Quality Progress - February 2014 - (Page 47)

CAREER CORNER BY TERESA WHITACRE Bounce Back Perseverance pays off for boomer after brutal job search ECONOMIC INDICATORS and the U.S. gaps, I began to consider part-time jobs. I ap- Department of Labor have reported that plied for 60 part-time jobs before Macy's hired it was sheer economics. I needed more individuals over age 50 are experiencing me to unload trucks for $7.85 per hour. Then, money, or I wouldn't have made it to the difficulty gaining reemployment in the I found a full-time job as a quality technician end of the year. Call me old fashioned, but a aftermath of the recession. While everyone (QT) for $15 per hour. I thought I had died lack of money is motivating to me. between the ages of 18 and 65 is experiencing and gone to heaven. But five months later, I unprecedented periods of unemployment and was laid off. increased competition for jobs, the over-50 crowd is fighting the toughest battle. TW: What did you do next? J: I continued to work at Macy's on Sunday J: Just about every day. But in my case TW: What advice would you offer to someone in a similar situation? J: Be determined and never give up. Create an enemy that you can be furious with. mornings while I was a QT. Because I liked the Let your fury drive you to never give up. lag, according to the Labor Department. idea of working in security, I found a part-time Select a phrase that fires you up and repeat Expectations for higher wages, less time job as an armed security guard. This job paid it often. Look yourself in the eye in the mir- to work before retirement and out-of-date $9 an hour. After undergoing required training, ror and convince yourself that you will not skills are just a few reasons.1 I received state credentials to carry a firearm. let the system beat you. A number of factors contribute to this Many professionals in this situation may Then, my luck turned: an organization opt to give up. Frustration and despair are with a full-time opening for a quality engineer Stay strong common reactions when a solution in the contacted me. I was really excited, but I tried Jim's experience proves that with persever- form of employment doesn't seem to exist. not to get my hopes up. After a telephone ance and effort, any desired career outcome But there is always a solution. interview and an on-site interview, I was is possible. Jim allowed me to share his offered the job. I have been working full story with the hope that readers with simi- many job cuts, downsizings and forced re- time for more than four months now. It is a lar challenges will benefit from it. tirements. Consider "Jim's" story. A quality "real" job-I get paid vacation, paid holidays, professional in his 50s, Jim spent more than benefits and a regular paycheck. I have never because I am a professional who is not too 35 years at a large organization based in the been a quitter. I guess my perseverance paid far away from the 50-plus group. I shared Midwest before he was let go. Recently, Jim off-at least for now. this interview with several of my colleagues The economic downturn resulted in agreed to allow me to share details of his job search and how he overcame adversity. Teresa Whitacre (TW): How long were TW: I'm sure you experienced frus- I was touched by Jim's story, particularly and friends. We all thought Jim's advice was tration, despair and other emotions spot on and we plan to remember his story during your search. How did you cope? should we ever find ourselves in his shoes. J: I never had a mentor or manager No matter your demographic or profession, take me under his or her wing and remove Jim's words are timely in today's rough and Jim (J): Forty-nine months. obstacles so that I could be successful. tumble job market. QP TW: What did you do in that time? Everything I've achieved was through good, J: Retirement was never an option for old-fashioned work. I don't claim to be the you without a full-time position in your field? me. I did spend a few months with an out- smartest, the brightest or the best looking, placement service. I updated and modern- but I can outwork most people. I'm like the ized my résumé and used it to continuously REFERENCE 1. Catherine Rampell, "In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn't Better ... It's Brutal," New York Times, Feb. 2, 2013, www. nytimes.com/2013/02/03/business/americans-closest-toretirement-were-hardest-hit-by-recession.html. tortoise in its famous race with the hare. apply for jobs without luck. I also posted Also on my side was a licensed profes- my résumé on multiple online job boards, sional clinical counselor. I knew I needed sometimes as many as 25. I was told by the some help managing my emotions and my outplacement service that I should only outlook on my life, so I got it. I couldn't af- expect to earn about 65% of what I used to. ford to let pride get in the way. Because it was made clear that in my situation I could not have any employment TW: Did you ever want to give up? Did you ever get the urge to retire? TERESA WHITACRE is a quality manager in Pittsburgh and a principal at Marketech Systems. She has a bachelor's degree in organizational management from Ashford University in Clinton, IA, as well as ASQ certifications as a quality auditor, engineer, manager and Six Sigma Green Belt. Whitacre is the chair of ASQ's Pittsburgh Section, instructor for the section's certified quality inspector refresher course and deputy regional director for ASQ Region 8. She is an ASQ fellow. February 2014 * QP 47 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/business/americans-closest-to-retirement-were-hardest-hit-by-recession.html http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - February 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Learning From Experience
Choose Wisely
A Pathway for Patients
Hoist Help
3.4 per Million
Quality in the First Person
Measure for Measure
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
SPECIAL SECTION: Six Sigma Resource Guide
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - February 2014

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