If you have been out of work for a long period of time or just can’t seem to catch a break, I’d like to offer a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners strategy to get a job.
With all of the headlines boasting about full employment, we’re led to believe that everything is fantastic in the job market. Lately, I’ve been speaking to a large number of smart and experienced professionals who have been out of work for a long period of time and those who just can’t find a job. Curiously, the age of the people who have been in between jobs for over six months skew to over 40 years old and earning north of $150k. It appears many of them fell victim to being replaced by less expensive people or their positions were relocated to lower cost states.
A common thread that the these downsized people share is that they have withdrawn from sight. Sadly, there are feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shame that accompany long-term unemployment. They pull back from social activities and avoid maintaining contact with their former colleagues. This, unfortunately, worsens the situation. Time passes and they become out of sight and out of mind. Others forget that the person is out of work and think that they’ve found something new. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly harder on them. Human resources and hiring managers begin to wonder aloud why nobody else has hired the person, especially since it’s such a strong job market. Something may be wrong with him; otherwise, a company would have hired the guy already—they say to their hiring managers.
When the person interviews, they tend to come across agitated, angry, resentful and irritated; it’s only natural. They’re out of work, eating into their savings and concerned about mortgage payments and college tuition bills for their children. Unrelenting fear of never finding another job at the same compensation level tortures them. They lament, “What will I do if I can’t find something?” It is not easy to start all over again at 45 or 55 years old. Consider how hard it is to maintain your composure with this sword of Damocles hanging over your head.
Those who are gainfully employed, desire to advance their career and are continually blocked and thwarted from getting a new job also feel the pain and anguish—albeit to a lesser degree.
Here is what you need to do if you find yourself in this position.