Why “A Players” Are Unemployed – And What to Do

I’ve never seen so many sharp people, A Players in their careers, unemployed. Since 2008, as you well know, terrific companies have chopped head count (and they still are doing it), and a lot of smaller companies – the ones that create most jobs – have scaled back or gone out of business. A Players are out of work because:

  1. They don’t know how to get a job…because former co-workers have come to them with job offers, and
  2. They are too humble in their resume and interviews.

What to do: If you’re an “out of work” A Player:

  1. Get meetings with sharp people. Go through your contacts to identify sharp people – not just people who might employ you. Go back 10 years and think of additional people who were sharp, who didn’t make it into your contacts, and add them. Then email and phone people hours every day to get face-to-face meetings with people who can put you in touch with people who might employ you.
  2. Don’t be so humble. When former associates recruited you, you could be humble (“The team deserves the credit,” “I was lucky.”) and the former associates would sing you praises. Spend hours refining your accomplishments in every job.
  3. Admit mistakes/failures. You’re an A Player, so you’ve learned from mistakes and don’t repeat them, right? So, #3 does not contradict #2.
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