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Member Testimonials

Journeys and Stories of Success

These testimonials are provied directly by members who have successfully secured employment and wanted to share their experience and learning with others to learn from.

These stories and messages are truly inspiring and serve to give hope to others who are still going through the challenge of being out of work in todays challenging economy - it is possible!

These journeys are in date order so please do scroll down to see how, over time, what has motivated members to secure their role, the trends in what they have learned and how you can benefit....

Enoy the journey....

Name: James Wong

Date secured work: 14 Novermber 2016

Member journey: "Climb Every Mountain. Thank God for LinkedIn. Compared with CV's, job boards and recruitment agents, LinkedIn has shown to be the most productive tool for new work opportunities.

Knowledge Academy found my profile and got in touch about my experience in six sigma.  Followed up with communication, correspondence and interview.  This led into my past training and work experience at Motorola, the company that pioneered six sigma.   My recent qualification and experience in teaching was also relevant.

I had been contemplating with self-employment for quite a while but hesitated due to uncertainty in securing work.  And work came along as I was offered an opportunity as a free-lance trainer for Knowledge Academy.   With a customer in hand, this created an ideal situation to commit into self-employment.  I have been busily pre-occupied through the process of the setting up my own private limited company, understanding tax implications and finding an accountant.  

It is a new lease of working life in a manner that I can control my destiny to work when I want to.  So, important having time to spend and care for family at home.  So, different compared to working in full time employment.  So different now that I have to be more aware of contracts, time and costs in addition to fulfilling work obligations to customers.

It has not been easy coming, nor smooth going, but an uphill struggle.  A lot of research, soul searching and finding out for oneself.  A lot of a trekking around to explore possibilities and to get somewhere despite disappointments on the way.  Of rainbows and mountains, I thought of an oldie "Climb Every Mountain" from the musical "The Sound of Music":

Climb every mountain, Search high and low,
Follow every byway, Every path you know.

Climb every mountain, Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, 'Till you find your dream.

Many thanks to all for the experience at M3JC, old and new friends, and particularly to Richard for being there when I climbed mountains".

Name: John C

Date Secured Job: 22 April 2016

Member Journey: "The M3 Job Club is an excellent facility for job seekers not only for the 16 week presentations programme but also from the aspect of the encouragement and support of other members who are going through the same journey".

"Having the M3 Job Club recommended by Ray Walsh, my job coach at Basingstoke Job Centre, enabled me to improve my CV, be more effective in Networking, write better cover letters, increase my confidence, be well prepared for interviews and express my thanks afterwards, and have Friday mornings to look forward to in the company of encouraging people interested in my successful job hunting"

Name: Ian C

Date Secured Job: 22 April 2016

Member Journey: "This has been my second time with the Club, previously 2014 for about 5 months. I feel the dynamics between the Club and myself has been different this time round.  This being more about self-attitude in part due to my approach to the Career and the point I’m at in age and the general needs of finding a similar role/salary.  My decisions and influences are different to that of the 1st time".

"As strange as it may seem to others, having the ability (no pressure from outside to attend every time) to pick and choose when to come and when to stay, actually made the sessions I did attend more worthwhile. I seemed to take more of the chosen points of interest away with me and applied where necessary this time and it has been almost a “pick-me-up” tonic by attending when the need was there to do so".

"I felt when I did contribute to sessions it had more value as I could relate from the 1st time struggles, and use the most recent experiences when feeding into this year’s sessions.  Perhaps it may help the individual to relate their story from 1st time to coming back the 2nd time when coming back on-board to M3. It has been a positive experience, on both occasions, but attending less has actually benefited me more".

"Never stop learning how to do a CV or how to approach an interview.  Get that voice inside your head to be positive and so my advice for 2nd timers is, still attend, make use of the key sessions that will help you.  There is an awful lot of value in giving up the Friday mornings to attend M3 Club even if you feel you have seen it before". 

Name: Sarah R 

Date Secured Job: 18 December 2015

Member journey: M3JC has been a life line to me! When everybody around you seems too busy ‘working’ and all you hear is “have you got a job yet?” you feel lonely and at rock bottom… However, Richard, the friends and acquaintances I have made, the volunteers, trainers and everyone else get at M3JC get a full applause from me!! I will be keeping in touch and will do what I can, when I can….THANK YOU!

