Bouncing Back after a Job Loss


For the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to take an exciting new “Job Readiness Training, with an Australian Twist,” called Bounce, which has really helped me bounce back into my job search.

This is program is not your average career readiness training, and goes far beyond the usual resume, cover letter and interviewing skills that most programs offer. The founder, Maria Smith describes it as: “We are really bringing in a layer of emotional intelligence. This is a buzzword in terms of corporate America. Anyone can learn a skill, but it’s hard to teach social awareness, to show how to act in all kinds of social interactions.”  Participants in this program in Australia have seen  85% success rate in securing jobs, and the program has been very successful here in Worcester, MA over the last two years. Unfortunately, this program has only rolled out to Worcester, MA.

What has this program done for my job search? Well, from the start, for myself and the other seven participants, we found that we were able to build a very strong rapport and a bond from the start. Rapport building is very important on a job search, especially in networking, where more than 75% of jobs are found.  This program not only has helped me feel more at ease in building rapport in networking situations and in interviews but through this training, I have built a strong job search team with my fellow bouncers. We hold each other accountable and encourage each other. The bond we have built in just two weeks is amazing. We continue to keep in contact with a private Facebook group, and we plan to meet on a weekly basis.

Another way the training helped is it has given me the tools to get over blocks or barriers in my job search. Unemployment and especially long-term unemployment very often leads depression or a feeling that there is something wrong with the job seeker. The current job market is still very much an employer’s market, and as that is the case, employers are making choices based more on fit and less on a match of skills and experience. With the job placements based more on fit, and less on skills, job seekers often come to feel that their lack of success in a job search is due to a self-flaw. This has been demonstrated in many research findings, such as a recent study by Dr.Ofer Sharone, professor, and researcher at MIT, research, which I am proud to say, I have been a part of, (see page 589 for my name).

A third way that this training has helped has been the ability to find anchors that I can use to face stressful situations. When going into an interview, I practice my superwoman pose to help build my confidence, and I use my anchors to leave any blocks at the door. For me, a big block has been the loss of my last job, which at the time, I thought was my dream job. I kept asking why. I now know, I need to leave that at the door. I am better off now. I have finally realized that everything happens for a reason. My last job ended because I was ultimately meant to meet my fellow bouncers and to find work that is meaningful to me. I am one and the same with the work I do and the way that I live my life; they are not separate.

Since my training, I have found two consultant opportunities that I am very excited about, and I will share details in a future blog and on my LinkedIn profile, so please stay tuned. I am excited, as I will be doing will help improve outcomes for the Long Term Unemployed. Additionally, I believe that these projects will lead to my next job. In any case, they are giving me recently and relevant work experience, an ability to network in my field and a chance to make a difference.

By day, Rachelle, working mother of two, serves as an education advocate and career advisor for MassEdCO. By night, Rachelle provided career consulting and works to promote green energy. When Rachelle is not writing her blog, advising her students, or coaching her clients, she enjoys camping and going to the theater with her two children.

Follow Rachelle on Twitter at @RLappinen and follow her blog at


About Rachelle Lappinen

​Rachelle Lappinen is a Career and Academic Consultant and a Green Energy Ambassador. Currently, Rachelle serves as an education advocate for MassEdco working with high school students on college and career navigation. Rachelle also consults working with MIT on a research program, researching the effects of long-term unemployment on the middle class and developing best practices to help this population. Rachelle has worked at Mount Wachusett Community College, the YWCA and Becker College as a Career Development Counselor. Before becoming entering the field of workforce development, Rachelle spent over 10 years working as an insurance underwriter. Throughout her coaching and volunteer experiences, Rachelle has been noted for her determination and persistence to help those in need of career guidance. As a volunteer, Rachelle is actively involved with the non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg and the Center for Women and Enterprises. Prior to entering the coaching world, Rachelle was a senior group insurance underwriter for Unum, and sales representative for Prudential Financial. She actively involved with the Career Counselors Consortium and is a member of the Career Resource Rachelle M. Lappinen, MBA, GCDF, CPRW
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