Taking the steps to move forward when you feel ‘stuck’ in your career.

Switching careers is no easy feat. Once you’ve been in a role for a few years it’s difficult to know how you can apply your skills and expertise to different role or another industry. You become ‘stuck’ and even though you want to make a move, you don’t really know where to start. Sarah had been applying for roles but not even getting to interview stage. Her job search success changed when she sought the assistance of Marina’s professional career coaching. What’s even more amazing is that career success was achieved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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[00:00:00] Grant Williams: Let’s create your career, the podcasts about career development, job search, and getting to, well, you might just want to be in your,

[00:00:09] in your.

[00:00:11] Professional life. It’s not only professional life, but anything, anything to do with being happy at work. I think that’s rounded a bit for this morning I’m Grant Williams.

[00:00:26] I’ll push the buttons and I ask all of the dumb questions. I’m always joined by Marina Pitisano, job search coach Australia, for most jobs that coach Marina, how are you this morning?

[00:00:40] Marina Pitisano: [00:00:40] I’m really, really good. I always laugh when you start introducing me, it’s just getting better and better. Every time we do this.

[00:00:47] So I love that introduction. And I would like to introduce Sarah today. Sarah has been one of my clients for the last, probably couple of months. It hasn’t been too long as it, Sarah. That’s right. Go on. It’s

[00:01:07] Sarah: [00:01:07] been very good, very pleasant to meet you at this time and still is.

[00:01:12] Marina Pitisano: [00:01:12] So we’ll be able to get through her journey about, looking for jobs.

[00:01:16] What happened to her, with her, with her previous role and just what we did together to get her into a fabulous role that she’s about to start.

[00:01:29] Grant Williams: [00:01:29] Sarah. You [00:01:30] just mentioned that it’s only been a couple of months that you’ve been in Marina’s orbits. Let’s talk about how you, how you came across Marina. did you

[00:01:40] how did you find out about Marina? How did you decide, or did somebody tell you that you needed to speak to Marina? Cause I’m guessing the point of talking to Marina is to find a new role. So w were you

[00:01:53] Sarah: [00:01:53] in a role? So I had ended, my position and I had ended, also ended my maternity leave and I just thought it was time to, Seek a new role.

[00:02:05] Cause I’d been in that position for 10 years. And after having three kids, I’ve reassessed my life and I thought let’s get out of research. Let’s do something different, but I wasn’t successful at looking at even getting interviewed. And I was chatting to a lot of my friends and one of my closest friends mentioned Marina and.

[00:02:29] I sort of brushed off like the first two weeks and I thought, Oh, I’m not getting anywhere. So I called her up and said, Hey, you really need to talk to Marina. And she has  she’s okay. Cause that helps you and coaches you in looking for a job and that’s how it got the ball rolling in my head. And then I contact.

[00:02:45] Yeah. Marina

[00:02:48] Grant Williams: [00:02:48] sarah, I’m thinking that a lot of people are going to be like money. Like here, they hear you say something like I had, I had a role in research and I wanted to change. Tell me about what. What [00:03:00] kind of role you were doing in research and how specialists use it and what kind of opportunities are there for people?

[00:03:10] Sarah: [00:03:10] Well, I was, I’m a senior research officer at a, an Institute and my niche I’m sort of at the higher end of my, My job description. And I, I looked at, specific proteins and most skills are very specific. So it’s quite a niche field. And I had been in that position for 10 years and I only knew well that’s for 10 years, so, Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know what else to say.

[00:03:40] Grant Williams: [00:03:40] It is it, is it a, a field sort of, I think people think of you, you’re in a lab with test tubes and pumps and burners going and, and, and what coats and all that, or, or is it, is statistical analysis a big part of the role? Is it, is it always focused around medical work?

[00:04:01] And can you give us a sense of what someone is, as a, what was it senior research analyst would, would be doing.

[00:04:10] Sarah: [00:04:10] So I would do your Bunsen burners and white coats as well as you were saying. and then I’d also do, I’d supervise students, apply for grants. So, NHMRC, so the government funding, grant schemes, as well as philanthropic.

[00:04:25] So I’d be writing as well as creating my own experiments, to [00:04:30] find the unknown. Which would then go to grants and in the hope of getting your own money, a nd a lot of that was, looking for my own funding, to continue the research, because I was very interested and also looking for my own salary.

[00:04:44] So it was becoming, quite difficult as much as I loved it. It was just becoming too difficult for me to, sustain and, and I just thought, you know, After being there for 10 years, as well as I was thinking, look as much as you love, it’s time to really step outside the box because maybe there’s something better out there as well.

[00:05:05] Cause you’ve been so honed into that. Experience.

[00:05:08] Marina Pitisano: [00:05:08] So, Sarah, what were you researching? What was your topic of expertise?

[00:05:13] Sarah: [00:05:13] So I was looking at why women, couldn’t couldn’t conceive. So I was looking at specific proteins in, in women, that weren’t able to, too. So why women implant the embryo onto the uterus?

[00:05:28] So the lining of the, the lining called the uterus. so I was looking at specific interactions in that field. Yeah.

[00:05:37] Marina Pitisano: [00:05:37] Very specific research analyst.

[00:05:41] Grant Williams: [00:05:41] What I’m picking up from this Marina is that hold on, Sarah is doing all the science stuff. So, so we go, we just take it as Ray. You’re a skilled scientist in medical research.

[00:05:55] Hmm. But what I heard was that a large part of a, an [00:06:00] analyst role. His paperwork, his admin is, is making sure that you can write in a style that ticks all the boxes for somebody who is not assigned just to put you in a pile to, for them, just to look at your application and go, yeah, we’ll give this a go.

