Giving Notice That You’re Leaving


Whether due to retirement, leaving for another job, (hopefully better) or you’ve just had all you can take, one of the things you have to think about is how you’re going to go about leaving. Will you or won’t you provide them with advanced notice of your decision and if you do, how much notice will you give?

There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re about to leave. The extent to which each one applies or not to your personal situation may greatly influence how much or little advance notice you give. So let’s look at some of the most common things that go into most people’s decision.

Still Within Probationary Period

If you’re in you’re probationary period, both you and the employer aren’t compelled to provide any notice to each other. They could let you go and simply say it’s not a good fit and the same applies to you.

Will I Want A Reference?

Before you just walk in and quit, consider that if you plan on putting this experience on your resume as your most recent employment, count on interviewers expecting someone from this organization to be a reference of yours. By giving sufficient notice, you won’t leave a sour taste in their mouth, and it’s likely they’ll say positive things about your contributions.

Retirement

You might never plan on working again and therefore not need a reference, but you may find you still deal with the employer regarding pension, health benefits, retirement and/or buyout packages. Leaving on the best terms possible definitely won’t hurt. Depending where you live and work, there may be rules on what’s required in terms of notice and consider that some employees retire and then end up returning to work for the same employer on a part-time or contractual basis.

Your Personal Code Of Ethics

While you might feel an obligation to repay your employer’s faith in hiring you, you may also be someone who gives zero thought to their situation. If you don’t feel any remorse about leaving, you may be comfortable just walking away. Good advice however is to consider the employer’s situation. How easy or challenging will it be to replace you?

How Easily Will You Be Replaced?

If you work in an entry-level position where turnover is high and you’ve only been employed a short time, your departure will not present the same challenge as someone working in a senior position with special working knowledge acquired in a niche market. The longer it will take to replace you generally means the employer would appreciate more notice.

Good Terms Or Bad Terms?

Why you’re leaving is a critical consideration. If you’re at the end of your rope and being severely mistreated by an employer, you have to put your own physical and mental health as a top priority. In an abusive employment relationship, walking away with no notice is always justified. You may or may not report the employer and you should consult with an Employment Counsellor/Coach about how best to answer some future interview question such as, “Why did you leave your last job?” or “Describe your previous employer.” Leaving on good terms on the other hand generally means you might want to give appropriate notice.

Succession Planning

In some of the best organizations, employer’s sit down with their employees and develop personalized plans of advancement. Some organizations expect you to move on and up and this planning means they have others already training to replace you, just as you’ll be getting prepared to move into a role held by someone else. Giving them notice of your departure within or beyond the organization let’s them set things in motion for a seamless transition.

A Trigger

What’s a trigger? A trigger is a single event, conversation or action that may cause you to come to the decision to leave. Your 65th birthday, a health diagnosis, your spouse accepting a job in another city, an opportunity to take an early buyout of your services; these are a few examples. Be careful that your decision to leave is well thought out. Sometimes a knee-jerk decision to quit on the spot, made hastily is one you might regret 24 hours later.

Another – A Better Job

Congratulations! You might be fortunate to find yourself accepting a better job – closer to home, more income, a better fit for your education and experience, etc. When you have the luxury of another job, you’ll undoubtedly be happy, but again, leave on the best terms possible. Life has a funny way of sometimes bringing us back to work for companies we left in our past.

Volunteer To Paid Employment

Let’s not forget that walking away from a volunteer position because you’ve landed a paying job while understandable, may still leave one organization in a bind to replace you. No different than a profit organization, non-profits appreciate notice so they can get the right people too.

If you work for an organization with a Human Resources Manager, inquire about the requirements around providing notice. It’s a good idea to leave on the best terms possible whenever possible.

Could be that depending on your role and how professional the boss you work for is or isn’t, that when you offer to work for two weeks before leaving, they accept your resignation immediately and tell you not to come back. So be it if that happens.

 

Think You May Lose Your Job?


There are several reasons you might find yourself thinking more often about losing your job. Has your company been downsizing and your seniority eroding so quickly your long-held belief that it couldn’t happen to you is eroding right along with it?

Maybe it’s restructuring, poor performance on your part, a change in Supervisor and it’s pretty clear they want to clear house and hire their own people or for some reason, the boss you knew and liked has changed and their new behaviours and actions have given you reason for concern. There are many reasons you see, for being worried about your employment. So what’s a person supposed to do?

For starters, and this is nothing really new, find your resume and start updating it with all the training, additional education and employment you’ve had since you last looked at it. Open up that drawer of certificates you’ve earned at work, or that computer file with the courses you’ve taken. Now is the time to get those things on your resume; and take these certificates home!

