When the deck is stacked against you

Nadia was already struggling to find her ideal role.

Then COVID hit.

Now it felt near impossible and she was told by recruiters that there was no way she was going to get hired right now.

This was especially concerning for her since she had limited experience in her roles of choice as an expert in SAP Business One.

Furthermore, her resume was mostly from her time as a Teacher.

So how could she make a seemingly impossible change when the deck was stacked against her?

Not using conventional methods – that’s for sure! 

In today’s podcast episode, Nadia and I lay out exactly what she did to get her ideal offer in the midst of nobody hiring.

Listen to this conversation to see how Nadia was able to get hired in a different industry during the pandemic and no one was hiring.

Full Transcript

Nadia Awan  00:02

Good things don't happen to me like this, you know, amazing things don't happen. I have to graft and graft and graft, and I will, you know, start at the very bottom somewhere and very lowly end and then I will eventually make my way when near to retirement to where I want to be.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  00:47

Nadia was already struggling to find her ideal role, then COVID hit. Now, it felt near impossible. And she was told by recruiters that there was no way she was going to get hired right now.

 

Nadia Awan  00:59

All I'm hearing is job that's given on the hiring freezes, etc.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  01:06

This was especially concerning for her since she had limited experience and the roles that she really wanted to be in. Furthermore, her resume was mostly from her time as a teacher. So how could she make a seemingly impossible change, when the deck was stacked against her? Not using conventional methods, that's for sure. Later on, in the conversation, you'll hear Nadia and I lay out exactly what she did to get her ideal offer in the midst of nobody hiring. Thanks, COVID. But first, it was helpful for you to know where Nadia came from. Here she is telling me about her early career and what led up to that near impossible career change.

 

Nadia Awan  01:49

My early career was very much fight against almost seemed like something that was inevitable. When I was very young, I always looked up to my teachers, and they were the amazing magical people in my life. And I was so inspired by them. And I always had something deep inside of me that said, I want to be like them. I want to do that one day. But this was when I was still living overseas. I wasn't in England, that point. And when we moved here, it was strange, it was the education system is very different, I took some getting used to. And by the time I finished my degree and I was wondering “hmm, what do I do now?” It was almost there was like a taboo around it or not so much taboo, but it was like, if people can't get a job, they teach, there was like this aura around it and I was fighting it a little bit. So I spent a couple of years working at a telecommunications company in their customer service department. And I love the aspect of you know, helping people understanding their bills and contracts and setting people up, etc. Then that was all great, but it just wasn't very fulfilling. And then it was just like, you've got to do what your heart is telling you to. You got to follow your calling as such. And part of it also was that, you know, I came to this country when I was 13 years old. And my life completely changed in many ways. I mean, there were some negatives, and, but on the whole, many, many positives, and I felt like I wanted to give something back. And you know, teaching the next generation, especially a subject like mathematics, that's maligned subject ever, especially in this country. It just felt like a great challenge and something that I was meant to do, and I really ought to do to give back. So I started my teacher training, but I took not the conventional path. I went a different route, which was to be employed as an unqualified teacher but on the job training, so part of it was half the week was going to lectures and doing the boring theory work. And the rest was throwing in the deep end into the classroom and saying, sink or swim. Thirty children in front of you all rowdy, get them sorted, and let's get teaching them the subject that they really do not want to learn and they think it's pointless. So it was a fantastic challenge. And I loved it and I love breaking it down into something that was meaningful to them, something they could see a point, getting them excited and teaching them Indian language, basically, human language of mathematics. So that was great fun, and I loved every minute of it. And I spent a decade, I worked my way up became, you know, head of department, improve the system school. Amazingly, we were one of the best schools in the borough, but then unfortunately, the politics came along and the government decided that they wanted bigger schools. And more Academy type schools. So our school was marked for closure, essentially. And I got really disheartened. And I just thought was politics doing something that, you know, in my heart of hearts, I don't think politics should have anything to do in education, but there we go. And I lost my home, to be perfectly honest with you, I lost my home, I loved my school, I loved the kids, I loved the community, I was a part of it. And I felt lost, even though there were some guarantees for jobs for teachers that were just classroom level teachers, when you were head of department and other school is not going to wait for you for six months or, you know, a year or anything like that. So you close your school and then move and I was not going to leave my children behind partway through the school year, because they were facing, you know, national exams and their futures depended on them. If you didn't get the passing grade and mathematics, you weren't able to go on to higher level education. So I felt a huge responsibility. And I decided, I was going to stick to the bitter end until I had to close the doors on the school is what I decided. After that it was like looking for a new home. I tried and my heart wasn't in it and I went to a different school. And we are judged on certain government standards. And they come in and observe the lessons and give you, you know, a judgment of satisfactory or good or outstanding. And despite being a year out of teaching, you know, not regularly teaching, just supply cover teaching, I still got an outstanding grade. And as pleased as I was about that, I was disheartening because it felt like I wasn't learning anything new, there wasn't anything challenges is felt like the same old, same old. And, to be perfectly honest, the politics has soured the entire thing for me. And I just wanted something different, I wanted something for me this time, because we need teaching, you put your heart and soul into it. I dedicated the best years of my life if you want to praise it like that to teaching and I have no regrets. But it felt like I wanted to carve a new life for me something a little bit more selfish, something that I wanted to do, for me a new challenge, a new direction, when I was doing the teaching, being the head of department, you know, sort of data is a huge component for moving the department forward and showing that the children are achieving the grades that they should be. And I loved working with data and I loved working with software programs and just seem to be heading towards the IT direction. And eventually I decided that I would take a break for about six months completely not think about anything at all, just relax. Have some “me time” and then see what my mind came up with. And I started looking at new courses and I went to do logistics and supply chain management found SAP which is an ERP system, fell in love really badly. With SAP system, all I knew I wanted to go into implementing ERP systems, specifically SAP Business One was, you know, the thing I'd set my sights on.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  08:17

