Five years ago, Christine Anne Corrigan had a solid job at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, a high five-figure salary as a business manager, and a house in La Crescenta.
She was studying for an MBA, and seemingly on a fast track for promotion.
Then, the bottom fell out. JPL laid her off, and she’s having trouble getting back in to a middle management or executive job.
“I’m ready for it. But there aren’t as many positions as there used to be,” Corrigan said.
In her fifties, Corrigan is now among the chronically “under-employed.” Interim jobs – like project manager for a charity group, or census taker – have enabled her to remain solvent.
However, she’s already tapping into retirement savings to pay the mortgage. Repairs, like the holes in her wooden porch or the leaky garbage disposal go ignored, for now.
“I’m afraid they’re gonna say, 'Oh, it’s gonna be thousands of dollars,'” she said.
Corrigan scours the Internet regularly, searching job sites and checking up with friends. She prefers “in-person” or “over the phone” to Facebook, though, and doesn’t have a twitter account.
So what could she possibly be doing wrong? We posed this question to our experts.
They agreed. She’s engaging, intelligent and qualified, but it’s the little things that may be hindering her.
Alycia McCullough, a Career Counselor at Loyola Marymount says that she would like to see her resume tighten up, easier to read, and more concise, possibly just one page, instead of two.
“The chronological resume is not the best choice for her. It shows different diversions from what she wants to really accomplish,” said Lawrence Broughton from the California Employment Development. Department. A functional resume may work better for her and others who are looking for a job in a new field or have gaps in their employment.
Broughton also said Corrigan is not taking advantage of her on-line social networks.
”Just having Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is not enough! Actually utilize it,” he said.
Corrigan seems to agree, but for a different reason.
“My network consisted of people at JPL. That’s where I see a bit of a deficit, in that THAT’S my network.”
However, our experts say you can never discount the value of friends of friends or even relatives. Show them you’re actively searching, tell them what for, and you may be surprised by what comes your way. Take advantage of networking sites like the facebook application Branch Out to build your network.
Back to Work: This story is one in a weeklong series focusing on jobs and employment in Southern California.