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Case

Brad’s Dilemma: Finding a New Job

Brad Thomas, a 53-year-old retail store manager earning 75,000 a year, has worked for the same company during his entire 28-year career. Brad was recently laid off and is still unemployed 10 months later, and his severance pay and 6 months’ unemployment compensation have run out. Because he has consistently observed careful financial planning practices, he now has sufficient savings and investments to carry him through several more months of unemployment.

Brad is actively seeking work but finds that he is overqualified for available lower-paying jobs and under-qualified for higher-paying, more desirable positions. There are no openings for positions equivalent to the manager’s job he lost. He lost his wife several years earlier and is close to his two grown children, who live in the same city.

Brad has these options:

• Wait out the recession until another retail store manager position opens up.

• Move to another area of the country where store manager positions are more plentiful.

• Accept a lower-paying job for two or three years and then go back to school evenings to finish his college degree and qualify for a better position.

• Consider other types of jobs that could benefit from his managerial skills.

Critical Thinking Questions

1. What important career factors should Brad consider when evaluating his options?

2. What important personal factors should Brad consider when deciding among his career options?

3. What recommendations would you give Brad in light of both the career and personal dimensions of his options noted in Questions 1 and 2?

4. What career strategies should today’s workers employ in order to avoid Brad’s dilemma?

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