Tuesday

How to Know When a Job Isn’t Worth the Money

What are you willing to put up with for $10, $15 or $20 plus an hour? After reading a long job description, if the money is right, you go along with it. But how do you know you are in over your head and how do you get out?

Looking around your workspace, you see what you need to do and you might know by now how long it is going to take you to complete certain projects. You also know too how much financial responsibility you have and how much money it is going to take to free you out of some of it too. Now when you first took on the job you were willing to go along with certain things, although the pay wasn’t exactly what you wanted, but nothing else was happening at the time. Things change.

The first thing you will want to start doing is re-evaluating how much money you really need and start targeting jobs that are now available that is going to pay you what you are worth. You are also going to want to keep your eyes open for opportunities in your current position that will pay you more. By keeping watch on what you really want and taking some action, you will less likely become resentful of your present role.

The next thing you will want to do is ask others about what they are doing in similar roles and learn more about other companies in your industry. This way you will have some idea on growing changes, trends and whether you need to walk in the office and ask for a promotion. Be sure you have a list of the things you have been doing that will make management think, “Yes, I think this guy/gal is worth a pay increase.”

Now you will know when a job is not worth the money when you do the following: hear from others around the organization that there will be an increase of responsibilities, notice you are spending more time than necessary at work, your original duties are beginning to change or increase, and you are finding yourself having to learn a lot more new things and they don’t look anything like your job description.

Companies know how to get over on employees because they are well aware that they need their jobs. They are prepared for any backlash that might come when workers are asked to do more. They turn on the positivism in order to persuade people to stay for less while expecting them to do more. “There is a great opportunity that will lead to…You always wanted to do something like this, now is your chance…This is ground-breaking, innovative…you will want to be a part of this…We love our workers and we will give you…” Meanwhile, you sit back and realize that all your work is saving them money, while creating more headaches for you.  Is it worth it?

Nicholl McGuire is the owner and manager of this blog.

Wednesday

Are Your Workers Really Listening with the Intent to Do?


They look like they hear you, but are they really focused?

Many leaders fail to get workers to accomplish tasks because they don't make their points clear.

Don't just tell them, show them things like: the grid, outline, image, inspiration, video, etc.
at your next informal lunch meeting.

Motivate them to do what you ask by letting them know what's in it for them if they do a good job.  Treat them to another paid meal, gift cards, bonus check, tickets to a local event, or something else.

When you work for them,
they will feel inspired to work hard for you!


Finding a New Job After Being Fired

Shock, devastation, anger, confusion, depression, these are the emotions one feels when recently faced with a job dismissal. 

The former employee walks away questioning what went wrong? He or she may not have felt at peace with the administration’s answer.  The authority figures may have been vague about their reasons or extremely detailed.  All the while, the terminated employee may be thinking what went wrong while questioning whether his or her actions were that bad for it to come to this.  Other workers may feel as if there was a conspiracy to get rid of him or her all along.  Despite the reasons, it is now an unwelcoming reality that one has to face.  Therefore, how does the former employee move beyond the upset and on with looking for another job?

First, find a place of solitude after you have received the bad news.  Take control of every negative emotion you are feeling, before you share your experience with anyone.  Tell yourself, “Everything happens for a reason, although I may not know exactly why, somehow I am going to make the best of this.” 

Second, make a phone call to meet with a confidant. This meeting will provide you with the opportunity to vent, get what is off your chest.  He or she may be a good listener and advisor, consider what he or she is saying. 

State how you feel during your exchange with a family member friend or coworker, but don’t wallow in your anger, sadness or any other emotion for too long.  You don’t need your situation to dominate a good time with someone. Consider that he or she may also have some frustrations worth discussing. 

While you are venting, there will be the temptation to say something about your former employer that even your closest confidant may have to scold you for and that is the last thing you will want to hear is an admonition or what seems to be well meaning advice.  The reality is they are not experiencing what you are going through and your situation is not up for debate or criticism.  Avoid people who you know have been unsupportive in the past no matter how desperate you are to make contact with someone.  This is not the time to defend your thoughts, or get angry with the person whom you are confiding in that will only result in a heated argument.  Later, you may feel even worse for blowing up at your confidant and will have to apologize.  Remember you may need this person to help you financially, physically and/or mentally in the future; therefore watch what you say and how you say it.

Third, after you have confided in everyone you have chosen, you may be tempted to wallow in your firing.  You might not start looking for a job immediately; instead, you may want to take a needed break, so if need be, do it.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that if you are doing something productive other than sitting on the couch thinking about the job, calling up former co-workers gossiping or mentioning the event every time someone makes contact with you. 

Utilize your free time to apply for unemployment, catch up on all doctor’s appointments (before your insurance runs out), meet with family and friends you haven’t seen in awhile, take a class in your career field or in one you may desire.  Consider taking up a hobby such as reading books, writing, singing, dancing, painting, watching TV (if you haven’t been doing much of that in the past), aerobics, hiking, running and many others. However, if you aren’t ready for the intense physical activity, then browse stores, walk the beach, tour museums and other places to take your mind off of things. 

Notice shopping was not listed, because spending money is only a temporary fix and since you have no income coming in the last thing you need to do is have money going out.  Be sure to take care of your necessities and save as much money as you can, because unemployment doesn’t last forever and can be cut off before you know it.

