Helping a senior executive move on after 22 years with the same employer
Karl Hillcoat-Williams, an experienced broadcast media professional
Karl has spent his career in senior IT, customer service and account manager roles in the broadcast media sector.
I actually made myself redundant. I was responsible for outsourcing services as part of transformational change and in a move to rationalise our headcount, I accepted redundancy.
My first conversation with Connor set the tone for my relationship with them. I had a call with their head of outplacement, Sue Foxley. She took time to explain what outplacement is, what their executive outplacement service entails and also to understand the type of consultant that would be the right fit for me. This took into account my professional background and my personality.
"Outplacement makes redundancy easier to bear. Outplacement consultants have seen everything and as such, you should always accept advice from them, even if it’s out of your comfort zone. If you stay calm, listen and commit to yourself and your mentor, you will get results. I’m thrilled with my new job and I couldn’t be happier."
Outplacement works when you have an eager candidate and a willing mentor. This was the dynamic between myself and my Connor consultant, Joe Lawless. I knew I was in the business of marketing myself and the job search was my new full-time pursuit. Joe was empathetic and not judgemental. He took time to understand me and my mindset and then provided impartial support to keep me on the right path.
Being in career transition is an emotional time and it is easy to get things wrong. I was spending eight or nine hours a day on LinkedIn and other job boards making dozens of applications. Joe helped me to achieve a better balance. This involved spending less time on the actual job search and more time on my CV and networking.
The outcomes I achieved were incredibly valuable. I had seven or eight different versions of my CV that fitted the types of roles I was applying for. For example, one CV was tailored for permanent roles and another was suitable for interim or contract opportunities, one was for broadcast media roles and another was for opportunities in the medical devices sector. Spending additional time on networking meant that more people were aware of my availability, increasing the likelihood of me learning about suitable vacancies.
I had worked in broadcast media for my whole career but wanted to explore opportunities in the medical devices industry. Working with Joe helped me to persuade recruiters of my ability to move into a new field. I did some contract work for a medical devices start-up who specialised in cancer research technologies. I was able to use my media expertise to produce an HD show reel for them as they began to market themselves.
While I wasn’t able to secure a permanent role in the medical devices world, my networking was starting to pay off. An ex-colleague approached me about a role with her new employer, who needed a service helpdesk and inventory manager. I met with the vice president of service on the Wednesday, accepted the job on the Friday and started on the Monday. I was a confident, consultative candidate and rather than a formal interview, took the time to understand their challenges and the value I could bring to their unique situation.
The Connor outplacement service lasts for as long as it takes you to secure your next opportunity. But that’s not all, their service also includes onboarding so Joe supported me in the first three months in my new role at Snell Advanced Media in Newbury. For me, this involved getting used to working in a new organisation for the first time since the late 1990s. He made sure that my 30, 60 and 90-day plans were solid and set me up to be successful.
Outplacement makes redundancy easier to bear. My career transition story has a successful, happy ending and Joe was a massive part of that. Outplacement consultants like him have seen everything and as such, you should always accept advice from them, even if it’s out of your comfort zone. Some things about moving on are going to hurt.
But if you stay calm, listen and commit to yourself and your mentor, you will get results. The dedication of Sue, Joe and everyone at Connor has been fantastic. I’m thrilled with my new job and I couldn’t be happier or more thankful.