Having a strategic plan in your job search toolbox for Career Success.

Maribel returned to the workforce after maternity leave to find her whole department and management had changed. A role she had been in for more than 15 years was no longer the fulfilling workplace it once was. Her confidence had been shattered and she didn’t know who to turn to. Even though Maribel was in Human Resources, she struggled to identify her unique skills. She made the brave decision to contact Marina and hasn’t looked back. Marina was able to provide clarity, confidence and a strategic plan to help Maribel find career success.

Read the Transcript

[00:00:00] Grant Williams: [00:00:00] Letz Create Your Career. The Podcast that you have to have, if you’re going through the whole job search and career development, career management process.  I’m Grant Williams, I produce and press the buttons, sometimes well, sometimes badly. And joining me every time we sit down for this, Marina Pitisano, Australia’s foremost job coach, career coach.

[00:00:26] How would you really like to be defined?. Because Aussie described Marina as career coach, job search coach, and career development expert. Which one would you like.

[00:00:39] Marina Pitisano: [00:00:39] Well, good morning Grant. I just love how you keep changing my title all the time, but I love it. I’m actually a Job Search Coach, because I actually work with my client,  while they’re looking for a job.  But I have clients that want to create change, so we work through that.

[00:00:56] I might like to consider for their future and what changes I like to make in their career. And I also career coach people that are in roles and really need some support on how to manage their career in their roles. So I am one of many things, so you can call me whatever you like.

[00:01:14] Grant!

[00:01:16] Exactly.

[00:01:19] Grant Williams: [00:01:19] Always nice things Marina.

[00:01:21] Marina Pitisano: [00:01:21] I know, and they’re lovely. I love them every time. 

[00:01:24] Grant Williams: [00:01:24] Marina, we’ve got a guest as always. Who have you invited [00:01:30] along to share their story today?

[00:01:33] Marina Pitisano: [00:01:33] Well, I’d love you all to meet Maribel. Maribel, welcome to our, let’s create, create your career and podcast called career success story. Welcome this morning.

[00:01:43] How are you?

[00:01:44] Maribel: [00:01:44] I’m good. I’m good. Thank you, Marina, and thank you for inviting me and hello Grant, you as well. So, thank you so much for allowing me to, share my story today.

[00:01:54] Marina Pitisano: [00:01:54] Yep. And Maribel has a very interesting story. As we get into it, you’ll say, why I invited Maribel to come along. Because sometimes even the experts need a little bit of support and a little bit of guidance.

[00:02:08] So it was just a, it was a real pleasure working with Maribel, and I really hope that her story will inspire people to reach out, get some help and invest in their career.

[00:02:19] Grant Williams: [00:02:19] Well, there was an obvious Maribel, but obvious hook that implies that you’re an expert in some field. So give us a bit of a, an insight or background.

[00:02:32] How did you, get into the, the Marina world.

[00:02:36]Maribel: [00:02:36] Well, so I guess, I’m in human resources, so I guess when she says expert, although I struggled to think of myself as an expert, you know, recruitment is part of what I do. So, I think when you’re on the other side of the table, you might presume that, you know.

[00:02:53] If you’re doing the interviewing and recruiting people that you’re able to, do it for yourself. [00:03:00] but, so I, came to work with Marina. We started last, yeah, a couple, couple months ago. So,  to set the same, I had been with, an employer for my previous employer for over 15 years. And I had a fantastic time.

[00:03:17]was  I was employed there, my career really grew. I was led by fantastic ladies. And I really, I guess when I, when it came to the point where I had to kind of start thinking about other roles, it was something unexpected. I had returned from maternity leave a second time, and whilst I was gone on maternity leave, there was a whole

[00:03:40]change in my department. So I came back and the return to work experience wasn’t great at all. It was, disastrous. So it really kind of forced me to, look at what I was doing and whether or not I would stay or, or go elsewhere. So was  I was going through that difficult period, I can find it in a colleague of mine who had worked with Marina previously.

[00:04:07]So she, she knew everything that was going on, with what I was going through and she recommended Marina to me.  To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of career coaches and I didn’t even know that they existed for. Hi child professionals. So, I looked Marina rack online and so, you know, I read a bit about what she, did and the fact that she was able to assist my colleague [00:04:30] in getting her job at, at my employer at that time.

[00:04:33] I thought she must be great. So, yeah, so that’s how I, that’s how I, found out about Marina and I reached out to her and. I think from the first chat on the phone and when you kind of went through what, what you, what you do Marina, I thought this is exactly what I need.  Because my confidence at that point was just absolutely shattered until million paces and I just didn’t have, I couldn’t, I couldn’t put a strategy together or a plan because I just, I just didn’t know how to get myself,

[00:05:02] out of that and into the right frame of mind. And that’s, I think what it’s all about. You’ve got to be in the right frame of mind in order to, to go forward. So that’s how I, how I came across Marina.

[00:05:13] Grant Williams: [00:05:13] Maribel, can I clarify two things? It sounds a little bit like your story is similar to, one of the previous guests that we, that we had.

[00:05:25] And I just want to, Check if the situation was was similar, you came back to work and the workplace had changed. Was that because of a manager higher up the chain in your department being replaced and then wanting to make changes and shake up and make their own Mark?

[00:05:44] Maribel: [00:05:44] Yes, absolutely. Yeah.

[00:05:47] Grant Williams: [00:05:47] Okay. And then

[00:05:49] Did you, did you make the choice to leave or or did you leave with sort of no notice and not prepared for that situation to [00:06:00] arise?  

[00:06:01] Maribel: [00:06:01] No,I

[00:06:01] made, I made the choice to leave. I will say there was a point, during this job search process where I, I nearly did that I nearly kind of just, I had no, would have had no job to go to and I was nearly at that point where I was about to resign.  But I, I didn’t do that and thank God.