I originally joined M3JC in 2011 when they were in the old building in Basingstoke, I was travelling from Peterfield in those days and although the distance was long, it was well worth it for the support I was getting at a management level.

Although there were other job clubs, I found M3JC to be full of like-minded people I could share the ‘unemployment’ journey with. The training support was targeted, helpful and inspiring.

When I became unemployed again in 2013, with a brief interlude for 5 weeks in a dead end job, M3JC was there for me again. At the time I felt a double failure being unemployed again! Richard was amazing and welcomed me back like a long lost friend and agreed that it was not good to be in the wrong job; and there were other opportunities available to me where I could flourish and be appreciated. He supported me when I felt too down sometimes from rejection after rejection over a period of 18 long months to come to M3JC.

He explained how he understood having experienced similar feelings first hand, and the best thing to do was to arrive at the sessions and be supported. Which I did. He always replied to my emails and LinkedIn messages immediately making me feel I was important, and helping when he possibly could. M3JC has helped and supported dozens and dozens of people in sometimes small but always vital ways.

Sarah R

Name: Dominic C

Date Joined: 19 September 2014

Date Secured Job: 09 December 2014

Member journey: I'd like to thank all at the job club, participants and session leaders, for your optimism and attitude as much as for the good advice. It has been hard to stay positive since being made redundant in March last year. The job club has helped a lot.

My strategy was to apply directly on the websites of my target companies (the job I have just got came this way), and off job boards (mostly Job Serve) where I thought my skills matched the requirements.
Initially I thought my project management skills would be more transferable than it seems they were. I got some interest outside the banking arena, but after twenty years working for investment banks, I suppose it's not surprising that this is where I had most response. Even in banking, I found a lot of job specs had a sting in the tail requiring very specialist system or business knowledge on top of all the project management experience. Permanent or contract - no difference. I think many people at the club have found the same.
After the CV session at the Job Club, where the panel said they don't read covering letters (I'd heard this before - but it went in this time!) I changed my CV to have a longer summary section explaining my role at previous employers and my approach to project management. Still had details of programmes and projects managed in the achievements section, but weeded some out to keep the CV to two pages.
Certainly when the bank I got the job with were interviewing me, they seemed more interested in this thumbnail of what I had been up to, and were, I think, just reassured to see some of the subject matter of the projects I'd managed rather than the specifics. Though they claimed all the interviews (four of them) were "informal", there were quite a lot of competency type questions, though with more of an opportunity to get your character and wider thoughts across on the subject than usual with this format.
As usual, I did a reasonable amount of research on the company, and ran through my own notes on my approach to project management and how that related to what I'd actually done. I think I've become better at all this, but still a large dollop of luck was involved in talking to the right people with the right role at the right time.

In my case, and I'm sure for many others, perseverance is the key. You may have to kiss a lot of frogs!

Name: Patrick R

Date Joined: 11 July 2014

Date Secured Job: 25 November 2014

Member journey: I'd like to thank you and the M3 backup team for doing such a marvellous job in addressing a gap in the employment market, i.e. how to engage with relatively seasoned campaigners having been employed for a while but now finding themselves out of work or facing the threat of it.

The bravado of 'yes, I will get a job easily' is somewhat dampened after a couple of interviews where you didn't get the job. It's even worse when you don't even get a human reply to an application.

Whatever people say there is ageism when looking for a job when you're over 40 let alone 50+ or 60+ so prepare/massage your CV accordingly. Unfortunately no one really cares what you did more than 10 years ago, possible only 5 years will be relevant to a recruiter (in general).

So like others who have eventually accepted the wealth of help the the M3JC offers I put some of it into practice for the last couple of interviews. The last one, i.e. the job I got was the pinnacle of all of the tips n tricks rolled into one.

Guess what, it worked and I got a job a job that I wanted!! There was some DISC profiling stuff, STAR examples, Interview techniques-  eg. keep on point, don't waffle, don't scatter-gun apply, apply for jobs you want and can do, know your CV back to front, how to deal with job agencies, have a good LinkedIn presence, take social media seriously,  etc.

If you work on all of those things and more, you're more likely to get a job at a level that you're used to or want. Conversely if you don't work at it (and finding a new job is hard work) you're less likely to get one that you want. That's just my opinion and I've got a job now and M3JC helped me to get it.

