"Our talk at our plant last week has given me some interesting new ideas," said Werner Walpert, project lead for technical reorganization in a high-tech company in Lower Saxony. "I haven't applied for a new job in 20 years and am looking forward to working with you. But one you said did confuse me." "You don't really expect me to talk to my friends and acquaintances about the mess I'm in with my career, do you?" "I'm happy to hear that you are so committed and open from the start," I answer. "You think of your dismissal as a personal failure. I've seen that in a lot of people I've worked with. It happens when - as in your case - companies go on a "weight-loss program" and dismiss a lot of managers. As you are 54 years old, it hits you harder than the others. But I don't think you're at fault. You have done nothing that anyone could blame you for. So there is really nothing you need to keep secret from friends and acquaintances. "This is the objective view of your dismissal. We both have to accept your subjective experience and work toward helping you get back your sense of self-esteem. Please just keep that in the back of your mind for now. We will return to it when you start preparing for your job interviews. First, we need to identify your professional and personal strengths so that we can turn them into a unique offer for your specialized job market." After four months Werner Walpert found a new position as a plant manager through his personal network. Unfortunately he had to leave after nine months when his new company was sold.
Even though our 6-month guarantee had expired, we continued to help Mr Walpert in his search. Now experienced in job-hunting, within a few weeks he found a position as a manager in a medium-sized electromechanical engineering company close to where he and his circle of friends lived. A position he successfully filled for seven years until he retired. His final comment when we finished working together went something like this: "Mr Loeffler, during our talks together I picked up a number of helpful hints. But the most valuable thing was your helping me clear the hurdle, show initiative and openly approach my contacts." By the way, after finishing school Mr Walpert had learned a manual professional and hadn't taken any further examinations. However, he developed into a master of "learning by doing".
This is a real case. Names and locations have been changed to protect privacy.