She's not a "real" person.
But then, in a way she is, because if I were to take the stories of, say, a dozen or so "typical" clients I've worked with over the years (back when I used to do one-on-one career coaching) and "average" them, we'd get Judy.
In real life, I've met many Judys.
In fact, I know there are dozens of Judys who read this very blog.
So – Judy's husband recently passed away.
Like a lot of folks who are dealt a rotten hand by life, she had to leave her job so she could take care of her husband and keep the family together.
Since her husband died, her 18-year-old son Mark has become withdrawn. He's often in trouble with the school, and he recently started hanging around with some strange boys Judy has never seen before.
Judy was working with a recruiter for a while.
But after interviewing for a few jobs and getting knocked back, it looks like the recruiter has lost interest. He stopped sending jobs – and when Judy emails him, he takes far longer to respond than he used to.
So Judy is on her own again.
When you're going through a rough period of your life, it's bad enough. But when the people you thought you could depend on start letting you down, and when hiring managers knock you back for reasons that seem dumb (and that, in all likelihood, are just excuses) it's difficult not to take that personally.
But you have to remember that it never is personal.
Judy will get back on her feet.
Chances are, she'll land a job that's better than her old job.
How do I know that?
Because I've met a lot of "Judys" over the years, and almost all of them managed to get their life back and, in many cases, find something better.
Sometimes it happens quickly.
Sometimes it takes six months.
And sometimes it takes more than a year.
But if you're willing to go easy on yourself and invest (time, often money – but always time) in yourself, it will happen when you’re ready.