In October 2012 at the age of 47 my client was made redundant after more than 20 years working as a senior manager for a global telecoms company in the USA. Although she’d not been enjoying her job for some time, it was a shock when the announcement came.
Janet (not her real name) accessed my Road Map programme upon the recommendation of a family member who had used my services. Her short term goal was to re-build her confidence and gain an objective view of her situation, including a review of her skills and talents. She also needed to produce a new CV that was not industry specific. No mean task as her current CV had only ever been used internally and was packed with telecoms jargon. Her ultimate goal was to find a new job, preferably not in the same industry, by April 2013 when her redundancy money would run out.
Janet and I spent the first session talking about how it felt to be made redundant from a company she’d worked with for so long. She felt anger, resentment and at a loss to know where or how to start looking for work. She also talked about feelings of relief. Her job hadn’t been satisfying for many years and in the back of her mind she’d been contemplating a change, but it was never the right time.
At subsequent sessions, we focused on what elements of Janet’s work she had enjoyed during the previous 20 years, and what other things she enjoyed outside her work. She recognised how important it was for her to spend time in a creative capacity, something she rarely had the opportunity to do before. She found time to re-kindle her love of sewing, and embarked on an e-learning course, studying Events Management which was an avenue she thought she might pursue. She’d always volunteered to organise events at work and although this wasn’t part of her main role, she realised she’d gone out of her way to put this natural talent to good use whenever she could, because it was where she’d derived most satisfaction.
With a new CV in place, that now focused on the skills she wanted to use more of in the future, it was challenging for Janet to still be offered work back in the telecoms industry. She found that, despite the change of emphasis, Agencies were still keen to place her in roles that used her tried and tested skills, and she was tempted by a number of jobs that were similar to her old one.
As Janet and I looked deeply at her work values, she knew she didn’t want to go back to telecoms. She knew that the dissatisfaction she’d grown used to there wouldn’t miraculously turn into deep joy, but would drain the life out of her. She knew she’d be back speaking with me about making another career change within a year, and perhaps it would be more challenging for her by then. She realised this was an opportunity to get it right.
As April loomed on the horizon, her resolve was tested, but the more time she spent indulging in her passions, the more her conviction grew stronger.
We spent several sessions getting clear about the kind of work she really wanted to do. She ruled out becoming a seamstress. She recognised her need to work with people and have fun in the process was really important to her. She also wanted to make a contribution to society in some way. Once she was clear, she was more easily able to tap into her existing network of friends and relations and tell them what she wanted. This is always a powerful resource that many people forget they have.
By January 2013 Janet, and her husband, had made a regular monthly commitment to organise events for a worldwide charity that they both held a passion for. This felt really good, and was a great outlet for her event management skills.
By mid February, a previous colleague of Janet’s had spoken with her boss at the small vehicle manufacturing company she worked for, and Janet secured an interview for a Project Management role. Even though my client didn’t
have the skills, or experience required to do the specific job they have, they were
willing to take the chance and develop her in the role because of her other experience. Janet liked the sound of the business from what her friend had told her about it, and felt good that the values the company upheld, matched her own.
After a second interview, she landed the job! Despite the lack of specific skills, she impressed them with her breadth of experience, willingness to learn and her positive attitude. My client is delighted. There’s no long commute involved, so she’ll be home at a reasonable time in the evening to enjoy some of her other passions. She won’t be expected to work round the clock and her weekends will be free. The salary exceeds her previous one, and equally importantly for her, the environment is a happy and relaxed place to work.
If you’re a mid-life professional who has been made redundant, I’d be happy to offer you a free no-obligation 20 minute telephone consultation to see if I can help you turn your sitution into an opportunity for something better. Please contact me to arrange an appointment.