I, like so many Rehabilitation Professionals was operating under a very wrong assumption. You see I thought that the more senior a person was in the world of work, the higher they had climbed the corporate ladder, the more capable and knowledgeable they would be able to how to apply for a new role.
How wrong I was!
It wasn’t until I had been working with professional clients; Upper management level clients, and executive clients that I realised that a pattern was forming – the actual placement into a new role was being met with incredible resistance. AND not for reasons that were being presented to me on the surface.
What I had failed to understand was that many, many people have not needed to actively look for a job in the last 10 years – IF EVER. Most clients who fit this profile have been actively headhunted by new employers and have done new employment deals on a golf course, in a corporate box at the cricket, at a conference, over dinner. Asking a senior executive to go and prepare their own marketing documents to support their job search is like asking them to generate a dissertation on Nuclear Fission and its role in HR. It quite simply doesn’t make any sense.
One of the most significant factors for consideration when working with this client population is the role of reputation management. I have worked with clients who have been “black listed” – it’s a real thing. We don’t want it to be, but it is. This client population is acutely aware of their reputation and how it needs to be preserved. Asking them to apply for a new jo with a new employer is risky. It means having to think about how to disclose why they are looking for a new role. And if reputation is to be preserved, how do we do this when the reason has been depression, anxiety; a cardio vascular event, chronic fatigue, double hip replacement?
One question I always ask of my clients is this, “Would you employ yourself in the role of (insert the role they are potentially seeking)” and more often than not their response will be – NO WAY.
This answer provides so much insight into how this client population thinks about roles and the contribution they want to make. The answer to this question allows us as Rehabilitation Professionals to get to the root of how this client will actually sabotage their own efforts to get a new job. If they would not employ someone like them, then, why wold anyone else employ them – especially a peer? This is why we see so many of this client group want a “government job” or to ‘start my own consulting gig’.
Asking these clients to create their own job search marketing documents may be something that they have never done before. I am currently working with a client who was a COO for an international consulting firm and her responsibilities extended across South East Asia. She does not have a resume, she has NEVER attended for a formal job interview. Yes, she thinks she could work, but the sticking point for her is how do I actually find roles?
I’ve worked with another gentleman who thought that a resume was only for high school and university students who didn’t have a track record of employment and needed to show they were “credible” to an employer. He had not managed his own diary in the last 10 years, did not have a personal email account and did not understand how Linked In could be helpful, because he had NOT been exposed to these things in his 25 year career. Yes, he thought he could work. Again, he just had no idea to get from no role to a role, because he had always been in a role when someone offered him the next one.
Asking this client group to do something they’ve not done before, without support, knowledge, skills and instruction; without acknowledging how this plays into the bigger picture of what they know to be the truth of recruitment at this level of the workforce, shows us as Rehabilitation Professionals to be lack lustre, unsophisticated and well lacking in credibility.
This is the reason I went and sourced a solution. I’m not an expert in job placement for senior professionals and executives. I am an expert in helping people achieve capacity to be work ready. What was missing was that vital link to the vacancies that exists and may exist sometime in the near future.
This is why we created Re-Ignite. Re-Ignite draws upon the industry knowledge and skills of Ben West from Up Search and Selection – essentially Ben places this client group into new employment. Yes, actual placement.
We acknowledge we can’t have one without the other. This process of placement is so effective because Purple Co works with the client to assist them with work readiness and capacity building. The client has confidence that when they are work ready, we have solution for them. That all the hard work of recovery to this point will not plateau while we try and work out how to access the paid workforce. That part of the process is taken care of.
So while the client continues to recover and build capacity there is an agency working FOR THEM to access potential vacancies; to create their job search marketing documents, to help them prepare for interview/s (remember some of these clients have never been to a formal interview before).
Trying to engage in job placement before the client is ready is a waste of time. And it will do damage to the reputation of the client, if you can get the client to engage. Ceasing Purple Co’s involvement once job search has commenced is also ineffective as client’s will need to be supported, to work through their “flare ups” to deal with rejection and to continue their recovery once new employment has been secured.
The client remains actively involved with Purple Co so we are continuing to build capacity and resilience while they are engaged in job search and recruitment activities. It’s a Win-Win-Win.
Re-Ignite gives eligible life insurance customers access to 6 months of customized and 1:1 support. It encompasses every stage of the job placement and recovery process to see client’s return to work and manage their health effectively.
Interested I know how this can be of assistance to you? Please contact Jo, Founder and Principal Consultant Purple Co – firstname.lastname@example.org