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|Don't Waste Your Severance
Colleague Jack Chapman in Illinois wrote the
following, which he's given me permission to
use, and which I've edited slightly for
length. Since I
couldn't say it better, I'll leave it to
We run into a lot of people who squander
severance packages -- or burn up their own bank
accounts -- in ineffective job campaigns.
Eric was one: he was laid off and given an
11-month, full-salary severance package. He
didn't use his time well and came to see
us when he had just one week of severance
left, and was in panic mode. People rarely
make good decisions from a state of panic.
If you've been let go and have received a
severance package, here's a few things you can do
to avoid Eric's mistake.
If you want (and can afford) to take some
time off, go ahead. Just make sure there is a
clear beginning and end to the vacation.
Then, get to work in earnest.
Realize the financial consequences
Plan time off in light of the financial
consequences. Consider: if your salary is
around $100,000, then each week of
unemployment costs $2,000 in lost earnings.
If you have severance, that's money you could
be banking. If not, that's coming out of your
nest egg -- or driving you into debt.
Be sure you have a clear target
Clearly target the industry
or company size and the functions you will
perform. Look for work with a vision of where
you'd like to be in five years. If you don't
have that vision, get help focusing your
efforts from a career coach/counselor right away.
Don't wait until the money is gone.
Check on your job-hunting skills
Your job-hunting skills may need some
work. Read the 12 Biggest Mistakes Job
Hunters and Career Changers Make -- and How
to Avoid Them to assess where you may need
help. This report is available free from
Joanne by e-mail. Just send your request for
it, with "12 Mistakes" in the subject line,
Many people find that investing in
professional support pays big dividends in
terms of finding work faster and getting a
better job. Doing the salary negotiations
with the support of a competent coach can
mean earning thousands of extra dollars.
Set up a schedule
Finding work is now your job. Set definite
hours when you will work, then outside of
those hours go enjoy
yourself. Skip the computer
Finally ... get support!
Job search is tough. Nothing puts you up
against your self-esteem faster. Hook up with
other positive people who are in the same
boat, but avoid job
support groups that are "pity parties"! You
can't afford to show up for
job-hunting activities looking like you're
about to have a root canal.
If your severance lasts six months, and you
get hired again in two months -- voila! You
have two salaries for four months! That's fun!
Although most of us have cell phones these
days, and it seems like telephones are
everywhere, too many job candidates are
unprepared when an interviewer calls.
This applies to the use of your cell phone as
well as your home phone; most people still
have both. If you put your cell number on
your resume, and your phone rings, the caller
ID may not always correspond with a company
name. So always answer professionally, with
your full name.
If you are driving, tell the
caller you need a moment to safely pull off
the highway "so that I can give your call my
full attention". Trying to talk while driving
is not only unsafe, it could be bad for your
job campaign. One candidate we knew answered
her phone while driving only to hear the
voice of a hiring manager she'd been trying
to reach. She was unprepared, she had none of
her job search
materials with her, she was rattled, and her
reception was terrible. It was a very awkward
call that scuttled her chances of making a
good first impression.
Your outgoing greeting for any phone number
you have should be professional, as well. One
former client thought it would be cute to
have his two year-old record the family's
outgoing phone greeting at well over a minute
long, another thought it would be cool to
tell a gross joke. I had them change their
greetings because few employers would want to
listen beyond the first few seconds. Not only
do hiring managers have too much to do, their
first impression of you should be a good one.
So keep it professional and tell anyone in
your home who answers the phone that
call during your job search is an important one.
|About Manufacturing, and Other Bits
No one in manufacturing needs to be told that
this segment of our economy continues to
shrink. While the field has had some healthy
the trend certainly continues -- smaller, more
nimble manufacturing companies have replaced the
behemoths of yesterday. Those smaller and
companies don't need hundreds of workers.
Here in Massachusetts, the June statistics
from the Executive Office of Labor and
Workforce Development marked an historic
development: Leisure and hospitality
employment reached a record high and
surpassed the number of jobs in manufacturing.
Also strong: Professional, scientific,
technical services; admin support, and waste
management. In all, over 103,000 jobs have
been added in Massachusetts since 2003. These
statistics are gathered from over 9,000
employers in the state.
The conclusion: our state's economy is
increasingly information-based. What does
this mean to you? Well, whether you're
between jobs or thinking about what's next
for you, adding to your information-based
skills set is a smart move.
On another note: I was startled
recently to receive spam e-mail from my
own business e-mail address offering
unbelievable mortgage or some exotic
pharmaceuticals. I hope you
haven't received it. I'm told by those who
know the ins
and outs of spam that if one has a very
public e-mail address, which I do, it can get
hijacked by anyone with a PC, and there's
nothing one can do about it. Sigh.
that if our e-mail address has a subject line
with something to do with job search, it's
from us, because that's what we do. And if it
has anything to do with
other spam-type subjects, know that it was
hijacked, and that those items are not
our business, and delete it. With our
Next month: The Resume
Queen's Job Search Thesaurus and Career Guide
for Professionals, authored by Joanne
Meehl, will hit the book shelves soon!
More in August...
|Thought of the Day
Our deepest fear is not that we are
inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure.
We are proud members of:
- Association of Career Professionals
- Northeast Human Resources Association
- Career Masters Institute
- Career Counselors Consortium/Boston
- National Resume Writers Association
- BNI Golden Givers, Holden, Mass.
Called "The Resume Queen" years ago by a
colleague, Joanne Meehl decided to have fun
nickname (which we've officially
she also takes it seriously by
her career management skills on the leading
through research and ongoing dialog with hiring
You're now seeing us use "The Job Search
Queen", which better reflects the breadth of
our services. The trademark is pending. We'll
be using both "queen" nicknames in our
Next few meetings of Face2Face, the Job Search
Networking Group (only $5 for members in
August 1st: "Is There a Non-Profit
in Your Future?" Barbara Worley, former
Director of Membership for one location of a
large national non-profit, talks about the
great jobs at
non-profits. You may be surprised.
August 15th: Topic TBA
September 5th "Secrets of Salary
Negotiation" - Peter Miller brings up the
latest on this vital topic.
All meetings are on the first and third
Wednesdays of each month, 9am - noon, in
Boxboro, Mass. near the intersection of
Routes 495 and 2.
the programs, and directions, click here.
Also on that
page, you'll be able to see notes about previous
talks at Face2Face.
meetings, we make it easier for
you to network, no matter how shy you are. Come
new people who might be the link
to your next job!
Joanne's Blog: The Heart of the Matter