[00:06:21] There’s got to get through a bureaucrat. It’s got to get through a whole lot of technical admin people before it gets. Yes. To a panel who tick it off. So Marina. You weren’t just dealing with someone who’s, you’re dealing with someone who’s really good with process. I’m guessing.

[00:06:41] Marina Pitisano: [00:06:41] Well, Sarah is fantastic on many accounts, she’s a very humble person, but, Sarah has to deal with her research, her expertise.

[00:06:51]as you heard, and we’ve always laugh because when she goes to talk about her technical experience, she hopes to get a little bit confused and I would cited there. Your technically experienced, did I know, but I just wanted a little bit difficult to express that. So she had to check nickel experience.

[00:07:11] So she did the research, she did the experiments, but not only that, she also had to lead a team of students to do these experiments and other scientists. She also had to write grants because the research that she was doing [00:07:30] required money from the government. And as we all know, you’re not going to get that money unless you can justify through a grant or why you deserve X amount of dollars.

[00:07:42] And in that grant rowdy, she also had to determine that money that came to her. Also had to pay her salary. So there was a lot on the line for Sarah all the time, but not just that she’s written many scientific papers. So she is well versed in her art and in her, in her expertise, because at, her Institute, her requirement is also to demonstrate what she’s learning and put that in technical papers that other scientists read.

[00:08:14] So she’s, she’s got, she’s got a very wide range of skills and experience and, and capabilities that you know, would make any future employer, a great, a great worker and a great employee.

[00:08:32] Grant Williams: [00:08:32] So we need to refer to Sarah as Sarah L

[00:08:43] Sarah: [00:08:43] as well.

[00:08:45] Marina Pitisano: [00:08:45] She does have that

[00:08:48] Grant Williams: [00:08:48] science reference jokes for those.

[00:08:55] Marina Pitisano: [00:08:55] Got it.

[00:08:57] Grant Williams: [00:08:57] Yeah, I was looking, but I was looking for that, [00:09:00] correct?

[00:09:03] Sarah: [00:09:03] Yeah.

[00:09:05] Grant Williams: [00:09:05] Sarah you, was it a hard decision to come to the end of the contract? And actually then let’s first talk about

[00:09:14] Marina Pitisano: [00:09:14] that.

[00:09:16] Grant Williams: [00:09:16] It’s a precarious existence by the sound of it that you’ll, you’re rolling from grant to grant that your employment doesn’t roll on it’s wholly and solely dependent on you.

[00:09:29] Being able to attract new new funding. Is that how it goes?

[00:09:33] Sarah: [00:09:33] Correct it and it’s each year, each year you play. Yeah. Yeah, probably around that November, December, you played back the whole last year scenario of it to start thinking of new grants, new themes or new projects, they’ve got to think of, preparing for a grant and also getting to prepare the experiments for the grant.

[00:09:56] It’s put into the grads as a whole process that goes every year. And I think after 10 years, your body just says, okay, it’s time. It’s time.

[00:10:07] Grant Williams: [00:10:07] If you’ve got to prepare the experiments. So you’ve got to design them and sort of work out the, the resources required. You have to sort of okay. A fair bit of the work before, you know,

[00:10:24] Sarah: [00:10:24] Yes, it’s it’s and it’s like that for the whole year. Cause you’re prepared things don’t [00:10:30] happen within a month. So you’re pro you preparing for the whole year, all these experiments and hopefully by say October, November, December, you’ve got some Plymouth pull it preliminary data to write the grant. So that’s when your students coming to us, the other staff members maybe just come in to collaborate, will you to write, a good body.

[00:10:53]The project in November, December, January, and February.

[00:10:58] Grant Williams: [00:10:58] Yeah. Very, very stressful.

[00:11:02] Sarah: [00:11:02] Yeah. Yeah. Everyone’s pretty. Okay. Everyone understands what you’re going through because they’re also going through the same thing. So it’s, it is stressful, but everyone’s quiet. They understand, like this is a look that you give each other, like, yeah, I feel sorry for you.

[00:11:17] Let’s let’s like soldier on, and fingers crossed. Let’s get some money for next year, but it’s it’s an unspoken stress. Yeah.

[00:11:30] What was

[00:11:30] Grant Williams: [00:11:30] the, what was the solution to this? Rolling epic stress and preparation that Sarah has had for 10

[00:11:41] Marina Pitisano: [00:11:41] years

[00:11:42] well, I, I, it was a situation where her contracting center had come to an end and she had a choice to either go back and renew the contract and go back into that process of again, doing the scientific [00:12:00] work.

[00:12:00]researching, looking at what was coming out of that body of work, and then present you that into a grant to get more money. And she was just getting to a point that, that routine and that continuous doing the same thing all the time was just as we said, exhausted. And so she chose to, to not take up.

[00:12:22] The next contract. And also she had, come off maternity leave. and so she decided that this was a time that she could change or, or change, or consider another opportunity in another area still. In her bed with her background, still in some form of research or, and validation work that she does.

[00:12:47] So we still kept the craft of what she does, but where do you find those roles in other organizations where she can apply for not just apply, but then be able to be shortlisted and get the role.

[00:13:03] Grant Williams: [00:13:03] What’s the decision making process for you, Sarah, and also for you Marina in assessing opportunities. Did you want to get off that rolling contract situation?

[00:13:14] Were you looking for a more secure mode of employment?

[00:13:21] Sarah: [00:13:21] I was looking for a more secure employment. I, because I’ve been in research for 10 years. I didn’t know what would be [00:13:30] Suited to my, my skillset. and I was always questioning. Was I, what was, what skillset can I use to be transferrable to my next job?

[00:13:41] I think after. After a long period of time doing research, you start to doubt yourself a bit more, with, with years. And I think Marina was great in sort of, showing and highlighting my abilities that can be transferred to the next to the next role. So that was, that was really good. Yes,

[00:14:00] Grant Williams: [00:14:00] Marina, what, what I’m thinking, it must be difficult to know where to source a suitable job for Sarah.