[00:06:21] And for a while there, things did improve with the new management. But as a high chopped professional, their fundamental values just didn’t align with mine. I, there was just a lot of things that I didn’t agree with. And I think if you’re going to have an impact in your workplace, you’ve got to, you’ve got to agree with the fundamentals that your reporting manager. You know, the manager you’re reporting to has.

[00:06:44]So yeah, so in the end it was my decision. I worked out my notice period. I, you know, and I went on and found another role.

[00:06:52] Marina Pitisano: [00:06:52] So just to create some clarity is that Maribel came to me at a point where she had returned back to work. Things had fundamentally changed. She didn’t leave the workplace.

[00:07:06] She stayed on, but she was fundamentally. Dissatisfied and didn’t feel that she was going to have a future in the company and then further, because of these changes. So you know, she was, once we clarified what Maribel wanted to do. So she knew that she had to leave. She wanted to leave the organization.

[00:07:27] She wanted to look,  [00:07:30] at what roles she’d like to pursue. And that’s what we clarified. She loved her role as HR. And sometimes people’s clarity gets a little bit minimized because it’s, you know, do, is it the role that I’m doing? Is it the organization that I’m working for? Is it the people later I’m working for?

[00:07:49] So what is it that I’m not enjoying or not being satisfied anymore? What is it that I do want to pursue? So we clarify that it was more the organization and management that wasn’t, creating a satisfying culture or opportunity for Maribel. And then we decided and we reached the point that it was really the role.

[00:08:08] She’d loved the role. She still loves being HR and therefore she wanted to pursue that. So once we got that clarity, we then went straight into job search where. We spent, we did spend a lot of time, changing Maribel’s resume because the most important part of a HR manager is what are your unique skills and what are your unique responsibilities?

[00:08:31] Because HR encompasses many areas. So within identified those areas, and they were able to,  and create a really good resume, which he got a lot of traction with. And I think what I always say to many of my clients is once they get a bit of traction in the market, once they get a little bit of, you know, Oh my God, someone else has given me a call and someone else is wanting to speak to me, it starts to build your confidence in job search.

[00:08:59] You then [00:09:00] realize that, you are valued. You are wanted, and there is, there are other opportunities. So then you can start to build that confidence to move forward. So that was the process that we started with, with Maribel.

[00:09:15] Grant Williams: [00:09:15] Maribel, I’m clear on that, on that process and the design of life. I’m just interested in exactly how you went about it. Which we, you saying Marina that whole time and you, you had another job to walk into as a result of working with Marina before you left.

[00:09:38] You’re at at that time, Karen employer. So you just walked from one riding to another. Yes,

[00:09:45] Maribel: [00:09:45] exactly.

[00:09:48] Yeah.

[00:09:49] Grant Williams: [00:09:49] So that’s a really fortunate position to, to be in. So did, do you think you had an advantage, being in the HR world and knowing how the process. Of selection and hiring goes from the employer side, when, when it came for you to be one of the candidates.

[00:10:12] Maribel: [00:10:12] Absolutely. and at the time, when I was job searching, my role was heavily focused on recruitment. And that was just, a coincidence. It was just a lot of roles to fill. So  I was looking for other roles. You know, my day job was actually recruiting people. So [00:10:30] in my mind, you know, I had, all the questions that I would normally ask.

[00:10:35]so I guess, you know, I did use that to kind of, I guess set my plan up for when I went in for interviews or when I was phone screened. but I guess. It’s still, it’s still difficult talking about yourself and your own strengths. So that’s really the part that I really needed practicing because I never talk about myself or my own strengths.

[00:10:55] And when you’ve been with an employer for such a long period of time and your careers evolved over the years, You know, in one sense you kind of, you know, that imposter syndrome just kind of creeps up on you cause you think, Oh, I’ve just gotten to where I’ve gotten to because of good luck or being in the right place at the right, right time.

[00:11:14]which isn’t the truth. A lot of people, you know, have. You know, fantastic careers. If they’d been with one employer, it’s not as common these days, but, it, it does happen, especially if you’ve got a workplace that is growing and really successful. So, yes. So really, I guess don’t, being on the other side did help, but I still needed, that extra bit of support to actually talk about myself and what I do.

[00:11:40] And what. I, and how I can add value to another, to another organization.

[00:11:45] Grant Williams: [00:11:45] Now, before we go through, what work Marina actually had to do to get you, Job ready? Is that the right, the right word for a new employer? I want to ask you something that I made a note when [00:12:00] you, you mentioned why you needed to make a change, and I, I hate this, this isn’t a hard question. But what would the fundamental values that you held that no longer aligned with your previous employer.

[00:12:19] Maribel: [00:12:19] So I think as a leader, you really need to, you really need to assist people that report into you, grow their professional development. So that was, that was lost. And I also think that a leader, you know, I think that traditional kind of model of, okay, you’ve got a leader up here, and the people that report into them. You know, they’re, they’re sitting up there and the other people are kind of right at the bottom. I, I don’t think that works anymore in the modern, workplace. I think everyone needs to have a collaborative approach. So fundamental was, was gone. And also to be curious and innovative that that was gone as well.

[00:13:03] So, you know, I felt like with , taking a step backwards in our team. We were at some point, at one point doing that, and it was great, and that was what was keeping me going is to be curious and innovative. But we were losing that, because of the new management that had, that had come in. yeah, I started, went backwards.

[00:13:21] Grant Williams: [00:13:21] So

[00:13:22] that sounds to me, without knowing who you were working for, or even what industry, that sounds like you’ve had a [00:13:30] very old school kind of manager coming and say, right. We’re going back to the hierarchical structure and, and and yeah, I guess a lot of people have have been through that and found that it’s a really inefficient way to work and if you need any, if anyone in the, in the line is not good at, at their job and not good at communicating, it’s then becomes a house of cards.

