Like many, my career was derailed during the economic downturn.
To hear the words “Thank you for your service” after 11.5 years of implementing Fortune 500 companies‘ 401(k) plans for my former employer, was devastating.
To hear the explanation in February 2009, that my performance was not considered when making the decision was little consolation.
The uncertainty of what lay ahead made me fear for my family’s security. What hurt the most was that I cherished the relationships I had built and opportunities I received for over a decade. I always felt a part of something bigger than myself. It was sad because I thought those days were over for good.
Little did I know at the time, that eventually I would consider myself one of the “Lucky Ones.”
The Roller Coaster: Life Changes Again
The firm I was working for announced they were moving from my home state of North Carolina to Florida in July 2010. What appeared to be yet another set back was the blessing in disguise I had been waiting for. My life and career dramatically changed for the better with one phone call. That phone call was from a Hewitt recruiter who had done her homework and knew of my situation before she called.
When she asked if I was familiar with Hewitt I had to chuckle. Of course I knew Hewitt! Everyone in the HR, BPO and Benefits industries knew Hewitt. They were always a well respected and very tough competitor. I worked closely with Hewitt on a project for a common client, IBM, several years before and remembered how impressed I was with the Hewitt people on the account.
How did I begin my Aon Experience?
The first thing I noticed about the recruiting experience with Aon Hewitt was that my recruiter listened and actually used my input in her search for the right role and overall fit for me. We talked about my implementation experience, Quality Assurance, Benefits, and she got a real feel for my personality.
Preparation met opportunity and she found the perfect role for me, in the right Aon Hewitt organization, and on a great team. I was such a strong fit that the role became virtual so I was not forced to relocate my family for a second time. I felt comfortable from day one and my previous experience was valued and even sought out. I listened, learned, asked questions, and learned some more.
Aon Hewitt’s virtual workforce strategy allows them to attract the best talent regardless of location and it shows!
Why do I Continue to Work at Aon Hewitt? To Put a man on the moon.
During the early days of the “Space Race,” a business reporter did a story about NASA. He asked a janitor what his job was. The janitor looked back at him intently and said “My job is to put a man on the moon.”
Aon Hewitt is not NASA from the 1960s, but their philosophy, vision, and goals are all very clear and very consistent.
I am energized every day that I go to work because I understand my role in something bigger than myself. I strive to have a positive impact on the projects I work on, the service we give our clients, and most importantly the people I work with.
Even though I work remotely I have not felt this close to colleagues in a very long time.
Virtual tools like email, instant messaging, virtual conferencing and others are extremely valuable and are constantly being improved. I also have had opportunity to travel to our home office in Lincolnshire, llinois. Once again, the future looks bright because my company’s leadership is strong from top to bottom, financially solid, and mostly because I feel valued and want to contribute as much as I can.
For anyone that has gone through, or is going through, the same experience, there is hope. There is a new tomorrow, as one chapter closes and a new one opens. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.
Rely on your friends, rely on your network, ask for help, listen and learn from others, overturn every stone, sell the best product in the world – you.
Aon Employees: Do you have an Aon Experience to share? Post a comment here and we’ll respond within 24 hours.