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Branding is a consideration for all of us; personally, professionally and corporately. Our brand is best described as what others say about us when we’re not in the room. And it’s what those leaving our organization say about our company once they’ve left. Although historically that may not have been an issue, in today’s world of social media it is an issue of significance.
Severance is one piece of a separation settlement. Another critical component for the departing executive is transition support. Managing an executive level job search is not an intuitive exercise. Many presume the exiting leader must have a substantial network and healthy financial reserves; and therefore, requires no support to land a new role. While a strong network assists a transition, it can be a hindrance if mismanaged, which is quite likely to occur with the uninitiated. On an emotional level, no amount of money can dissolve the impact of losing a job. For many, the role and its accompanying title, are how they are known and how they define themselves. A well-structured executive career transition program is mutually beneficial and should account for the following:
The presumption that executives are insulated from the effects of forced transition by the content of their employment contract or the severance they are offered on departure is amiss. The notion that as an executive, they are – or should be – better equipped to cope with an unexpected transition, or that they have ample money and will therefore be fine, is flawed thinking. All research argues the contrary. “My former employer treated me extremely well. The support I was provided through the transition was exceptional. I appreciate all they did for me” is the message you want coming from your departing executives. It strengthens the organizational brand, engenders confidence in the remaining team, and meaningfully mitigates the negative impact of these types of changes.