What appealed to you about it?

 

Nadia Awan  08:19

The fact that it made everything so visible for business processes, you know, your business can be so, it can be all departments all over the place, it can be across the country or across the globe and fire depending how large your organization is. And you don't get to see the process in action. But that's what in the ERP system does. It brings everything to life, you can actually see your business, there's something tangible that you can almost touch and improve upon. And it raises questions. I love questions.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  08:49

You love questions, I know that about you. And you ask great questions too, as it turns out to be.

 

Nadia Awan  08:55

Well, ‘cuz, you know, to me, the best questions lead to further questions.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  09:00

Yes, very much so. Which is further learning, further challenge and lots of other both simultaneously good and sometimes revealing, sometimes hard things too. So that raises another question for me, I suppose. And, you know, when you were… when you got that taste of like, hey, this is something I can sink my teeth into or this is something that just works for me in many different way. What occurred from there?

 

Nadia Awan  09:33

What occurred from there was a realization that I am not a spring tech. I am not a fresh young graduate, I might be a fresh graduate but not a young graduate. And the industry on the whole is geared towards and a setup for young people coming out of university and looking for the first job and there are certain expectations, and I couldn't fulfill those. And I kept coming across, I think, in your circles known as the ATS.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  10:12

Yes. Oh, the ATS? Oh.

 

Nadia Awan  10:14

Yeah. And…

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  10:15

The Automatic… or the Application Tracking System, excuse me.

