BACK TO WORK: Smithfield resident Dennis Fernandez credits OI Partners- Lifocus with helping him gain the knowledge needed to re-enter the labor force.
PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS
By Rebecca Keister PBN Staff Writer
Dennis Fernandez thought he knew how to properly navigate his job search.
But when the Smithfield resident, who said he typically changes jobs every two or three years, was let go from a Mansfield medical-device startup last January, he found out he actually knew very little about what it was going to take to re-enter the workforce.
“I thought I had a pretty good handle on what it takes to land a job,” Fernandez said. “But I learned quite a bit. Now I’ve got a whole game plan.”
Fernandez attributes his new-found knowledge, and skills, to outplacement counseling he received from OI Partners-Lifocus Inc., a coaching and leadership-development firm with a Warwick office.
The services were provided as part of his severance package from Primeria DX, a molecular-diagnostics company.
“I don’t know if [finding a job] will be easier, only because of where the economy is. But I know I’m better prepared,” Fernandez said.
OI Partners-Lifocus advertises that Fernandez in fact will have less trouble finding a new job after going through its program, which is custom-applied to clients’ laid-off workers, depending on employee position and employment length, among other factors.
The company recently released results of a survey it conducted with some 140 clients and those companies’ former employees throughout the United States.
Seventy-eight percent of laid-off workers rated their job-search skills as excellent or very good after receiving career counseling.
After completing counseling programs, the number of former employees reporting just good or average job-search skills declined 73 percent, going from 78 percent before counseling to 21 percent after.
“The crux of that survey is that folks who have been provided outplacement are much more likely to land a position in their industry and know about the concept of how to conduct a job-search campaign than those in companies that provide no outplacement,” said Thomas Wharton, managing partner of OI Partners-Lifocus. “There’s a lot to learn. There’s so much that we do for them.”
Wharton founded Lifocus 18 years ago and affiliated with OI Partners about nine years ago.