Posts

BIGG Success Logo boxed

I Just Got Laid Off – Part 1

work This is the start of a three-part series on what to do if you get laid off. On the show today, we discuss what to do today before you leave the building. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll discuss Part 2 – what to do in the next couple of days and then move to Part 3: moving on – going for your next job. So please check back in!

___

___

Getting laid off is one of the most stressful events anyone goes through. So before we get into details, take a deep breath. You can expect to feel a whole range of emotions, even if you weren’t completely surprised. It’s a grieving process. Psychologists have identified five stages that we go through when we lose something or someone:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

These stages don’t necessarily happen in sequence. You may feel more than one at the same time. You may jump around. You will feel it how you feel it. What’s important is to understand what’s going on within you. It’s only natural.

Your job may have been taken from you, but your talents haven’t been

Your unique skills are still yours. You still have that great personality. You’re still an incredible person. And you know it!

With that mindset, and knowing that you will bounce back, here are some things to do, and things not to do, before you leave the building today.

Don’t burn bridges

Life is funny. Things change quickly. If you show class, it will be remembered. So filter what you say.

There may be a temptation to lash out. Resist that urge, because nothing good can come from it. Sure, you may feel better at the moment, but that feeling will quickly fade into regret. It’s much better to conduct yourself very professionally.

COBRA

You will have to decide whether or not to extend your health insurance with the company. But you have 60 days to make this decision so don’t make it today. Talk to two or three insurance brokers who sell individual insurance. In almost all cases, you will find that you can get similar coverage for less money.

If you have one or more pre-existing conditions, it might make sense to sign up through COBRA. But first, check out comparable policies with several insurance brokers and get their advice.

Your 401(k)

Here’s another decision you don’t have to make today. In fact, there really isn’t much of a time limit on making this decision. A lot of people still have money in an account through an employer they haven’t worked for in seven years!

Resist the urge to cash out. You may feel stressed about money. We’ll talk about that more in an upcoming show. The Wall Street Journal reported that 40% of workers in their 20s and 30s cashed out their 401(k) when they changed jobs. As we discussed this on a previous Bigg Success Show, this may be a costly decision.

Before you decide what to do with your 401(k), you’ll want to investigate your options. Find a plan that offers the right combination of options and low fees. One thing you should find out, when the subject of your 401(k) comes up, is if there are any exit fees. This will be useful in your decision making process.

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

Your final paycheck

If you get your final check today, be sure to verify everything. For example:

  • Were you paid the correct amount for the time you’ve worked since your last check?
  • Did you get the severance pay that you should have?
  • Were you paid for the vacation days you haven’t used?
  • Is everything in accordance with your agreement with your employer?

Other issues

You may be asked to sign releases and other documents. You don’t have to sign anything right away. Read the documents carefully. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you’re not satisfied with the answer, seek professional guidance from an attorney if need be.

Reach out

Finally, if you can muster the emotional strength, reach out to the people you worked with. Make sure you have their contact information. You never know when it might come in handy.

Thanks for reading our post today. We hope you’ll check in again tomorrow. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00324-020509.mp3

Related posts

1582]

1591]

90]

1524]

Coping With Life Change

(Image in today's post by hisks)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Three Ways of Looking At Transition

By Dana Mancuso
Bigg Success Contributor
01-22-09

white_house

I've seen photos of the presidential transition. You know the ones. The President and First Lady are followed as they walk around the White House in their last minutes before officially leaving office. All of them have had at least a tinge of sadness to them, even though by the time the president leaves office he has made new plans and is most-likely looking forward to the life ahead of him — complete with book deals and speaking engagements.

For me there have been very few transitions as abrupt as the last moments of a presidency. Most of my life has sort of evolved into the next phase of my life – much like seasons move seamlessly one into another. Yet a couple of them stand out. And both are job-related.

A new chapter

The first is my last day at a job that did not suit me. I gathered my small box of personal items and walked out the door, having only sent a short e-mail of thanks for the opportunity. I did not look back. There was no need. There were no fond memories to recall or to be wistful about. In fact, I walked quickly to the elevator in hopes that no one would say goodbye. I got to my car without incident and was quite happy to drive away into the next chapter of life.

A heavy heart
I left another job due to relocation with my husband. It was a different story. When that chapter ended, I was not only leaving a good job that I liked, but I was leaving the city, the entire area. I was leaving people I enjoyed and tasks I had been successful at. I was leaving hallways where I had laughed; a place where I had made friends and grown professionally.

