Helping an experienced senior executive in the North West to find an interim role
Geoff Wynne, an experienced finance director
Geoff Wynne had spent over a decade as the finance director at SAFC Hitech, a chemicals company based on the Wirral, near Liverpool. It was announced that the site was to close, which meant that Geoff and about 100 colleagues would be losing their jobs.
I'm not in the job market on a regular basis. I've worked in finance my entire career – I started at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) and the seven years I spent there is the shortest time I’ve had with one company. Therefore looking for my next career move is a big thing for me.
I was involved in appointing Connor to deliver outplacement for us. We were looking for an outplacement partner with local capabilities. They had strong testimonials from their clients and gave us a warm feeling.
"Connor offers outplacement on a 'for as long as it takes' basis. Knowing that help wouldn't end until I found a new role was incredibly reassuring."
My own consultant for executive outplacement was Margaret Carman. Margaret is an experienced outplacement consultant and career coach and lives in Chester.
The one thing Margaret and I initially agreed on was that we were total opposites. She was outgoing and informal – I was more guarded and formal. But that didn’t matter at all. What was important was that we agreed a way of working together and made a plan for how I was going to move on.
Connor offers outplacement on a 'for as long as it takes' basis. She would drive 20 minutes to meet me in our office or speak to me on the phone or by email. Knowing that her help wouldn’t end until I found a new role was incredibly reassuring.
Your outplacement consultant can take an objective view. Colleagues and friends can help but they are entrenched in your situation and can have a biased view.
We identified three choices: a full time finance director role, an interim role or a portfolio career. My search began at a time when the job market was difficult. I had a number of interviews for full time finance director jobs but didn’t land one.
We changed course and I started looking at interim and portfolio options. I was attracted to the enjoyment and challenges that come with this type of work.
I'd never really paid much attention to my LinkedIn profile. It was clear that this was a missed opportunity. Margaret advised me to enhance my profile and create connections. She was pleasantly surprised at how much I did and how quickly. The truth is that I enjoyed the process. Improving your LinkedIn profile and growing your network is your chance to be a little selfish and focus on yourself.
A major recruitment agency approached me about an interim role. It wasn't quite the right time for me but a month later, a different role at the same company came up and I was successful at securing a nine month contract for a major pharmaceutical company. I'm now working as a business partner, providing strategic advice and support to the finance director, whilst I am gaining new sector knowledge.
I was first made redundant in 2005 but my experience with Connor was totally different. The company I worked with back then really just put me through a prescribed process. With Connor it was an individual approach based around my needs.
Working with Margaret and Connor has been positive and I'd have no hesitation in recommending them.