During this time of rest and relaxation, your motivation to get back in the workforce will be challenged.  Who wants to return back to work, when someone is helping you financially, the beach keeps calling your name and you have enjoyed waking up without an alarm clock?  As nice as all of this sounds, it is only temporary and if you don’t want your free time to come to a crashing halt, dedicate hours each day, like you would working a part-time job, applying for jobs.  However, before you begin your search you will need to know whether you would like to stay in the same career field, switch to another or just find a job that is not challenging in the least and will only provide you with a paycheck. 

Fourth, do things related to your job search. Find out how much others are making in your occupation, what are the latest skills in demand, create your cover letters and tailor your resume for each job that isn’t in your career field.  Too often people will send the same general resume to every employer and wonder why no one is calling them back.  You may have too much information on your resume for what is required or not enough.  Consider the following as you job search checklist:

Have different resumes for different career fields.

Join online databases that send employment classifieds directly to your email.
 
Sign up for a subscription to a newspaper. 

Register with a temporary agency.

Check with family and friends to see what they know.

Purchase office supplies such as ink for your printer and/or fax machine, mailing labels, impressive envelopes and quality white paper, and stamps.  

Create a mailing list of employers that may or may not be hiring.  Print addresses on mailing labels. Send a letter along with your resume requesting that they consider including you in their database for a future job opening.  Of course, you can always pick a great location nearby your neighborhood and work one or two part-time jobs. The advantage to this is you will not be stuck at one location everyday, more money can be made this way, and some stores offer great perks.

Depending on how much money you have in savings, you may think about starting a business from home.  A successful business doesn’t become that way if you don’t have the necessary tools to make it happen.  Spend the time reading about what type of business you would like to start, how to develop a business plan so that you will know what to expect in the future, where you can get additional money to get it started, and any other information that will help you make a determination on whether this is a good time to start it or not.

Fifth, while you wait for responses from employers, be sure that you can be contacted.  If you have a single phone line with no call waiting, you may want to have your cell phone number and email address on every cover letter, resume and/or business card you send out. 

Don’t become discouraged when week three passes by and you still haven’t heard from anyone.  Instead, you will need to change the way you have been marketing yourself.  Request a person knowledgeable in cover letters and resumes to review yours.  Search the Internet, ask for comments from a job headhunter, or purchase a book that will provide you with tips on how to best edit it.  Asking a family member or friend isn’t the best way to get an unbiased opinion; therefore don’t request their opinions unless they know about your industry. 

Lastly, be sure that you have tried every way to market yourself.  Have you posted a classified of the services you can offer to your community?  Have you sent a mass mailing out to employers rather than just two or three resumes?  Did you include yourself in a variety of databases both on and offline such as visiting temporary agencies also known as headhunters?  Did you send copies of your resumes to people who would be willing to help you market yourself?  When did you last follow up with an employer about your resume (are you keeping record)?  Are you allowing yourself to be reachable?

When you do hear from a prospective employer, be sure that you are prepared!  You have the business attire picked out that you will be wearing, updated copies of your resume (error free and readable,) list of references, a social security card and an updated id or driver’s license, copies of any necessary certification or medical information, samples of your work that is related to the position, and a nice briefcase or similar business accessory.


Think about the kinds of questions you may be asked during the interview, and turn every negative event you have ever had at any job into a positive one.  For instance, when asked what would you consider one of your weaknesses?  Your answer may be, “Not knowing when to go home, I become very engrossed in my projects and my former bosses have had to cut the lights off on me.”  The employer will be watching for signs of mental stability, whether you are responsible, truthful, positive, professional, goal oriented, loyal, and many other attributes that will convince them that you will be an asset to their organization.  Put your best foot forward!  

Monday

A former Google exec explains the biggest mistakes employers make when p...

10 Reasons Why You Need to Look for Another Job

If you haven't started looking for a new job, you might if the cons are starting to outweigh the pros at your current job.  Sticking it out with an employer you simply don't like can wreck havoc on your health, relationship and finances.  Although you are receiving payment for your services, you most likely are spending a lot more money than you should to quell your disappointment with your career choice.  So here are 10 good reasons why you need to start looking for new employment today!

1)  There has been talk around the office that there will be major changes and you don't have the time or energy to deal with yet another long list of things to do.

2)  You stopped working as hard as you use to and it is starting to show.  Your co-workers have to clean up your errors more often and have to pick up your slack.

3)  No matter what anyone says to you about your work performance, attitude, etc. you have issue with them.

4)  You haven't been happy in a long time about your job.

5)  Your workplace woes are showing up in how you deal with your relatives or roommates.  They don't like you very much these days.

6)  Your child and/or pet often misses you and rather than take up time with him or her, you are increasingly annoyed with their mere appearance.

7)  Your partner has threatened divorce and when you think about it, your attitude about work is tied to your moodiness.  Who wants to live with that?

8)  No matter how much money, bonuses, promotions, accolades, etc. you receive, you are still not satisfied.

9)  You wish to be anywhere but work.

10)  You started looking for a job in the past hoping problems would just go away, but got distracted.  The problems are still there and you are powerless when it comes to solving them.

Now that you have read 10 reasons why setting on that mental path again to start looking for new work is occurring, start checking out those career boards.  No excuses, press forward!

Nicholl McGuire is the author of What Else Can I Do on the Internet?

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