Podcast Episode #37 Preparing for Graduate Recruitment and Assessment Centres, an interview with Lyndsay Shaw

Episode 27

In this interview, Leah interviews one of our own Relaunch Me coaches, Lyndsay Shaw, who works with our clients in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast.

Lyndsay had an extensive corporate background commencing her career as an Auditor with KPMG in South Africa before transitioning into the Graduate Recruitment team and building a very successful career in graduate, training, facilitation and leadership development of KPMG’s Partners and high potential talent.  

 Lyndsay suffered a major health setback whilst working for KPMG in Sydney and as a result, had to re-evaluate her career and lifestyle choices. She now lives and works from the beautiful Sunshine Coast where she has portfolio career that allows her to maintain a sensible work-life balance whilst also dividing her work across three areas that she is passionate about.

 In this episode, Leah and Lyndsay discussed the following:

  • How Lyndsay came to commence a career working in audit 
  • At what point that she decided that accounting wasn’t her best fit career
  • How Lyndsay  made the transition into graduate recruitment and her experience working for KPMG and Standard Bank Group
  • How a major health setback led Lyndsay to re-evaluate her life and career
  • How Lyndsay manages a ‘portfolio career’ and whether she would recommend it to others
  • Lyndsay’s advice for students preparing for graduate recruitment interviews and assessment centres
  • How Lyndsay helps students prepare for graduate interviews and graduate assessment centres
  • Lyndsay’s advice for others who have had to re-evaluate their career due to illness or other unexpected changes in their personal life

If you would like to find out more about Lyndsay Shaw and how you can work with her, then check out her profile on the Relaunch Me Team page, or contact us to book a session with her via our Contact page.

Relaunch Me Team page – https://www.relaunchme.com.au/about-us

Book a consultation or ask a question – https://www.relaunchme.com.au/contact


Leah Lambart 0:02
Welcome to the Relaunch Your Career podcast. I’m your host, Leah Lambart, Career and interview coach and founder of Relaunch Me, where we help you find the work that you were meant to do.

Welcome to Episode 37 of the Relaunch Your Career Podcast. I am your host, Leah, and today I am interviewing one of our Relaunch Me coaches Lyndsay Shaw. Lyndsay has an extensive corporate background, commencing her career as an accountant with KPMG (sounds a little bit familiar) before transitioning into the graduate recruitment team and building a very successful career in graduate recruitment, training, facilitation and leadership development of KPMG Partners and high potential talent. Welcome to the podcast, Lyndsay.

Lyndsay Shaw 0:57
Thank you, Leah. Thanks so much for having me here today.

Leah Lambart 1:00
It’s great to have you. How are things up in beautiful Noosa today, I bet it’s really horrible.

Lyndsay Shaw 1:07
I would love to tell you that it’s horrible but it’s absolutely beautiful today. It’s a glorious, 24 and sunny but we do have some rain coming this week sothat will make you feel much better.

Leah Lambart 1:23
As you know, it is my favourite place in Australia. So I feel you’re very lucky to live there.

Lyndsay Shaw 1:28
Yeah, very lucky. It was a COVID move and a really good move for us.

Leah Lambart 1:35
Well, welcome to the podcast, Lyndsay. Thank you for joining me to share your career story. Can you tell us how it all began?

Lyndsay Shaw 1:43
Yes. So going all the way back. When I think about it, I was actually pretty clued up as to what I wanted at school. I knew I wanted to work with people. I knew I wanted to be in control of my time, something flexible. I knew I wanted to build something around the family. So I had all of that insight. But where I went wrong is I allowed other people to influence me and didn’t really kind of stick to my gut. My brother who is six years older than me, he had gone and studied accounting based on my dad’s advice so when it was my turn, my dad said, “Well, you’ve got the capability to be an accountant so you might as well go and do it, while young, get the qualification and then you know, the world’s your oyster”, he said, “and you can go do whatever you want after that”. So I listened and what I did do is make sure that I went to one of South Africa’s best universities. I went down to Stellenbosch which is in the Winelands and studied a Bachelor of Accounting and yeah, I was pretty much just on a robot path. From there, we didn’t even have one subject choice over the four years. So it was very prescribed. When it came time to choosing where I would want to do my training contrac out of the Big 4 my brother had gone to KPMG and loved the culture and the people. So that was again, an obvious kind of next step for me and I just kept following that path without really thinking about whether this was right for me. Yeah, so that’s how it started.

