So They Gave You Outplacement, But Are You Getting Real Estate or Real Coaching?

It’s probably safe to say that when they lose their job, most people would welcome some help finding another one. Companies that offer help call it “outplacement ” or “transition coaching,” and hearing you’ll be receiving that aid can ease at least a little of your stress. But what are you really getting?

Will the outplacement company contracted by your soon-to-be-former employer give you a cubicle or coaching? Will they give you temporary office space from which to conduct your job search or the kind of meaningful career coaching that can help you land a job faster? Chances are good, it won’t be both. Too many outplacement vendors skimp on in-depth coaching because they are focused on providing brick and mortar space.

While technology has made cubicle access less important, career coaching is more vital than ever. Increased digital channels for job hunters mean you have more opportunities and competition, and a career coach’s guidance can be invaluable.

But how much time will you get to spend with your coach? Traditional outplacement organizations rarely place enough emphasis on coaching, so it’s not uncommon for coaches to have more than a hundred clients at a time. When you’re in a pool of that many job-hunters, all vying for the coach’s time, access is an issue. Your coach won’t have the time he or she needs to build a relationship with you and the benefits of your outplacement support will be undermined as a result.

In contrast, GetFive optimizes our outplacement services around the coaching relationship because research and experience have shown us that’s what works best for job-hunters. Regularly meeting with your coach so that he or she really gets to know you and your skills/goals means you’ll have better results – and your coach will be better able to act as your supportive partner and guide on your job-search journey.

When you’ve been let go from a job, you don’t necessarily have to settle for whatever your former employer decides to offer for outplacement, especially if it’s heavy on real estate and short on real coaching. You can request — calmly and rationally — something better than a comfy cubicle and cursory coaching. Seek more effective career coaching from the provider of your choice; many employers will allow you to choose your own outplacement firm.

Look for an outplacement company that will provide you with more than three months of support. Many job searches last longer than that, and if you’re at the executive and managerial level, a short term of coaching may mean your support ends before you have completed your journey. Often, executives are offered consulting work that may or may not convert to a permanent opportunity. It is helpful to know that your transition coach will still be accessible if you need to go back to the drawing board.

When you’re looking for a new job, you need support in finding a job that’s going to move your career forward … the kind of job that offers great benefits, better pay, and a corner office!




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