[00:14:00] Marina Pitisano: [00:14:00] If it’s called, it’s called command and control leadership.

[00:14:04] Grant Williams: [00:14:04] That’s

[00:14:04] Marina Pitisano: [00:14:04] right. That’s what it’s

[00:14:05] Grant Williams: [00:14:05] called. It’s all about.

[00:14:07] Marina Pitisano: [00:14:07] Yep. And it’s still is there today. It’s all about, I will command you on, on what to do, and I will control how you do it. And a lot of people in today’s world can’t work and function like that.

[00:14:21] And you know, Maribel is much younger than us. Right. But even those younger, they don’t, they can’t,  identify or work with leaders that have that old style mentality. They expect collaboration, they expect respect, and they expect trust that people will be trusted to do what they need to do. Not have them hovered over there over their shoulder and control every aspect of their work.

[00:14:51] Grant Williams: [00:14:51] Now there’s a really good point for us to go into. How, how you two work through the process. But I want to just follow on from the values [00:15:00] thing. From, from the outside, when you’ve decided to leave and you’re looking for a new employer, how do you, how do you have any way of, of being confident that the new employer will.

[00:15:15] Have the fundamental values that you want them to have. Because most of what an, unless you know somebody who is inside, most of what we say from any employer is pay our rubbish. It’s just fluffing tins. Until you inside. Marina, that’s probably one for you. How did you help, Maribel find an appropriate employer?

[00:15:41] Cause I’m, I’m thinking that maybe 60% of the ones that you can look at are not going to be appropriate.

[00:15:48] Marina Pitisano: [00:15:48] Well, what I’d like to do, thank you for that. I’d like to answer that because you’ll be very surprised when Maribel, shares with you the two roles she had to decide on. That was exactly what she had to pursue and think about.

[00:16:06] So it’s be Mirabel,  answered the question, then I’ll go through how we worked on it. But that’s a fantastic question Grant.  Because that’s exactly what Maribel had to do. And what she made her decision on is very much because of your question. So over to you, Maribel.

[00:16:24] Maribel: [00:16:24] Yeah. So, Iraq grant looky, you know, I’d tried to do as much research as I possibly [00:16:30] could, but, at the end of the day, unless she knows someone who’s working in there, you don’t really know, what it’s like.

[00:16:36] So, I had two, I had two roles that I, was at the final stages of. So one role, From the outset. You know, it looked like there was a lot of, I guess, gratifying work. but I had heard, and the hight Shaun network is actually, once you’re in it, I think there’s a lot of people that you can kind of, go to, to give you kind of insights on what it’s like.

[00:17:00] So one role, Would have been, I guess more in the sports area. and the highchair, later there I was really lovely. I had a great interview with her, great rapport. And then the other role that I was, considering I actually had, a former colleague, was already there. And so she knew exactly what it was that I was looking for.

[00:17:22]this role, had only just come up. So it was a brand new role because the business had taken off and they just needed more support. And she was actually able to give me that insight and tell me, this is what the workplace culture is like. You know, it’s, and, and it was wonderful and it is wonderful.

[00:17:41] I’m in, I mean, there now, all the values, it was all about the people. It was all about every touch point, was so important within that company. they deliberately didn’t want to behave like a corporate, even though they were getting. A lot bigger. And, you know, but they’ve, they really deliberately [00:18:00] don’t want to behave that way because they don’t think that, you know, they don’t believe that that’s what gets the best out of people.

[00:18:06] They want people to really have amazing experiences, as, as team members and as part of the workplace. So at the end of the day, two very different, I guess, raisins. I could have made an impact in the other, the other role that I was looking at and changed it. But I think coming from, my current employer at the time, I think I just wanted to kind of go into a workplace and really, I guess get immersed in that and, you know, and, you know, take off my development that way.

[00:18:36]You know, and there’s lots that I’m learning already, in this role and I love it.

[00:18:42] Marina Pitisano: [00:18:42] So from my perspective, what was really great!.  About this situation with Maribel was that as you heard from the beginning, she lacked a lot of clarity and a little bit of, lack of confidence. But as she continued on and started to get opportunities, her confidence grew.

[00:19:01] And what was really important, and I remember this conversation greatly because we had got to a point where she had. Being given the opportunity to speak, should we give it? She was shortlisted for two roles, and I always remember asking, Maribel, okay, what questions do we need to ask the managing directors of.

[00:19:22] Both of these roles?.  So that we can get some real clarity about the values of the organ, their personal values, [00:19:30] the values of their organization,. What their strategies were?, and how did they manage their people. And Maribel had got to a point where she was courageous enough to ask the really hard questions of an employer, of a potential employer.

[00:19:47] And it’s when we ask our candidates, so when I work with, with my candidates to say it’s a two way interview. You are interviewing them,  just as much as they are interviewing you.  And if you don’t have the confidence to interview your potential employer, you’ll never find out. But Maribel really wanted to make sure that she made the right decision and she was willing to ask the hard questions she had.

[00:20:14] Two interviews for both roles. One was with the they, her direct manager, but the second was with both the managing directors. And I remember Maribel ringing me saying they’re role both fantastic. And the graph. But it was the culture of the environment that she choose the culture of the environment. And that’s the role she accepted.

[00:20:37] She got accepted to both, but the one that she took was she based it on the culture and on the values and how the leader drove those values and changes in the organization. But that’s what’s really important is that asking those specific questions and driving it.  And  if you want to be really courageous, really courageous in your interview, say, [00:21:00] I’d like to meet the team that I’m going to be working with.

[00:21:03] And I’d like to talk to them about what the environment is like, but people will struggle because they want that job. They’re not going to do anything to upset the applecart. Maribel was given that opportunity to speak to some of the team members, get to know the managing director and get to know her direct boss.

