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The 12 Hidden Crises Working Men & Women Face And Where They Come From (One of the most insightf


I spent 18 years in corporate life that had some great high points, but also a number of very significant challenges that turned into full-blown crises. These serious crises included sexual harassment, gender discrimination, chronic illness, narcissistic bosses, financial hardship, toxic colleagues, unethical leadership and more.

When I look back now, I see that my entire corporate career was riddled with repeating challenges that were not, in fact, random. I didn’t understand why at the time, but the truth is that these crises seemed to follow me wherever I went, no matter the job. I’d ask myself, “How can this be happening again? Why do I continue to have terribly challenging leaders, bosses and work cultures?”

After a brutal layoff in the days following 9/11, I reinvented my career, and became a marriage and family therapist, and later, a women’s career and leadership coach and writer. I began to research extensively — both quantitatively and qualitatively — the full array of challenges I was seeing in front of me that were, in fact, serious professional crises that women face regularly. I felt compelled to understand more about why women are experiencing these crises so frequently, and how to bring new, effective solutions to the table.

In 2007, as I was doing research for my book Breakdown, Breakthrough, the findings indicated that 7 out of 10 women studied were experiencing at least one of the 12 hidden crises I’d identified , and on average, they were experiencing 3 at the same time.

Eleven years later, in the work I do with women now, the surveys my clients have filled out reveal that needle on these crises has not yet moved.

In earning a master’s degree in therapy, my eyes were opened about what we’re really going through when we experience these chronic, repeated challenges.

I learned how our personalities are formed in childhood, and the ways in which we learn to cope with stress and pain are often not healthy or productive. I learned too about how self-confidence and self-esteem and our ability to advocate for ourselves can be crushed by family and cultural programming, especially when parents and authority figures don’t understand how to raise and nurture children effectively so that they can live self-reliant, independent lives based on their own authentic values and ideas.

And I learned this: The chronic challenges we face as professionals are most often not random, and not about our "careers."

If your serious challenges (or more aptly put, “crises”) repeat over and over again, no matter what job, career or relationship you pursue, or what employe