[00:14:16] Cause I’m guessing that for government funded, Things that it has to be advertised, but because it’s such a small community, I think in a city, everyone would probably know who’s good in the field. So are they hidden jobs?

[00:14:39] Marina Pitisano: [00:14:39] What’s important about, I think what Sarah, I think what’s really important to highlight here is that, we did spend some time. Breaking down her skillset. So as you’ve heard, she is a scientist, she does experiments. She writes grants, she writes papers. [00:15:00] So we had to break down what all those skills met.

[00:15:03] She was a team leader. She did do quality control and validation. Now, these things that I’m telling you, who I’m highlighting that is. That is the area we’ve pursued. So we broke everything down. And what we then had to do was think about where would roles with that breakdown of skills or capabilities actually sit.

[00:15:29] So it’s not, it’s not about the hidden. It’s not about the hidden market in this case, because the roles that are scientifically based that are research and that have that requirement from an academic perspective are advertised, are advertised on paper, are advertised, in, on seek and ethical jobs. The problem Sarah had was that.

[00:15:59] Okay. What you know, after being in an organization for 10 years, when she, you, what she was doing, but we have blind spots too. How does that all break down? And how does it all break down and how do you build it again to transfer it to another organization or to transfer it to another part of the medical or scientific industry.

[00:16:23] And that’s what I was able to help her with. I was able to break that down and they were able to transfer [00:16:30] it to other industries. So we spent time going, okay, we’ve got these skills. And now when we look at the roles which we were looking for, which was. Research office. Ah, we were looking for scientists, research scientists.

[00:16:46] We were looking for. We ended up with looking at validation team leader roles, which she, Sarah spends a lot of time validating the experiments. And I remember saying to Sarah, Sarah, do you validate the experiments? She has very hard to do a lot of that. And he said, I can’t really, I can’t believe that I’ve even forgotten how much of that I do.

[00:17:10]and the reason why I’ve mentioned them, that is because that’s what we pursued and we were successful, but it was that real process of breaking it down and aligning it to the market and then looking for those roles, which I’ve spent a lot of time with my clients getting that clarity, because they’re not sure how to do that.

[00:17:32] Sarah: [00:17:32] You’re absolutely right. Marina, because I spent, I think even prior to you coming to see you, I was picking roles that I thought were suitable for me. and it was completely, completely wrong. And it’s good that you broke down my, broke me down. You break me, broke my skill set down and, and really highlighted what I can do because.

[00:17:54] Yes. It just becomes a cycle of, not knowing you just be having a cycle of [00:18:00] you, applying for jobs that you’re not suitable for, because you’re not using your right skillset for that. Jobs that you’re applying for. I think that’s what way to say it. and it was great that you were able to, you know, Hey Sarah, what’s, what are you skills?

[00:18:13] And do you realize these are transferable to this next job? And I think I, I was missing that link, I think. And it was good to see someone speaking from the outside in telling me that rather than, one of my friends would tell me, but I, I think I needed that third unbiased opinion. Just tell me that

[00:18:30] Grant Williams: [00:18:30] Marina, what was the pressure that you, that you had to go through with, with Sarah?

[00:18:35] Was it, was it building lists was, analyzing the, yeah, the, the jobs. That’s not really the right term. But the, the task and the process that she was going through, and you have to pull that, like, I’m just interested in how you, how you made, how you made the list to then show it back to Sarah and say, Hey, this is, this is you.

[00:19:01] Marina Pitisano: [00:19:01] Well, the way I break down the list, or the way I teach by the skills is that I look at her. So, what I do is I look at her previous role and what we did was we looked at and said, what are technical? What are all the technical skills that Sarah had at what were more her people call it softer skills. I call it employability skills and other people call it emotional intelligence skills, [00:19:30] which are communication report, writing, strategic thinking.

[00:19:36] Team, leadership skills, project management, because remember Sarah has to manage a project managers science as, a scientific project. So we had all the employability skills, softer skills, and then all the technical skills. So when we started to break down the fact that she could do that, she could do, scientific experiments that she could grant Raj.

[00:19:59] That she could validate the experiments that she would have to, write the papers. So writing skills comes out that she has to, manage these students and watch. Quality control. She has to make sure she has quality control. As we broke them all down, we were able to then identify which of those would transfer into a research officer assigned to the science or research scientist.

[00:20:26] I QC validation team leader, which ones would follow that. And then we did some searches on sake and, on. job sites to start to match them. So we’ve got this list. What could we match it to? And I think it was the matching that was critical because we were able to keep, okay, this job has. 60% of what you do or 70% of what you do and the majority of what you do.

[00:20:58] So yeah, we can [00:21:00] apply for that. And so that was the, that was the process. We used to a identify all the skills and then transfer them to roles in the market. But I think what you’d like to know is how many jobs there were before she met me.

[00:21:14] Grant Williams: [00:21:14] Well, actually, I do, I do want to, I do want to know that and I wanted to know how has Sarah, was, was, was going like how, how were you managing at that time?

[00:21:28] Because she mentioned earlier it was around January. So at the time that you’re looking to make a transition, we’re going through the biggest employment and economic. The earthquake in, in, in a hundred years. so that must’ve been really stressful cause you’re thinking, well, I’ve just taken this.

[00:21:53] I’m just taking this gamble and look, look what the world’s thrown up at me.

[00:21:59] Sarah: [00:21:59] Well, it was, it was, I was watching it slowly erupt. and I think Marina asked, I think she asked the question about how it, how were the jobs in universities? Cause that’s the roles that was being applying for. And I think I limited myself to university positions.

