Six Signs Your Job No Longer Deserves You

Leave job

 

 

People talk about being in a rut, but here’s what we forget: the rut is mental. It’s a belief. “Oh, it’s hard to get another job!” We talk ourselves out of making changes or even contemplating changes, because of our aversion to change.

Your job may have been amazing learning experience at one time, but does your job still deserve your talents now? A lot of people get stuck. They get into a situation that more or less works, that pays the bills and that doesn’t bring them any closer to their flame. What’s your flame? It’s your passion. It’s your reason for being alive.

Your job should do more than just keep you alive — don’t you agree? You only have so many years here on earth. Are you going to spend them accumulating things like wide-screen TVs and frequent flyer miles you’ll never use because you don’t have time for vacation?

Why not get a job that deserves you and that will reinforce you? Here are six signs your current job doesn’t deserve you anymore:

  • There’s no forward path. There’s no place to go from here. There’s no way to learn more, have more impact or use more of your talents. Scram!
  • There’s no one to learn from. No one around you looks like a mentor or coach. You’re the smartest person in the place. Get out of Dodge!
  • The people around you don’t want to hear your ideas. They like things just the way they are. So what, nothing works properly? They don’t care. Flee!
  • You don’t get to use your mind and your heart at work. You’re stuck in a little box. You’re a cog in someone else’s machine. Hit the bricks!
  • Your boss doesn’t get you and you don’t get him or her. It’s an energetic mismatch. You can’t grow as a person or a professional in your job. Move on!
  • You don’t enjoy your work or look forward to it on Monday morning (or any morning). That’s your body telling you “Run away!” – Forbes

Here’s Why Good Employees Quit

quit your job

Anne Fisher, contributor to CNNMoney wrote a great article, “To keep employees loyal, try asking what they want” wherein she references an interview of Aflac CEO Dan Amos quoted saying: “If you want to know what would keep someone from quitting, ask.” It sounds like common sense, but not many companies really do it”. I couldn’t agree more. Not only is it a good business decision to find out what it will take for your employees to remain loyal, it is essentially the most important factor in business sustainability.

Sure, there are many reasons why people quit, such as: employee mis-match, work/life balance, co-worker conflicts, relocation, family matters, lack of good communication, micro-managers, etc. I could go on and on but here are my top four reasons why good employees leave the workplace:

1. Poor reward system. It’s not always about having a big paycheck (although it doesn’t hurt either!). Rewarding an employee can be shown in many ways, such as corporate recognition both internally and externally (company website or press release), an additional paid mini-vacation, an opportunity to take the lead on a new project, a promotion, a donation in their name to a charity they support or the most popular form of reward, a bump in pay or an unexpected bonus. While these represent some of the ways an employer can reward workers, they don’t work without one key element; communication. What money represents to one employee may be of no concern to another. The key here is to find out what your employee’s value most and work from there.

2. Management. You know the saying: “People don’t leave companies, they leave their managers”. There is truth to this! Here’s my reasoning. When there is work to be done, its management’s duty to enforce, engage, and often times implement reward systems to keep employees satisfied and loyal. Sure, the supervisor, middle manager or team leader may implement recognition on a small scale for workers who have reached goals or helped the team in some way, but that doesn’t replace the recognition and reward employees need from upper management to stay committed.

Not everyone is skilled enough to manage processes or lead people. Just because someone is good at what they do does not mean they will be a great manager, and that’s perfectly OK! When people who are not fit to lead are put into positions of leadership it can create a catastrophic circumstance in the workplace leading to high turnover and low employee morale. So please, stop slapping “Manager” on every good worker’s name and put people in those positions only if they have the characteristics necessary to influence workers to execute the company vision and those willing to work together to get the job done.

3. Hiring/Promotions. When good workers see people who do not contribute as much as they do or they see schmoozers who do little but socialize a lot land positions they don’t deserve, it’s much like a slap in the face. Especially when those workers are busting their butts, not taking vacation, rallying the team and exceeding expectations the last thing they want to see is some Joe Schmo just waltz in and take a senior position, one they are clearly not qualified to do. You have to expect good employees will leave if you decide to hire your best friends’ cousin who has no idea what the heck they are doing, and then you have the audacity to put them in a leadership position over experienced workers. Come on! Hiring and promoting for favoritism is a major way to alienate good workers.

