After applying twice for a coach position, Noom offered this person a spot on the waitlist for a job.
Nearly a year later, they got a role working 29 hours a week as a goal specialist - and loved it.
Noom later laid off hundreds of employees, including them. This is their story, as told to Kaila Yu.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with a former Noom coach based in the South. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their career, but Insider confirmed their identity, income, and employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
I've been passionate about health and fitness since I completed my own weight-loss journey. I first applied to a coaching position at Noom in 2019 when I was dealing with emotional and personal issues, and I didn't make it past the first round of interviews. The way Noom incorporates psychology to help clients repair their relationships with food appealed to me, so I decided to give it another shot when I saw the job posted again in 2020.
I was put on a waitlist after Noom said I was hired
I interviewed in November 2020, but it was nearly a year before I was actually offered a part-time position. It seemed like Noom was actively hiring directly to the waitlist so they had a pool of candidates ready. I'd never been waitlisted for a job before, but a friend of mine had been hired after three months on the Noom waitlist, so I assumed it was typical for the company.
I was willing to wait because I had another part-time job and I thought I was a perfect fit for Noom. Also, the entire application process was grueling, and I didn't want to go through it again if I decided I wanted the job. It was four steps: the initial application, a self-shot video explaining why I was a good fit, a mock-coaching test, and two more interviews with the hiring team.
I started in my role as a goal specialist at $18 an hour for 29 hours a week. On a daily basis, I offered guidance and support for clients in achieving their weight-loss goals via online chat. Many of my clients were stress eaters who would binge-eat. I would help them identify what their stress triggers were and explore ways that they could self-soothe besides binge eating.
After I started, I realized our training should have been extended
I wanted more advice on how to navigate difficult situations that I might encounter with clients. During training, instructors would throw out terminology with no definitions and I often had to figure it out myself.
However, I loved that Noom was fully remote, which was different from other corporate positions I'd had and allowed for a lot of flexibility.
I envisioned myself staying with Noom for years - I planned to retire with them. I wanted to move into a full-time position, and my boss often said, "As soon as there's an opportunity, I'll put a good word in for you," but she never made any solid promises. I was also never given specific metrics for going full time.
I loved working with my clients; they shared deep and intimate things with me. I worked with over 200 clients at a time, and everything was going great. I actually wanted to take on more clients.
Then the layoffs came out of nowhere
They had just given coaches raises a month earlier, so we felt secure. On April 28, we got an email calling for a mandatory meeting that same afternoon.
During the call, they said they needed a certain number of coaches to leave to hit the metrics for their next coaching model, premium coaching, which will probably include video coaching. They're calling it a layoff even though we technically volunteered. (We also learned that 180 coaches were laid off earlier that day.) I decided to exit because there wouldn't be any full-time positions opening up soon. Also, the severance package was good; it included eight weeks of pay.
I still believe that Noom is a good company, but they shouldn't have fired employees after giving out raises.
I'm now working full time at a general store that sells products from local artisans. Before I accepted it, I was reviewing a list of health-and-wellness companies that were hiring that was posted by an advocate on LinkedIn trying to help laid-off Noom employees. It was a great resource. I'm not opposed to working for a corporation again, but I do like that I can make personal connections within my community at my new job.
I don't regret working there. I believe later on down the road Noom will realize that they lost a lot of quality coaches.
Noom declined to comment for this article.
Were you recently laid off and want to share your story? Email Nora Biette-Timmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.