Eliminate the word "but" from your vocabulary for 24 hours. Stop back here and let me know what you observe.
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I'm thrilled to be on the Featured Writers page at HRGuru.com, and if you're not familiar with the wonderful HR community they're building, you should be.
HRGuru, is an independently run hub for the HR community.
Theye’re not simply an anonymous job board, not an index of HR agencies and contact information, but something new and different: a place where your lifelong career needs come home to roost.
Whether you’re considering a career in HR for the first time, or a veteran employee, the aim of HRGuru is to serve you. Uniquely. There’s no other place that brings together the tools, information, and community you need to take action on your career aspirations.
Since oDesk is a job board for freelance and contract technical jobs, the numbers here may vary from permanent placement job data. There are definitely other skills that are in more demand as noted here and here but these skills represent the greatest increase by percentage in 2008.
Now this is Fun...from JonJon Baker
We see a lot of Support in our lives: child support, back support, athletic support, remote support, technical support, Microsoft Support, Military Combat Support, finite support (you know who you are), the ever-famous Customer Support, emotional support or the lack thereof, and my subject, employee support.
I think that support is all real employees, the ones who think well and work hard, want. And I think that great companies understand that.
I think that they understand that real support is in allowing an employee to personally define wealth and the wealth of others, allowing them to work at what they do best to grow that wealth, and mentor them to balance along the way.
I do not think saying that you have an employee support program is supportive.
I think you really have an employee support program if you encourage success, address challenge, and teach intellectual virtue along the way.
That’s what I think. What do you think?
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(Alternate title: How I used the Word Adscititious in a Title and Won Fifty Dollars from My Husband)
I am a Geek Girl Groupie from way back. I dreamed of putting resumes on the web in 1994, and heard about this "WWW" thing much earlier; I'd been doing some contract work with Digital in the late 80's, and with Chemical Abstracts in the early 90's, and the Scientists were all abuzz and giddy (which means there were low murmurs and intensely attractive - to me at least - geeky discussions all about the land).
As I watched the Web evolve, it seemed to me that there were (and still are), two distinct groups of users: the Private and the Public.
The Private went off and made millions creating Private type content: "Adult Entertainment" sites, game sites, private chat rooms, casinos, and if you can make it up and want to do it privately they have a site for it stuff, and the Public group did what they do best - they published - publicly. They proudly put their names and reputations out there - sadly in the early days, in funky, animated, florescent font, but you'll have that.
The challenge became and becomes, when those two group types exist in a single user - which I believe goes against the Pauli Exclusion Principle, but hey, I'm no physicist.
At some point, your Private persona may collide with your Public persona and poof! there goes the ‘hood.
I understand if you want to spend half your life on Second Life. I completely understand World of Warcraft, MMORPGs, or Pogo for that matter, which is exactly why I stay away - I understand the time investment and potential traps that exist in maintaining a second persona, or a pseudo-public persona that doesn't complement the professional me.
(At this point you may be asking yourself, "Why is she using so many "Ps?". The answer is that they are surprisingly affordable considering how important they are.)
Here's the issue: let's say you spend hours and hours on a game site, and eventually, the real you starts to creep through your Avatar's skin; people know your "real name", your "real" email.
You use the same Nick or email on a lot of sites, and the web starts to "know" you.
You post and comment on YouTube and some of your content/comments are less than wholesome.
Your Second Life persona uses your real name but is a bit more risqué than the You sitting on your couch in your bathrobe with your laptop and a bowl of popcorn.
Your Blog picture is a photo of you sitting on your couch in your bathrobe with your laptop and a bowl of popcorn.
You Twitter/Tweet/Twinkle/Plurk inanely and are at times abusive and rude.
Your Facebook/Blog/whatever site is an embarrassment to your mother and Puritans everywhere.
Your FriendFeed is one big flame against religion, politics, your ex-, Crocs, etcetera.
Then you get laid-off.