The only thing that the JobCentre Plus in Alton did for me job-wise was informing me of  the M3 Job Club.

Name: Geraldine Noyes

Date Joined Job Club: 31 January 2014

Date Secured Job: 02 May 2014

Member journey: "What the M3 Job Club can do for you and what it did for me 

"The collaborative approach of the M3 Job Club gives you the opportunity to learn, integrate and network with like minded professionals, attend seminars given by skilled professionals and share experiences.

The sessions are delivered in a positive atmosphere and participation is encouraged. The pastoral care is not something immediately evident and was something I did not expect to find; no platitudes or patting on the back with a sad expression.

It is much more upbeat and subtle as the Trustees and people taking the sessions make every effort to work with us in a positive manner utilising and sharing the considerable business tools and experience that they possess.

The support and confidence provided by the M3 Job Club is immeasurable. The professional way we are treated by the superbly skilled people who run the club is a massive confidence boost.

The cameraderie of the people and understanding of our situations helps you to feel less isolated and valued. I had a purpose on a Friday morning and I learnt something from each session and came home a much happier wife, mum and daughter.

I start a new job on 19th May and can say that the M3 Job Club was instrumental in keeping my confidence up and perhaps as importantly helping me keep my identity as a management professional" 

Name: Clive Sidwell

Date Joined Job Club: 10 August 2012

Date Secured Job: 26 October 2012

Member journey: "Positive Thinking and Honesty Does Pay

I had an afternoon  interview in Slough, but came in [to the M3 Job Cub] to free my mind and hopefully pick up a new tip of the day… and it was on being “Positive”.

Having taken a lot of time getting my CV just right and all the endorsements and recommendations I could bribe ex-colleagues  for (joke), then spending time on my Linkedin Profile, it was time to announce my availability “to the world”… come get me!

It became apparent very quickly that good looks and natural winning personality were no-longer enough to get employment! After lots of job searching, agencies and many applications with no real outcome, I focused on many of the messages that the coaches had been giving me and came up with a NEW strategy.

I focused on being very Positive even if the outcome was negative… a NON offer was filed in the “It’s their loss” category and did not dwell on it - it just was not the right day or right company.

I believed in myself and stayed focused on ME and was positive about the next job search.

An agent called me to interview in Slough… NO job spec’, No job Details, just a “.. they liked your CV, they want to interview you”. I did some research on the company and spent 2 days revising on technologies that they manage, but with no clear or specific area.

I turned up on time; after 15 minutes it became very clear they wanted expertise on a technology I had NONE on! I was honest and told that I was not the right person for them, let’s not waste any more of our time on this role…I STAYED POSITIVE, I was Relaxed; we got into a general conversation & talked for more than an hour… I used the time I had to talk to them & get feedback.

I left not expecting to hear from them ever again!

The following Thursday I had a call from the agent via mail:
"Clive, Hope that you are well. I was gutted when I got off the phone from you last week, but I now know that you visit was not a wasted trip. I have just come off the phone from Mike C, who was asking me about your availability?

He has an extremely interesting, career changing, proposition for you, which he is trying to get financial approval for in the next half an hour. They liked YOU and were impressed with your attitude and honesty, you must said all the right things.“

We arranged a phone interview for last Friday and WOW… I could NOT believe what I was hearing... a job, more money than the original position, 6 weeks training in the USA all expenses paid for. “Are you interested, when can you start?” was the question.

It took 2 milli-seconds to think about this and accept the offer. I start Tuesday!

Staying Positive when it was all going wrong, and being Honest about the situation paid off for me. Having your CV is important, spending time on your linkedin profile is important; but all in all it’s down to you to be positive and feel good about yourself in a negative environment.

I really will miss the M3 Jobclub; it’s down to you and all the coaches there that I stayed positive, adapted my CV and presentations and focused on the right things.

Thank you".

Name: Rosemary Hood

Date Joined Job Club: 23 March 2012

Date Secured Job: 24 August 2012

Member Journey:  "A huge thank you to Richard, Liz, Nikki, Gail, Lynda, Mike, other speakers who give up their time and expertise to help us. The sessions helped to give me a new focus, a fresh view point and renewed energy for the week ahead.