[00:22:14]And I watched that happen as well as the COVID-19 happening. And I thought, Oh, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t think, is it going to get better or is it going to get worse? and it got worse. and then, yeah, so I had applied for probably about six or seven university positions, [00:22:30] and there were more administrative roles.

[00:22:31]so I moved away from physically remove myself away from research roles, using my. I thought was suitable for me. and so I think at that time, so that was come January. I realized, okay, I need to, See someone else because I’m not getting even the university roles, which were as looking back now where.

[00:22:56] Below my, below my standards, but my job description Marina was telling me and I didn’t have,

[00:23:08] yeah. Is that

[00:23:09] Grant Williams: [00:23:09] a big, a big, no, no Marina that if you, take PayPal, we’ll look at, look at your work history and go a qualified without all this. Without this one here,

[00:23:23] Marina Pitisano: [00:23:23] you can fold into that. You can’t fold into that problem. And therapist somewhat fell into that problem in the sense of, I’ll go for less, but what people do or what job seekers do is when they get discouraged, when they apply for jobs that they think they’re very capable to do, and they get knocked back, they think all of a sudden that there’s something wrong with them and therefore they must have.

[00:23:52] The capability or the experience or the skills and what they do is rather than stick to what they should stick to [00:24:00] then start to go for lesser roles, lesser roles that I’ve got less experience. Because I think say that Sarah was like, yeah, that’s me. So what was happening was that she was going for roles that really suited her, like tutored her, but for whatever reason, wasn’t getting it.

[00:24:16] So she all immediately thought. Oh, I must not be good enough. I must not be capable. They’re not choosing me. So what I’ll do is I’ll choose to go for lesser roles that, you know, surely I can get an admin role in a science lab because I’m a scientist, but you’re you’re, you are then overqualified and that’s when they’re not going to pick you because

[00:24:42] that will be wondering why, which you going for these less than jobs when you’ve got all this experience. So I actually had to sort of challenge that a lot to say, Sarah, you have a lot of experience. You have a lot of knowledge. Why are you, why are you selling yourself short? Which, unfortunately, the job seeking process self-esteem pixie.

[00:25:05] And when you’re getting rejected and not back, your self esteem suffers. And so you tend to just pedal backwards instead of going forward. So you just need someone to say you’re actually peddling the wrong way. You need to go back paddle the right way. And we just need to really look at what we need to tweak to get you there because there was a lot of things saver.

[00:25:27] Wasn’t doing that. Wasn’t getting [00:25:30] her in the door.

[00:25:31] Grant Williams: [00:25:31] Yeah. It’s been a really, awful time for so many people in so many occupations. So many businesses. So, Marina. how did you identify a suitable opportunity? Sarah and Sarah with your  science background and having been working in a lab, and I know you’re not an immunologist or a VAR virologist, whatever, but yeah, we should have sitting there going well, I was tracking this big gamble and you could just see the situation snowballing around the world.

[00:26:09] And you would, you would know that it would take a huge effort by each community, each individual, Country or, or shitty to really put a stop to what was happening there. How did, how did you keep positive while you were saying what was unfolding? And then Marina, if you could ask her after Sarah, if you could tell us how you identified the suitable opportunity and how we got good news.

[00:26:41] Sarah: [00:26:41] I think I stayed positive because, I say positive cause I have a great network and including Marina and, and I thought the people that were around me were actually following what the government. They said, social distancing, everyone around me was social distancing. We try to limit like going out.

[00:26:58] And I thought if, [00:27:00] if the people around me, listening and abiding by the rules, The outcome in Australia will be positive. Those that don’t withhold or don’t honor the governments, rulings or laws at the time. I think what we’re doing, not doing where we’re going to be not going to recover quickly from this covert.

[00:27:21]but I just thought if the people around me are positive, then that should rub off on me as well. Yeah. That’s how I stay positive and looking at my network and my support network. I think they were great too. Make me positive as well. Yeah.

[00:27:42] Grant Williams: [00:27:42] How did you pick out the right opportunities for Sarah to then apply

[00:27:48] Sarah: [00:27:48] for?

[00:27:50] Marina Pitisano: [00:27:50] Well, I think it’s. The process I follow with everyone is I identify where the opportunities are in the sense of, I have a net to look information up and say, right, let’s check and say, let’s now cross check what we’ve identified to see how that looks in the market.

[00:28:13] So I’ll go do my research in understanding. Okay. What are the areas that we could pivot to that Sarah could consider? And I, I’m not sure if I found the role or Sarah found the role. but we [00:28:30] looked at it. I remember having the conversation with Sarah to say, when I look at this particular role, now this role had not the title that she has in her resume.

[00:28:40]the information that we, we identified the skills. But it looked completely different to anything she’s ever applied for. And when I picked it up, I just said, Sarah, I actually think you have a lot to offer in this job. When we broke your skills down, you actually match it very nicely. And the company is awesome.

[00:29:03] And I really think that you want to now make a change. From being university from coming from a university to going into something commercial, this is the opportunity for us to change, to pivot into. And Sarah said, you know, I think I can really do this. I honestly think I can get this done. So, and I, and I said to Sarah, are you happy for us to reply?

[00:29:27] And she said, yeah, I’m ready for this. So that was the process we followed. Yeah,

[00:29:35] Sarah: [00:29:35] I think I remember you had selected two jobs jobs, and, one was a field application specialist, which required a lot of traveling. and I, I thought I’ll sit up for four and then this other job was a team validation. QC team validation leader, and you really highlighted my skills and you really broke it down. And then it made me realize, and you said, Are [00:30:00] you going to apply for it? Once you sort of said, these are, these are your skills, Sarah, which I, I thought I didn’t have, then it made me confident to apply for it.

