Tom MacFain*, 31, was recently made redundant from his job. As part of his package, Tom’s firm arranged an outplacement support programme for him with CareerBalance Ltd.

What major issue did you want to tackle?

I was concerned that there weren’t too many job openings at the more junior end of the job market. I needed professional advice on navigating the job market and securing a job quickly. I was feeling low on confidence and down about my redundancy. I noticed friends in similar situations were taking a long time to find new jobs and I was nervous.

How did CareerBalance help you move forward?

CareerBalance instilled me with confidence and showed me the strengths of my CV. My career coach & counsellor encouraged me to broaden the scope of my job search. Instead of just going through on-line job sites, the trade press, and recruitment consultants, he helped me to make a list of the companies I’d really like to work for so I could target these directly. He also encouraged me to improve my profile on LinkedIn and to engage in some of the specialist discussion groups. I soon found my job via an alert on LinkedIn. The process made me realise there are many more jobs out there than the recruiters can put in front of you.

Where did CareerBalance make the most impact for you?

I had a second job interview scheduled just after my second session with CareerBalance. They coached me for my interview. They predicted the questions I’d be asked, and they encouraged me to take more time thinking through my responses before answering. They helped me to research the company and the sector so I would ask questions at the interview to demonstrate my knowledge. I also rehearsed how I would explain my departure from my previous job and how I demonstrate that I was a good fit for the role.

That session with CareerBalance prepared me to hammer home my skills to my interviewers. I knew that the real interview would not be tougher. Fortunately, I had lots of opportunity to ask questions and prove my interest in my prospective employers, while appearing keen and intelligent.

How might things have turned out differently without the help of CareerBalance?

Without CareerBalance’s help I wouldn’t have been as positive in my outlook. Even if I hadn’t found my job via LinkedIn relatively quickly, the preparation gave me confidence. CareerBalance helped me set up a plan of action rather than wait for the phone to ring.

How is your new job going?

It’s going well. I’m going back to see CareerBalance once I’ve been here for two months. We’re going to talk about what I want from my new role and where I see myself going in the medium term.

Would you recommend CareerBalance or go back in the future?

Yes, I’d definitely recommend CareerBalance to people in a similar situation. I value the the tips and skills I’ve learned from my sessions.

*Names changed to protect confidentiality.

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