I had in effect been unemployed for 5 months. My job hunting efforts were not getting me shortlisted for interview and I was concerned I would be in the same position in 6 months time if I did not change something. I was getting frustrated knowing I had extensive experience and a good track record for delivering, but I clearly was not getting this across to recruiters.
I received an invitation to attend an open morning one Saturday in November with some speakers on how to job hunt using social media as well as an opportunity to meet dozens of their clients. I had previously accepted an invitation from another career company and was not impressed at the transparent sales pitch, it left with me with the impression of a “sausage factory”, and they did not get my business. I therefore approached the morning with significant scepticism.
Talking to a number of previous clients over coffee and their “glowing” references of Simon soon changed my views. You could not help to be impressed by the positivity and the calibre of the people attending the event.
It quickly became clear from talking to those Simon had helped, their experience was:
A truly personal service and not a sausage machine
Simon‟s clients spoke with huge enthusiasm about the difference he had made to them.
Simon‟s clients are very professional and high calibre and prepared to give up their Saturday morning to come and speak on his behalf. They all gave a very positive recommendation and indeed a passionate endorsement.
They regarded their relationship with him as valuable and important.
So, following a personal One2One initial discussion with Simon, I decided to invest several £thousands in his coaching. So what value did I get?
I had previously paid several hundred pounds for a professional CV writing service that wasn‟t projecting me well.
Part of the process with Simon was reflecting on previous achievements and personal drivers which provided the foundation to develop a CV that gave myself and the reader of the CV much greater clarity of what I offer. Focusing on what I had previously achieved reassured me of how good I am, and how I was going to a great job in my new role.
I stopped wasting time chasing inappropriate roles, and I became confident in promoting myself to others. This was a new concept to me as I had always been approached in the past about jobs – I had never had to proactively job hunt before.
The interview practice I underwent was a big wake up call! I wasn’t (past tense) good at talking about myself. I didn’t prepare, and I made a hash of it.
So the whole processes of making me define my achievements in writing and presenting them effectively was key. I now think differently about my CV. I am much clearer about what I offer and I‟ve learnt how to present myself.
I always left meetings with Simon feeling inspired, increased motivation and that anything was possible if I put my mind to it. Had I been asked to fork out several thousand pounds nine months ago, I would have said “no chance‟ but with hindsight it is an investment that has changed my approach and outlook for the better, and taught me skills I will reuse throughout my career.
In just 2½ months, I have received a job offer that ought to be the stepping-stone to bigger opportunities and take my career in the right direction. I also just missed out on another role by a whisker.
Above all, I ve learnt that my sense of corporate loyalty in the past has been misguided. I ve learnt to ask the question what s in it for me . I will no longer just do a job for the benefit of an employer at the expense of my own development.
I am an extremely talented and versatile individual that just needs the right stage to fulfil my undoubted potential. Simon has gone a long way to prepare me to achieve my potential.