Layoffs happen, especially when there’s an economic downturn, like there has been lately. And once you’ve cleaned out your desk, negotiated your severance package, applied for unemployment, and taken a few days to regroup, it’s time to get back on the job market.
If your former employee offers outplacement assistance as part of your severance package, you should take it. It can help you find job opportunities, get help putting together a resume and cover letter, and practice answering job interview questions. You can even look into getting additional job training or changing careers. These days, in-person visits aren’t necessary — you can meet with a job coach and make the most of your outplacement assistance virtually.
Know Exactly What You’re Entitled To
The benefits you’re entitled to from your company’s outplacement assistance might vary, depending on which firm they use. Traditionally, and especially for senior level employees, outplacement assistance services involved career coaching, resume help, job searching, and even office space and a phone line. These days, most outplacement services include resume and cover letter help, interview coaching, and group or individual job search training.
However, you might also be entitled to general career counseling. Are you concerned that your skills are no longer as relevant as they once were? Are you considering a change of career? Outplacement services can help you find training or learn how to spin your skills as transferable to another career path. You might have access to better job opportunities through recruiters. Find out what services are offered right away, so you can plan to make them a part of your job search.
Use as Many of the Services as You Can
Outplacement assistance costs companies an average of $3,589 per employee, so you should consider them as valuable a part of your severance package as the two-plus weeks of pay they give you. Get the company’s money’s worth out of your outplacement services by using them to the fullest extent you can. Even if you don’t particularly want to attend the group Zoom session on networking or don’t think your resume needs any help, you should still attend the meeting and get the feedback. How often do you get the chance to have a job coach look over your application materials or give you general career counseling for free?
If nothing else, you should use outplacement assistance for two things: practicing interviews and applying to jobs. Outplacement assistance coaches can help you find jobs to apply for that you might not have been able to find on your own — and they can even help you find those jobs that would be an appropriate step up to advance your career. It can be hard to identify those postings yourself, because you’re not sure how many of the required qualifications really are required, for example, or maybe just because you’re applying for jobs too similar to the one you lost. Professional job coaches will know how to match your training and experience to the best job opportunities.
Outplacement services can also be very useful for helping you dust off your interviewing skills, especially if it’s been a few years since you last interviewed for jobs. And many outplacement assistance services offer post-interview counseling and can even help you prepare for — and succeed in — more advanced rounds of interviews.
If you think you might be interested in a career change after your layoff, you can still use your company’s outplacement services. Their goal is to get you into a new job, but if you’re interested in exploring a new career path, they can help you investigate your options. A job coach can even help you revamp your resume and cover letter to highlight your transferable skills, or can help you understand what training or education you need to make your career change happen.
Outplacement services can help you find a new job quickly after a layoff, so there’s really no reason not to take full advantage of them. What else have you got to do? Dig up your resume and get ready to work on your interviewing skills. Your next job may already be looking for you.