Benefits of outplacement
Offering departing employees career transitioning and outplacement services is not just about ‘doing the right thing’. It affords significant benefits to law firms, especially from a reputation management and employer branding point of view. Providing access to unbiased support from an external expert shows a genuine commitment to your people and helps to foster a healthy relationship between a law firm and outgoing associates and / or partners. This reduces the risk of any feeling of disheartenment, anger or frustration filtering down to remaining staff and indeed future joiners. Crucially, this in turn ensures higher levels of motivation and loyalty towards an employer.
Anyone who comes into contact with me will quickly discover that I’m a real ‘people person’. Former candidates from my days as a recruiter have regularly praised me on my willingness to get to know them on a personal level and for taking a deep interest in their longer-term aspirations and not just their next move. Indeed, this is what motivated me to extend my business into career transitioning and outplacement.
My overriding ethos is to make a positive difference to lawyers who have hit career crossroads, face redundancy or are approaching retirement. Having already gained experience of working with many lawyers who have had to navigate their way through such difficult situations I am acutely aware of just how important having rapid access to an unbiased and knowledgeable sounding board is.
My bespoke programmes for associates and partners start with a partnership of equals that is based on trust, respect and co-operation. They aim to create a confidential client-centric collaborative relationship in which lawyers will be in the driving seat, meaning I will never tell them what to do.
I am a very sympathetic listener but not afraid to challenge conventional ‘lawyer thinking’ to get individuals on my programmes to do an open and honest self-analysis of their professional situations, achievements and career goals.
Though I can of course share valuable information on current recruitment trends etc. and provide practical assistance on job search strategies, CV reviewing/editing, interview preparation and networking tips I believe lawyers are best placed to find their own solutions to career-related challenges. I therefore use one-to-one consultations to ask carefully selected questions, typically used in executive coaching, that are designed to get lawyers to take stock, enhance self-awareness, boost confidence, encourage insight, assess options and set goals. This helps them to secure new roles as quickly as possible or work towards a change in direction such as pursuing a new career, enrolling on a course or even setting up a business.
Lawyers who complete my programmes can reasonably expect to gain career confidence, insight, encouragement and inspiration. They should also feel that my coaching and mentoring enables them to break ‘old habits’ and grants them permission to relax so any fear and anxiety is reduced.
What’s on offer?
My programmes can be tailored to meet your firm’s requirements and the individual circumstances of the lawyer being offered the support. However, as a rough guide the following packages are recommended:
- Junior to mid-level associates: A three-month programme comprising three one-to-one virtual sessions, lasting up to 90-minutes each and reasonable ongoing telephone and email support.
- Mid-level associates: A four-month programme comprising six one-to-one virtual sessions, lasting up to 90-mins each and reasonable ongoing telephone and email support.
- Senior associates: A five-month programme comprising eight one-to-one virtual sessions, lasting up to 90-mins each and ongoing telephone and email support.
- Partners: Unlimited sessions within a pre-agreed timeframe to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The format of the sessions and topics for discussion will be determined by the associates/partners but the purpose of the initial meeting is simply to lend a sympathetic ear so the associate/partner can chat through the issues and challenges s/he is facing and any related concerns. The rest of the session can be spent discussing potential options and the associate/partner’s short, medium and long-term career and life goals. Potential discussion points can focus on helping the associate/partner to identify his/her unique range of skills, abilities and strengths as well as personal values and motivating factors. Finally, objectives and a detailed action plan for the remaining sessions will be agreed.
Follow-up sessions can be used to discuss effective job search strategies and the most appropriate ways for the associate/partner to market him/herself to potential employers. Areas covered can include tips for getting the most out of legal recruitment agencies, the optimal way to approach direct applications and the role of networking and social media in job-hunting. The sessions can also provide the associate/partner with an opportunity to get help with putting together a persuasive ‘master CV’ or help with interview practice. If appropriate a mock interview can also be set up.
Meanwhile, for associates/partners who decide law is not for them longer-term the sessions can be used to work through exercises designed to help identify motivators, values, working styles and transferrable skills.
Alternatively, the meetings can be used to help the associates/partners to finesse their soft skills such as networking, personal branding, time and stress management as well as wellbeing.
“For me, the best things have been your availability and flexibility to be a sounding board and your experience of the legal sector, which you were able to bring to the discussions. Plus you are genuinely a lovely person to spend time with and aren’t afraid to give your thoughts and impressions, which I found really helpful,” Senior tax associate, leading City firm
“I have found Husnara to be an excellent person to talk through opportunities that have come my way. Sometimes it is very difficult to define what you are trying to achieve with your career and Husnara has helped me assess what I want success to be. This has allowed me to better focus on the opportunities which take me towards my success rather than trying to chase everything in a haphazard manner,” Senior in-house financial services lawyer
“I found the sessions extremely useful. Husnara is a superb listener and was an invaluable sounding board. I am extremely grateful for Husnara’s time, wisdom and kind advice, which was both targeted and motivating,” Mid-level corporate associate, leading City firm
“During my sessions with Husnara, what stood out for me was the sharp honesty of her appraisal, the clarity of her advice and her unmatched professional expertise drawn from her own highly successful and varied careers. I heartily recommend Husnara. The exceptional advice and tailored guidance you’ll receive ensures that you’re well equipped with specific knowledge, new skills and useful strategies to succeed in your new professional life.” Career changer
“Husnara was very good at empathising with my actual situation and providing valuable and practical advice. I appreciated the fact that she had also worked as a lawyer and had first hand experience of the culture and career development in private practice. She was always professional and encouraged me to focus on my goals whilst providing gentle nudges in the right direction.” Mid-level litigation associate, West End firm