This dit-to-say essay is based on a conversation with a former Southern-based Noom coach. They spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their careers, but Insider confirmed their identity, income and employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
I have been passionate about health and fitness ever since I completed my own weight loss journey. I first applied for a coaching role at Noom in 2019 when I was dealing with emotional and personal issues, and didn’t make it past the first round of interviews. I liked the way Noom incorporates psychology to help customers repair their relationships with food, so I decided to give it another shot when I saw the job posting again in 2020.
I was put on a waiting list after Noom said I was hired
I had an interview in November 2020, but it took almost a year before I was offered a part-time position. It appeared that Noom was actively hiring directly from the waitlist, so they had a pool of ready candidates. I had never been waitlisted for a job before, but a friend of mine had been hired after three months on Noom’s waitlist, so I assumed that was typical of the business.
I was willing to wait because I had another part-time job and thought I was a perfect candidate for Noom. Also, the whole application process was grueling and I didn’t want to start over if I decided I wanted the job. It consisted of four steps: the initial application, a self-recorded video explaining why I was a good candidate, a mock coaching test, and two more interviews with the recruiting team.
I started my role as a Goals Specialist at $18 an hour for 29 hours a week. On a daily basis, I offered advice and support to clients in achieving their weight loss goals via online chat. Many of my clients were stress eaters who hustled each other. I would help them identify what their stress triggers were and explore ways to self-soothe in addition to binge eating.
After we started I realized our training should have been extended
I wanted more guidance on how to navigate difficult situations I might encounter with clients. During the training, the instructors threw around terminology without definitions and I often had to figure it out myself.
However, I loved that Noom was fully remote, which was different from other roles I’ve had in the company and allowed for great flexibility.
I imagined myself staying with Noom for years, I planned to retire with them. I wanted to progress to a full-time position, and my boss often said to me: “As soon as there is an opportunity, I will say a nice word to you”, but she never made solid promises. I was also never given specific steps to go 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. In fact, I wanted to take on more clients.
Then the layoffs came out of nowhere
They had just given raises to the coaches a month earlier, so we felt safe. On April 28, we received an email calling for a mandatory meeting the same afternoon.
During the call, they said they need a number of coaches to leave to meet the parameters of their next coaching model, premium coaching, which will likely include video coaching. They call it a layoff even though we technically volunteered. (We also learned that 180 coaches had been laid off earlier today.) I decided to quit as there would be no full-time positions available soon. Also, the severance package was good; it included eight weeks’ salary.
I still believe Noom is a good company, but they shouldn’t have fired employees after giving raises.
I now work full time at a general store that sells local artisan products. Before accepting it, I was reviewing a list of health and wellness companies that were hiring, posted by an attorney on LinkedIn trying to help laid-off Noom employees. It was a great resource. I’m not opposed to working for a company again, but I love being able to make personal connections within my community through my new job.
I don’t regret working there. I believe that later Noom will realize that they have lost a lot of quality coaches.
Noom declined to comment for this article.
Have you recently been made redundant and want to share your story? Email Nora Biette-Timmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.