Personal Stories of America at Work

Category Archives: Unemployment

One Page Business Plan Author on How to Reinvent Yourself after a Lay-off

Jim Horan is a former Fortune 500 CFO who invented The One Page Business Plan and reinvented himself as successful entrepreneur. The One Page Business Plan is called “an out and out winner” by Tom Peters, author of Thriving on Chaos and co-author of In Search of Excellence. His book is recommended by Oprah Magazine.

The Working Chronicles: What has been your career journey?

"I think we’re all capable of doing a lot more than what we have done."

Jim Horan: I was fired from my job as a CFO on April 1, 1990. April Fool’s Day. It turned out that the joke was on me—I was unemployed for two years and then underemployed for the next three to five years as I explored entrepreneurship. But it ended up being absolutely the best thing that could have happened. I discovered a whole series of talents I had no idea I had. I think we’re all capable of doing a lot more than what we have done.
While looking for a job, I found myself becoming a consultant. I began to work with small businesses and discovered that business plans are not understood by damn near anybody.

Out of that came the idea of The One Page Business Plan.

Read the full interview >>

molly | May 17, 2011 | Entrepreneurs, Innovation, Job Search, Publishing, Small business, Unemployment | 0

How an Unemployed Worker Built New Foundation after Lay Off

Chauffeur Tony Garcia rebuilds his life after devastation in the construction industry

"I used to see those Employee-of-the-Month photos on the wall, and thought they were silly. But now, I respect them a lot more."

Tony Garcia

Limousine Driver

Like a scene from Up in the Air

I’m a limo driver now, but I spent over two decades in the construction industry. I worked my way up from apprentice to foreman to assistant supervisor, and finally, to a desk job managing people and estimating jobs. I was paid to catch mistakes, which are very costly in construction. In one year alone, I found over half a million dollars worth of errors. The company rewarded me for my work, and I was living the high life, like taking the kids to Disneyland and staying at nice hotels. I thought I had a secure job.

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molly | February 08, 2011 | Construction, Job Search, Unemployment | 4

The Career Gypsy

Singer/artist/designer Phoenix Normand opens his next act after calling it quits on YouTube

"If I’m not busy, I feel like I’m not doing anything with my life.”

“Phoenix Normand often has two careers going at once and sleeps four hours a night. His resume captures an eclectic mix of positions as executive assistant, graphic designer, singer, dancer, songwriter, actor, office interior designer, and real estate agent. A self-proclaimed gypsy, he says until recently he attracted new opportunities as if by magic. He posted a YouTube video, ‘Today is the first day of the rest of my life…today I am quitting my job, in the middle of a recession.’ Phoenix’s most compelling question at the moment is what to do with his life.”

– Chronicler Sherry Jordana

A hot mess

My professional realm is a hot mess right now, and it would be so nice to get back on track. I’m getting a little long in the tooth and floundering, to be honest with you. I’m starting to question myself. I can’t figure out what it is. Maybe I’m in a midlife crisis.

Read the full interview >>

molly | December 14, 2010 | Entrepreneurs, Innovation, Musician, Unemployment | 1

The Hopeful Job Seeker

Former claims rep Bonnie Edwards comes to terms with a job loss and strives to start over

"I was fired in August 2009. How can you target someone who’s been able to do a job for twenty-one years and suddenly say they can’t do the job?"

“As a Human Resources executive for over twenty years, I have seen my fair share of resumes. Sometimes we get so caught up in ‘key word matches’ and ‘job fit’ that we forget each and every resume represents a real person out there with hopes and desires for a happy and productive life. Bonnie’s story helped me remember this. She started in the automobile insurance industry right out of college and after twenty-two years at the same company was fired from her job. She is actively seeking new employment and, in our conversation, describes feeling grateful, at peace, and more hopeful about the future. At her request, we’ve used a pseudonym.”

– Chronicler Sherry Jordana

I’ve got the perfect job for you

I graduated from Rutgers University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and intended to go into social work. But I would have had to work over a year without health care benefits, and since I was just out college and really needed health benefits, I decided not to pursue social work. I ended up going to an employment agency. The agency person went through her files and told me, “I’ve got the perfect job for you!”

Read the full interview >>

molly | November 06, 2010 | Automation, Insurance, Job Search, Unemployment | 8

The Working Chronicles

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