Podcast Episode 1

Introduction and Trailer for Career after COVID-19

Fleur and Kym introduce their stories and discuss how the Coronavirus pandemic has left them both unemployed after decades of successful employment experience. They talk about coping with changes to their professional and personal lives, starting to set goals for their time in isolation and being kind to themselves and others. 

Join the Career after COVID Facebook group and share your story.

Transcript of Episode 1 (lightly edited)

Voiceover 0:01
Welcome to the Career After COVID podcast, preparing for success after the pandemic, with Fleur Hull and Kym Kraljevic.

Fleur Hull 0:11
Hi Kym, how are you going?

Kym Kraljevic 0:13
I'm good. How are you Fleur?

Fleur Hull 0:16
Great. Well, here we are. This is our first episode of the Career After COVID podcast, and just a little starter, just getting to know who it is that's on this podcast. We're going to be co hosting this for the foreseeable future. It's hopefully not going to last too long because we're going to be out the other side of this and everyone back to the new reality. I'm Fleur Hull and I'm unemployed as of two weeks ago, so I'm absolutely someone who's looking to restart my career once this crazy time is over. I've got a bachelor's degree in economics With marketing and Japanese, a master's degree in marketing and another master's degree in tertiary education management, and I've worked for most of my careers in universities, advising literally tens of thousands of prospective students through group sessions and individually on their course choices and their career paths. And people's careers have always been something that fascinated me. And I've helped I always get asked by family and friends to help them with their CVs and, and LinkedIn profiles. And it just occurred to me as I was going through my own, I guess, exploration of where I'm at now that this pandemic is heat, and that maybe others might want to know about it, too. Kim, what about you?

Kym Kraljevic 1:48
Absolutely. Um, so yeah, I'm Kim Kraljevic, which I have a bachelor's degree in arts with an extended major in psychology, as well as professional writing and editing. I've worked for years in different big organizations and small, so private public. So I've worked in the public sector in premier and cabinet doing economic policy and project management, Event Management at really big ag shows, as well as the academic institutions looking at entrepreneurship innovation programs. So I've had quite a varied career and I'm probably one of those people that's a generalist. And depending on what you're talking about one year, it's good to be a generalist next year, it's not so good. So you know, I'm always bouncing around that one.

And look, I'm I'm like you Fleur I'm unemployed as of a couple of weeks ago as well and looking to have these great conversations about where we're at because of COVID of course, but, and reentering workforce but I'm also doing the whole rethink about How I might enter and where I might enter as well. So I'm kind of taking this opportunity for a bit of a recalibration as well. Yeah, well, this whole thing's going on. And how long are we going to be doing this for anyway? We don't know. Right?

Fleur Hull 3:16
So yeah, definitely. Yeah.

Just as an aside, I think it's important to do a shout out to the people who are still out there working on the frontlines as well. And you know, the people who are in our healthcare sector, our supermarkets, our transport, all those sorts of things, and it's, it's great that they're out there kind of keeping things moving along, while so many parts of the economy have shut down. And, you know, we're pretty fortunate here, you're in Queensland Kim, I'm in Western Australia. We seem to be you know, keeping a reasonable handle on on how this pandemic is playing out in terms of the health crisis. But we're definitely seeing, like so many parts of the world, the employment the economic side of this is some is really pretty severe. And and, you know, to women who've had, I think, you know, really amazing careers and as you say, varied careers across a whole range of areas. And then to be in this position where our jobs have just fallen out from underneath us. So it's some, it's Yeah, in some ways, it's freeing. It's liberating, isn't it? Because it's not the usual stigma of unemployment that often comes when it happens just kind of randomly in the middle of kind of normal life, whatever that is.

Kym Kraljevic 4:48
That's absolutely, I think, you know, go back to you know, even about the health crisis. Everyone keeps saying there's two answers the health and the economics of all of this and Where we're positioned in Australia, I think we're really lucky in that, you know, our, the management of health here and you know, fatalities has been relatively low. We've got some great sort of support packages available to those that can get them. I'm still working out whether I slipped through the cracks, or I'm one of the people that can get some support as well.