[00:21:21] So by doing all that, she was able to create all the ticks in her head and decide, that’s the job I want to go for, and that’s the job I’m going to accept.

[00:21:30] Maribel: [00:21:30] Okay.

[00:21:30] Grant Williams: [00:21:30] Maribel, to help to help listeners to sort of understand a little bit more about, the situation. Before I ask, I hope it’s a good question for Marina, but a two part question for you.

[00:21:45] How do the sizes of the organizations compare for the one that you left for the one that you went to, and were you staying in the same kind of industry sector or were you moving sort of outside of your comfort zone?

[00:22:02] Maribel: [00:22:02] Definitely moved outside of my comfort zone. So my previous employer. I’m going on 11,000 employees.

[00:22:11]and my new employer has about 110. Okay.

[00:22:17] Grant Williams: [00:22:17] Now the one with 11,000, you weren’t working in a, in a, in an, in a built, in a single building or floor with 11,000 people. So your, [00:22:30] your, your work environment in your previous employer. Were you in like the head office group or were you in a satellite group? Okay.

[00:22:38] So that, that head office environment and the team you were working with was about how big?

[00:22:45]Maribel: [00:22:45] So that office, was about 900 people. And I guess in, in terms of, my portfolio and what I looked after, I saw I was looking, so the business had two, two parts to it. I looked after one part that was based in that office and that was about 700 employees.

[00:23:04] Grant Williams: [00:23:04] Okay.

[00:23:04] And the, and the name of the new, the new employer is about a total of a hundred. So that’s one location.

[00:23:15] Maribel: [00:23:15] Well, no, actually, sorry. They’ve also got, team members that are spread out across Victoria.  But, and the support office, is in one location and I’ll look after them as well. But yet we do have team members, spread out, I reckon maybe 50% of those, yeah.

[00:23:32] Of the entire, business. Again, that’d be spread out across Victoria.

[00:23:37] Grant Williams: [00:23:37] And, and in both of the situations, would you have been considered in the senior management group? Like in the, in the top decision making team?

[00:23:49] Maribel: [00:23:49] Yes.

[00:23:49] Grant Williams: [00:23:49] Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Marina, over to you. How, how was it difficult or how was it different for you to be working with someone who is [00:24:00] already an expert?

[00:24:02] Considered an expert in the field that they, moving around in.

[00:24:08] Marina Pitisano: [00:24:08] Well, I was very privileged to work with Maribel.  Because Maribel in many ways reminded me of myself of when I left HR. So when I left HR 12 years ago, I remember feeling quite lost around. I was able to help other people and guide them. But when you have to look at yourself and look at your own strengths and skills and capabilities, you can sometimes, play them down rather than play them up.

[00:24:35] And in some ways you don’t know how to play them up. So I really resonated with Maribel in many ways. I totally understood.  Why she needed, some external support? And, and I was, as I said, very privileged because as an expert in her field, she was, we were, she was able to be vulnerable with me and share her concerns and share, share her, areas that she wasn’t really.

[00:25:03] Good at, even though she does that for a living. For others, it’s all about how do we get the support for ourselves and because we both, we both come from that HR background and that HR industry, I was able to understand Maribel extremely well around what she does, and I was able to then define it and clarify it more carefully and drive it.  Because

[00:25:27] what Im experties  is, is [00:25:30] navigating the market externally to her own environment. And I remember when I left national Australia bank, I knew my environment extremely well. But I don’t know. I did not know the external market. So that was the similarity that Maribel and I had. Yes, she knows her,  she knows her organization, her environment extremely well.

[00:25:49] She had to network, move around. She would know exactly what to do. But once you go to the external market, you don’t have an idea of what jobs are available. How do I pitch myself for these jobs? What do I need to highlight? And I’ve worked with many other HR managers in a job search role, and I know what the people.

[00:26:07] Falls are around how to drive your key successes and achievements and areas of HR. So that’s what made us work really, really well together in the sense of, you know, sometimes I would draw on her own experience. So what questions are you asking your potential employees? And sometimes she would think, Oh, I’ve been asking this.

[00:26:26] So that was asked to view, what would you say? And what I was able to do is message those answers in such a way that, that she would, drive her best self in the interview and in the application,

[00:26:40] Grant Williams: [00:26:40] Maribel, that that’s a, a process that, Marina, well understood. Having worked with other HR, candidates before, what did you find the most.

[00:26:56] Difficult part of the process?. [00:27:00] And what did you learn about yourself that, that sort of surprised you as a result of changing, changing streams?

[00:27:12] Maribel: [00:27:12] To be honest, the part that I found most difficult was, Probably probably the lack of, and this is another issue altogether in terms of the market, the lack of really good part time roles in HR.

[00:27:27]I found that to be a bit of a roadblock.  Because when I was doing my research and to companies, and  what types of roles were available. I always seem to kind of fall upon the fact that they were full time.  And I’d actually still go for them. Because the, in some, for some, for some businesses, they are actually open to, flexible working arrangements.

[00:27:50]But as it turned out, for all the full time roles that I went for, they weren’t willing to, To change the role was full time. So I found that to be a bit of a road block. But also, you know, I, I don’t think strategy’s my strong suit. So, I, I found it hard to not kind of, I guess the term overshare too much at the start.  You know, cause I’m really an honest and transparent person.

[00:28:15] Just, that’s just in my nature. And so it was really helpful having Marina actually steer me out of that and go, no, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t kind of share that at the start. Maybe hold that off until first interview. And, and specifically we were [00:28:30] talking about the hours, in terms of doing four days versus five days for those roles.

[00:28:34]But also just dialing up what it is that they, want to know. You know, an interview wants to know that you’re capable of doing.  So,  I kind of have the, Unfortunately, I think, I think, I think I just talked too much about certain things that maybe aren’t relevant. so I really needed Marina to kind of steer me in that direction.

