My Experience with Outplacement Services and How it Impacted My Career

My Story

Losing your job is a life event that most people are unprepared for; I can even recall thinking early on in my career how being laid off would never happen to me.

My reality was shattered back in 2006 when the company I worked for was faced with downsizing, which affected my role. While that was many years ago, I have never forgotten that day and it has shaped my view of work every day since.

At that point in my career, I hadn’t looked for work in over 16 years and was challenged with an unexpected job search. Fortunately, the company offered outplacement/career transition services to those being let go.

As a result of being laid off, I decided to make a move from Milwaukee, Wisconsin back home to Des Moines, Iowa which presented a few extra challenges. My professional network in Des Moines was non-existent because I’d been in Milwaukee for the past nine years, which led to a great deal of anxiety about how to even begin my job search.

Professional women sitting at modern office desk

After spending time trying to educate myself on the Des Moines job market but with little job lead progress, I ended up contacting the career consultant provided in my career transition services benefits. While hesitant at first, after our first meeting I quickly saw the value of having a career consultant available during this stressful chapter in my life. It was through our consistent coaching sessions we were able to put together a game plan for my search.

The funny thing was we decided that the main strategy for my job search was one I was least comfortable with... networking. It was because of the encouragement and support from my career consultant that I was able to embrace the uncomfortable, which led to a life-changing connection.

Soon after implementing my job search game plan, I scheduled lunch to reconnect with a childhood friend. During lunch, they recommended I look at working with a local employment agency, Palmer Group, to help in my job search. Fast forward a few years, I'm now a Senior Search Consultant at Palmer Group where I get to help candidates during their outplacement and career transition journeys. The rest they say, is history!

More About Outplacement/Career Transition Services

Outplacement services vary from provider to provider–some programs are delivered virtually, some face-to-face. During my experience, I quickly learned the value of physically sitting across the table and having a conversation with someone invested in my career transition, and what an invaluable resource that was in my job search. That personal, face-to-face interaction was key to motivating me and keeping me engaged during the application and interview process.

My experience going through outplacement/career transition services reminds me daily how important it is to be able to make personal connections with candidates. The compassion and empathy that was shown to me is why I am so happy to be able to “pay it forward” in the work I do as a Senior Search Consultant at Palmer Group. I’m thankful the Career Transition Programs we deliver are in person but also incorporate current technologies, so we can support individuals in all career transition circumstances.

From the initial meeting where I hear about candidate’s career journey, accomplishments, and goals to the point where they land a new, fulfilling job–the regularly scheduled meetings keep us on course and helps me understand how much support is needed during the job search processWe work to understand the urgency of a person’s search and make flexible arrangements to accommodate their needs. Do they want to meet in person? Prefer virtual meetings?

Our goal is to provide our candidates with all the tools they will ever need to move forward professionally. Below is an outline of what’s incorporated in Palmer Group’s career transition services:

  • We offer free tools to conduct job searches through Career Partners International (CPI).
  • We provide guidance to optimize resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles.
  • We create a customized, self-marketing strategy that helps navigate job opportunities.
  • We provide networking and interview preparation.
  • We provide coaching to review job offers, compensation, and benefits negotiations.

It’s hard to prioritize preparing for a potential job loss. And unfortunately, as the job market continues to evolve, no career will ever be 100% safe. If you have questions about how to be prepared for job loss or are currently going through a career transition, our outstanding career consultants at Palmer Group can help you navigate this space with a personal touch backed by proven search tools and years of employment industry knowledge. Contact us today to learn more about our services and check out our career planning page for up-to-date resources.

By: Lee Johnson | Senior Search Consultant