 

Nadia Awan  10:19

That's the one. And it was just impossible to get through. It just felt like and all the stats that I looked at, if so, you know, so many thousands of applications and thinking, “how do you find your voice? How do you make yourself heard amongst these thousands of people? And how do people get through it?” And then they will have these huge assessment centers, and you sit and do various tasks and all the things that made me go, “good god, this is not for me.” From when I was a first graduate, things have changed, the world has moved on, you know, how people employ and how they sift and how they assess is so different to what I was used to. So I was in a world that was completely alien with acronyms that I didn't really understand with proceeds that I was thinking, “what exactly are they trying to achieve? How can…?” And of course, my questioning mind was, “how can they tell by this answer as to what I am capable of? How is it even possible?” And the more I dug into it, the more I looked at, I said, “this is ridiculous, this does not make any sense.” Let me be in front of a human being. And at least then you have something to judge me against, you know, you have a reaction, you have something that you can impart more than what you can on a piece of paper or digitally, really. And it felt like a roadblock, it really felt like, I didn't know how to move forwards, there was definitely no going backwards.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  11:55

Why was there no going backwards? Tell me about that.

 

Nadia Awan  11:59

Because I don't believe in going backwards. Backwards is not moving forwards, to be ridiculous about it. I'd lost the love that I had, for the job that I did. And backwards would have been going back into teaching. And yes, I could have gone back and I could have, and even now I could step back in and be fairly comfortable, and earn a decent living, and just plod along until, you know, the end of my time as such, but there would be no challenge, there would be no excitement, they wouldn't be something different to look forward to, something to wake up to and think, yeah, I wonder what the day holds. If it comes to repetitive and yeah, there was definitely no going backwards.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  12:49

So the only option is forwards. So then what happened next?

 

Nadia Awan  12:54

Then it was the case of, okay, other jobs that are try to apply for, it was a case, “let's find some middle ground, some stepping stone” is what my next thought process was. As a case of the CV, it's like how do I write a CV, which will be showing what I can do, what my skills are, and how they transfer from an education setting into a corporate setting. And that again, was like, I have no idea. And the weird thing is that I looked at lots of career advice, lots of help, etc. And the advice they were giving just made no sense, have a saying to generalize your achievements and your skills. I was thinking, “Okay, I can generalize them” and I generalize them. And I wrote them and they just sounded so insipid, and there was no power behind it anything because there was no context. And without the context, it felt like nothing and I couldn't… and I thought if I came across the CV, I would go, what is this under in the bin? I wouldn't even give it more than a few seconds look. So it was again, a roadblock. I was thinking, “how do I show those transferable skills? How do I transform an education CV into a corporate CV and be able to convince my potential new employer that skills?” Everybody says, “yes, transferable skills exists.” Yes, we value but when it actually comes down to it, the nitty gritty of it, or people are most comfortable with is what they know. And what they know is within their area. So they will always go for people within the area, even if they have less accomplishments, a lesser degree or, you know, whatever metric you can put in, if it's familiar, they will go with that, rather than trying to imagine and trying to see how it would fit. And that was one of those things that, you know, what Happen To Your Career, it was show people to make that journey for them so that they don't have to and that was part of the magic of creating CV that would do that for me. And my employer wouldn't, you know, have to try and imagine it.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  15:05

Yes. And just quick bit of backstory, we got the pleasure of getting to meet you and beginning to help. Right is, you are going through that portion of your journey. And…

 

Nadia Awan  15:18

Exactly.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  15:19

One of the things that I recall was this idea of, like, how does this even work when there's, you know, 1000 people that have other CVs in the bin, and we're trying to integrate transferable skills, and we're trying to do all the things that you just mentioned, how does that even work? I don't even see how that works. And the interesting thing I think that is really useful for everyone listening is that, it doesn't really work. And it certainly doesn't work in that particular way that we were talking about. So…

 

Nadia Awan  15:55

Exactly.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  15:56

And I think that, you know, just giving a precursor to the end, you did find a role, you did find a role that actually a from everything I know is a great fit for you. And that didn't happen. It didn't happen necessarily in that traditional type of way. So would you be able to share a bit about, how that happened? And what were some of the, what were some of the events that led up to even being able to have it happen? Take us through that.

 

Nadia Awan  16:23

Yeah, sure. Let's just start from the beginning of meeting you guys. I mean, I was just scrolling through Twitter, like I normally do, treating it as a…

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  16:32

As you do.