[00:30:10] Yeah,

[00:30:14] push me in the back and say, Hey, just do it because I, I can’t say something. I can’t see things sometimes and I wear glasses, but, I can’t see things unless on tells me it’s in front of me because you’re so used to seeing your skills, but you can’t really see it until someone tells you if that makes sense.

[00:30:33] So you need someone to tell you, tell you what, because you become. You feel? I don’t feel confident after, after a period of time. And I thought Maureen was great in that really helped me build confidence and showing me what I

[00:30:47] Marina Pitisano: [00:30:47] can do.


[00:30:48] Grant Williams: [00:30:48] Yeah. Is it a medical type company or is it more sciencey engineering kind of company?

[00:30:59] Sarah: [00:30:59] It’s a biotech company. Biopharmaceutical company. Yeah.

[00:31:06] Marina Pitisano: [00:31:06] The other thing that was really important grant that, is really important to highlight in Sarah’s journey is that she mentioned that she had applied for quite a few roles. And when she showed me her, is you, what did I say, Sarah? When, when you shop at yours, your mind.

[00:31:23] Sarah: [00:31:23] You said it was a bit long.

[00:31:28] Marina Pitisano: [00:31:28] Well, I’ll tell you what I said. [00:31:30] So I saw her resume and I said, Sarah, this resume does not actually outline you in any way. You know, I I’m, I’m actually more confused because what happened with Sarah was she had applied for those seven roles. And I think there were a few more Sarah that says she forgets, there were a few more.

[00:31:50] There were a few more roles to me. She said I’ve been applied, but these roles were like anything and everything. It didn’t, there was no common sense to the roles that she was applying for. And I said, Sarah, what is your plan here? Because I’m getting very confused. She said, Oh, I’ve got so confused. I don’t know what to apply for anymore.

[00:32:10] So I’m just applying for anything I can find.

[00:32:13] Sarah: [00:32:13] That’s what you do. And that’s what happened. I think you start at good start and you think you’re sounding good. It started, and it just comes down to I’ll just do it. And then Marine actually told me, stop applying for the jobs for the sake of applying for jobs, actually find out what you want to do before you apply for it.

[00:32:29] Don’t waste your energy on something that you’re not. Competent in applying for,

[00:32:34] Marina Pitisano: [00:32:34] or you don’t match the criteria or as you said, grant you’re overqualified. So we all know. And I think grant you’ve heard me say this millions of times, the amount of work that people put into their resume and the cover letters is massive.

[00:32:49] And here she is, she’s got three children she’s out of work. She’s quite stressed and she’s up every night making these applications that are going nowhere. [00:33:00] And that was Sarah for quite a few months before she caught up with me,

[00:33:09] Grant Williams: [00:33:09] the key, any kind of job search Sarah, is that you’re really happy with where you’ve landed.

[00:33:19] Sarah: [00:33:19] Well, I haven’t started the job, but I seem to, that people seem to be very lovely. And, I think I am happy with where I’ve landed on my feet. In my bum.

[00:33:35] Well, I’ve got a couple of ’em. Well, this job is quite interesting because I’ve got to have a medical test as well as, a background academic check. So at a police check. So I’ve got to go, go through those hoops first, before they give me an official litter off of other. But, I think I’m pretty much like 85%, 90% there.

[00:33:54] Marina Pitisano: [00:33:54] So Sarah, can I ask you a question, through the process, through writing the resume during the application interview, what was the most useful? What, what really helped you through, you know, identifying the skills we’ve talked about, but when we look through the process and everything that I worked with you on, what would you consider to be the most useful or most critical to.

[00:34:21] Sarah: [00:34:21] I think the most critical was to look at the, the case selection criteria. And then. I’m married that [00:34:30] with the skill requirements to fit your skill requirements and always have, I think always have an example and an outcome. I think a lot of the instances I was wasn’t marrying the key selection criteria with the skills and requirements together and

[00:34:48] Marina Pitisano: [00:34:48] cutting.

[00:34:49] Well, the examples you were using in your

[00:34:53] Sarah: [00:34:53] examples that I was using, which I thought was pertinent, was it pertinent? And I wasn’t, finishing off like speaking or even writing with an, an outcome. And I think if you leave with a link with a high note, when you write as well as you speak, I think it’s, leaves a message with the, the reader or the interviewer.

[00:35:15] I think that’s one of the key things

[00:35:17] Marina Pitisano: [00:35:17] that the interview experience, the interviews, the interviewing was really important and also matching their key selection criteria and highlighting the correct stories or examples with outcomes really helps, you know, the job. I

[00:35:36] Sarah: [00:35:36] think I really do think so because if I look at the.

[00:35:41] The CV that I sent or the cover letter that I first sent that I sent to the place that I’m successful compared to my initial ones. There were two, there were two different, let’s see almost two foreign languages. I think the one that I sent most recently is was it long, it was much more succinct and much [00:36:00] more relevant to what they were looking for.

[00:36:01] So I think relevance in your examples and outcome relevant outcomes is critical. You know, Getting that foot into the interview process or the next process after sending the cover letter or, Oh, you get cover letter or your CV? Yeah.

[00:36:19] Grant Williams: [00:36:19] Okay. So I love Kevin Lennon. Sarah. I want apply for a job out there for accounting and got, Oh, it was hundreds of applications.

[00:36:33] I think the best kind of a letter I got was I would really like to work for you and your glorious company.

[00:36:43] That was about the extent of.

[00:36:49] It, hasn’t done a lot of research. If he thinks I’ve done something before

[00:36:57] Sarah: [00:36:57] potentially glorious,

[00:36:59] Grant Williams: [00:36:59] but hadn’t even checked it out online. Marina, what’s the, what’s the difference in process when it comes to, sort of selecting the, maybe the first, the first cow of applicants, and then going down to the, to the interviews for a science based job, is it different to, to what we’ve been familiar with?