Also thank you to the M3 Job Club members for their support and encouragement. Just walking in on a Friday morning and having so many people smile and say "Good morning" is hugely helpful especially when it has been a tough week. I have to own up that occasionally I have thought I have had it covered and ignored the advice, for instance reading through old appraisals.

I finally read through mine last week and wow, what a lot I had forgotten - not only projects that I had worked on, but how many I had delivered on time. This was really good at the interview because I was able to confidently give examples of specific projects and talk about how I had brought them in on time.

I am extremely happy to have got the job that I wanted, but I will miss catching up with everyone on Friday. I wish everyone success in their future.

Thank you everyone. Rosemary"

Name: James Wong

Date Joined Job Club: 10  February 2012

Date Secured Job:  27 September 2012

Member journey: "I am very pleased to have been associated with the M3 Job Club for the last 9 months.

The Friday sessions had provided the coaching, guidance, support and camaraderie that helped me to evaluate, assess, and refresh personal unique qualities to meet the challenge of job hunting in today’s professional job market.

I am not aware of any other voluntary organisation in the country which can offer such an effective and commendable service.

I have not worked in the automotive industry before, but I am going to now. I did not get the advertised job role at the interview, but it landed a new role from the “hidden job market”. The new role was created in Germany. I will be bringing this to UK.

As Dermot would put in, move with the 'cheese' and enjoy it. My new found cheese has a German flavour. "It is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change" – Charles Darwin.

This aptly applies to my journey in the long and winding road. I am very grateful to Richard who has done a great job setting up the M3JC and getting everyone together. I am also very grateful to the professional coaches, volunteers and visitors for their time, and to fellow participants for the sharing and discussions every Friday.

Thanks everyone!"

Editor: "Who Moved My Cheese" is one of the sessions run at the Job Club, presented by Dermot Fitzpatrick

Name: John Doheny

Date Joined Job Club: 11 April 2012

Date Secured Job: 13 June 2012

Member journey: "I was made redundant from a senior position as Service Delivery / Operations Manager at the end of March 2011. I had worked for a major Blue Chip Global organisation for almost 16 years, despite delivering and exceeding our targets YoY our facility was closed and our contracts moved to other Delivery Centres as a result of contract losses in other sites.
I am in my late fifty's and have never faced the prospect of unemployment in my life and the prospects of gaining fitful employment in the current market looked quite bleak to my mind. Initially I took a week out to gather my thoughts and decide on a plan of action.
Over a 2 month period I was fortunate enough to be invited to a number of interviews, however I was quite nervous despite reading anything relating to interview techniques etc.
I realised quite quickly that experience alone is not sufficient to gain employment and make your mark in an interview. I realised that I was trying to give to much information and would wander away from the question trying to impart as much info as I could!!

I thought seriously about how I was being perceived, it was clear that I was trying to hard to impress.
I changed my approach to the interview process and adapted my style as follows:

Above all Relax and enjoy the process, if you have been invited to interview stage it is because the employer will have noted points on the CV that interests them, at the end of the day what will be will be - the more relaxed you can be the more your own personality will shine through, more often than not it will be your attitude and personality that will count

Clearly the obvious techniques apply, but the most important is to ensure you have researched the employer. Ensure you have researched their market / their competitors / target customer base / any information on their corporate or social responsibility policies etc.
From a personal perspective it is easy to become disillusioned and to feel discarded as time moves on, especially in my case given my age and specialised industry sector experience. It is so important to remain calm, focus on the future and not the past and do not lose hope or sight of returning to work.
I attended two interviews with a company who have developed a unique product, I followed my own basic rules and totally relaxed in both senior level meetings. I was invited to join the company working as a Business Manager!

When I asked for feedback following the final meeting with the MD, he told me that like most people he had interviewed the transferable skills were evident, however, his focus was based on questioning candidates attitude and how they would fit within his team and that I had clearly been relaxed during the process and the deciding factor had been that I had clearly researched the company and that I had allowed my personality to show through at every stage of both interviews.

It is so encouraging to see what you have developed in such a short space of time and indeed the superb support you have generated from so many diverse organisations, a superb testament to your drive, vision and focus....."

Name: Pete Smith

Date Joined Job Club: 05 October 2012

Date Secured Job:  19 October 2012

Member journey: "Thank you to everyone at M3 Job Club. The M3 Job Club is a fantastic forum and I'm very grateful to everyone who attends, especially those who put a huge amount of effort and time in running the club, and who share their professional expertise and knowledge with us all for free.

