New Direction

Q: I am a 57-year-old African American who has been downsized from my last three positions. I had no problem finding work until I was laid off last year. To make up for the lost income I have been consulting.
I have more than 25 years experience in accounting. I have a B.S., M.B.A., J.D., CPA, and am a licensed attorney. I have received several interviews but no real offers. It is very frustrating and depressing to not be able to do the things you are accustomed to doing with your family. Any advice?
–F. Green, Via the Internet

A: The job and salary that fit your expertise are unlikely to be posted in the want ads. Top-level positions for credentialed and experienced professionals are often attained through aggressive networking (see “Plan of Action,” this issue) or through selection after submitting your résumé to an executive search firm.

Although it would be illegal for employers to voice this, another consideration may be age — many companies view new employees as long-term investments. Continue to consult and focus your search on stronger consulting opportunities and project work. That way, you can establish a relationship with the employer while building your portfolio. For such placements, check out ProSavvy (, a Web-based professional service that connects consultants with projects and companies. During the interview process, also suggest consulting as an option to the employer. Your background gives you the leverage to structure a strong package to create your own opportunities.

Mail your career development questions to:
Since You Asked, BLACK ENTERPRISE, 130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011, or send an e-mail to