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How Hannah found and started a new job at Travis Perkins during the pandemic

27 Jan
Starting a new job ranks high on the list of the most challenging life events people. However, starting a job during a global health crisis presents a few more challenges, such as completing a virtual hiring process, nailing a video interview, getting to know a team remotely, and facing video call fatigue. We spoke to Hannah, Corporate Communications Advisor at Travis Perkins, who explains that there are also a few benefits to starting a new job during the pandemic. Here’s her take on the experience and advice for anyone looking to make their next career move.



What was your experience of the application process?

To be honest, there was no applying involved! Through LinkedIn, a member of the Travis Perkins resourcing team found me and reached out. I’d been on furlough and then made redundant so it wasn’t the easiest moment in my career, but I knew that throwing everything I had into the job search would keep me focused. LinkedIn became my new best friend and I learnt how powerful the networking platform was, using it to search companies and roles, but ending up being contacted directly because I’d learnt the best way to update a LinkedIn profile.

A highlight of job searching during a pandemic is that the geographical barriers have been broken down. With travel was no longer a necessity I could apply and be considered for jobs that otherwise wouldn’t have been feasible.

Was there a highlight of the virtual hiring process?

The virtual task! It was really exciting to be sat at my laptop, waiting for an email containing a time-sensitive task to complete. Without any interviewers in the room, the pressure was gone and I knew that I had one hour to focus, anticipate the PR moves of a FTSE250 company and ultimately, bag that job!

How were you supported in your first few weeks at Travis Perkins?

Plenty of meetings were arranged in my first few weeks so I got a chance to meet everyone. Thanks to the new way of working - where most interactions are virtual - I found it easier to meet more people from across our various businesses. Not only that, but the interactions have been more meaningful because a pandemic brings people together, not in person, but in the sense of a culture. Zoom fatigue is a real thing though and realising this has helped me have better control over my workplace wellness.

Luckily, I managed to meet some of the team when restrictions were eased in the summer - for one day at least - before it was back to the home office. I have to say, the Group have been incredibly supportive and surprisingly quick to adapt to remote working - it’s just the norm for us all now.

How has the Group maintained the strong culture?

Working in Corporate Communications, I have a good overview of what’s going on within the Group. We help distribute our weekly newsletter, The Measure, and curate the content posted on our social media channels, as well as assist with various virtual events. This is how we keep our businesses connected, remind our colleagues that they’re a part of a wider network and reinforce our culture. Safe to say, we’re seeing great success and engagement.

Although I have no insight into life at Travis Perkins before the pandemic, the sense of culture is as strong now as it was a few months ago and perhaps even stronger. For me, the beating heart of that culture is the support and kindness of all the colleagues I’ve met, whether that’s someone checking in via our internal messaging system or the branch teams who’ve felt like family from the minute I stepped (trepidly!) into my first yard. This unique atmosphere combined with the heightened focus on safety and personal wellbeing has brought the company closer than ever. 

I’ve also enjoyed meeting new colleagues and stopping for a ‘virtual coffee break’ - an initiative where two colleagues are randomly paired together for a half an hour chat (work and covid-19 are a no go). The Group has been committed to reminding us of the importance of taking time out from technology and looking after our mental wellbeing.

Have you got any advice for someone that's on the search for their next job?

Be open to all opportunities. The market is tough right now, but there are lots of industries still hiring. Ensuring you have a wide net of job alerts switched on, have analysed and demonstrated your personal skills effectively on your LinkedIn profile and CV, and a positive mindset, are my top pieces of advice for securing your next job.

Don’t panic. Things will turn out just fine, even if you go off your beaten, well-planned track for a short while. It’s easier said than done, but keeping a sense of perspective on what you have, rather than what you’re leaving, is also important.

Take your next career move with Travis Perkins

If you’ve enjoyed hearing about Hannah’s experience of joining the Travis Perkins Group then find out more about who we are. With 20+ businesses in the Group, we have a huge range of jobs and we like to think we have something for everyone. Our roles are designed to welcome people from all backgrounds, all you need is a can-do attitude and the ambition to be the best. We’ll help you with the rest.

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