Archive for May, 2014

Exit interview tips after I quit my job?

May 27 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – Most people do not attach much importance to their exit interview once they quit their initial job. But they should. It matters that you leave gracefully. Don’t think it doesn’t matter much since you have already left your job right. You may be surprised to know that you can suffer from consequences if you give a poor exit interview, which can also ruin any goodwill you may have built. Hence, you can follow these exit interview tips to ensure that your exit interview goes as well as your initial interview did:

Prepare for the interview
Speaking impromptu may later lead you to regret some of the things you end up saying. Hence, it is always a good idea to prepare answers for potential questions that may be asked in the exit interview. You may be surprised to know that most exit interviews consist of the same questions. These exit interview tips include:

  • Your reasons for deciding to leave the company.
  • The reasons for choosing your new company over the current one.
  • Your feelings regarding the company culture, co-workers, managers and the opportunity for career development.

Focus on the positives
If there is any incident that you remember that genuinely touched you, such as a manager who went out of his way to make you feel comfortable in the company, be sure to mention it in the interview. This not only provides the company with information that can help them decide whether they are going in the right direction, it also ends things amiably.

Avoid outright negative criticism
You may consider this is an opportunity for getting things off your chest and voicing your opinions about every single thing you did not appreciate. However, it would be appropriate to remember that these interviews may not always be kept private, and hence may result in loss of goodwill if there is outright criticism.

Avoid criticizing anyone directly, no matter how valid your point is. Instead, use more generic terms without resorting to blaming specific people for the problems you may have faced.

Do not let your emotions get the better of you
Keeping in line with the earlier mentioned advice, it is not a good idea to consider the exit interview as a chance to get things off your chest. It will serve no ultimate purpose apart from ending up on your permanent record and may result in other people viewing you with suspicion. Furthermore, you may be asked why you did not mention such negative events earlier instead of mentioning them now, when no action can be taken for your benefit.

tips after I quit my job

Do not burn your bridges
Never completely cut off your previous employers. It is a good idea to end things on a positive note rather than alienating your ex-employers. After all, you never know when you need their help for a future job. You may soon forget any mistreatment that you may have suffered as time passes, but your bosses will never forget the way you criticized them as you exited.

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Escaping mediocrity on the job

May 20 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

Every now and then artists come up with something that is so true that it hurts. Escaping mediocrity on the job means escaping mediocrity in life. Nothing cuts deeper and hurts more than looking in the mirror through this creative piece of art by someone called Pick Up Artist. The published cartoon is a critique on those over-confident people who believe in themselves but lack the fortitude and ethics to realize their potential.

Here’s the excerpt that really cuts to the heart about escaping mediocrity:

You look like you’re going to spend your life having one epiphany after another, always thinking you’ve finally figured out what’s holding you back, and how you can finally be productive and creative and turn you life around. But nothing will ever change. That cycle of mediocrity isn’t due to some obstacle. It’s who you are. The thing standing in the way of your dreams is that the person having them is you.

http://xkcd.com/1027/

Pickup Artist

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5 Workplace mistakes to avoid

May 13 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – We should already know the workplace mistakes to avoid if we consider our manners. Each social situation has its own set of rules, but what about work? We’ve been briefed on how to react in social situations – whether at home with family, friends or acquaintances.

Surprisingly, even the most well-mannered, socially astute people let their guard down at work. Maybe it’s the fact that we spend most of our time there and feel as if work is an extension of family. Or maybe we just don’t spend much time thinking about how manners apply in the workplace. Even so, manners in the workplace are important- especially since we spend most of our days at work.

workplace-mistakes-to-avoid

Even so, your words and actions at work have consequences. So let’s review 5 things you should never (ever, ever) say or do at work.

