On Monday I had my first, first day of work as a new employee in 14 years! A little nervous and apprehensive is a fair statement!
Six months ago, I found myself without the job I had had for 9 years! Going through a personal and professional divorce that was totally intertwined resulted in me leaving the business I had been a co-founder of. I would put it into the same context as an unexpected redundancy. When your personal and business world comes tumbling down around you it effects not just your bank balance but your headspace, mojo and your everyday normal.
In many ways I feel I had a head start as I have been in the recruitment industry for 18 years and have always coached on job search strategies. Coming from the executive space I had developed practical and outcome focused career coaching programs for leaders and truly believed in what I preached. But taking the first step and getting into the groove of hunting for my “what’s next” was challenging. Every doubt and fear arose, and I started to question my abilities. Having young children taking time to dwell in self-pity was not an option.
Having an amazing support network has been my saviour - family, friends, clients, old colleagues - I truly valued them all. Talking through what I thought I wanted to do, why and with whom with a wide network helped me to narrow down my next career move. However, clarity came when I started to actively pursue what I wanted. LinkedIn was critical to this. I was open to all job and networking conversations - I will admit that I can now confidently talk about who I am and what value I can bring ...but it took a lot of practice. I moved through several conversations with potential employers and as push came to shove I gained greater awareness about the role, company and potential I really wanted.
This week I started my first, first day in a new job in 14 years and commenced as Head of Client Services with OnTalent. I was introduced to the company through a networking opportunity and the result is a newly created role designed for me. The leadership team, business model, strategy and culture all aligned with what I sought - a search-based recruitment business, career management services, a great reputation and people I respected and looked forward to working with.
My experience as a job seeker has humbled me - I’ve gained increased empathy and understanding of the challenges of “putting yourself out there” and can truly say that I have practiced what I preach!
Recruiters do get a small percentage of the market however so many opportunities come through networks. Don’t underestimate the importance of reaching out to your network and asking for their assistance. I know that my personal circumstances were unique, however my job search strategy of proactively putting my career into my own hands has genuinely worked.
Fiona Cochran is the Head of Client Services at OnTalent. She supports organisations and individuals to connect with their Purpose. OnTalent is a boutique people and organisational performance focused business that specialises in executive recruitment, development, transition, and outplacement throughout Australia. We believe that when you Connect People with Purpose, results for both the individual and organisation will follow. For further information or support connect withFiona or Deborah Wilson - General Manager of the Career Management Services on +61 7 3305 5800.