You’re facing a dilemma—a toxic work environment, a new job opportunity, a seemingly never-ending job search, communication issues with co-workers, or you’re feeling burned out and exhausted. You want to talk about it, but everyone you trust works with you, or they’ve heard it all before and you need an outside point of view, or you just aren’t sure who to talk to about it. 

That’s what Empower Work is for. Our trained volunteer peer counselors support people in their toughest moments at work. We’re here to listen, help you get perspective, and help you find the next steps that feel right for you. If you’re struggling with a work issue, you can text us on our free, confidential text line at 510-674-1414

We listen.

When you feel like you have no one to talk to, sometimes it feels good to vent to someone who is impartial to the situation and not deep in the middle of it. When you text Empower Work, you get just that: an anonymous, confidential listening ear.

We’re here to help you feel less alone through the toughest times. Each of our volunteers go through robust training where they build deep listening skills in order to give you effective support through tricky work situations. We seek to understand your situation and how it affects you, asking clarifying questions, and holding space for whatever you’re feeling. 

As an Empower Work user shared: 

“Thank you for being so positive and encouraging. I’m realizing when we don’t feel so alone when we are struggling it makes it a little easier to have self compassion. You are amazing. Thank you. We can do this!!!!”

We help you get perspective. 

We’re here to provide emotional and tactical support, including helping you gain perspective. Sometimes, hearing the right questions helps more than you can imagine. These questions can take many forms, from fact-gathering questions like “How long have you been feeling this way?” “What’s bothering you the most in all this?” “What options are you seeing for yourself?” to questions that prompt reflection,  like “How would you want to look back on this situation a year from now?” “What do you think might be the long-term impact of this situation if nothing changes?” “What do you need for yourself to feel comfortable with your decision?”

Empower Work’s volunteer peer counselors come from a variety of backgrounds. We’ve faced many of the same issues as people who reach out to our text line—unsupportive managers, harassment, discrimination, hard career decisions, work-related anxiety and stress, job worries, and more. 

Someone who reached out to our text line shared:

“I got more out of a single chat on Empower Work than I did from months of therapy. Their questions helped me pause my emotions and really think about why I was feeling the way I did. They also helped walk me through my thoughts about current and potential new work, making me feel less trapped by the end.”

We help you find your next steps.

When you feel stuck, it’s hard to translate what you know about yourself, your situation, and what you’re comfortable with into specific action steps. After your peer counselor makes sure you feel heard and have a clear perspective on your situation, they’ll work with you to think through your options and examine your feelings about them.

If you aren’t sure what you can do, we can help you come up with possible paths forward. If you know the options but aren’t sure how to choose between them, we can help you consider what’s important to you and come to a decision. If you’ve already made a decision but aren’t sure how to act on it,  we can help you define the next steps to take. 

“My peer counselor helped me realize that I needed to take the next challenge and that something else would come along […] I ended up getting my current job which is actually something I enjoy doing more, with a better salary, and with better benefits.”

Whatever the situation, our peer counselors will partner with you to uncover the next steps you’re comfortable with.  We know how stressful and isolating it can feel when you’re facing a hard moment at work, and it doesn’t have to be this way.  If you’re in need of support, we’re just a text away at: 510-674-1414.  

You can also learn more about what to expect when you connect with a peer counselor here:

This blog originally appeared on Empower Work’s website.