Being Outplaced

Three days this week, I spent in “outplacement training”.  This is the formal phrase for helping those who have been laid off write their resumes and find another job.

I HATE these types of training.  They usually make you do cheese exercises.  There is role playing, and not the fun kind.  And, they involve lots of sharing and caring. 

So, why did I go?  I went because the company was paying for it.  I wanted to make sure they had to pay for mine.

What did I learn?  Well, that my old company is a cheapskate!  They bought the classes and a month access to their online system.  Everyone else in the class got three months – and a bunch more services at this place.  While everyone else in the class got a page listing the services, those of us from the same company got our three bullets that took up a quarter of a page.  We get the class, a month access to their online educational resources, and 2-hrs of 1×1 help. Nice.

The woman who taught the class was a 30 year HR professional with a wicked sense of humor.  I rarely judge the book by its cover, so I was happy to see the sense of humor shine.  She told us at one point on Tuesday not to use lime green paper for our resumes.  Ironically enough on Thursday when I went to print my out, all I had was a horrid green paper.  She LOVED the fact that happened.  Then, later in class, she grabbed it and yelled “no more green paper!!” a la Mommy Dearest.  Then there was the lecture to the women in the class about wearing shirts that expose cleavage. “I know your cleavage looks fabulous, just don’t show it off during the interview.”  All of the guys turned red.

I also learned that everyone – even those who have never met Mr Chatty – get instantly annoyed by him. He tried to play the expert the whole of day 1 – but was sick the second class on Thursday.  I think it was a ruse because he realized how badly his resume sucked.

And, in all honesty, I learned how to approach the job search like a marketing exercise.  While it is easy to get a format for a resume you like and fill it in – it may not deliver the message you want to deliver.  While some of the parts seemed goofy, it jogged the memory and got the brain working the way it needs to work.

Another thing I learned: despite my reluctance to keep in touch with everyone I have ever made contact with, I still have a freaking huge network.  In fact, I realized today as I was creating a list of people I should reach out to, that I have one killer contact on there.  He’s an independent SOX (Sarbanes Oxley or prevent-Enron rules public companies have to follow) consultant.  First off, he loves me.  Secondly, he works with EVERYONE.  In fact, when I mentioned this contact, the trainer said “oh, are you talking about Al?”  She even knew him from a conference they both spoke at four years ago.  Yeah, I’ll be emailing him tomorrow.

Things I was annoyed about:

  • I inadvertently became teacher’s pet.  She likes interaction. I hate it when no one will answer a question – so I kept doing it.  I mean, there were 10 of us in the class.  It kind of stands out when no one will talk.  So, she kept looking to me as a guinea pig for her demonstrations.
  • The whiny 25 year old who was laid off twice in four years and can’t decide if he wants to try again or finish his degree.  Even the trainer’s patience was being tested.  At one point, I jumped in and started asking him the questions he should be asking himself. In the end, I pointed out that his inability to answer those basic questions is likely why he hasn’t gotten a decent interview in 5 months.  The trainer stood there nodding her head.  Later she thanked me for doing that.
  • The geeky ex-chemist turned call center support guy who kept quoting the movie Kingdom of Heaven.  And they were stupid quotes too.  Quotes that were clearly taken from more famous people….like Gandhi and the like.   I think we all were dumbfounded when he mentioned his wife Thursday afternoon.
  • One of my ex-coworkers who is just a negative person in general.  She’s going to have a hard time finding a job.  Why? Besides her abrasive personality, she’s looking in a narrow, NARROW location. She wants a 5 minutes commute. And, she wants a very specific industry with very specific requirements.  She would not get off of it.  But, as someone who worked with her on things, that didn’t surprise me.
  • Fucking role playing!  She had us practice something to be more familiar with how to do it. If it was something easily done, that would be one thing. But, no, you’d need some improv skills to really get the practice.  Thankfully, I was paired with the Little Ms Abrasive, and she refused to play claiming we know how to do this already so it would be a waste of our time.  I guess there was an upside to her being in the class.

Overall, it was a good class.  I have some work to do. But, it is all good. I’m unemployed and thereby a burden to society. What else am I going to do? Okay, I mean besides sending periodic naughty pictures (and video) to Garbanzo and other friends.  And watching porn, not Oprah. 🙂

6 Comments Add yours

  1. I am glad things went well. I also hate some types of role play.

    I am sure that you will land on your feet.

  2. ‘no! It was porn! I swear! I’m a dirty dirty girl! ‘. We understand. Oprah knows ‘The Secret’.

    Who the hell quotes Kingdom of Heaven? It wasn’t even a good movie. What a loser.

  3. Vixen says:

    Role playing in that atmosphere makes me *cringe…. *shudder*

    You’re a free woman! 😉

  4. Just me... says:

    All in all, sounds like you got something decent out of the class! And while role playing for work sucks, in other arenas….. :)~

  5. Cheeks says:

    Oy – I did those classes when I was laid off earlier this year. For every tidbit of good info (resume formatting for someone who hadn’t seriously updated hers in 10 years), there was a mountain of not-useful info.

    I live near Detroit so my classes were full of bitter white collar auto company refugees. The only thing that kept me going? My company bought that package where we got a $250 gift card at the end. Ka-ching!

  6. rage says:

    I am not looking forward to the job hunt, which pretty much is going on now. It is the suck.

    Good luck to you though. Are you going to stay in the same field?

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