The outplacement business has changed out of all recognition in the last decade, increasingly we see one-to-one career support and coaching replaced with online systems. Automated, self-service programmes have advantages from the client’s perspective, providing a reasonably priced solution, but the effectiveness of the one-size fits all e-outplacement option is doubtful.
An off-the-shelf option may please the procurement manager but the online model has devalued outplacement in the eyes of employees and employers. At 10Eighty we believe that face-to-face, tailored career coaching remains the most effective choice for both parties.
The purpose of outplacement coaching is to help clients manage their options, to build their employability not just in terms of finding the next role but for a successful career down the line, in alignment with their values and aspirations for the future. A coach can address specific needs and help the client build their personal brand and leverage their social capital.
A holistic approach
For the employer outplacement is crucial to managing the employer brand, there’s an obvious social and moral case to made for supporting employees who are no longer needed, providing them with the support and skills to move on quickly; it’s also about managing the morale of employees who see their colleagues being made redundant, showing that the organisation takes care of employees is key to employee engagement.
From my point of view, outplacement is not just about the client landing a new job but about launching the next phase of their career. I wrote The Guide to Everlasting Employability with the aim of equipping clients to take charge of their career and proactively work towards clearly articulated goals and ambitions. 10Eighty outplacement is not a job shop, it’s a holistic approach to personal branding and navigating the career path for a rewarding future.
In an outplacement programme, the online career portal has a place, the blended learning approach has enormous value. On-line support provides a range of tools and resources for the client to design and implement a job search strategy, and online apps make career advice portable. Indeed at 10Eighty we have developed an app that audits the extent to which you are managing your career. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play just follow the links or search for ’10Eighty career ladders’.
Personal, professional and proactive
However, to make real progress nothing beats face to face coaching. It’s partly a reflection of how we communicate, 70% of what we take in is what we see, more importantly, though it’s about feedback and dialogue. You can tell someone how to look for a job and how to behave at interview but personal coaching does so much more.
The outplacement consultant or counsellor can push a client to address important issues, assessing their reactions and tailoring coaching to needs. We know that employees prefer personalised, customised advice and that makes particular sense when we’re talking career aspirations. Working with a coach also facilitates practice, it’s not so much a question of perfection but Gary Player’s assertion that “the more I practice the luckier I get” rings true.
For me, career coaching is predicated on a collaborative process aiming to enhance and realise the potential for sustainable personal and professional development.
The emphasis is less on CV writing and job search tactics and more on clarity of purpose and resilience in career management. Looking for a job is hard work, an emotional rollercoaster, and clients need support, especially in the face of rejection, which always feels personal. A good outplacement programme provides support, offers a sounding board, measuring progress while helping clients maintain momentum.
The measure of success is the achievement of a new role that aligns with values, motivations and talents. Much more than that, we aim to enable our clients to manage their career for the long-term and to build their employability.
The world of work has changed and we can no longer rely on our employer to manage our progress, nor is loyalty its own reward, in the modern workplace each of us needs to build skills, stay current with changing technology, nurture our social networks, and proactively manage our employment options.