From Graduating to Securing an A-mazing Job in a Pandemic!

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My name is Sarah and I started at Plan A Kitchener Waterloo & London as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator at the beginning of July. In April, I was a new graduate which was a very exciting time and a moment I had thought about a lot during my schooling. I was finally able to say that I had completed my undergraduate degree and post-graduate certificate. I was officially done school … for good! It was such an exciting feeling. 

A lot of that excitement faded quickly, once I realized that I would be graduating in the middle of a pandemic. Ultimately, the daunting feeling of “what now?” quickly outweighed any, and all excitement. That “what now?” realization can happen to any graduate. It is such an exciting time but it is also a time of complete and utter uncertainty — pandemic aside. To add in the stress and feelings of uncertainty that had spread worldwide, it was quite honestly extremely overwhelming. It is astonishing how every single person in this world has been affected by COVID-19. Many people had their lives turned completely upside down; some lost jobs, some lost loved ones, all of us lost sight of plans that we had made for the next year. It is a situation that seemed to unite the world as we all manoeuvred this new reality together. It has been a horrible situation that has impacted everyone in different, unimaginable, ways. 

When starting my job hunt after graduation, I felt extremely defeated. By May, many people had been laid off or lost jobs permanently. Many organizations were cutting costs which in many cases meant having to let go of current staff and not bring anyone new on board. The majority of the jobs I applied to had thousands of applicants and while I was excited about my future career, it seemed as though it wouldn’t begin for quite some time. One day I came across the job posting for Plan A. I was immediately intrigued and was invited for an interview about a week later. This is when everything changed for me. The entire interview process was such a positive and motivating experience. The high-level communication that my now colleagues maintained with me, and the level of respect they treated me with throughout the interview process really helped me feel important and valued. I believe that this is often a step that many companies skip in the recruiting process. It is easy to let great candidates slip through the cracks because communication is lacking or impersonal. At Plan A, this is not the case. I was well aware that there were other competing candidates but I was kept in the loop every step of the way. This really helped me to feel valued and it reassured me that Plan A was an organization that cared for not only its staff members but every person that it dealt with. 

Fast forward to the end of the interview process and … I’m here! I got the job! I was beyond excited and I don’t think I stopped smiling for a full day. The feeling of “what now?” had vanished and I was on the road to beginning my professional career. Now, I have been working with Plan A for just over a month. I am at the front end of the recruiting process and I can see first-hand that the kindness and compassion I received throughout my interview process are given to all candidates that we encounter. This is not a regular staffing company, this is a company that truly cares and is really passionate about what we do and who we employ. I am so excited to be continuing this journey with Plan A, learning new things every day, and being a part of an organization that works so hard to improve the lives of our vulnerable sector and those who work on the frontlines serving them. 

~ Sarah Breen, Talent Acquisition Coordinator, Plan A Kitchener Waterloo & London

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