4. Too much work! The moment employers see employees who have good work ethic or are great in performing or rallying a team of people they begin to slap on more projects, more responsibility to those who they believe can handle it. And maybe good workers can handle more work but it becomes a problem when they begin to feel that they can’t escape from work because of the amount of responsibility and attention they receive from management. Being an excellent worker can be a blessing and a curse. It’s great for a boss to recognize employees are good, but the reward for that shouldn’t always be to pour on the workload. Since good employees tend to have a higher workload, it’s important to ensure they don’t feel overwhelmed causing them to burn out.

Ultimately the culture of an organization determines the scope of employee retention efforts which requires strategic decision making and planning. But to get good employees to stay, it’s simple; ask them what it will take. If you see someone doing great work, recognize it and reward it but don’t’ forget to find out how you can empower them to continuously deliver. –Mary V. Davids

*Photos courtesy of iStock

Treat your departing employee better than others…

departing employee

This looks funny for some people. But the reality is some organizations treat the departing employees as ‘dead stock having shorter shelf life’. The common thought is that ‘he/she is leaving X days from now, why should we support him?’. Always the experience on the ‘last days’ with the organization will last longer than normal working days.

 From my management experience I feel we should give good respect and one should be more professionally generous to the employees who are leaving the organization. Why?

1. Employees are the messengers to the world, if they feel good about the organization, they will support the organization in whatever possible way. May be you are recruiting some new heads, now a days social platforms like LinkedIn are there to make good referrals. If your ex-employee is not having a good feeling about your organization because of his ‘last days’ experience, he may not give a good referral; in turn you may lose a good candidate.

2. Your ex-employee may become your principal or may become your senior when you move to the other organization. If you creates an ill feeling when he was leaving the organization, obviously both many not enjoy working together for another organization; both may lose a good chance to work together.

3. After certain period the organization may feel to get the ex-employee back into the organization for whatever reason, the ‘ill feeling’ will not allow both the parties to work together.

Moreover the world is very small…. Why should we keep hard feelings on a colleague who is leaving the organization, we will definitely meet your peers anywhere in the world, may be some of your best future opportunity or employment referrals are lying with your ex-colleague. -Sam Issac

7 Career Mistakes You Don’t Even Know You’re Making

career mistakes

Older workers have a harder time finding jobs and remain the demographic that once unemployed, stays out of work the longest. So hanging on to their jobs is of paramount importance. Yet here are 7 mistakes older workers unwittingly make:

1. They don’t think they need to pick up new skills while they are still employed. 
Jobs are not static anymore. The workplace is constantly evolving and they need to evolve along with it. If an employer offers training classes, some older workers wrongly believe the classes are intended for new company hires and don’t go. Instead. they should be taking as many of those earn-as-you-learn classes as possible.

Should they lose that job, training is hard to come by. Government training programs are geared toward those who are receiving public assistance. The goal is to get those folks off the public dole and into tax-generating jobs.

Retraining programs for college-educated professionals kind of don’t exist. That, or they do a terrific job of hiding themselves from the public. In fact, a “60 Minutes” segment featured a Connecticut program in 2012 for just one reason: It was such a rarity. In that program, college-educated professionals, who had lost their jobs when they were in their 40s or 50s and who had been out of work for a full 99 weeks, were given a crack at some internships that could lead to permanent jobs. These former six-figure earners were grateful for the foot in the door for one big reason: Most of their peers don’t even get that.

Take-away: If you have a chance to broaden your skills, jump at it.

2. They think community colleges are just for kids.
The community college system has borne the brunt of re-training the displaced older workforce. There’s a program that launched in 2010 called the Plus 50 Completion Strategy which basically helps post50 students complete their post-secondary degrees,and aims to give older workers the skills they need to get jobs in fields that are actually hiring — like health care. So far, the Plus 50 initiative has served about 24,000 students, which — not to diminish this rare drop in the bucket — is about how many out-of-work journalists I hear from in any given week.

Even if you are working, it still makes sense to keep an eye on what lies around the corner for you professionally. Many of these classes can be taken online. If you are in one of those careers that is contracting, use the “hospice time” to prepare for what you will be doing next. And a community college is a great place to start.

3. They don’t sufficiently value reverse mentoring.
Older employees have some amazing teachers right under their noses, says Robert L. Dilenschneider, an author and business leader who lectures older workers around the country about staying relevant. “Younger employees are fluent not just in the new technologies but in the best ways to deliver business messages and marketing in such technologies,” he said, and older workers should seek them out. When workers can learn from each other, the workplace is strengthened.

Mentoring is a two-way street and the older workers who embrace that — instead of thinking that their age and experience alone make them the only teachers in the room — improve their value to the company.

