Exit Smiling

Outplacement firms help laid off employees cope with job loss and assist companies
hand out pink slips with a human touch.
Nandita Datta
June 27, 2009
"We train managers on how to notify employees about a layoff. We coach them on what to say and what not to say. Sometimes, we even write scripts for them." —Anita Belani, Country Head
(India), Right Management When Sharad Mishra lost his job with a large IT multinational three months ago, he was devastated. Unable to break the news to his family, he would leave home every morning and pretend to go to work. After spending the entire day at a coffee shop or a mall, he would return home late in the evening, just as he did before. This charade would have continued for some more time had it not been for the intervention of a counsellor, appointed, ironically, by Mishra’s former employer. The counselling sessions helpedMishra and his family deal with his job loss and look ahead.
“It felt nice that we had someone to talk to—someone who wasn’t judgmental or preachy and who helped us in every possible way,” recalls Mishra’s wife. “It took us some time,but we soon realised a layoff wasn’t the end of the world—tomorrow would be another day,” she says. Today, when her husband is deciding between two job offers, she says,they are indebted to the counsellor, who helped them tide over the worst crisis of their life by encouraging them to stay positive.