Thousands of people got laid off last year and were offered outplacement. In case you don't know what outplacement is, it's a firm that specializes in assisting recently laid off people with their job search. Outplacement is a great resource and unfortunately not everybody takes advantage of it. We come across people all the time who were given the opportunity to work with an outplacement firm like DBM, Lee Hecht Harrison or Right Management and never utilized it. It's mind boggling to think that people had access to terrific resources for FREE (since their former employer paid for it) and then never used them.
Some of the reasons we've heard from people who didn't avail themselves of this valuable service were, "I didn't think I'd need it", or "I knew someone who had a bad experience with it". If it was the latter, it could be that person didn't go into it with a good attitude.
Outplacement is a great benefit, and if you're lucky enough to be offered it, by all means use it.
Here are some of the goodies you'll get:
- Access to Coaches - Outplacement firms will usually assign you an individual consultant to help you work through the issues you'll face in your job search. These coaches have industry experience and are well credentialed so they are in a great position to offer guidance. They can also help you with mock interviews, clarifying goals and help you with your career transition. Coaches become coaches because they enjoy helping people and get genuine satisfaction out of seeing people succeed in their job search. They have a vested interest in seeing you land your next great job, and are a great partner to have in your corner.
- Tools & Research - The bigger firms usually have cutting edge resources like: databases that have extensive company and executive information; analyst and market research reports that provide industry trends; training programs to elevate your skills and personal assessment tests to give you further insights. In addition, you'll get help with resume development and a marketing plan. All of this is at your disposal. Use it!
- Job & Resume Postings - These firms have access to a multitude of job openings in a variety of industries and can notify you of jobs appropriate for you. In addition, they have their own job sites that allow you to post your resume. As recruiters, we can attest to the fact that these sites help people find jobs!
- A Place to Work - Some people find it really valuable to have a place outside the house to work on their job search. Outplacement firms have office space, computers, printers and telephones to help you stay focused and efficient. They also bring in speakers to help you with networking and shed light on current industry trends.
If you do find yourself laid off and offered outplacement, squeeze every ounce of value out of it. As wonderful as outplacement is, it does not go on in perpetuity. It can range anywhere from three months to a year and we all know how quickly that time flies by.
Fred & Gladys
Executive Search and Coaching
Authors of GOAL! Your 30 Day Career Plan for Business & Career Success