Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Creating value from working with an outplacement service to facilitate your job search

Posted in job search and career development by Timothy Platt on March 17, 2010

I have posted on working with career councilors and professional resume writers and about business social networking in general as an ongoing series. I want to at least touch on some of the issues involved in utilizing the resources that can be offered by outplacement services as well. It is important to identify and tap into every source of value that is available to you in developing and promoting your job search when you are looking, and outplacement services are frequently available free to you for this.

• Outplacement services are often included as part of a severance package.
• Government sponsored outplacement is often available and can be used along with any severance package support you receive. This is not an either/or option.
• A range of private organizations offer free or low cost assistance of this sort.
• Do your homework to find what is available to you. Ask the HR department of the organization you have left to make sure you know what they are providing and for how long. Network to your professional contacts, both to let them know you are looking and to help you find more available resources that might help you develop your search campaigns and carry them out. Look online to identify possible resources in your area and to find out what their eligibility requirements are.

Outplacement resources can include tuition help or even full tuition payment for any of a list of approved training or certification courses and programs. The lists of approved programs and training providers can be very extensive. This type of tuition support can be quite generous, and certainly where federal funds are allocated to support job seeker retraining to help people out of work to become more employable.

Outplacement resources usually include guidance and training in resume writing and interviewing skills. They often offer jobs boards and access to computers for looking online. Networking is always an important resource you can tap into through outplacement firms. Preliminary to any of this, outplacement support can usually help you with your self assessment to help you identify and focus in on the right types of jobs and to better know what you would have to do in order to be an effective candidate for them. This might, for example mean your learning that you really do need some specific new skills or certification now and what the highest priority would be for you to get further training in.

This is all very positive, but at the same time it is important to add a cautionary note or two. To start with, this is your job search and your career that you are seeking to promote and succeed at, so you have to be and stay proactive in your search.

• Don’t simply settle for whatever you are doing through the outplacement service and at the pace they are working with you at. Leverage what you are learning and doing through outplacement into your own ongoing efforts.
• Look for gaps in what you are doing and learning through outplacement and work to address them with positive action on your own part.
• So if there are local or national professional organizations you should join that would be of importance for the types of position you seek, for industry, business type, functional area you would work in, level of position in that functional area etc – find those organizations, join them and actively participate and network in them.
• There is an old expression about not looking a gift horse in the mouth, but in this case look. If the outplacement service you are offered support from as part of your severance package has real gaps in what they offer, gain what value you can from them but do not settle for just that as your entire effort.
• If they do not know your field of expertise or have experience working with people looking for the types of job you seek, use their services where more generic skills and resources apply but work on your own too, to connect this more specifically into your type of search.
• If they do not understand online social networking or how to tap into this as a set of job search resources look for other ways to develop your skills in this area. I try to offer effective resources for this in this blog and simply add that a lot more resources are also available for learning how to more effectively job search and business network online.
• Look around and find the resources that would add value to your search and help you with your learning curves.

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  1. […] is the original: Creating value from working with an outplacement service to … Tags: approved-programs, approved-training, even-full, help-or-even, include-tuition, Layoffs, […]


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