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Inching Towards the Last Few Work Days? How to Cope

If you’ve given notice at work and have an exciting new career – adventure all lined up, you will inevitably have to face those final two weeks at your current job.

Oh, it’s a given that you will show up, and that you will work as diligently and as enthusiastically as you always have, but, during those final days, you’ll almost feel as if you need a blueprint of how to behave—especially if it’s the first time you’re leaving a work place situation.

If it’s not the first time for you, you know what we mean.  It’s as if you’re wading in a murky pool…the area where there’s neither the cool, clear area that signifies there’s safety up ahead, nor the remote, rock-laden swamp which alerts you that you are near verboten territory.

Issues You May Encounter

What, exactly, do you say when co-workers want to know how to proceed on a job that you both are working on?   How much responsibility should you take for making sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed on a project which your successor will no doubt revamp once she or he is hired?

All good concerns.  It’s natural to want to leave everything neat and tidy…including half-completed projects.  Too, you don’t want your colleagues to be left wearing egg on their faces because you’re no longer in the loop, and suddenly aren’t aware of the specs and company goals.

Finally, your clients will need to be transitioned…you aren’t too sure about how much responsibility to shoulder for THAT task.

Phew!  If you can think back to your school days, the last few weeks were fun-filled and lighthearted.  In this case, however, you won’t be returning after summer break, and you have your reputation and ethics to think about.

How to Handle the Situation

Ok; so let’s make sure you know exactly HOW to buckle down and deal with the situation maturely and graciously.

It’s perfectly doable!  Make that your intent, and the rest will fall into place.

Here, then, are a few tips for making the best of your final fourteen days in a job that’s soon to be old news:

  1. Do make your time count. Don’t sit around gossiping with soon-to-be ex-colleagues about the good or the bad times which you’ve had.  Instead:  get busy.  Plan the client transitions as best as you can, and don’t be afraid to consult with higher-ups (who, trust us, all know you’re leaving).  The powers-that-be will want to maintain the status quo as much as possible.  There are still deadlines to meet, products and services to move and customers to please. The sales crew will still have to bring in new business and the customer service department will have to smooth ruffled feathers. With all this business-of-doing-business going on, management will cooperate with you as soon as they see that you’re very much still on their team.
  2. In a nutshell, try to keep things from getting into too much of a state of flux. Depart peacefully, efficiently and keep that carrot stick of bigger-and-better in front of you, to facilitate this attitude– if need be.
  3. Make your name in the company synonymous with “fair and considerate”..and a few other choice, positive adjectives. How? Take a few minutes to reflect on those who will be most affected by your leaving.  Think about who the co-workers are who play key roles in your day-to-day job.  Anticipate how their roles will be affected.  Try to make everything go as smoothly as possible for them. They’ll appreciate it mightily when you’re gone…and that smile they give you when you bump into them in the street or in a public eatery once you’ve started your new job will be one of gratitude, relief and “you’re an alright guy/gal!” Besides, wouldn’t you want it to be said of your departure that it was carried out in graciously professional terms?
  4. If you’re asked to groom the person who’s taking your job, see that as the great advantage that it is. Why? You’ll be able to focus most of your attention on training; you  won’t need to plan how you’ll constructively fill your days.  Cool beans, as they say in some regions.
  5. Now, do tell the new “you”—the candidate for your job– everything that you wish YOU you had been told when you first started. For example, explain what the possible pitfalls are when preparing reports: what the trouble spots are, and how best to deal with them.  Also, you’re in a valuable position when it comes to knowing what your boss likes and doesn’t like.  Don’t be tempted to take these clues with you to your next job.  Just put yourself in your successor’s shoes.  Wouldn’t you want someone to tell you that your superior won’t even answer e-mails before 11 in the morning, and certainly won’t welcome having someone barge into his or her office (even if that someone knocks politely, first)?  “Go easy on the boss,” you might say, “Let him have his catching up time with his early morning coffee, and, oh, yeah, that particular coffee will take about three hours to drink!”  At the least, you’ll get a smile out of the newbie.
  6. Yes, you need impeccable references and you need to leave on a good note, but do not feel that you must stay later and get in earlier than is absolutely necessary, especially if you have outside obligations (like family errands) at those times. You should, however, get in on time—no dawdling just because you’re no longer concerned with who sees you punching in at 9:00, versus 9:15. However, if you’re seeing oodles and oodles of stuff piling up on your desk, be candid with your supervisor and mention that you are concerned about your work load; that you honestly don’t think you’re going to be able to handle it all: not by yourself, and not within the two-week time frame. There’s no need to fret about how your comment will be taken: just keep it logical and make sure that you DO tackle as much work as you can handle.
  7. Don’t forget to smile. Delete those e-mails; route those calls; copy those important documents and forward the ledger sheets which will keep things running smoothly, but, in the final analysis, it’s your attitude which will make such a difference in those last two weeks.