4. They wrongly assume that working beyond 66 will be their choice.
This is a silly assumption, especially with companies eager to reduce costs and an economy that can provide many eager-to-work millennials who can be paid less than an older, more-experienced worker. The reality is that there is a guillotine lurking in every future and no job is secure for a lifetime anymore. It’s another argument for making yourself as invaluable as possible to the company by being willing and able to do multiple tasks.

Most boomers have gotten over the notion that they will be able to retire as young as their parents did. Now the goal is to hang on to the jobs they have for as long as possible.

5. They inflict self-damage when they joke about being tech-illiterate.
Stereotypes are bad things. And one of the popular stereotypes is that older people resist technology. It hurts them in the workplace and can be the death knell if they are job-hunting. And never mind that it isn’t a universal truth.

It’s important not to fuel the myth. Telling your younger boss that you need your teenager to program your new phone isn’t a funny joke; it’s a check mark in your “not capable” column.

6. They don’t make time to socialize with the younger people in the office.
While you may not think you have oodles in common with your decades-younger coworkers, it’s important to secure your place in the office universe.

Go out to lunch when they invite you, make time for the occasional drink after work, be interested in their weekend plans. Aside from the fact that having office friends will actually make coming to work more fun, it’s also easier to lay off the people who nobody knows.

7. They don’t actually have an exit strategy or a retirement plan.
A Fidelity study reported that 48 percent of boomers won’t be able to afford basic expenses in retirement. It begs the question: What are you doing about it?

The simplest answer is to try and save more and look for ways you are wasting money now. Another thing to think about is your housing costs, which are pretty much everyone’s big ticket item. While you are still working is the perfect time to look into more affordable places to live or how you can adapt your home expenses to be more aligned with your reduced retirement income. -Ann Brenoff

You Can Love a Company, But Can a Company Love You Back?

THIS ARTICLE IS A MUST READ!!!

company love

Since my first job selling television ad time in the early 17 century, I believed working for a company was about more than just cashing a paycheck. For me, there was always a very deep emotional connection to the place I worked. I was always proud to tell people where I worked and had great pride in the companies I worked for when I crossed the threshold every day.

It may sound naïve, but I was convinced the ‘company’ was this sentient entity that would always have my best interests at heart. I really did love it, and I believed it loved me back.

Years ago, when I had grown deeply disappointed in the company I worked for, my wife Heidi said something profound, “You can love a company, but a company can’t love you back.” She didn’t mean it as an indictment of all organizations, but as a realistic assessment that companies are collections of living breathing human beings. Some of the bosses you work for will live up to your standards and the values and direction of the corporation, but some will not. Things change, directions change. When they do, it’s time to decide if you can change to suit them, or if you need to move on.

I realized I did need to leave that company. I had been staying out of a sense of allegiance that wasn’t being reciprocated. I was going crazy watching my new leaders who I thought were headed in the wrong direction, and in turn I was driving those people crazy. It was bad for both of us.

Now, after a few decades spent consulting with some amazing organizations and leaders, what I’ve found is that while companies can’t love, great leaders and co-workers can. And those kind of positive relationships are fueled by deliberate, sustainable and vibrant corporate cultures.

The exceptional bosses who run these cultures care about their people, they challenge them with clear goals, cheer for their successes, and want them to be happy in their business and personal lives. When we find leaders like that, we typically go the extra mile and don’t want to disappoint. As the Clinton campaign might have quipped, “It’s about the boss, stupid.”

But then our boss gets promoted or transferred, and everything can change.

In its most recent research, The Gallup Organization estimates only one in 10 people truly have the potential to be a good manager. And yet in their paper “Why Great Managers are so rare,” the researchers estimate a manager accounts for at least 70 percent of employee engagement across an organization. Wow. That might explain why only 30 percent of U.S. employees are engaged. It’s as low as 13 percent worldwide.

So, what to do?

Obviously we must add value in our positions and be good at what we do. That’s a given. But what follows are three other simple things you can do to protect yourself from changes that will inevitably come in your company, so you can maintain a good attitude and positive career trajectory:

1. Surround yourself with good people.

People are the culture of a company, not the values or mission posted on a wall. Spend time with people who encourage you. Those who survive big changes often have several high-level mentors, who are not their bosses, who they can turn to for advice and who will have their back. They also choose a network of work friends as carefully as they chose their friends in their personal lives, and they nurture those relationships with time and effort.

