What I Learned From Executive Outplacement

With my military obligation coming to an end in the next year, I’m now attending an executive outplacement course. Here are the top three things I’ve learned.

  1. Why I (really) Love Safety:

The ability we have in EHS to reduce needless injuries and loss of life gets me up in the morning. But do you know what I really love? Improving organizations and processes, while building highly skilled teams who have a passion for the work. Why? Because people who love what they do, and are good at it, are inherently safe. For me, EHS will never be about the most stylish fashions in PPE nor the latest in off-the-shelf HAZCOM programs. It’s simply too important.

  1. The Resume Doesn’t Matter:

Half of the course is dedicated to resume writing. Then the course instructor tells you the resume is only good if it gets you the interview, and after that it’s not needed at all. (Maybe a resume is like a fall arrest system?)

  1. Safety Professionals Are Set Up For Success:

In the course we work on our stories. We learn to speak to colleagues, future employers, and during interviews in the form of stories which describe accomplishments and share a message, using acronyms such as SHARE (Situation, Hindrance, Actions, Results, Evaluate) and STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result). The best safety professionals I know taught me this…their ability to influence, motivate, and inspire is grounded in the expertly-told story. Why? Because stories affect our emotions, hold our hearts, and have the ability to connect to our decision-making processes. No one buys a BMW or TOMS shoes based on data, trend analysis, or histogram. They buy the story.

Ever attended an outplacement course? What was your biggest takeaway?

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