[00:28:50] Now just hone in on these particular, tasks of your role because that’s what they really want to know. you know, that you’re capable of doing. You know, the rest can come out later. But those were the two roadblocks, I think is the part time issue. And, really, I guess targeting.  What it is that they want to know about you, even though it might be lots of things that, that you could offer.

[00:29:15] Grant Williams: [00:29:15] So this is really for both of you mean if you can address it first, Maribel. How do you, how do you address, something where you, you know, you have a tendency to  as you said, overshare or just talk?. I was thinking maybe it could be filling space. How, how do you confront that and address it? And then Marina, could you take us through from a coach’s perspective. How, how you practically dealt with that Lucky’s it practice?

[00:29:46] Do you practice together.

[00:29:51] Maribel: [00:29:51] Yeah. Yes. Yeah. You definitely practice. I think the only way to learn how to do something is to actually do it. So, Marina and

[00:30:00] [00:29:59] Grant Williams: [00:29:59] Okey stopped doing 

[00:30:00] it


[00:30:00]Maribel: [00:30:00]

[00:30:00] yeah. Or stopped. Yes. Yeah. Yes. So there was, yeah, we went from the third. A lot of practice runs. but you know, preparing as well.

[00:30:10] I think, you know, if you actually write out what it is that you want to say and then come back to it and then practice it, I mean, that kind of helps reshape, how you respond when you’re in that situation.

[00:30:23] Marina Pitisano: [00:30:23] So for my perspective was that, As we, so when we get to the interview stage, That’s where I work with people like Maribel and everyone else to start to look at how do you prepare for these interviews.

[00:30:37] So the first thing I did,  was that I made Maribel aware that she gives a lot of information and maybe asks for the information too early on. So made her aware that we need to, so we need to start to be a lot more. CLIA and a lot more concise in the answers we need to provide. And so yeah. What I practice with my clients is that we create the scenarios that need to be shade in the interview.  And we need to highlight at least 10 very specific scenarios that she’s proud of and that she achieved in her current role that she could then deliver in that interview.

[00:31:18] So exactly what Maribel said, we actually write out all those scenarios and we practice them really thoroughly. And we do follow the star approach, which [00:31:30] Maribel as a recruiter provides to other potential employees. So the way we worked through it was that we created those scenarios using the situation, task, action result.

[00:31:42] And Maribel was just getting clearer and clearer about what would be the scenarios that she would talk about. But what was more important was what success did she achieve when she started to connect with the amount of success she had. She wrote a whole , she wrote a whole flexible working policy for her whole organization. Which has now been, it’s now been followed by the organization.

[00:32:08] She, she forgot about that. I remember I was at Maribel, that’s a big job that you did and you forgot about it. She said, Oh yeah, I just did that last year. And I said, well, you know, flexible working hour.  You know, making sure people could go out on full time. And, and she said, yeah, I forgot about that.

[00:32:24] Because we do forget we are in, we’re in the process of doing our job. We’ve got our heads down, bum up. We forget about what we’ve achieved. And by her bringing out all these scenarios, demonstrating all her achievements. Create and how she got to that point. So breaking it all down. She had very strong scenarios that she then took into those interviews and was able to really sell herself well.

[00:32:49] And for those people that don’t do that preparation and don’t do that work and don’t remind themselves of those achievements. There’ll be left behind, definitely. But Maribel was able to really [00:33:00] create absolutely clear case studies and scenarios that she was able to market and she’s really proud of them.

[00:33:07] And she was able to live with that in a really proud way that made them understand that Maribel has a lot to offer their organizations.

[00:33:16] Grant Williams: [00:33:16] Maribel, You mentioned, the, a roadblock was the  part time, lack of availability of, of positions in the part, part time, space, for want of a better word, but part time situations.

[00:33:31] You, you’ve written a policy for it. Of a very large organization, back, flexible working. How frustrating did you find it? When you were out there? Having worked, worked up a policy for a magic corporate entity, and then when you’re going out there, you’re finding that the kind of roles that you’ve just, theoretically made possible to exist in, in the organization you’re leaving.

[00:34:03] Aren’t out there in a whole lot of organizations that you were researching.  And I’m guessing they only had a head of public front saying how family-friendly Daya. how frustrating was it to find out that the reality. Wasn’t really, as it’s presented to the world.

[00:34:24] Maribel: [00:34:24] I was so disappointed. I actually couldn’t believe the [00:34:30] lack of, the lack of part time roles, but the lack of flexibility that some of these employers.  You know, just had, when you ask the question, you know, can I work this role part time?

[00:34:41]There was just no, no movement on that. So I found that extremely disappointing. I thought, you know, I started this process tip last year. So I thought, geez, in this day and age, I really would have thought, you know, that, employers kind of really change their way of thinking.  And it just kind of made me realize, and I don’t know if this is across Australia can only really speak about Victori. But yeah.

[00:35:04] I felt like we’re still really behind the eight ball in terms of flexible working arrangements. I think a lot of employers say they want to be because they know that the majority of good chunk of the workforce these days are working parents. And you know, in the modern day, like life is just so busy and it’s just kind of impossible sometimes for women to women in particular to, you know, be the mother and have their, you know

[00:35:35] have the time to look after their kids and have their careers. And other things as well is that there’s a lot of platforms. New platforms out there that are helping to support working parents. And you’ve read about all these stories about women who have had phenomenal careers. You know, at the real, you know, high levels, you know, people running their own.

[00:35:54] Companies or even, you know, directors and they’re able to work flexible. And I think, well, hang on. Why, why is [00:36:00] it if there are some people out there that have it? And there’s still a lot of employees that haven’t moved forward with that. They’re just stuck in one way of working. And the reality is, you know, there is not one way of working anymore.

