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As an unfortunate byproduct of COVID and these tough economic times, displaced workers seem to be a consistent demographic in the U.S., especially since March of this year. As we approach an unprecedented predicted unemployment rate of 32% in the U.S. by the end of 2020, employers are looking to secure trusted outplacement services to help their displaced employees weather this storm.
Outplacement is a company-funded career transition support provided for displaced employees. Coaches can help clients with interviewing, resume writing, group counseling even assessments to help you, a new job seeker, to discover your next career move. At the Career Strategy Group, we work with hundreds of organizations in the midst of a layoff effort, with measurable success.
And, yet, surprisingly, we’ve found that some clients do not accept outplacement services when they are offered.
Let’s talk about this: if you’re a casualty of reduction-in-force and you’re offered outplacement services, should you accept them?
Well, the short answer is yes, absolutely. But, for the skeptics, let’s take a look at why.
OUTPLACEMENT SERVICES ARE COMPLIMENTARY TO YOU (THE JOB SEEKER)
First and foremost, your former employer picks up the outplacement tab. Most companies forced to conduct a reduction-in-force (RIF) want to do right by the employees who loyally served them. (And maybe alleviate a bit of guilt too. It’s likely a combination of the two.) This career support is “on the house.” So, while you may be angry, depressed, frustrated (all very common feelings, by all means) taking the help does not mean that you need to use it at that very moment. In fact, with The Career Strategy Group, job seekers often get up to 6 or 12 months to use the services, so, if you need time, take it. (But, you have to agree to accept the services being offered to you first.)
OUTPLACEMENT SERVICES IMPROVE CONFIDENCE
Job loss is arguably stressful and difficult. Psychology Today says that job loss can lead to anxiety, depression, and worse. And, we know that with many industries retrenching right now – entertainment, hospitality to name a few – many folks feel they may not ever get work in their field again. However, with outplacement support, you learn to reroute those feelings into a more productive conversation focused on the future. Along with outplacement comes the invaluable gift of the productive distraction. Instead of entering “panic mode,” you’ll be able to center your energy on becoming more employable and focus your time on your next calculated step.
For a moment, let’s imagine your future after a layoff. It could go one of two ways:
- If you are offered outplacement that you do not accept, you could find yourself searching for a job, unsure if your approach is working. Without outplacement services, you won’t get any help with your resume, so you may enlist the help of a friend who has some free time, or you may decide to hire it out (on your dime, of course) and hope for the best. You’ll need to practice your interview skills in the bathroom mirror (without the support of a coach to offer feedback) and spend countless hours applying for job after job online, never knowing that this method was never going to work and likely has nothing to do with you.
- If you do accept the outplacement services your former company has offered, you’ll have seasoned pros at your side to keep you on track, coach you through all of the job search challenges that are often show up, and help you land a job faster.
OUTPLACEMENT COACHES CAN TEACH YOU HOW TO EXPONENTIALLY GROW YOUR NETWORK
When you’re looking for a job, there are few things more valuable than learning how to create and cultivate a powerful network. Your coaching team will teach you how to spend your time effectively, grow your own network, and leverage your connections to find your next fit. And a good outplacement coach will help you measure the quality of your network, and their network, so you’re not wasting your time, as well.
OUTPLACEMENT COACHES WORK FOR YOU, NOT YOUR FORMER EMPLOYER
We often hear from our outplacement clients that they fear their personal information will be shared with their former employer. This is a common misconception. When you are paired with an OP coach, that coach works for you. Your progress in the job search, the companies with whom you are interviewing, and any challenges you encounter along the way always remain completely confidential. Outplacement firms, ours included, typically share how the services are being utilized, but mainly in broad strokes, and only so the company footing the bill is reassured that it’s been money well spent.
The bottom-line? The entire purpose of an outplacement firm is to help displaced workers with their career transition. If your company offers it, you owe it to yourself to see what it’s all about.