2014 Was a Tough Year for Faith.
2014 was a tough year for Faith. Displaced from a Fortune 500 insurance company early in the year, Faith finally landed a great job before the Holidays. Faith is not her real name, of course, but it fits her well. Faith is in her mid-50’s, single, with an excellent image and a solid work history. Admittedly, her last job was not a good fit to her profile. She is excellent at building relationships and supporting customers so she is much better suited to the Account Executive job she eventually landed. Faith is also the inspiration for many of my blog posts.
I have known Faith for over ten years. We are friends, and partners in a networking group. She considers me a mentor and I consider her my go-to person for information on insurance matters. She is a role model for anyone in transition. Faith was not surprised to have lost her job. Her employer had been through a lot of change and turmoil. She took the news in stride and was totally professional on her exit. She did not spend much time wallowing in self-pity, but got right to work. The first step in her journey was to develop a job search strategy.
She spent a lot of time with friends and colleagues, listening to their thoughts and advice. By the end of this process she came to understand that she was best suited to working with existing clients, building relationships that would keep them in the fold. This revelation become the foundation for her job search strategy. Since her entire career has been in the insurance industry, she focused on opportunities in that field. The insurance industry has seen many changes, however, new opportunities are emerging. Faith understood that she had many viable options. Crafting the right strategy led to a very positive result.
This is not to say that it was smooth sailing for Faith. It was a tough, grueling search. There were many ups and downs. Great opportunities came and went. Prospective employers took their time moving from one step to the next. In some cases, employers changed their thinking and canceled searches. The length of time involved in her search was a constant source of frustration. She knew she was doing all the right things. She knew that she could not control the employer’s selection process. That was what made it so frustrating. Their timetable was beyond her control. It is easy to say that you should not worry about that which you cannot control. It is something else entirely to live it. I am sure she got very tired of my reminder; “the employer does not work off your timetable.”
Faith’s coping skills were put to the test and then some. But she is well grounded and stayed true to her plan. She maintained a positive, optimistic attitude. She made optimal use of her network, gaining strength from their support and encouragement. Always enthusiastic about leading a healthy lifestyle, Faith maintained her exercise routine and diet. She also pursued opportunities to take on short-term assignments to help supplement her cash flow needs. She is a class-act and true professional. She kept the faith. Eventually it paid off. The lesson is to begin with the right job search strategy then work your plan. Stay focused, stay positive, and stay in the game.
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Jim Weber, President
New Century Dynamics Executive Search