[00:36:13] And I think, and I think that’s where we’re really falling behind. You know, and it’s an a shame, because I really do think that, working parents are just, they’re the most engaged people. Sometimes you can have in a workplace because they’re so time port, they just have to get their stuff done. So, you know, when I walk into work, I know I’ve got, currently working three days.

[00:36:33] I just have to get through all my staff. Because I know that, I’ve got three days to do it . And I’ve got other stuff I’ve got to do at home. There’s, I can’t, I can’t work at home when I’ve got my kids. So we’re just probably a bit more efficient in that respect.

[00:36:47]Grant Williams: [00:36:47] And  I’m thinking that working a three day role, there’s other people in the, in your work group who are reliant on you having done your work for them to do their

[00:36:59] Maribel: [00:36:59] work.

[00:37:00] Exactly. So that’s the part that odd, you know, I take that responsibility of knowing I just want to get through the tasks I need to do so that they are not left picking up the pieces. So I’ve got to be able to, to manage that. Yeah. Before

[00:37:16] Grant Williams: [00:37:16] we move on from the flexible work issue, Marina,

[00:37:22] Marina Pitisano: [00:37:22] I just, I just ha, I just wanted to say that,

[00:37:26] when I was working with Maribel and we discussed, [00:37:30] I mean, I am aware that the opportunities per time in the market are quite few. And I, and that was reinforced working with Maribel, and I understood that it was difficult to get these part time positions. But I think we need to highlight here that what’s interesting is getting in the door of these organizations.

[00:37:53] The opportunity of working part time is quite limited. Which is interesting because once you’re in the organization, there are heaps of opportunities to work part time. Isn’t that correct, Maribel? Because if you’re in the organization, if you’re in the organization, they promote flexibility. They promote.

[00:38:13] Opportunity to work part time from home, all these things. And that’s what Maribel was getting really confused.  Because she thought once you’re in the organization, the opportunities exist. But trying to get into organizations, the opportunities are extremely limited. And I think that is what organizations have to start to think about is why are we.

[00:38:35] Why are we stopping that from the beginning? Why are opportunities, flexible opportunities being opened up for people to enter into the organization and a part time opportunity. Rather than waiting for people to get in doors as full time and then giving them the choice. And I even was quite surprised at how little there is considering.

[00:38:58] Every employer talks [00:39:00] about we provide you flexible options. So I think organizations now need to really think about opening the opportunities from a pattern perspective rather than just waiting for people to come in full time and then be given the opportunities once they’re in the doors. I think that’s something that organizations need to start thinking about and really driving a lot better.

[00:39:22] Grant Williams: [00:39:22] Maribel, is that, does that situation arise, do you think, cause you came out of a, an employer of 11,000 people is, is that because the front door of the hiring process,  is disconnected from the, from the sort of internal hallway doors or corridor doors, of the management of staff once, once they’re, there.  Are the people making the decisions to take people on for roles.

[00:39:51]not the same people who are making decisions about chopping up positions and responsibilities and allocation of resources.

[00:40:04] Maribel: [00:40:04] I think, look, the employee that I came from, I think that really dependent on the, that dependent on the manager who was recruiting for the role with some managers who was actual, who were actually, you know, open to the idea of flexible working arrangements.

[00:40:21]And then there were other managers that, just, you know, weren’t like they’d all, they’d had to success with full timers and just couldn’t think to [00:40:30] themselves.  This role can actually work on a part time level. How can we re reorganize the work so that it works for this person because I think they’re a real gun and they could really add value to the company that I actually think it depends on the hiring manager.

[00:40:46]And whether or not they’re open to it and have that adaptability of how can we make it work so that a part timer can actually, do the job as well. Because that’s the thing these days is that, you know, you can list on a piece of paper what your hard skills are. The soft skills, I think is a lot harder to.

[00:41:07] Tapping into, you can’t, you don’t say that on paper. So when you’re recruiting, I mean that interview process really, you’ve got to dive deep and say whether or not their values align with the organization. And, it is a shame to kind of sign or to PayPal because they can’t do X amount of hours. But their values may align.

[00:41:26] So it’s just, yeah, it’s lost. It’s a lost resource.

[00:41:30] Grant Williams: [00:41:30] Marina, what’s your perspective on a broader scale about why that conflict arises?

[00:41:39] Marina Pitisano: [00:41:39] I think it’s exactly what Maribel says. I think. People can get stuck in the way they do things in the sense of we work. These jobs are full time, so therefore we’re going to look for full time employees.

[00:41:51] And they don’t realize that it can, they can craft the jobs in different ways to create more opportunities. And it’s [00:42:00] really the people that are willing, the people is that are willing to look at change people. It is that are willing to take risks. People, leaders that are willing to align their employees.

[00:42:09] But with for the right reasons like values and capabilities, rather than, yep, you’re the best full time person for this job. You know, it’s really those people that are able to, create change, is where we’re going to be able to see change in the, in the organizations.

[00:42:28] Grant Williams: [00:42:28] Maribel, you’ll change your reason for making the decision to change came about.

[00:42:36] As a result of a Changed  situation in the workplace. When you were away on maternity life.  What, what would you say? Anybody who is returning to work from maternity or parental life, and funds that, that the workplace might have changed in the period that had been a Y. What would you say to them about preparing to come back to work?

[00:43:07]Maribel: [00:43:07] I would say, definitely try and connect with your employer before you return. And I would really think about, I guess in terms of your integration back into that team. Try and get out of them some kind of plan to kind of help them assimilate back into that workplace and get the, their [00:43:30] expectations up front.

[00:43:31] I think that’s the part that I, I don’t know if it would have turned out differently. I kind of think it wouldn’t have, But, the bit that I struggled with when I returned was I didn’t know what the expectations were this new  person just didn’t make that clear from the start. And so as I did my job, as I normally do it, that’s where the conflict kind of started to arise because, you know, it was a different view of what was expected, but that was never communicated to me.