Fleur Hull 5:23
Yeah.

But it is, you know, and there are quite a few people that are slipping through the cracks. But having said that, at this point in time, I'm still, you know, trying to be positive. And also, every day sort of go, Well, kind of lucky that we're here and not other countries where their fatality rates are in the thousands, you know, we're obviously doing something right. As long as we can keep doing that right thing. So yeah,

yeah, yeah. And I think the point you said about, you know, at least even though I guess we're wearing About our income and careers, you know, if we do get sick, we have access to free health care in this country and just even a free test, let alone free health care if we are sick. So I know that as has, you know, it's Yeah, we're really fortunate. So we're, I think that's an important part wherever you are in the world, to hopefully, you know, be as positive as you can through this and, and, you know, help yourself to get through the other side. And, you know, hopefully this podcast will give you some ideas for how to remain positive to keep your levels of confidence up and your motivation.

Kym Kraljevic 6:45
Good thing flow with our conversations too, is we're also brutally honest, so why Yes, you know, saying Chin up everyone, I'm having days where I'm like, Oh, my God, really? Like, right now. Like, you know, I wasn't planning on this. So who would have thought at my age I'd be sitting in talking about this stuff. But hey, that's life and you know I'm doing every day what I can to sort of refocus and calm the mind a little bit.

Fleur Hull 7:13
Yeah, absolutely. That's right. And I guess that leads on to you know why we've we've set up this podcast at some really been

in my mind, I've been thinking about doing a podcast for a while, but what I wasn't sure which which aspect of of my interests I was going to, to explore. And then we had that chat yesterday, literally yesterday, and what was it the day before? Maybe But anyway, we we it just occurred to me that we're discussing all of these career issues and where we're at and jobs that we're applying for that we don't even want, but that we still can't even get close.

And so, yeah, just it just seemed like a logical next step to share our stories and maybe if we can help a handful of other people and see where it leads. And also, it actually helps with the sense of isolation to think that we're talking to maybe a few others or you know, a few dozen others maybe for lucky, who are out there because we're both extroverts. And it's really hard, not being able to kind of get yourself out there in front of people when it's it's so much a part of my natural inclination to just want to talk to people and and hear their ideas and their stories. So yeah, it's it's serving a need for us as much as anything it might do to help others. So, yeah, we're, that that's sort of where it's come from. I guess you Yeah, exactly. And in terms of, I guess what we plan to do on this podcast? We haven't really set a schedule yet, Kim, I guess it's going to come a little bit organically. To begin with, I mean, it's not like our diaries are full of other appointments at the moment that I got my kids home from school and yeah, so just finding moments in the day where I can keep them quiet so that I can record something. So yeah, I'd be making do this a couple of times a week at least, and see what sort of response weekend and you know, we'd love to hear. If you're out there, and you're our first listeners. Leave us some comments and let us know what you liked about the podcast when it's finished and, and the writing. And, yeah, we'll try and bring you more and more content to help you get through this this crazy time.

Kym Kraljevic 9:59
Absolutely.

Fleur Hull 10:00
So for today's episode, I guess we thought we'd talk a little bit about what we've been doing to cope with the shock, and the changes to our lifestyles. And I guess some of the reflections that we're doing on where we're at the jobs we've we've just moved out of whether they were the sorts of things that we want to go back to. And also just around general, I guess sort of mental health stuff, understanding yourself, getting yourself prepared really, for the next phase of your career because even if you do go back to the same job, after this is over, it's going to be a different workplace. Things are just going to be different the way the world operates. So using this time without putting too much pressure on yourself, but using this time to really gear up sorry. That's sort of something to talk about.

Kym Kraljevic 11:04
And setting some goals some some realistic goals.

Fleur Hull 11:10
Yes, that are achievable, and and not gonna stress you out, you know, chunking I guess the things that you want to do, so that you're not overwhelmed. And that's something that can, you know, you and I have been talking about that, that we're both the sort of people that have a lot of ideas. We've always got, you know, at least a handful of kind of business ideas and content ideas and all sorts of things, you know, springing up in our minds and, and this pandemic has, I think, for some people, you know, there's there's new opportunities for for new nations or different ways to go about all nations because of the pandemic. So, I think, you know, there's a lot of people in our position where they're having, you know, ideas into their head. But then there's a sense of overwhelm of which kind of rabbit holes go down which we tried to get to explore. So, do you want to talk a little bit about how you've sort of been the last couple of weeks because you were in Sydney, that was your last job. So you drive home to Queensland?