Yup: transitioned, downsized, right-sized, riffed, re-orged, restructured, and made redundant.
So, you update your LinkedIn profile using your personal email "firstname.lastname@example.org".
You take a stab at your resume and link to it from your less than professional Blog. When you email the resume, you name the saved, attached file with the generic, forgettable “RESUME.doc” label, and do not check the document properties, so it carries the credentials of the person you copied it from.
You spam your contacts with "Yo, just got laid-off. Anybody hiring?"
And surprisingly, no one contacts you, so you get frustrated and join an "I Hate My Former Company" website, and use your hotchick email to post angry messages, and you point to your aforementioned offensive Blog/Facebook/whatever page.
I tell you from my heart friend, these are not good strategies for impressing a potential employer.
You need to make a choice - either everything you do on the web is the Public You and you're proud of it, or you must be very, very conscious of the radioactive half-life web footprint you leave, IP and otherwise.
Intelligent, public, thoughtful activity on the web can and will lead to intelligent, public, thoughtful interactions off the web if that is your goal.
If you're on the web, to borrow loosely from the Buddha, "all things are with the web".
Everything you have done in the past on the web becomes the first example of your work product and ethic to a potential employer. Remember that.
So, what to do now?
1: Search yourself thoroughly through a variety of engines; not just your name, but your email(s), your Nicks, your YouTube comments and vids, variations on your name (in case one of your buddies posted a nekked Spring Break photo of you on their Facebook page and you had no idea), newsgroups, usergroups, domain registrations, whois, EVERYTHING.
And don't think this advice is just for the Text Generation or the Baby Boomerangers - the longer you've been on the web, the more "stuff" there is about you. That means lawsuit filings, how much you contributed in the last election. Lots.
2: Commit to creating value for other people on the web - in your name. Professional friendships are reciprocal - you can’t just take so you must provide value - I'd like to think this article will be valuable to someone.
3: Use sound, organic SEO strategies to allow this new content to replace (or at least push back) the old. (Lots of references on the web for this, go to the Scobleizer link below for this general subject and he posted a great one in 2008 here).
4: Don't be afraid to be yourself (I know, I know, how cliché is that?) but it's true. If you are a funny person, be humorous, be REAL, be balanced. If you are a real jerk, understand that you will probably end up working with people just like you. Make your choice.
My friend Kelly Love Johnson does a great job of this - she's smart and funny, so when she wrote her book, she successfully handled a professional subject with humor and candor. ‘Gotta love that.
5: Keep people who support you in your effort updated and aware of your status in a respectful manner. I saw a great message on Twitter today from a student to an influential technologist; she was letting him know she got an internship she was seeking, and he was supportive and encouraging in reply.
It was a good moment, and speaks volumes about both of them, in a very public way.
p.s.: Adscititious: to receive with knowledge, approve; ad-, to + sciscere, to seek to know
Next Entry on this subject will be: "Did You Just Text Someone in the Middle of Our Interview?"
p.s.s: If you want to read a very good example of what NOT to do on the web that happened today - see Peter Shankman's Blog article "Be Careful What You Post"
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Great short read: http://scobleizer.com/
WARN ACT COMPLIANCE and "Baby" WARN ACTS by State
Remembering the news regarding the abrupt closing of Republic Windows and Doors in Illinois, and the media nightmare that ensued drives this important reminder regarding the WARN ACT.
In Illinois, workers had been occupying the Republic Windows and Doors building since its abrupt closing Friday, December 5. They were protesting the loss of what they said is vacation and severance pay they've earned and the lack of notice about the closing. The federal WARN Act requires 60-day notice of a plant's closing.
The law does allow businesses to close without giving the required notice under certain circumstances, such as if another company that is the sole source of income suddenly goes out of business.
Do you really understand the WARN ACT and your responsibilities?
