The Importance of Outplacement

Published April 25, 2018

If you’re reading my articles, hopefully, you also occasionally watch the CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, John Challenger, speak on news outlets about career and market trends. If so, perhaps you’ve also noticed how he separates the promotion of our business from those discussions. I’ve always respected him for that.

Because of his modesty, I feel it’s paramount to discuss why outplacement matters.
They say that losing one’s job is the second hardest thing someone will go through – after losing a loved one. While both are tragic, losing a job is often a more solitary experience.

There’s no family gathering, no religious event, no formal goodbye with flowers. On top of that, we might be forced to immediately replace the job that was just tragically taken away from us, just to survive. All while we are grieving, processing, and still trying to figure out what the heck happened.
Career transitions can be tough until the bitter (sweet) end.

“This soul sucking experience is over, I learned a lot about me during the process; things I like about me and things I know I’ll change to be better the next go around.”

The above are my client’s words. You’d think a war had ended. Internally, this process can feel like one.

This is where the service of outplacement, often long taken for granted, is so instrumental. It’s like health insurance. At a young and healthy age, you might shrug at the concept. Then one day you find yourself in the hospital, and now it’s incredibly important.

“You don’t realize what you don’t know. Once you go on an interview for the first time in 20 years, you realize you need help. Challenger gave me that help.”

Swimming looks easy until you leap into that deep end the first time. Most people don’t know how to job search, because they’re not supposed to. They believe in company loyalty and their prospects for the future. At best, they’re closest reference is likely advice from a guidance counselor years ago. It’s not enough!

“I cannot thank you adequately for all of the knowledge, wisdom and insights that you provided me in our Phase I meeting and this follow-up. As to the many employment seminars that I have attended over the years, not one even came close to what you taught me yesterday. There is a huge gap between theory and well-developed practical approaches, and I feel that you bridged it perfectly.”

After 12 years in this business, I have seen outplacement help people through some of the hardest times in their lives – not just surviving – but coming out stronger and better. Our job is to help the impacted employee grieve, gain closure, create a plan and execute that plan so they can find something fantastic and move on with their lives. This is the Challenger, Gray & Christmas way.

“Being in the game, but never having used the benefit, my prior perception of outplacement was poor and useless. This experience was nothing short of instrumental and changed my mind entirely.”

You can never replace or bring a lost loved one back, but you can find a better job than the one you lost. All you have to do is take ownership of your search. Challenger can help. When clients do, something magical happens. People grow and realize they’re capable of learning new skills, meeting new people, and forging ahead.

Furthermore, companies bottom lines are positively impacted – lessening litigation, improving public relations, and allowing their employees to thrive after they leave (often making them more likely to return later in their careers, should they be offered such opportunities).

This is why outplacement matters. It’s a win/win/win for everyone.


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