But Shaw was told that no positions would be available until the following year. “I was trying to be extremely confident,” Shaw recalls. “I told him that it was no problem—I would be in Dubai by that time and we could talk then.” A month later, Shaw received an offer to come to Dubai and serve as the director of global public relations, communications, and corporate social responsibility for Limitless. She moved and began working there in September 2008.
Her employment with Limitless lasted about a year. “I had to make a decision; do I go back to the States? I decided to stay and see what would happen,” she says. Within weeks, Shaw learned through a neighbor about an opening at Zayed University. She was soon hired as an adjunct professor to teach public relations to young Emirati women. In June 2010, Shaw landed a position at Barclays Bank PLC as head of communications for corporate affairs for Barclays Africa. Shaw left Barclays in November 2011 and started the following month with the position she holds today: senior director of corporate communications, Middle East & Africa for Hilton Worldwide.
Shaw recognized that globalization isn’t just a corporate function, it’s an individual one. She found a fulfilling opportunity by taking initiative.
Finding Work after a Layoff
Since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, more than 8 million American jobs have been lost—roughly 500,000 in the financial industry alone. Despite the 8.2% unemployment rate, Cousin says there are plenty of jobs available, but the problem is that job hunters are using the old model of sending out résumés and waiting for a response.
Derrick Godfrey worked in the financial industry. He joined Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. as a vice president and worked with the Partnership Solutions Group, an initiative that developed business opportunities with women- and minority-owned firms that served as broker dealers, hedge funds, private equity, commercial banks, real estate, and asset management. Godfrey, a former vice president of business development at Black Enterprise, hoped to eventually join Lehman’s wealth management group. But then the financial powerhouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2008.
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