Tag Archives: career

Sustaining Job Loss Injury & Healing From It


mental health art by Katie DiamondMental health experts say there is a grieving period from job loss that one must reconcile before being able to receive assistance seeking new work and become open to opportunities for a new job. Some folks can do both concurrently. For others, it seems they need “time out” to comprehend what happened to them and try to make sense of it, if they can. Although it may or may not have anything to do with their job performance, the ramifications and consequences are the same: Displacement, alienation, esteem erosion, anxiety and increased economic hardship.

Grief takes the form of a roller coaster of emotions. Employment specialists can throw tools at them and feed them information after information, all well-meaning and ultimately useful, but unless those grieving are ready, it is futile. There is so much information available, sometimes it feels like, water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink, which can increase anxiety.

“I don’t know where I fit in.” This refrain is echoed by the unemployed whether they are new college graduates or matured professionals because the business world has truly morphed into unrecognizable forms and shapes.

Finish reading “Sustaining Job Loss Injury & Healing From It” on The405Club.com.

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My Greatest Disadvantage and How I Overcame It


escape art print by Eric FanMy name is Dennis Hart and I am a toxic workplace survivor. Not too long ago I read a submission about what you should do if you were terminated as a result of personality conflicts, negative office politics, and other negative workplace events.

I feel like my last employer wrote the book on effective workplace abuse techniques, psychological torture and toxic work environments. All this occurred while human resources rubber stamped the actions of the worst abusers as “routine business policy.”

Despite the fact that I knew all of this, I could not escape the negative effects the abuse had on my self confidence, and even my mental stability.  Eventually I lost my job and found myself out of work for over a year.  This submission, however, is not about the abuse I endured.  It is about how I overcame the detrimental effects, restored my confidence, and found a new job.

I remember the day I lost my job and the last meeting with my former manager and human resources.  It was if they wanted to make sure that the abuse I endured would have a lasting psychological effect.  On the drive home I felt a strong desire to run my car off the road.  I thought my employer had so damaged my reputation that I would never work again.

Fortunately common sense took hold…

Finish reading “My Greatest Disadvantage and How I Overcame It” on The405Club.com.

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Over 50 & Long-term Unemployed? This is How You Land a Job. A Firsthand Account from Someone Who Beat the Odds.


patricia nordin

After our latest newsletter we received some great news that a former 405 Club member landed a new job.  First off, we LOVE to hear those stories so please continue to send those our way.  Secondly, when we found out she had been unemployed for over 2 years and she is over 50, we knew this would be a fantastic opportunity to learn from her experience and inspire many others through a Q&A piece.  Please join me in thanking Patricia Nordin for sharing her story, her life, her experience so that others can follow her lead and get back to work. 

~Garrett Dale, Co-Founder of The 405 Club

1. Let’s get right to it. You were among the long term unemployed, over 50, in a creative field.  The odds were stacked against you to get back to work. How did you do it?

  I took a short break right after I was let go from my job of 25 years and started to send out resumes and call people. Nothing happened in the beginning and I felt confident I would get something. After a year of no definite callbacks— I decided to stay current with technology and took a course in Dreamweaver to learn web design (I am an art director), as I knew if I did not learn some new skills it could hold me back.

2. When you were unemployed for over 2 years, how were you able to stay emotionally tough and mentally prepared for re-entering the workforce?

 I was feeling ok most of the time, but felt after 2 years out of the field—that if I did not get something in art direction before the 3 year mark, I would not get something. I tried to stay positive, and always had a gut feeling I would wind up somewhere—I was very good at what I did, and could not understand why no one was hiring me. I know my age (58)— and high salary were a huge drawback—but I kept answering every job listing i saw— I even took a job at Macy’s in retail at the holidays in the hopes of getting into their visual display department—but that did not happen.

3. People always say, “if I knew then, what I know now…” How would you end that phrase after this experience? Would have have done anything differently?

Finish Reading “Over 50 & Long-term Unemployed? This is How You Land a Job. A Firsthand Account from Someone Who Beat the Odds” on The405Club.com.

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Doing As We’re Told… Which Apparently Wasnt Enough


homework by Bex BourneWe did everything right. We did our homework in junior high school, because we were told, “In high school, homework will be a lot harder.”

We did our homework in high school, too, so we would be prepared for the tests. We knew we needed to do well on the tests, because if we didn’t, it would hurt our GPAs. “If you have a low GPA, you won’t get into a good college,” they told us.

And then we did it, we finished high school. Some of us did better than others, but we were eager and willing. We listened to what our guidance counselors and teachers and parents said; we toured college campuses and  we filled out applications at the start of senior year, we waited for acceptance letters. We applied for scholarships and student loans and filled out our roommate preference forms.

