Associate stories: Building a contractor career amid the pandemic
This is the first in a three-part series of associate stories where we chat with our associates on their experience working with us to land a job.
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Laura Canupp’s story is one of perseverance.
Or should we say boldness?
A marketing professional with almost a decade of experience in various roles and organizations, Laura started a new job just before the world went into early grips with what the rest of 2020 would mean for humanity.
As she puts it, she felt fortunate to find work as the most stressful event in recent human history was just kicking into full gear.
But it wasn’t long before she was left scrambling for work.
The global economy had gone into a tailspin with the pandemic as the world travel and trade shut down, and with global unemployment going up by about 100 basis points to 6.47% in 2020, Laura was out of a job.
But Laura is one of those who love to look on the bright side. So even though she was feeling the pinch, “I wanted to use it as an opportunity to find something that worked for me for my schedule as a mom,” she says.
But then, even the most optimistic souls also have times when they are down. In this chat, Laura shares how she went viral on LinkedIn, got an associate role with a global Fortune 500 through us, and gained incredible support during her job search.
Going viral on LinkedIn
“I lost my job in September. I never thought I would be writing a post like this when I saw others post about layoffs, furloughs, separations, and job loss. I may not have directly had COVID-19, but I’m one who is feeling the effects of it. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried every outlet I can think of, but it hasn’t led to a job offer.”
A couple of months after losing her job and applying on every available job platform she could, Laura was at her wit’s end.
“So, I kind of made a plea on LinkedIn and just put my story out there,” Laura explains.
Laura’s post went viral!
“For someone with a marketing background, it was crazy to witness the power of social media firsthand,” she says.
And that’s when everything changed.
A recruitment agency that supports you
Her post got into Diana Worthington’s feed, one of the Talent Acquisition Specialists at HelloKindred.
“Diana reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in an opportunity. And I said, ‘yes, please, send me the details,’” Laura says.
She had seen Laura’s LinkedIn post and thought she had an opportunity that might be what Laura was looking for. Once Diana sent over the job details, Laura got hooked as she read through the description.
“I’m like, wow, this is all of my skills and all the work I enjoyed doing. Plus, I saw that it was remote. Which meant I could work from home,” she explains.
Laura was is a working parent. So that means despite her wanting to find work and getting back into the groove, she was selective about the roles she looked to apply for. Laura had spent the past four to five years figuring out what she wanted to do, what skill to learn more, and what she enjoyed doing.
“It was nice when looking at corporate roles; it would expand my skills and let me do some of the creative projects I enjoy doing. I had been gradually moving away from marketing into communications. So, this was the perfect move for me,” Laura explains.
And from thereon, our support system kicked in.
“She [Diana] called, and we had a basic get-to-know chat. And to talk about what the opportunity entailed and every other little detail. Then we had another call to discuss my skills. That was sort of my first interview,” Laura says.
Diana then worked with Laura to reformat her resume while also making sure to suggest a salary scale they could go forward on based on her level of experience and budget of the role. Next, Diana pitched Laura to the client hiring team, highlighting her relevant skills and why Laura would be a perfect fit for the role.
Our recruitment process is a proactive and engaged one. And Diana made sure to prep Laura before the interview. Plus, our long-standing, committed partnerships with our clients means we understand our clients well enough to properly prep candidates for the interview.
“It was nice to have tips and pointers that made sure I showed I was the right fit for the role,” she says.
Two days later, Laura got the first indication that she was potentially getting her first offer after about 75 days of being unemployed.
“It was just a positive experience that I had found work,” says Laura.
“I had found something that checked all the boxes of what I was looking for,” Laura continues.
Getting back into the groove
“Once I found out that they wanted me, it was a matter of getting set up with starting the role,” she says.
This was around Christmas time. So, while waiting for her computer and to get all the paperwork done, Diana introduced Laura to Susie, Staffing Manager.
“Diana had been lovely and helpful. But then I got Susie, and we kind of hit it off from the get-go,” says Laura.
Susie was Laura’s go-to contact for transitioning into her new role and Staffing Managers stay with associates for the entire duration of their programs.
“She kept me in the loop of when I was going to get my equipment, getting set up and getting started, how payroll would work, my schedule expectations, and what my first couple of days would like,” she continues.
Laura signed her offer letter before the beginning of the Christmas holidays. So, she got to enjoy Christmas with the family. No pressure!
“I got to start a new year and a new job,” Laura exclaims with delight.
However, this was Laura’s first remote “contract” role.
“In my previous job, I had built a bond with every single person. So, I was afraid I was going to lose the camaraderie that came with in-office work. But I quickly found out that the team I got on had a similar bond even though we aren’t all sitting together in the same room,” she explains.
But she had to put in the work.
“To overcome not being in the office and the typical face to face interactions, my first meetings were one-on-one getting to know me video chat discussions with every member of my team. We talked about our skills and what we enjoyed doing and sort of “how we got here.” And then they shared with me what their role is and how I might help and work with them in the future,” Laura says.
“It calmed my fears and anxieties when they spoke so highly of the company but especially each other. Plus, it’s great to work with people that are literally across the globe. That’s something I have never done before. So, to work with someone that is in an entirely different region and time zone has something special about it,” Laura continues.
She wasn’t also expecting to enjoy the remote aspect of the job as much as she did.
“I thought that being an outgoing person, I would miss going into the office and seeing people face-to-face. But the luxury of the schedule of working from home has been amazing. I have a two-year-old son, and it allows me to get ample time with him,” she explains.
It’s the little things
Laura is grateful for how the stars aligned and how the hiring process was handled by the folks on both sides (the client and staffing agency).
“I feel fortunate that both Diana and Susie are regularly checking on me to make sure I still like what I’m doing and I’m still happy on my team. I appreciate that someone is checking in, and I have a go-to person if I have any issues. There’s this sense of security that if anything happened, there’s someone I could be open and honest with,” says Laura.
So, eight months after signing her offer letter, what’s next for Laura?
“I was excited to find out that all of our contracts got renewed for an additional year. And so, it’s great to know that the client appreciates the work that I do and that they find value in me. I am excited to continue advancing my skills while enjoying my job.