How Should IT Leaders Use Outplacement Services?

Outplacement Services Can Help The Laid Off IT Leader
Outplacement Services Can Help The Laid Off IT Leader

Dang it, you’ve been let go. It really doesn’t matter the reason why – just the fact that your (former) employer decided that they could get along without your services can really sting. However, before the door swings close behind you for the last time, the ball is in still in your court and you need to know what to do with it.

As IT Leaders, we are a pretty arrogant bunch. A recent survey by the global outsourcing firm Right Management found that seven out of 10 job seekers thought that they knew exactly what they needed to do in order to land their next job. However, once they went through the outplacement service, that number dropped down to two.

At most firms, when a layoff sweeps through and you get caught up in it, you will be offered the services of an outplacement firm. Many of us poo-poo this because for one reason or another we think that it won’t be of any help to us. That’s where you’d be wrong.

If you find yourself in this position, here’s what you need to do in order to make the most of the outplacement service that has been offered to you:

  • Don’t Drag Your Feet: You’ve been let go, get over it and don’t delay starting to use your outplacement service. The longer you wait, the more competition you will face.
  • Pick Your Consultant Carefully: You can always ask to meet with a different consultant so make sure that the one that you’ve got is the right one for you. Consider things like track record, background, experience in your industry, and of course their current workload.
  • Do Your Homework: You’ll probably be asked to complete personality tests and career assignments. Do them! This is the time for you to make sure that the next job that you get is really the right one for you.
  • Stuff Yourself: The outplacement firm probably offers many different types of classes, workshops, seminars, and networking events. This is your best chance to find out if things have changed and if your type of job is now located in different parts of other firms.
  • Don’t Work Remotely: Although in this day and age it is possible to work with your counselor online, try not to. Instead go into the office and meet with them face-to-face. This will help to build a stronger relationship with them and who knows what other professionals you’ll meet there.

Nothing can make the initial pain of being let go from your IT job hurt less. However, as with so many things in life, the pain fades over time. You need to make sure that you get moving right off the bat so that by the time your pain has faded, you are already in your next job.

Have you ever used outplacement services that were offered by your former employer? Did you have a good counselor? Did you choose to meet with them face-to-face or did you do most of it online? How did it all turn out for you? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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