It was quite difficult for Gaëlle Bruggeman when she was suddenly laid off. In six months, the young engineer moved into a new sector, job and duties with the help of Galilei-Randstad.
Gaëlle Bruggeman, an engineer by education, was unexpectedly laid off by the multinational for whom she worked: A global restructuring was given as the explanation. “Redundancy with immediate effect. Of course, I was really, really shocked.”
Bruggeman was offered an outplacement programme by her former employer, even though the company was not required to do so. “I used the programme as much as possible”, she said. “I found it valuable at the beginning, especially the psychological help. After that, the counselling made me think about my qualities, deficiencies and strengths as well as my weaknesses. And then I thought about my future.” Today, Gaëlle Bruggeman works in a SME as a project engineer, a job that matches her education much better. She especially appreciates the human aspect of her job in a company with just twenty employees.
“This example proves that you can use outplacement to take complete control of your career and transition from a job at a multinational to an SME”, said Marie-Noëlle van Hoorebeke, business manager at Galilei-Randstad and outplacement specialist.
Outplacement is just one of the resources you can use to take your career in a new direction. The law requires employers to provide outplacement to laid off employees who are entitled to a notice period greater than thirty weeks. However, there are also employers who are not so obligated that provide coaching after a lay off. Some employers view it in a broader context, namely, as a means to improve the employability and mobility of their personnel.
Thus, the target group is very large. This is also because there are employees who take charge of their career under their own initiative. They want to increase their employability, their professional mobility, their labour market value and thus their potential to grow into a job that aligns more with their own expectations. “In this case, we are dealing with career reflection, namely, a search for the meaning of the job”, said Marie-Noëlle van Hoorebeke.
The employer may pay for the search for meaning, as well as for stress management or the resources to prevent burnouts. Of course, employees can do this themselves. In Flanders, the Flemish Employment and Training Service steps in to provide career cheques for both full-time staff and the self-employed. You must meet certain conditions to be eligible, for example, firstly, you must speak Dutch.
“Career coaching is available for French speakers”, said Marie-Noëlle van Hoorebeke. “This can be paid for by either the employer or employee”. In the latter case, employees are investing in themselves in their own career planning.
Is it expensive? “The coaching sessions are available to anyone looking for a personal approach on how they want to deal with their career.” In practical terms, this occurs in the form of individual coaching sessions, where the employee is guided through self-reflection and receives advice about networking.
“Thanks to outplacement, I thought about my qualities and deficiencies as well as my and strengths and weaknesses.”