Why now? Okay let’s get to the worst case scenario. Suppose some people come to your work area today about 15 minutes before your lunch and tell you that you’re being let go. Suppose too they tell you they are here to walk you out, that your things will be boxed up and ready for you to pick up in a couple of days. You’re to take nothing but your coat, your lunch and they’ve brought backup just in case by the looks of it.

Not very nice I admit, but my point is to make it clear that you may not have the time to get things before the axe falls. Oh and by the way, employer’s walk you out not because they feed off the power of humiliating you, but rather they want to protect their assets, and emotional employees (and you will be) sometimes don’t act fully rationally, nor do employers and employees always agree on who owns what. While your personal photos and knick-knacks are clearly yours, other things that aren’t so clear might be materials you created on behalf of the employer, USB sticks, cell phones, personal computers, keys, access cards, etc. Yes, the escorted walk out off the property might be embarrassing but it could have you later wishing you’d taken the time to gather your things personally.

So it comes down to two things; is your looming departure beyond or within your control? If you feel your performance is the cause for your worry, then you must ask yourself if you’re interested and motivated enough to change your ways and up your performance. If you don’t care whether they fire you or not and you plan on behaving exactly the way you have been, that’s your call.

Now, another thing to consider is whether you’re up for a personal, closed door chat with the boss. Knowing where you stand is important for many people; even when the news is bad, a lot of people actually feel better knowing the situation they are truly in rather than stressing over the situation they think they might be in. You might not be called on to use your imagination much at work, but it will be working overtime creating all kinds of possible scenario’s in your mind until you know the truth of where things are.

Why does imminent loss of employment worry people so? Well it’s more than just the loss of a job. It’s the loss of a reputation, the loss of an identity as an employee and whatever your job title is at the moment. It’s financial worry too, and depending on your age and job prospects, it could have you fearing your days of having an ongoing income are done if you lose this job. When you fear this, you fear the future and however you imagined it is now in jeopardy.  There’s also the stigmatism of telling family and friends or doing what some do; leaving for work as usual but having no job to go to while they job search so they can avoid upsetting others in the hopes they’ll get another job immediately.

When you really feel the axe could fall any day now, best to start taking home whatever personal possessions you’ve got in the workplace. The last thing you want is to suddenly recall 4 weeks after being let go, some item you believe you left at work and having to contact the employer in the hopes of getting it. If they tell you it’s not there, you may be convinced they threw it out or possibly even kept it and this will just result in more anxiety, more bitterness and this isn’t healthy.

Start getting your references together too. You know, the phone numbers, job titles and emails of the people you trust at work will speak well of you if/when you’re gone. It’s so much easier now rather than later.

Whatever you do, don’t start stealing company property. This is one way to get fired for sure. Do check into your financial situation. Cut back on your spending now to buffer the possibility of a loss of income. If you have benefits, think about a dental or optical visit now too.

Start looking for other employment; put out feelers and network. Wouldn’t you rather leave on your own terms?

 

 

Bad Employer; A Decision To Make


Roughly two months ago I was introduced to an unemployed Photographer with a long-term goal of owning her own business and studio. After 4 days of working together, she was offered and accepted a job as a Manager of a Photography studio; the kind of place you’d find in a big box store where you and the family might go for some portraits or to have your passport photos taken.

Now this job wasn’t her dream job, but it was in her field, it would put employment on her résumé, and it would certainly bring in some immediate income; albeit not the amount she’d want down the road. Setting aside some of her wages for that long-term dream studio and getting a job offer after a frustrating long job search did wonders for her self-esteem.

Well as happens occasionally, the experience has backfired; she’s feeling used and abused, the position was immediately clarified as employee not Manager, and the wages aren’t consistent with others in the same role. She’s continued to be poorly trained, she hasn’t even got one person she primarily reports to, and if you can believe it, she only interacts with these Supervisors by text; she never sees them in person and works on her own. In this odd setup, she is monitored by cameras, and is told she isn’t selling enough to hit her daily targets, but when asking for guidance and training, she’s told to phone other locations and ask for tips and tricks! Another employee told her she’s on the ‘fire’ list too.

So we sat down together face-to-face yesterday afternoon. My inclination as I listened was to tell her clearly that I believed she should quit. However, professionally, I know it would be better for her to come to her own decision. In other words, my goal was to hear her out, take what she was feeling emotionally and physically, work with that and give it back to her in such a way that she’d have the clarity to make her own choice. What she wanted I felt, was validation of her circumstances, and to understand the impact if any, on her social assistance status were she to quit.

