Philadelphia, PA May 27, 2015
Since the 2008 recession, mention of the word “outplacement” often conjures up fear, tension and the unknown.
But as unemployment numbers drop, senior level executives are pro-actively looking to outplacement professionals in search of their next career move that for many, results in new challenges and ultimately a more fulfilling way to invest their later career years.
Careerminds delivers executive outplacement services to clients located throughout the US and Canada and has been working with a number of senior level executives who sought out their expertise in advance of a job, position or career change.
“We work with executives who are looking at their next ten or 15 years determining not only what’s out there but how they position themselves in today’s marketplace,” says Careerminds Founder and CEO Raymond Lee.
Lee says that while the economy has largely rebounded and inevitably affected the outplacement industry, mergers, acquisitions and restructurings continue. “This is leading senior executives to take inventory of themselves which is really at the heart of outplacement no matter what’s happening in the economy.”
Karen Lightfoot, Director of Separation Management for Hewlett Packard in Denver, is facing a change as HP divides into two companies. Lightfoot knew change was coming and seemingly on a daily basis, she kept thinking about where she was in her career, where she wanted to go and how she could get there.
“I started working with a Careerminds executive coach who really led me to view myself and my years of experience more broadly,” Lightfoot says. “He’s been leading me through self-reflection, analysis and learning so that I’m no longer looking just within roles and work that I’ve done but the broader business perspectives that I’ve developed and that I can apply in many different leadership roles.”
Lightfoot’s Careerminds coach, Rex Rolf, says that in many cases, senior executives have done so well within a defined area that they limit themselves within familiar boundaries. “I work with clients to understand their core competencies and then identify transferable skills. After 25 or 30 years, they have a certain business acumen that’s instinctive and could benefit lots of companies, they just haven’t perceived themselves this way,” Rolf explains.
And for many Careerminds clients, the ultimate result goes much deeper than a new job or title.
“This self-reflection and re-branding often results in clients landing positions that are much more fulfilling, challenging and opportunity-rich than if they had continued to perceive themselves within their traditional niche,” Lee points out.
In January, Janet Flores began a new position as Sr. Vice-President of Sales and Marketing with Vistar in Chicago. After 25 years spent in sales and sales leadership positions with Fortune 500 companies, Flores says she was determined to land a broader position.
“I worked with marketing teams but heavily emphasized my sales experience when talking with people about new opportunities,” Flores says. Working with Careerminds, “we stepped back to take a broader look at the value I was bringing organizations” and I started focusing on that wider perspective.
The ultimate result? The word “Marketing” is in Flores’ new title and she’s thrilled to be managing a broader set of challenges within the bigger realm of marketing.
Yet not everyone in career transition is looking to land with a new company. Since 1994, Kathleen Gowin had held leadership positions with Deloitte, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase until 2014 when her position with Pitney Bowes in Charlotte, NC ended. “This is my shot,” she thought, “to work for myself.”
Working with Careerminds, Gowin was describing her experiences when Rolf made an observation. “I had been talking to prospective clients like I was going for a job. What I really needed to do was talk about what I could do for them, starting right now. I need to demonstrate my value rather than just articulate it.”
That subtlety in how Gowin rebranded herself is now turning around her business. “The first time I took that more present approach, I got a small contract and have been growing ever since.”
Nationally, employment numbers can be debated but among senior and middle aged executives, the challenge to land in any circumstances is great. “The job search process is far more arduous today,” Lee points out.
“But no matter the statistics, our job is to enable job seekers to brand themselves effectively, articulate the value they bring and leave an impression through their brand of what they can do for a company. When we lead our clients to this self-awareness, their career transition ends positively,” Lee says.
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, highly customized executive outplacement services. Using an advanced, proprietary technology platform that delivers online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.