Henry worked for the same company for 20 years as director of business development. The last question he thought he would be asking himself was “Why is it harder finding that job these days”? He is talented, well connected in the industry and was shocked when his company made him redundant with no notice, no outplacement package or guidance on what was next. To go from top performer to no job was tough to handle.

When redundancy happens it comes as a huge shock and can feel as if someone has kicked you or pulled the rug out from under you. Many go through a grieving process quite similar to losing someone close. We spend hours each day working, so when that role is gone we experience all sorts of emotions. The truth is companies go through changes, and sometimes they need to cut costs, and to keep the business profitable they must make hard choices and we may never know why it has happened. So, why is it harder finding that job these days?

Redundancy to Senior Executive

Henry, had not thought about losing his job, he overachieved on sales targets and was unsure what to do next. Initially, we discussed his background his skills and knowledge developed over years in the industry. I knew Henry well and was able to highlight numerous examples of his achievements, knowledge and successes. What helped is my personal experience facing redundancy 4 times. Using what worked for me I was able to share what worked for me. Together we identified, documented his wins and skills using a Mind Map, a tool that helped him think outside the box and show everything on one page thus making it easier to review and turn into a CV.

We followed the mapping exercise then pulled out details of each achievement, the many different challenges he faced throughout his global career and the actions taken to deal with problems focusing on his results. This work takes time but makes such a difference when it comes to writing your CV and managing interviews.

Looking at the long list in black and white was an eye opener for him. He could see his exceptional talent building complex relationships, identifying, listening to customer needs, and finding ways to meet those needs thereby solving the customer problems, and turning those solutions into revenue for the business. As a result of his extraordinary sales skills he built an incredible business network. People buy from individuals they like, trust and respect.

Once he saw his many achievements on paper it was time to identify what career, role was right for him moving forward. He loved his role and industry, and decided that a smaller company might be a good first step to rebuild the confidence that had taken a knock under the circumstances. I suggested he consider doing contract work initially to help identify different opportunities. Sometimes contracting allows you to test the water to help discover what you want to do next.

The key to finding that job

The key to finding that job of your dreams is to develop a job search plan. The plan was three fold

  1. List of companies (he might like to work for)
  2. Key contacts (active, dormant and passive)
  3. Specialist recruiters. (focus is essential, meet the consultants, build rapport and be very clear on what ideal looks like, make it as easy as possible for them to know where you fit.

Using excel allowed him to track his progress, remind him when to follow up and stay focused and motivated. After creating the list, Henry began working his way through the possibilities and had an offer within a month as a consultant which then led on to a group sales director role. In short, he discovered the key to finding that job. He found the process rewarding and is loving his new role which has been a steep learning curve with many challenges along the way. From redundancy to senior executive.

Now he works for a family owned firm who hired him to identify new leads and close deals. Three years later and Henry is happy, focused and continues to drive new business. His peers and colleagues are encouraged by his continued success and is an inspiration to his employees. His efforts paid handsomely as he successfully walked away from redundancy to senior executive position. A testament that there are good jobs to be found even at the top table.