I admired her desire to keep the job until she found a better one. It’s not in her nature to give up on a job. In was here that I drew a parallel where she had in the past been in a relationship where she didn’t want to give up on her abusive partner. Back then, she’d thought she could ‘fix’ him; make him better. That didn’t work, and she eventually removed herself from that abusive relationship and is the better for it, now with someone who treats her better. This was similar; not in her nature to quit, trying to make the situation work because she really enjoys working with customers, but at the same time, being shuffled to and from 4 locations to fill in staff absences. She’s been scheduled to work every weekend so far; despite having asked for one off to celebrate her own birthday, and the schedule changes without her being told herself until another employee calls to tell her. Oh and I saw the texts on her mobile; very inappropriate language and very poor communication.

In the end I made sure first and foremost that she knew there would be no sanctions, suspension of benefits or other penalties for quitting. Sure, we in Social Services generally want people to keep jobs until they find better ones, but this isn’t healthy; it’s someone in a position of being mentally abused. We discussed of course the pros and cons of staying and quitting, and should quitting be her decision, how to go about it a few different ways.

I think what helped her the most was realizing that this minimum wage job, while yes in her field of photography, could be easily replaced by any job with no loss in wages, but where she would likely be much better treated. Perhaps a little wiser, her mental health and self-esteem are worth more than keeping this job and trying to fix it.

By the way, if YOU are in a similar position, I empathize with you. You need the income I understand, but bad employers and being mistreated on a regular basis come with a cost. Is the income you’re getting enough to really offset the cost to your own mental and physical health?

Being August and rolling into September, we’re in the second best time for getting hired. Now – right now – is the best time to ramp up your job search and go at it with renewed energy. You’re worth more than staying in a job where you’re poorly trained and supported, make minimum wage or well below what you’re experience and education qualify you for. It’s definitely up to you and you alone whether you stay or go.

Now if you do quit a job, the worse thing an employer can do is not pay you for some of the wages you’re entitled to, which is illegal, but they might threaten that. You might fight this or just walk away and report them to the Ministry of Labour in your area. You don’t need to put a short-term job even on your résumé, so it won’t haunt you into your next job either.

Bad employer? Is it worth it to stay?

Thinking Of Quitting?


Long ago, say in our parents and grandparents generations, it was often the case that people would hold their jobs for decades. Get a job and you’d hold it for life. If you came across someone who had held several jobs over a few years, it was assumed with a high degree of accuracy that the person had issues and the frequent changes was due in large part to their poor performance.

In 2018, things have changed dramatically. People often change jobs now, for reasons of their own choosing or having the unemployment come about for reasons beyond their personal control such as plant relocations, changes in ownership, layoffs, plant closures. While these can be distressing times for the individual worker, the silver lining is that the stigma associated with having several jobs as an adult is gone.

So feeling that leaving one job and taking another is not only more socially acceptable, it may be that you’re developing a mindset that has you restless for a change because you see it going on around you. Not surprisingly, if many of the people you know are changing jobs, you start evaluating your own situation and wonder if you shouldn’t do the same; landing a better job, with better income, closer to home, in a more appealing atmosphere perhaps.

Think carefully. I won’t tell you to jump ship or stay where you are categorically, just think what you’re contemplating through and do your best to make sure that this decision you’re considering is the right one for you.

Much of the time it’s a good thing to have a job to go to before you quit the one you have. The transition from one job to another is smooth, the income steady and if you’re able to create a small window of a couple of weeks, you can treat the gap as a holiday. The real benefit of a short gap between jobs is actually what will be going on between your ears; a mental readjustment period mixed with closure, release, anticipation and readiness for what’s coming. Go to a new job with zero days off and for some, the change is overwhelming and unexpected pressures can result in illness or being less than your best.

One concern that I want to point out is something you can’t control. There is a tendency with some organizations to go through the hiring process on an ongoing basis. Some industries and specific employers in those industries hire and terminate with regularity; people don’t typically stay long and the turnover rates escalate. I know of many people who left a secure job in the belief the job they moved to was better and would last for a long time and found themselves laid-off after just a few months, or their hours reduced significantly. In such cases, they’d rather have stayed in their first jobs, but hindsight is 20/20.

It really depends on you and what you need from a job to be happy – however you define happiness. While a higher income might be on your list, it may not be the number one thing you’re after. Greater flexibility of hours, more autonomy, opportunities to lead, the challenge of a small startup company or the chance to move within a large organization could be the attraction. Maybe you want more stimulation, challenge, or less pressure, a shorter commute, a better benefit package. A better job takes on all kinds of looks to different people and at different times in one’s life.

