A beginning to beginning story
Working in the career transition industry, we witness the best and worst approaches to managing transition. For some employees, their role ends badly. Poor communication, mixed and untimely messages, managers who are struggling with managing the news of redundancy or redeployment, and executives needing to lead change in uncertain times. Employees can be left with little support. Employers struggle to retain their brand and good image.
For employees who take the opportunity to immerse themselves in their RiseSmart program and engage with their transition coach, we hear a different story. We would love to share detailed testimonials with you, but we like to protect the privacy of the employees and employers who work with us. The RiseSmart stories we share use just a first name and an industry, rather than a company name. But, I promise you, we don’t make them up. They’re very real.
Mark was an Operations Manager for a major utilities company with 120 employees in his division. In his 15 years, he had overseen many redundancies himself – not something he particularly enjoyed. Suddenly, without much warning, the company announced that they were making the roles of their middle managers redundant; Mark’s role was one of them.
Initially offered redeployment within the company, it soon became clear that this wasn’t going to be viable for Mark. There was no plan.
“To be professionally and emotionally engaged in a job, then shown the door, left me feeling quite fragile. I’m in my late 40s and it weighed heavily on me that I’d be ‘old bloke‘ looking for work.”
Mark took the big step of enrolling in a RiseSmart career transition program, sponsored by his employer. He was surprised that one of the first conversations was more about him, the person – not the next job.
“The holistic approach that Paul, my transition coach, guided me through, helped me look at who I was as a person. Bit by bit, I could deal with where I was at, not just from a career perspective, but in areas like health, relationships, money and what I liked to do outside of work.”
For Mark, it was an unexpected turning point. One of the first questions that Paul asked him was, “If you had your dream job, what would it look like?” Mark realised that he had to be honest with himself; the job he’d most recently had wasn’t as ideal as he thought. He had started off applying for similar roles but was unsuccessful.
As he worked with Paul, Mark evaluated where he was at, unearthed skills that could transfer to diverse job opportunities, crafted a resume with nuances that helped market his experience, practised interviewing and set up a winning LinkedIn profile.
“You have to give yourself the opportunity and time to understand what you really want. It won’t happen overnight.”
Mark landed his dream role; he is now a property and asset manager for a local council – which also takes in all the local tourism operations.
“Hand on heart, I would not have got the job I got without the help from Paul and RiseSmart.”
As an added bonus, the experience has helped Mark as a hiring manager; he has a much better idea of what to look for in a resume and has developed his interviewing skills from both sides. And while he was disappointed with his former employer’s decision to make his role redundant, he appreciated the fact that they provided the career transition support for him to make his new beginning.
Mark’s five tips for any employee approaching career transition are:
- Do the coaching program- you are crazy not to.
- Start with looking at your whole self.
- Ask yourself: What does your ideal role look like?
- What are your transferable skills?
- Don’t underestimate the places this can take you.
Our sincere thanks to Mark for sharing his story with us. We wish him all the very best in his new beginning – and happy trails on his motorbike on the weekends.