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Compassionate Outplacement: It’s Much More than Job Search Support


Losing your job is one of the top five traumatic experiences a person can go through in life. For many, work is much more than something they do from 9-5. Sure, it’s their financial livelihood, but it’s also their identity and their passion. While they may not define their job as a secure base – something that provides a sense of protection, gives a sense of comfort, and offers a source of energy – it is. This is what makes job loss emotionally taxing for individuals.

“The grief cycle often follows as the person processes the news,” states Dr. George Kohlrieser, Professor of Leadership at IMD in Switzerland and experienced hostage negotiator. He conducted extensive research on leadership styles and the characteristics secure base leaders display daily. “Active grieving and the pain of the loss prohibits people from moving forward. Hopelessness and depression can take over without having a secure base.”

Some individuals feel this more acutely than others.

Secure bases take a variety of forms. They can be a parent, a friend, a coach, a boss, religion, or memories, for example. They inspire us to see beauty, opportunities, and the positive in life. “Secure bases are so important because people feel empowered and inspired to take risks and embrace change. They also boost an individual’s self-esteem,” shares Dr. Kohlrieser. “Ultimately, they empower us to be successful and achieve our goals.”

The sudden loss of a job—a secure base – paralyzes some individuals. They are unsure of how to move forward. This is especially true if the person does not have a strong secure base outside of the office. While some separated employees bounce back quickly, the grief cycle may take longer for those without a secure base to turn to for support.

Compassion is necessary to launch separated employees into a bright future.

Job search support is so important to help separated employees move forward. It’s also critical to provide a new secure base so they are confident. A caring, compassionate coach is key. “Coaches do much more than prepare the individual for their job search. They help the individual process the painful news, assess their career aspirations, and find the confidence they need to move into the future with hope,” comments Ed Chaffin, President of IMPACT Group. “This coach becomes a secure base while the person moves through the process of re-establishing their career. The person can then move forward faster than they would on their own.”

IMPACT Group’s career coaches understand compassion is essential to meet the person at their deepest point of loss. Their years of experience have prepared them for every reaction. They know a flexible approach is vital for the individual to succeed.

“I’m confident IMPACT Group is one of the last outplacement providers that takes a compassionate approach to outplacement support,” Ed states. “Our customers are never treated like a number on a spreadsheet. We know it’s crucial for the individual to work with the same coach throughout the job search process. This provides the consistent secure base they need to accept the job loss and take positive steps forward.”

Turn loss into an inspiration for your separated employees. Watch our webinar, What Happens When a Person Loses Their Job?, to discover more on the need for secure base leadership during difficult downsizings.


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