- Client: Human resources executive
- Services: Executive Transition Services
- Consultant: John Bergstrom
- Value: A clear career story and new appreciation for networking
When a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company restructured its operations, a senior human resources (HR) executive found herself in career transition for the first time in more than a decade.
In her previous role, she was the one helping company leaders with workforce decisions, including partnering with outplacement firms; now, as a departing employee, she suddenly found herself receiving the valuable career services those resources provide.
A First-Time Job Search in America
Her company offered two options for career support: a national outplacement vendor or the executive-focused Navigate Forward. The HR leader chose the one-on-one support from Navigate Forward.
She took advantage of flexible, virtual meetings with lead consultant John Bergstrom and access to numerous career resources aimed at tenured leaders.
Working with Navigate Forward was really positive for me. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
She appreciated working with a firm with offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, where she lived. During her tenure with the CPG company, she had relocated to the U.S. from abroad, making this her first job search in America. Access to local resources and networking connections was an added benefit.
Thoughtful Discovery Process Clarifies Next Steps
While many outplacement firms limit their services to a specific number of weeks or months, Navigate Forward supports each executive until they land their next opportunity. This allowed the HR executive to set her own pace. Although she was anxious to create a new resume and start talking to recruiters, she saw value in taking a step back to explore her strengths and her options.
“I’m one of those people who’s very action-oriented,” she said. “It did take effort to slow down and go through discovery, but it was a really beneficial process. I appreciate that John took his lead from me on timing; he went at my pace.”
Guided exercises and space for self-reflection helped her make deliberate choices and streamline her job search.
Everyone at Navigate Forward was very kind in identifying where my strengths were and that I had a lot of offer.
“It helped me identify two major streams where I wanted to look for work. One was the HR project space; the other was a business partner role,” she explained.
Another outcome was a stronger career narrative for interviews, networking and job search materials.
“I had never really thought about the story of my career before—what I had learned and therefore what I can contribute,” she explained. “Navigate Forward helped me articulate what I can bring to the table.”
A New Perspective on Networking Leads to a Job Offer
Professional networking played a vital role in landing her next position. However, like many accomplished leaders, she found these meetings uncomfortable.
“I always thought networking was a dirty word!” she said. “I’m an introverted person and find talking about myself difficult.”
I had a real sense of calm. John and everyone else at Navigate Forward helped in reaffirming that.
Navigate Forward helped her rethink her perspective and structure networking in a way that was more comfortable, such as one-on-one meetings rather than large group events. She now views networking as an opportunity to meet new people and indulge her curiosity, rather than something to dread.
“I love learning about people. Reframing networking in that context was very helpful to me,” she said.
Two Offers and a New Role in HR Project Management
Within a few months of leaving her previous position, the HR executive received two job offers. A networking meeting led to the role she ultimately accepted, an HR project management position working on the integration of an acquired business and the rollout of an enterprise human capital management platform.
Within 10 days of my networking introduction, I had a job offer.
“Literally, within 10 days of [my networking contact] introducing me, I had a job offer,” she recalled. “I’m part of the M&A team, working on the integration. One of my focus areas will be the moving about 4,000 people onto our system.”
She ended up taking a remote position with a company headquartered on the east coast. The skills and guidance from Navigate Forward proved applicable for work anywhere across the country.
A Job Search With Sense of Calm Rather Than Stress
“Working with Navigate Forward was really positive for me,” she said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
Having an experienced team and knowledgeable resources reduced the stress common with job transition.
“I had a real sense of calm,” she noted. “John and everyone else at Navigate Forward helped in reaffirming that. They were very kind in identifying where my strengths were and that I had a lot of offer.”
Ready to elevate your leadership career? Learn more about Executive Transition Services from Navigate Forward.