Many moons ago I went to work in a UK Job centre sitting at a desk in a sort of showroom of presentation boards with cards showing brief details of jobs and giving a reference number. The jobseeker would write down the number and come to a desk where I or my colleagues would interview them then ring the employer for an interview if there was a match. It often struck me how older workers would arrive in their first week of unemployment smartly dressed and raring to go. But as the weeks progressed, their dress, demeanour and spirit declined. Then they would stop coming and I would wonder what had happened to them. I would have a vague sense of guilt that I had not helped them. Seeing up to 50 people a day on what was colloquially known as ‘the front line’ didn’t make it easy to spend the time that someone in that position needed to support them and help them help themselves.
Today I saw an article about such people at management level.
It’s entitled ‘Coaching unemployed managers and professionals through the trauma of unemployment: Derailed or undaunted?’ By David E Gray of University of Greenwich, Yiannis Gabriel of University of Bath (always worth a read) and Harshita Goregaokar, University of Surrey, all UK.
Also check out Suzanne Ross’ work on derailed talent.