize if you're out of work and trying desperately to find a job. "This is not something you have created by being lazy or unprepared for life," he says.

There's plenty of advice out there from experts and coaches about how to recover professionally, but very few people address the emotional impact of job loss, or its effects on family members and friends. That, however, is what McGraw is all about.

"You've gotta be clear with yourself that you've done nothing wrong, it's not appropriate to feel guilt, it's not appropriate to feel shame." McGraw knows this from firsthand experience -- even he has felt the pain of being fired (See 5 Quick Questions, below).

Dr. Phil reached out specifically to AOL Jobs readers to give them encouragement, along with the emotional tools to get through these difficult times. Whether you've lost a job yourself, or you know someone who has (and who doesn't?) this advice could be just the lifeline that's needed.


Q. How do you stay motivated during a long job search?

A. I always tell people that life is a marathon. It's not a sprint. Think of it this way: You're out in the ocean, in a boat, it capsizes. People know you're out there, and they're coming (to save you). The question is, can you stay afloat until they get there? That's what I want people to do during these tough economic times. Do whatever you have to do to stay afloat. If that means taking a job outside your profession, if that means doing something beneath what you've done before, if that means piecing together two or three part-time jobs, that's OK. Just stay afloat until things turn around. You will get another chance to do what you do, you will get another chance to be fully functioning. The question is, will you still be afloat when that chance comes around? So hang in there, and just don't give up.


Q. How do you overcome your fear of rejection or failure?

A. If you know that fear of rejection is really getting in your way, if you're feeling shame and guilt about where you are, here's a tip: Talk about this with other people. Talk about the fact that you don't have a job. Talk about the fact that you're out there in the market. Because many other people out there are in the same situation, and the worst thing you can do is to withdraw and get isolated. If you talk to other people you'll realize that there's no reason for shame and guilt, and you won't worry about rejection because right now, it's just part of the truth, and you're going to have to hear "no" a lot of times before you hear "yes," but you only need one yes and you're back in the game.


Q. How can you stay confident during a long job search?

A. I think the best thing you can do is to decide, before you walk into the room, what you have to offer. You don't need to try and guess what that job is going to involve or know what they're going to need, but know who you are. Know that you have intelligence, know that you have energy, know that you have passion, know that you are willing to be a jack of all trades. Because if you walk in there and you look somebody in the eye and you say, "I can help you today. I am willing to roll my sleeves up, I do floors, I do windows, I do whatever you need. If you give me a track to run on, you're going to be proud of your decision."

You can say that, but you also need to know it. Know that you have what it takes. And the only person you have to convince of that is you. Once you believe it, and you acknowledge your gifts, skills, traits and characteristics that make you uniquely who you are, you won't have any trouble convincing somebody else -- but it starts with you.


Q. How can you prevent unemployment or the stress of job searching from impacting your relationships?

A. One of the things I worry about most is the trickle-down effect of job loss and economic strife in the family. You are worried and you are disappointed, and therefore you are frustrated. There's something that I call 'non-directional venting.' Your spouse didn't do anything to cause your job to go away, but yet (he or she) is handy. They're in your cross-hairs. So all this frustration comes bubbling up, and you dump it on your partner. Don't do that. In fact, sit down with your partner and say, "I am really feeling frustrated right now, and I feel like I wanna scream, and you're handy, but I don't want to scream at you, so I just want to tell you what I'm feeling." Recognize that you and your spouse, you and your children, you're all in this together. Everybody wants you to have a job. Everybody wants you to feel good about who you are and what you're doing. They're on your side. Don't alienate the No. 1 allies in your life, because they've got your back.

AOL Jobs Asks
Dr. Phil McGraw
5 Quick Questions

1. What was your first job? Car hop at an A&W Rootbeer stand. When they switched us over to skates, I was out of a job.

2. What inspires you? Impact. If I can see an impact of what I'm doing, I go home at the end of the day feeling like I've made a difference.

3. What is the most important trait needed to succeed? Passion. You've gotta be excited about what you're doing. If you're just going through the motions, it will never work. Get excited and let that passion shine through.

4. What is your biggest challenge? Patience. I want to fix everything right now. I want to fix it by noon yesterday. So I really have to control myself.

5. What is the best career advice you ever received? ‎It came from Oprah. She said, "Phil, be who you are. Don't let them homogenize you, don't let them change you, be true to yourself, true to your values. That will carry you to the end."


Q. What is the best way to emotionally support someone who is unemployed?

A. If you're the spouse, the friend or the sibling of someone who's lost their job and they're going through difficult times, you have so much that you can offer this person. They're going to be having a lot of self doubt. They're going to be having an identity crisis. They're going to be wondering, "How come I don't have traction in this world?" I can't tell you what it would mean to them for you to step up and say, "You are so talented. You have such a history of working, of being productive, of making a contribution! There's no way you're not going to find somebody who recognizes that and puts you back in the game. And if you want to talk about that, please, let's talk about it. I'll brainstorm with you, I'll help you come up with more strategies."

Let them know you believe in them and tell them why. Not just "I believe in you because you're my brother," but "I believe in you because you're intelligent, you've got a great work ethic, you have skill sets." Don't just let them know that this is blind support, let them know why you feel that way. They need to hear that, and when you're finished saying it, I promise you they'll repeat it to themselves.


Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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Sheila

Was wondering what a pain DR. job really is? what do they do for u?
Thank you.

