Dear M3JC Member,

We hope you are well, and continuing to have success in the search for your next fulfilling role.

As you will recall, we introduced the M3JC and Lenovo Buddying Programme back in September and I am delighted to say that it has been a huge success. Nineteen M3JC members signed up for the first two phases of the programme and have been buddied up with nineteen Lenovo folk. Below find some of the feedback from those involved so far, both M3JC and Lenovo participants.

I am very excited to announce that after the success of our Lenovo Buddying programme so far, we are now ready to launch phase 3! We are very keen to invite those of you who did not sign up initially, and who may have had a rethink, to sign up NOW! Consider the benefit this is affording those who are already in the programme, which will be ongoing now – Phase 1 is by no means over. Please find below Lenovo and M3JC Buddying Guidelines and Expectations.

There are many more Lenovo folk waiting in the wings to become your buddy – lets support their enthusiasm and ensure this is a win win situation.

If you would like to sign up for a Lenovo buddy, please contact Lorraine at and give her your name and contact details with permission to share them with the Lenovo Buddies. That’s all you need to do… we will do the rest… and you could be enjoying very valuable conversations very soon!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Gill Cheesewright
Business Presenter
M3 Job Club.

M3JC Feedback

  • I have had two meetings with Rachel and planned for another 4 to make a total of 6. We are getting to know each other and what our situations are. Rachel’s role as Profit Manager (at Lenovo) was the next step up from here role as pricing analysist at IBM.This does not relate well to my career in technology at as a consultant to select and implement IT.I am happy to talk to Rachel over the coming weeks. Rachel has not really been out of work for any extended period and the main tools, she recommended for looking for works is Linked. Which I am already using. If there are any opportunities in Lenovo, I will put her down as a reference if one replies to me. I use Rachel as a sounding board and take & follow advice, keep myself accountable and learn how Lenovo has adapted to the Covid situation. I hope Rachel is happy to talk to me, and look forward to our chats.
  •  I have had one introductory meeting with my buddy and it was great.  We spent the first meeting just getting to know each other and our second meeting will now take place as my live-in job has ended.  My buddy is very approachable and helpful.
  •  I am finding the initiative a great way to build confidence.  I will feed back more after my next few meetings.
  • Hope you are well….sorry I missed this email!!….I have had two conversations with Steve Wells at Lenovo and all very good thank you. Steve has given me a couple of ideas that I’m following up on and I have appreciated the two chats I have had with him. Next one is this Friday
  • The buddy system has been very useful and I really feel that this really will help me out a lot. I am amazed already. This has already made me feel more confident in myself. Thank you
  • I’ve found the Lenovo Buddy Programme really helpful. I’ve been paired with a very understanding helpful person who is really easy to talk to and keen to share her experience. Many thanks.
  • The Buddy Programme is going ok at the moment, we had an introductory video call last Friday and found we had a lot in common regarding previous work. Unfortunately Darren is off work (ill) today and I’m with my family over at the Isle of Wight next week so there wouldn’t be much to catch up on, so our next meeting will be the following week. I’ll go through my current job applications with him and see if there is any further advice he can give me. Many thanks and have a nice weekend.
  • I had an introductory zoom call with my buddy, Jai, on Friday last week with further sessions scheduled on Friday afternoons.  There was no call this week as Jai is on leave.
    For the first session we confirmed our mutual understanding of the ‘buddy’ guidelines.  I then provided a brief summary of my career and the challenges I having getting back to work.  We reviewed some of the themes around my roles and experience and how they inform the sort of role I’m looking for.  Jai suggested there was a recurring theme around ‘business change’ and suggested I prepare a CV with this focus.  I’ve done this and sent to Jai for review at our next meeting. We also agreed I would change the job vacancy filters in LinkedIn to see what sort of ‘business change’ roles emerged.  We’ll look at the output from this also next week. Jai said she would investigate any suitable opportunities within Lenovo. I found Jai to be a very personable and intelligent buddy and is clearly keen to help. Let me know if you need further feedback and have a nice weekend.
Lenovo Feedback
  • “I scheduled 30 minutes and we ended up chatting for an hour”
  • “I enjoyed the interaction”
  • “No issues so far, I’m going to help have a look at his CV”
  • “It’s nice to have something else to think about beyond my day job”
  • “We’ve identified a skills gap in his CV and I’m now helping find suitable training to plug the gap”
  • “We’ve identified challenge is the culture change between the French and UK job market”
  • “I’m going to make sure my buddy gets a job”

