Being told that you’re going to lose your job can wipe you out emotionally. It can evoke feelings of anger, fear and grief, amongst others. It can be a life-altering event so you need time to reflect and work through the five stages of grief.

Redundancy is tough to deal with any age stage of life, but it certainly needn’t be the end of your career. In fact, many people choose to view redundancy as a chance for a new beginning. And, this is where your outplacement coach can guide you through the tough times and out the other side, ready to take on the world.

For those unfamiliar with the term, outplacement is the support you can receive from your employer when the company cuts back its costs and jobs are at stake.

According to HR Zone: Outplacement services are offered by downsizing organisations to former employees, particularly those made redundant, to help them more easily transition to the job market and move into a new position.

Outplacement can help you come to terms with job loss and provide vital services, such as professional CV writing or job interviewing coaching, to prepare you for your next steps.

Here’s our advice on choosing the right outplacement coach for you.

Find out what you’re entitled to

The first thing to do is to find out from your employer what support you’re entitled to.

Not every company offers outplacement as part of the redundancy package, but most will be morally obligated to support your transition.

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Your employer may already have outplacement provisions in place. However, it is your right to request an outplacement coach that you’re comfortable working with, and one that suits your particular area of expertise.

More often than not, your employer will have an outplacement budget allocated for each person under threat of job loss. So, simply ask the HR team what this is and if it can be used with a outplacement coach of your choosing. You can then ask your outplacement coach to work within this budget.

Find a qualified and experienced outplacement coach

Red Adair once said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you’ve hired an amateur.” Fixing the mistakes of an amateur can be the most costly thing you ever do.

We cannot stress this enough. When it comes to your career, don’t take chances.

Always ask a potential outplacement coach, to validate their experience. At the very least, your outplacement coach should have:

  • a minimum of five years of experience supporting people at your level of seniority with career transition.
  • a solid education, such as a bachelor’s degree in counseling or coaching, or
  • be a CIPD qualified HR professional, have ILM coaching and mentoring qualifications, or be a professional coaching practitioner.
  • excellent CV writing and personal branding credentials. Be aware of coaches that do not have the ability to help you to write a strong CV and Linkedin profile, or at least be able to access to these services.

A good coach will not mind you asking questions about their experience and qualifications. Most of the best coaches will also be able to back up their credentials and provide you with evidence and testimonials.

Make sure your outplacement coach can work at your level

There are plenty of excellent outplacement coaches in the UK and internationally. The search results on LinkedIn alone for the term ‘outplacement coach’ produces more than 1500 results. And, if you search for ‘career coach’ or ‘redundancy coach’ there’s thousands more.

So, how do you know who the right one is for you?

Firstly, make sure that your outplacement coach can work at your level. If you work at Board level, then look for an expert with executive coaching experience. Someone without this experience won’t appreciate what it takes to be a leader and won’t be able to appropriately support you into a new role.

Similarly, if you have specific industry experience, such as retail, or banking and finance, try to find a coach that understands your market. They may not have worked in the industry themselves, but they should, at the very least, have knowledge in this area.

In summary, if you’re facing redundancy, you don’t have to do it alone. A good outplacement coach will be there for you every step of the way. They’ll create the tool kit you need to help you regain confidence and personal brand to help you step out in style. 

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