Leah Lambart 3:26
It sounds like a very, very familiar story. Just quickly, I’m interested to know is your brother still an accountant?

Lyndsay Shaw 3:33
He is. So I watched him with interest. He struggled more actually during the study, he found it harder and he had a few setbacks. And I think sometimes you know, those setbacks when you have them and you still you still push through is an indication of possibly that you’re on the right path. But I do know that when he was growing up, he wanted to be a Game Ranger. So he really wanted to work in the game parks in South Africa and again, my dad told him that there was no money. He is now a successful CFO but he really still needs that fix. So he goes out in the bush on his own on weekends, and just gets as much as what he can to keep his capital basically.

Leah Lambart 4:20
Yeah, well that would be pretty cool. And so you started in audit at KPMG. At what point do you think you felt “maybe this isn’t for me?”

Lyndsay Shaw 4:32
Yeah. So I was in audit and I didn’t even know which division to do my training in. So it came to the point where we got the form, and we had to choose whether we wanted to do financial services or consumer products or industrial and automotive and I had no clue which is probably a first warning that this was not the right path. And I can remember my father in law saying to me, “Well, you know, obvious choice would be to go into financial services, that’s going to be the most kind of successful lucrative path that you could take”, which was so wrong for me. I love tangibility. I should have gone to consumer markets. So I found myself in financial services. My first client was auditing a big Treasury for an investment bank. I was totally out of my depth, didn’t even really know what a spot was, or what a curve was. However, I was brought up to be very dedicated and driven, and so I just kept going along. I suppose the real clincher for me was when everybody around me started registering to study CFA, or Chartered Financial Analyst, which was the obvious choice for for auditors working in financial services. But for me, it was the first time where I kind of had that choice and I was thinking “absolutely not, I’m not doing one more thing, which I’m not interested in”. And I can actually remember saying it to somebody, I said, ” next thing that I study is going to be something that I’m interested in”. So, there was a real kind of trigger for me to go “I don’t think I belong in this place”. I had really pushed myself and I had managed to do well, and to keep up with everybody, but it really wasn’t my passion or interest.

The other warning signs were also there. As a second year at KPMG, they gave us opportunity to become facilitators so that we could help facilitate training for the new graduates coming through, and I was so excited by that, and really kind of made sure that I got into that program. And whenever there was opportunity to go onto campus and speak to new students, I was “pick me, get me out of audit for the day!”. So there were lots of signs like that. But it was at the end of that three year training contract where I just really knew that this path was not the right one.

Leah Lambart 7:10
It sounds so familiar, because I remember exactly the same thing. The parts that I enjoyed the most in those three years, were going out and helping with graduate recruitment and going out to careers fairs. And I also remember being sent on a graduate camp which obviously was also quite fun. But it was always the people side. But what kept me at KPMG for four years was the great people that I worked with, and the social side, which as you know, it was a fantastic environment, you’re probably a bit the same.

Lyndsay Shaw 7:41
Yeah, amazing. I mean, we started work in Johannesburg, we had at KPMG 150 audit grads, so we had all come straight out of uni. From that perspective, it was amazing. And such a wonderful culture, and so many outside of work activities. So we had an actual cricket team, and we used to enter running races as a corporate team and swimming and all sorts of things going on outside of the actual day-to-day auditing, which, again, made me really enjoy KPMG for many years.

Leah Lambart 8:17
They certainly are fantastic training grounds as well. Like, even if the content of the work wasn’t exactly what inspired us. I’m sure you learned a lot in the process, as did I.

Lyndsay Shaw 8:29
Yes, for sure. And the network is phenomenal also.

