It depends on your needs, how comfortable (or successful) you are at DIY job-search, whether you want individualized help, and your resources.
Which is right for you?
Advantages to Outplacement:
- Employer paid - free to the candidate
- Typically provides temporary office space, phone/answering service, fax, meeting rooms, copier, internet/computer access
- Provides standardized packages
- Typically large, recognizable names
- Often has a recruiting division or dedicated recruiter
- Typically gives access to online skills training, especially computer training
- Candidate paid - Advantage is that coach works for candidate, since candidate pays the fee
- Provides individualized help
- Provides tactical detailed job search help - a coach can outsource part of the search for the candidate (ex: resume writing, finding opportunities, networking, introducing to company contacts).
- Extended help - Career coaching may extends through the entire job search duration
- Provides assistance using large personal Rolodex of hiring managers and recruiters
Outplacement might be right for you if:
- You have significant experience (and are staying in) in a high demand field - Doctor, Nurse, Green technology, Social Media
- You can’t focus on job search from a home office - Small children, over attentive pets, other distractions
- You’re want to start your own firm, rather than work for someone else
- You like the DIY approach to job search
- Your finances prevent you from hiring additional help
Career Coaching might be right for you if:
- Your recent experience is in a declining industry or job function
- You want to change job functions or industries
- You define yourself as a generalist on your resume or verbally
- You are over 40
- You get employer/recruiter calls, but few interviews
- You get interviews, but few call backs
- You’ve been a finalist a few times, but have never gotten the offer
- You’re finding the wrong opportunities
- You haven’t networked since your last job search, and your network has gone stale
- Your recent employment history is "bumpy" and you've held a number of jobs less than 2 years
- Your online reputation is negative, reflects someone else, or unable to be found
- You have less than 500 Linkedin connections
- Your existing network isn’t helping you get interviews
- You don’t have contacts at your target companies outside of HR (unless you’re an HR professional)
- You are uncomfortable in interviews
- The first impression you give interviewers isn’t working well
- The job market scares you (Average over 30 weeks, executives between 9-18 months)
- You’re open to a career investment if you can see the payback
Outplacement vs Career Coaching is a very personal and difficult decision for professionals in transition. However, candidates often see only the difference of free vs paid service - while overlooking the major differences between these services and differences between their goals.
Readers - please share your ideas about when outplacement might be right or when career coaching might be favorable for candidates. Please share your success stories as well as your horror stories in the comments below.
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