July 27 2012 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HL

I just finished watching an "Reinvent Yourself" episode of Dr. Phil on OWN and it was fully appreciated!! A true wake up call! Especially after hearing

“Prior to losing my job, I was always a happy-go-lucky person, a very positive person,” Shaniece says. “Now that I’m not so happy, now that I’m kind of negative myself, I don’t want to be a hypocrite and be around people.”

“The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself. The worst thing you can do is withdraw and pull back,” Dr. Phil warns. “If you can’t get a job that pays, get a job where you volunteer. If you can’t be around people who all have jobs and are forward thinking, then be a spark plug for people who don’t and who need it. You have too much to give to pull back, and isolate and shut down.”

I have experienced episodes where I would isolate myself from others feeling down about my financial struggles and truly needed to see this past episode. (from 2009!)

Fortunately, I received a call this morning from my staffing agency to start a new job this Thursday that could potentially be permanent!

And will take this whole article to heart especially this advice . I think the best thing you can do is to decide, before you walk into the room, what you have to offer. You don't need to try and guess what that job is going to involve or know what they're going to need, but know who you are. Know that you have intelligence, know that you have energy, know that you have passion, know that you are willing to be a jack of all trades. Because if you walk in there and you look somebody in the eye and you say, "I can help you today. I am willing to roll my sleeves up, I do floors, I do windows, I do whatever you need. If you give me a track to run on, you're going to be proud of your decision."

You can say that, but you also need to know it. Know that you have what it takes. And the only person
you have to convince of that is you. Once you believe it, and you acknowledge your gifts, skills, traits and characteristics that make you uniquely who you are, you won't have any trouble convincing somebody else -- but it starts with you.


I know I am capable and as long as I embody that belief it will show in my performance at my new job and I can't wait to show them what I can offer.

I wish you all the best and Thank You so much for this article!

October 04 2011 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pamela Wages

I have been reviewing the blogs on this site. I just cannot believe how much anger is being expressed. I watch Dr. Phil even tho his producers have cut my story out. But I really wish they didn't do that. I see so much love and effort put out on his show....and really wanted to get some of it. I dont care if he is a real doc or not. He does amazing things for people. It was their choice to "cut" my story for particular purposes. I am not angry with them, why is everyone else??? He cant possibly help everyone out, but it looks like he gives the ones he does help all of the very best. Who could ask for more????

January 30 2011 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Pamela Wages's comment
Elizabeth

He has a PhD in psychology. There are 2 different types of psychological counselors: Clinical psychologists having a PhD in psychology as Dr. Phil does, and Pschiatrists having a MD (Medical Doctorate) and has done a professional residency in psychiatry. Psychiatrists can prescribe medicine. Psychologists cannot. A psychologist will often provide counseling and refer the patient to a psychiatrist for medication. I think you can also provide counseling if you have a Masters degree in psychology, but don't quote me since I'm trying to recall this from years ago when I worked at the universities. Things may have changed since then also.

January 31 2011 at 3:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stehen

Ok, he is a fat overpaid idiot that isn't even a doctor! Why would anyone listen to him? Hell he bought his son a million dollar home for a wwedding gift! He has no clue what realty is!

January 30 2011 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
newwealthnow

Well, as you know, there are still no jobs out there, they have all shifted to being online. That's where the money is now. For people that don't use computers they should quit fooling around and get some basic PC skills asap because(it may be your only way out) when their extended un-employment benifits run out, they are going to need to find out how to make money online. Sure there are some BS type of programs out there that you have to sift through to get to the real stuff, but the real and ligitimate money makers are more than worth it for a huge difference in your life. People, do what ever you can to keep your (home internet hook up) bill paid so you can have the option to make Real money online and also have the option to NOT participate in this stinking recession. Stand up and claim your American FREEDOM to live a prosperous life in this great country of AMERICA. Don't let them hold you back and tear us down, get up,stand up and (build "your own"economy) starting from this day forward! How do I start? Here is your link start right now your new path to success: homecashcreator.com

January 30 2011 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
R.G.

I think we should just give this country back to the NATIVE AMERICAN'S and be on our merry way back to POLAND, or where ever is we came from. HOW'S THAT WORK FOR YOU!

January 30 2011 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john dunkirk

to anonymous - your husband sounds like an idiot he doesnt sound like much help i hope things work out for you please keep a positive attitude good luck

January 30 2011 at 6:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Paradiso

Oprah gave "Dr" Phill, a big blowhard in my opinion the following advice:
She said "Phil, be who you are. Don't let them homogenize you, don't let them change you, be true to yourself, true to your values. That will carry you to the end." The operative word is "them". When she said "them" she meant us, the "little people". People who are not as smart as them.

January 30 2011 at 5:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Paradiso

Agree Mom, completely agree. He is a do nothing, blowhard. How does a guy who makes millions per year have the nerve to tell us how to get a job and how we should feel when we are dissapointed time and time again?

January 30 2011 at 5:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tracey

Even though I now scantily look for work as I had sent out hundreds of resumes since 2008(with no call backs) and there has been no turn around or change as pushed from the ruling ABOVE...jobs are literally and have been only destroyed from the ruling, to self centered wealthy bracket. How can billions of persons who live in poverty and below the means of poverty stay afloat? The problem is 100% with the White Collar Class of folk who have been doing nothing, but flapping their mouthes and only sowing false hopes to billions of lives especially the talk of creating new jobs. SO many within the White Collar who get everything handed to them on a silver platter and ruin everyone elses opportunities as they continue to take PRECEDENCE over everyone else simply because of their MONEY!

January 30 2011 at 5:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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