So Palmer carried her professional suit in her car and when she went to an interview, she changed clothes, often by ducking into a building at a nearby university.

These days, Palmer works as an executive career coach in Silver Spring. Her advice to job hunters: Be very cautious about sharing your plans to find new work, unless you’re part of a wide downsizing or a whole department that is being eliminated. “Err on the side of caution. . . . Some things are better kept under wraps,” she said.

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