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By Shelly Stotzer, CEO and Leadership Coach
I’m happy to share my perspective on outplacement and pleased that one of our former clients, Audra McIntosh, is willing to share hers below, too.

If you’ve ever been displaced from your job, you know that — even when you know it’s the right thing — it’s still very difficult. It’s emotional and you feel rejected.

When people ask me what makes Crosworks’ outplacement services different than others, it’s the personalized experience that we offer. We’ve found that when someone is going through something like losing a job, it’s important to feel in control in some way. So, our outplacement services are designed to give people points that they can apply how they choose to, in a way that makes them feel in control of their long-term destiny.

Another thing that makes Crosworks’ outplacement unique is that we don’t just retool someone’s resume and send them back out there. Instead, we take the time to really understand the individual and give them a chance to figure out where they want to go. This introspection refers not only to the role that they are selecting but also to the right type of environment and right type of leader for them.

We want to rebuild an individual’s confidence in an authentic and clear way. This allows them to confidently talk about themselves and directly communicate where they want to take their careers. We empower them with tools to advocate for themselves and to be able to tell their story in a way that they are proud.

With a lot of outplacement services today, they’ve been streamlined and minimized into watching a lot of videos or talking with someone who doesn’t even know their name. That’s a very difficult experience when you’ve already been let go and you’re reeling from that experience.

Whether it’s the individual’s fault or the fault of the organization, it doesn’t really matter. It’s time to retool and place the individual in a position to be happy, successful and fulfilled. What we want for our clients who have gone through outplacement is to feel great about where they’re going and to look back and say, “This was good for everybody. We’re all in a better place now.”

Outplacement — In My Own Words by Audra McIntosh

Audra McIntosh recalls her experience working with Crosworks as an outplacement client.

Dolly Parton once said, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

For so many of us in life, we end up in careers we “think” we should do – the practical, the rational, the ones that provide us with a good (i.e. financial) living. We might start in a profession where we mindlessly work our way up through the ranks or through a variety of companies – never really stopping to think about what we REALLY want to do. That is, until we stop to think about what we REALLY want to do.

Throughout my career, I had progressively interesting jobs that moved me into the discipline of marketing. At the decision of each move, I felt like I had reached a learning peak and needed new challenging work. What I didn’t stop to consider was if that challenging work or company would really provide me with fulfillment based on what I loved to do. And, to be honest, I think I just forgot what I really loved to do.

After a 20+ year career in marketing, I was laid off for the very first time. Having spent six years with a regional bank in corporate marketing, I was faced with the opportunity to re-evaluate my career and think about what I wanted to do. The truth was, I just wasn’t sure what I loved doing anymore and how to even move in that direction – if it indeed was different. I just knew I needed something new.

I started my inquiry by pulling out all of the assessments I had done over my professional career – DISC, HBDI, Myers Briggs, etc. I felt that these could help me assess that next direction. While this step helped me start to focus, I quickly realized I needed that extra lens into my assessments with which a career coach could help.

I utilized the career resource company provided by my former employer, which was good, but I knew I needed a more personalized and one-on-one approach that Crosworks offered.  After my first conversation with Shelly Stotzer, I knew that she could help me start putting the pieces together that I needed.

Crosworks helped me focus in on what I loved AND helped me take the action steps to move in that direction. Through their Career Assessment program, I found that while I was good at marketing, my passion was really in using marketing concepts and channels to drive growth – both organizationally and personally – and that there were career options beyond corporate marketing.

My advice?

– The first priority should always be yourself – In my case, I wasn’t healthy at the time, so I had to tackle that first.

– Using a career coach has many benefits beyond just looking for a new career. Clarity can come in many forms.

– Life isn’t always the linear path you think it will be. Embrace change.

– Success comes in many different ways – don’t define it so narrowly or through other people’s lenses.

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