Emerald Opinion: This week, we touch base with Hayley Dunbar, a Senior Director here within the Emerald Group. Over the course of 14 years, she has been instrumental in the development of our actuarial brand across the European and international markets. Hayley reflects on the challenges this year as a result of Covid-19.
“The pandemic has been extremely stressful for many people and it would be easy to think that this means there are no new roles to consider and/or no-one who wants to move. I’ve found the opposite has been true – people who have worked in the same company for 10-20 years have now had several months at home, no longer surrounded by what is familiar.
Many of these people are used to significant work-related travel which plays a huge part in keeping their role interesting and varied. When you strip all of this away, experienced individuals have more time to think about what is really important to them in their career choice. Also, working from home means they have more time for confidential chats with us and therefore they are able to be more aware of new opportunities in the market than ever before”.
EMPLOYMENT GAPS AND CAREER PROGRESSION
“I’m sure in years to come we will all remember 2020 and pay particular attention to a person’s CV and what they were doing during this time. I’ve seen clients more carefully scrutinizing candidates in interview processes, to compensate for having to meet virtually, either by having more in-depth questions or involving more rounds of interviews with more stakeholders. Therefore, if you’ve secured a new role in 2020, you must be very good indeed.
However, if you “jumped ship” during the pandemic as opposed to moving for career progression or other positive reasons, this could be viewed less favourably in the future, suggesting a lack of loyalty during difficult times. My advice would be that whenever you make a career change, be clear on why you are doing it and think about how it will look on your CV in 2 years, 5 years, even 10 years’ time”.
HOW CAN EMERALD GROUP HELP?
“We can help with preparation for video and telephone interviews. We can offer face to face consultations with candidates to get them comfortable with the technology and how to make the right impression on screen”.
Since October 2020, Hayley is currently on adoption leave enjoying her time as a new parent. We wish her well on this incredible journey of parenthood and we hope to see her again soon.