[00:37:28] In the series already with [00:37:30] sort of admin kind of roles or managerial roles,

[00:37:36] Marina Pitisano: [00:37:36] the roles are all the same. They’re just different variations of techniques. They the technicality. So, you know, I, I understand lots of different industries and I’ve worked across many industries. So the skill of breaking down the skills, whether you’re an engineer, whether you’re a project manager, whether you’re an Archie, whether you’re a scientist, the process is the same for all the roles.

[00:38:08] It’s then being able to break that down. And then be able to write about it, taking the right examples in the cover letter, but really the most important is making sure that your resume is really. Standing out and delivering, key information and quickly and succinctly. And that’s when Sarah mentioned my, my resume.

[00:38:38] I was too long. it was very long. It had, I think, five or six pages. We cut it down to about three. and it’s not about length. So, you know, there are, there are. They are recruiters that wants a lot of information. There’s recruiters that want one page. You can’t make the criteria of everyone, but what’s [00:39:00] critical about that is delivering the right information.

[00:39:03] And that’s what Sarah and I spent a lot of time on is Sarah gave me her information. I had to research your industry and I rewrote the resume to draw out the, the skills and capabilities that she has. So. Sarah, could you have done that by yourself? Because a lot of people in today’s world things, I could write my own resumes and they went on, look at them.

[00:39:30] I just don’t think they’re delivering the right information. But do you think that’s something that you could do by yourself?

[00:39:43] now

[00:39:46] Sarah: [00:39:46] yeah.

[00:39:49] Marina Pitisano: [00:39:49] Cause we don’t go around applying for work and not getting anything, you know, and realizing that when someone independently looks at your work and says, Sarah, it’s not delivering the right message. Is that something you could really do by yourself?

[00:40:07] Sarah: [00:40:07] I think if someone told me. You’re not delivering the right message.

[00:40:12]I would have re rigid it, but I don’t know if I would’ve done it the right way. having said that I had a lot of people like have a lot of friends that in different industries and they sent me their CVS and they were, I thought that they were quite successful, but maybe the. [00:40:30] The niche that they were looking for was suitable for that Trump job description.

[00:40:34] Yeah. And I think you taught me how to, I think it’s best if you went through you. I think you have much more clarity if I was to do it, I think I needed that, help in showing me a bit more clarity on how to do it. Yeah.

[00:40:49] Marina Pitisano: [00:40:49] I just asked that question because in today’s world, so many. People are trying to get and stand out in the market and trying to do it on their own.

[00:41:02] And they do go to friends and family and those friends and family share with what they’ve jumped. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right why for your industry. And the other thing is, is that a lot of people go and just get their resumes done. And this is where I’m unique. They don’t get their resume done.

[00:41:22] And then I think why doesn’t my resume work it’s because look at all the other pieces that you’ve got to get, right? It’s not just a resume application. We spent a lot of time on your application letter and your cover letter sometimes more so than the resume. And then when you had for the interview, we spent a lot of time preparing for that interview.

[00:41:42] So, so much. Describe any paths of the job search process that you’ve got to get. Right. And to do that whole on your own without any. Yeah, all support. It’s really happy to meet you. [00:42:00] That’s my experience.

[00:42:02] Sarah: [00:42:02] Yeah. All right. I, and I just need that clarity and a lot of, I think there’s a lot of destroyed when I was writing.

[00:42:08] If someone was to ask like, you’re right, I want us to ask someone else to do your resume, pay someone else’s to do your resume. There’ll be a lot of disjointed messages because it’s not, they’re not really talking about the person. The resume doesn’t really bring out the person’s job description. If they were going to hire someone that they haven’t spoken to, they haven’t spoken to, they don’t know the person’s qualities.

[00:42:36] They will, they would lose them in that resume. I think you’re great in the sense that you know who I am as well as my job, my qualities. And you’re able to succinctly write that into my CV.

[00:42:48] Marina Pitisano: [00:42:48] And then, but most of them,

[00:42:56] yeah.

[00:42:56] Sarah: [00:42:56] And I think paying someone that you don’t know, you’re going to lose a limb. I think you’re gonna lose it. And you just going go through that same cycle again, which is where I was in January. Yeah,

[00:43:06] Grant Williams: [00:43:06] Sarah, how did you find the interview? It’s been a long time since you, sorry. Yeah.

[00:43:17] Sarah: [00:43:17] Oh, that I was really nervous.

[00:43:19] It’s been 10 years since my last job interview. and I was, quite, quite nervous because I’ve never last, zoom that I did was. Oh, [00:43:30] I had another zoom, interview probably a year ago and that was the successful. So I did find it daunting. And I found that I had to take 10 minutes before the actual job interview and take a breather, get for a walk and then sit down because I was like, all right.

[00:43:45] Antsy. And, yeah.

[00:43:48] Grant Williams: [00:43:48] So you just mentioned that. I had an interview a year ago, so excuse me. So you had been looking, you’ve been toying with the idea of finding another role pride

[00:44:09] Sarah: [00:44:09] through one of my friends who’s in a, in a. Another biotech company. And she said, she just said, Oh, they haven’t advertised to this position.

[00:44:16] Just, send your, your CV to this guy. And, we’ll see what happens, but I’ve given you the word. So it was through, through a friend. It wasn’t through a job site. Yeah. So I had interviewed in that. Yeah.

[00:44:32] Grant Williams: [00:44:32] I didn’t think that that would be, it’s a fairly close sort of community in

[00:44:38] Sarah: [00:44:38] that,

[00:44:41] Grant Williams: [00:44:41] so that people would be aware of, of people who would be suitable.

