My own experience with outplacement
I was provided with an outplacement program by Novartis in 2018, I have chosen Grass & Partner in Basel as my partner. It was an excellent choice, I was very happy with Regina Thiergardt as my consultant.
She has encouraged me to start my own business and made me aware of my hidden qualities.
With my background in natural sciences, 32 years of business experience in diverse management positions in the pharmaceutical industry (QA, operations, IT, Supply chain management), my coaching/consulting training and my own experience being made redundant, I possess the necessary skills and empathy to help others in a very difficult path of their lives.
Five years ago, I had severe depression, today I am very happy as my own boss. And this all was enabled by my outplacement process.
So let us have a look at the definitions and phases of outplacement first.
When a company makes one employee redundant, or when it is part of a larger plan involving dozens or even hundreds of people, it must support and guide them through the next stage of their career.
Outplacement is an opportunity for employees to enhance their employability among the solutions available. It also offers advantages to the company, which can more effectively maintain its employer brand despite these events.
What is outplacement?
Outplacement consists, in the context of redundancy, of collaborating with a specialised firm that will promote the career transition of future ex-employees. It can be seen as a safety net between their previous professional life and the next. The company helping these people generally situates its support on a professional and personal level to better understand their actual project and encourage its success.
Although this process may seem difficult at first sight for an employee who has just been made redundant, it is the best way to detach oneself from one’s previous position and visualise the next stage of one’s professional project more effectively. Very often, former company employees who participate in a programme feel that they are well supported, whether they want to change jobs or, on the contrary, to continue in their current direction.
Phase 1: Analysis
In the analysis phase, the outplacement counsellor gets to know the person concerned.
– What kind of person is it?
– What qualifications does he/she have?
– What is his/her private and professional life situation?
– What are the opportunities and risks?
– What perspectives are open?
This is a more in-depth phase of getting to know each other, which should lead to a realistic assessment of the (professional) future of the person concerned.
I am not a big fan of MBTI and other personal analysis tools. I am convinced, that most of the people I am working with ( over 45, experienced professionals) are very well aware of their hard and soft skills and their personality.
Instead of using one of those web-based tools, I am using a set of coaching questions and based on the answers I am creating a mind-map of the person with all skills, achievements, hidden desires of a dream job etc.
Sometimes these discussions are real eye-openers for my clients. One of my clients, a very tough finance professional realised during this process, that she would love to be a CEO of an NGO, something she never thought of before!
Phase 2: Qualification profile
The second step is to sharpen the qualification profile of the person concerned. Again, the focus is on both hard and soft skills. Through the skills profile, the outplacement counsellor wants to clarify which area the concerned person has a chance of finding a new job or whether further training or retraining is necessary. In addition, the personal wishes of the person concerned are included in the planning.
Does he or she want to return to the old job at all? Or does he or she perhaps see the dismissal as an opportunity to finally make a long-awaited change of industry or take the plunge into self-employment?
In detail, this phase includes the following points:
– Individual situation analysis
– Personal SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
– Analysis of career goals
– Provision of information on the relevant job market
– Remuneration advice according to position and industry
– Development of job scenarios and reality check
– Individual career planning
– Advice on professional and interdisciplinary training needs
Phase 3: Application strategy
Once it has been clarified in which field the person’s professional future will take place, the next step is the concrete implementation. The application phase is due at the latest after the corresponding retraining. The longer the employee was in the previous job, the longer it has been since he or she had to write applications and conduct interviews.
The outplacement counsellor, therefore, offers comprehensive help in preparing the application documents.
He/she also prepares applicants for job interviews. The outplacement counsellor also shows new ways of looking for a job. The aim is to develop a comprehensive, modern, and promising application strategy.
This phase includes the following services, among others:
– Preparation, review, and optimisation of application documents as a perfect basis for all application activities
– Social media check (LinkedIn) with professional feedback for optimisation.
– Assistance in activating and enlarging the personal network
– Advice on how to present oneself with style in job interviews (“business etiquette”)
– Interview training: preparation for job interviews on the phone, via video and in person. Until now, I have prepared hundreds of people for a job interview, and my broad business experience and clear understanding of the expectation of the workplace is helping a lot.
For the social media part, I strongly focus on LinkedIn, because there is no other tool with such impact as LinkedIn. Unfortunately, 90 % of people are using this amazing network in a suboptimal way.
In my services, there are no classes, but I am working personally 1:1 with every client. I truly believe, that this is the best way to create trust, openness and a safe environment and it differentiates my work from the big outplacement companies, my motto is “Class instead of mass”
What is your experience with outplacement?