Helping an experienced property professional to find a new role
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An experienced director of real estate in London
I had spent over ten years in the telecoms industry and a restructure after an acquisition led to me deciding to move on. My employer had a relationship with Connor and after an initial telephone call to assess the way I like to work, I was matched with Ian McCalla.
I had a fairly old fashioned view of outplacement and assumed it was about being told what you should and shouldn't do when job hunting. In reality, my executive outplacement service provided a great deal more. Ian was my advisor and counsellor and able to answer my queries at any time.
Ian's first task was to tell me to take stock of my situation. I left a senior leadership position within a large corporate organisation and this involved long days working at pace. I started to look for new opportunities in a similar manner and lost confidence when I didn't get immediate responses to my applications.
"Not having a job is unsettling and I felt the pressure of finding a new one. Using an outplacement service means you are never alone and it sounds small but it was so valuable to have Ian saying: 'hang in there, you will succeed.'"
In our first face to face meeting in London we paused, allowing me the time to work out what was important to me. I realised that I wanted a similar role as a director of real estate but with a focus on change management and delivering transformational projects. I also wanted to know if I was falling short in any areas. This was the first time I was looking for a new job for 13 years and I wanted an honest appraisal of myself as a candidate.
It turns out that I was falling short in a couple of areas. I thought my CV was good until Ian made recommendations to change it. During my job search companies complemented me on the quality of my CV, particularly how concise it was. I soon learnt the art of what to include and more importantly what not to include.
Furthermore, I couldn't easily articulate my responsibilities and the specific outcomes I'd delivered with supporting numbers. Ian and I worked together so I had total clarity of the value I was bringing to new employers. I benefited from Ian analysing my previous achievements and we spent time evaluating the specific contributions I had made in my previous roles.
Not having a job is unsettling and I felt the pressure of finding a new one. Using an outplacement service means you are never alone and it sounds small but it was so valuable to have Ian saying: 'hang in there, you will succeed.'
My job search lasted nine months. Ian and I met every four to six weeks and I welcomed his supportive, independent view. He challenged me at the right times and I appreciated his candid feedback.
I was approached by a headhunter about a job with an international engineering firm. It all moved relatively quickly and after two telephone interviews and one face to face interview I was offered a role as head of corporate real estate.
Ian added value to the interview process by helping me to articulate what I'd been responsible for during my career and other practical tips like getting the email addresses of all interviewers so I could send them a personal note thanking them afterwards.
My new job provides me with what I am looking for as the organisation is facing a great deal of change across the 50 UK sites that I'm responsible for. The role also has scope to extend internationally, which is something that interested me.
I'd recommend outplacement to people facing career transition. Embrace what's available and be open minded. It's great to have someone alongside when you are looking for a new job – it's much easier than doing it alone.