Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the January 2, 2002
edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Rebuilding Your Career: 8 Steps to Landing a Job, Powering
Up Your Career
This year’s record spate of lay-offs has reminded
us all that job security is a phantom concept. In the giddy years
just passed, employers all but begged for someone — anyone! —
to accept their jobs. No more. As 2002 gets underway, business is
off in sectors as disparate as telecommunications, advertising, and
travel. A number of employees have lost their jobs, and many, many
more are nervous. For everyone, employed or not, this is the time
to get back to job scouting basics.
Dina Lichtman was a senior executive in the human
department of a medical equipment rental company. She had been with
the company for nearly 16 years when a group of venture capital
took it private. The new investors decided on substantial changes.
"One year ago today, everyone from the CEO through senior vice
presidents was let go," she says. "I was the victim of a
Happily re-settled as vice president of career management at Right
Management Consultants, a global career transition firm with offices
in Forrestal Village, Lichtman has not forgotten how it felt to be
tossed from a job she had held so long that her children, ages 22
and 24, had no memory of her doing anything else. "I couldn’t
get past it," she says. "I kept saying `This was 16 years.’
It was a shock, a trauma. It was hard telling people."
"It wasn’t even financial," Lichtman says of her lay-off.
She had been given a substantial severance package and didn’t need
to work right away to pay the bills, but even so, she found it
to get over the dismissal. "I kept looking behind me," she
says. "I kept wondering if I should have done anything
if I should have been more aggressive with the new management."
It was six months before she began a job search in earnest.
Now Lichtman works with people like herself, executives who find
out of a job. She urges them to take time to think about what parts
of their former jobs they liked, and what parts they would be happy
never to have to do again. That is how she arrived at her current
job, which she landed just two months ago.
A "poor kid from Philadelphia," Lichtman attended Temple
on scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree in secondary education
(Class of 1969) and a master’s degree and doctorate in
process, now called educational psychology. She had worked as a
as well as a human resources executive, and after her lay-off she
realized she did not want to "shuffle paper" anymore. No more
government reporting forms for her, she decided. What she liked about
her work was human interaction, "role playing, interviewing,
coaching." She narrowed her job search to concentrate on positions
full of client contact, and short on paperwork.
Her new employer works for corporations, giving their downsized
coaching in finding a new job, and business is up. A lot. Right
is seeing 30 to 50 percent more people this spring than it did last
spring as a number of industries, telecommunication and the Internet
among them, trim employees. Lichtman says, even now, a good two
after "downsizing" first entered corporate lingo, employees
often are shocked to find that hard work and longevity are not enough
to guarantee a spot on the company roster.
"It used to be a social contract," Lichtman says. "I do
a good job, and you’ll keep me forever." Not only is that contract
out the window, but length of service as an anchor is gone too. Newly
laid-off executives, still in shock, tell Lichtman how long they had
been with their employer as if the years were charms they believed
would keep the axe away. "It doesn’t matter anymore," she
says. "There are no guarantees."
The result, Lichtman says, is that the laid-off people she sees are
no longer willing to make work their life. Many thought a short-term
sacrifice of family, outside interests, and personal time couldn’t
help but make them stars, forever valued at work. When, instead, they
were shown the door, many vow not to repeat the mistake. Lichtman
says, "More and more, people say, `I’ll do a good job, but
if not more, I will value family time, community time, and personal
But no matter how they decide to work, the jobless executives need
to get to work, and Lichtman’s job to help them find one. Here is
her advice for conducting a job search after a lay-off, and using
the event to build a stronger, more resilient career:
Lichtman advises. "Step back, reflect a bit, take seminars,
Rushing into a job hunt before the shock of a lay-off has worn off,
sending off hundreds of resumes willy-nilly, and going into interviews
unprepared is rarely the way to find a really good fit in a new job.
"I had a young woman this morning," Lichtman says. "She
reported she had just gone on an interview." This job candidate
had summed up her skills by telling the prospective employer "`I
can do everything!’" Bad move, Lichtman says. "No one wants
someone who can do everything."
the hapless interviewee understand what strengths she could bring
to a job, and what she wanted the job to do for her. Right, like many
firms that work with downsized employees, offers a range of tests
to assess clients’ talents, personalities, and preferences. And a
new test is being added. Lichtman says her firm will soon start
a tool to measure clients’ tolerance for stress. She says all job
hunters should think about what it is they want in a job, besides,
of course, a manageable stress level. "Is it money, time,
she urges them to ask. Being unemployed for a time can be an
to find a better job fit, but only if the laid-off employee takes
the time to think about what would make a job ideal for him.