Kym Kraljevic 12:18
Yes. So I jumped out of the routine of having a job. So I worked for the Royal agricultural society of New South Wales on the Sydney royal Easter show, which of course was cancelled for about the first time in 140 years. So I was looking at sponsorship partnerships, advertising, I've worked across event management, they're on and off for years, too. So I was in the middle of all of that huge event in a really big city living in the inner city. That got shut down. We all sort of got stood down. And within the timeframe before kind of borders closed and everything I decided to come home to Queensland where I live in a little town The country so I've come from having a really big long day of routine in a really huge big city to kind of doing nothing and a little country town. So I kind of underestimated that. Having said that, it's actually been really lovely being home in a bit of quiet and of course, you know, we've got lots of animals and everything here too, which are really good therapy. But I think in the second week, this is my second week home. The first week kind of went by in a blur and then this week, it's been a little bit more of that you know, mind chatter, and as much as I think I've been adjusting really well I know when it's the last thing I think about at night and the first thing I wake up thinking about in the morning is where to from here you know, at some deep subconscious level, you still trying to process what's going on.

So for me,always for me When I'm having those kind of surges of adrenaline or you know, whatever is happening, I have to burn it off. So I walk and trying to size out. So burn that out of the system as much as possible. And then I do spend time, you know, with horses, which actually requires you to be focused on them and nothing else. So it's a bit like meditation. So if I wasn't doing that, I'd probably do some form of meditation. Yes. And I'm just at that point now where I'm actually beginning to sort of see the clutter in my head and starting to go you know, let's just put that aside for a while or let's think about that. Actually, that's a priority. You actually still do need to think about how you're going to pay your mortgage so soon, if so, yeah, starting to file away all these thoughts and starting to really look at what's going on and you know, there's always those things where when you're actually feeling or experiencing an emotion it's so push it away. You actually do have to experience it. Yeah.

Fleur Hull 15:05
Yeah, then I'm really a really good tip actually to sit, sit with the, with the stress.

Kym Kraljevic 15:11
Yeah, exactly. Sit with it, understand the actual intensity of it. And then you can sort of start to unpack it a bit, but don't kind of dismiss it because it just amplifies that. So that's kind of where I'm at the moment. I'm sort of just sitting with it all and doing what I can, as I said, to get rid of some stress and anxiety through exercise and focusing attention on other things, but yeah, beginning to sit down and really look really look hard at what's going on emotionally.

Fleur Hull 15:43
So that's where I'm at flow. Fantastic. Yeah, I mean, it's, it's a journey, isn't it? Which is a cliche, but it is for everyone and no one's an expert on surviving a pandemic. No, not like there's any sort of book on this or, you know, no, no. No one everyone's just coming at it from their own experiences and their own context. And I think that's a really good point that you made because that's something that I'm trying to do as well around sitting you know naming the stress kind of naming the thoughts and the feelings that's something that my you know life coaches psychologist, she's always taught me that to to actually just observe and name your thoughts. So when I start to get a bit overwhelmed I just just sit and say oh, there's that worried thought again, you know, there's that you know, anxiety around making ends meet. And it's really strange as soon as you put it into words, it's it's like I did read something the other day. I'll find it and put it in the podcast episode notes about it moves. You probably know this Kim with your psych degree. It moves the thought from One part of your brain the kind of fight or flight part, whatever that's called, and we go and amygdala into another part around that helps your executive function. So that chatbox your body move from that kind of stress zone in your brain to the kind of planning and problem solving part of your brain as soon as you put words on it, and you can sometimes even say it out loud. If I'm, you know, on my own, I just saw this that worried thought about money again. And that's been really helpful for me, because it does, it puts you in a different space in your brain.