I took in my surroundings carefully during the long walk to the elevator. My box of personal belongings was light, but my heart was heavy.

A combination
I can imagine that the President, as he exits the White House and drives off, will have a combination of both of my experiences, as do most of us at one time or another. He'll look back at places that remind him of decisions made or not made, actions taken, and people consulted with. He'll think of the impact he has had on the country in his job. He'll wonder how he'll be remembered by those who are staying behind and how he'll handle the next steps in his career.

Look Three Ways

Moving forward, moving on, transitioning, or whatever you choose to call it, requires three different types of looking:

Looking Backward
To be successful with any transition, you need to review where you've been. Take a hard look at what has happened to you in this phase you are leaving. What did you learn from it about yourself or about others?

Looking Around
What did you learn that you can take with you? What will you choose not to bring into the next phase? What will you put in your box of personal goodies that will be a good addition to your new life?

Looking Ahead
Ask yourself: What next? What do you want to become now?  What kind of “you” will best fit your new situation?

As we collectively move forward with a new leader, it's a good time to do a bit of looking. It's a time of major national transition, and perhaps it is a good time for us to make personal transitions as well. You can do this type of looking, not only at your professional life, but with personal relationships or even with goals you have been pursuing.

Take time to look and find the next you in the process! 

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

 

Related posts

1495]

1005]

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Hot Careers for 2009

By Bigg Success Staff
12-15-08

2009_hot

There is no question that it is a tough market to be looking for work. However, there will be opportunities in 2009. To find one that’s right for you, think news lines and trend tracks.

News lines

If you want to know what will be the hottest careers next year, look at the headlines this year. Related jobs may not be in the highest demand in the long run, but there certainly will be plenty of opportunities in 2009.

Many of these jobs are specialties within a larger job category. Therein lies a lesson for all of us – think about what you do and how it relates to the news. Then look for opportunities within that niche area.

Foreclosures and bankruptcy
Professionals who can help companies work through the financial and legal morass left by the housing bubble will do well in 2009. Banks, law firms, accounting firms, and large corporations are already ramping up workout departments, creating a need for both the professionals themselves and people who assist them.

Collection agents will also be in demand as businesses turn to outside firms to collect money they haven’t been able to collect themselves.

On the consumer side, credit counseling is an old industry with a new reputation. It is now considered mainstream and occupations in this industry were growing rapidly even before the last quarter of 2008. For more information:

National Association of Certified Credit Counselors 

International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators 

Center for Financial Certifications

Energy costs
Oil hit new highs in 2008 only to recede to prices not seen for years. However, it is fully expected that oil prices will rebound. Alternative energy companies are expected to do well, especially if expected development incentives from the U.S. government come through.

Since this is a relatively new industry, not many people have direct experience. So the industry will recruit from outside for all areas of the business. If you have transferable skills, consider companies in the emerging industry. This field should have traction for some time as the developed world moves from its dependence on oil.

Layoffs
The last couple of jobs reports have been dismal. Companies are cutting back on their workforce with a vengeance. Career coaches should be in demand as more people become disillusioned with their current career and seek more fulfilling alternative. You can learn more about coaching from the dominant certifying body, The International Coach Federation.

In tough times, many people think about starting their own business so they can have more control over their lives. One of the best ways to do that is to buy into a franchise system. Expect franchisors – those companies who offer franchises for sale – to do well. For more information about the franchise industry, check out the International Franchise Association. You might even decide to be your own boss and buy into a system yourself.

Trend tracks

There are careers that play off major trends that should still do well in 2009 and beyond. We took a two-step approach to developing this list. First, we turned to the Occupational Outlook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are careers expected to be in demand through 2016 because they play off of major trends – the aging population, the growth in education, technology, and more.

Then we refined the list by looking at industry predictions for 2009. If an industry was still projecting growth, we kept it on the list. If not, we culled it. Here’s our final group, organized by level of education required:

Professional degree
Dentists
Lawyers
Optometrists
Pharmacists
Physicians and surgeons
Veterinarians 

Doctoral degree
Biochemists and biophysicists 
Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists 
Computer and information scientists, research
Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Teachers (postsecondary)

Master’s degree
Counselors (educational, marriage and family, mental health, rehabilitation, school, vocational)
Mental health and substance abuse social workers
Physical therapists
Physician assistants

Bachelor’s degree plus work experience
Actuaries 
Computer and information systems managers
Education administrators, preschool and child care center/program
Medical and health services managers

Bachelor’s degree
Accountants and auditors
Computer software engineers, applications
Computer system analysts
Financial analysts and personal financial advisors 
Network systems and data communications analysts
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
Teachers (elementary school, except special education)

