Part I

I used to love that advertisement for Holiday Inn, you know, the one where the nurse says “You aren’t Dr. Stewart” and the Dr responds: “No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night” (check it out here:

I suspect many professionals cringe when they watch TV shows or movies where their profession is depicted. I know some of my friends have had those moments where they cringe. And having stayed at a few Holiday Inn Express hotels in my day and despite their claims, I am not any smarter.

Well, the Career Transition or Outplacement industry has been highlighted in a few movies over the years. While binge watching Netflix and other streaming platforms during this pandemic, you are bound to come across a few.  One notable film was “Up in the Air”. While many people ask me how “real” that movie was, I often tell them that other than George Clooney’s striking resemblance to me, the similarities end right there.  Here are a few glaring misperceptions from that movie.

1. Career Transition consultants do not fly from one city to the next to provide support. Much as I would like to see more of this great land (and be traveling again), it is just cost prohibitive for the corporate client.  And even if they did pay, the cost of that travel would detract from the budget used to support the candidate in transition….not a good idea in our books.

2. The Career Transition consultant does not deliver the news to the employee. We simply do not have the authority to do so – that is an organizational responsibility. Further, our job is to help the person move on to another role which is pretty hard to do if they keep seeing us as the reason for their departure from the company.

3. Termination meetings and our support are delivered with the utmost attention paid to the employees’ well-being. Our job is to ensure they are safe, comfortable and able to grasp the realities of moving forward. That may take 15 minutes or five hours. It doesn’t matter how long it takes us to get them adjusted to the news they have received; we spend as much time as needed. This step of the process is never rushed, unlike the meeting with Mr. Clooney’s character.

4. We don’t support organizations that use mass emails or robocalls to deliver the message to departing employees. That is too impersonal, and frankly, disrespectful. And while we are on it, we make sure we work with organizations to plan the timing of employee disengagements, so they do not fall on a significant milestone like a birthday or anniversary. 

5. Want to learn more about the fundamental value proposition of Career Transition or outplacement?  Check out our Career Transition page or give us a call.