Yeah, and just just on that, I'm thinking about it. And you just said saying it out loud. And then writing it down.

Kym Kraljevic 17:50
That's a good point, too. Yes.

Fleur Hull 17:52
What the point the reason I say this because quite often, what you how you think about something, how you speak about something and what you write about. about it are often three very different versions of the truth is a very good exercise in getting clarity and going, Oh, particularly when you're wanting to get to know I just think that about myself really can actually get quite revealing and quite scary. Hence why everyone's you know, talking about journaling all the time, right, but it does, actually, you know, it does kind of like require different yet functioning cognitive functioning to do these things differently. So it does kind of tend to give you different variations of what you think you may be thinking and doing. So I'll just add that little here.

And actually, it's a really good point to make because one of the things that I'm noticing about myself is I've always been a pretty good sleeper, and I haven't been sleeping well the last week or so back really struggling to get to sleep in a way that I never had before. Now I've got to do a little bit of a control the experiment on it because I think I'm having way too much caffeine during the day. I think when you're at home, and you want to take a break, and you kind of want something to do and that, that whole kind of, you know, putting, I don't know, rather than eating something, I think I'll just have a coffee. And yeah, maybe that's part of it. But what I've been trying to do the last couple of nights is with a notepad next to the bed, actually just write down if I'm lying there without being able to fall asleep, fall asleep, writing down what's on my mind, and it's almost like once you've written it down, it gives your brain permission to shut off then, because I think some of what happens is I'm thinking of ideas or problem solving. And I think part of it is worried what me worrying that I'm going to forget. So by writing things down, it actually takes it out of My brain and yeah, I feel like it's helping a little bit but I think I've got to slowly one my caffeine consumption back because if I do it too quickly I get really bad. It was basically a caffeine addiction.

Little things like on burning off adrenaline by doing exercise or something but you've also got to regulate your caffeine intake. So there's those little actions that you can take.

Kym Kraljevic 20:32
Yeah, they're not going to change the world dramatically, but damn it, they're going to actually contribute a little bit.

Fleur Hull 20:39
And I'm exercising to some I'm walking an hour every day. And you know, it's part of how I've come to this podcast idea because I've been listening to so many podcasts while I've been out working, walking, sorry, because I had to stop going to the gym. So I'm walking better in May. I mean, I'm not obviously getting I'm doing a little bit of strength training online. But mainly I'm just doing the walking and Well, yes, letting it out as well. But there's no two ways about it that I've been there's lots of stuff going around on Twitter and Facebook and everything people, you know means about what time does coffee stop and what time does one start each day? You know? Because everyone's I think just yeah, I mean, it is it's a it's, it's part of, I think the public health concern in this class. This isn't that we're, where I'm using other crutches, you know, because we're at home. Where, yeah, we've got more access to our vices, I guess, than we would in a workplace.

Right there.

No, no, but I'm in the kitchen all day. So

someone was saying there's a really funny thread on Twitter yesterday, someone was talking about like, Oh my God. The cooking washing up cooking washing up thing is just driving me bananas because I guess everyone's at home so there's just so much more eating at home going on. And then so many more dishes and men and women are both like feeling that all they do all day is kind of prepare meals and do dishes, you know, and then there was this thing around. I've lost my train of thought anyway. Yeah. So it was this this, this this thread I thought it was quite funny because people were just like, wow, you know, we're all home. It's a whole different environment and, and challenges along with that anyway. So, but yeah, I think there's a couple of Yeah, I'm it's even just nice being able to say it out loud together, like yeah, writing stuff down saying it out loud. can really help with some. We've just processing what you're going through. So yeah, that idea of journaling I'm actually always a big fan I think, you know, this came of actually just doing voice memos on my phone as sort of journal entries because you can always transcribe them if you want to get a written form of it, but it's just a moment in time just journaling where you're at you know, by by recording a voice memo, I've done them for years i've you know, did voice recordings when I was on the way to the hospital to have my daughter you know, just just to capture that moment in time you know, it'll it'll live on forever but how I was at that moment, so I certainly wasn't going to be writing down in a diary. I was having contractions but yeah

Kym Kraljevic 23:40
I don't I don't actually do that the voice recordings but I'm gonna have a crack at that. Like I've never actually done that.