Although I am a relative newbie I have found the club an excellent place to discuss and relate with fellow members on our shared journey, and have also found the learning sessions very interesting and extremely useful.

Ideally I was looking for a position over [Essex] way, to cut down on my weekend 'Dad' commute (500+ miles over the weekend) to collect my 6 y.o. daughter, so this location is ideal for me and the job looks fantastic too.

Thanks a million to Richard and the team - I am so sad that I'll miss the upcoming programme of activities! including the opportunity to meet our local MP and also the quiz night!

I'm really very impressed with the set up, the commitment and the organisation. First Class. Many thanks to you and your team for the effort and support you provide.

Thank you everyone and good luck... Pete"

Name: John Donaldson

Date Joined Job Club: 7 September 2012

Date Secured Job:  21 February 2013

Member Journey: "To the job club. I think that you have set up and brought together a fantastic and enthusiastic group. For most people who are not working it is very important to share ideas with others in a similar situation and look at how they may think outside the box in terms of creating job opportunities. The group is also from quite a varied background and skillset which I think helps in the sharing of ideas as you do not feel you may be giving anything away to someone who would be going for the same job as you.

 For me the 2 key sessions were with Mike Kent and Mark White. Mike gave me valuable feedback on how to properly structure my cv. That had a direct impact on the level of interest I received when I submitted my details after that. The session with Mark White was focussed on how to effectively use LinkedIn and how best to present yourself on it. He went through a lot of detail that I found relevant in terms of using it. Having done all this and seen the value, I am now going to be more active than I have been when networking on LinkedIn.
As to where I am now. I still have a lever arch file (something I'll probably keep) that has correspondence relating to about 150 job applications I made during the year or so I was out of work. Shortly before Christmas I was in contact with 2 firms, both in mid start up phase. The first was a company in the Telematics arena (profiling driver behaviour based on per-second data received from either a black box in the car or the driver's smartphone). The target customers for this company are insurance and related companies, where this type of solution is becoming much more popular due to antidiscrimination laws being rolled out across the sector. The second company is a small VOIP provider using Nortel technology and selling to the channel rather than enterprise customers.
I have accepted the role of Commercial and Finance Director at the former and for the latter it is possible I will secure a non exec Director role.
The connection to both companies was made through personal contacts. For one it was due to the father of one of my son's friends knowing the CTO there. For the other it was due to a local friend who was out of work at the same time as me, who then got a new role in software sales, went into the company to sell to them and found out through the course of conversation that they were looking for a Finance Director (but did not want to spend the money it would cost to use a recruitment agent).
Both companies are developing their offerings and customer bases. I have a strong belief in their products and the determination of the teams and expect them to be very successful over time. I can't underestimate the role of M3JC in terms of lifting my self belief and focusing my efforts to find a new role.

Name: Chris Goodier

Date Joined Job Club: 02/03/2012

Date Secured Job: 07/03/2013

Member Journey: "I would like to start by thanking Richard for starting the M3 Job Club and having the vision to help others. I also thank all those coaches and volunteers who have shared their knowledge, insight and time to help those who have been transitioning between jobs.

Finally my thanks go to all my fellow M3 Job Club members, sharing this experience was made more enjoyable through our encounters.

I started my journey in February 2012 and like most people went through a stage of denial and anger at what had happened. After which I dusted of the blunderbuss and took a few shots into the job market. This probably got the result that it deserved - nothing.

It was suggested by the Jobcentre that I look at the M3 Job Club and to be honest that is probably the best advice and assistance that they provided.

The advice and information provided during the first few sessions helped me focus my thoughts and consequently my efforts in looking for a new position. I was able to rewrite my CV. With this new vigour I again tackled the job market, only again hitting the black hole of job sites and agencies that didn’t even have the decency to have an auto-reply.

With further tips and techniques from Lynda, Alan and Liz’s talks I then started a process of refining my CV, and was able to and use it as a sales tool to market myself by highlighting my strengths. My search became more focused and finally succeeded in getting past the agent, and initial phone screening, into actual face to face interviews. Some even went to third level interview stages.  I just kept being piped at the post by someone with that little bit closer match.

