I am really sorry if this has happened you, however, you need to know that You Can Do Great Things! Many companies are prepared to pay for outplacement coaching and it is critical you take advantage of it so that you can recover from this trauma as quickly as possible, move on and get back to work. That said, companies typically have contracts with large outplacement firms that will treat you like a number and put you on a conveyor belt process so everyone can tick the box. These outplacement firms work for the company and not for you. It is important that you insist on your own outplacement coaching service. I have seen people who have had 10 hours+ outplacement coaching already provided by their company and yet when I see them there is still so much to do. That is just wrong. I am really sorry this has happened you, however, you need to know that You Can Do Great Things! 

Big is NOT Better!

You may think a larger outplacement firm is better because size is a measure of success right? Wrong. The reality is that there is no difference between choosing me as your Outplacement Coach and a larger firm other than the higher quality outplacement coaching experience you would receive from me. For a start, working with me will mean you receive more face to face sessions and that they are fully bespoke to meet your needs. Everyone is DIFFERENT! I would also highlight that I continue to work with my outplacement coaching clients well beyond the initial outplacement coaching transaction in an Executive or Career Coaching capacity. This is a long term relationship unlike with larger outplacement firms that lead you to a dead end after you have used your sessions and cut you loose. This is like being set adrift to fend for yourself all over again! You will still be able to work with me well beyond your outplacement transaction if it takes you longer to find the role you really want. My clients really appreciate the fact that they can continue their conversations and work with someone who already knows them really well. For example, after my clients get a new role my Planning your first 90 Days (Executive Coaching) session is very popular and provides a seamless transition from outplacement coaching into creating maximum impact in the new role straight off the bat. Alternatively, a client may require more of my Mastering Interview Masterclass sessions so that they really nail the interviews. It could be anything. The point is I am here during the outplacement coaching and after! I would also add that any sessions left over after you find new employment are yours to keep forever and can be cashed in against future Career, Executive, Interview or Outplacement coaching whenever you want (lifetime guarantee!). 

A larger firm will have a generic one size fits all format with little room for flex or customization and also has higher fixed costs since more people need to get into the team photo. This all means you receive a lessor service. Furthermore, with many larger firms you will be assigned a sub-contracted coach who is not even a full time employee (they will not tell you this so as not to burst the bubble). You could contact any of those coaches displayed on the ‘Meet the Team’ page directly via Google and cut out the middle man. It is that coach you will be working with for the duration of your outplacement coaching. You will have little or zero contact with the larger firm after signing up. Why would you? You will be working with one person, your assigned coach. So, if you are going to be working with one person anyway… make sure it is the best Executive Career Coach.

The Outplacement Companies’ Conveyor Belts

The difference between my outplacement coaching and larger companies is that I believe in face to face sessions. It has to be that way. This is how you come to terms with redundancy and we prepare you for your next role. So called outplacement companies’ portals that simply have a load of embedded Youtube videos showing you how to write a CV or prepare for an interview etc are a complete waste of time. Most people watch those in their pyjamas while drinking a coffee in the morning. Completely pointless. You will achieve more in a 90 minute coaching session than you ever could watching Youtube for a year. They are not personal to you. They do not consider your situation. You are on a conveyor belt and you do not even know it. This is simply a cheap way to push people along the outplacement companies’ conveyor belts as quickly as possible and get you off their books.

Networking is Notworking!

Larger outplacement firms will tell you they have networks you can join as a reason to sign up with them for outplacement services. In fact I remain sceptical about the value of this as part of a coaching offering, as the power of any network is dependent upon the quality and relevance of the connections within it. It is my experience that such networks often contain more people looking for jobs than hiring, of course, if there is data to show otherwise (i.e. a positive correlation) then I am happy to stand corrected(!) I advocate clients build their network organically – focusing on building quality rather than quantity of connections. You will need to decide whether hanging out with other people also looking for a job is more important to you than going with the best Executive Career Coach. If you want to join a network then do an Executive MBA.

You still need structure, but, don’t forget to enjoy life!

Career coaching adds structure and stability after a traumatic experience. By having coaching sessions you can relax in between knowing you are doing the right thing. Now you are redundant it is important to maintain a structure, but, also to ensure you have some quality me time while you recover. Go to the gym or take up that hobby you always wanted to knowing that you have the job thing covered with regular career coaching sessions. We will absolutely get you back to work. There is no point beating yourself up daily until then especially as potential recruiters will pick up on that negativity. 

As your Executive Career Coach, I am here to help you to navigate the challenges of redundancy and to recognise that the short-term disruption to your life is just that… short term. 

Nicola Simpson is a successful international Executive Career Coach based in the City of London. Nicola coaches executives at all levels of their professional career and see many executives from a range of sectors, including Investment Banking, Finance, Insurance, Legal (from Barristers, GCs to recently qualified), Big 4, Technology, Media, Marketing, Civil Service, NHS, Military (Serving/Ex), Fashion/Creatives, Arts & Entertainment, NGO/Charities, pre-maternity or post- maternity and even Mediums! You can find out more about Nicola at