[00:43:58]So I would probably try and do that. But, at the same time, I think you have to realize it. That is also the role of the manager. They have to ensure that when you come back from maternity leave. That you have that support. I personally think that’s just an essential, and you really shouldn’t have to push, to get that from employers.

[00:44:18] They should be doing that for you.  Because returning from maternity leave is difficult for some people. You know, not everyone has an angelic child that sleeps through the night. you know, if you’re not sleeping, you know, it just interferes with so many ordinary functions of your day. So, but. also you automatically, even if you’re not aware, your confidence is, a little bit level when you do return because you’re now having to do this juggle of art.

[00:44:44] Now I have this child that I have to look after 24, seven, plus. I have to go back and be the person I was before I had the child. So. That’s a juggle and some people struggle with it more than more than others.  But my, what I really [00:45:00] think people need to remember is that, you know, you should never be made to feel undervalued when you come back to work after having a baby.

[00:45:08] That’s really, that’s really not the right way. And if your employee is going to do that, definitely stand up for yourself and say something. And if you don’t think that it’s going to change and that they’re not going to support you. Then you know, you should think about going else where and don’t think you can’t do it just because you’ve come back to work after having a baby.

[00:45:26] Yes, you can. You can. Absolutely.

[00:45:31] Grant Williams: [00:45:31] Marina, is this a common situation where people come back from, an extended period of leave and find that the organization has. Has moved on  and that, I, I don’t want this to sound sort of insulting or insensitive, But do people come back, after a period of lave and perhaps have a nostalgic view.

[00:45:59] Of, of what the workplace was, was, Because there’d been a, and by missing it and by missing the interaction with all their work, my two might be friends and then they come in and, and everything, the workplace has moved on.

[00:46:15] Marina Pitisano: [00:46:15] Well,  I think it’s nostalgic. I think what happens is women or men. Because men can have paternity leave come back into a workplace where it has moved on and therefore [00:46:30] you’re trying to adjust to a new, or you’re trying to adjust with all the changes.

[00:46:35] But you’ve changed,  because now you need a better work life balance. Because once upon a time, you might’ve been able to work back till midnight. Like some people or two really late or come in early.  And now you have to do your job within a certain amount of days.  Because you’ve now got someone that’s very precious at home to look after.

[00:46:56] So you can’t give or provide, the amount of work that you, you know, you can’t extend your hours. You have to do that period of time. And I think organizations need to support. People coming back into the work port workforce understand, really provide that work life balance for them. Help them, you know, have programs.

[00:47:22] Like Maribel’s had, and I know NAB had, which was engaged with the people that are maternity leave way before they come back and let them know about the changes that the know about this change of structure, the change of responsibilities, the change of culture or values that now people need to abide or work by.

[00:47:43] So therefore, when you come back into the workplace, you’ve already. Known about those changes and you can work in, you could work in quite nicely. But I do think the individuals that come back, they’ve changed a lot more. They’re not nostalgic. They’re coming back saying, I want to work. I’m [00:48:00] going to provide you my a hundred percent but I can only give it to you in those amount of days that we’ve agreed on.

[00:48:05] The rest of the time, I’m doing something else, which is just as important or even more important. So it’s really about,  collaborating with the leaders, understanding, you know, the, the responsibilities of the employee and what’s respected and accepted and being able to negotiate and do that really well.

[00:48:26] And I think what Maribel was saying is that,  sometimes if the transition is difficult.  If the, If the responsibilities are not clearly outlined, if the expectations aren’t clearly highlighted and the fact that she’s changed as an individual of what she can provide. If you’re telling someone that they’re going to be part time, you need to work with them on a part time basis.

[00:48:50] You know, you need to respect that about that employee, not ask them to drive a full time job in a part time opportunity. So it’s. It’s, it’s a responsibility on both parties to make sure that they’re going in wide open and the employers are helping them transition. Well.

[00:49:07] Grant Williams: [00:49:07] And don’t send that every day.

[00:49:12] Maribel: [00:49:12] Yeah,

[00:49:14] Marina Pitisano: [00:49:14] exactly. I mean, that kinda, you know, and it’s getting harder and harder.  Because you know, employers, employees are working longer and longer, and you know, the demands are higher and higher. However, you know, things change and you’ve got to find a balance somewhere [00:49:30] between what people, what the expectations are and what people can really deliver.

[00:49:34] Maribel: [00:49:34] Yeah. But I also think as well, a lot of companies, a lot of employers still hold that really old view that what success looks like is how many hours, how, you know, how long do you work? It’s not necessarily if you’re efficient and really productive in the time that you are working, you can still achieve the same things.

[00:49:57] It’s not that you do 10 hours a day. You know., That’s not what success necessarily looks like,

[00:50:04] Grant Williams: [00:50:04] and that doesn’t include other metrics, like how many people are taking stress leave or how many people have guilt for 10 years. So the metrics are stupid.

[00:50:16] Maribel: [00:50:16] yeah. Maribel,

[00:50:18] Grant Williams: [00:50:18] to sum up your experience, what did you learn and what could you, pass on as perhaps an inside tip for anyone facing your situation and thinking about working with some unlocked Marina .

[00:50:37] Maribel: [00:50:37] Definitely. Sake sake, that external suppor. I found that really helpful. Even though,  I actually had a really strong, highchair network. So, you know, I’m in contact with a lot of previous colleagues in the highchair field.  Who have gone on to be very successful. And so I had that, with me all along.

[00:50:57] But I think getting that external [00:51:00] support in particularly, someone like Marina who’s actually got that insight knowledge into the current market, I think that’s really helpful because the market continually evolves and changes. And I think that’s important to know what it is that your up against because then you,

[00:51:18]can really tailor your approach. When you’re looking for roles. But, you know, I really found Marina has helped so useful, and it was all over the phone. So, gentlemen, we didn’t even mate. So that’s how good it was. So, you know, there’s just a lot of, There’s a lot of information in this, the strategies that you, really instilled in me that, yeah, I’m probably gonna use now, you know, moving forward.

