In doing research on current job trends I came across this notice to job-seekers from probably the best-known outplacement firm in the country.  (This is the exact wording.)

In order to enter one of our outplacement programs, we require sponsorship by an employee's company. The reason we cannot accept people without corporate sponsorship is that we cannot overcome the awkward ethical/functional dilemma inherent in working with an 'unsponsored' individual. Good outplacement requires the freedom to counsel the client even when their wants conflict with their needs. In a 'retail' relationship, both parties are either consciously or subconsciously prone to define the client as a customer and therefore the ultimate arbiter of what is right or wrong tactically.”

It appears pretty obvious that they don’t expect you to be qualified to be in the driver’s seat for any of the process of getting a new job.  So please allow me to interpret their message for you.  

To start with, you certainly can’t afford the $4000-$6000 we are going to charge your company to hold your hand in this process. Secondly, you really aren’t smart enough to know what’s best for you. And thirdly we are really good at simply duplicating the miserable life you had previously and don’t want to be bothered by taking the time to hear about your personal dreams and passions at this stage of your life.  We don’t have the experience or the inclination to help you create your own unique and perhaps non-traditional work path. Don’t bore us with terms like personal fulfillment, finding your mission in life, or having work you love. We’re pros at putting your behind in the next cubicle in this non-ending series of boring chapters in your life.

I certainly hope this approach would make you run the other way. You most assuredly should be in the driver’s seat for any transition in your own job/life. No one knows as much or cares as much as you. Yes, you may be able to benefit from a friend, a coach or counselor, but you don't want an organization to take over and treat you like a robot.  85% of the process of finding proper direction and fulfilling God’s purpose comes from looking inward - only 15% from looking at work history and credentials. Only you are qualified to see these subtle patterns that embrace your passions, your relationships, and the things that give you a sense of joy and meaning. Don’t allow circumstances or a prescribed ‘outplacement’ plan make decisions that you deserve to make. Some fancy organization may be able to squeeze you into a ‘job’ but they aren’t likely to help you create the ‘life’ you want.


Dan Miller is President of The Business Source, founder of "48 Days" and author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and 48 Days To Creative Income. He is the growing authority for creating effective life plans that are achieved by integrating natural gifts, unique personality traits and one's own values and passions. His unique clarification of how God gifts us will introduce you to a new sense of freedom and fulfillment of your life's calling. For more information, visit http://www.48days.com/.