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A Chicago private equity firm bought David’s St. Louis company and dismantled his division in spite of its high profitability. Suddenly, David’s years of contributions were worth only a small severance and generic outplacement package. He found himself out on the streets at age 54, after 17 years with this employer.
After recovering from the initial shock, David told his family and friends that he would land on his feet. He scoured Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com diligently, posted his resume on job boards, applied directly through company websites–and came up empty-handed.
Despite what he thought was an impressive resume, no one seemed interested. Weeks, then months, went by. David was dumbfounded to find himself still looking for work one year later. It’s no wonder he felt discouraged.
Even in our difficult economy, people like David aren’t out of the game. Many companies have changed their view of the experienced worker. Take time to assess your skills so you can articulate how you can help a business.
This is especially important for people who haven’t had to look for work in years. David’s been so busy accomplishing things that he hasn’t thought about what he does best. Systematic review was an important step David took toward landing his next job.
If you can’t describe your contributions and value, the chances that someone will find a place for you are slim.
1. Develop and Use Your Network
Businesses eliminated layers of middle managers partly because, after years of automatic raises, those mangers’ salaries outstripped their value to the company. Consequently, the belief is that you have to accept less to get hired. This isn’t automatically true. Do your research, assess your current value, and negotiate on the basis of your productivity and contributions.
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It’s tough out there, but you can beat the odds if you are persistent, educate employers about the value of your experience, and play your cards honestly and intelligently.
The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals, by Michael J. Maher.
Although the target audience for this book is people in real estate, the principles that Maher recommends seem applicable to the job search, professional development, and career advancement.
Maher discusses levels of communication and the principles of service, creativity, and generosity. They are worth considering and adapting for people in many situations, including career management.
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Thanks for Referrals From: Carolyn Widman, Brad Angelos, Carol Dillon, Bronwen DiAntonio, and Jim Russell.
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> Have been looking for work but not getting results. In this 90-120 minute meeting, we can get to the root of your career problem and come up with a plan to solve it.For more information call me at 314-752-1373 or use the comment form on my website.