Finding Her Career Path in a New Country: Maria’s Story

Dear IMPACT Group,

Deciding to relocate with my husband from Shanghai to Cambridge was a big decision for our family. Apart from the concerns that we might find it difficult to get used to the local environment or community, I also worried about my own career path. How am I going to continue to develop myself professionally through getting a job in a whole new country without any local education background and little knowledge about the job searching channel, workplace culture, employment preference, etc.?

After moving, the first two months flashed by when we were busy looking for the right place to rent, finding nearby nurseries for my son, as well as trying to get familiar with local community to start our everyday life here in England. When we finally settled down with all of that, it was time for me to think about restarting my career in this country. I took time to browse several career websites and look for suitable positions. I came across some roles which I considered suitable, however, I didn’t pass the CV screening for most of them. After a month’s search, I only got one interview, which in the end turned out to be unsuccessful.

I was really upset about the process since I got rejection emails almost every week and I didn’t even get a chance to complete an interview to show the companies what I am capable of. Then my husband reminded me that there was this spouse job search program provided by his company to support relocating spouses as they go through the transition period with the help of a professional coach.

“She’s been very inspirational.”

At first, I didn’t expect too much from the program. I was not sure how much it would help me through my career journey of job searching and restarting my career. However, looking back, I would strongly recommend this program as well as my career coach, Jenny Butter, to anyone who has the same relocation experience and needs to restart their career in a whole new place.

I felt really lucky to have Jenny as my career coach. She’s been very inspirational. She asked me a lot of questions based on my situation, values, personality, skills, and passions. I can still clearly remember the moment she asked about the possible reasons why I got so little feedback when applying to those job opportunities. It made me realize I hadn’t been thinking about those really important questions before jumping into my job search without a target.

myIMPACT had several useful surveys to help me know more about what I want in my career. This really allowed me to rethink whether I would fit to be an accounting/financial analysis professional. When I was sure about this direction, Jenny and I went through another session to help me brand myself using the personal branding worksheet from myIMPACT. I answered a series of question that made me think through how my work helps others and creates value. Jenny helped me discover how exactly I should emphasize and sell my strengths using a brief summary. My LinkedIn profile was updated to provide recruiters with an overall introduction.

“I felt I was not doing this alone.”

This also provided me with good material to prepare my self-introduction for interviews. When we moved on with next steps to revise my CV and cover letter, I came across a position which I was really keen on considering. The organization as well as the skills required were both quite a fit for me. Jenny took time to go through the detailed job description to match my skills and knowledge. She ensured nothing important was missing. She emphasized the importance of using PAR (problem-action-results) stories in interviews and inspired me to discover more details combining my own work experience.

Thanks to Jenny and IMPACT Group’s CV professionals, I got to submit my application before it closed. With the revised CV and cover letter, I felt more confident when looking for suitable positions online. I had clarity on what I am good at and where I would like to contribute. I continued to apply for roles I found interesting and updated my LinkedIn profile to keep consistent with my CV. Although I didn’t pass the CV screening, I began to receive more and more approaches from external and internal recruiters.

I started to feel that a well-prepared CV and personal branding summary can draw more attention. This is a foundational step in job searching. Around two weeks later, I started to receive interview invitations. Jenny suggested I go through the various interview resources on myIMPACT, including webinars, articles, and potential questions. She was so nice that she prioritized some questions out of the list. We combed through my ideas for some tricky ones, which turned out to be very useful during the interview. Her encouragements on the day of the interview really meant a lot to me. I felt I was not alone on my career path.

“I am more confident in my interviews.”

With all the things we have prepared together, I am more confident in my interviews. I know clearly why I choose the company and the position, as well as what I am capable of. Now, I have an oral offer from one of the companies I have interviewed for. I also have several other interviews to attend in the coming weeks.

I am really grateful that I chose to participate in this program. And I got lucky enough to have such a great coach like Jenny. She would not just tell me what I should do, but she would also help me to discover myself and my interest. It was a great benefit to have her accompanying me along the whole career journey.

I really appreciate the inspirational sessions we had. Her questions for me that made me think deeper about what I want in my professional life. In addition, I enjoyed her thoughtful encouragement and reminders before and after my interviews.

Although our sessions will come to an end soon, the positive impacts and professional help from Jenny and IMPACT Group will be unforgettable.

Maria Meng