But all the while the mantra was This is what you’re supposed to be doing. You graduate from high school and you go to college. That is just what you do. I told my parents I wanted to be an author. “That’s nice,” they said, “but not very practical. Get a degree instead, and then maybe, if you have time later, you can write those books.”

And so we went to college, because that’s what smart go-getters did…

Finish reading “The Un-Employment Support Network in New York & Beyond! · Doing As Were Told… Which Apparently Wasnt Enough” on The405Club.com.

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Have You Really Researched That Company?


ctl alt delJobseekers know how important it is to research a prospective company. While networking is at the heart of job search, one of the other critical elements is learning about the prospective company.Doing research in as many sources as you can is just as important as a compelling cover letter, dynamic resume and solidly good interview. You want to get the best-rounded scope and bird’s eye view of what a particular company that you are targeting for possible affiliation is all about.

Research is priceless for interviews through personal introductions when you already have a leg up because of mutual acquaintance and for taking the initiative in ferreting out opportunities for yourself by constant investigating everything, leaving no stones unturned. But research can still bode you well even in traditional interviews begotten from advertisements when you are lucky enough to receive a callback from your application.

What many people don’t understand is that you begin impressing a prospective employer in the cover letter! If you’re lucky enough to meet the right person face-to-face at a chance encounter like a job fair or networking meeting where someone knows someone and facilitates your meeting, you can then tell that key individual in person! The cover letter is a forum to briefly choose one element you have learned about them and most importantly tie it into something you’ve done, a strength you possess, a talent, and what you can do for them. Pay attention to their corporate philosophy or social mission and align with it.

No one should be without at least a basic understanding of the company, agency, institution or organization for which they seek opportunities and offers. Knowing something about the company shows engagement and serious commitment on your part. Research is essential for a number of reasons…

Finish reading this article on The 405 Club: The Un-Employment Support Network in New York & Beyond! · Have You Really Researched That Company?.

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What Holds You Back? Examining the Wild Horses of the Job Search Apocalypse.


No doubt, unemployment wreaks havoc and plays with your head in damaging ways.

wild horsesOver time, as an employment specialist, I have observed that many who seek new work become trampled by the horses of the Job SearchApocalypse. I realize it’s not fair or accurate to judge and paint an entire unemployed population with the same brush, as there are mitigating circumstances surrounding the economy and the number of jobs lost. Current reports fluctuate and are enough to paralyze anybody who loses a job. But some of the self deprecating and self defeating characteristics emerge time after time that they could easily form a course entitled, “How to Lack Luster 101.”

Many people unwittingly or unknowingly sabotage their job searchsuccess in little ways. The same profile of hopelessness and apathy repeatedly seems to emerge. While reality dictates massive changes in the world of business, don’t give up trying to find work.

Please make sure that you develop the following healthy job search characteristics as it is your only hope to combat the demons of unemployment:

1.       Show Initiative. Do you feel like a sitting duck in a penny arcade? Are you stuck in the self pity mode? Do you feel unmotivated with no sense of urgency? It astounds me as to the huge amount of time that passes between meeting someone, providing them with tools, assisting them with ideas, and the time it takes for that personto get back to me. Often weeks go by and I have to first regroup to try and remember that person. People get used to being unemployed and it becomes a whole new culture, a way of life.

Work with me! I want to help you!

Finish Reading All 12 Tips of “What Holds You Back? Examining the Wild Horses of the Job Search Apocalypse” on The405Club.com...

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How Big Business Can Grow a Heart: An Open Appeal for Social Consciousness-Raising to Help Us All Revive the American Dream Together


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how big businesses canredeem themselves and resurrect a work life for those millions who’ve lost jobs due to economic downturns, domino theories, corporate greed and just about every other reason people lose jobs. Here are my ideas I’d like to share, thirteen of them and counting:

1.      Companies should advertise when they have massive layoffs. They could place full page ads in major metropolitan dailies like The New York Times and dozens of others across the country saying they have good dedicated workers and categorize the areas or job titles which they fall under with an appeal to other companies to contact them if they need any of the services these about-to-be laid off employees (listed in ad by job title only) provide and that they are being laid off through no fault of their own.

2.      Companies should pay attention to the various incentives offered by the federal and state governments to get disadvantaged workers achieve independence, self sufficiency or get back on their feet—including ex offenders and welfare recipients. Incentives include Worker Opportunity Tax Credit offered to employers who hire those disadvantaged populations and something called bonding. That’s free insurance provided by the government for hiring ex offenders. If the new hiree commits a crime of theft, etc., the employer is guaranteed to be reimbursed.