Best wishes on your new job!

Interested in the Insurance Field? Here’s What the Jobs Look Like

The Insurance field holds plenty of allure for people who are interested in detailed work and who enjoy being part of a career that is literally “part of everything we do”.

Too, the insurance field is undeniably stable.  Despite recent economic woes, those who either were safely ensconced in, or just starting their careers in, the insurance business had no worries about losing their jobs.

Can You Make a Living as a Hair Stylist?

There are many young people – both gals and guys – who visualize that they will make a decent living by helping their clients to look to be at the top of their game – at least when it comes to the hair on these customers’ heads.

These would-be beauticians go to school to learn the grooming how to’s: how to cut, style and design simple and intricate hair do’s for men and women of all hair types and in all age brackets.

Working After Retirement? What You Need to Know

You’re not the only person who’s wondering if you should continue to work after retirement.  There are plenty of folks who do so…whether for monetary reasons, or because they’re invigorated by the idea of remaining a viable, contributing member of society, and of the economy!

Changing Your Job Focus In An Expanding Climate

You’ve no doubt noticed that the economy is constantly-shifting and ever-evolving.  Jobs which used to be the cornerstones of the industry in, say, communications, customer service, construction and media are being revamped (if not phased out).

New positions and brand-new technology offer fresh and exciting opportunities for you to acquire skill sets you’ve never had to rely on before.

And that’s exactly what you’re going to have to do – master new capabilities—if you want to maintain a firm grip on your maximum income potential.

So what EXACTLY should you be looking at/ considering if you’re realizing that you need to tweak your vocational objectives a bit?

Let’s start with the basics:

  1. You’ve got to know who you are and what you bring to the table. Are you a left-brain kind of person – linear and results-oriented?  You probably wouldn’t do well in a spot which has you thinking exclusively outside of the box and coming up with exceptions to what’s already been established.  But you WOULD do well directing people, running a business, and overseeing a project or production which involves attention to the minutest of details.

On the other hand, if you’re looser in your approach to problem-solving, are quite creative and WOULD be comfortable thinking outside of the box, you’re a right-brain artist-sort who would be at home bringing your unique interpretation to, say, marketing or design concepts.

Interestingly, BOTH of these (left-brain/right-brain) personality styles would be GREAT at teaching…you’d have to hone your own particular style of connecting with students, of course—either show-and-tell and repetition (detail loving teacher) or innovation (utilizing an artisan mentality).

“That SOUNDS reasonable,” you might be thinking, “but I’m BOTH detailed and creative.  Is there a special spot in today’s new job market for me?”

Absolutely!

With your wealth of skill sets, you would be a great design firm office manager. You’d be able to multi-task quite well.  Or you could create backdrops or major presentation showcases for a business, as a stylist!

We’re hardwired to be GENERALISTS, and not specialists.

Many of us are told over and over that this is not so; that we should choose ONE field and learn all that we can about it.

That’s neither practical nor particularly joyful.

You’ll get more out of life if you roll up your shirtsleeves and seek to help no matter WHAT sort of work is going on around you.  You’ll find yourself advancing AND meeting people you never would have met otherwise, and THAT’s invaluable.

Have you ever considered taking a career assessment test? They’re on-target, for the most part.

One you might consider is the Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential, or MAPP, at http://assessment.com/AboutMAPP/AboutUs.asp.  This one is pretty exhaustive and will point you in the right direction.   The 15-minute  test is free  The company that puts out the test will offer you a package, if you’re interested in taking it further, but there’s no obligation.

