Kirsty Bonner : The Career Guru

By Deepak Saibaba

The COVID-19 pandemic has now rendered millions jobless. An emerging pattern across the world indicates that even long term employees have been unceremoniously thrown out of their offices in the last two months. To say the virus has brought out the worst in humans is an understatement. From corporate America to the infamous slums of Mumbai, both coronavirus and job losses are now wreaking havoc in the livelihoods of people.

During any calamity, the world looks up to its leaders and thinkers. Undoubtedly, the worst affected today are the unemployed. Kirsty Bonner is a phenomenon in the recruitment industry. She has been nothing short of a knight in shining armor for most of the job seekers around the world. Some even go so far as to calling her a magician. She does all this with dedication, passion, sheer determination and grit, all of which reflects in her motto for 2020 : MISSION EMPLOYABLE©.

For this accomplished career consultant, life started as a derivatives broker in London in the early 90s. Her journey from there to today has not been easy, as she had many a glass ceiling to break. Today with a whopping 1.77 million followers in the worlds biggest professional platform LinkedIn, Kirsty is easily one of the most sought after career advisors in the world.

When I met Kirsty, she was sipping her favorite fever tree tonic water. Her coffee table boasted a few books but the one that caught my eye was The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway. I asked her if she was done with it. She nodded cheerfully and said this unconventional book of wisdom and life advice should resonate with anyone who finds themselves in life’s tough corners and is looking for inspiration. I steered her to talk about how she is an ace in the careers world.

I started by asking her to name her key services. She replied with her winsome smile, that all she does is help candidates optimize their LinkedIn profile in a way that is visible to recruiters. Apparently, for anyone approaching Kirsty for her famed one on one career counselling services, she provides two more services other than refining your LinkedIn. She ensures that the candidates resume expertly advertises them and their key transferable skills and is compliant with all ATS software. She also intensively prepares a candidate for all recruiter and hiring manager interviews.

I asked if this is all she does. Apparently not. Kirsty’s major inspiration in life is – no surprise here – Simon Sinek. His astounding book Start with Why is what made Kirsty quench for becoming an inspiration to others herself. If someone aspires to become a LinkedIn influencer, Kirsty today shows the way with her masterclass. If someone is in need of counselling, Kirsty can pull them out of anything be it trauma, depression or anxiety, being an avid psychologist herself. If someone needs a career change, Kirsty starts with working on their mindset.

The inspirational woman was almost done with her tonic water when I asked her about the Covid crisis and its impact on the job market. She insisted that the market still has plenty of jobs and one simply needs to know where to look. We talked a bit about travel. Well not a bit. A lot. Kirsty has traveled to over 80 countries and has lived and worked in dozens of them. It then dawned on me that her empathy and relatablity comes from the exposure she has had.

She patiently waited for me to finish my coffee and then indicated to me it was time for her to get back to work. I could not help admire her work ethic which is no-nonsense, direct, open and approachable. She knows there is a world out there waiting for every single word that comes from her famed account on LinkedIn as daily posts. Of all the praises I’ve read about Kirsty, I recollected one in particular. She is exemplary as a consultant, firm as a teacher and caring as an individual. I was glad I had seen each one of this face in the half an hour I spent chatting with her.

As I neared the door to leave, I turned around and sheepishly asked Kirsty, what sort of a picture I should paint of her when introducing her to the readers. I tried to suggest some adjectives – tall, brunette, pretty -? I ventured. She was amused and quickly replied – the 50 year old, going on 26.



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