Everyone has periods in their personal and professional lives where things change – it’s life. Things happen both good and bad and you have to roll with the punches, no matter how hard they are.
I joined Consult Recruitment earlier this year after much consideration and I’ve not regretted it for a second. I thought long and hard about making the change to my life as I was not unhappy in my previous role, so it was tough making the call to move. But I did it and I’m really pleased I did (hopefully my new colleagues are too!).
What I didn’t know when I made the decision to move was that most other aspects of my life were about to be turned on their head. This emerged literally as I joined Consult a few months ago. I found myself in the position of starting a new job, trying hard to settle in and impress everyone (as you do in a new job) and going through a complete change of personal circumstances at home. I nearly broke. There were sleepless nights, tears, frustration, anger – the whole roller coaster of emotions. Try as I might though I really wanted to keep it together at work and do a good job.
So it got me thinking…
Plenty of other people go through this experience and far more stressful things – so what do you look for in a prospective new employer in these circumstances? Because let’s face it, stuff (the nicer version of the word I was going to use) happens...
Here are a few thoughts from my current experience:
1. It’s so much about the people – I can’t emphasise this enough. I really didn’t care about cool offices, the ping pong table and the drinks cabinet. What made the difference was that I had a boss I could openly talk to about what was going on and colleagues who I could open up to.
When applying for new roles have this thought: “If I have to open up about some major stuff going on in my life, am I comfortable with this person (and these people as a whole)?”
2. I’ve had plenty of offers of beers, places to stay for the weekend and lots of help and support from my colleagues. Would you be prepared to do the same for someone else if they are going through such a situation?
Work is important in most of our lives and provides structure. Don’t under-estimate its importance in that fact. But equally as much; sometimes your priorities have to shift elsewhere temporarily - and that’s ok.
3. Is it an environment that will provide you with some flexibility if you need it? I’ve needed to go and look at houses, pick kids up from school and other ‘life’ admin – is it somewhere you’d be comfortable asking for this if you need it?
4. Location, location, location! For me, with children, the location of my work and home have now become critically important. It’s something we deal with every day in Auckland – working with candidates to assess the viability of the location of a job to work for their life. This is something we need to think about for ourselves too.
Things change when you least expect it and often you can’t control this change. Recognising this and accepting it is key. This has been a major shift for me as someone that liked to be ‘in control’ of everything.
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