Q. Dear Mindy, My company has been acquired, and I am worried about losing my job. My colleagues are talking about Outplacement Services and I am not sure what that is. Can you help? Concerned in Queens

A. Dear Concerned, Outplacement programs provide guidance to help former employees transition to new jobs and re-orient themselves in the job market. An organization that specializes in Outplacement usually provides the services which are initiated and paid for by the former employer. Services provided are achieved through training and ongoing career coaching support. Outplacement training topics typically include career guidance, resume development, interview preparation, developing networks, job search skills and targeting the job market.

Businesses have increasingly found a need for assistance in reducing the trauma of layoffs for both departing employees and those who remain. Research shows that losing one’s job is one of the most stressful experiences a person can face other than death or divorce. By using the services of an Outplacement organization, businesses provide former employees with the skills they need to transition smoothly into the next phase of their lives. The fact that the business is willing to invest in their former employees improves the morale of both remaining and outgoing employees. It also helps to preserve the positive image of the business in the aftermath of a downsizing, and positions the business as an employer of choice.

The best Outplacement programs provide the opportunity for ongoing coaching support and skill development so that individuals who want to change careers have the necessary resources available to them. When selecting the right Outplacement organization, businesses should look for a customizable approach, experience, reasonable cost, skill development options and the opportunity for ongoing career coaching support.

Mindy Stern, SPHR, ACC is a career coach, speaker, and trusted advisor who works with organizations to provide Outplacement programs that will ensure a smooth transition from current employment to future employment. She founded AIM Resource Group Inc. to encourage the growth and success of individuals and organizations. Visit the website at www.aimresourcegroup.com or call 718-217-1074 to learn more.

Do you want your questions answered in this column? Send requests to mstern@aimresourcegroup.com .