The experience of going through a redundancy is challenging for most people. Success stories are encouraging to hear when you are in the midst of change.
In the course of my work as a Career Coach I meet so many talented professionals who have been affected by organisational change, restructure, outsourcing, off-shoring, downsizing and, consequently, redundancy. One of the talented professionals I worked with is Gary Costa. His Success Story is inspiration confirming that where there is a will, there will be a new career!
1. Who is Gary Costa?
I’m a proud Australian with a loving family and I come from the school of ‘the harder you work the luckier you become’. I am a very ‘hands on’ person who has always had a love for understanding how things work and pulled all my toys apart as a kid. I also love aviation and enjoy fossicking for gold.
2. What is your new role?
Working for a small family owned business involved in the very niche area of Non Destructive Testing Equipment. Russell Fraser Sales. I am specifically focused on the high tech world of portable 3D Laser Scanning equipment used to analyse corrosion of pipelines, manufacturing, design and engineering. The technology is relatively new so we are doing of lot market awareness activities from both sales and marketing angles.
3. Where did you work before and what happened with regard to the redundancy?
My previous role was Group Product Manager with the Brady Corporation. Brady are a large US multinational trying to recover to pre GFC levels. To help with this they instigated a global ‘business simplification’ program with the aim of reducing head count across all of their businesses. Unfortunately for me my role as Group Product Manager along with many other positions was deemed as being no longer required.
4. How did you secure your new role and what was the process?
A job for me is more than just a source of income. It’s important that I am contributing to society so my job became getting a job. I touched bases with previous work colleagues, customers, suppliers, friends, relatives and I applied for many roles. I registered on recruitment agencies job alert programs, sent my resume to companies that I would like to work for and set up auto search alerts on Seek.
The role I obtained was via a job alert email that came from a recruitment agency. I sent my resume, called the agency, was interviewed by the agency then 2 interviews with the company and I had a job offer less than 1 week after seeing the position advertised.
5. What did you find to be the challenges of the other job search methods?
I found there was a lot of conflicting advice given by many people. I had one agency tell me that ‘applying for a job on Seek is akin to managing your financial affairs by buying a Lotto ticket’! What he failed to realise was that if I had not applied for that job on Seek I would not have been talking to him. Also by applying on Seek for jobs with recruitment agencies you also get the opportunity to register on their ‘job alert’ pages which was how I found out about the role I was successful for.
However the biggest challenge was the lack of professionalism shown by many recruitment agencies and a number of companies I applied directly to. I understand recruitment agencies are inundated with applications, especially when the economy is down and redundancy rates are high, but there is no excuse for not returning phone calls or not responding to emails especially if there has been face to face contact.
One company I applied directly to had a position I was well suited for. The interview went particularly well (I thought) and I was told I would be called in the following week for an interview with the MD. Two follow up emails sent and a phone message left but no response. I am still waiting. I’m a big boy, I can accept the news that I was not a match for the role. I can’t accept the lack of respect it shows by not having the courage to let me know the outcome. You don’t even have to do it via a phone call, a polite email will suffice.
The market I am now working in has a particularly strong need for this company’s product range. Do you think I will be using or recommending their products? Not a chance, so how much has a lack of professionalism cost this company and every other company that can’t be bothered to advise candidates about outcomes.
6. What were the hardest things during your career transition and what went on in your head?
During this time I found some of the thoughts going through my head quite bizarre and surprising. For example while catching the train into the city for interviews etc I started feeling jealous of the train conductor or the people doing work on the side of the road, simply because they had a job!
I found it almost impossible to listen to people complaining about their work and I remember constantly hearing the song by Passenger – Let Her Go. In that song the lyrics reflect on the fact that we only miss the things we love when they are gone and I kept thinking a line about only missing your job when its gone would have been very appropriate.
7. What assistance did you receive along the way?
One of the nice things Brady did was to pay for a 3 month outplacement program with Lee Hecht Harrison. I took up the offer initially thinking they would not be able to assist but I must admit I really did find it very helpful. Jane Jackson was my career coach and she was exactly what I needed to help me through this challenging time.
The world of recruitment has changed a lot and Jane was able to show me how to best utilise Linked In, how to fine tune my resume and as Jane comes from the world of recruitment she was able to explain how applications are processed etc. The focus on ‘networking’ is now so important and the assistance Jane provided was fantastic.
Without doubt the most useful skill Jane taught me was how to use a simple word at night to focus on which allowed me to stop my mind from constantly thinking and allowed me to get a better night sleep. Jane was not there to find me a new job but she was certainly there to help me through what is a roller coaster of emotions.
8. What advice would you give to someone going through career transition?
If you have ever been a new parent there is no doubt that everyone you speak to is an expert on how you should bring up your child. Similarly with a career transition everyone is full of sound advice.
Listen to the advice given, and then take from that advice what you can use. Some of it will be perfect for you and some of it will just not be what you need.
Use all forms of search methods available as you do not know where the role is going to come from.
Be very organised in your search and have a system in place to keep track of your applications.
9. Tell us about your most fun moment while looking for the new job!
The most fun moment was when I signed the job offer!!
10. Final thoughts?
I used to drive 66km each way to work. I now work 5km from home in a role that I am really enjoying.
It is a challenging time for anyone looking for work but remember nothing stays the same forever. Not having a job is a temporary situation and at the time it is impossible to believe but you will probably find things work out better than before.
For careers guidance and coaching on your next career direction, visit www.janejacksoncoach.com or contact Jane on +61(0)403 810 756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org