And that is not as easy as it sounds. "Very senior folks hide
behind the jobs," Lichtman says. "To be out there and have
to look at what you really like, it’s hard."
embarrassed about their lay-off, thinking others will assume it was
somehow their fault. Relax, she says, there is no longer a stigma
attached to losing a job. Neither, she is finding, is there is much
of a stigma attached to age as there was. "I think it’s
she says. "Employers are looking for wisdom and experience."
Older job hunters — like their young competitors — need to
demonstrate creativity, energy, competence, and an ability to adapt.
If they do so, they may find age is not much of a problem for
"I was offered a job by a 30-year-old at an Internet company,"
Lichtman says by way of example. Her firm has clients who are in their
early-60s, and she says they are doing well in finding good jobs.
laid-off workers need time to adjust, she also says they like to have
"a tangible product" in their hands. Working up a first-rate
resume, not a historical document, but an embodiment of who they are,
is a confidence builder, and an important first step in a
campaign. Work on interview skills also is important, as is polishing
a personal presence, but the most essential part of the campaign is
Up to 85 percent of jobs are never advertised, Lichtman says. She
has her clients ferret them out by listing 100 people they know. Yes,
she says, absolutely everyone knows at least 100 people. Count the
hairdresser, and her receptionist too. Then get in touch with each
and every one. Tips, she says, can come from anywhere.
to ask for more money," Lichtman says. "There’s a reason
athletes have agents." She has been amused to find that top
pros who can sell anything, choke when it comes time to negotiate
their own salaries.
upset of a lay-off does not end with landing a good job. The lay-off
should serve as a wake-up call, alerting the executive to a changed
work environment. Mergers, acquisitions, falling profits, changed
priorities, plant closings; any or all of the above could cause the
new job to crater. Or the new job could prove to be unsatisfying.
Employees need to take charge, keep their resumes up to date, scan
the horizon for new opportunities, and, most important of all, keep
wiser after her own lay-off, "you are in charge of your own
533, New Brunswick 08903. Dorna Silverman, chair. 732-745-5300; fax,
732-745-5325. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Client service
and professional organization, monthly meetings, annual job fair.
Princeton 08540, 609-924-2277; fax, 609-924-9140. Home page:
Instruction, networking, and support group for people changing jobs
or careers, free, Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m
East Brunswick 08816-9998. Murray Meiseles, treasurer. 609-655-3804;
fax, 609-860-2891. Non-profit self-help association of professionals,
irregular meetings at East Brunswick library
Cherry Hill Road, Princeton 08540. Susan and Jack Guarneri,
609-771-1669; fax, 609-637-0449. E-mail: email@example.com. Seminars
on first Mondays at 7:30 p.m. for those seeking information on careers
and jobs, free.
Filing for — and collecting — unemployment
is getting easier. After receiving a pink slip, call 732-761-2020.
Registration for most people can be conducted over the phone, and
in fact in-person registration generally is not allowed. Sometimes,
however, there are long waits in phone queues. The state’s Employment
Department says Monday is the busiest day, and suggests callers
later in the week.
There is now an even easier way to file for benefits. The department
has begun to accept claims via the Internet. The address is
After logging on, you will be asked for your social security number,
address, phone number, date of birth, alien registration number (if
you are an alien), recall date (if you expect to be re-hired), union
hiring hall information (if applicable), contact information for your
last two employers, and the beginning and ending dates of each period
of employment and the reason for separation from your two most recent
Mary Jane Stofik, regional sales manager for Bryant
Staffing and Bryant Technology, says there is no doubt that a
retrenchment is underway.
A veteran of two lay-offs, she is philosophical about the ups and
downs of the hiring game. "It goes in waves," she says.
should be downsized once. What it teaches is that, while employers
hold great power over individuals, their pink slips "don’t kill
Stofik, a native of Union who studied business at Rutgers, now lives
in Ocean Grove, a seaside town in Monmouth County. It’s Lucent
she says, and it is "seeing a lot of that terror." The end
result, though, she predicts, will be a lot of creativity migrating
to other fields. "Those people aren’t going away," she says.
"It’s like a mattress. You push a lump down, and it pops up in
Despite the layoffs, and an economic uncertainty that is leading to
what she calls a certain "paralysis" in many industry sectors,
employers still are looking for good people. The definition of
people" has changed over the years, however. This is what the
employers Stofik visits are asking for now:
changes in the job market, Stofik says, is that employers no longer
stress loyalty as a top quality in their hires. "The vice
I report to has been in the industry for 15 years," Stofik says.
"She struggles with this." Given her own, possibly record
breaking, history in recently-acquired companies, she understands
why the promise of long-term service is not uppermost on employers’
minds as they search for new employees. Flexibility — the ability
to move around and adapt quickly — is now more important, by far.