So you make a decision to move on. Now the question is do you or don’t you let your current employer know you’re looking, and how do you do it so you leave on your timetable, and not have unemployment unexpectedly thrust upon you. Well know your company and the impact of your departure on them. If you hold down a key role and your departure is going to have a seismic explosion, lots of notice and succession planning would be likely expected and greatly appreciated. If you’re on the front-line and have only been employed for a few weeks or a month or two, your announcement might not even create much of a ripple. Look at things objectively and your position is one easily replaced with a minimum of disruption.

Usually the goal is to move on in such a way that you leave with the best reference possible, maintaining the relationship of having been a good employee with a good organization to have worked for. Life after all is ironic from time-to-time and you might find yourself wanting back in with this same employer you’re planning on walking away from at this time.

Now despite the obvious appeal of having a job to go to before you quit the one you have now, there are benefits in walking away so you can look for something new. You might need that mental break if the job you’ve got now has become extremely stressful, causing you sleepless nights and unusual anxiety. Walking away so you can actually think clearly about what to do next might be good advice for you personally. Yes, you might quit one day and give yourself a month without even looking to mentally transition from what was to what might be.

Don’t wait too long however. Update the résumé now. You won’t want a gap in employment, outdated experience and aging references to hold you back.

How You And Your Work Part Ways


Sooner or later we’ll all be gone be it retired, fired, quit, laid off, contract ended, downsized, company relocated, or one of several other possibilities. It will either come about for reasons within or beyond our personal control but it will come about as I say inevitably; one day you’re working and the next you’re not.

When it does happen it will be a cause for any number of emotions. You could find yourself feeling jubilant, excited, let down, angry, shocked, satisfied, sad, desperate etc. Even the way you walk out the door for the last time will be handled in any of several ways. You could find yourself having a big party thrown in your honour surrounded by all the co-workers you’ve had over a number of years with your partner invited to work for the big occasion. Equally possible is you could walk out figuring it’s just another day and come to work the next only to find the building entrance locked and the company out of business with a, “Closed: Have a nice day” sign taped to a chained fence.

Ouch! That last scenario is a bit tough to imagine; surely that doesn’t really happen? Oh yes it can and it has. Well hopefully for both you and I it won’t come to that!

Let’s look not at what might happen beyond our control because as it suggests, we have no control over situations dictated by others. Let’s look at things from the viewpoint that we’re going to leave on our own terms. We may work into retirement, quit or have a contract end which we knew would happen when we agreed to the contract duration in the first place.

As far as contract work goes, there are people who take contracts out of necessity because they have been unsuccessful at landing permanent part-time or full-time jobs. Others take contract work as their personal preference; stringing together contract after contract. For these folks, they see a variety of employers and starting over again and again as desirable. For example in an Administrative Support role, they might enjoy parachuting in to cover a maternity leave for a year or less and then just as they get restless and want a change, their contract period is looming and they leave before they become bored and less productive. They move on and now it’s covering for someone off on sick leave and they are welcomed as they take some of the pressure off others doing double duty.

If you’re the kind of person who likes the variety contract work brings, you’re likely okay with the instability of the security contract work has; you trade that off willingly for the stimulation of change. When you walk out the door of a company you’re not as emotionally attached to the desk you worked at, the people you worked alongside; a job is a job and it’s on to the next one.

Turning to look at quitting is a different experience depending on the reasons behind the reason you’re walking away from the work. You might quit for health reasons, a distaste for the work, to avoid being fired if you think that’s coming, or of course for a better job, a move to another city, This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, just some of the reasons you might walk out.

When you do quit, the, “How will I do it?” question arises. Will you just walk out and not tell anyone you’re not returning the next day? Will you march into the Boss and let her know face-to-face that you’re quitting and give her a piece of your mind in the process? Or, will you take her out for lunch and pay for it with some of your lottery winnings? (One can dream can’t one?)

I suppose the question in quitting is whether you seek to keep the relationship with the employer as positive as you can or do you just not care because in your mind you’re never coming back and won’t be affected negatively in the future. By the way, Life has a charming way of bringing many things around full circle so my advice is to always leave on the best terms possible.

Retirement is attractive if you have something to look forward to; some satisfying way to spend your time; for time is what people cite as the reason for going. Time to spend with the grandkids, time to travel, time to relax, time for me, time for us, time…time…time…

Timing your retirement is what it’s all about from an efficiency point of view too. You want to leave before your employer and co-workers resent you just hanging on doing less and less while they pick up the slack more and more. You want that last day to be a good one; whether you want a party or a quiet exit with a simple hug or handshake at the end of the day, you want to walk out with your head high and feeling appreciated for all those years you invested.