Associate degree
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians
Computer support specialists
Dental hygienists
Environmental science and protection technicians, including health
Paralegals and legal assistants
Physical therapist assistant
Registered nurses
Secretaries (legal)
Veterinary technologists and technicians

Vocational degree
Automotive service technicians and mechanics
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
Teachers (pre-school, except special education)

Experience in related field
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products
Self-enrichment education teachers 

On-the-job training (long-term)
Automotive glass installers and repairers
Electricians
Interpreters and translators
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers

On-the-job training (moderate-term)
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
Dental assistants
Maintenance and repair workers, genera
Medical assistants
Pharmacy technicians
Social and human service assistants

On-the-job training (short-term)

Home health aides
Personal and home care aides
Physical therapist aides

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success
and get our FREE Goal Planning Workbook when you
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE too!

___

Great guide

We found a great resource that may be unfamiliar to you. It’s called Career Voyagers. While it seems designed for career choosers, rather than career changers, we still think there is a great deal of value in spending some time with it.

You can look at industries in which you have a particular interest. For a more general view, check out their Top 50 In-Demand Occupations and Other In-Demand Occupations.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Related posts

1457]

1449]

1458]

(Image in this article by -MISHA)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

2 Tips for More Effective Project Status Reports

pm411_logo We visited with Ron Holohan today on The Bigg Success Show. Ron is a Certified Project Management Professional and is currently the Director of Program Management at Shure in Chicago. Ron also hosts a weekly project management internet radio show called The pm411.org Project Management Podcast, which has consistently been one of the top four project management shows on iTunes.

.

.

marylynn We all know that project management can be a stickler. So we asked Ron to share two tips with us to create more effective project status reports.

.

ronThe first tip is to focus only on the exceptions. What I mean by that is that you don’t want to throw everything in the kitchen sink into your status reports. No one wants to read all that. They want to be able to look at your status report and pull out just the information they need. So focus on the exceptions – those issues that have changed since your previous report. Your audience only gets the information they need so your status report is short and concise.

.

georgeI think that’s a bigg one. It seems that you often see status reports that look like a “mind dump.” You see all the activity that’s happened since the last report. You get bored with it so you’re not able to help them. might call it stubborn.

.

ronThat’s right. If someone wants to go back, they can always look at one of your previous reports for more information.

.

marylynn Cut the fat … get to the meat. What’s another tip?

.

.

ronAnother tip is to make your report as easy as possible to read. This is the same kind of ideas as Tip #1. You want to allow your audience to easily scan for details that interest them the most. One way to do that is by using something called “Stoplight Reporting” – you communicate progress by using different colors. A bullet point in green may mean this item is going according to plan. Yellow means that particular item needs to be watched. Red means action is required because that item is starting to go off track. You can actually use blue as well to indicate that particular item has been resolved or completed.

.

marylynn Can you put a “Don’t Walk” in there?

.

.

ronThat would be nice! Use short bullet points. You don’t want to write a paragraph; this isn’t going to win you a Pulitzer Prize. You’re just trying to convey simple facts to your audience. Also, use tables where you can. They’re great for listing things like milestones, budget information, or product material cost.

.

georgeWhat’s interesting about this to me is that some people are good with words or numbers, but other people are very visual. So you’re giving your report in a way that allows your audience to consume it the way they prefer.

.

marylynn I prefer stick figures!

.

.

georgeIt’s a great system that you’ve outlined with the different colors. You instantly can see what’s going on. Now I assume what you talk about are the “yellows” and the “reds”.

.

ronThat’s right. So if I was reading the report, my eyes would naturally look for those yellow and red bullets that need my attention the most.

.

Ron’s freebie!
Ron has a free status report template available for you, complete with a Stoplight along with other great templates.

Thanks Ron for sharing your fantastic tips with us!

 

 

together

Build Your Brand By Promoting Others

together
We started Bigg Success about eight months ago. In that time, we’ve met some incredible people – listeners of our show, readers of our blog, and colleagues at conferences. One of the most amazing people we’ve met is Liz Strauss.

She’s known as the “queen of blogging.” She’s also the queen of conversation – her blog has more comments than just about any other blog. She’s also an SOB – her label for Successful and Outstanding Blog!

A one-of-a-kind show that’s an incredible resource

Liz recently held a Blog Fair. Think of an auto show, where you have all these cool cars lined up. Liz decided to do this with blogs, allowing other people to promote their sites on her site.

Read more