Leah Lambart 8:33
And so at this point, you made a transition into graduate recruitment and learning and development. Can you tell us a little bit about your career path from there on working in graduate recruitment and at KPMG and Standard Bank running graduate programs?

Lyndsay Shaw 8:49
Yeah. So as I mentioned before, it was at that point at the end of the three years, where I really had to stop and assess what it is that I wanted to do, and it was just lucky that at KPMG they used to have a secondment opportunity for somebody who had just recently qualified to second into Human Resources to run graduate recruitment. And so that was really lucky because it gave me the option of stepping in and trying that out without kind of losing everything that I had done. So I had to keep two audit clients, so that I was still keeping one foot in that door in case I needed it. And, I really fought hard to get that role, like there was another candidate that was probably a front runner and I really just did not give up. That’s what I wanted and I knew it and everyone was thinking I was a bit crazy. They were going on secondments globally to do audit secondments or they would go to London to go and work in the investment banks. So what I was doing was completely out of the norm.

I remember that first week that I started in HR in graduate recruitment was the first time that I’d gone to work with energy, like waking up on a Monday morning, not feeling that it was a real drag. So, I just loved it from the start. And I think what I learned at KPMG, and Italian bank was the real diversity of a graduate recruitment role. So no day is the same. And, you know, one day, you are strategizing about your branding proposition and how you’re going to attract the graduates. Next thing, you’ve started your process and you are, screening through the CVS, and you’re doing your interview process, and bringing them through the assessment centre, selecting them, and then still I played a key role in the graduate training. The mapping, getting them through induction and ready to go into the business. So it was really a full cycle of HR.

A lot of people that I’ve worked with in HR that have gone on to be the Heads of HR have actually come through graduate recruitment, because it deals with all facets of HR. And I suppose the real love of it was that it made such an impact. I felt like I was making an impact individually with the students and they kind of look to you as their kind of hero because you’re the person allowing them into this new world of work. And then from a business perspective, you’re also having such a big role to play. Especially at the bank where there was a high talent program. We used to have about 3,500 applications for 20 graduate positions. So the impact that you were having just really kind of filled me up as well as the relationships that I was building with the business. So I would sit and propose strategies to the CEO of the bank and there’s not a lot of roles at a bank of 50,000 people that get to sit and have one-on-one time with the CEO. So yes, some people think, “Oh, it’s just graduate recruitment”, but it really is a role that has a big impact on the business.

Leah Lambart 12:28
Yeah,it is a very visible role isn’t it? Because you also work very closely with the partners and senior managers, because they are all involved in the recruitment process often as well.

Lyndsay Shaw 12:37
Yeah, exactly.

Leah Lambart 12:39
So what was the next step after you ran those programs? I know, you also moved into leadership development and working with high potential staff and Partners of the firm. Can you tell us a little bit more about that side of what you’ve done?

Lyndsay Shaw 12:53
Yeah. So I went on a bit of a journey. I probably was fully in graduate recruitment for about seven or eight years between KPMG and Standard Bank. And it definitely is, if I think back, what did I not like about the role probably nothing other than the fact that it is a young person’s role, because it’s really, really busy and high intensity with lots of travel. And it’s a full time role, there’s no kind of real way of making that part time. So as soon as I had kids the prospect of still doing that type of role wasn’t what I was looking for, because I wanted more of that balance, and to be able to be available for the family and the kids. So that caused a need for change and a transition and at the same time, we moved from South Africa to Australia, as well as having kids.

I was actually really lucky because my boss at the time said to me, “how can we still keep you involved because now you’ve gained all this experience and to lose that is just going to be a real loss to to the team”. And so together we worked up a plan for me to do all the social media work for the graduate program from Australia. So they gave me a contract where I worked kind of two or three hours a day from home in Australia and really just communicating with graduates that were interested in the program. So I would run training sessions on Facebook and do Facebook Lives answering all the questions that were coming through. So that was a really good transition for me while I had kids and I was just lucky to have got that.

