There are many myths circulating about Outplacement – here are just a few.
Senior Managers and Executives don’t need outplacement support.
This is a view often held by executives themselves. Many have had long and successful careers, and come to outplacement with a high degree of scepticism. “What can you tell me that I already don’t know?”, “I’ve had no trouble finding a job myself in the past”. The reality is that many senior executives we work with have never faced involuntary loss of their job before. The inevitable feelings around loss of face, status and security need to be dealt with in a dignified and protected environment. Whilst this is often new territory for the executive, it is familiar ground for us at HunterBligh and where our expertise comes into play. In addition, our experience is that in many instances more senior executives take longer to transition to their next career stage, and that ongoing support over a long period is even more critical.
Outplacement is all about finding a job.
Employers who offer outplacement support to their staff tend to focus on the outcome of people finding a job. This is understandable as arguably the least enjoyable task of leadership is telling someone that there is no longer a job for them. Our natural instinct is to want to provide them with another job to fill the gap. This perspective, while admirable, oversimplifies the complex effect that losing a job has on an individual. It is not simply a matter of finding another job. In many regards, that is the easy part. The difficulty is adapting one’s identity to assimilate and cope with the job loss and create a realistic and fulfilling career pathway in the future. This is the most critical component of an outplacement program.
The next most important part of the program for an individual is identifying their preferred career direction. This involves career exploration and using a decision-making framework within which to integrate the complexity of career and life planning.
Finally comes the actual job search itself. Creating a job-search campaign and plan flows from the first two stages. By this stage the person knows the direction in which they want to head in their career, and how this is a continuation of their experience to date. The search, whether it is for a full-time job, a portfolio career, starting a business or any of the myriad options, is intrinsically motivational and is ultimately successful.
Outplacement is really only about an office in the city.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Today, the provision of an office from which to perform job search activity should be a minor part of any outplacement program. With technology, we find that the vast majority of HunterBligh Participants have ready access to email and internet, and are able to be productive at home or on the move. Time is best spent in one-on-one conversations with their Consultant, tossing around ideas, working through problems, and using their consultant as a sounding board, coach, mentor and confidant. The quality of any outplacement program should be measured on the relationship between the Participant and their Consultant and the outcomes they achieve together, not on the size of the office.