Case Study: Job Searching During COVID-19

Here is an interview testimonial with a client of mine, Jeremy, who was searching for a new job during a difficult period – the height of the pandemic. We all remember how at the start of COVID-19, people didn’t know what was happening and what was going to happen and the effect of that was companies were being conservative, they were not spending or hiring. Despite those roadblocks, that didn’t deter Jeremy’s spirit, he wanted to make a change for himself and he was committed to putting in the work in order to achieve that outcome.

Robin: Here is a client of mine who is going to share a little bit about his journey over the last year So Jeremy do want to give everyone a bit of context when we first connected with each other, like, what was going on for you where, where were things at for you?

Jeremy: Yeah. Thanks Robin. Look, it was really interesting time for me, I was looking at moving into a new role. And probably challenged by the state of the market in the middle of COVID. You know everyone’s sort of locked-up not sure what the world was doing. And for me it was about moving industries as well so really it was a big challenge and something that I’ve mainly been spinning my wheels on for a while so finding that I needed a new and fresh approach to how I attacked my search to move into a new industry.

Robin: And so right at that point, like you said, you tried a whole number of things. So what were some of the things that you tried? What was the outcomes that you were getting? How was your feeling with it all?

Jeremy: A lot of things at play, trying the traditional advertising roles but not really getting much traction at the right level that I wanted to. I thought I was pretty good at managing my network but quickly came to the realization that you had to be having very active network, being connected with a lot of people, staying top of mind, etc. So I think coming into the program, I was probably feeling a little bit daunted by what that actually looked like and how to go about engaging with the network. Look, I think there was an element creeping in, a little bit of self-doubt and things that were getting pretty tough, just the state of everything so while I was getting some okay traction, it just, I just wasn’t landing it so I think that was affecting my mood and my energy, and for me it was about making sure that, you know, I bought my A-Game to every opportunity so that’s kind of the reason why I got started with the program.

Robin: Yeah, I like the analogy of the words that came to me was like, get that cut through. You’re doing stuff and it’s good and you’re getting that traction and stuff but you’re not actually getting there, that cut-through bringing your A-Game to really, really nail it. So let’s fast forward to eight months – so where are you at right now with things?

Jeremy: I’m excited to say that the value of the program really enabled me to bring some fresh energy and probably looking for new pathways so I was able to land a job in in tech, which is something I’ve done before, and something that I’m pretty passionate about, got a lot to learn. Excited to land there enjoying it so I think the hard works paid off, and still one way to go, but it’s, it’s been great to to reignite my passion, and also to have a sense of purpose about something new and exciting that I can definitely learn and get my teeth stuck into.

Robin: Yeah. And full credit to going from you know where you’re at, looking to not only get a job but change industries and refocus a little bit with the world literally going nuts, and in Victoria particularly was in lockdown and you’ve managed to get the job, do the transition into that tech which is a kind of a passion and a focus of yours. And, all while the world is just going absolutely crazy and it’s not your job and you can’t even meet physically the people yet but it’s good to know and, and to be honest, who knows what’s gonna happen in the future, but right now. So it’s a pretty successful journey. So what were some of the highlights of the moments that stand out? It could have been that something was said or it could be anything, or any realization you had, what were the real key things that you got out of working together on that journey to get you where you are today?

Jeremy: Yeah, great question. For me it was probably a combination of both the one-on-one and the group sessions. So I think, to hear other people’s perspectives, and to discuss ideas in an open forum is good. I’m not saying that I have all the answers, and it was really good to hear about people’s own experiences and relate them to mine. And I think I really enjoyed working with you from the perspective of, we build a strong rapport pretty quickly and you explained some of your background and diverse experience and so you said “Look, I can go pretty hard or I can go pretty easy, let’s work out what what suits you best.” And I wanted it quite black and white, I’m happy to have it straight between the eyes. I distinctly remember, you called me up and said let’s do a mock call and after that you said I’ll give you a grade of C and not an A because you didn’t bring the energy. And it was probably because I was just doing it and just going through the motions. I needed someone to sort of give me that little kick and say you need to get on with this and create some energy and necessity. Some of those tools and tactics and a combination of the theory, the experience, the support, across you personally and then the group really helped me, ultimately to achieve my objectives,

Robin: And full credit to you because, in a group environment, you have to have a sense of humility about that it, to open up and that’s what I say to people – you’ve got to be prepared to go there. I’ll bring it, we’ll bring it and we’ll help you achieve what you want but you have to have that humility to open the doors and that’s very much what you what you did.

And so right at the beginning because somebody might watch this and there’s lots of reasons why people don’t invest in themselves or they don’t do something about it and they stay in their current current state. For you personally, were there any blockers because I know that we were talking with each other quite a bit at the beginning before you did make the plunge to get going. What were, if there were any blockers, what were those blockers and what advice have you got for people in a similar position of indecision?

Jeremy: A level of healthy skepticism is good, but more importantly you’ve got to acknowledge when and where you need help, and where someone might be able to provide a different perspective, particularly if you find yourself going around in circles. So, as I said, I like to call it like a bit of a circuit-break – someone to challenge you, but also support you give their perspectives, particularly if they’ve been on quite an extensive career journey themselves is invaluable. What I liked is  me constantly thinking about work and opportunities, I was able to get a broader perspective around a more life balanced scorecard to making sure that other aspects of my life were still going and putting work in the context that it deserves. So family and health and exercise and mental wellbeing and being socially connected. Making sure that you’re doing the best thing with respect to those elements can actually help you overall, believe or not. So you’ve got to look at it holistically and I think probably I was looking at one area and probably not giving enough attention to the other areas which invariably help you get along to where you need to get to. 

Don’t forget to check out my previous post:

How to overcome FEAR and find success


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