And when that came to an end, I needed to look for something in Australia. So an obvious place for me to go back to was KPMG. And at the time, I was so lucky because there was a senior manager role advertised in the audit learning team part-time, which just hardly ever comes up. I saw it on SEEK and I was like, “Oh my god, that is just meant for me”. So that’s how I transitioned back to KPMG, but more into learning roles as opposed to graduate recruitment.

Initially, it was a very technical audit role. So I was going back into the accounting standards and talking to the regulators and really having to put on a brave face and pretend that I knew what I was doing. But it wasn’t long that they then pulled me into the more developmental side of the learning. So I started doing transition programs for kind of any stage that was moving into a new higher level. So you know, managers going into senior managers, senior managers going to directors. So it became a really interesting and fulfilling role.

Leah Lambart 16:07
So, Lyndsay, I know that you were working really hard. You’re also a very active person running ultra marathons and crazy things like this. And then you encountered a major health setback, which led you to really reevaluate your life and your career. Are you willing to share that story with us?

Lyndsay Shaw 16:29
Yeah. So I can remember being teased when I was young by friends of our parents, and just saying “you never ever sit down, you’re always busy, always on to the next thing”, which when I look back now I understand this better having learned so much about Myers Briggs as we used it as a profiling tool with our graduates and I’ve got the qualification myself, and I really enjoy the tool. But when I look back now, I kind of understand where that all comes from. So I’m an ESTP, and yeah, it absolutely fits, fits who I am. It’s high energy, it’s go, go go. It’s lots of sport. I grew up doing a lot of competitive swimming and one of the things that you learn from being a competitive sports person when you’re young, is discipline and time management. So you really learn how to maximize your day. And that’s how I’ve always been, and kind of carry that through. Even when I had Michael my oldest I can remember being absolutely exhausted to the point that I was saying to other mums, “I know everyone’s tired, but like, should I be this tired?” So I just kept filling my life with everything possible and it was in 2015, I did sign up for an ultra marathon back in South Africa which was coinciding with the wedding. And I did that, and I actually had a really good run but after that I just absolutely crashed. So we flew back to Australia and the next day my ankles swelled up like balloons and I was absolutely finished.

I went to see a naturopath and doctors and I can remember the naturopath saying to me, “you know you had this last little bit of energy left, and you have now flattened it”. I was diagnosed with hashimotos thyroiditis, it’s a autoimmune disease, which has antibodies that are attacking the thyroid, and the thyroid is basically the master controller of the body. So the biggest impact that it’s had on me has been fatigue. And I really had to learn and take a lesson to know when my body was saying, “enough is enough, and you need to slow down”. So that was really at right at the time that I had just started back at KPMG in the the audit learning team. And as I said, it was such a lucky opportunity to get a senior manager position part time that I did not want to lose that. So I had to make a lot of changes to make sure that I could hold on to the work that I had. And so that involved dietary changes and it involved really slowing down on social activities and choosing things like yoga which I have would never have done in my 20s but it’s one of my favorite things to do now.

I had to stop running for at least six months so I did everything I could to make sure that I could still show up at work. But still it was putting a lot of strain on me. I can recall a day (I used to live on the Northern Beaches in Sydney and catch the East 65 to the city, which took about an hour), and I can remember one day, literally crying the whole way into the city because I was so tired and so overwhelmed and not sure how to keep it going. But luckily, I did have a really good relationship with my manager at KPMG, and was able to have the conversations that I needed to have to say “this is what’s going on, and I’m really doing everything that I can to get this Hashimotors under control, but I know that my work needs to be kind of in sync with who I am”. And there were elements, you know, because it was a senior manager role, there was a lot of project management, a lot of stakeholder management, so there was a lot of elements in that job that actually weren’t my natural kind of skill set. And so he sat down and really stripped back what is it that I really shine in, because that’s what’s going to help bring the energy back for me, and help get things back into a controllable state. So, we both identified that, for me standing up facilitating coaching and working with people, that’s where I come alive and so I proposed the the role of ‘Associate Facilitator’ and I didn’t even know what the term was at that point. But I just said, “I love facilitating, you always need facilitators, you are going out to the business and you’re really trying to get them out of the business to come facilitate”, I was like, “I should just be somebody that you can call on. I know when I’m coming, I can deliver the best of me. And when you don’t need me, you don’t have to pay me” so that was the solution that I’d come up with.

