Job Doc

I was just laid off and my company connected me with a career transition firm. I think I’m in good shape, but should I take the offer anyway? Elaine Varelas explains

Being laid off is a huge stressor and it leaves many people questioning what they should do next. Elaine Varelas explains how a career transition firm could help you with your job search and how having professional support during a sudden job loss is critical in finding your next opportunity.

Ask the Job Doc. Boston.com

Q: I recently got laid off and my company connected me with a career transition firm. Should I take their offered services? I already have a resume and I’ve started applying on my own.

A: When your employer offers services to you at no cost, pay attention. Career transition has come a long way since the time when executives were the only ones receiving these corporate-sponsored professional services. Career transition and coaching services are provided to most organizational levels from individual contributors and entry-level employees to executive teams and founders. These comprehensive services provide so much more than just developing your resume (though that is often included in the process). Most people do benefit from having a professional review, edit, and take their resume content to the next level, ensuring it can get through applicant tracking systems (ATS). Partnering with a career coach or consultant will not only elevate your resume content, but this work will make you a much better job seeker, and a well-versed coach can get you thinking about opportunities that you may be blind to. You will increase your interview skills, improve your ability to negotiate the important aspects of your job offer, and develop a long-term career strategy.

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Learning how to address the fact that you’ve been laid off and how to explain that to friends, family, and a new hiring manager is worth the time invested in working with a career transition firm. Right now, companies are struggling to find good employees and a career transition firm will have access to positions that may not be posted on most job search sites. A coach or a consultant may also have direct lines with talent and hiring managers that you may not get otherwise. Some people don’t use career transition services because they don’t think they need the support. Other times, the reluctance may be due to disappointment or anger towards the organization that separated them in the first place. Taking the time to see what’s offered and to find any benefits that can be provided to you is the best approach to an offer like this. Remember, your former company is providing these services to you at no cost. A growth mindset means we all have something to learn, so even if you are a corporate recruiter, you should see if the firm can provide you a different approach to what you have been doing.

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Whether you need a job quickly or you just don’t want to start until you have had some much-needed downtime, connecting with a career transition firm and a certified consultant will provide you with benefits other job seekers don’t have. They can address your individualized needs while finding out what’s most important to you (what other careers you may be interested in, what skillsets you have, what development opportunities you’re looking for, etc.). Even people who have gone through career transition services before find that the second or third time that they use these services, the education provided delivers new knowledge and insights. This is because hiring processes, technology, and job search resources change so quickly. LinkedIn, for example, changes their algorithms at such a high frequency that you’ll learn something completely new since their last change. The more support you can get in a job search, the better. And if these services are being offered to you, it is highly recommended you take advance of them and start off your new career with as many tools, tricks, knowledge, and additions to your network as possible.

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