Outplacement or Coaching


When a high level professional within a company finds themselves displaced what should they do? The world today may not be the one they began this position in. When you are in the position of making $250K+ you must be able to assess your skills and look as good as possible to potential new employers.

You will most likely be in a state of disarray yourself and need all the help you can find. There are a few really good firms that deal in executive outplacement and coaching for persons such as you. It would behoove you to talk to one of them to see if you think they could be of service.

There will be many facets to the changes you will be going through. Try to remember that your first impression to them will count more than ever. Below are a number of things which could help you promote yourself and avoid making any mistakes.

  • Know the company well enough to show how you can give them value for their money.
  • Do not speak ill of the old bosses you have worked for.
  • Let them know how creative you were at your old position. Be specific.
  • Let them know that you are IT savvy. An old dinosaur isn’t needed anywhere any more.
  • If you have influential contacts mention them. Only do so if you truly know them.
  • Let them know about team projects and challenging situations you have been involved in.
  • Avoid all political views. Unless it’s part of the job, stay away from politics totally.
  • Practice your interview skills. Anticipate questions and be ready with answers.
  • Last but not least, let them know your level of experience and results. Show that you can manage your people well with making team’s goals and motivation.

What if once displaced you really do not know what you want to do next? It will be to your benefit to give yourself a very rigorous self-assessment. Here are some things you should think about.

  • How does my career fit into my vision of my life?
  • What exactly are my core values?
  • Over the next few years what are my personal and professional objectives?
  • What gives me meaning and purpose in my life and my career?
  • What do I expect to be doing in my life in the next 5-10 years?

One of your concerns will likely be just how long this transition will take. If you can believe the U.S. Department of Labor it currently takes 6-12 months. However it will usually take much longer for senior executives. The best thing for you to do it be totally dedicated and keep well organized and focus on the project. You must treat this employment search the same as if it were a job itself.

What is the most proven method of conducting this job search? All of the research and verified information on job searches state that over 80% of all senior level employment positions that are filled are by networking. Networking takes time. Hopefully you have already established this network while you were working.

You will hear about the “hidden job market”. Just exactly what is that? These are the positions that are never published or become visible in the open market. They cannot be found in searches and usually require the “networking” we mentioned above. Many times the company has not realized the need itself yet.

Keep in mind that sometimes your resume is the only thing a company official will see. It must speak powerfully for you seeing as you are not there. It must have an executive summary; show your quantifiable accomplishments and core competencies. By saying quantified we mean details of how you saved money, increased efficiency, made your firm more money or reduced costs. When you do this use actual percentages or numbers.

The main difference between outplacement and coaching would most likely have to be said to be the following. When and outplacement takes place an executive is leaving his former position and will be looking at other options to move on to. When coaching takes place it is the learning of new skills that the executive can utilize to maneuver this drastically changing job market with.

In many cases with senior executives both of these will be combined in the same effort. Most firms today will hire a company to accomplish these goals. There are a number of items that the firm doing the outplacement would like to accomplish.

One of those would be for the departing senior level executive to identify their personal career goals, identify the next target opportunity and use a personal method with which to accomplish them.

Next would be to help the executive to accelerate their growth and improve their effectiveness. They will coach them in business strategy and goals to achieve the best result possible all the time.

Then they will proceed by learning how to assess tools that can define company needs in organizational talent, find successful candidates, evaluation of leadership capabilities, and be able to match the right person to the right position.

In the modern day job market one thing is paramount. It is very competitive and you cannot let any opportunity get by. Many job seekers let job get past them by only looking at one job at a time. This will make the search longer and it’s more than possible the “one” job you are looking at doesn’t work out.

In many instances today a company will enter in a “sudden death game” with two candidates. When this happens and you become number 2 in the end, all that time will have been wasted so be careful not to focus on one thing at a time.

While you are searching keep the door open on all opportunities all the time. The company you are looking at may lose its funding for a position. It is possible that a “higher up” in the firm may come up with a last minute candidate through the networking we have talked about. (Another reason networking is so important…) Until you have put in your first day on your new job – keep looking!

Just keep in mind that seeking employment is your job now. This is what you do full time until you are at work in your new position; you are searching for a full time position as a business. This is not for fun or in your spare time, it is your job!