It didn’t happen right away because there is always lots of red tape in the corporate world and hurdles to jump through. But eventually, that came to be and I can remember walking into the office on a day that I had been booked to facilitate and bumping into colleagues of mine and they would say “you look so happy”. And I was like, “that’s because this is amazing. Like, just the right fit for me”.

Leah Lambart 22:22
Wow. And how very fortunate that you had a manager who I guess helped you craft your current job rather than having to feel that you had to go and look for something else.

Lyndsay Shaw 22:34
Yeah, exactly, and the learning that I’ve got from that is, I’m a very open and honest communicator, I find it hard to hold anything back but I think dealing with others and coaching, you see how afraid some people are to share and be vulnerable. But at the end of the day, when something’s not working, you might as well open up and ask because you’ve got nothing to lose.

Leah Lambart 23:02
Yep, exactly. Totally agree with that. So Lyndsay, you now have what we like to call a ‘portfolio career’ living on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. You are coaching for Relaunch Me, you’re working for Tour de Cure, and you’re also working as a swimming coach. Tell us how that all works for you, and whether you would recommend it to others.

Lyndsay Shaw 23:24
Yeah, so it definitely works for me and my personality. Even though I’ve had to help sit back and have made a lot of changes, I still like the energy and I still like to be busy. And I really value balance and diversity. So you know, I’ve got a lot of interests and I’ve got a lot of things that give me joy and I like to to be able to get that from different sources. So, if I was to say things that give me joy, I love kids and I love working with kids, but I don’t want to work with them five days a week. Because you know, I also like being intellectual. I like using learning and working with adults so I’ve crafted a situation where I’m getting enough of what I need and so I suppose if I break it down there’s kind of three key aspects of what I enjoy and those are a love of sport, a love of events and a love of learning and coaching. Yeah, it’s sport, learning and events that are the three things that I love and in this portfolio career I’m getting something of all of those. So the Tour De Cure role, is an events role and it’s such a wonderful cause and it involves sports. So that just ticks a lot of boxes. But again, you know, if I was five days a week in events it would be high stress and requires a lot of energy. So for the time being, it doesn’t really work.

One of the biggest benefits of having a portfolio career, especially during COVID, is that it has helped me survive. So when COVID hit, KPMG stopped using any contractors, so I lost the contract that I had. But it’s been Tour de Cure that has carried me through COVID, because I was also working for them and then qualified for jobkeeper. And so, you know, if it was just KPMG that I had then I would have been left with nothing. So that for me is is a real benefit of portfolio careers that you can at different times when you need to, call on whatever one is going to give back to you at that time.

Leah Lambart 26:08
Yes, that is such an important point and I’ve actually spoken to so many clients who have realised, I guess, the benefits of having other things on the side, rather than relying on one source of income, if that’s possible.

Can we go back Lyndsay, you talked about Standard Bank and how it was such a competitive graduate program, 3000 applicants for 20 places, which is actually not unusual at all, it’s quite typical of investment banks, Big 4 accounting and management consulting firms, law firms, etc. I know you’ve been working with some of our younger clients, helping them prepare for graduate recruitment, assessment centres and interviews. What advice would you have for students preparing for those processes? And more importantly, how can you help them prepare?

Lyndsay Shaw 27:02
Yeah, so when I look at graduates, and think about all those processes that are part of the selection process, then there are two things that really stand out for me, for a graduate to kind of rise to the top. The first thing is how self aware that graduate is. I mean how well do they know themselves? Have they really kind of stopped and reflected and understood why it is that they’re studying what they’re studying? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses, and they really know that, so it’s not just something that they kind of spin off the tongue but you can see that there’s a real kind of inner awareness. And I suppose I’m really passionate about that, because that’s actually what I didn’t have. And I can look back, and I can see now that that was not me, you know, so you get a lot of graduates coming through that have gone to the right schools, they’ve gone to the right unis, they’ve done really well on their academic achievements. But they haven’t had that reflection time. And, in order to transition well into the corporate world, and you have the resilience that you need, and the patience that you need, that self awareness has to be there. And those self-aware grads are going to transition much easier and have a much better success rate. So that’s why it is so important to have that I think. And it doesn’t take a lot, it just takes some time to stop and reflect. So building in reflection as a daily practice is something that is going to help a graduate to stand out.

