The Value of Good Outplacement Assistance

Posted  | 1 Comment(s)  |  by Mark Hornberger

Recently – our firm was presented with a unique situation.  A prominent client of ours approached us to help them with a high-profile notification.  The gentleman being affected, (a certified genius and very intellectual) was universally liked by everyone in the organization, but due to some restructuring his position was going to be eliminated.   The candidate managed a multi-billion dollar portfolio of investments and was the co-CIO (Chief Investment Officer). couple

What made this notification unique were the personal circumstances of the candidate.  Not only was he an extremely high profile and high income employee, he was not a US citizen….working in the US with on an E-3 Visa.  If you’re not aware, an E-3 Visa is unique because it was created through a treaty between the United States and Australia.  It makes getting a work permit somewhat seamless and encourages trade between the two countries.  However, like many visas, it requires you to leave the United States almost immediately after employment has been terminated.

If the time constraints of finding a company to sponsor him and to revise his work visa were not worrisome enough, he had some very significant family considerations as well.  He and his four daughters suffer from a very rare disease (less than 100 known cases in the world) and the medical treatments…quite frankly are better and much more accessible in the US.  This disease, while it can be regulated with proper medical treatments and a very strict diet, currently has no known cure.  The diet restrictions require nearly a 100% organic lifestyle consisting of “zero” preservatives in the food.

The individual managed his family’s diet restrictions by literally growing and raising nearly all their food himself.  He had a small farm with livestock that he raised to feed his family.  Chickens for eggs, cows for
milk and butter a few steers, hogs and  other animals as well as a large vegetable garden  kept his family fed without any risk of any preservatives making it into his family meals.

Human Resources knew the notification would be devastating and wanted to make sure he had a resource to help him cope with everything he was about to deal with.  They asked us to help them plan the notification and to be on-site the day of notification.  They also wanted to know that he was in good hands.  We were able to pair him with our master coach who also had sat in the “C” suite for a global investment bank before coming to work for us and this made them feel so much better.

But, how does a person find a job so quickly or risk having to move his family half-way around the world?  What does he do about his daughters and their medical needs?  What was he going to do with the farm, his animals?  How was he going to feed his family if he had to go back to Australia?  

Well, our coach began working immediately with him, did a lot of research and found a way to “buy some time.”  They decided to take an unusual career transition path.  Our consultant helped get him a student visa.  The candidate had enough financial reserves to live on for quite a while and going to back to school to get another advanced degree while conducting a search was actually very attractive to him.  It allowed him time to care for his family, save his farm, conduct a job search and it provided the intellectual stimulation he craved.

In the meantime, we have helped him find an employer willing to sponsor him on his visa and wait for him to complete his degree.  He was most grateful for the creativity displayed by his career coach and was able to take the appropriate time for his search.  He didn’t feel rushed or the sense of panic, just the steady hand of an experienced coach who helped him find just the right fit.


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  1. Russ Knight's avatar
    Russ Knight
    | Permalink
    Thanks for sharing this creative story.

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