I don't like it.

Fleur Hull 23:48
Or something I was writing but yeah, so sort of thing which I'm all about. I'm always talking to myself.

And then you can transcribe and then it can become public. Have a blog or, or there's some pretty good I mean transcriptions it's always better to get a person pay a person to do it, or do it yourself, but it's pretty time consuming, but and then what else have we got time to do now? But, I think you know, if you're going to talk about, you know, creating some content out of what you're doing then yeah, it's often a really good way to do it because it's less like sitting down to actually just write or type at a computer. It can be a real block, whereas just actually turning your phone on and just blah, blah, blah. I find it's a really, really great way to get things out of my system so that you know, a little tip.

Kym Kraljevic 24:44
Yeah, and I think again, Further to that just in terms of getting things out of your system, like just what you've just said now and sort of tweaked some thinking for me. Like I love a whiteboard. Yet what I down on a whiteboard vary, again, vastly different to what I might type on my PC. Yes, give me a water post it notes and I'll go to town on those. So I think for everyone finding the way that you write, so it's not just about opening up a Word document and writing your thoughts. Quite often what I've also found just in terms of writing as well as if I was trying to write something, you know, like, whether it was like a maybe a meteor release or something. I found staring at like a Word document, like really imposing or the pressure. Yeah, so I just crack open up an email, and like, email myself, you know, because it just something a little less formal about it, and the less formalized.

Fleur Hull 25:46
Really?

Kym Kraljevic 25:48
yeah, more relaxed the flow was. So it's kind of, I don't know, there's no one rule for anything. And I just think if you feel like you write better in a different way in a different format or context, Write fantastic and it's you know, there's always the Edit. So just get it down if that's what you want to do. But then yes doing the voice recordings as well. I mean amazing or texting yourself. I mean, you know, there's all these ways to get it out and no one rule you know no one and I wish I could say I have a journal by the side of my bed but I don't I'm kind of like the queen of scraps of paper. I don't mind scraps of paper. It's just a little not a lot. No, no, God no. And again, when I'm when I'm cleaning up, I'll find like, I've I've got like six or seven beautiful, you know, bound hardcopy books, journals. Yeah, that I've written one entry of the stuff.

Fleur Hull 26:49
I'm like that person that finds that scrap under the bed. Anyway.

Kym Kraljevic 26:54
That's a really good for a couple missing for six months.

Fleur Hull 27:00
My, my problem is I'm so sentimental and I've got slight hoarder tendencies. So I've still got the box of post it notes that I took when I left the University of Technology, Sydney. So just for our listeners, that's where we met. We both worked at ETS. And because I'm worried that there's going to be like a phone number on a roll, or some amazing pill of wisdom.

I know I know. I need to probably Yeah, process that problem.

Kym Kraljevic 27:36
Looking on my old, like the old study area desk area that I used to use, like a couple years ago here and I've only really sort of crack the door open on that and I'm finding post it notes everywhere. So now I'm just gonna sort of like gather up and think did I have some kind of stroke of genius, you know, two and a half years ago, the last time I sat here and it's sitting on a post it note somewhere, so It's a good motivation for a bit of a clean up to win win. Not great. Yeah, fine. pearls of wisdom even better. Yeah. Find a $5 note if you're lucky. I'm just gonna say so far is nothing worth keeping.

Fleur Hull 28:19
Which is what I suspect about mine as well. But it's, yeah, it is. It's a it's a bit of a little OCD or something inside me. It's a sentimentality as well, like, because when you do look through that stuff, inevitably there is something where you go, Oh, I remember that.

Kym Kraljevic 28:40
Yeah.

Fleur Hull 28:41
You know, so life's too busy, isn't it? In reality, I mean, yeah. So yeah, I need to let go. And maybe that's another tip as well. I mean, I think a lot of people are talking about using this time if they've got it, and that's another sort of argument because I think some People have got a lot of time other people have got less time now because even though they might not be working, they're caring for people and stuff like that. But, you know, cleaning up tidying up, reorganizing. Maybe we can do an episode on kind of getting yourself organized to to go for it. Anyway, yes. So that's, I think, a reasonably good starting point. Kim, is there anything else you want to talk about in terms of tips or should we save something for Episode Two?