Looking at how you and your work part ways now might give you some measure of control about both when and how it will happen. The advantage in thinking ahead gives you the power and comfort of controlling what you can. This of course makes it a positive experience to embrace.

 

 

 

The Urge To Quit


There is a very good chance that at some point in your working life you’ll experience the feeling that you’d be better off quitting your job to look for another. While it’s impossible to make a blanket statement that is right for everyone, you should take those feelings seriously and consider packing it in.

I suppose really it’s going to depend largely on how often you get the feeling; is it just now and then or do you feel the job isn’t right for you on a regular basis? Of course the other thing you should examine is where these feelings are coming from. If you realize that you feel this way once a month and it’s always at month’s end when some big report is due, you might rationalize that most of the time you really do enjoy your work; that you could perhaps find ways to make adjustments in your daily ‘to do’ lists that make end of the month reports easier to compile. Maybe this kind of strategy would make you feel differently; perhaps better.

However, if you find yourself almost constantly going in to work with a growing and nagging feeling of just focusing on leaving the job altogether, you should really consider moving on.

The best way to quit your job is when you have another to go to for most people. So when you are working, it’s always an extremely good idea to keep your resume up to date. By doing so, you will be well positioned to make small adjustments to it when you spot an ad for a job you would like to apply to, or should you meet someone in a position to help you along.

Most employed people do not bother to update their resume. After all, they work and don’t see the need. Not only do they not see the real need, they don’t like resumes in the first place, so why bother to update a document that isn’t on a person’s favourites list of things to do.

Many individuals who are not happy in their jobs stay however. Why? The appeal of what they’ve got outweighs the risk they’d have to take to move on. Even if they are offered a job elsewhere, they hesitate and opt not to move on because they’re afraid that if they quit their present job and the new job doesn’t work out, they’ll be stuck with no job altogether.

Now I get that; I really do. There is an element of risk in quitting what you know for something that doesn’t come with a guarantee. However, consider the risk in staying put doing a job you’ve come to intensely dislike or dare I say it come to hate. That’s got to affect your mental health, your positive outlook, your happiness and yes your work performance. No employer is going to be oblivious to the unhappy worker who isn’t performing at the same level of other workers. The logical consequence of this is that you’re going to be identified then as a growing problem and instead of worrying about quitting, you may find yourself fired.

You my reader, deserve better than this! Now remember, I’m talking about feeling like it’s time to leave on a regular basis. The occasional bad day here and there when you briefly think of working elsewhere is normal and healthy. The people who do this and stay are making conscious choices to stay in jobs they generally like or like quite a bit; but their open to considering possibilities elsewhere.

So what to do? Well for starters, yes you should update your resume. Pull out any performance evaluations that you have in your desk at work and take them home. Look them over for positive comments made about you and your performance which you could use later should you be asked in a future interview, “How would your Supervisor describe you?” If you leave them at work and ever get let go, you may not have access to these valuable resources.

Second, get a hold of your current job description from Human Resources. This too is something you should take home and leave there so you can update your resume with some of the language contained in it.

One thing that is going to help you along is to start looking for new jobs in your spare time. You’ve got the security of a steady income at present, but discipline yourself to look for another one at least 3-4 times a week. If you don’t know how to job search using technology, now is the time to find out. Many advertised jobs make you apply online using a computer so if your skills are weak in this area, take a course or get someone who is computer savvy to help you out.

You may notice as you start to take the initial steps of looking for another job that you feel a little better at work as a result. Mentally, you’re starting to detach yourself from what you see as a bad situation and this proactive movement will feel good.

Consider alerting your family and friends and business contacts too that you’re exploring other employment options just in case they hear of opportunities you may be interested in.

If you are fortunate, you may work for an organization that actually encourages movement from within and if so, look at the internal job postings. Moving on could be the best move you make.

Time To Move On?


As very few people anymore retire from jobs in their mid-sixties that they started in their early twenties, it’s a pretty safe statement to say that all of us at some point are going to move from one job to another. As it would be peculiarly odd to suddenly wake up one morning and decide to quit one job and look for another with no prior thoughts of doing so, it’s equally safe to say then that we evaluate where we are and our happiness in a job on a regular basis.

Now don’t misconstrue my meaning; I’m sure you don’t sit down with an evaluation sheet and check off how you’re feeling and how you’re being challenged or not in your present job. However, I do believe that like me, you recognize in yourself positive or negative moods and feelings as you prepare to leave home for work. As you go about your day, you’re probably pretty in tune with your emotions; whether you feel stressed, overwhelmed, happy, valued and in the end content with how things are.

