Hire This Guy #1: Mariann Donato

Note from the Editor: Welcome to our first installment of "Hire This Guy." This new franchise was inspired by the many of you who are tired, stressed and frustrated over trying to find a job. We realize that providing tips and advice can only help you so much, so we decided to take our job-search help to a whole new level. We will be selecting an unemployed reader each month to get one-on-one coaching from job search expert Tory Johnson. Tory will not only develop a personalized plan of action for each candidate, but also walk them through the process -- providing additional advice, feedback and encouragement.The rest of us get to observe and, hopefully, learn. So let's get started with our first "guy" (yes, we know, it's actually a woman): Mariann Donato.

Meet Our First "Guy": Mariann Donato

By Tory Johnson

Mariann Donato lost her job after a 30-year career in publishing. She has a strong work history and senior VP title, but believes her lack of a college degree and her age are preventing her from getting hired. Her story is similar to the ones I hear from so many of the men and women I meet across the nation.

Meet Mariann, then join us daily as I help her to get back to work.

hire this guyLet's talk about your work history.

Up until 2008, I enjoyed an uninterrupted 30-year run in the publishing industry. I got my first job in book publishing as a secretary at a major publishing house right after graduating high school. Throughout the years I worked hard, developed many skills in all areas of the industry and was promoted regularly. I ended up totally enamored by sales and marketing and have spent the last 15 years developing and sharpening skills in these particular areas, most recently as a senior vice president/director of sales and marketing for one of the world's largest publishers.

And then what happened?

My publisher and I parted company in March 2008 as a result of some upper management personnel changes within my division. Needless to say I was devastated, humiliated, shamed and completely distraught. The fact that the recession was kicking in didn't help at all. In over 30 years, I had never had to look for a job. Rather, I made three job changes in my entire career and all of them found me.

What has surprised you most during this time?

If someone told me in March of 2008 that I still wouldn't have a job in February of 2010, I never would have believed it. As it turns out, that's exactly what has happened. I have since dealt with most of the emotional issues surrounding the termination and am now left with dealing with the financial woes as severance pay has quickly dwindled as has my meager nest egg. I am now panicked about my ongoing ability to pay my bills.

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

At the age of 50, I am a proud charter member of the empty nester club. I am married and have two grown children.

I feel as though I am on my second round of life and am ready to move forward onto my Act Two. The ironic part of is that my professional life was unbelievably chaotic when my kids were young. I often worked 12 hours a day and traveled all over the country while attempting to raise kids and maintain a happy relationship with my husband. There were many times when my cup was so full that I didn't think I'd make it, but I did persevere and succeeded at both ends.

Now that I totally have time to dedicate and concentrate on a career with nary a care in the world, I am not working or able to find employment. This doesn't seem right or fair, but I've lived long enough to know that most things in life are neither.

What are you looking for now?

Due to the job climate, I have lowered my expectations a good deal with regard to wage and title expectations. I would be happy to get the opportunity to work in sales or marketing at any management level in any industry.

Why do you believe you haven't yet found what you're looking for?

While it would be easiest to cite the recession as the sole reason for my dilemma, that would be a cop out. Honestly, I think the real reason is because I am lost. After all this time, I still don't know the true direction I want my next career to take. I have thoroughly examined the pros and cons of staying in publishing and the truth is that chapter has already been read and reread zillions of times. I need to move on, but for some reason I'm stagnant, which is historically uncharacteristic of my personality and lifestyle.

On top of that I've been rejected so many times, I honestly feel I'll never find career fulfillment again. I've convinced myself that lack of formal college education/degree(s) and my "mature" age are the key reasons for rejection upon rejection.

Note from AOL Find a Job: Mariann lives in New York. If you have a management-level job opportunity in sales and marketing that fits Mariann's experience, please let us know in the comments below.

Next: Tory's Plan of Action for Mariann >>

Follow Mariann's Job Search:

Tory JohnsonTory Johnson is all about job searching. She's CEO of Women For Hire, founder of job club network WaggleForce.com and author of Fired to Hired. Talk to her at Twitter.com/ToryJohnson.

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