Kym Kraljevic 29:33
Well, the only other thing I will say and again, it's just through having these conversations like right now my thinking is that my moving forward whatever that means, is probably not going to be in inverted commas, "The right order" do to mean like, it's not like I'm going to do right sit down, redo LinkedIn and the resume and look for a job and you know, like, there's going to be no exactly right way to what I do. At the moment, I'm kind of thinking I need to find some new inspiration or a glimpse into the future that I kind of want for myself, which is probably not, you know, the best use of time in terms of finding another job, but for me where I'm at right now, that's kind of what I need to think about. You know, I'd really great insight.

Fleur Hull 30:32
I think it's a really good good point, because I think we all put pressure on ourselves to follow some sort of, you know, that topic to get get ahead or whatever. And you know, and when we talked about this podcast, that was definitely part of the idea was just to, to free flow, to hopefully come up with a couple of gems that people can take away each episode. But not to be prescriptive. And and I mean, who are we to be prescriptive anyway, we're just people talking about as I said, there's no expert on this. No one's got a PhD in you know, coming out the other end of a pandemic, yet.

Kym Kraljevic 31:20
Yeah.

Fleur Hull 31:24
That's a really good point. Because I think, yeah, we are going to all everyone's going to come at it differently and different things are going to work for people at different times. But I'll try and put a whole lot of resources in the the Episode Notes as we go forward. But perhaps we'll just talk a little bit about next steps. As I said, No schedule on this. We'll try and get another podcast out when we can maybe after the Easter long weekend, stay at home every month. No unnecessary travel.

Okay. So also remember to subscribe everyone. So there'll be more than one episode, I think and we'll start a Facebook group I think so people can share the stories and give people advice. We'll get all the Twitter and all the, you know, accounts set up. Not too many, though. I think it just gets a bit overwhelming. But anyway, we'll, we'll publish this ASAP. And let us know what you think.

In the comments. That'd be great. Thanks, everyone for listening. Thanks, Kym. Any final words?

Kym Kraljevic 33:02
Um, no. Look, I'm just my week ahead. Yeah, at this point in time, I am looking at, you know, thinking about what I may wish to do in terms of maybe it's a whole new career. So I am gonna start exploring things that inspire me maybe it's things that I've read or seen, but one of the things I want to do is try and take some action. And also think about the things that I would like to do. If I could be someone else for a day. Who would that be? Oh, why? Why would I be that person and, and why am I not doing that? You know, I'm trying to get some pushing my thinking a little bit and that's not too hard. It's kind of almost fun. But it might sort of review like what my skills are.

So as to you know, my I don't have enough x, you know, what is that x is that I don't have enough money, education, motivation, faith in myself. What is that? Like? What is it? Yeah, maybe I'll be back so that that's what I'm going to be. So next week I'll be able to tell you, you know who I pretended to be? Yeah, be that person. Yeah. And what it was about that that kind of really made me a little bit, you know, kind of revealed something about myself and where I am at the moment.

Fleur Hull 34:31
What a brilliant exercise to do. Yeah, I'm gonna do well, what a great idea. If you come up with any writing around that, can you? Can you email yourself, don't look at a blank Word document.

Kym Kraljevic 34:49
It'll be on scraps of paper under my bed.

Fleur Hull 35:08
That's awesome. That's a really great tip just to think about, oh, who is that? I want to be and yeah, yeah, it's fantastic. Well, Kym, thank you so much for your time today. And yeah, I look forward to speaking with you next time. And we'll, we'll we'll come up with some more stuff for Episode Two.

Kym Kraljevic 35:26
Absolutely. Thank you. heaps of fun and it really actually, conversation reveals so much. Yeah. important too. So thanks.

Fleur Hull 35:33
Nice. Stay safe. Everyone stay at home. Stay well. Yay to all of our frontline workers. And yeah, we'll sign off for now. Thanks, everyone. Bye bye.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai