When the going gets tough—don’t go it alone
Ed Ie’s story
When Ed was laid off from his job of nine years, he had no idea that it would be 11 months before he found work again. At first, he did what he had always done — worked hard, applied for dozens of jobs and waited for the offers to roll in. He interviewed for many positions, feeling he had done well, but remained unemployed.
“I said to myself, ‘ok, by the end of February, I’ll definitely have a job!’ but then March rolled around and still nothing.”
Ed decided to try a new approach. He remembered that his alma mater, Brandman University, offered career coaching for alumni. Enter his InsideTrack Career Coach Tina…
Ed had tried career coaching before. When he was first laid off, his severance package included career coaching sessions, but the experience left a bad taste in his mouth. “The coach didn’t take time to get to know me and he projected his idea of success onto me. It really turned me off! What was different about Tina and InsideTrack’s approach to coaching is that she listened and was careful to make sure she understood who I am and what success looked like to me.”
Redefining his position
Tina helped Ed develop a plan and stay focused during his job search. More importantly, she helped him discover the unique strengths that made him the right person for the job, and ultimately, more effective in the workplace.
Tina also taught him the value of networking.
“As part of our networking plan, I stayed in touch with an employer who turned me down for a job in 2014. Without coaching I never would have done that. When the director I interviewed with was charged with starting a new department, he thought of me and brought me in to help him build the team.”
“Career coaching gave me concrete things that helped me in each interview and today on the job. For example, I started writing down the three things about myself I wanted each interviewer to know about me on top of a notebook. During the interview, I could glance down and remember to make sure my answers reflected those things. It helped me stay focused and confident in what I had to offer. It’s a trick I still use today in the workplace. Keeping it simple helps me stay focused and be myself.”
Ed counts himself lucky to have a supportive network around him, from his wife Nicole to his dog who patiently sat with him as he searched for jobs. “When I became unemployed, everyone wanted to give me advice. It was like everyone thought they were my career coach. People with good intentions were always saying ‘you should try this or this or this.’ It was overwhelming and added to my feeling of frustration and depression. Having someone outside my personal network who didn’t project expectations or assumptions onto me was a huge relief!”
“Coaching with Tina provided a fresh start. I could reinvent myself professionally unencumbered by the past. Talking with someone with that objectivity helped me realize I was looking for more of a career change than I initially realized. It gave me freedom to discover the best fit for me. I know I’m going to be more successful and happy in my career as a result.”
A strategic partnership
Ed’s advice to anyone who finds themselves unemployed or confused about their career path is to make sure they don’t go through it alone.
Ed had never tapped into student support services as an undergrad or graduate student. “I went into the career center once as an undergrad and I remember thinking ‘it’s great that this is here for people who need it but I’m doing fine.’ The hardest part was admitting that maybe I didn’t have it all figured out after all.”
“If you have the smallest inkling, just set up an appointment with a coach. It can’t hurt. In just 30 minutes they can offer a ton of perspective. It’s a golden nugget to get that objective perspective on life.”
“It was overwhelming … having someone outside my personal network who didn’t project expectations or assumptions onto me was a huge relief!”
Ed Ie, Senior Analyst, Critical Care Program Management Office at Edwards Lifesciences
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