Losing employment, in whatever form and at whatever level, is an emotional experience. Usually, it is dispiriting because of the need to earn, although it can be a release summoning up feelings of freedom and elation. Either way, who do you turn to for help and who can you trust?
Your first resort must always be your family, close friends and network. These are the people you already trust. Often there is the realisation that you don’t have an effective network, and this will require attention – always better done as a routine, rather than in the crisis of the moment.
If you need external help, then be very careful whom you trust. Most services, other than charities, will charge fees and range from outplacement providers through to specialised consultants.
Outplacement is a salve to corporate conscience and is the preparation half of the bridge you need to cross the fast-flowing river of opportunity. However, outplacement rarely delivers a new job, and is more often offering the channels to get to the start point of searching. This may not be the best use of your hard-earned cash.
Thereafter, there are consultancies and coaches of great variance in terms of efficacy. After 25 years of working in this sector, I have come across some excellent help and some so atrocious that the unfortunate job searcher is left no better off – having met no one and down some £17,000. Beware of businesses like this and avoid them.
When engaging with a consultant or coach, listen carefully to what they can do for you and always seek to speak to their past clients in order to assess the reality of the offering. Look for those rare people who can take you across to the other half of the bridge and on to the safer place of an environment rich in opportunity which leads to a new role. No search is easy or predictable, however good you are, so if you need help then pick your route promptly and with someone you can trust.