Getting laid off can come as a real shock. But it’s important to pay attention to the severance package options you’re offered, and if one of them is outplacement services, you should take it.
Why? Outplacement services can help you get back on the job market and find a new position faster. Companies offer them to help terminated employees transition into new positions, so they can get away with paying less unemployment and still keep everyone happy. Here’s what outplacement is, and what it can do for you.
What Outplacement Is and Why Companies Offer It
Outplace services generally refer to job and career counseling offered to newly laid-off employees to help them successfully navigate the job market. It can include help writing resumes and cover letters, interview advice and practice, access to job opportunities and networking events, and even access to office facilities and computer equipment to help in the job search.
Most companies offer outplacement assistance as part of severance because it helps the terminated employees get new jobs faster, and that means fewer, smaller unemployment claims and fewer wrongful termination lawsuits. Longtime employees may need help transitioning to a new job search strategy, updating their skills, and preparing their materials. Everyone could use job interview practice and career advice from a knowledgeable third party.
How Outplacement Can Help You Find a New Job Faster
When you lose a job, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the initial shock. While you’re entitled to take a few days to regroup, you’ll get back to work faster if you have the structure and support of job counseling. Outplacement assistance offers you the chance to be proactive in updating your resume, assessing your career goals, drafting a cover letter, practicing your interview skills, networking, and finding opportunities. Most people find that the motivation and structure that outplacement services provide keeps them focused on the future, which can help you keep your career momentum at a time when you might feel inclined to just give up.
If you’ve been out of the job market for a while and need help coming to terms with online job applications, outplacement services can get you up to speed. Even if you’ve only been in your position for a few years, you can probably still benefit from the interviewing practice and resume refresh. Are you looking for a career change? You can brainstorm options with job counselors. Want to try and take this opportunity to get an even better job? Job counseling might give you important insights on your qualifications and experience. You can even get guidance to learn new job skills you might need to improve your prospects, and you’ll often have access to networking events, recruiters, and opportunities that you might not otherwise encounter.
Of course, outplacement counseling can help you feel more confident and assured in your job search — you won’t just be unemployed and haphazardly looking for work, but following a tested approach. You’ll get free help practicing your interview skills with real live people who can give good feedback, free assistance updating your resume and crafting your cover letter, and resources to help you understand which skills to work on and which ones to highlight. It’ll be easier to stay on track in your job search with counselors to keep you focused, and help you when you run into trouble.
To get the most out of your outplacement assistance, use as many of the services as you can. Think of it as getting your money’s worth out of the company severance. It can be tempting to skip some of the offerings — interviewing practice is one thing, but do you really need to attend that weird seminar or networking event? You do — you never know what you might get out of it, including the connection that could lead to your next job.
Outplacement services can be a valuable part of your severance, and you should always take them if they’re offered. Make sure to use your outplacement assistance to the fullest extent you can — if nothing else, it can keep you feeling motivated and focused, and that alone can go a long way towards helping you get another job.