"It used to be that you would look at a resume with a lot of jobs,
and ask `Where’s the stability?’" says Stofik. "Now, if
has been there more than five years, you say `Weren’t you good enough
to get another job?’"
are looking for experience, maturity." The mentality not long
ago, she says, was "We’ll get rid of you, and hire two
for less money." No more.
that off-color jokes and teasing co-workers about their religion,
gender, ethnicity, religion — or just about anything else —
is not funny. At least not if it lands them in court. Hiring
who respect others from a wide variety of backgrounds has become
who haven’t kept up with technology," Stofik says. This is no
good, from an employer’s point of view. Expertise at a wide range
of software applications is a must for the administrative assistant,
and for the manager too. Stofik gets people who give "I made lots
of money at AT&T" as their main job qualification, and storm out
when they are told it is a good idea to brush up on their computer
skills. Often, "They come back in six months," she says.
by a no-exceptions rule of technology literacy, many take advantage
of her agency’s offer to use its computers and software to learn
skills like Access, Excel, and Powerpoint.
idea. So, says Stofik, is "keeping a resume current, as though
it’s your last day on the job." As two of her friends just found
out, it very well could be.
Not a week goes by that this newspaper does not get
a call asking for an equivalent directory to the U.S. 1 Business
for Central New Jersey. Don’t you publish one for north Jersey,
implore? What about Delaware? Our quick answer is to call the
librarian of the biggest library in the area you wish to cover.
Here is an overview of useful directories:
Jersey Leaders, costs $86 plus shipping and tax or $129 on a CD-ROM.
It is also available online (www.njinsider.com). The Insider Guide
to New Jersey Movers and Shakers, the new version due in April lists
over 1,000 of the state’s top government, education, and industry
leaders. It will cost $59 in hard copy, $99 on disk.
The Insider Guide to New Jersey Healthcare, with hospitals, nursing
homes, and other health care services and facilities for everyone
from consumers to industry suppliers, costs $49 and $89 on a CD. For
a copy of any of these books, call 609-452-7799; fax 609-452-2803.
The mailing address is: Joshua Communications, Box 7183, Princeton
for $13.95, is particularly pertinent for the greater Princeton area
because it includes more than 5,400 company listings from all the
area codes, including contact names, fax numbers, number of employees,
E-mail and URL addresses, and revenues where available. It’s
useful for jobhunters, sales reps, and small business owners. The
2002 edition will be available in March and will sell for $17.95,
including postage. Send check payable to U.S. 1 Directory, 12 Roszel
Road, Princeton 08540. Or stop by the office and pick it up in person
Also check business news and listings of business meetings for
information in the paper’s weekly editions. At the U.S. 1 home page,
www.princetoninfo.com, you can create your own customized directories
sorted by business types. Online information is limited to the basics
— street address, phone, and fax. For details such as
contact names, and company size, you will need a hard copy of the
be the answer to marketing to South Jersey. In New Jersey it covers
Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, and Salem counties, and it
also has the metro Philadelphia area and part of Delaware with at
total of 13,600 companies in all. Locally produced, it has reliable
data and lots of contact names. The book costs $159. The 2000 edition
CD-ROM is available for $200. It’s editors say it is still 95 percent
accurate. The 2002 CD-ROM, which will be out in June, will cost about
$300. Youcan also purchase a CD that lists 7,000 companies with over
20 employees for $200. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call
of visit www.daltondirectory.com.
Reference Guide: New Jersey by Eatontown-based Towndata.com Network
Inc. (formerly National Resource Directories). It presents names of
key officials, real estate values, income profiles, school system
budgets, demographic break-outs, housing data, library data, summaries
of leading occupations and industries, average work commute times,
municipal population and expenditure trends and breakdowns, and tons
of other stuff for every municipality in the state, one to a page.
It’s all available elsewhere, but this is packaged in a neat, parallel
format. The names and phone numbers of public officials are especially
To be updated during the first quarter, it will cost $114.50 in one
perfect-bound volume. New for this year, the CD-ROM version has been
replaced with an online subscription, which carries an introductory
price of $262.50. Call 800-242-5511 or 732-643-1212. Look for a sample
page at www.towndata.com.
include the Pocket Guide Directory to the 209th New Jersey
published in March, $6 for non-members with free updates, and the
NJBIA Compensation Report, published in September, $200. The Rapid
Finder Weekly Tax Deduction Tables, published in January, provides
payroll processing assistance to small businesses, $34 for
A Practical Guide to New Jersey Employment Law: The Employer’s
(2001-2002) covers New Jersey employment-related laws, regulations,
and best practices. There are descriptions of the laws, contact
HR tips, frequently asked questions, and forms ($60 and $85,
for members and non-members.)