 

Nadia Awan  16:34

As an alternative news feed. I came across an advert from Phillips company saying, “Happen To Your Career podcast, have a listen” I was like, ‘”what? This?” And I was like, “Okay, interesting.” And that's when I found you guys first, through the podcast was because there will be advertising and saying, you know, if you're stuck, if you want to know what to do, go listen to this podcast, it will change your life. And I was thinking, “great, okay.” And then of course, I go to the website, and everything that I read, it was like, “Yes, this is what I've been looking for. Where have you been by today? Not find you like two years ago?

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  17:11

I'm so sorry, we weren't there earlier.

 

Nadia Awan  17:13

Absolutely. On my knees and begging, thinking, “where were these people, right?” Okay. So, and that's when I contacted you. I had a conversation with Phillip. And we decided that yes, it seemed like it was going to be a great fit. And we started our journey together. But prior to that, I've actually also done your course the free one that you do the…

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  17:37

The eight-day figured it out mini course?

 

Nadia Awan  17:39

Exactly. Yes. And that was another thing was like, “Yes, I could.” So in a sense, you know, I already tested you guys out by going through that and thinking that will give me a good indicator of where we're heading. And it was like, “yes, yes, yes and yes.” But there's always that, okay, I've got my steps, I've got some clarity on where I'm heading and how to do this. But the critical thing is, is you can have all the instructions in the world, you can have as detailed a plan and as detailed the lesson and, you know, I can talk about lessons and detailed planning from deep personal experience of it. And you go and deliver it, and it doesn't necessarily hit because the personal circumstances that your recipient, your audience is facing, can make it so difficult, because what people always forget or don't think about is fact that emotions are tangled up inside it. And it's, you know, when you are the one facing this huge wide world, where all you can see is this massive roadblock, this massive mountain that you can't even see around, let alone go up and beyond it and see. And apparently, there's something wonderful there that people keep talking about, the magic land that you want to get to, you know, you need that personal guide. And that is where the coaches came in. And that is where the real magic starts to happen. As I can't think of any other words I've said so frequently. It was a magical transformation of thinking, this is a deep dark tunnel. I can kind of feel the walls of the tunnel. I know I'm in a tunnel. And yes, this tunnel apparently leads somewhere I'm convinced it does. But I can't see the path, I can't see where I'm going to be stepping over stones or not and what to avoid. And if there's a puddle of water, and this is where, you know, Phillip's guidance was so crucial in showing me the way, liminating the past and say, “this is the way to go.”

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  19:41

That is super cool. And I love the analogy to be able to think about it like that because it very much is like that, sometimes. It's like hey, you know, there could be an end to this tunnel. Well, I've got semi confidence around it. However, like I'm still at the end of the day in a big dark tunnel and like where do I even go? How do I get out of here? And all those things and without a guide, it sometimes seems near impossible. So I'd love to get into a little bit of the nitty gritty for like, what are some of the events that led up to you accepting this role? What occurred after that? You started, at some point, you started working with Phillip. And at that point, you were pretty well, you had a great idea and amazing idea, I would say of what you were looking for at that point.

 

Nadia Awan  20:29

Absolutely.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  20:30

And it was the challenge of, okay, like, well, you mentioned it earlier, like, okay, what are the real steps that I need to do even moving through all the head games, to be able to get in front of real people, especially in light of, you know, a pandemic, and everything else that's going on?

 

Nadia Awan  20:47

Yeah, I mean, it's the career change boot camp, the program itself, I went through, I did all the exercises, you know, talk to Phillip throughout about it all, and lots of questions, as usual. And one of the fantastic things was that, as I said, you're gonna, you can have so much content, and some of it will apply, and some of it won't. And sometimes when you was really keen on getting it dried, and getting it done, you can see that actually, you're possibly spending your energy in certain areas where it's not needed was not really applicable to your circumstances. So that was one of the crucial things.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  21:26

What would you feel like wasn't in hindsight? What was one of the things that was, you were spending energy on that wasn't needed or was less effective or not applicable?

