How to Make the Most of an Outplacement Package

© stevecuk - Fotolia.com
© stevecuk – Fotolia.com

“We no longer require your services at this company, therefore, as of now, we require you to leave the premises. We have a representative from your outplacement firm to take you to their location in your outplacement package.”

Reading these words would strike fear in many, especially if it’s the first time you’re seeing them. However, look on the positive side. Being terminated is an opportunity for regeneration and realignment, and for exploring job opportunities you may enjoy more than the position you are departing.

In Canada there are statutory obligations for employers to provide outplacement support after a certain period of employment time, either as a lump sum of money or an outplacement package. While many corporations have contracts with outplacement firms, there is a notable shift in companies being more flexible and allowing employees to choose their own outplacement provider.

There are many options for outplacement services – some good, some mediocre, and some dreadful. Different firms offer different packages, and some cater to unique demographics. You want and deserve an outplacement package that is customized to your needs. While few firms are well-versed in catering to the senior level (directors and above), they are out there if you look for them.

Your outplacement firm should provide a comprehensive package that includes resume writing, personal branding, executive career coaching, and job search coaching. They should also facilitate introductions to key stakeholders, including executive recruiters and other influencers who can advance your career transition.

Here are a few other things to look for in your outplacement service:

  • Personalized service. This is your opportunity to reflect on your past career and take a journey into the somewhat unknown as you seek your next opportunity. Don’t settle for a different coach each week! Your appointed coach should be with you throughout this journey, which could be a three-month, six-month, or year-long contract.
  • Career assessment. This psychological tool will uncover substantial details about who you are and where your skills and attributes will steer you.
  • Collaborative approach. A good coach will provide you the opportunity to ask questions. Challenge them, just as much as they should challenge you.
  • Ancillary services. Look for additional perks and options, such as video bios, online portfolio and/or website, interview preparation, a personal brand audit, and blogging support.

Life after termination is not all doom and gloom. North America is experiencing an economic uplift and revival, where companies are actively seeking good talent who can articulate themselves with clear and precise messaging. You too could be sought after for multiple offers, like many of my clients are today.

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