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How I got a job in this market
She kept up to date -- and kept in touch
April 2, 2004: 11:22 AM EST
By Joan Caplin, Jean Chatzky and Ellen McGirt, MONEY Magazine

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - Brenda Carter worked as an executive, specializing in purchasing, for more than 30 years before seeing the inside of an unemployment office. She had just started a new job at R.R. Donnelley when the firm announced massive layoffs.

Eric Fulmer Eric Fulmer - He credits his new job to his energy and enthusiasm -- and his networking.
Brenda Carter Brenda Carter - Though unemployed, she stayed current in her field and learned new skills.
Connie Guglielmo Connie Guglielmo - A job-hunting and support Web site helped her impress the man who hired her.
Eric Green Eric Green - He cinched the new job by moving 700 miles in three weeks.
Rebecca O'Mara Rebecca O'Mara - Volunteering for a Hispanic group led to her meeting executives.
Gilbert Wilson Gilbert Wilson - He used his technical skills to get his foot in the door.

At the age of 53, Carter found herself out of a job. "It didn't seem so bad," she recalls. "I got a package and I decided to take a little time off." That was in June 2001. Before she knew it, her time off had turned into a year.

Carter posted her rsum with several retained executive-search firms, which are hired and paid by a company looking to fill an open position.

"It means they have the jobs already," she explains. "That's a real advantage, because at my level those kinds of jobs aren't advertised."

Acutely aware of her younger competition, she spent time mastering new computer programs. Toward the end of the year, she began consulting for Mercury Marine; after two months, they offered her a position as commodity manager.

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There were many reasons for Carter to refuse: a three-hour commute, two or three weeks of overseas travel a month and a lower salary. But her family needed her income, so she said yes. She kept her rsum up to date and stayed in touch with the search firms.

A full year later, the phone rang. The caller was Anthony Jones, a recruiter at Minority Executive Search in Cleveland. He'd been retained by Johnson Controls, an automotive systems company, to hire a director of purchasing and logistics for North America.

 

Jones deserves credit for spotting Carter's qualifications and making the match with Johnson, but it's Carter who ultimately sold herself. She stayed current in procurement and operations, and was not shy about sharing radical ideas about teamwork with her interviewer. She exuded confidence.

"I do very well at interviews," the new grandmother confirms. "Always."

Continued...  Top of page




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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.