National Careers Service logoKat had been considering a career change for around 18 months because she realised she was no longer feeling satisfied with her work. With the arrival of Covid-19 and whilst furloughed, Kat had the opportunity to reflect on her future and decided she wanted to take steps towards becoming a business owner but lacked the knowledge and confidence to begin.

She says:

Job searching is hard, and it can put quite a dent in your confidence when you get so many rejections. It is even harder when you have to keep telling friends and family that you did not get the job. I think this creates a bit of a downward spiral because you go into the next interview without a lot of confidence that you are going to get the job.

Kat contacted the National Careers Service for help as she was getting interviews but not job offers. She went to an interview skills workshop with the National Careers Service and met Lucy, one of the careers advisers in the South West and Oxfordshire region. She heard Lucy mention at the beginning of the workshop that she could help with mock interviews. and thought this sounded like the perfect solution.

She got in touch with Lucy after the workshop who was happy to help. After sending over her CV and an example role description for the kind of jobs she was looking for, Kat had a mock interview via zoom, with Lucy asking questions that would most probably come up in the interview including the 'tell us about your weaknesses' question.

I was most nervous about the feedback because I wondered what I must be doing wrong, however Lucy gave me really, good and detailed feedback. It turns out I was actually quite good. The interview really helped to boost my confidence, which had taken a bit of a knock.

Following on from her sessions with the National Careers Service, Kat had some fantastic news. She explains:

The week after I met Lucy, I had an interview for freelance work. I felt a lot more confident going into this interview and knew what to do with my hands, the weaknesses question came up and I was ready for it. I got the job! In fact, the interviewer offered me the job in the interview. I think it all came down to confidence and the National Careers Service really helped me with that.

Looking towards the future Kat is excited and ready to get started with her freelance role to gain industry experience in the sector she hopes to one-day start her own business in.

Kat says about her experience with the National Careers Service:

I didn’t know a lot about the National Careers Service before I got involved. I did not realise there was a free service that could help you develop in your career. I was stuck, thinking that I needed a change but couldn’t afford the help I thought I needed to make that change. 

It’s great to know that there are people who are friendly and caring who can help you go where you want to go in life. The service is easy to access, there are not loads of hoops you need to jump through, and the staff are keen to help in whatever area you need help with. I thought it might be a bit institutional and rigid, only providing set programmes but the personalised approach surprised me and was just what I needed.

Find out more about National Careers Service

Photo: stock image