If you are happy in your job, you decide to keep doing what you’re currently doing and you stay. If however you find you’re not as happy and content as you’d like to be, you have two choices; continue with the job as it is and be unhappy or change something up and then evaluate your happiness once the change has occurred. This process is true not just of your work happiness and career choice but of many things in life.

As much as we all want a measure of happiness with the work we do, the employer we work for and the products or services we produce, there does come a time when upon reflection, we opt for change. If the urge for change is dramatic – such as loathing the work we do or having an ethical or moral conflict with the products we contribute to make and distribute, we have a much easier time rationalizing and justifying to ourselves giving up that job or career to look for another which is a better fit. If on the other hand our motivation for looking for another job is only slight; the money is good, the benefits are good, the people around us are good – we’re just not being mentally challenged – we might stick it out longer than we should and look for another job with less urgency.

Remember that looking for another job is a natural activity; looking for a career in another field altogether is also something that many people encounter at least once in their lifetime and sometimes two or three times.

Your interests and needs change as you evolve and age. What you may have found uninteresting and boring in your early years you may come to appreciate and seek out later in life. As an older adult, your skills will have increased with experience and where you may find your quicker to grasp the bigger picture of things in the workplace, you may also find as you age that your body reacts differently to the demands of the job you once performed with ease.

Let me ask you a question. If you could change jobs right now and you’d maintain the same wages as the job you currently hold or receive an increase in wages, would you stay where you are or would you move on? If the answer comes quickly with a resounding yes, then it may be that financial security is a key barrier to finding your true happiness when it comes to the work you do. Unfortunately, there are many people who, fearful of the transition period from one job to another and the lack of income that they envision if things take longer than expected, stay in jobs they’ve long since if ever felt any real passion for.

For this reason, it’s a cracker of an idea to set aside each pay period a small percentage of your income as a contingency fund for just such a time when you move from one job to another. Suppose you had enough to live on comfortably for 6 months say. If you grew increasingly disinterested in your job, you’d be less stressed quitting the one to search full-time for another with funds to cushion the transition period, and you’d be motivated to find work before the funds run out.

Of course you don’t always need to quit one job before finding another. Many folks are well equipped to do their full-time job while they actively look for another to replace it. If you can handle this addition and not have your current work suffer in any way then it may be wise to do so. On the other hand, if you find you’re exhausted and have no energy to look for meaningful work after your existing job concludes for the day, you might be better suited to quit the one, then after a week to clear your head, move at full speed and look for another.

Possibly the worse thing you can do for the company who now employs you, your own mental health and those who surround you in your personal life is in fact what so many people end up doing; staying in a job where you’re losing your enthusiasm. Holding on for the income while losing your happiness is a bad trade-off.

“There’s A Dead Guy In The Cubicle Next To Me!”


“Well okay, he looks dead anyhow; I haven’t seen him move for days.”

You and I had best hope that dead body look-alike someone is frantic about isn’t you. If so, your days might be numbered. Sooner or later, if you’re hiding out behind that baffle board doing precious little, someone is going to figure they can do without you on the payroll.

Now okay you might not be mistaken for a corpse, but if you think you’re fooling those around you when you’re not being productive, it’s only a matter of time until you’re found out and your productivity is called into question. The cobwebs in your cubicle are also a dead giveaway that not much is going on.

Some employees are pretty good at smoke and mirrors aren’t they? I mean they tend to move with purpose when they are observed walking around the office; even if upon further inspection it’s only to the bathroom or the company kitchen to grab yet another coffee. Once back in the relative sanctity of their cubicle however, they drop the façade and move at a glacial snails pace as they go about their day. Such employees do just enough to get by, contribute very little and try to stay beneath the radar of Management scrutiny until they are released into the world after work.

Now let’s stop and think about this behaviour for a moment. When you were setting out in your early years of adulthood; when you had ambition and dreams, wanted to make your mark in the world, surely you didn’t methodically plan to spend your days idly daydreaming and doing the bare minimum. Hopefully you set out to do something you personally found meaningful and rewarding. So the question is, “Where did that person go?”

Something over time has occurred that has you mechanically going through the motions of going to and from work each day and you’ve lost your motivation. You may be more than aware of this change but for some reason you can’t seem to ignite that passion anymore for the work you do and the people you do it for. As much as you’d like to kick start the fire, you’re oblivious as to how to go about it.

