How to Get Work When None is Available: Navigating a Frozen Job Market

Kyla Duffy
5 min readJul 17, 2023
Photo by Joakim Nådell on Unsplash; Do you feel like those trees looking out on the hiring market?

My client was a top account executive at a major technology firm before succumbing to a “RIF” (reduction in force).

Now, he was doing everything right with his job search:

· Adapting his resume for job descriptions

· Networking to get internal referrals

· Diligently watching his top-20 company list to jump on appropriate job openings

Yet, he hadn’t received one interview request in 5 months since the layoff.

He told me job-hunting was his full-time job, and it was going nowhere.

Can you imagine a full-time job where all you get is rejection?*

That’s when he reached out to me.

My client’s quandary presented me with a challenge: What value could I add for someone who was already doing everything right?

As our meeting progressed and I learned more about him, I became concerned.

Like anyone in his situation, rejection after rejection was starting to take its toll, and something needed to change immediately.

He had some financial leeway, so getting a job wasn’t about a dire need for a paycheck. It was about the fact that he had just come off his best year and wanted to continue his upward trajectory.

But the roadblock he kept facing was: “Hey, you look great and I’d love to hire you, but we’re experiencing a hiring freeze.”

How could he melt the ice?

He said dog rescue was something he was passionate about, but he had yet to get involved.

Considering the positive impact helping dogs could have by making him feel appreciated and useful, I encouraged him to get involved with a shelter or rescue immediately.

Maybe he could create his own path to volunteering that involves using / sharpening skills he’d use at work, so when he describes his work gap on his resume, he can talk about the volunteering he’s been doing and how it’s helped him position himself for success in his career.

Who knows what connections he could make through volunteer endeavors that could lead to a job down the…



Kyla Duffy

Energized by “A-ha!” moments, I’m a career coach and resume writer who helps people move toward happiness & fulfillment. Get help at