I got made redundant during the pandemic – and then found a new job, thanks to NABS
By Aidoia Puig-Delfin
At the start of 2020, I was ready to move jobs. I’d been working in a fab content marketing role for more than two years. Much as I loved it, it was time for something new, especially as I wanted a more generalised marketing role. I applied for four jobs, got through to the second round for all of them, and eventually accepted one offer. I was buzzing, although I was really sad to leave my old job. I left at the start of March to begin my new one at the end of that month.
Four days before I was due to start, the new job retracted my contract due to COVID. This was before furlough had been introduced. All I could think about was how I’d left a great company only to lose a job in a global pandemic. How was I going to find a new position?
I was also wondering whether it was something I’d done. But I hadn’t even started the job! I was embarrassed and sad about what had happened. Despite that, I knew that I had to find a way forward.
I had thought about doing a marketing course previously and thought that now might be a good time to do it if I was going to be out of work. I wondered if NABS could help me in any way: I’d been following them on social and often read their blogs and browsed their site.
I saw that they could help to fund courses. I called the Advice Line, explained my situation and said that I’d had my eye on Marketing Week’s Mini MBA for a while. The advisors explained that I might qualify for a grant to help me train, and they took me through the process to do so – they were really helpful and clear about what I needed to do, making the process straightforward.
Happily, I qualified for a grant and got onto the course. It helped me in many ways. It taught me about generalised marketing, broadened out my thinking and gave me confidence and things to talk about when I started interviewing. All of my interviews started with the fact that I’d just lost a job, which I could then follow with my positive news about doing the course. That showed that I’m a proactive person who’s serious about a career in general marketing. The course also gave me some structure and routine, something to aim for, and a purpose.
The NABS Advice Line team also suggested that I have some coaching to help me with my job search. Emma, my coach, first of all helped me to clarify that doing a course was the right thing (it was!). When I was struggling applying for roles, Emma investigated what I was doing and said that I needed to narrow it down. She was right. I was applying for roles outside of Manchester, my home city, that I didn’t even want! Emma’s advice was to go back and prioritise.
Emma really helped me to rein my search back in, to stop trying to do everything. I’m proactive, but sometimes I take it too far. Emma made me think differently and to own my new insights. One thing I realised was about how I speak to myself. If my friend lost her job, I’d say – come on, you can do this. I wouldn’t make them feel guilty for not applying for every job in sight.
After a few interviews, I got offered a great job in June. It was brilliant news, but I was feeling anxious. I’d been offered a job in March, and that was taken away from me. Could that happen again? I had another session with Emma, who helped me to stop worrying. It was about looking at the reality of the situation, and not imprinting my previous experience onto this one.
I’d never questioned my own ability before losing the last job. Coaching made me re-evaluate that and wonder why I was questioning myself. In fact, Emma helped me to see how adaptable and resilient I am. You have to be. None of us know what’s going to happen, and we all have to learn how to deal with uncertainty. I run away with my thoughts; Emma helped to bring me back to reality. Now I realise that I deserve to be in my role. I worked hard to get it, and I can succeed in it.
NABS have helped me so much along the way. I even did a Masterclass in resilience and stress recently. It was so useful. It helped me to realise that I can take time to evaluate what I’m going through and to notice triggers for stress and anxiety, rather than pushing through until I burn out.
Getting such a variety of support from NABS has been a really useful and eye-opening experience. Everybody I came into contact with was super helpful and really friendly. There’s no judgement involved, even though I was embarrassed at the start that I’d lost my job. NABS helped to fund a brilliant course and to bring back the confidence I lost when I lost my job.
They truly helped me every step of the way.