Heed the signs sons and daughters. Continuing down the path you’re on isn’t going to be healthy or end on a positive. Either  you find something to stimulate yourself at work in a positive way that ups your productivity and usefulness on the job or someone will do you and the company a favour and start the proceedings to end your employment. Put plain as day, you either start working and producing at your former level or better, or you’re going to get fired.

I know some people who dogged it; coming and going without any passion. They once showed enthusiasm for the job and now they only show enthusiasm for the last 20 minutes of the day and are sitting with their coat on with 5 minutes left each day, ready to squeal away in the parking lot putting as much distance behind them as fast as they can each night. On their own they’d never have quit or worked productively again and eventually they did get fired. Oddly enough, getting fired was the best thing for some of them and they’d readily tell you that – even though at the time they didn’t believe it.

There are among us those who are proactive and those who are reactive. The proactive people think ahead, update their resumes even when they aren’t looking for work and they’ve got plans for advancement or change. The reactive types only update resumes when they are out of work, and only think about career planning when they are forced to by the changes and pressures they experience in their lives.

“Why”, they would say, “should I bother to update my resume when I’ve got a job and I’m not looking for another one?” They figure they can always update that resume when they decide to go for another job inside or outside the organization, but because they have no date in mind, they figure they’ve got all the time they need. When it comes to taking courses, updating expired certificates or skills, once again they smirk and say, “Why bother?”

Another thing to consider is that if you aspire in any way to advance in the organization you work with now, you should be visible and for the right reasons long before you dust off your resume and apply for a new job. You don’t want to be invisible and have your boss say, “Do you still work here?” when you finally get motivated and want to be interviewed for a promotion.

One last thing and it has to do with your co-workers. Co-workers often pick up cues from their peers quickly. If you’re not picking up your share of the load and you should be, you’ll only have yourself to blame if you feel isolated from the rest. Worse case scenario is that they resent your presence because their workloads increase; and ultimately word will get passed to Management. Don’t blame them if they’re doing their job and picking up your slack too. That’s not fair and certainly it’s going to become more difficult for you to regain their trust and respect.

 

Trapped In A Dead-End Job


Are you trapped in a job that’s draining your life away? Stuck in a job with no future, no chance for advancement or worse yet, not even some variety in the work you do?

To people on the outside it might seem a simple solution; find something else to do and quit. Ah, if only it were that easy! It’s not like you haven’t thought of this very solution yourself of course, because you have. The real sticking point in the plan is finding what that, ‘something else’ could be.

That’s the difficulty isn’t it? You put in a full day grinding it out, and by the time you check out at the end of your day, you’re beat. Your skills may be confined to doing a certain kind of work; a specific job. You haven’t got a clue how to go about finding something else you’d enjoy doing, you can’t quit outright and start looking because you need the income. You look ahead at the time between the present and the day you can retire, and see a lot of monotonous hours doing the same thing you’ve come to hate. You don’t even want to think about it because it’s so depressing.

Some hard choices are going to have to be made, and you’re the one who has to make them. Before doing anything rash, do two things; determine your financial health and your obligations. Knowing how much money you have saved in bank accounts and any investments is critical to knowing how long you can support yourself if you had no pay coming in. Knowing your mandatory obligations will tell you the length of time you’ll have before exhausting those funds. You should also look for areas you could conserve or cut back on expenses before you quit and when you find them, start now.

So let’s look at your choices. The first choice is both the easiest and at the same time the worst.; do nothing and keep dragging yourself in daily hating both the job and yourself for not doing something about it. Depending on the length of time we’re talking about, can you mentally and physically tough it out? Does the money you receive compensate you enough that you can keep going without breaking or just withering away on the job?

A second choice is to speak with someone in your organization and see if you can be laid off. This could not only answer your prayers but make them happier too. The company might appreciate your years of service but at this point rather have a younger, hungrier person on the job, and one that costs them less. So it could be a win-win, and you’d be able to apply for financial help while you job search; maybe the employer even has some severance package that would get you out quicker and in better financial shape.

You could just quit of course as option number 3. This is usually a move made by people who are desperate, or by those who haven’t thought things through very much. If you quit, you potentially lose all references you worked hard to earn, and you may not qualify for employment insurance because of how you left. Quitting also makes you ineligible for many re-training programs and severance packages. On the other hand, if you are seriously finding the job is killing you, quitting might be the option you choose if just to save yourself.

One of the best things you can take advantage of when you walk away – no matter how you choose to do it – is to get involved in  re-training programs or employment workshops. These help you deal with the stress of unemployment, help you answer those tough questions you’ll face from future employers regarding the circumstances around why you left your last job. You’ll also find help figuring out what potential jobs or careers you could turn to next.