Call 609-393-7707, extension 239 or go online at www.njbia.org.
with a hefty spiral-bound appointment calendar. Listed alphabetically
and by SIC code are the address, fax, telephone, and principals for
members of the chamber. Each week lists the legislators’ birthdays.
The guide is $60 for members; $120 for non-members. The state chamber
legislative roster is $6. Call 609-989-7888. An employment law
manual is $99 for nonmembers (888-216-7680) and the wage and hour
handbook is $69. State and federal employment law posters are $18
or free with the employment law manual. Search the website using name,
location, or SIC codes for basic facts on chamber members
Directory, listing 27,000 companies in 21 counties including 6,000
web sites and 4,000 e-mail addresses. The listings are done
geographically, and by industry. The cost is $275 the print version,
and $325 for the CD-ROM.
The New Jersey Directory of Small Businesses lists companies with
under 10 employees and is available in print for $245. Corfacts also
publishes directories for each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, plus the
Delaware Valley Business to Business Directory, and the TriState Plus
Directory, each for $145. Directory of Human Resources Top Executives,
lists 4,250 human resource contacts. You can choose between print
or CD-ROM. To order a Corfacts directory, call 973-394-2990 or E-mail:
to create your own customized directory based on the criteria you
Business Source Book, which ranks the top 500 employers in New Jersey
in terms of size. The ninth edition will be published in late-January,
2001, and will include chapters covering web sites, professional trade
associations, and business assistance programs. The price is $149.95.
The disk version is $495.
Networking in New Jersey was published at the end of December, 2001.
It lists all the trade and professional associations in New Jersey.
Price: $59.95; Disk:$199. New Jersey Labor Unions offers the name,
address, local number, and telephone number of more than 1,000 unions,
indexed alphabetically and by town and county. Price: $59.95; Disk:
$199. Directory of Official New Jersey includes towns, counties,
officials, and government functions. Price: $49.95; Disk: $199.
New Jersey Media Guide covers television, cable, print media, college
publications, new syndicates, directories, and state guides. Price:
$94.95; Disk: $295. All disk purchases include a free hard copy of
the book. RCG also publishes New Jersey Internships, which tells you
where and how to apply. Price: $24.95; Disk not available. For more
information, visit RCG’s website (www.researchcomm.com). Call
or fax 512-458-2059.
service that lists all newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media
in the state. Regional directories will be available in February,
2002. The New Jersey Directory is $100. For information on other
directories go to www.burrelles.com or call 800-766-5114. Burrelle’s
Broadcast Database offers online scripts to influential news and
affairs programming on CBS, NBC, CNBC, NSNBC, FNN, some of ABC, and
National Public Radio. You can search by index terms or by date or
program name. The database is available through BRS/Search software
or by a menu driven front-end software. Call Janice Hyman at
than 50 Top Ten lists with addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers,
$39.95 plus tax and shipping, on disk for $149.95. The new version
is due in July. Call 732-246-5721.
in Evanston, Illinois, by Manufacturers News’ Inc. profiles 11,104
industrial firms in New Jersey, with SIC codes, and lists 19,915
The print version costs $114; the diskettes and CD-ROM version cost
$157 to $535, depending on the size of the businesses you are looking
for. Call 847-864-7000 or go to (www.manufacturersnews.com). This
company has similar information on every state in the union and
each state in words. For New Jersey, it notes that 11 New Jersey
employ more than 2,000 people.
American Business Directories, has credit ratings and other
on 352,000 businesses in the state. The cost is $175 and includes
both the print version and CD-ROM. You can also purchase a "watch
dog" service on a particular business for 50 cents per month.
E-mail: email@example.com or call 888-274-5325. Also
the New Jersey Business Directory with 341,000 businesses for $520,
including both print and CD-ROM. Individual reports can be purchased
online for $3 at www.businesscreditusa.com. E-mail:
Lotus and Excel templates that can be used to make an excellent
plan. It also asks the questions that a would-be entrepreneur needs
to answer. Call 609-989-5232.
to New Jersey corporations by Robert D. Frawley, who is of counsel
to the College Road-based Smith, Stratton, Heher, and Brennan. The
softbound volume with approximately 475 pages, includes information
regarding choosing a corporate entity, the importance of maintaining
and filing proper business records, resolving shareholder disputes,
and the duties of officers and directors. Published by West Group,
the 1999 edition costs $60. To order, call 800-344-5009, fax
or order online at www.westgroup.com.
from the SBA district office by calling Harry Menta at 973-645-2434
(or by E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit their web site at
www.sba.gov. The free 38-page guide has sections on starting and
a business, government regulations, financial and technical assistance
programs, and local sources of help.
employers need on new regulations, laws, form filing, and Department
of Labor seminars. You can print the pamphlet free from their website
at www.state.nj.us/labor/update.htm. To request a mailed copy, call
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.