Lenovo and M3JC Buddying Guidelines and Expectations


  • Networking is by far the best way to find your next job role.
  • The adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is so true
  • The more people you have in your network, the greater your chance of success.

Benefits to M3 job club members?

  • Work with a “Lenovo buddy” (LB)
  • Build up your network of contacts
  • Share your own experience
  • Learn from other people experiences
  • Help move forward in the quest to get back into the workplace.

For the Lenovo employee:

  • An opportunity to develop your skills in mentoring and support.
  • Give back to the community

Time Commitment from both M3 member and Lenovo buddy

  • Lenovo are planning to volunteer up to 2 hours of volunteer time a month per buddy.
  • This is flexible and could be delivered in a mutually agreed format e.g.
    • weekly 30-minute session
    • 1 hour every two weeks
    • 1 block each month
  • Duration of connection: Minimum 3 months to gain maximum benefit
  • Frequency and commitment will be mutually agreed once buddying begins:

What buddying looks like:

  • An opportunity to understand the challenges that come with returning to the workplace
  • Understand and share your own experience
  • Understand and learn from others experience
  • This can take many forms, including:
    • Listening
    • offering advice and guidance
    • generally lifting spirits and offering emotional support
    • genuinely sharing a job opportunity
    • identifying someone else who might help them based on knowledge and experience.


Lenovo Buddy:

  • Identify and spend up to 2 hours a month listening to and supporting an M3JC member on his/her journey back into the workplace.
  • Lenovo Buddy will make Initial contact with M3 person via email
  • Expected duration is 3 months.
  • If the M3 member gets a job before the 3 months is finished, or feels they no longer need support from the buddy, they can end the program.
  • At end of each buddy program, Lenovo buddy may decide to continue working with another person from M3.
  • If Lenovo work pressures mean the buddy can no longer commit the time they can also withdraw. Lenovo will do all it can to provide a replacement buddy if possible
  • Be a mentor – guide, direct, support and offer suggestions/opportunities/ sounding board as you see relevant.
  • Most important – be a friend and a solid part of their network.
  • Lenovo will not be offering counselling

M3JC member:

  • Your “Lenovo Buddy” is an extension of your current network.
  • Lenovo volunteers come from all parts of Lenovo’s business, sales, finance, IT, project management etc
  • It doesn’t matter who you buddy up with in terms of their job role and experience.
  • Your “Lenovo Buddy” is there to listen, be a sounding board, offer advice and guidance as appropriate.
  • Share your experience with your current job search – what’s going well / not so well
  • This is all about giving you support and helping you build a relationship and extend your network
  • IMPORTANT NOTE – Lenovo Buddies are NOT counsellors.



  • Tell me about yourself?
  • How long have you been looking for work?
  • What have you been doing?
  • What’s been good/not so good?


  • Have you or anyone you know had a career break?
  • How did they deal with that and getting back to work?
  • How should I position myself to get back into the workplace?
  • Have you been made redundant?
  • How did you get back to the workplace?
  • How long did it take?
  • Which were the best tools you employed?

What happens next

  • Each M3 member on the program will be assigned a Lenovo Buddy
  • Gill Cheesewright and Lenovo will allocate buddies – you will not get to choose your buddy
  • Your email address will only be shared with your allocated Lenovo Buddy
  • The Lenovo Buddy will send a welcome email to make initial contact
  • You will then arrange a mutually convenient time for a first meeting,
  • It is expected that meetings will take place virtually via Zoom or Microsoft Teams
  • You may wish to share phone numbers and other details as the relationship develops
  • Where people live close and it is mutually agreed, face to face meetings, coffee meet ups may also happen