And the other thing that really stands out is when somebody has had a rich experience today as a graduate, and not just a rich experience, but they then know why it was rich and what they learned from it. So you know, a lot of the questions are behavioural interview questions that we coach clients in at Relaunch Me, and, and I’ve had graduates that come in and sit in an interview, and you ask him, “Can you tell me about an example of where you’ve had a problem?” And then they say, “well, in my third year auditing project, this is the problem that we had…”. And then you ask them the next question about team building, and they refer back to that same project. And you know, every question that you ask them, they talk about that one experience, whereas, you know, the next graduate comes in and they pull on all these different experiences. So they tell you about a time where they went travelling and the problems that they came up with and how they resolved them and the diversity that they learned from their travel. And then the next example they’re using is about a time that they were involved in a community organisation and then the next one that we’re talking about is a lesson that they learned from a job that they had. So somebody that has really sat back and thought about their life and where their key learning situations have been? It really goes a long way in standing out from the from the other graduates.

Leah Lambart 30:19
I totally agree. And I think you mentioned before, the right school and the right uni, I do think that sometimes young candidates who have gone to private schools and the best unis feel that that is enough to get them through, and they don’t perhaps put the effort into the preparation. Yet, recruiters are going to be far more impressed with someone that has really had to fight for their place at university, and has worked hard without everything being handed to them on a platter. And exactly, they know themselves well. And they also know that they’ve done their research, and they know what area they actually want to work in, and why they think it will suit them.

Lyndsay Shaw 31:00
Yes, exactly, so for the graduates out there that have been to the right school and have been to the right uni, they really have to think about how to position themselves to get away from just looking like they haven’t had any struggle. And so, I always encourage, them to go out there and put themselves in situations, which do challenge you. And that can come in many different ways. So sport is a way of challenging yourself, but, you know, somebody that’s had a really privileged background, but then has gone and done the courage challenge, I mean, they’ve gone and done something where they’ve really put themselves out of their comfort zones. And that’s going to then be okay, this person knows that they’re privileged, but they’re still willing to challenge themselves. And that’s what I look for.

Leah Lambart 31:52
And obviously, with COVID, those experiences haven’t been available. There haven’t been opportunities to volunteer and travel overseas. Personally, I think working in any role where you are dealing with the public will also provide you with fantastic examples, whether it’s working at Coles, working in a bakery, working in fast food, you’re going to be able to provide examples of managing conflicts, dealing with complaints, adapting your communication, working in a team, working under pressure. I recently had dinner with a lady who is on the panel at one of the fairly high profile organisations, and she said that is definitely one of the things that she looks for, is anyone who’s worked in retail or customer service and are able to deal with the public and communicate and build relationships. So I thought that was an interesting insight.

Lyndsay Shaw 32:48
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I was thinking about it this morning. As as a swimming teacher, which is an option for a lot of young people, yeah, you don’t need to have qualifications and degrees or anything to be a swimming teacher. But it is one of those jobs where you are really challenged every day, you’ve got parents kind of just watching you and they’ve paid for their little darling to do this swimming lesson. So there’s a lot of customer services, a lot of dealing with conflict, there’s a lot of lessons that you can learn from these experiences. And I always used to say when I went out on campus and ran interview skills workshops, and I used to say to them, you know, waitering is one of the hardest things you can do on a day-to-day basis, you are running off your feet, you’re dealing with angry customers, you’re learning so many skills that are going to be so relevant and useful in the corporate world.

Leah Lambart 33:46
Graduate recruitment has changed quite a lot over the years, particularly with the use of technology. So we now have video interviews, there’s now gamification. There’s assessment centres that have been done virtually in the last 12 months. Have you got some comments or even to explain what some of those processes involve and what recruiters are actually looking for?