Read More at The405Club.com.

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The Importance of Networking


Preface:  My job searchtook place during the height of the recession, and although unemployment is currently declining, there are still too many who are out of work.

An article I read during the summer of 2009 stated that for every one job opportunity, there were five people out of work and ready to fill that position. The article also compared job searchto a game of musical chairs. It was an interesting analogy, however, I did not agree with the analogy then, and I still disagree with it today.

Job loss represents a change in your life.  The stability of a daily or weekly routine is replaced with uncertainty.  Unemploymentinsurance and savings are now your lifeline, and you must learn to live on diminishing resources.  Your employment search, in turn, becomes a fight for survival, similar to the way our ancestors had to hunt for food and shelter in order to survive.  In both cases, the only way to succeed is to be among the most fit and cunning. Those who areequipped with a strong set of survival skills will always succeed, no matter how demanding the environment is.

It was in that spirit that I wrote the following piece:The Importance of Networking

Read the article on The405Club.com…

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Were You Terminated Due to Personality Conflict, Destructive Politics or Other Negative Workplace Events?


One of the hardest things for job-seeking individuals to get passed is the pain of termination. You and the boss did not get along. So who goes? Why, you, of course! You’re fired!It’s bad enough if you lose your job through corporate downsizing, “restructuring,” company relocation or closure, but to lose your job because someone in power favored someone over you, sabotaged you or made a bad workplace situation worse or just didn’t see eye-to-eye with you — or was just plain abusive, is the hardest thing to dust yourself off, get up and start over again after feeling “poisoned” by a toxic work environment.

As an employment counselor, I see this all the time. It happens to the best of us and somewhere along the line, I am willing to wager, most people will have experienced it at least once in their working lifetime.

“The boss was a mental case. He’d curse and scream and throw things…” Or, “She was such a bitch.”(like the boss in Damages or The Devil Wears Prada).  Or I hear about how someone challenged some unfairness at work, or meant well on some issue but was misunderstood and before you know it, unspoken, implied bad vibes filled the air and settled like a pall over every workday. You can cut that tension, as the saying goes, with a knife in those situations…

Sadly, things can’t always be helped in cases of personality conflicts. Sometimes it’s just the way it is and nobody’s fault. It probably happens more often than not and not everyone is open to admitting it. It’s uncomfortable. You know it when it interferes with the performance of your work and you hate going in everyday. Better to get out and into a new job before being fired. People sometimes receive unemployment insurance due to firing or quitting. There is no hard and fast rule as the department of labor has appeals and grievance procedures and does hear the person out and judges on a case-to-case basis. However, there are no guarantees of receiving benefits. The hearings listen to employer as well as the employee challenging a refusal to issue benefits and this certainly is not a statement saying it’s OK to quit your job and expect to collect benefits. You are far better off slipping away into a new job before losing your current, unbearable one through being forced out and having to explain and hope the labor folks rule in your favor. It can go either way and you might be stuck holding the bag, complicating your grief, anger and bitterness. Even if you get unemployment benefits, you’ll still be bitter. That bitterness will destroy your job search efforts.

You must start over, no matter what!  

Read More on The405Club.com

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The Unexpected Phone Call


(Writer’s Preface) I have gone through a great deal of ups and downs in this experience we call job search.  The one I am writing about today does not belong to me; it belongs to one of my network contacts.  I made some minor changes to preserve the anonymity of those involved.  I felt, however that my contact’s experience is worth sharing.  Although I would not wish this experience on anyone, it shows how one of the worst obstacles to re-employment can be resolved. 

The Unexpected Phone Call:  Part One

It was a Friday Morning during the month of March.  Beverly (most of her friends call her Bev) was starting her day.  She was unemployed for eight months, and never expected her time between jobs to last this long.  Bev was never one to give in to persecution complexes; however she couldn’t shake the feeling that someone out there was inhibiting her attempts at re-employment.

During the past months, Bev had several interviews; however the result was always the same.  She would be called in for a first interview, and in most cases she would be given a follow up interview.  Bev would always e-mail thank you letters and follow up with every prospective employer.  Despite her follow up calls, Bev would not receive responses from many prospective employers, even when they promised to give her a fast answer about the position she applied for.  Eventually, some employers told her that the position she applied for was filled, and refused to give any further details.  Bev would always ask follow up questions as to why she did not get the job, however she never received any information that would point to a specific reason.

On this particular morning Bev would discover the main reason why she never received employment offers…

via The 405 Club: The Un-Employment Support Network in New York & Beyond! · The Unexpected Phone Call.

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