This year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary. It only feels like yesterday that Chiumento was ‘born’ but when I reflect on those 25 years it highlights that although some aspects of outplacement have changed out of all recognition, the reason why we do it and what sits at the core, remains unchanged.
Fact 1: Losing your job is a downer.
Outplacement started in a time when being made redundant was an embarrassment, and programmes were as much about counselling as about finding a new role. When we started, we were no different, our delegates were distressed and embarrassed about losing their job. They felt alone and rejected. Often angry and sad in equal measure. That meant our consultants needed counselling skills, and we prioritised that. Getting acceptance that there was no going back was an important and challenging need before you could even start on job searching.
While today the stigma of redundancy has reduced, as most of us have been made redundant at some point, when it happens it’s still a downer. It’s just not a nice feeling. What has changed is that things move more quickly and most get over those early feelings by starting work on the future plans straight away. So, our consultants are more focused on the practical actions that need to be taken, and on helping the move from redundancy to new job happen as fast yet effectively as possible.
Fact 2: Financial worries prevail.
Even a good redundancy package doesn’t last long. Escaping for a bit on holiday seems a good idea, but returning to no job and a shortage of funds isn’t funny. Our job is to encourage early thinking and planning even if combined with a break, making the return more bearable. Coming back from holiday brimming with ideas for first steps towards the future is so much more positive.
Fact 3: The need to cope remains.
Whilst it was once focused on coping with embarrassment and uncertainty about where to start after redundancy, now the main concern is to cope with navigating the vast medley of stuff available to help with a jobsearch. With everything online (no need to buy the right papers or go to the library) it’s all there at our fingertips. Yet finding the ‘really useful’ stuff isn’t easy, and distractions are there at every turn. Our new Concierge led online service means we guide our delegates towards the right choices for them from day one, and offer an ever broader mix of ways to learn.
Fact 4: People aren’t all the same.
Needs vary, they always have. While some see redundancy as an opportunity to perhaps retire a little early, change professions or even go it alone, others simply want to find a new role and find one fast. These differing needs have always been around. While 25 years ago we tried to help with these individual needs, the recent technological developments we’ve seen means we can now easily tailor our programmes to fit each individual delegate.
Fact 5: Networking is crucial.
Once it was only about talking to people, involving friends and family in your situation, joining in with events run by your professional association or trade institution. Now networking is broader. The events continue, but effective use of social media is equally important and especially of LinkedIn which of course is always being improved, so there is no room for slacking! But however you do it, networking remains a really effective tool when looking for a new role.
At Chiumento, we have always been values-led and remain so. Our team is small and feels like a family – close and supportive of each other and of our clients and delegates. There is every reason to be proud of our last 25 years and to look forward to the next 25 years to come.