[00:44:47] How many, just to give an idea how many similar kind of labs where you were working. Not the role you’re stepping into, but where you were working, how many similar kind of [00:45:00] labs would they be in a city? The size of Melbourne.

[00:45:04] Sarah: [00:45:04] Oh, there’s too many to count.

[00:45:09] So there was,

[00:45:13] Marina Pitisano: [00:45:13] I think

[00:45:13] Sarah: [00:45:13] there was five or six.

[00:45:18] Grant Williams: [00:45:18] How many appropriate employers? Because your Institute is, is one, even though it would operate, you know, maybe 15 different labs and have different teams. How many different employers would there be for that, for that role? Are we talking?

[00:45:39] Sarah: [00:45:39] Yeah, I couldn’t tell. I couldn’t count.

[00:45:44] Grant Williams: [00:45:44] So it’s not as closed as that as I would have thought.

[00:45:49] Sarah: [00:45:49] Well, no, it’s not as close now. But everyone knows everyone because there’s a lot of collaboration. Everyone knows your skillset within a university and also people talk. So,

[00:46:03] Grant Williams: [00:46:03] yeah. Yeah. Oh, no.

[00:46:11] Marina Pitisano: [00:46:11] But remember Sarah wanted to get out of universities.

[00:46:13] So that makes it hard because you’re trying to work out of an industry that you and he would have got that. So that’s, I can give me, but you want to go, that’s a huge, different bridge and I’m getting into a [00:46:30] commercial science lab is very difficult to do. Yeah.

[00:46:37] Sarah: [00:46:37] No one in that field,

[00:46:39] Marina Pitisano: [00:46:39] not, you can’t rely on networks.

[00:46:41] You can’t rely on people that know the industry. You can’t rely, you don’t have the commercial aspect that she has the affidavit from. She doesn’t have the commercial. It’s a different deal because this is biochem. Bio chemistry. Yeah. Biochemistry. By chain by pharmaceutical pharmaceutical. So things are niche industries that are differential to transfer.

[00:47:14] So you really have to know, what you’re doing and what your skill set is, and really promote it. You can’t niche it that way. You’ll never get over it. You’ll never get, you’ll never get to the breach. I’ll never get out

[00:47:28] Sarah: [00:47:28] of the booth.

[00:47:30] Grant Williams: [00:47:30] Well, the news has a different to amazing bio pharmacy or biotech story every night, Sarah.

[00:47:40] Yeah. With some great names. Great. Near the discovery. That’s going to solve all the world’s problems.

[00:47:56] Sarah: [00:47:56] My sentence. Well, you

[00:47:58] Grant Williams: [00:47:58] probably you’ll [00:48:00] probably need a podcast now that you’re out there. Yeah. Outside of academia, you’ll leave. You’ll leave. You need to build the brand so that your next trend is a lot easier.

[00:48:11] Marina Pitisano: [00:48:11] Sarah need to build this branch. You won’t need to work. I think she’s working for the brand is huge.

[00:48:23] It’s on the news all the time.

[00:48:29] Sarah: [00:48:29] It is. Oh.

[00:48:32] Grant Williams: [00:48:32] Sarah, one thing I’m always interested in when, when people go through, create change is what, what did they learn? What did the person learn about themselves now? I think your, your change is really unique from what we’ve been talking about in this series so far, because cause she came with that.

[00:48:57] That double whammy time where not only will you have change, but the whole world that just changed around us at the same time. So what have you learned about yourself in the sort of the last five or six months?

[00:49:18] Sarah: [00:49:18] I think the thing that I learned about myself is, I have transferable skills. I think I was, a lot of the time I was doubting myself and aye, have skills [00:49:30] that are transferable to a biopharmaceutical company.

[00:49:33]Able to, conveying my skills succinctly. I think I was always second guessing myself and I think I have, a good skill set that can be used in, in other industries besides the one that I was in before. So, I think that’s what I learned about myself and also that, I have great, great. support networking Marina and I’ve got, I think. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. I think just be patient with yourself, work hard and be patient. And there’ll be light at the end.

[00:50:11] Grant Williams: [00:50:11] Yeah. Yep. Marina, before I launch into my, my last question, I think this is the right John, for you to give us the key tips and takeaways for this, for this case

[00:50:26] Marina Pitisano: [00:50:26] expert. For this one, I really want. The chief that I have for people is seek help, get help, Judy. This it’s a very difficult time at the moment. jobs are going to be shifting and changing. There’s huge. people applying for roles, there’s a lot of people applying for similar roles. So you really need to able to get help, to be able to define and.

[00:50:55] They’re able to really, be specific in what you [00:51:00] offer, what makes you unique? And really be able to deliver that in a resume and application and an interview. So you’ve got to really do that work. So getting a resume done on its own, having a lot of applications and not getting. Any feedback in STEM in strategy or showing that something’s not working, you need an expert to look at that and say it is not working because of these reasons let’s tweak this, let’s change this and hard as Sarah says, you see the logic at the end of the channel and you have success.

[00:51:37] Sarah: [00:51:37] Yeah.

[00:51:40] Grant Williams: [00:51:40] Sarah

[00:51:47] had a phrase this the best way. I

[00:51:51] Sarah: [00:51:51] think what.

[00:51:56] Grant Williams: [00:51:56] Given given what you’ve, what you’ve learned and the environment that you’ve been working in, you’ve Reiki, you’ve now been told that you’ve got, transferable skills to other industries and you’ve managed to break out of academia. And you’re now into the sort of commercial side of it. Do you feel that you.

[00:52:18] Have taken on a mouse experience in a way in us now that you could confidently go into. Any other [00:52:30] industry provided you had the, the minimum requisite skills? Like what could you, do you think you could go and be a, for instance, a tool God later now with the things you’ve learned about yourself, or could you go and could you go and run a busy, a busy office or be a tram drawing?

