Post written by Jane Hunt, former inaugural CEO at Fitted for Work.
When I was pregnant I experienced that common phenomena of noticing the many pregnant women around me. My antenna was up and I went from not particularly paying attention to a pregnant woman to being fascinated.
I am having that moment again – but this time I am noticing the transitions people are going through. At FFW we are transitioning to a new business model in the second half of the year where we will maximise the potential of all women by offering tailored professional career services. It is so exciting and I can’t wait to bring you all in on the journey.
We will give you access to high quality professional career services based around the unique transitions women experience in work and in their lives. We will help you achieve your goals plus generate income to help more women experiencing disadvantage achieve theirs. It’s a win-win situation!
As we develop the business, and test the products and services, we are moving through the stages of transition –letting go of great ideas, practices that serviced us well in the past but are no longer relevant, launching (albeit in a very measured way) into working with a new client group. It’s exciting and exhilarating and, like every all new ventures, just a little terrifying at times.
So it’s quite exciting to let you all know that as a first step in this journey for Fitted for Work, we are offering you the opportunity to take charge of your own career transition, and participate in one of Fitted for Work’s new Career Ignite Seminars.
The seminars will be led by David Reddin, a career and recruitment specialist who has extensive experience and does what I think we all need: providing practical, hard hitting and realistic advice on how to take control of your career and manage it for the longer term.
Undertaking this transition has left me more sensitive to people and organisations going through transitions. I am fascinated by how they experience their particular transition, and how they shape the next steps. This year, three colleagues of mine from different types of organisations have been made redundant. Each of them is handling it differently, which makes sense as each of them has had different previous experiences of change and transition. Interestingly, they are all using it as a time of reflection, getting clarity on their sense of purpose and next career steps. It’s not been easy – they have been vulnerable, angry, determined, scared and well, just brilliant, at times. I am always amazed at the resilience and creativity we all have.
I am often asked how you should best support a friend or colleague through unemployment or career change, as sometimes it can be hard to know how to help. I will spend more time on this in another blog, but in a nutshell – it’s best to ask them. And make sure you shout them a coffee (or better still buy them a 10 cup voucher so they can get out of the house and have somewhere to go when they are networking with others).
I am reminded though, that my three colleagues have the resources – a financial buffer and extensive networks – to explore their next career steps. The women in FFW’s services don’t have this and are under severe financial stress. It is so hard to remain focused on a job search process when you are getting more and more stressed and desperate about paying the bills, affording the public transport fares to go to job interviews and providing for your family. As you can see, now more than ever we need your help by donating through FFW’s Annual Appeal, which we will be launching very soon. We rely on donations to operate, and need $132,250 to continue supporting our mission to help women experiencing disadvantage get work and keep it.
Finally, know that if you are in the middle of a transition of your own, be assured you too will emerge.