Lyndsay Shaw 34:08
So, your earlier question is, how can we help? How can we help these graduates get through these assessment centres, and I suppose the first thing that we can do is really help them understand what the recruiter is looking for, so really understanding what are they basing their decisions on? That is the first thing that’s going to help you through that process. I did a contract at some point when we moved to Australia for Fusion who are based in Melbourne, and a lot of the graduate recruitment is outsourced to Fusion. In this role, I was screening loads of video interviews and I learned so much from doing that. I mean, I must have watched more than 1000 of them in one little short stint. And, you know, what we can really help with? Is that understanding how easy it is to get those wrong, so showing up and not wearing the right attire. You know, sometimes people think, well I’m just at home, and I’m just going to be filming myself. So they don’t take the care to make sure that they presented adequately in the right dress. I have had students doing their video interviews and they’ve got the housemates walking behind them, or they’ve got like really obscure pictures on the wall that shouldn’t be there. Just distractions, and you know, they’ve been given a three minute time limit to answer their question, and it cuts them off halfway through. So there’s so many technical aspects of the digital process, that we can coach graduates to help them not fall short at those points. In addition, gamification is something that if you’ve never really experienced it, and you don’t know what’s coming, you could be knocked out without even having the chance to have a face-to-face conversation with somebody. So you could have done everything to make you the most amazing graduate, but you fall short in the program just like that.

So in these coaching sessions we are really giving our clients an idea of what this experience is going to be like and there’s lots of places where you can go and do some practice. So, allowing our graduates to know where those channels are, and where they can practice. And the case studies are another level of something that is new. And if you haven’t had the experience, it can be really challenging but we have so many resources available to practice those things. So we can really help to give the confidence that when they go through those assessment centres, even though we don’t know exactly how it’s going to play out on the day they’ve been through something similar before and it is all about showing up with confidence. That’s what we really want to instil, that they’ve got the confidence to navigate something that is a little bit ambiguous on the day.

Leah Lambart 37:13
I think that those assessment centers have become a lot more sophisticated. I think in my time we were building a pyramid with paper or something,

Lyndsay Shaw 37:22
Marshmallow tower?

Leah Lambart 37:24
Yeah, something like that. I would have really struggled with the case studies, I don’t think I would have known where to start with those, I would have definitely needed your help Lyndsay.

Well, Lyndsay, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I guess, just based on your own experience, and particularly having to reevaluate your career due to illness. What advice would you have for other people who have had to perhaps change their career course due to either physical or mental health challenges?

Lyndsay Shaw 37:55
So I’ve probably got four or five key points that I think will really help somebody navigate through that process, which is a really tough time for people.

So the first thing is to really be kind to yourself. And, you know, a lot of people attach themselves to their job or their work or their successes. And it’s to remove that attachment. Your really need to love yourself for who you are, not what you’ve done in the past, I would say is the first point.

The second point is to know that you’re not alone. So there are many other people that go through similar challenges and a lot of people don’t talk about it. So that makes it challenging, not knowing that other people have gone through it. But sometimes, opening up yourself, allows you to hear other people’s stories and know that you’re not going through the challenging time on your own.

And I think the third thing is to know that there are always options, and that’s, I think, where we can really help. What I did was to really strip back and understand what my strengths were, where do I get energy from because in any health situation you’re genuinely struggling with energy at the end of the day. So figuring out what gives you energy is going to be on the right path to to feeling better. So understanding what your strengths are, what your transferable skills are, what gives you energy and packaging that together to form your new path is always possible. The only thing that really stops us from getting there is fear. And so helping somebody get over that fear, understanding that there are many options and it’s just about how do you navigate through that.

Leah Lambart 39:52
Excellent advice, Lyndsay. Thank you. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the podcast and if anyone is interested in getting Lyndsay’s wonderful help preparing for interviews, career coaching, leadership coaching or preparing for assessment centres, you can find her on the Relaunch Me website.