The 'Little Way'

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When people find out that I work in Outplacement services, they often ask me two questions:

Firstly, because we are primarily dealing with people as they undergo (mostly involuntary) career transitions, if the emotional side ever gets to me.

And secondly, doesn’t the industry leave me feeling depressed?

I almost always can answer honestly: ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

All careers have their difficulties and Outplacement Services can be a tough gig, but it need not be so. It is only tough when you invest emotionally with those that you are helping. Of course, it is a professional service, but the last thing that a client undergoing the trauma of redundancy needs, is another layer of corporate-speak, motivational platitudes. My own painful experience of being made redundant many years ago, still informs my approach to the roller-coaster of emotions that accompany this difficult life-event. But.

It does not make me depressed. Somehow, when you experience a career as a vocation or calling, you discover that giving really is better than receiving. Those that work for NGO’s, and millions of other Aussies, like many of you, who volunteer in their spare time, know this first-hand. I am truly lucky, blessed, really, that I get to earn a living helping others in so direct a way. And this is not mere happiness, because there are moments of frustration, but a sense of deep joy.

Oz Outplacement will probably always be an SME. To be honest, we do not aspire to be a large corporate. We will never do ‘great’ things. But we aspire to follow Therese of Lisieux – (a young nun who died at the age of 24) who once wrote: Don’t aspire to do great things. Do little things with great love. 


Carmen Mackrill is Principal consultant at

Career Transition outplacement services redundancy

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