Category Archives: Outplacement

Working Remotely – Lawyers in Cyber Space

imagesThe type of changes to our way of working brought about by the most recent economic downturn have I think been quite interesting and has caused the entrepreneurs among us to get creative in our thinking of how to make the best of a bad situation and in a lot of cases the doom and gloom of late has brought about quite enterprising and more fulfilling ways to work. Life’s most difficult situations can also be the most transformative as I expect many of us have come to learn.

Take for example the world of law and how severely it has been impacted by what has been going on in the economy of late. Bearing in mind the historically traditional approach to work in this profession, there have been a number of successful spin-offs where lawyers having found themselves out of work are making the most of combining their considerable experience, while also utilising technology to join forces with other equally talented lawyers across the various disciplines of law to offer a solution that provides the same professional service the client would expect from a leading law firm that’s extremely more affordable – Virtual Law, who’d have thought Cyber Space law would work in the law profession, which is steeped in tradition. But work it does for Anna and Janet: two clients who have established their work in this way.

Anna is a senior Commercial Lawyer, who has joined forces with a newly formed virtual law company. Janet is a family lawyer who choose this way of working to facilitate being a mum and wanting to be at home bringing up her daughter with the ability of being able to attend those all so important school events, in the knowledge that a sudden transaction won’t take over her life.

Both women provide quality work in the same way they would have done within the organisations they worked in. Surely this has to be a win/win situation all round, the client is happy and each lawyer has created a way of working that in the short term provides them with a great way of working that fits into their lifestyle in the way they want it.

They may choose to continue with this arrangement and they may find that it completely works for them, or they may choose to return to a more corporate environment, and if so it’s a great way of demonstrating their ability to develop business, which of course is a key factor on that road to partnership and beyond.

Published with client permission. Names have been changed.

Evolving Careers Players can help you manage and develop your career. We deliver 121 career coaching, group learning and development and outplacement services. We devise community forum theatre, corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios. Get in touch to discuss your needs:


Life after Redundancy What Next?

UnknownIt is disturbing for anyone to lose their job, particularly after years of service. During the current economic climate a number of industries have been so severely impacted that people are having to  reinvent themselves to consider completely different career paths and many are setting up in business themselves, which may seem a risky prospect taking into account the current state of the economy. It certainly needs a good idea and an effective business plan to make a successful venture.

But how do you go about coming up with that ‘good idea’? Well let me tell you Daniels’ story. Daniel was made redundant from his role in Human Resources in the Educational Sector. Now of course Daniel’s skills were quite transferable across sectors but he was actually thinking of doing something new and he considered the redundancy payout he’d received a gift and he wanted to ensure he invested it in the best possible business venture, one that would be fulfilling for him and sustain him and his family in both the short and long term.

We talked about his interests and hobbies, one of which is scale model making, an unusual idea you may be thinking but sometimes the more unusual and unique the idea, the easier it is to research. So Daniel went about researching his idea and in the meantime he kept himself busy with a little painting and decorating, for his own home and also for friends and family who were happy to engage his services to carry out work they themselves didn’t have the time or inclination to do.

Well as I’ve come to learn once you have an awareness of what you want, you’ll begin to see opportunities in the most unexpected of places. It’s just like when you buy a new silver Mercedes (I wish), all of a sudden you’ll see silver Mercedes everywhere.  Well true to this belief, Daniel discovered a woman who had an established scale model making business who was due to retire and he bought the business from her.

This was a good brand with an established customer base and great potential. The woman didn’t use computers and as a result didn’t utilise the web, Daniel has built an effective web marketing plan into his business plan and with hard work and a fair wind it should provide a nice income stream to supplement his savings and investments. The good thing is the margins are lucrative and the costs are low.

On top of that Daniel has become a School Parent Governor at his daughter’s school, which he’s finding interesting and he’s enjoying applying past learnt management and people skills in a new context.

The moral of this story: There is life after redundancy and with creative thinking and strategic planning you can move to the next stage of your career and life with a renewed zest for life.

*Published with client permission. Name has been changed.