Eventually it was through my network an ex-colleague that I worked with about 6 years ago, that I found my new role. My ex-colleague recommended me for a position at a company which he had recently joined. I had a ½ hour telephone conversation with his manager and then a 1 hour face to face discussion, at the end of which they made me an offer.

The manager wanted me in quickly. My interview was on a Thursday, I then had a telephone ‘chat’ with the group hiring manager, and my offer letter was e-mailed to me on Friday. The contract came through on the Monday and I started a week later. Completing the Prince2 course, which Richard had organised, in the intervening week, thanks for that too Richard.

Again this is an example of the hidden job market and I recommend that everyone use their network to the fullest, it’s probably more reliable that job sites and a lot of recruitment agencies.

Thanks again to everyone who helps make the M3 Job Club a success and I wish everyone the best for the future and hope you have a short transition".

Name: Jon Saltmarsh

Date Joined Job Club: 13 April 2012

Date Secured Job: 22 March 2013

Member journey: "Learning from my journey.
I promised to post on LinkedIn about my learning over the past 12 months as I tried to change career direction. This was my first real foray into the job market since the milk round some 23 years ago. I knew I wanted to do something very different from my previous jobs in Defence and, if possible, to move out of that sector entirely; however, I was very unclear what I wanted to do, other than “I’ll know it when I see it.”

I now have a job in the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Whitehall, this ticks all my main personal motivators and gets me out of the Defence sector. Indeed after the best part of a year with no success, I received two job offers in a matter of days. I think the reason for this was that there were four legs to my job hunt that all needed to be in place in order to provide a platform for success. It took me a good 9 months to get all of these together properly.

1. A clear view of what I wanted to do and my personal motivators.
2. An elevator pitch to support my networking and introductory conversations.
3. A CV that delivered results – getting me to the interview stage.
4. A comprehensive set of success stories addressing most possible interview questions (written down and refined).

Other insights from my journey that I hope will be useful to some of you include the following:

Time: Everything takes longer than expected. Those in work have a very different concept of time passing to those out of work waiting on the result of an application or interview.

Follow up: Always follow up on the result of an application, you’d be amazed how quickly you drop to the bottom of an in-tray. Even if the result is negative, it provides an opportunity to explore other avenues with whomever you’re talking.

Changing sectors: This is extremely difficult in the current climate and you are likely to need to rely almost exclusively on networking - forget recruitment consultants or responding to adverts, in such circumstances as you are highly unlikely to get past an initial sift.

Allocation of time: I attended about 8 interviews organised by recruitment consultants and received no job offers. I attended 2 interviews as a result of networking and received 2 job offers. While all the interviews provided great practice, perhaps if I’d spent more time networking and less time with recruitment consultants I’d have progressed faster.

Unrealistic optimism: This was partly recruitment consultant fuelled, but whenever I had a job application in play I felt this was sure to lead to a job offer and tended to relax about pursuing other options.

Holding to account: I needed to be held to account for what I was doing on a regular basis to maintain motivation and progress. It’s all too easy to put things off if no real deadline. Both signing on initially, and a personal career service after six months, performed this role for me on a fortnightly basis, but equally it could be something to arrange with a partner through the M3JC.

M3 Job Club: Provided invaluable learning but make better use of each session – allocate at least another half day to working through the advice from a session in more detail as it applies to you.

Points of particular relevance to me included:
Liz - dealing with competency based interviews and the STAR response framework.
Nikki - working out your personal motivators.
Dermot – “If you do what you always do you’ll get what you always got”.
Lynda – “If you think you’ll succeed or you think that you’ll fail you’re probably right.”
Gail – 80% of jobs are never advertised.
Mike – does each part of your CV pass the “So What?” test.
Mark – LinkedIn can't be ignored so use it to sell yourself.

In conclusion

What I’ll take away from my journey is all focused around the M3JC. Some good new friends. Memories of a great bunch of people all providing each other with mutual support. Dismay at the amount of under-used talent in the country. A PRINCE2 qualification. And finally, the confidence that when I end up looking for a job again, I’ve got much better skills to find one quickly.

Once again, I’ll take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to Richard for setting up the Job Club and to all the presenters who give up their time to help. I’m LinkedIn with many of you so do stay in touch and hopefully I’ll be back for the next social.

