The Interview Coach: Too Many Jobs?

December 12, 2012 |

Carol:  I am writing in response to an article you ran recently in  At the end of the article you offered to have questions sent to you. 

I retired 11 years ago after a good, solid 30-year career – retiring as an O-6.  I was a finance type.  Earned two commands and jobs as deputy at two other large, high visibility organizations while on active duty.  I have a Masters degree and am a Certified Management Accountant.

I made the mistake of getting into private higher education and went to work for a school that was broke.  I helped turn them around and put them in good financial condition.  I was offered a job by the guy who’d been hired to lead the turnaround and off I went to another sad little college.  Then…. I did another one, and another and another. 

My problem is that now I can’t get a job anywhere except at financially messed-up organizations.  As one search firm told me:  “you’re a fixer and the employer I represent isn’t broke.  I can’t market you.”

I look like someone who can’t keep a job and every time this comes up in an interview situation, it’s a disaster.  I’ve been home sitting on my thumbs for nearly five months now.

Do you have any suggestions about how to handle the appearance of too many jobs over too short a time span?

Thanks so much!

Carrollton, Virginia

Answer from The Interview Coach:

Thanks for posting. 

You are a “problem solver” and every company has problems. The search firm gave you very “narrow-minded” advice.

Begin thinking of all the “transferable” skills that you have that you can present. Skills you could bring to any job – analytical thinking, communication, attention to detail, being adaptable, etc.

If you are getting interviews, your résumé is working. If you aren’t getting interviews, you need some professional  feedback on how to re- position yourself.

If you keep doing the same thing and getting the same results, something needs to change. Good luck on finding a new niche.

Best wishes,
Carole Martin

Job interview expert Carole Martin has been a prime contributor to our Veteran Jobs blog, and offers her advice to veterans and service members who have questions, general or specific, about tackling the civilian job interview process. Send Carole your questions at, and moving forward, we’ll feature her answers in this blog.

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