Be advised though, things may have changed significantly since you last looked for work. How are your computer skills? Many jobs now require online applications, emailed resumes, some require you to complete long assessments. Look around for free computer classes either online or in your neighbourhood.

Saving your sanity and being a nicer person to be around for the family might mean a drastic alteration to what you do for a living and for whom you do it. Such changes sometimes require courage and a complete makeover. Are you willing to invest the time and put in the energy to change your life for the better? It’s going to be hard work make no mistake; but the potential benefits might save your life.

There may be another option which is to look at the organization you currently work in and look at advancement, transfers, job sharing or cross-training into another role and split your responsibilities between several jobs. This requires a discussion, succession planning on the part of your employer and some flexibility on your part. If you go this route, don’t just present your problem to the boss, present the benefits the company would realize and make it an attractive alternative.

Look for ways out of the trap you find yourself in, and get yourself prepared now for the big leap you may choose to make. Breaking free may just be the answer and lining up support systems the way to make it happen.

How To Ethically Quit A New Job For Another


Today I want to share my thoughts on how to handle what amounts to a moral dilemma for some people; quitting a job you’ve just started in favour of a better job.

Now some people wouldn’t have any problem quitting the first job whatsoever. They might just stop showing up and delete the calls on their phones from that employer wondering where they are. To me that’s cowardly, childish and demonstrates an incredible lack of appreciation for the company who hired you in the first place. If your name is then shared within your field behind closed doors as a, “Do Not Hire”, I think you deserve it.

However, let us assume that you took the original job in good faith. Perhaps the job was offered to you after a prolonged job search. You jumped at it although it wasn’t your dream job, or perhaps the work was ideal but it was part-time and you were seeking full-time work. Then you get a phone call from another employer you had previously applied to offering you full-time employment. If you have a conscious, you may be fraught with anxiety, wanting to please the employer who had the confidence to offer you the first  job, but at the same time you want to look out for your own personal best interests, and take what is in fact a better situation.

Let’s look at some realities. First of all, if this second and better job offer comes to you after only a few days on the first job, so that employer likely still has all the resumes and applications handy from their original job posting and will not have the expense of advertising the position again. They may just go back to someone who was their 2nd choice and offer them the job stating that the position has unexpectedly come available.

Another reality is that they have invested only a few days in your training. Those few days are lost, but much better than if you jumped ship after a month or two just as you actually started to be trusted to work with some independence.

Now most people understand when you are job searching, you have many applications out there, and unless you tell them you’ve been hired, your perhaps being considered for a few positions. It isn’t unreasonable or surprising therefore that you get a call either asking you in for an interview, or as in this scenario being offered a job based on a previous interview.

So, you’ve got a new job and a 2nd job offer when days ago you may have been unemployed or perhaps working in a job you really needed to replace with something better. So your stress of not liking your job was replaced by the stress of learning a new job, and then added to that stress is having a 2nd job offer and having to tell one of the two that you are not interested! Yikes!

Most employers will understand – they may not be thrilled losing you, but they will understand. If the job they gave you is part-time and now you have a full-time job doing something similar and it comes with better benefits, they’ll get it. They may even wish you well in your new job and tell you that if it doesn’t work out to call and see if where they are at. After all, they really wanted you!

Your moral dilemma is a good sign. It means you are already emotionally invested in the job you’ve only been at for 2 or 3 days. You really want to leave the job on positive terms, hate the thought of leaving without notice and don’t want to burn any bridges and leave a bad taste in their mouth. The one thing to remind yourself of, and to communicate to the boss you are about to disappoint is that you had ceased applying for other jobs or interviewing for them once accepting their offer of employment. At the time you accepted, there was no other job offer on the table, but now there is and unfortunately for the boss, the 2nd offer is too perfect to pass on.

You cannot control the reaction of the boss when you share your news, but you can control how you deliver it and how you receive their reaction. \Understand that in one day you will no longer know your current boss for whom you worked 2 or 3 days. You’re not so irreplaceable after that time that they won’t get over you. Your best bet is to deliver the news quickly and in private. Allow the boss to decide if you get escorted out the front door right away or get a chance to say so long to your now ex-co-workers.

The boss has more important and urgent matters to attend to than worrying about your feelings. They have to get on to Human Resources and get those applications sent back over. Their attention has shifted to the next hire and any outburst is more of a short-term reaction of disappointment and not necessarily real anger at you, just the situation. .

By the way, make sure you accept the newest job offer first just in case the awkward situation arises where you quit one to take the other and the other one suddenly is withdrawn because the company has decided not to hire at this time. That would hurt!