When It's Time to Part Ways

May 15, 2020
MRA Edge
Talent Management
Read time: 3 mins

When we asked Janet, a member of an executive roundtable group, what the hardest part of her job was, she answered, without hesitation, "Letting someone go." She went on to say, "It’s never easy. Even if the person isn’t a good fit, is unable to do the work, or if the company can’t afford the position anymore, it’s a really tough thing to do."

One way for employers to turn this typically (very) stressful situation into a more positive one is by helping exiting employees land on their feet and get them back to work faster by having them participate in a career transition process. It goes a long way in showing that, as an employer, you truly care about the well-being of your employees even after they exit your organization.

Parting Ways

Starting Over

We have seen a large number of layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses have closed and others are having to take it day by day. The struggles are real and, often, good employees are left without employment through no fault of their own.

It’s traumatic to lose a job and a person’s self-confidence is often severely diminished. That’s why helping individuals navigate the transition into a new job or career path is so critical. It’s important to help change their mindset from focusing on what may have gone wrong, to looking ahead to what’s next, all while dealing with the emotions and stress of losing a job. With shaky confidence, the exiting employee has a tougher time selling what he or she can do for a prospective employer.

Most people are not naturally good at talking about their accomplishments, explaining why they are between jobs, or articulating what they have to offer. It’s easier to talk about actual tasks performed in their former job, but more challenging to be able to state what they do well and how they do it. They often need help formulating answers to the classic why-should-I-hire you type of questions as well as being prepared with examples for the behavioral type of questions when an interviewer asks, "Tell me about a time when..."

To help a job seeker analyze tasks versus accomplishments and define what he or she is good at, our Career Transition Advisors sometimes use an assessment, such as the CliftonStrengths© or The Profile XT©, which can help the individual sort out and develop answers to interview questions. Everyone has natural strengths, and assessments can objectively define those strengths. It becomes important for job seekers to be able to identify their top strengths so they can focus their job search on finding a position where they will use those talents on a daily basis.

Exiting an employee is difficult, no matter if it is due to downsizing because of a pandemic or through position eliminations when certain roles are no longer needed. Organizations going through this don’t need to do it alone. They can partner with career transitions experts, like MRA, to guide job seekers to the next step in their career. It’s a very positive experience where organizations reap the additional benefit of exiting an employee in a compassionate way that enhances their overall employee experience, while letting remaining employees know that their former co-worker was well taken care of.

Myth Buster

Only high-level executives and management positions benefit from a career transition process.

Career transition services are for anyone who needs to find a new job. Whether it’s helping with job search information, resume building, social media assistance, networking opportunities, or interview training, employees at any level benefit from job transition support.

Have questions or want more information about what MRA offers? Contact Susan Abler, Director of Outplacement and Career Transition, Susan.Abler@mranet.org to learn more.

MRA Edge May/June 2020

Read the full issue.