Tom MacFain*, 31, was recently made redundant from his job. As part of his package, Tom’s firm arranged an outplacement support programme for him with CareerBalance Ltd.
What major issue did you want to tackle?
I was concerned that there weren’t too many job openings at the more junior end of the job market. I needed professional advice on navigating the job market and securing a job quickly. I was feeling low on confidence and down about my redundancy. I noticed friends in similar situations were taking a long time to find new jobs and I was nervous.
How did CareerBalance help you move forward?
CareerBalance instilled me with confidence and showed me the strengths of my CV. My career coach & counsellor encouraged me to broaden the scope of my job search. Instead of just going through on-line job sites, the trade press, and recruitment consultants, he helped me to make a list of the companies I’d really like to work for so I could target these directly. He also encouraged me to improve my profile on LinkedIn and to engage in some of the specialist discussion groups. I soon found my job via an alert on LinkedIn. The process made me realise there are many more jobs out there than the recruiters can put in front of you.
Where did CareerBalance make the most impact for you?
I had a second job interview scheduled just after my second session with CareerBalance. They coached me for my interview. They predicted the questions I’d be asked, and they encouraged me to take more time thinking through my responsed before answering. They helped me to research the company and the sector so I would ask questions at the interview to demonstrate my knowledge. I also rehearsed how I would explain my departure from my previous job and how I demonstrate that I was a good fit for the role.
That session with CareerBalance prepared me to hammer home my skills to my interviewers. I knew that the real interview would not be tougher. Fortunately, I had lots of opportunity to ask questions and prove my interest in my prospective employers, while appearing keen and intelligent.
How might things have turned out differently without the help of CareerBalance?
Without CareerBalance’s help I wouldn’t have been as positive in my outlook. Even if I hadn’t found my job via LinkedIn relatively quickly, the preparation gave me confidence. CareerBalance helped me set up a plan of action rather than wait for the phone to ring.
How is your new job going?
It’s going well. I’m going back to see CareerBalance once I’ve been here for two months. We’re going to talk about what I want from my new role and where I see myself going in the medium term.
Would you recommend CareerBalance or go back in the future?
Yes, I’d definitely recommend CareerBalance to people in a similar situation. I value the the tips and skills I’ve learned from my sessions.
*Names changed to protect confidentiality.
Outplacement – Harriet, Asset Manager in Hotel Industry
Harriet Durbin took redundancy from her job as director of a Hotel Asset Management firm in 2009. She came to CareerBalance for an outplacement programme. After taking a break she’s now job hunting. She says she would “absolutely go back” to CareerBalance in the future.
What major issue did you want to tackle? I came to CareerBalance wanting to use redundancy as an opportunity. I had been working for a start-up hotel asset management company, which addressed a niche trend - hotels owned by one party and run and managed by another. I’d been instrumental in the company’s growth and by the time I left I was a board member, director and shareholder.
How did CareerBalance help you move forward? Most importantly, the process at CareerBalance helped me pinpoint my values, skills and capabilities through questioning and discussion. A 25 page document (which was quite overwhelming!) asked me to choose what I’m good at. There was also a Lifeline exercise, which made me look at specific events in my life and rate how good I felt about them.
Where did CareerBalance make the most impact for you? My CareerBalance career coach gave me a wider view of the options open to me and how I could channel my capabilities. That was very reassuring to me because they encounter a very wide range of people and jobs, and I had been working in such a niche area. Before coming to CareerBalance, I was aware of the job market amongst my close competitors, but I didn’t know about the broader market and salary expectations. They helped me to highlight my transferrable skills in my CV and at job interviews. This is the first time I have thought about the long term so consciously and I’m really positive about having engaged with that.
How might things have turned out differently without the help of CareerBalance? I’d have confined my job search to a limited area which offers less opportunities.?Whilst in my old job, as a board member I’d advised investors but I’d also always done marketing and I have a Marketing degree. I’ve now opened my job search up to include marketing roles within business consultancy and professional services.
How is your new career going? I’ve been job hunting for 6 weeks, focusing on Marketing roles in the business services sector. Feedback from recruiters has been positive and I’m also making speculative approaches.
Would you recommend CareerBalance or go back in the future? I would absolutely go back to CareerBalance in the future. My consultant still replies to my emails promptly whenever I have a general query. I was directly approached by a CareerBalance competitor which used aggressive sales tactics preying on the vulnerability of people out of work. I find CareerBalance to be more genuine than others in its industry.
* Harriet did a six-session Outplacement Support programme with CareerBalance.
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