  1.  Never, ever gossip.
    This is a simple concept but admittedly difficult. It’s especially difficult when you’re frustrated and you just want to vent. But venting about others can have consequences. In fact, if the gossip qualifies as name-calling or slander, it may even get you fired. Even if no name-calling is involved, you never know how relationships at work evolve and who will be your boss. Gossiping can burn bridges quickly, so you have to learn how to manage it when others do it and refrain from doing it yourself. Gossip is the most important of the workplace mistakes to avoid.
  2. Never, ever make assumptions
    You know what they say about assumptions, right? Just because you assume someone you’ve tasked with a job is going to do it, doesn’t mean they will. Likewise, just because you assume you’re going to get that raise, or you deserve that promotion, doesn’t mean you’ll get either. Instead, follow up with others and ask questions. Use your words and let others know what you want, what your goals are, and what you need (and when.)
  3. Never, ever say that you don’t need your job.
    It may seem like a harmless statement and one that you use for yourself other than for bragging rights, but it still makes you look arrogant. Another variation of this is, “I don’t need the money.” If you don’t need the money or the job, then maybe you should quit. Especially if you are unhappy enough that you feel the need to share. Otherwise, reserve those statements for your non-work friends and family. There are better ways to deal with not liking your job than proclaiming it’s not essential. This ranks high as one of the workplace mistakes to avoid.
  4. Never, ever claim to know it all.No one likes a know-it-all.
    In the workplace, as well as in other settings, humility is key to survival. You want to be assertive and claim responsibility for tasks, but let your actions speak for you. There’s no reason to boast or demean others by telling them your unsolicited thoughts. If you know an office know it all, here are some tips on how to deal.
  5. Never, ever blame others for your mistakes or take credit for someone else.
    One of the most career sabotaging things you can do is to constantly blame others for your mistakes or to constantly take credit for other people’s work. Why? Because this workplace mistake shows you lack respect for your coworkers and, in the end, your workplace as a whole. If those around you feel devalued and don’t trust you at work, you’re in trouble in the long run. We want to learn from our mistakes. This gives credibility and shows perseverance. So take credit for those mistakes.

While these five things do not cover everything, they’re a good start. If any of these apply to you, take note. Your career may depend on it.

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Seven common workplace myths

May 06 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – Workplace myths run rampant in the office. While some are based loosely on facts, others are simply speculation, and some are just plain false. While there are many myths, let’s take a look at six of the most common workplace myths. Chances are, you’ve heard several of these, and are probably guilty of repeating them.

Myth #1: You’re Entitled by the First Amendment to Say Anything
This myth is one that extends far beyond the workplace. There is a common misconception that the first amendment entitles you to say anything you like without recourse. This is not entirely true.

In reality, freedom of speech means the government can’t restrict your speech. This does not apply to your employer. You can get fired for what you say inside and outside of work. In other words, the government cannot punish you for what you say (threats aside), but your employer can.

workplace myths

Myth #2: Employees are Human Resource’s First Priority
While employees are of concern, HR’s primary function is to serve the business. This extends to helping employees, but since the primary focus is on the employer it is important to recognize that what’s best for one is not always best for the other.

With this in mind, another HR misconception is that what you tell HR is confidential. HR is not legally obligated to do this, and given that the primary focus is the employer, HR can share anything it thinks is of importance to the employer.

Myth #3: If Your Boss is a Jerk, He can be Fired
We’ve all experienced a bad boss. Unfortunately, being a major jerk is not grounds for termination. If jerk equates to harassment based on age, sex, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, however, this fact changes. While some protected classes vary by state, here is a list of protected classes on the federal level.

Myth #4: You Can’t Be Fired Without Warning
A lot of workplaces have a process that they go through to terminate employment. The exception to this is if you have an employment contract in place. Otherwise the steps taken (or not) prior to termination are an internal process.

From a legal standpoint, most states are “at will” states, which means that you can be fired for any reason at any time, just as long as the reason isn’t based on religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other protected class within the state.

Myth #5: Getting Fired Results in Lost Unemployment Benefits
Most people think that they have to be laid off (by no fault of their own) in order to receive unemployment benefits, but this is not entirely true. Many states allow you to collect, even when fired. The reason for termination does matter, however. If it was due to harassment, theft, or misconduct that is intentional then you are not eligible for benefits.

Myth #6: Employers Can Only Confirm Employment and Dates
This myth is quite common, perhaps based on wishful thinking. Contrary to popular belief, employers are not limited to discussing your employment status at the company- past or present. Sure, some employers have a policy around what can and will be discussed, but legally they can give as many honest details as they feel appropriate.

Myth #7: Reviews Only Count if You Sign
Yet another dose of wishful thinking is the myth that employee reviews somehow don’t apply if you don’t agree with them. According to this theory, all you need to do is refuse your signature. In truth, whether or not you sign your review has no bearing on its existence. It may, however, reflect badly on you.

While some of these myths are half-truths and others are outright lies, they are all too common in the workplace. It’s best to refer to your employee handbook for internal company policies.

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