The OI Partners blog post from October 24, The Truth About Career Transition Services, quoted an article from the Denver Post that reported that Colorado employers laid off more people in the first quarter of 2012 than they did in the same period of 2011. At that time, we posed the question: How many of these corporations offer outplacement services to their departing employees? Now, looking at this situation from the departing employee’s perspective, you must wonder why more employees don’t accept the services their former employer offers. Four common mistakes we see “outplaced employees” make all too often…

unemployed-2Assuming the search will be easy.

A misconception about outplacement is that it’s simply glorified resume writing services. The truth is, if you haven’t been “on the market” in a while, the scenery has changed tremendously. The prevalent use of social media and personal websites… the advent of the one-page biographic… even the way resumes are written and formatted have all reshaped the landscape of how a successful search is conducted.

Networking is king – upwards of 85% of jobs that are landed are found through someone the job seeker knows – and personal marketing materials and a solid marketing plan are key to opening the right doors. Partnering with a professional outplacement coach who can help you to utilize social media channels and face-to-face networking while bringing your resume and other personal marketing materials up to date, will accelerate your job search success.

Undervaluing the support of a dedicated outplacement coach.

Your coach will be your most valuable resource. A good outplacement coach will provide expert help with the transactional pieces of your search – resume and other marketing materials, company targeting, networking and more. A great coach will ask you the right questions to help you think beyond your own ideas about your past experiences to help you gain employment. An exceptional coach will work with you to maximize your time together to fully personalize your outplacement program focusing on the areas that will lead you to discover your full potential and uncover valuable career options.

Underestimating the emotional impact of job loss.

“Dismissal from work” ranks among the top 10 stressful life events that contribute to illness. Keep in mind that you’ll go through the various stages of grief after being laid off. A strong, confident and assertive CFO I coached after she was let go due to a “personality conflict” with the CEO, hit a new low in her 20+ year professional life during one of our coaching sessions. She couldn’t believe how long it was taking to find new employment, she had never had to look for a job before always having been recruited for each previous position and felt she couldn’t possibly ask her network for help. We worked through it and she earned the position of CFO with a growing online retailer.

Not taking advantage of outplacement services.

Your employer is paying for this dedicated support to help you land in a great new job quickly… so why would you not take advantage of these services? A reputable outplacement firm will never show up with hidden costs to the individual job seeker. Do check your program details to understand what it covers and if and when the program expires.  You’re best off if your employer has purchased a program that does not expire over time if you have unused program “credits” remaining.

In short, if you’re unfortunately “outplaced,” yet lucky enough to be provided with a personalized, one-on-one outplacement program with a professional coach, TAKE IT.

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