Client Success Story: Overcoming Career Setbacks as a Boomer

Finding yourself out of a job — whether it’s from a layoff, a permanent staff reduction, or being let go — is just a fact of life in business. It happens. When you’re in early or mid career, being on the receiving end of that pink slip is no fun, but it’s easier to bounce back and find another job because those early and mid-career jobs are more plentiful. When you’re a baby boomer, and a CEO, finding yourself jobless feels a little more complicated.

It happened a few years back to Amy Geffen, who had a job she loved as CEO of NYSSA (now CFA New York). After a three-year contract and another seven months without a contract, she was let go with severance. She knew she still had plenty of energy and skills to use in the nonprofit workspace. So, Geffen contacted GetFive (then The Five O’Clock Club) for outplacement help.

Moving forward

With GetFive’s help, Geffen began to overcome that setback with the goal of going on to even greater career success.

“As a GetFive client, I learned all the ins and outs of finding the hidden job market,” Geffen said. “My coach was instrumental in getting me back on my feet, increasing my confidence, and moving me to the next step in my career.”

Geffen worked with a nonprofit search firm that placed her in two interim nonprofit positions, first as CEO at All Souls Church and then as CEO of the FWA (Financial Women’s Association). But she really wanted a job that could provide benefits and a 401(k). So she kept looking and found a position as Director of Professional Development for the Council for Economic Education.

“It was a step back from being a CEO but it used all my skills, and the organization has a mission that resonated with me.”

That’s a key part of some job searches. Sometimes a temporary step back can lead to a greater step forward. Geffen stayed at the Council for Economic Education for three years while she built her career coaching practice with GetFive.

“Thanks to GetFive, I am happily pursing my coaching full time.”

Geffen enjoys all aspects of career coaching — the one-on-one coaching, speaking in public, and writing her weekly blog. And had she not had her initial setback, she may never have found this new career that she loves.

Stick with it

“Persevere. Be persistent. Think outside of the box as to how to use your skills in a different way, a different industry, or a different job title. Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to take part-time, temporary, or volunteer positions while you pursue your next great opportunity. Stick with the program. The GetFive process allows you to identify your best skills and how to transfer them to another job, another industry, or another career. It really works.”

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