Laid off in America

Monday, January 20, 2003

In my past career, I was a research scientist studying executive selection. One curious piece of information that I came across consistently, in the literature and in my own data, is that between 1/4 and 1/3 of top level executives (CEOs and 1 and 2 levels down) ultimately fail in their job. In my research, while some of these failed executives are demoted or moved to a different position within their company, a majority of those who failed are fired or leave the organization. In fact, 1/3 of my sample of 300+ executives ultimately left their organization. That's a lot of "failure" and that's a lot of unemployed executives.

I was curious. What happened to them? What was life like between jobs? What were their search strategies, how did they "change" (learn or develop maybe?), what kind of support did they have, how did they deal with it emotionally, how did they manage their finances, and how long did it take to find a new job (assuming they found one), If and once they landed in new jobs, how did it compare to the old job in terms of level and responsibility, how much are they paid comparatively, how satisfied are they with their new job, did they perform better, and was there better fit? I was guessing that most of the time the real issue in these executives leaving their organization was not due to their lack of skill in their jobs, but due to lack of fit with their organization (or department, or boss, etc.).

Little did I know that I would soon find out. Not through my usual methods of research. I was laid off myself... posted by Valerie 5:14 AM

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The experience of the new rite of passage among today's professionals: Being Unemployed

Contact me
You can contact me by sending me email at

This blog's mention in the July 2003 issue of Fast Company
Web of Despair.

Other unemployment blogs I have found
Ask your ass.
All about Jen.
Homee's job search.
Get that job.

Some blogs I like but haven't been updated in a while
Where The Hell Did My Job Go.
Invisible Matrix.

Credit problems?

What's keeping me occupied while I'm unemployed?
My husband and my travel photography blog.


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