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Are you doing the same old job? Driving to the same old place? Does your car drive to work like it’s on autopilot? Does your rut groove go deeper and feel like a hole? If you’ve answered yes, you’re not alone. Many of us have been in your place. The good news is that you alone are responsible and must get yourself out of the hole. You can do it and here are three tips to use as a guide.

    Most buildings have an escape route posted with an arrow stating "you are here." Without that arrow, the map is useless. If you’re unhappy, under-challenged or underpaid, your career may need updating. Evaluate your job and company and decide to get out of your hole. Update your resume. Revitalize your network of people. Accept that "You Are Here" as a starting point.
    I was told this should be Rule #1, but first you must realize you are in a hole. Make believe that you’re still digging and always give your employer your best effort. Start to think about your best way out. Don’t reveal to anyone at your job that you are looking for a new job.
  3. LOOK UP
    Look up and see the daylight. There is no lid on your hole. Open your mind to all possibilities. Develop new relationships that can further your career. Improve your skills. Finish your education. Attend seminars for career and personal self-improvement. Eventually, you’ll be able to jump out of that hole.

Dear Headhunter,
I am a 60-year-old man who was laid off from a good aerospace job. I had been doing drafting for 40 years, so I thought I would try something else. I got some "background" work at the studios and did a lot of volunteer work. I have found that nobody wants a 60-year-old to train for a job, even though I can do just about anything with training. I would like to get into the studios as a crew member or driver, but have found that its not what you know, but who you know. I am a security guard now and am bored to death. Any suggestions?

Thanks, WT in Studio city

Dear WT,
You are in a deep hole. Yes, your age will work against you. The studio crew jobs are prime openings for younger people. The pay scale is excellent. The studios get many insider referrals to get friends or family hired. The best advice is to network with a passion. Make a list of all your studio work contacts, including your volunteer work. Continue asking on a weekly basis and you may catch the break you want. Keep in mind that it’s timing, timing, timing and you can make it work for you.

Good luck. -George

Dear Headhunter,
I have a misdemeanor conviction for indecent exposure from 1993. What is the best way to handle this in an interview and on my resume?

Thanks, Exposed LW

Dear Exposed,
I get many e-mail relating to this same question. Never list any negatives on your resume. Run a background check on yourself and see if it shows up. During your interview, do not volunteer any negative information in your background. Most job applications don’t ask about misdemeanors. If the misdemeanor shows on your background check, be ready to explain it in detail. Companies mostly want information about felonies. Don’t expose your negatives.

Good luck. -George

Dear Headhunter,
I have read your articles and admire your insight. I am having such a hard job trying to find a job in CA since my resume has a few gaps. Nobody wants to touch me with a 10-foot pole. I am not sure what to do and I am getting very depressed. I tried working with employment agencies and that was an even worse experience. How can I get into the CA job market?

Thanks a million for all your help! Sandy

Dear Sandy,
Thanks for the compliment about my columns! Sorry I don’t have a job for you! Gaps in employment are red flags that companies jump on. How? Why? Why so long? And so on. If you took the time for personal reasons or a family matter, be ready to explain it in detail. If a layoff or company restructure happened, get documents to support your statements. The job market continues to be tight and competitive. Make persistence your best friend and search buddy.

Good luck on your search. -George

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.