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Out of a Job Because Your Boss Was Bernie Madoff?

You’re in the market for a job, just like everybody else. But your situation is a bit different: Bernie Madoff was your boss. Or, you worked for now-defunct Stanford Financial Group. Finding a new gig might prove to be difficult for candidates who were employees of criminals. Obviously you’re not responsible- you probably had no idea anything illegal was transpiring- but still, you need to be able to defend yourself in front of potential employers of the future. Today’s Wall Street Journal asked career coaches for advice:

Kate Wendleton, president of Five O’Clock Club, a career-counseling network in New York: Describe your scandal-rid workplace instead of identifying it outright on your resume. That way you “won’t be rejected on paper,” she says. In an interview, first talk about your accomplishments. There will be plenty of time to spill the name of your organization.

Linda Dominguez, executive coach in Coarsegold, California: No matter who you worked for, don’t gossip. “Badmouthing your former employer makes you look guilty.”

Dory Hollander, workplace psychologist in Arlington, Virginia: Use this opportunity to show how seriously you care about ethics. Be calm about your situation. “When you normalize something, people can identify with your situation rather than vilify you.”


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