Finding Hope

By Jim Hollister As we move into the end of 2013, I continue to see articles and announcements of layoffs in the papers and online. Lockheed Martin just announced that they will have a lay-off of over 4000 of their employees. Unfortunately, as we move into the Holiday Season, that means move layoff announcements will be coming out and more people will be looking for work.

I have been giving outplacement seminars to employees at my company over the last month. I never thought that I would be giving outplacement seminars to employees who hold high level clearances but, due to sequestration and federal budget cuts, most government contractors are faced with having to lay employees off. As part of our seminars, we give the employee a copy of “What Color is my Parachute”. In the first chapter, the author talks about “Finding Hope” when in a career transition and states:

“Hope depends upon taking care that we have at least two alternatives, in every situation we find ourselves, and with every task confronting us”

The author gives us the following list of thoughts to reflect on when searching for a position:

  1. Not just one way to describe ourselves, but two ways, at least.
  2. Not deciding upon just one career, but two careers, at least.
  3. Not getting trained or retained for just one kind of job, but two different kinds of jobs, at least.
  4. Not just one way to hunt for a job, but two ways, at least.
  5. Not hunting just for one job, but two jobs, at least.
  6. Not going after just one size company, but two sizes, at least, small or large.
  7. Not just choosing one place where we really would like to find work, but two places, at least.
  8. Not finding just one way to approach a place that interests us, but two different ways, at least.
  9. Not securing just one job offer, but two job offers, at least.

So, as we move into end of the year, I think everyone, even if they have a stable position, should have alternatives and be searching for the next step in their life’s journey.

Jim Hollister is a Talent Acquisition professional with over 25 years of experience. He is currently the Treasurer of RecruitDC and works for Northrop Grumman as a Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition for the Cyber Solutions Division. Previous positions include: Director of Recruiting at Netstar-1, Unisys -Federal System and CSC – Federal Systems. He also worked at Fannie Mae, Hughes Network Systems and ACS. In addition to RecruitDC, Jim ran the Staffing Alliance of Maryland Employers (Project SAME) organization and is active with the Talent Acquisition Leadership Council. Connect with Jim at




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