Unemployed in Westchester: Holly Perlowitz

Holly Perlowitz
54, of Ossining
Until May 2011: Co-President at Emigrant Mortgage Company in Elmsford
Salary: More than $100,000

How long had you worked at Emigrant?
Emigrant bought Dollar Dry Dock Savings Bank in 1992, and I worked a combined twenty-three years with the company. I was shocked I was asked to leave. Everyone who knew me knew I lived for Emigrant.

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How has the job search been?
I have a newfound respect for my husband, who’s in sales. Even when I’m at a cocktail party, I’m asking everybody if they know of opportunities. My sixteen-year-old was almost embarrassed when I lost my job. She asked, ‘Is it okay if I tell so-and-so?’ I told her she should tell everyone she knew. You never know who knows someone.

What financial strain have you felt?
I’m on unemployment, but we’re living off savings. My husband is commission-based, so he does not have any benefits. I’m still covered by COBRA, but health insurance is draining—a little over $1,700 a month for the family. I’ve never lived an extravagant life, but we’re cutting back. And I do have a child going to college in a year and a half. I used to not think about restricting her choices, but now I don’t know.

What sort of job are you looking for?
I recently got certified to work as an advisor for senior citizens. As sad as I was and am, I think I’m going to be headed to something more aligned to my personality. When I was a twentysomething and chose a career path, I never stopped to think if I liked it. I do love managing people, but being in banking for the last several years was difficult. I would do a finance or accounting job, but I want it to be for a meaningful organization.

 Photography by Stefan Radtke

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