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>Top Level Employee : How they Cope, The $100,000 Job Search

>People accustomed to six-figure salaries are increasingly among those seeking jobs, as the financial sector crumbles and takes with it thousands of related white-collar positions. When Citibank announced recently that it was showing some 50,000 employees — many of them highly paid executives — the door, the departing bankers joined more than 20,000 whom Citigroup had already laid off this year. Then there’s the chorus of layoff announcements from other financial firms from Morgan Stanley to AIG and suit-count cuts at nonfinancial firms from GM to Boeing. Overall, more than 2,100 companies fired at least 50 people in October alone, leaving some 230,000 people suddenly out of a job. That’s why so many $200 pairs of shoes are out pounding the pavement.

To land new spots before year’s end, six-figure earners are increasingly supplementing their willingness to shift roles with old-fashioned networking. And they’re not just calling old friends and recruiters; they’re digitizing their Rolodexes. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, whose members’ average household income is $109,000, now has 31 million members, with a million new members signing up every two weeks. Those searching for jobs can use the service to figure out what connections they have at a company that’s hiring. At least one executive from every Fortune 500 company is now on the site, and one top tech firm actually used it this year to find a new CFO.

Another digital tool gaining steam among job-hunting white-collar types is TheLadders.com. The site now posts about 60,000 available positions, with openings for accountants, financial analysts and directors of sales as well as more unusual functions, such as senior-level food technologist, master black belt and business-strategy ninja.

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