For the 30th consecutive year, global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., will suspend normal business operations for two days over the holidays to provide free advice to callers from across the country.

The annual job-search call-in will be held December 28 and 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT. The telephone number is 312-422-5010. Job seekers can get more information about the call-in at firm’s website (

“The economy has improved significantly over the last couple of years, but that does not mean it’s easy to find employment. In fact, the hiring process is taking longer than ever, as companies spend more time trying to find the candidates who will be the best fit,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

As an outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas provides job-search training to individuals who have been laid off and receive the service as part of their exit package. The two-day call-in is the only time that the general public can take advantage of Challenger’s job-search expertise.

“The job market is in a constant state of churn. Even in the best economy, millions of American leave their jobs voluntarily and involuntarily every month. Some may land new positions easily, but most will struggle, as job searching is not a skill people are honing all of the time,” said Challenger.

According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 4.8 million “separations” in September, meaning that 4.8 million Americans left or were asked to leave their jobs.

As it turns out, more than half of the 4.8 million separations were voluntary, as 2.7 million people quit their jobs in September. Regardless of the circumstances, finding new employment can be a challenge.

“Most people do not want to put in the leg work it takes to find a job. They want to sit behind their computer, search for online job ads, send electronic resumes, and then wait for the phone to ring. But, even in the best economy, that strategy will rarely yield results,” said Challenger.

“It takes cold-calling, networking, asking for advice and favors, and selling yourself. All of these fall outside of the comfort zone for most people.

“As much as we would like to, our call-in is not intended to place callers into open jobs. Nor, can our coaches review callers’ resumes or point them toward specific opportunities. What they can do is help callers with networking strategies and interviewing techniques; provide advice on how to answer employer questions about a long absence from the workplace or a termination; or suggest ways to uncover the hidden job market,” said Challenger.

“In the past, we have fielded calls from recent armed forces veterans about ways to translate their military experience for private-sector employers. We have helped older job seekers overcome doubts about finding employment ‘at their age.’ We have provided advice to stay-at-home mothers and, increasingly, stay-at-home fathers re-entering the job market after several years of child-rearing. Our coaches will help in any way they can in the short time they have to interact with the individual. Many times, it just takes a new perspective or strategy to jump-start one’s job search,” said Challenger.