  1. Develop your short-term and long-term goals. Don’t go down this brave new career path without some sort of blueprint. You wouldn’t build a house without a prototype, right? It’s the same with your career goals.

Notice that we made this a plural activity.  You will be searching for GOALS, not A goal.  We’re going back to the earlier theme that you absolutely must generalize…wear many hats, and all of them of the sort that you’ll be able to don interchangeably, field after field.

Let’s give you an example:  if you’re a master of sales; develop an in-depth knowledge of the construction industry and bone up on your computer software skills, you might very well qualify for a sales consultant job for a premier roofing company; you may also be able to lend your skill sets to an executive job in a government agency, drafting estimates around local low-income housing abodes.

You would also be able to work as a supervisor of roofing construction projects.

And the list of how you could combine your talents goes on and on!  The only limit?  Your imagination…and the actual needs of your future employers.

Again, you need to settle in your own mind where you would like to be within the next year to three years, and in five, 10 and even 15 years.  Decide which foundational steps you’ll take to get there.

Finally, there’s nothing wrong with deciding where you’d like to retire, or even if you WOULD like to retire.  You’ll have plenty of free time and perhaps some disposable income to do with as you like.  Do you see yourself opening a bed and breakfast?  Moving to the mountains?  Starting a non-profit which will be of service worldwide?  It’s all up to you.

Again, map out the steps you’ll take to get there.  Of course, none of these steps will be written in stone.  Life has a way of turning our best-laid plans upside down. If you’re forced to deviate from schedule, just make sure to get back in the saddle as soon as you can.

  1. Research, research, research. Use this wonderful tool we know as the World Wide Web to inform your career change.  The internet (and job boards, of course) will keep you apprised of the changes which are taking place in your region, and in the world in general.
  2. Read the handwriting on the wall. Where do you see things going in your industry?  And in the industry that you’re planning to enter?  Peruse the venerable business journals and newspapers which have been around long enough to know when to spot and report a newsworthy trend.  Next, be prepared.  Choose your new direction and embrace it.
  3. Now it’s time to rehaul your resume or CV. Keep and revamp the parts which can be applied to what you’ll be doing and throw out  the rest.  (Do keep everything filed in the back of your mind—dates, names, duties—as a point of reference when you’re asked to elaborate on what happened during gaps in your career.)
  4. While you’re at it, prepare a one-paragraph Bio “snapshot” of your achievements AS THEY PERTAIN TO THE NEW FIELD AND NEW CAREER.

Be grateful for what you’ve achieved; go forward with confidence and faith that you’ll soon, very soon, be able to be of REAL value to your would-be employers in your chosen field.

Are You Engaging In Job Search Sabotage?

Yes, dear reader, there are instances in everyone’s  job search where they encounter bumps in the road.  In fact, it may seem as if the road is riddled with obstacles.

If you are frustrated by lack of responses, please consider that there may be something or some THINGS which you are doing to get in your own way.

Choosing Between Two Job Offers? Here’s How To Decide

Wow. Two job offers.

What a terrific “problem” to have, you might be thinking.

When you’re offered a job by two different entities, it must imbue you with a sense of increased self-esteem, and confidence that you’re on the right career track.

Should You Move to Find A Job?

The internet is full of first-person anecdotes of now-settled job seekers who have ventured into big city zones – and back – for the sake of their careers.

In years past, many job seekers with lofty aspirations decided it would be best to move away from their home towns, where the job picture was a bit dismal, to a metropolitan area where the economy was deemed to be brighter.

How to Find a Family-Friendly Job

Are you raising a family? Do you have little ones whom you consider your greatest blessing and your highest responsibility? That’s great!

When looking for a job, you and your spouse – or you, if you are a single parent-are certain to weigh the hours you’d be working against the time you spend at home.   

Twelve Sure-Fire Ways To Snag a Job Interview

You are all set. You’ve put together that award-winning resume or Curriculum Vitae (more about the difference in a minute); you’ve picked out the snazziest suit you can find, dusted off your portfolio, and even splurged for a manicure and hair trim.

Good for you!First impressions count.