The “I” in Executive Career TransItion

October 2, 2020
The “I” in Executive Career TransItion

When outplacement services are needed for a former employee, it’s important to ensure that a holistic approach is taken. It’s not enough to simply address the professional needs of the person, Taly Fleischer discusses the need to consider their emotional state and well-being when providing guidance.


This past spring and summer, and continuing into an indeterminate future, many organizations have faced and will continue to face the difficult task of reducing their workforce. We are seeing the trend across all industries and at all levels of staff, including management and executives. While layoffs have always been a difficult part of the regular course of business, the loss of employment in today’s environment is further amplified by countless other crises taking place.  

And so now, more than ever, this “it’s not personal” facet of business is actually quite personaland it’s this personal component that requires the most attention.  

More Than a Feeling 

Resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, networking events, interview skillsthese are all important elements that should be addressed in career transition, and they are essential to landing the next role. However, these tasks can only be effectively tackled if the individual is first and foremost supported at an emotional level. 

Individuals suddenly facing a job loss will likely experience a range of emotions or emotional states. These will vary in intensity, duration and time of onset. Some of the comments we have heard from leaders in transition include: 

  • What do I tell my spouse? How can I face the people in my life? 
  • My job is everything. Without my title who am I?
  • My boss had it out for me. I had no chance.
  • I was a high performer. This does not make sense to me.
  • I can’t focus on a job search right now; I just don’t have the energy.
  • Where do I even begin? 
  • I’ve been at the same job for X years. How could they do this to me?
  • I am so angry. All I want to do is find a lawyer and sue.

Notice the I in every statement? It implies the personal Injury the individual is feeling. Emotion is not the “fluffy stuff” that we can ignore or push past. It is real and significantly impacts our ability to act objectively and constructively, often preventing us from progressing towards a new chapter in our lives and careers. 

These reactionary statements all have an emotional injury sitting behind them. And these emotions, while quite difficult and painful, are normal. To move forward, people first must deal with the injury. This is done through a process of validation of, and coaching through, these emotions. This is why we at Farber, with our EQ-driven methodology, are transitional specialists. We position candidates for career success by decreasing search anxiety, increasing candidate engagement and connectivity, reducing time to placement and driving clear alignment to future goals and career objectives

At our core, Farber is a human-centred firm. Our Career Transition capabilities lie in our ability to wrap our multi-disciplinary expertise around an individual in a holistic, caring, results-driven environment. Our team of senior coaches and advisors partner with leaders from start to finish to create a customized, personalized and meaningful experience. 

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Taly Fleischer is a Director with our Circle & Square practice of Farber. This group has three service offerings, corporate training, consulting, and leadership coaching. Taly leads the coaching offering, which utilizes her own frameworks and leverages the proprietary Circle & Square methodology. Taly can be reached at 416.496.3751 or tfleischer@farbergroup.com.

Ian Brenner is a Partner and the leader of the Interim Management & Executive Search practice at Farber. Ian can be reached at 416.496.3666 and ibrenner@farbergroup.com.