Despite what many people say, the machines have not completely taken over. While we certainly live in a digital world, humans are still at the root of most technologies. These technologies, while seemingly automatic or even “intelligent,” still require supervision and are better thought of as tools that people use to accomplish a task.
These tools are fantastic and save us countless hours per year on repetitive or boring work. They allow humans to do what they do best—create, analyze, think critically and much more. However, despite the power of technology, some things simply need a personal touch. If you celebrated the holidays via Zoom this past year or have ever sifted through layer upon layer of phone menus while trying to reach a live person, you certainly know how it feels.
Outplacement coaching is one of those things that requires a personal touch. Coaching is a service that a company can provide to its employees who are in transition. If offered, outplacement firms will provide employees with a dedicated career coach to help guide them through the upcoming job search. Outplacement coaches help update résumés and LinkedIn profiles. They have integral knowledge of the job market, have built relationships with key staffing and employment agencies, and can offer advice on interview techniques and compensation negotiations.
In addition to the technical knowledge offered by outplacement coaches, they understand what job seekers are going through on a human level—something a computer program just cannot do. Upon first becoming separated, people experience a wide range of emotions. In the case of layoffs, many are hurt and confused as to how this could be happening since there usually aren’t clear indicators that a change is coming.
Immediately after the loss of a job, most people’s first concern is how they’ll replace their income. Then, there’s the worry of what to tell their spouse, family, and friends. Vacations are canceled along with necessary auto and home repairs—things that can cause bigger troubles if left unattended. Life gets put on hold and people are left feeling helpless and alone.
How can a machine understand any of this?
Some things simply need a personal touch. Outplacement coaches understand all of these things. They have empathy and compassion for people when they need it the most. They’re able to offer the right kind of support and design a plan of action that fits each person’s situation. This custom approach has a greater success rate than generic one-size-fits-all programs and helps keep the individual accountable and on track.
Offering outplacement coaching to transitioning employees can all but ensure they’ll end up back on their feet quickly. Coaches can implement financial advice, a customized job search plan, and most importantly, essential emotional support to help people navigate one of life’s most difficult situations.
Technology may catch up eventually, but until it does, athletes, celebrities, and business will rely on coaches to help them realize their full potential.