Evolving Careers Players can help you establish your next career. We deliver 121 career coaching, group learning and development, and outplacement services. We devise community forum theatre, corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios. Get in touch to discuss your needs:

Is it ever too Late for your Next Career?

imagesWell no I don’t think so and recently I began work with John who is 64 and wanted to consider his next career move.

John’s career began in the forces where he was an engineer before moving into production management in the computer industry. From there he moved into design and manufacturing in the telecoms industry, then on to operations director in the pharmaceutical industry before moving into consultancy work in the tobacco industry. His work took him all over the world and along the way he undertook various pieces of research and development and also worked closely with HR departments delivering training and development.

Then he decided to retire and move to the South of France, but a few months and many gastronomic delights later John was beginning to become a little bored and wondered if he had retired just a little too early, not one to sit on his laurels he undertook a building development project which led to another and before he knew it he was sourcing French properties for folks back in the UK and project managing the development work.

So as you can appreciate John is a man of many talents and when we began our work together he wanted to figure out what he wanted to do that would fit into semi-retirement – keep him mentally stimulated but also give him the scope to do nothing if he choose to. Nothing other than developing his appreciation for fine wines, fine food and fine art that is, oh and learning to speak French and playing boules.

This was no ordinary job search campaign and we soon agreed his best plan of campaign was to connect with people he’d met throughout his career, just by way of catching up for a coffee or beer and having a chat about things in general. Well no sooner did he do this when an opportunity arose for him to deliver some very specialist consultancy training work, whereby he was training the Consultancy Firm’s consultants for this specific field based work.

He’s now established himself as the person they come to when they bring new consultants on board and he’s also been asked to be a Non Executive Director supporting the development of talent with a commitment of one day a month over ten months of the year. Un coup de chance? (a stroke of good luck?) – Maybe a little luck but I’ve come to learn the better we are the luckier we become! And John is top of the game in terms of being good.

So, it’s never too late to begin your next career and a lot of employers will value the wealth of skills and experience you will bring to the organisation.

Published with client permission. Name has been changed.

Evolving Careers Players can help you transition into your next career. We deliver 121 career coaching, group learning and development and outplacement  services. We devise community forum theatre, corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios. Get in touch to discuss your needs :

Moving from Full Time Employment to Consultancy Work

freelancersA number of clients who have found themselves being made redundant from their roles because of the current economic crises consider setting themselves up as consultants in their area of expertise. Sometimes they’re at a point in their lives where they’re not quite ready to retire but they are ready to begin to wind their work down in some manner and make more time for interests or hobbies that are important to them.

Quite often these clients will count their previous employer as a source of consultancy work.  This is actually quite common when organisations are forced to downsize, because along with losing a lot of its good people it also loses the knowledge and expertise they contributed. Bringing people back on board who have organisation and industry knowledge and expertise makes perfect sense. The consultant benefits by earning a good daily rate and the organisation can pay this because they no longer have the responsibility and overheads for such things as pension and health plans or professional development.

James and Olivia are two clients who have successfully established themselves as consultants in this manner. Both James and Olivia were senior executives in their respective industries, James in the Transport Industry and Olivia in a leading Non Governmental Organisation. I was employed by their organisations as an outplacement consultant to see them through their career transition. As with all my clients I began their programmes by asking them to take a step back to  examine their skills, knowledge, experience and to consider how these were transferable into supporting them into a new career that ‘s in line with their interests, values and longer term life and career vision.

James enjoyed his work and his industry but he was at a stage in his life when his family had grown and had flown the nest. He had seen them through university and they were no longer dependent on him, he was also fortunate to no longer have a mortgage on his home and so all in all was in a good place from a financial perspective. He did however have a ‘bucket list’ of things he wanted to achieve in his life which included travelling to wonderfully exotic and interesting destinations with his wife. He also wanted to give something back to society and in some way make a difference. He wanted to continue working but just not in the same vein as before. It was important for him to remain intellectually stimulated through his work, he also wanted to retain the social aspect it provided and he needed it to fund his ‘bucket list’.

We explored and considered ways James could design his career to allow him to live his life to achieve these things. He had an extensive network with contacts throughout the UK and Europe to include Russia– one of the destinations he aspired to travel to.  Being a sociable person he began connecting with people and discovered various projects in the pipeline throughout Europe, he was known and respected in his industry and once people knew he was available for work they were more than happy to meet with him and very soon offers began to come through for consultancy work to include work with his old organisation and a piece of work in Russia.