 

Nadia Awan  21:35

Well, there was a lot of focus on knowing your strengths, and working through those and seeing where you were heading and what it is that you wanted out of the job. And I was pretty clear on that, from the beginning. But I was then questioning myself, because some of the questions that were coming up within that, I hadn't exactly asked, but they weren't necessarily applicable to my situation. And I was worrying about small details that were leading me off the track, rather than putting the back on it. So that was one of the major things and having, you know, you can write something like that, the CV, you can write something and you can think, am I being too pompous?

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  22:19

Yes.

 

Nadia Awan  22:21

Am I just blowing myself with a good reason? And having Phillip read it and say, “nope, that's absolutely fine. No, it doesn't… it's not over the top. No, that's exactly right.” And just having that impartial view and that objectivity to say, “this is good, this works, you're fine with this. Go ahead. Don't doubt yourself too much or you're questioning yourself too much, you're criticizing yourself too much.” Those things, which is so crucial. And even though it's not necessarily the steps, as I said, one of the hardest things is the emotion that you carry throughout this journey. That is the biggest stumbling block. And as I was thinking, oh, there's light at the end of the tunnel, I think I'm getting somewhere, you know, I've got my CV down, it sounds decent. It doesn't sound like I'm talking nonsense and it has some impact, it has value, it shows what my achievements have been, what I've been able to do. Then the world changed, COVID arrived and others, and then suddenly, all I'm hearing is job cuts, people are not hiring freezes, etc. And as I was doing part of the course, was to do reach outs, personalized reach outs, and I reached out to a recruiter. And the reply they came back was, now the, if you'd come to us a year ago, yes, we will have a… we were looking for people, you know, from Europe, mainland Europe to come and do these types of roles that you're interested in, which was you know, to become consultant in SAP Business One, but now, it's people are just looking for experience that horrible thing again, it was again that roadblock that huge boulder suddenly landed in front of me, they're looking for experience. So we've got contracts, we've got jobs, but they're not for training people up, they're not for new consultants and getting a, you know, expanding consulting team. It's like they have work that needs doing, but of course, they want people who already know exactly what they're doing. And come back and me, you know, six to eight months time when things are a little bit more settled and touch back with me and we'll see what happens.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  24:28

So you're… we have the pandemic happening around the world and it feels in some ways, like things are like falling down around and some ways they are. And then on top of that, you're getting, you know, a couple of these responses that initially are not, like I would say pretty disheartening. I'm not sure how you would describe it, but like not great at mild. Yeah. So then, like that is pretty consequential to all of the emotions that you're talking about that we all carry with us, too. And what I'm curious about is, you know, when you're in that space, and it's not going as well as you want, what brought you back to be able to focus on the things that we're going to work and keep plodding forward?

 

Nadia Awan  25:22

Well, I mean, I think part of it has to be personal resilience, that always plays a part, you know, you can have the most fantastic coach in the world. But if you're not resilient within yourself, then it's not going to work.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  25:34

Agreed.

 

Nadia Awan  25:35

And the other thing is that, put it in perspective, it was a couple of conversations out of 15, 20 other conversations that were potential down the line, and a few others that have already had, had been fairly positive or, you know, in the sense that they were encouraging. They went and say, “here's a job that was, hadn't happened by any means.” They were more positives than they were negative. And it was that sifting through and saying, put it in context. This is just one person's point of view. And the other thing always remember is when, you know, we were doing reach outs and things like that was when I didn't get a response, it was like, “Oh, my God, what have I said? Did I phrase this wrong, Phillip? Have I said something really stupid?” And you start doubting, and it was a case of, “hang on. Nadia just pretend that this is somebody else talking to you. What would you say to them?” Oh, yeah, I would say to them, “guess what they have their own lives.” And, you know, it could be any number of things. And then especially with a pandemic going on, you know, it could be any number of things as stopping them from replying, or that their reply is short rather than more expensive than it would have been in different circumstances. So again, it's that putting things in perspective and thinking, take a step out of it for a second, and just look at it as a whole and see, this is not personal. And that was one of the huge things that this is not personal, this is just a response to a situation in a particular time. And that was crucial.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  27:16

But it feels so very personal when you're in the midst of it though for sure. Oh, my goodness. So then what, we'll fast forward a little bit here. And what finally worked for you? Or a couple of the events that transpired going from “hey, I'm…” because I know you and Phillip, we're working on actively doing reach outs. And part of the reason that that was a great thing for you, it's not great for everybody, but it was a great thing for you. Because you were in a situation where you didn't have more experience than everybody else out there. And you knew exactly what you wanted. And you knew, some of the organizations that were out there that offered this sort of thing. So when we thought about that, it really made a lot of sense. Like, hey, like, if we just keep submitting CVs and going through ATS's or something like that, you're unlikely to get picked out, especially when everyone's applying and all the other factors that were going on, right? So instead, strategically, it made so much more sense in your situation for you to be able to begin trying to, as you said earlier, get in front of a real live person. 

 

Nadia Awan  28:19

Yeah, exactly.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  28:21

So what ended up happening, what were you know, if we think about, what were the couple of events, or a couple things that led to this offer that you finally accepted?

 

Nadia Awan  28:30

Well, again, one of the things that you would hear so often is that, you know, make the most of your connections, your network, networking network network, that's a buzzword, isn't it? And everybody uses it so profusely.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  28:45

Yes, they do. But I also remember a conversation with you at one point where you're like, “I don't feel like I have a huge network, right?”

 

Nadia Awan  28:51

Exactly my point precisely. And that's the thing. Not everybody has a network. And people just… the frustrating thing about it is that in every aspect of life, no matter what it is, whether you're talking about, you know, counseling, or teaching or any, there's some buzzwords that go around and people throw it about as if they know exactly what they're talking about and say yes, that's the magic pill networking, that is the magic pill currently, that's being passed around for jobs. And then is when you're moving from one sector to another completely different, how you're going to have a network mean, certainly my teaching colleagues are certainly not going to tip into corporate giants. It's just made no sense whatsoever. And the magic of that was with Phillip, it was to say, right, let's look at people who are currently doing these jobs, let's do some research on LinkedIn. Let's do some research and see who are the people out there, what's on the profile, and if there's anything that you can connect with any anything at all, that's of interest, anything that genuinely and this is so important, you genuinely are interested in. And that is where that door open and the light shown. And I was going through looking at it so happened that I did my degree at a university. And at the same time, this guy was doing the degree. But we only had two units, I think that we shared, and we were huge groups we never actually met. But by looking at his LinkedIn profile, I realized we attended the University exactly the same year. And we took a couple of units that were the same. And he got an outstanding student award. And I've got an outstanding student award. So immediately, there was that connection, something that really interesting in thinking, “Oh, right, you did that unit.” And that was, you know, just me genuinely making a connection on LinkedIn and say, “Hi, we were at University at the same time, we never met, which is a shame, but you're doing this job. And I was wondering if I could have a chat with you?” And that was the big wide world opening up for me. And then I made some other connections with people on LinkedIn as well. And it was through genuine interest and saying, you wrote this post, or, you know, this, your career path looks really interesting. And you came from a completely different direction, much like, I'm trying to do, what were your experiences, and those were the positive conversations that I had, and there was so wonderful, and it was such an eye opener that complete strangers, I had no connection with whatsoever, was so willingly giving up that time. I mean, you know, we asked for 15 minutes, just a 15 minute chat. And my shortest conversation was 45 minutes. And that was just yeah, it was just wow, that people are so generous and so helpful. And I think part of it, as Phillip pointed out, was that I was genuinely interested in my questions were poignant, and they were, you know, they had a purpose and a genuine purpose and a genuine authenticity around that made people then obviously give back and people are so willing to help. It's incredible. And the funny thing is…

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  31:57

Or you mind a little bit.

