Voluntary Job Transition : A Study of Individuals in an Outplacement Program

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Sociologiska institutionen


The purpose of this study is to create an understanding of the experiences of participating in an outplacement program, with focus on voluntary participation. The case investigated consists of individuals from a company that received and accepted an offer of outplacement service along with severance pay. To analyze the experiences of the participants the study is narrowed down to three focus areas; why did they make the decision to accept the offer, what expectations did the interviewees entering the outplacement program have and how did they view their employability. To be able to analyze these questions the study accounts for theory regarding; labor market regulations, rationality, employability and the decision making process when deciding to accept the offer and leave the company. The collection of empirical data for this study was performed via semi-structured interviews taking on a phenomenological approach. The results indicate that an offer such as outplacement help can make people feel more secure with making a transition to a new employment. Outplacement services can be seen as an alternative to loosen up labor market regulations with intent to increase movement. This could arguably be more beneficial for the company and to the employee as well. This study finds that a voluntary transition creates a different need from the outplacement coach relative to the need after an involuntary transition.  Finally this study argues that by entering the job search market the perceived employability for an individual could converge more towards reality.

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