IMAGINE yourself in this situation: Your company has just offered you a severance package. Aside from the monetary compensation, it has also hired a career transition consultant to help you search for a new job and possibly make a career switch.

What would you do?

Most people assume that you would jump at an offer of assistance from your ex-employer.

The career transition expert offers you professional help and practical advice as you seek to pick up the pieces of your career. To make the deal even sweeter, all this will be paid for by your ex-employer.

Yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that quite a number of individuals choose to turn down career transition services.

For some, it is a matter of “face.” They think of outplacement as a negative experience that will prolong the pain of retrenchment.

For others, it is emotionally difficult to accept help from an employer who they feel has betrayed their trust and loyalty.

Another plausible reason for this aversion to outplacement could simply be ignorance.

Outplacement is fundamentally misunderstood. People reject the services, equating outplacement with emotional counselling for the soft and weak.

Others simply assume that they know how to find themselves a new job and therefore do not need further assistance.

More than counselling

Career transition consultants are more than job search consultants or counsellors.

While they do equip candidates with practical skills that will help them compete more effectively for a desired job, they do not stop there.

Using a whole array of sophisticated tools, including psychometric analysis, the consultants help candidates determine an optimal career fit.

Often, individuals who are retrenched are no longer productive in their previous job or career. Their passion for the job is gone, and the work has become stale. That may be part of the reason why they were made redundant in the first place.

Instead of simply packing the candidates off on a job hunt, career transition consultants help them re-map their career strategies and determine the type of employment and work culture that will enable them to blossom.

Once a candidate’s career strategy is in place, they then proceed to coach him on the finer points of job search techniques.

With so many resumés out there competing for attention these days, yours needs to stand out from the pack to get noticed.

Among other things, career transition consultants will help you craft your resumé, uncover unadvertised job opportunities through networking and project yourself more effectively during an interview.

Don’t count on luck

While many people go through life assuming they know how to look for a job, in reality, they often stumble and fumble through the process, counting on luck to land them the next job.

To add to this confusion, those who are retrenched often find themselves in a slow-moving job market. They may also be older and more expensive that their younger counterparts.

To compete successfully, they need to think differently, move smarter and become master job-hunters.

For some candidates, outplacement has proved to be not a dismal end to a career but rather a wonderful beginning of a new life.

By saying yes to outplacement, individuals may find that they are saying yes to new skills, new possibilities and a new start.