[00:52:52] Sarah: [00:52:52] I think you need some kind of skills. Driving the tramp. but I think in application of applying for those jobs, I think I would know where, where to marry the two to, the, to fulfill the key selection criteria is, and the requirements I would know how to apply for positions like that. yeah, I think I would, but I would also know my strengths by then.

[00:53:16]and I would know how to put them into the CV, but. Yes, I think I would. I think I would. but I know that I’m not a tram driver. I know that I’m not a tall guy drive.

[00:53:33] Grant Williams: [00:53:33] That was my sneaky question for people can, can get an idea because people have still been asking me since we’ve had this. Yeah. Like people will show me, but what do you talk about. Joe Joe,

[00:53:50] Sarah: [00:53:50] well,

[00:53:53] Grant Williams: [00:53:53] densifying the things about you that are unique to you that can help you [00:54:00] do all sorts of things that are presented in front of the VA.

[00:54:05] So I know it’s, it’s almost impossible for Marina to just say that, Yeah, it sounds like you’re just running down the list, but we’ll coordinate takeaway when I’m listening to your story, Sarah is that you would shop full of skills and abilities and, and, and you had everything about the process down, but when you, when you’re doing the same thing for so long, what all the skills.

[00:54:37] That you’ve accumulated. Ah, and, and it certainly those front of mind, things that, what do I have to do today? And yesterday that sit there in front of you?

[00:54:52] Marina Pitisano: [00:54:52] No, nothing. I think Sarah, I think it was a very good question. So I think what you were asking was. When you, when you were looking for future roles, do you, would you have the same process? Do you now know what a year and how to draw that out? And I think Sarah would feel very comfortable and I think that’s what I want to do with my clients is make them resilient and resourceful.

[00:55:19] I want them relying on me. I want them to learn what to do and be able to do it. Anytime if they ever need it again. So it’s about learning the [00:55:30] basics, learning the information and being able to apply

[00:55:32] Grant Williams: [00:55:32] it. What I didn’t ask. Well, what, and I think extending what Marina had just said. I get the feeling, Sarah, that you would be more prepared to push the boundaries the next time that you, I gotta, I gotta make a change.

[00:55:50] And, and as we all know things happen, so, so there might be that time coming up and I reckon you’ll be forearmed to, to deal with that easily. Is there something else that you would, that you would tell ’em somebody who’s confronted with a situation where they feel like they need to move then the, to get into something, something new, what would, what would be a simple message that you would, that you would give them?

[00:56:25]Sarah: [00:56:25] don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think. Yeah, young, you don’t know. don’t be afraid to ask for help and people are always willing to help you

[00:56:40] Marina Pitisano: [00:56:40] if

[00:56:40] Sarah: [00:56:40] you’ve got the best. Like if you are, you feel. People always have with, particularly with Marine, I think everyone has the best intentions, and they only want you to succeed.

[00:56:51] And, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when necessary or when you feel like you want to make that change. and as you said, [00:57:00] start no, no questions, dumb question. and just ask what’s the harm in asking for help,

[00:57:07] but

[00:57:07] Marina Pitisano: [00:57:07] ask an expert.

[00:57:15] Sarah: [00:57:15] I asked for help.

[00:57:23] Yes. And don’t be ashamed to ask for help. That’s what I think. I think if, if I didn’t ask for an expert for help, I would be where I was in January. So. Just take a step back and ask for help.

[00:57:39] Grant Williams: [00:57:39] I’m always finding out there are no dumb questions. There’s just you ask them.

[00:57:45] Marina Pitisano: [00:57:45] Yeah.

[00:57:49] Grant Williams: [00:57:49] Well, I think, I think in the village create your career journey for today. Well done. You.

[00:58:03] COVID high achiever. That’s what, that’s what you

[00:58:07] Sarah: [00:58:07] can expect to get

[00:58:12] that

[00:58:13] Grant Williams: [00:58:13] talk much well done. And hopefully all the analyze and protease and whatnot. And they’re all, they’re all gonna work in your.

[00:58:28] Marina [00:58:30] within we’re at the finish line. Well

[00:58:38] way, can people look up. All of your resources, if they’re in a situation where they want to make a change in their career.

[00:58:47] Marina Pitisano: [00:58:47] So the few things people could do, firstly, they could go to my website, WW dot  dot com and book in a career chat with me so they can book in a chat and I think goes through their situation and understand, and understand what they.

[00:59:05] Might need help in and see if I can help them. The other thing is, is that I’m also running, what’s called a and learn, through my meetup groups and join my meetup group, the Melbourne committee development, and, have a look at that and see, come in and again, get some help. And thirdly, if you want to know what a resume or cover letter should look like, download my application kit.

[00:59:25]and reach out to me on my website and that has, that’s what you want, and I can help you with that. So they’re the three things that people can do.

[00:59:33] Grant Williams: [00:59:33] So your, your discussion group is, is that through the website or do

[00:59:40] Marina Pitisano: [00:59:40] they just gotta, gotta get a made up and the velvet career development may tap group and they can join the meetup group and I ran chat and learns on a fortnightly basis.

[00:59:49] So they’ve got quite a few opportunities to talk to me.

[00:59:53] Grant Williams: [00:59:53] And I know you’re always promoting those on LinkedIn. So look for Marina on [01:00:00] LinkedIn. Zara. Thanks for joining us. It’s been, it’s been a voyage of discovery for me today and, I just wish you well, and I wish everyone who’s in this situation where you’re having to make a change.

[01:00:15]During the most tumultuous period that I think we’ve had apart from during world Wars. So good luck everyone. Thanks for

[01:00:25] Sarah: [01:00:25] it.

[01:00:30] Marina Pitisano: [01:00:30] Take care. Bye.


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