Lonely Job Seeker Finds Solace in Mentor: Jennie’s Story
“Job searches are lonely,” says Jennie Gage, who relocated from Canada to the U.S. with her young family when her husband accepted a new position. “I was in a new country away from my family and friends. That made it feel especially lonely.”
Jennie received encouragement from her loved ones, but that wasn’t enough. “My husband and my mom would tell me, ‘Good job’ when I finished my résumé or got an interview, but it was Jill who added actual value to my search.” Jill Sheldon served as Jennie’s career coach and mentor during the transition process. Jill specializes in change management, using a compassionate approach and practical insights to help job seekers. “She was my support and my motivation. Through every aspect of my job search, Jill was there for me.”
While Jennie and her family adapted to their new city and new country, Jennie had to overcome immigration issues to obtain a work permit. “My husband is American, so he was able to start his job without issues,” says Jennie. “I, on the other hand, had a lot of hurdles.” Every month that passed was excruciating for Jennie. She missed working and needed to return to the workforce to feel settled in the new area.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to have a position lined up as soon as I received my work permit. Timing was a huge consideration. Jill coached me on when to start applying for positions and how long the hiring process would take,” Jennie comments. “She also guided me on how to tell potential employers about my work permit.” Together, they created a plan to address her work permit head on with employers, ensuring they had accurate expectations for when Jennie could begin working.
Jennie’s time investment with Jill was well spent. “After every conversation, I left with a list of action items.” Jill kept Jennie motivated and on track. She pushed her to create quantitative statements for her résumé and for interviews.
“This approach was what I needed to communicate key points without being too chatty.”
Jennie felt the help with her résumé was a huge benefit. “I didn’t feel overly confident with my résumé. Jill challenged me to look at my experience and the content to make sure I was presenting myself in a valuable way.” As a result, she felt empowered submitting her applications. “If I didn’t receive a call back, I knew it wasn’t because I was presenting myself poorly in my résumé.”
Beyond her time investment, Jennie made financial investments in her job search that paid off big in the end. “My husband and I decided to hire an immigration lawyer to make sure everything was in order for my work permit. The lawyer turned the situation around quickly, which meant I was able to find a job faster.” Jennie also decided to create room in her day to prioritize her job search. “I paid for my daughter to attend daycare a few days a week even though I wasn’t working. This allowed me to have focused time to spend job hunting.” After a month in her new role at a retail software company, Jennie says those investments were paid back in full.
“My husband’s company asked a lot of us. We accepted the position the second week of May and relocated the first week of June!” says Jennie. “In return, they made sure we were taken care of.” Jennie feels fortunate that she received job search support as part of their relocation benefit, and she now understands how critical it was to her success. “Having Jill’s support ensured I took the job search seriously. I encourage other job seekers to make an investment in a career coach – it will help you get faster results. The short-term financial investment and time investment are well worth it.”
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