[00:51:44] But it’s also given me that, I guess confidence that, you know, for my next role, like, I don’t have to sit at the same company. I can, you know, my career can continually evolve and change and I can,  look up side. I think that’s the one thing, the one takeaway is it now I can look outside rather than, you know, what’s some, what’s just around me?

[00:52:06] Grant Williams: [00:52:06] Marina, you know, you know what time of the, of the session it is. It’s your top tips time.

[00:52:13] Marina Pitisano: [00:52:13] Well, I, I, I always love this part because we did the top tips and I listened to your story and I, you know, for me, it is reminiscent of our experience. What I, what I learned from working with Maribel. So I learned just as much from my clients [00:52:30] as I hope they learn from me.

[00:52:31] And you know, it was really important when working with Maribel that we really stressed that it’s a two way interview. You know, made sure that Maribel really stressed what she was looking for, what she needed and what environment, culture, leadership style she was going to about to go into.  Because she wasn’t going to make the same mistake.

[00:52:51] With working with someone similar to what she’s already working with. I did spend a lot of, Oh, I remember that night when Maribel called me and said, I’m going to leave her and I can’t cope with it anymore. I’ve got to go. I can’t do it. And I said, Maribel,  I want you to stay,  because if you think it’s tough now and you’re going to work, it’s going to be tougher when you’re not earning income, and I do not want you to get desperate and take anything.  Because you then will say to me, I haven’t got money coming in and I need to look after my family.

[00:53:25] You do not want to look for a job. With that desperation in mind. I was able to convince him to stay on. And that was really important. And even then months later, she said to me, I’m really pleased, Marina, that you convinced me to stay because I think I would have struggled trying to find a job and being out of work and having financial issues.

[00:53:45] So please, if you’re looking for a job while you’re in a job, stick to it. It’s the best and ideal situation. Really make a list of your, you know, make a list of your achievements, which Maribel. Make a real list and craft them [00:54:00] into really good answers because that way you got to show the best self of the best self to a future employer.

[00:54:08] And one thing that we did try, we did do a bit of cheating. Was that, we used to go for part rather than, we used to go for full time jobs. So how our strategy was, we’re going for every job and we’re going to then make sure that if we become the winner of that job, we’re going to negotiate some part time opportunities.

[00:54:28] And we did that on two on two roles. Remember, Maribel. The original roles that you got report. She was shortlisted for other roles and she spent some really valuable time saying to them. But I can only work part time. And there was one that was like really trying to negotiate with her, but they just couldn’t get it over the line, but they were willing to do anything.

[00:54:53] So if you become a successful candidate, you can negotiate salary. And I was of work. So that’s, that’s what, because that’s what Maribel was saying. I’m going to go in and say I want to work part time. And I’d say to her, no, no, no, no, no. We need to win the role. Once we won the role, we can negotiate, and we were able to do that.

[00:55:11] So Maribel,  Showed me as well, that that is, that is a strategy that,  people can use. It is a strategy that you can actually win a part time job if you are the successful candidate for that role. So they are the tips from Maribel’s experience.

[00:55:29] Grant Williams: [00:55:29] Don’t [00:55:30] move on until you’ve got somewhere to go to. Yep. Yes.

[00:55:36] Negotiate from a position of strength. You need to do renovation rather than build a whole new house. That’s really the way the Whitey guy now feedback’s always good, isn’t it? Whether you’re in, whether you’re in a role or even if you don’t, if you’re not the successful applicant, you would still like fade back, wouldn’t you?

[00:56:02] And it’s no different in the podcast world. Well, you block a review or two, that’d be really nice. Tell us how you think we’re doing. So you can do that on Apple podcasts or a pod chaser is another really good place to do that,  or have you got a comment section on your route website Marina.

[00:56:21] Marina Pitisano: [00:56:21] Yes. I can always leave, their feedback or comments on my website, www.letzcreate.com.au let’s with a z.com.au, as you always say, grant,

[00:56:33] Grant Williams: [00:56:33] you’re doing my work for me, Marina. That’s, that’s great because wherever available, everywhere, every way you can find podcasts, pretty much. You can find. Let’s create waking wake app here. We guy Maribel, it’s great that you got, I really,

[00:56:51] good outcome. And I can see, I’ve got the advantage that the listeners don’t have of, [00:57:00] say your big smile. It’s obvious it worked out and that’s really, really good.

[00:57:04] Maribel: [00:57:04] And

[00:57:06] Grant Williams: [00:57:06] I reckon your new workmates are probably really, really, really happy. And the old work mates probably going, wish Maribel was still here.

[00:57:16] Maribel: [00:57:16] Well, I wish them all the best, but yes, I’m really happy in terms of where I am. So I’m actually so excited. I never thought I’d be this excited. In a new role. I think, I thought I’d be more scared than anything, but I just, yeah, I think I’ve found my new home. Absolutely. Well, that’s

[00:57:34] Grant Williams: [00:57:34] what it’s all about, isn’t the Marina, and that’s why you do what you do.

[00:57:37] Yep. I got it. We’ve, we’ve come to the, the final curtain, as I say, so thanks for listening. Let’s create your career as Marina said, L E T Zed. LetzCreate.com.au, Ray chap, or, if you really sneaky, you can, you can, stalk Marina on LinkedIn if you really smart. So, Maribel, thanks so much for coming on board on Grant Williams.

[00:58:08] We’ll

[00:58:08] produce this thing. We’ll see you on the next episode.

[00:58:14] Marina Pitisano: [00:58:14] Thanks, Grant. Thanks Maribel. Bye everyone!


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