 

Nadia Awan  31:58

Yeah, totally. Absolutely. And the funny thing is that when I was researching the companies, and I came across the company that I'm employed in now, they had an advert up, and I applied for the job through the traditional CV, and I did even go through LinkedIn, to the head of the department that I'm working under now. And I messaged him, and that produced no result. But this guy that I met, he worked for that company, and he had left them. And he said, “Nadia, just send me a CV, just send me something and I'll see. I don't know what they're doing at the minute, but you know, I'll share your information with my boss.” And I was just thinking, “Oh, no, don't I've already applied. Oh, there's a Black Friday” You know, so deep down, I was thinking panicking thinking, “No, I've already blown this with them, I have already sent my CV and I've even sent a LinkedIn message to the head of the department. There's no way” but it was what Phillip's help thinking that, “Just do it. You've got nothing to lose.” And that's a crazy thing, isn't it? We talk ourselves out of things before even necessarily trying or before even getting the result. We've failed ourselves before the result comes in. And that is what I was doing almost. But I fought against my negativity. And I sent my CV and he and then Phillip said, “No, let's do an introduction. Do write an introduction.” I thought, “okay.” So I wrote an introduction. And this so happened that friend of mine just ended up sending the introduction only and the boss liked the introduction. And he said, “Oh, get now the CV.” And then I sent my CV, and then I sent an email thanking him for the connection and asking if I could just have a quick 15 minute chat about the company. And you know, just the general not hoping for an interview or anything not daring to even think that I would get an interview and he said, replied back immediately saying, “Oh, yes, I know you've asked for a 15 minute call. But to be honest, I wanted to chat anyway. So can we have a chat?” And then the chat led to come in for an interview and the interview led to we'd like to offer you a job. And now I am leading the support team. So I'm the support team coordinator, improving their processes, and I currently studying for the certification for SAP Business One, which is what I wanted to do, and then the next step will be going into the consulting side of it. So really excited.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  34:24

I know, I told you congratulations earlier. But I feel compelled to congratulate you again. I think that is amazing. And I know that you are… you're a few weeks into the role. Are you a month in already?

 

Nadia Awan  34:37

Yes. Already a month.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  34:38

Yeah. So here's what I'm curious about. Well, first of all, I… listening to you here, you tell that story. I was not involved in every bit of it. I got to hear tidbits and everything. I work with all of our coaches and they all keep me up to date on what's going on with all the people we get the opportunity to work with. And I didn't get on the phone with you at one point or on zoom with you at one point. I had the sneaking suspicion that as I was describing this idea of being able to reach out and that people could be or might be generous with their time in this particular way, if you took that genuine type of approach, then I have a sneaking suspicion, you didn't totally believe me at the time. Is that a fair assessment?

 

Nadia Awan  35:25

Absolutely. And to be perfectly honest with you, one of my biggest doubts was that, you know, you are based in America, and the American culture and the British culture are quite different. And I was just thinking, you know, this might work in America, but the British are so stuck off.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  35:43

Don't bring your American ways over.

 

Nadia Awan  35:46

And they're set in their ways. And there's no way that they would like this informality of saying, “Hi,” you know, often and say hello, and see how you are? And would it be okay for a chat, a quick chat, and I was just, it really did take, I had to suppress my doubts severely, and just just go with it and just have faith. And I think that's part of the deal as well, isn't it? If you are investing in it and saying, I believe that what's the path that I'm on is going to lead somewhere, then you have to commit to it wholeheartedly, then you have to go all in and say, let's try it all. Because, again, it's a thing of, you can't fail yourself before you've even failed. And if you're resisting, or if you completely saying, no, I will not do that without any good reason, then I think you're failing yourself.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  36:39

I appreciate you sharing that. And I'm so glad that you kept persisting forward for maybe very obvious reasons. But we wouldn't be here talking now, if you didn't. So that is super cool. And it also… Oh, go ahead.

