Employee Case Study: Maxine

Being laid off is never a pleasant experience, especially after spending many years with the same company. When you begin searching for a new job, you quickly realize how much the job market has changed since you last looked. Maxine encountered this challenge firsthand when she was laid off after nine years at her company.

Learn more about how City Personnel helped Maxine find a new job in this case study.


Maxine spent 9 years as an Administrative Assistant at a maritime connectivity company. Her career was interrupted when she took FMLA leave to support a sick family member. During this leave, her position was absorbed as part of a 75-person layoff in February.

After her relative passed away in April, Maxine took some time to grieve both her loved one and the loss of her job before beginning her job search on Job Board platforms like Indeed. 

Maxine began working with City Personnel this past month, May 2024.


Job Requirements and Pay

Many positions she came across required a college degree, disregarding her 20 years of administrative experience. Additionally, finding jobs within her benchmark salary was posing a challenge.  

Oversaturation of Job Boards

Like many candidates, Maxine found job boards to be oversaturated and likened the experience to a black hole. She reminisced about the days when job searching involved walking into stores to ask for an application or circling newspaper listings.

Emotional Strain

Being laid off is a highly stressful and emotional experience that can lead to feelings of shock, cognitive dissonance, anger, shame, bargaining, and grief. These feelings do not happen in a social vacuum and although layoffs are a common reality in 2024, many individuals do not have an outlet to share the collective experience of this emotional strain. 

“When you’re laid off, there is no right way to act. I felt all the things: anger, grief, confusion. Worrying about where I am in life and how I am going to pay my bills …Was I going to be able to keep my house, feed myself, and feed my dog?”

- Maxine


Working with City Personnel was a bit of a happy accident. Maxine stumbled upon a job posting for an Administrative Assistant by City Personnel on Indeed. Unbeknownst to her at the time, City Personnel was a recruitment agency that would provide the following support:

Needs Assessment

City Personnel conducted a thorough intake process to understand Maxine’s needs and non-negotiables. They sought to grasp not only her experience and salary expectations but also her desired company culture fit. This comprehensive understanding allowed them to match her with an opportunity that aligned perfectly with her profile.

Interview Coaching

Maxine expressed nervousness about interviewing since she had not interviewed in nine years. City Personnel provided her with the platform to let her guard down while being a soundboard for her. They offered her simple but practical advice, be your authentic self and your skillset will do the rest.

Advocacy and Negotiation

With a great understanding of what Maxine was looking for, City Personnel matched her to a legal client they had partnered with for years. The team at City Personnel advocated and negotiated on Maxine’s behalf, securing a salary higher than she had anticipated.

The Results

City Personnel’s efficient and effective approach led to Maxine receiving an offer from a reputable law firm within a week of her interview on May 20th. 

Maxine’s journey highlights the challenges and emotional strain of a layoff and subsequently job searching. However, with the support and expertise of City Personnel, she found a position that matched her skills and superseded her salary expectations quickly. 

Maxine emphasized the benefits of working with a staffing agency, noting that they streamline the process and provide a supportive point of contact, making the job search less lonely. “City Personnel was experienced, efficient, and down to earth. Working with them was truly a humbling experience. I appreciated their authenticity and personal touch they brought to the recruitment process. They nailed it!”


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