1. Bounce Back From a Lay-Off

2. Determine What Employers Want

3. Mine Directories

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.

Here’s how:

Top Of Page
1. Bounce Back From a Lay-Off

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:

Take a deep breath. "Don’t do anything right


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."

Get to know yourself. A little reflection might have


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."

Forget pre-conceptions. Many of Lichtman’s clients are

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.

Design a marketing campaign. While Lichtman says recently

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.

Negotiate for a great package. "People are petrified

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.

Keep on managing your career. Gaining ground after the

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

on networking.

"Ultimately," says Lichtman, who is both happier and

wiser after her own lay-off, "you are in charge of your own


Job Clubs

Central Jersey Job Developers Association, Box

533, New Brunswick 08903. Dorna Silverman, chair. 732-745-5300; fax,

732-745-5325. E-mail: dorna_silverman@ndps.k12.nj.us. Client service

and professional organization, monthly meetings, annual job fair.

Jobseekers, 33 Mercer Street, c/o Trinity Church,

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

Professional Service Alumni Association, Box 941,

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

The Job Club, c/o Princeton Unitarian Church, 50

Cherry Hill Road, Princeton 08540. Susan and Jack Guarneri,


609-771-1669; fax, 609-637-0449. E-mail: careers@mccc.edu. Seminars

on first Mondays at 7:30 p.m. for those seeking information on careers

and jobs, free.

Unemployment E-Filing

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


Top Of Page
2. Determine What Employers Want

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

another spot."

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:

Flexibility, but not necessarily loyalty. One of the


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?’"

Maturity. "Old is in," says Stofik. "Employers

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.

Cultural sensitivity. Employers have gotten the message

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



Technological savvy. "We’re seeing long-term employees

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.

Cultivating the qualities employers are looking for is a good

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.

Top Of Page
3. Mine Directories

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:

The New Jersey Directory — the Insider Guide to New

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

08543-7183. E-mail: njlink@aol.com. Home page: www.njinsider.com.

The U.S. 1 Business Directory, available at bookstores

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

for $14.95.

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


The Dalton Philadelphia Metro Business Directory could

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: info@daltondirectory.com or call


of visit www.daltondirectory.com.

Another intriguing but lesser known reference is the


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.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association


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.

The New Jersey Chamber Business Directory is combined

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


Corfacts guides include the New Jersey Business to


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:

info@corfacts.com. At the website (www.corfacts.com) you will be able

to create your own customized directory based on the criteria you


Research Communications Group publishes the New Jersey

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.

Burrelle’s New Jersey Media Directory, is a subscription

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


ext. 3036.

The Business News Book of Lists for New Jersey has more

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.

The New Jersey Manufacturers Register, published in


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.

The New Jersey Business Credit Directory, published by

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: sales@businesscreditusa.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:


or 888-274-5325.

How-To Books

The Mercer/Middlesex SBDC Feasibility Workbook, $20, has

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.

The New Jersey Corporation Handbook, a comprehensive guide

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.

The New Jersey Small Business Resource Guide is available

from the SBA district office by calling Harry Menta at 973-645-2434

(or by E-mail: barbara.sturdivant@sba.gov). 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.

The Department of Labor’s Employer Update provides


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


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