To facilitate his travel aspirations and the ability to give back at a social level, James decided he wanted to take on assignments that would demand a commitment of several months at a time, once each piece of work was complete he would take one to three months off, during this time he would travel to a destination on his ‘bucket list’. He also identified a Social Enterprise in South Africa, where he and his wife spent time and he contributed his business acumen in helping them develop their vision and strategy.

Olivia’s being made redundant coincided with her husband and her relocating to the English coast. She wanted and needed to continue working but she also wanted to take time to settle in to her new home and community. She knew her work would take her away from home but she wanted this to me no more than three days a week, allowing her time to set up home and get to know people in her community. She also had a love of basket weaving and she wanted to make time for this along with time for cycling another love which she shared with her husband.
Similarly to James, Olivia set about networking and letting people know she was available for work. She was also highly regarded in her area of expertise and very soon she was having interesting conversations which led to work, some of which was located closer to the coastal area she had moved to, than she could have hoped for.

What is even more interesting about Olivia’s story is that once she started to connect socially with people in her community she discovered by way of conversation a non-profit basketry organisation in need of resurrection and this is exactly what she’s setting out to achieve with another woman who resides in the area.

As with all consultancy work, there are peaks and troughs in both James and Olivia’s work and because both of them have identified that they no longer wish or need to work on a full time basis, at times when they have a workload that demands more of their time than they are willing or able to give, they’re in a position to establish collaborative working relationships with fellow consultants in their respective fields and outsource this work. Many consultants will do this and it also allows them to be in a position to earn a commission for the work they pass along should they choose to.

*Published with clients permission, names have been changed.

Evolving Careers Players can support you in moving from full time employment to consultancy work. We deliver 121 career coaching, group learning and development, and outplacement services. We devise community forum theatre, corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios. Get in touch to discuss your needs:

Because of Longevity there’s Space for a Whole New Career between Retirement and Death

imagesWhen I first began delivering outplacement programmes, I delivered a programme which was sponsored by the government to help people back into work. It was a year long programme focussed on training and developing people in the area of Supply Change Management.  I was engaged to support people in the job search element of the programme. The participants were quite diverse in terms of age, experience and backgrounds.

I remember a conversation I had with one of the participants called Joe, because it’s one I have time and time again. Joe was in his early 60’s and although he was going through the motions of the programme, he had the belief because of his age that at the end of it organisations wouldn’t be interested in employing him and would choose younger candidates over him.

My thinking was different: Joe’s CV demonstrated his loyalty to the organisations he had previously worked with and had actually worked for his most recent employer for over 30 years before his position had been made redundant. Although he’d been with the same organisation his career had been quite progressive and he’d advanced in terms of the roles and responsibilities he’d undertaken. Along with his CV demonstrating his loyalty and ability, it also demonstrated his ‘stay ability’.

To my way of thinking these factors made Joe an attractive candidate to employers, yes perhaps he only had four or five years before retirement but this is actually quite substantial taking into account how much people move around in their careers today, someone younger may perhaps see an opportunity of joining an organisation as a stepping stone to the next stage of their career and will use this experience to facilitate this.

Today’s job market is very different to that of when Joe began his career, when a job was for life. I actually think this is quite positive because it allows a flow which supports people at different life career stages and when people like Joe want to join an organisation with a commitment to staying with them for four or five years, the organisation will recognise this as being a genuine commitment.

Joe told me our conversation helped him rethink his situation and he approached his job search with a more positive approach, he now recognised just how much he had to offer a potential employer and felt more confident in communicating this.

And of course should Joe choose to do something different, because of longevity there’s space for a whole new career between retirement and death and with the diverse range of skills and experience he’s developed throughout his career I suspect there might be a number of interesting options available to him.

Published with client’s permission. Name has been changed.

Evolving Careers Players can help you and your people transition into new roles. We deliver 121 career coaching, group learning and development and outplacement services. We devise community forum theatre,   corporate drama workshops and role-play scenarios. Get in touch to discuss your needs: