Despite a tough year for everyone, Ross says that the pandemic hasn’t changed her focus. “I continue to build the procurement and supply chain practice and fulfil transformation activity for my clients, but the market has certainly been more challenging. Some people have really needed extra or more frequent support in this unpredictable market.”
Since the pandemic, Ross sees her capacity for empathy as playing a key role in the service she provides. In a world where kindness is finally taking centre stage, Ross now allows her caring nature to take the lead. “Before Covid, I felt that my softness could be a weakness, but over the past 2 years, people have become more open to sharing their truth and my genuine desire to support people was appreciated.”
Ross said that the need for connection was clear. “A few of my contacts were struggling with confidence, self-motivation or their mental health. They wanted to speak each week, which is rare in a slow-moving market, but they just wanted to know they were on my radar. I felt a responsibility to my contacts; some hadn’t worked for a while due to the general election, IR35 or Brexit and so I worked with the individuals to offer the kind of support they needed personally, always being honest and relevant, but more bespoke to their emotional state or personal needs.”
Ross also created virtual peer networking events so her contacts (both clients and senior candidates within work or looking for their next assignment) could share their war stories and offer ideas and coaching to each other. These events were well received by her contacts, but also provided Ross with helpful insights into the rapidly evolving market. It also inspired some fascinating and useful blogs, which helped keep everyone informed during a tough time.
“I wanted to create an informal, friendly and safe space and it became something we all genuinely looked forward to each quarter. A glass of wine was also very welcome when we couldn’t go out and see loved ones! We’re looking forward to a reunion in person soon.” Ross said.