Name: Chris Methven

Date Joined Job Club: 25 January 2013

Date Secured Job: 22 March 2013

Member journey: “I would like to thank the M3 Job Club for providing me with excellent support and inspiration during my period of employment transition from January to March this year.

The weekly presentations were highly useful in that they allowed me to analyse my skills set, both foreground and latent, whilst enhancing my job application techniques.

Together, these factors significantly helped me to maintain a high level of self confidence and motivation. The inspiration came from the local company visits which prompted me to consider new directions for my career which, otherwise, I do not believe that I would have acted upon.

I am now happily employed with Great Guns Marketing where I have found a new and exciting niche for my working life skills and experience. Thank you M3 Job Club!!!”

Name: Jenny Murray

Date Joined Job Club: 1 March 2013

Date Secured Job: 26 April 2013

Member journey: "I joined the M3 job club in March 2013 following redundancy and it soon became my Friday lifeline.
I really looked forward to attending each week, the coaches and guest presenters were excellent, as they always lifted my spirits and gave me food for thought and follow up actions to improve my job search for the following week. The opportunity to network with others in the same position was most helpful.
Networking ended up being the key to securing a new job and it happened so fast; I LinkedIn with a someone who was a supplier in my last role and told them I was job hunting. The following day I had an email from her boss saying they may have a vacant position that maybe of interest to me.  The Job Specification could have been written for me, so I mirrored my CV to reflect my experience, with a cover note marketing myself, sent it and within 45 minutes I had an interview appointment the next day, so I rushed out to buy my new suit, speculate to accumulate!! Attended the interview including a Maths and English test yuk, really enjoyed the interview felt it went well.  An hour later, I had a call to ask me for a second interview, the following day to meet the MD.  Again the interview went well and I was offered the job straight away and start work the following Monday.
May I take this opportunity to thank Richard and his coaches for their tireless energy and support during our job search journey, particularly to Jan Barrett, who coached me prior to the two interviews, gave me techniques that made me believe in myself, prepare for the interview questions and most of all the confidence, phew that energy gave me a placebo effect as I was on a high and was able to come into the M3 Job Club and publicly speak to announce my interview success, something I always avoided doing at all costs.
Thank you seems an overused word in this instance, from the bottom of my heart, I will be eternally grateful, but I wish Richard and his coaches continued success and to my fellow M3 job club members endless networking connections, you may have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, but fate certainly played it part for me, I wish you well.

Au Revoir Jenny Murray"

Name: Tony Docker

Date Joined Job Club: January 2013

Date Secured Job: June 2013

Member journey: "Be prepared to change.

The M3 Job Club was, luckily, suggested to me by Farnborough Jobcentre Plus. I soon discovered that not all Job Clubs are the same, and often cater for people seeking different levels and types of work, so, first lesson; choose the right one by visiting various ones and seeing which one fits you.
Coming from a background, and seeking in the future, work in charities at a senior management level, meant that I was in a minority, but professionals in any field of work are similar, so mixing with them and talking about my challenges and aspirations was not a problem, as basically most of shared similar concerns and fears.

Networking at the Job Club is a great way of practising what you need to do externally, to market yourself, which to many of us is not easy; we are not used to it. The resources and sessions relating to this were invaluable; my CV developed and changed over the months and my use of job sites and networking websites, including my attitude to them, changed dramatically. I finally understood that although I knew my capabilities, I needed to communicate them in different ways to different audiences, and understand what they wanted.

Also the opportunity to practice my interview technique was fantastic, when you’ve not been interviewed for years you really lose the technique, and unfortunately many recruiters can be a bit amateurish which compounds the problem.

It’s fair to say that many members had a poor opinion of recruitment consultants, so listening to them at the Job Club was a good experience, opening many people’s eyes to life “on the other side”. As an ex consultant myself, I was more sympathetic, but the key is the mind-set, if you expect to apply through agencies you need to “play the game” and work hard to market yourself.

There is no doubt that my job hunting and application skills improved over the weeks and months, and it is essential, in my view, to continually push forward and actively seek change so you can improve. We are all aware that if we do not change anything, then nothing will change.

My fellow Job Club members helped me see and make changes, and kept me competitive and positive, my thanks to them all, plus, of course, Richard and his team for enabling it all to happen.

Good luck to everyone else in their hunt to secure their next job.


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