 

Nadia Awan  36:55

To the very end, I did not believe. But deep down, I didn't think it was going to happen. I knew I was on the right path. But I was thinking, good things don't happen to me like this, you know, amazing things don't happen. I have to graft and graft and graft, and I will, you know, start at the very bottom somewhere at the really lowly end. And then I will eventually make my way when I near to retirement to where I want to be. So yeah, I really wasn't 100% convinced. I was convinced of your methods, convinced that it worked. And you were genuine and you had genuine results. But I wasn't 100% convinced it was going to happen for me. And then that again, it's that personal thing, isn't it that's a personal emotional baggage that you carry with you, and you think this is never gonna happen for me, it only happens to other people, great things only happen to other people.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  37:49

I think so many people can identify with that. And, now that you have been through this type of journey, I'm curious, what advice would you give to other people that are… back where you were at the beginning, essentially saying, hey, look, I need to make a career change. I can't go back in one way or another. It wouldn't be great for me to go back. And I, you know…

 

Nadia Awan  38:10

Yeah, you have to be true to yourself throughout the process. That would be one of the biggest takeaways, I would say. Be absolutely true to yourself, be very… I mean, I am generally very self critical. And I analyze everything that I say and do. And no doubt, you know, for weeks afterwards about this podcast, I think I should have said this. Oh, I should have said that. I didn't make much sense here. But there is definitely hope. There is definitely a path that works. And the crazy thing is as much as it's… that one of the biggest takeaways was that companies advertise but they're not advertising positions. It's not obvious isn't for position necessarily. They are fishing, they are looking to see what's in the talent pool for want of a better word. They're not necessarily, you know, advertising for a position that is open because of my position, that one that I have didn't even exist. He looked at my CV and thought, “she has experience in running teams. She has experience in leading people and changing processes, so we can make use of her. And this is what is missing from our team. And this is what we need.” So they created a position for me that was something that they were toying with. There's something that they were thinking that they wanted, but it wasn't into my CV landed on their desk that they thought, “yes, this position is actually being created.” So you never know what's out there. And be true to yourself and follow the path and question things and make sure that you follow the process, have faith in the process. As long as you're being true to yourself, have faith in the person have faith that people will be willing to help and people are genuinely caring and no matter how much bad news there is in the world, and it seems that you know, we need, we hear more negative than we do positive. There are people out there who are trying to do the right thing and want to do the right thing and want to help and Happen To Your Career, is one of them, and you are going to find many others. And it's knowing how to find those people. And it sounds so vague, and I completely appreciate it or how vague it is. But once you are in it, and once you start working with a coach that understands you and knows your personal story, and knows your fears, and knows your strengths and your weaknesses, because we all have them, no matter how great we are, we all have our weaknesses, then the doors start opening, then the path gets illuminated, then you start seeing which way will actually work for you. And for every single person, it's going to be something different. Have faith, and it will work out.

 

Scott Anthony Barlow  40:57

We've mentioned one concept over and over again, on the Happen To Your Career podcast. And guess what, we've never actually done an episode on it.

 

Sharissa Sebastian  41:10

I think that's maybe one of the biggest misconceptions that I came across. It's that… this is going to fix anything and then at the end of it, you know, I'm going to come up with whatever with that ideal career. Right?

Scott Anthony Barlow  41:24

That's Sharissa Sebastian. She is a career coach here at HTYC and I invited her to come on and share a behind the scenes look on how we work with people on their ideal career profile. Some of the places they get caught up, and even what an ideal career profile actually is and does for the people we get to work with making big changes every day. Join us next week on the Happen To Your Career podcast. We'll see you then. Until then, I am out. Adios.

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