Posted by: Dr. Carolyn Edwards | January 30, 2012

Ask Dr. E – The Business of Selling Yourself

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Dr. E, I need a job and I don’t know what to do. I’ve put in hundreds of applications and went on a few interviews but now I am running out of money. I have two small children and the lights and heat were just cut off. Since it is winter and beginning to snow, I am getting scared. To be honest, I’ve thought about selling myself for money. I keep praying and asking God to show me a different way but it seems like I am getting no answer. You are my last resort, please help!!  Running out of time, Detroit.

Dear Running Out of Time,

Please continue to look for other positive financial solutions that are safe and will serve as good role models for your children.  There are many drawbacks to selling yourself or prostitution. For one it is illegal, you could be jailed and taken away from your children. You also could expose yourself to disease, assault or rape. Lastly, researchers have shown many former prostitutes have long lasting psychological effects of selling their bodies such as post traumatic stress, nightmares and suicide attempts.

Have you checked with your local electrical company or emergency resources agencies to take care of your immediate needs for heat, electricity and food? Many organizations have a fund to help people in need during the winter. Check out this link for energy assistance in your area I would also go to the local churches and food banks to ask for assistance. Check all the local agencies to see if you qualify for unemployment, food stamps or welfare. Once you are able to feed your children and get some help with the heat and electricity you can focus on getting a job.

Since you did not discuss your education, experience or skills here are some options. I suggest you begin your job search with your network of friends, colleagues, church members and family. Tell them what is happening and that you need a job now! You never know who has a job for you. Due to the economy, many people are jobless or underemployed, so don’t feel ashamed by your circumstances and don’t be afraid to tell them your situation is crucial.

Go to all the neighborhood stores like grocery, clothing and restaurant establishments. Many times they have unadvertised positions. So stop by and ask to fill out an application.

It is now time to think outside the box for other job ideas. If you have access to a telephone, you can work from home doing customer service work, accounting and billing or serve as a virtual assistant. If you don’t have internet connection at home go to your local library and search the website, and for online or virtual jobs you can do at home.

If you still can’t find anything, have you ever considered moving? Do you have family or friends you can stay with in another city or state where you can get some assistance and a job? Again, I cannot say it strongly enough, please look at all of your resources and options. Continue to do work that you would be proud to tell your kids about. Last but not least, keep on praying, it really does work.

May all of your needs be taken care of and you find a great job!

Please keep me posted.

Dr. E


Dr. Carolyn Edwards is an author, life/career management coach and graduate management professor.

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