Dan Black on EY's 'Rebuild Your Working World' initiative

07 October 2020 Consulting.us

To help candidates and job seekers prepare for their next career move, EY last month launched the ‘Rebuild Your Working World’ initiative. Dan Black, EY’s Global Recruiting Leader based in New York, shares why the Big Four firm launched the social impact initiative and how it has helped thousands of people rebuild their career.

When we look back over the course of our lives, we can all remember those times when we were faced with what seemed like insurmountable challenges. Seeing the way out of a tough situation is always most difficult when you are right in the middle of it. Having multiple paths to consider, each fraught with its own perils, obscures what our minds and hearts crave most in difficult times: a clear vision of a successful resolution. Not being able to see that light at the end of the tunnel often paralyzes us and adds to the uncertainty of the situation, adding insult to injury.

It’s during these times that I force myself to remember advice once shared by John Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan. He said, “The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” As simple as it sounds, this advice has tremendous power when applied with conviction. In March/April of this year, when my hometown of New York was considered the epicenter of the US COVID-19 pandemic, I initially felt helpless and at the mercy of conditions that were outside of my control. 

Dan Black, EY Global Recruiting Leader

It wasn’t until I resolved to do something – anything – that I really began to see positive progress in my life, both at home and at work. I wasn’t sure exactly what I could do to help myself, my family and my colleagues, but I was 100% certain that I didn’t want to continue to dwell on all the negative implications of the pandemic. I started small, with changes to how often I was consuming news. I made tweaks to my exercise regimen, and I deliberately created more time for unstructured, open dialogue with my team. 

The impact was immediate; I felt like a new person, ready to take on the enormity of the situation one day at a time. Did I stop the pandemic? No, of course not. But taking those initial steps in my immediate sphere of influence put the power back in my own hands. 

As the Global Recruiting Leader of EY, it occurred to me that a similar approach could be leveraged by the tens of millions of people across the globe whose careers have been negatively impacted in recent months. For anyone who is unsure about what comes next, why not start moving in a positive direction with respect to building skills, competencies and overall readiness for whatever the future of work may hold?

The broader recruiting team at EY was eager to assist with this effort, and the ‘Rebuild Your Working World’ initiative was born. With live sessions on topics including interviewing, personal brand and career readiness, a team of more than 120 EY professionals provided their knowledge to the talent market in more the 23 countries. Our online community attracted over 6,000 members from 99 countries, and the first ten sessions generated over 10,000 video views since the live series began on 14 September. 

As the world continues to deal with the effects of the pandemic, we would have been remiss not to make use of our expertise to help the unemployed and job-seeking population. We hope that the campaign provides a good start, as we work together to rebuild the working world that is so important to us all.

The views reflected in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.


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