While the following is an overview of the Federal WARN ACT, many States including South Carolina have enacted Baby Warn ACT provisions. Recently, New Jersey joined the ranks of states that have adopted their own form of plant closing and mass layoff statutes to supplement the federal WARN Act provisions. These states include California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
WARN ACT Overview
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.
Employee entitled to notice under WARN include managers and supervisors, as well as hourly and salaried workers. WARN requires that notice also be given to employees' representatives, the local chief elected official, and the state dislocated worker unit.
Advance notice gives workers and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other jobs, and, if necessary, to enter skill training or retraining that will allow these workers to compete successfully in the job market.
Generally, WARN covers employers with 100 or more employees, not counting those who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months and those who work an average of less than 20 hours a week.
Employees entitled to advance notice under WARN include managers and supervisors as well as hourly and salaried workers.
Regular federal, state, and local government entities that provide public services are not covered by WARN.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) - Who is Covered?
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) generally covers employers with 100 or more employees, not counting those who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months and those who work an average of less than 20 hours a week. Regular federal, state, and local government entities that provide public services are not covered. Employees entitled to notice under WARN include managers and supervisors as well as hourly and salaried workers.
WARN protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs. Advance notice gives workers and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other jobs and, if necessary, to enter skill training or retraining that will allow these workers to compete successfully in the job market. WARN also provides for notice to state dislocated worker units so that they can promptly offer dislocated worker assistance.
A covered plant closing occurs when a facility or operating unit is shut down for more than six months, or when 50 or more employees lose their jobs during any 30 day period at a single site of employment. A covered mass layoff occurs when a layoff of six months or longer affects either 500 or more workers or at least 33 percent of the employer's workforce when the layoff affects between 50 and 499 workers. The number of affected workers is the total number laid off during a 30 day (or in some cases 90 day) period.
WARN does not apply to closure of temporary facilities, or the completion of an activity when the workers were hired only for the duration of that activity. WARN also provides for less than 60 days notice when the layoffs resulted from closure of a faltering company, unforeseeable business circumstances, or a natural disaster.
Workers or their representatives, and units of local government may bring individual or class action suits. U.S. district courts enforce WARN requirements. The Court may allow reasonable attorney's fees as part of any final judgment.
Compliance Assistance Available
For general information about WARN, a fact sheet and employer's guide (PDF) are available from the Employment and Training Administration's Web site.
Penalties and Sanctions
An employer who violates the WARN provisions is liable to each employee for an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of the violation, up to 60 days. This may be reduced by the period of any notice that was given, and any voluntary payments that the employer made to the employee.
An employer who fails to provide the required notice to the unit of local government is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for each day of violation. The employer may avoid this penalty by satisfying the liability to each employee within three weeks after the closing or layoff.
Relation to State, Local, and Other Federal Laws
WARN does not preempt any other federal, state, or local law, or any employer/employee agreement that requires other notification or benefit. Rather, the rights provided by WARN supplement those provided by other federal, state, or local laws.
We sponsor free webinars or off-site workshops to review the WARN ACT and assist your company in the event of a reduction-in-force activity.To receive more information or schedule a WARN ACT Workshop, contact Karen Masullo toll-free at 866-214-5445 or write to email@example.com
For any organization experiencing a downsizing, a key step on the RIF project checklist is that of "deprovisioning" employees from internal technology systems. This includes revoking username and password access to sensitive, internal company databases including CRMs, employee portals, and intranets.
Moreover, in addition to the employee's personal access data, companies regularly create testing, administrative, and "dummy" accounts for a variety of purposes, and these are available to a wide group of employees.
From a recent article citing industry leader Courian on this subject, a Courian expert explained:
"Employees can accumulate an average of 15 to 20 user accounts over the course of employment and it typically takes an enterprise three to five minutes to manually turn off each account upon termination. Organizations faced with having to terminate hundreds of thousands, or even millions of accounts, may think that simply terminating an employee's network access is sufficient protection."
If significant downsizing effects the IT team as well as the general employee population, an even greater risk is exposed as there is less labor to accomplish the task, and the IT Team is the very group with greatest access to sensitive information.
Laid-off employees can easily exploit the lag time between being laid off and having all of their accounts shut off to access sensitive company information. Even worse, usernames and passwords pertaining to zombie accounts could be shared or even sold to the highest bidder, giving cyber-criminals access to sensitive information without the need for sophisticated hacking techniques.
Additionally, When confronted with the prospect of layoffs, 71 percent of the employees surveyed declared they would definitely take company data with them to their next employer. Top of the list of desirable information is the customer and contact databases, with plans and proposals, product information, and access/password codes all proving popular choices, the study says.
For enterprise-level organizations, to manually deprovision thousands of accounts - assuming an average of three minutes per account - would require tens of thousands of labor hours. During the lag time in turning off accounts, the organization would be an easy target for data theft.
In a recent Cisco-sponsored survey of 2,000 employees and IT professionals, the responses showed that one in 10 end-users had either stolen technology, accessed someone else's computer, stolen information and sold it, or knew of co-workers who did.
To receive more information or schedule an off-site RIF Planning Workshop, contact Karen Masullo toll-free at 866-214-5445 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
In Times of Uncertain Employment - Don't Panic
As a Career Transition professional with more than twenty years of enterprise-level experience, I know that many individuals will seek career advice during what is certainly a troubling time in our economy.
While the below points are true at any time in an employee's career life, they are particularly important to remember given the current unemployment market and uncertainty in Banking and ancillary financial sectors.
1: Don't Panic. Jumping ship without knowing the depth of the water is never wise. Career Transition takes assessment and planning; use this time for self-review and preparation.
2: Your Company may be in flux, but may also be planning to provide you services should a release of workforce be required. These services may include professional career transition and individual outplacement coaching services, severance and/or early retirement packages, job search workshops, career center services, job fairs, and other programs to assist you should a career transition be required. Take advantage of all services offered.
3: Your State Government will work in concert with your company and an Outplacement Services provider to assure you understand the separation process, and all benefits and services available to you.
4: Do not pull out your old resume and simply add your latest position and title. Resumes must be thoughtful and accomplishment oriented; the thought you put into this document is the foundation for your clear articulation of your value to a future employer in telephone interviews, networking conversations, and the interview itself. More important, it is the first work product example you present to your next employer - give it the effort it deserves.
5: Never underestimate the value of interview practice. Outplacement program providers may include video-taping of your interview practice, and you may be surprised what you see upon playback. It is an invaluable exercise. Never wait until an actual interview to think of your answers to important questions.
6: While at work, do not foster the rumor-mill, do not spend time online posting on job boards, or add negativity to an already highly charged, stressful environment. Continue to contribute in a meaningful way, and document your accomplishments during this time. Should a workforce transition occur, you will transition more easily if you can demonstrate to your future employer, your continued contribution to your present employer's challenges.
7: If you need help, ask for it. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers are there to help you. Additionally, Managers can help ease employee concerns by offering seminars covering the support services their companies provide.
8: Do not be defined by your current job title or locked in to your current industry. Look at new ways to use your skill-set within your current company, or should career transition be imminent, in alternate industries and businesses. While legacy positions leave the marketplace, new ones are created.
9: Build and maintain long-term, professional friendships. Do not "use" your network - rather, look for ways you can help others in your network; provide value. You are not alone in your fears, and this is no time to live in a bubble.
10: Learn about Social Media and Networking. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Explore new tools like visualcv.com to enhance your Network's ability to access your information.
Our team has successfully worked with hundreds of employees and employers through challenging economic times, and we know that Career Transition requires a well-followed plan, not panic. Use your time well, and should a workforce transition occur, you will be ready to move forward successfully.
Have a question? Ask me - email@example.com
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My Visual CV: My VisualCV
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