By Rick Christensen, Director, Career Transition Practice at Career Development Partners.
You have just been notified that your job is being eliminated, you are in shock, denial and all the other myriad of emotions that go with that news. One of the things the company tells you is that you are eligible for Outplacement assistance.
You may be asking the question – “What is Outplacement and why should I use it at this point in my life?” Perhaps the three following situations will begin to answer that question.
- “I’ve always believed that experience is the best teacher. So, when my car began making a funny noise my first thought was ‘This is an excellent opportunity for me to accept a new learning challenge’. Sure, I may replace a few good parts before I actually find the “bad” one and change some accurate settings unnecessarily but . . .”
- “I was just notified that the IRS wants to audit my 2014 tax return. Now is that calendar year 2014 or the one I sent in on April 15, 2014, I can never remember how it works, oh well, I’ll just take them both. I think I’ll take the shoeboxes of receipts and stuff also. The man at the IRS sounded so nice and helpful, I’m sure he would be happy to sort it all out . . .”
- “My daughter recently needed complicated heart surgery. I’ve always been an independent person and good with my hands, so I figured ‘I can do this by myself.’ I even got a couple of books, What color is my scalpel and Heart Surgery for Dummies and Googled heart surgery and found a pretty cool YouTube video. I cleared off the kitchen table, started a pot of boiling water . . .”
Each of these situations are good examples of good times to call in the “experts”, the tax accountant, the auto mechanic, and the heart surgeon. OK, I’ll admit that the heart surgeon is a bit dramatic and far-fetched, but our daily lives have become so complicated and busy that we have become dependent on a wide range of experts to save us time and money.
I’m sure that most of us with average mechanical ability could eventually repair our cars. However, it may take many frustrating hours and the cost of diagnostic equipment and specialized tools would be astronomical. This is a time to utilize the expert, the auto mechanic, to save you time and money so you can be more productive and enjoy your life.
Your career is another area of your life in which an expert can save you time, money and frustration. As with the auto mechanic example, you could be your own career consultant. You could spend several hundred dollars at the book store, then spend hours digesting books on resume writing, interview preparation, letter writing, etc. The sheer volume of information can be overwhelming. Once you have absorbed this material you launch your search and through trial and error learn the subtleties of your particular market, perhaps losing excellent opportunities as you commit the errors (as in “trial and error”).
You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on databases, subscriptions and lists to aid in targeting potential openings. In the end you will have spent a considerable amount of money and time and will have gone through an extremely frustrating experience.
There are some major differences between a career consultant and those experts in the examples. In most cases the experts do the work for you, forcing you to return each time you face the situation. A professional career consultant, on the other hand, is able to give you tools and knowledge that can be used for a lifetime. It is an investment in your future, an investment that you cannot lose. Once you have chosen to be in control of your future there are no boundaries, you are limited only by your desire to excel.
In addition to knowledge, a career consulting firm has specialized resources to assist you in identifying job skills, personal and professional assessment, career planning and job market analysis that either are not available to the public or would cost thousands of dollars for you to purchase. A career management firm has access to these specialized assessments and resources, our professional consultants have worked with hundreds of individuals in your same situation, we are the experts.
The roll of the career consultant is to coach, mentor, motivate and lend emotional support through your job search. They are perceptive questioners that clarify your goals, identify career options, expand your professional network and keep you from getting mired in the job search process.
The job market has changed, this is probably not news to you. The relationship between employee and employer has also changed, again, you probably already knew this. But how do these changes affect you and do they enhance or decrease your opportunities to reach your goals. The changing job market has made the competition for the available jobs fierce, employers are demanding more skills, capabilities and education but willing to pay less
Whether you are currently unemployed, under-employed or happily employed but interested in maximizing your potential, a career consultant can give you the tools and knowledge to effectively take charge of your own career.
Call Career Development Partners today to fund out how we can help you!