BY PAM CORBETT, CAREER PARTNERS INTERNATIONAL – CALGARY
“Career Transition services? You just help people write resumes, don’t you?” And so goes the myth about what career transition services are really about.
So what are career transition services, and do they really make a difference? It’s true that career transition programs include reviewing and updating resumes! But let’s take another look to see what else is included.
When we look at the name “career” + “transition”, we’re reminded that there are two parts to this service. Transition is actually an important, and often underestimated component. Job loss, whether based on economics, poor working relationships, merger or other restructuring is just that – a loss. Like the loss of any other important relationship we have, individuals will react differently. For some, the emotions that arise at this time – shock, denial, fear or anger – all serve to undermine confidence in moving forward. And for those who experience depression, job loss can be a compounding factor and make the challenge of moving forward seem almost insurmountable.
Skilled career transition professionals understand how to meet people ‘where they are at’. Having an experienced career transition professional on site when a termination meeting is being conducted to provide immediate support to the employee is an effective first step in minimizing shock and engaging the individual in actions and steps that orient them toward a new future. Beginning a trust-based relationship between the Career Transition specialist and the terminated employee is a good outcome from this initial, sometimes awkward meeting.
As most folks understand, the “career” part of the career transition equation is managing steps toward landing new employment. That’s the work of updating a resume, creating a job search strategy and preparing for interviews. All of these steps required self-confidence. If, because of residual anger or fear, self-confidence is low, completing these tasks effectively will be a challenge. However, with the support of a dedicated career transition coach – someone who’s seen them on the worst day and is willing to meet with them on the day after – an individual will move past negative emotions more quickly than if left to struggle through these challenges on their own. This is what enables the individual to move back into the workforce faster.
That’s the key advantage for any organization considering whether or not to bring in career transition professionals. The organization’s former employees will be able to get back on their feet – both emotionally and from a re-employment perspective – faster.