Career coaching and outplacement

on BLOG, Career Coaching, career, outplacement 20 Nov, 2012

Il career coaching e l’outplacement

In Italy we speak more and more of outplacement, but without associating and linking it to coaching and, even more, to career coaching.

In this post I’m going to explain why the two concepts of outplacement and career coaching are closely related.

First of all: what is the meaning of the word “outplacement”? The Oxford Dictionary of English defines it as "the provision of assistance to redundant employees in finding new employment, either as a benefit provided by the employer directly, or through a specialist service”.

In other words, it is about assisting the redundant worker or the already unemployed person in finding a new and “right” job, crossing the available job opportunities with the subject’s individuality: his knowledge, experience, aspirations, motivations and ambitions.

I see the outplacement as a healthy and modern evolution of the old concept of "employment agency", that (maybe I trivialize a bit) contacted the unemployed people when a job became available, mainly following a cold "first in first out" logic. In the actual flexibility - that will surely become more widespread and aggressive in the near future - the outplacement represents a clear paradigm shift, as it allows the employee to become master of his professional future, even preparing and managing major professional changes.

From the operational point of view, outplacement performs three tasks:

1. active and ongoing search for professional opportunities, considering that only a tiny part of it is appropriately communicated outside, with the effect that companies rarely find the right person for the given position;

2. identification of the best future occupation for the candidate, by analyzing all the variables listed above: from his background to the desired future;

3. support to allow the candidate to "meet" the right opportunity. This phase includes selection, training, coaching and, in special cases (for example, when the candidate desires to create his own business), assistance and mentoring.

Where does career coaching stay in this landscape? Certainly in the second and partly in the third step. An employee who is facing a dismissal is generally in prey to economic and relational fears, that distract him from being clear and positive in selecting and designing his own future. Normally, if left alone, his approach is closer to the victim who suffers the external changes that to who considers what happens as an opportunity.

The support needed at this stage is therefore PURE COACHING, PURE CAREER COACHING: motivation combined with the potential development visioning. And this is confirmed by the fact that in Anglo-Saxon countries the figure of the coach and even more of the career coach always plays a major role in the outplacement firms. On the contrary, in Italy there’s the tendency to assign this task to psychologists; but I wonder: where is the illness to be investigated and treated? Why to analyze the employee’s past if outplacement is, by definition, aimed at a brighter future?

The outplacement approach - in Italy unknown to the most -is operational for decades in countries such as France and I could personally see that it allows to create the following virtuous circle: the company hires a motivated staff, the employee is clearer in his own expectations and gets close to his ambitions and, finally, learns to look at work with more “lightness”.

In France, also thanks to outplacement, the concept of work is very different from Italy: occupation is not seen as something to suffer, that you chose more or less consciously when you were eighteen and that you have to endure for four decades!

I know almost a dozen friends or former colleagues who changed life and work thanks to outplacement services combined with career coaching. With the support of the Government, which previously verified the reliability of their motivations, food engineers became coaches, IT specialists switched to building industry, people a little bit “lost” started to work in restaurants, accountants opened exotic flowers shops or started to produce wine...

If you could restart and there were no limits of time or money, what job would you choose?

What job has always attracted you?

Which activities are you sure you would enjoy?

What activities would you do even for free?






One Response to “Il career coaching e l’outplacement”

  1. […] più di un anno fa, nel post “Il career coaching e l’outplacement”, avevo introdotto il tema dell’utilizzo del career coaching nei programmi di politica attiva […]

Leave a Comment