From the Outside Looking in

September 25, 2019

You see two middle-aged gentlemen working on a project, in the garage of an upscale neighborhood in the South. You think, ‘What could they possibly be doing?’ – from the outside looking in.

The project – to build a sailboat to race from Seattle to Alaska. Seems pretty cool, right? From the outside looking in.  

Sun is shining come race day, and our two middle-aged gentlemen have already taken the lead. Suddenly, crazy storms form out of nowhere. Currents pick up and begin racing at over 15 knots. The ship is pushed to and from and our two middle-aged friends have now lost their baring. 

Nature can truly be scary. Scarier, is how employment issues can suddenly arise, with devastating impact, affecting an individual’s life and that of their family. 

One of the two men competing, had been employed with the same company for over 20 years. He’s done everything right. He moved up the ranks to ultimately assist with M&A, spin-offs employed as a manager, then manager of a manager, all the way to project leader. He has basically held every position within his line of work. A man of real value to his company. After 20+ years of service however, everyone in his department, including him, were suddenly laid off. Whoa, imagine that.

After 3 emotionally grueling months, his original job comes across on a website, in which he begrudgingly reapplies for employment. To his dismay, he receives a rejection letter saying that he doesn’t have the qualifications for the job. A job that he did well for the past 6 years; that he earned by amassing varying skills over 20 years. 

This series of events really made me question and look at the corporate world, asking how something like this could happen. I mean, this has become such a problem for the working class. Where if you’re over 50, chances are, you are the target of a layoff.  Where if you’re younger, there seems to be all sorts of laws protecting you in the job markets. 

The real question is, what do you do if this happens to you? We begin working together as we look at the different opinions that our middle-aged friend is exploring.

Resume Job Hunts / Networking

  • Same level job with a different company;
  • Take a consulting position;
  • Start over again, entry level, in a different field.

Start A New Company 

  • A Startup (napkin idea);
  • Buy a franchise; or,
  • Buy an existing, established business.

There are many options available, so don’t let the storms of unemployment cause you to lose your baring. Consult with friends and/or family who may have already gone through this. Seek out agencies such as the SBA (Small Business Administration) or companies like DigitalAMN that are there to help you succeed.  

I know from experience, it’s difficult to see what’s really going on from the outside looking in, and often, you feel you are alone. You are not alone. I am just a phone call away (718) 285-6378. So, whatever the weather, we are all in the same boat together! 

By Donald Cleary
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