The recession is over, but my career is dead!

Posted April 12, 2012 by

I keep reading about how the recession is over and the job market is improving, but my situation couldn’t be worse.  I’ve been working over 60 hours a week for the last 2 years and am doing the work of 3 people.  Prior to 2008 I got calls from headhunters all the time, but my phone is still silent.  I feel like my career is dead but I still need to work for a long time.  What can I do?


Alexandra Levit of AlexandraLevit.comI sense a lot of desperation in your message, and I suspect that this is the result of feeling burned out.  Working long hours at an unrelenting pace can have serious consequences for your mental and physical health.



Do you have unused vacation days?  The first thing you need to do is use them.  Sit in your living room and watch TV if you want, but do not work.  I think when you’ve had some time to relax and clear your head, you’ll see that your career is actually far from dead.


The job market has improved, but not as quickly as the media would have us believe.  In many industries, the headhunters still have all of the inbound leads they need.  If you want to find a new job, you will have to do the legwork yourself by setting up informational interviews through LinkedIn and attending networking events in your city.


Before you jump ship, though, I would talk to your manager about your situation.  Don’t whine or complain that you’re having a breakdown. State factually that you need help prioritizing your work so that you have the ability to focus on doing what’s best for the organization. You won’t know if s/he’s willing to help unless you ask.


Alexandra Levit is a globally recognized workplace author and speaker. A nationally syndicated columnist, Alexandra has published several books, including They Don’t Teach Corporate in College, How’d You Score That Gig?, Success for Hire, MillennialTweet, New Job, New You, and Blind Spots. Levit has advised the Obama administration, regularly speaks nationwide at conferences, universities, and corporations on workforce issues, and was recently named Money Magazine’s Online Career Expert of the Year.  Learn more about Alexandra’s work at


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