Although Easter has just passed this story has nothing to do with Easter and has everything to do with exploring options and alternatives when it comes to transitioning or changing careers.
Some years ago my first experience of being retrenched happened as my job was moving to another city and I was unwilling to go with it.
I had ample warning of this, was nervous about the future but comfortable with my decision.
My Employer was professional and supportive and offered an incentive for me to stay to the end to roll out a new range of products I had been working on for over two years.
Wandering off the Path
Eventually I had three months official notice and I reluctantly (due to my fear) started looking for another job. My search, due to my inexperience, was confined to advertised positions.
This was all happening in the last quarter of the year and I knew my window of opportunity for finding work was about 8 weeks
After a couple of “toe in the water” applications and initial interviews that went nowhere and an opportunity that was not for me, I saw a role that really took my eye and got me excited. I applied, met the Recruiter and was promptly shortlisted (one of six candidates) to meet the Employer..
To shorten the story after a further three interviews and a plant tour I was told I was in the last two being considered. By now about 6 weeks has transpired and throughout that time I had made a decision that this was the job for me. It really ticked all the boxes.
The Emotional Roller Coaster
Anyone who has experienced a selection process which involves a series of interviews, assessments, discussions (which is not uncommon) over many weeks knows the range of emotions that you can experience and have to deal with.
Whilst very focused on getting this role I totally ignored keeping my eyes and ears open for other opportunities. In fact I didn’t even consider networking from the moment I applied for the job for me!
Finally the Recruiter called and to this day I still remember his opening words
‘Hi, There is no other way to say this you have not been successful in getting the role….”
From there the discussion was, I think, about how close it was; what the difference was in the end, and a lot of other positive comments about my commitment to the process. Frankly I didn’t take in much after hearing the words “not been successful”.
To say I was shattered would be underestimating my thoughts and feelings at the time: my end date as well as Christmas was but a week away and I had no other options nor had I explored them. What happened next is for another article.
Lessons From When the Basket is Empty
There were many lessons that I learnt from this experience. Here are three of them and why it is not always best to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to career change and transition
- It’s ok to have the focus, desire and commitment for the right role but don’t ignore what else could be out there. Maybe even a better job exists and it pays to keep our minds and doors open
- Using only the advertised market to find opportunities may not be in our best interest. There are many roles that are never advertised and networking or self-marketing should be a part of job search
- Everything has a reason for being and it probably is for the best even if we cannot see it at the time.
A few years later I found out that the company I wanted to work for unfortunately closed down about one year after the appointment
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