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HR Leader Finds ‘Community of Support’ During Career Transition

Executive Outplacement Benefits from Navigate Forward Help Rebekah Whisler Launch Consulting Business with Confidence

Quick Look:

  • Client: HR executive for multinational consumer food company
  • Services: Executive Transition Services
  • Consultant: K.C. Foley
  • Value: One-on-one guidance and a community of resources during a time of change

 

Headshot of HR consultant Rebekah WhislerFrom her first meeting with CEO Anne Sample, HR executive Rebekah Whisler knew Navigate Forward was the right place for her. Her previous employer gave her the choice of two different outplacement options after eliminating her longtime position.

“I respect expertise and results, and I immediately sensed that from Anne,” Whisler said, describing their first conversation about career transition support. “I was really struck by Anne’s clarity, and the passion she has for the work.”

Whisler added, “It gave me the confidence to say, I want to work with a proven group that gets results and has a clear path, that’s going to guide me rather than being too open-ended.”

That fortuitous decision—just weeks after her position was eliminated—helped Whisler overcome the emotion that often accompanies an unexpected layoff, identify the next step in her own career journey, and work with a team of experts to ultimately launch of her own executive coaching and HR consulting business, Rebekah Whisler Consulting.

I want other leaders to know how great, supportive and results-oriented the Navigate Forward experience is

Clarity and Support During a Time of Transition

At Navigate Forward, Whisler took advantage of career transition support specifically focused on the needs of senior leaders. She worked one-on-one with executive consultant K.C. Foley.

“K.C. brought structure and clarity to a time when a lot was changing in my life,” Whisler noted. “She helped me see a robust path forward, then drove accountability for follow-up on the actions we discussed.”

K.C. was my primary interface, but I felt all of the Navigate Forward team and their resources were at my disposal and cheering me on

Whisler joined her previous employer directly out of graduate school. During her 23-year tenure with the multinational consumer foods company, she enjoyed 12 different roles and the opportunity to work both in the U.S. and abroad.

Now, with new horizons in front of her, Whisler set her sights on becoming an independent HR consultant. Navigate Forward provided access to a number of resources to help her achieve her goal.

Leveraging 20+ Years of HR Experience for a New Venture

“Although I knew I wanted to do consulting, I really benefited from the space and the thought partnership to plan those next steps,” Whisler recalled. “Because of the time I spent with Navigate Forward, I felt more prepared and confident as I launched my own business.”

A guided discovery process, networking with other consultants, and attendance at Navigate Forward’s weekly Executive Forum events enabled Whisler to dive deep into business planning and best practices around consulting.

She noted, “I learned there were many different options in independent consulting. That was something K.C. and I really explored: Is this something you want to do part-time or full-time? Do you want to bring on other people? Is this a business you’re building to sell or hand off someday? What’s your financial goal?”

Whisler decided to focus her business in four key areas: leadership development, organizational design and change management, team effectiveness and executive coaching.

Because of the time I spent with Navigate Forward, I felt more prepared and confident as I launched my own business

A Supportive Community Cheering Her On

Because Navigate Forward’s services extend until each executive finds their new role (without time limits), Whisler was able to tap the team’s expertise for more than six months as she planned and launched her consulting practice. She even used the complimentary Minneapolis office space at Navigate Forward for a focused workspace during her career transition.

“I went into the office as much as I could; it provided structure and energy,” she said.

At a time of change and ambiguity, you can’t underestimate the impact of a warm and supportive community

The authenticity, generosity and encouragement of the entire Navigate Forward staff—as well as program alumni, subject matter experts and friends of the firm—were an unexpected surprise. Not only did Whisler find tools and processes to help achieve her goals, she also became part of a robust executive community.

“K.C. was my primary interface, but I felt all of the Navigate Forward team and their resources were at my disposal and cheering me on,” Whisler recalled.

She added, “At a time of change and ambiguity, you can’t underestimate the impact of a warm and supportive community.”

A Positive Experience and Proven Resource for Senior Leaders

Based on her own experience, Whisler encourages all executives to take advantage of outplacement and career transition services.

Don’t hesitate! If you’re offered outplacement, it’s all positive

“I would want other leaders to know how great, supportive and results-oriented the Navigate Forward experience is,” Whisler said. “I’d tell them don’t hesitate! If you’re offered outplacement through your own organization or have the opportunity to invest in it on your own, it’s all positive.”

Is Change In Your Future? Learn more about Executive Transition Services and our unique approach to career services for senior leaders.

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