2. Stay clear of bad bosses.

This may sound like officious advice, but it’s amazing how often individuals choose to go to work for a new boss without doing even the most basic of background checks. Bad leaders get into even the best of organizations, which means there are egotists and narcissists out there who feel lifted up when others fail, pit workers against each other, and relish in wielding unholy power. Before you accept a job with a new boss, ask a few friends who’ve worked with them about their reputation. Do they listen, do they care, do they develop others? Don’t think you can change a bad manager, you can’t.

3. Get some advice.

When things do get tough, or you are presented with an opportunity that looks promising, seek council. History’s most wise leaders all had councilors, and so should we. Seek the advice of people who have your best interests at heart: past leaders, mentors, and most of all friends and family. Trust their advice the most, just as I did with my wife Heidi. -Chester Elton

I’d love to read in the comments how you made it through a tough situation at work, or how you’ve tried to bullet proof your career against leadership changes.

Employees Quit Management, Not the Company

I quit

I have the opportunity to do a lot of Consulting for Companies – Big and Small Companies, Companies in several different industries, Newer Companies and Established “Dinosaur” Companies, etc. The point is, I have had the privilege of Consulting for just about every type of business there is out on the market. And there is almost always the same problem – companies are experiencing higher turnover than they should – generally speaking of course.

Cost of Turnover

The obvious immediate problem is the cost of replacing an employee. Dun & Bradstreet have a great article where they reference a study done by Institute forResearch on Labor and Employment at UC, Berkley. The average cost of replacing an employee is about 1.5 times their Salary. For instance, if you are filling a $60,000.00 position, with all costs incurred, it will cost your company around $90,000.00.

Instability for Customers and other Employees

When you have employees rotating in and out, and customers dealing with new people on a semi-regular basis, regardless of the viability of the company it gives the appearance of instability and a company that employees don’t even like. Turnover can be a huge cancer to your employees as well, as employees have to unexpectedly take on extra responsibilities or duties that they do not have the skill set for, yet are held accountable for their errors.

Cause of Abnormal Turnover

In almost every case, when an employee leaves a company voluntarily, it is Managements fault. Yes, there are the proverbial “nails in the coffin” which Management loves to deflect to – such as “they got offered more money”, “their work load is easier over there”, and on and on. But if Management was doing their job correctly, in almost every case none of these reasons would be enough to make them want to move to a different company.

How to Keep Low Retention

Every company is different, but these principles stay the same. Use these ideas and suggestions, but also build off of them and create custom policies that fit your company, your employees, and your companies “personality”.

  1. ALWAYS DO EXIT INTERVIEWS!!! Unless the employee is extremely hostile, make sure an immediate exit interview is done with employees that tender resignations to understand why they are leaving. And listen – do not try and persuade them that they are wrong. Just listen. For instance, even though you may know that a particular action is not happening, there may be an issue somewhere in the company where there is a “perception” problem which are making employees unhappy that needs addressed.
  2. Work Atmosphere – Work Hard, Play Hard. Create a fun atmosphere at work. Never before, especially in the US, have we demanded more productivity out our employees since we are competing in a Global Economy now. And guess what, it is tough on everyone and will run you into the ground if you let it. This is a great time to get ideas from employees – game room, relaxation room, fun “brainstorming” sessions (I will do a separate article on this at another time), daily competitions for particular KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators – Sales, Revenue, Net Profit, Calls, etc). I am a big believer in spiff’s for winning a competition or if an employee does something particularly outstanding) – whether it is a small gift card, cash, company gear – use your imagination.
  3. Knock Down The Wall Between Mid-Management and the “C” Level – One of the biggest problems are C Level Executives not knowing about problems. I am not letting C Level Exec’s off of the hook, as even though they have Managers to handle the day to day Operations, C Level Exec’s need to be “keyed” in on what is going on, and make sure that employees can confidentially come to you with an issue to be addressed before it becomes a bigger problem. But it is amazing how good some Mid-Management get at putting up a wall where if there is an issue, that employees find it difficult, if not impossible, to voice a concern that may need to be addressed.

This is just a start, and meant to keep you aware of the high cost of turnover and to be constantly improving the company to make people want to stay. No companies have zero turnover, but I have Consulted for companies with both high turnover and low turnover. For companies with a high turnover problem, if it is handled aggressively and correctly, you can turn around extremely fast. – Jacob Franklin

3 Things You Should Do While You Still Have a Job

Don’t be fooled by the recent small improvement in employment numbers. If you are in a company, division, industry, or type of job that is at risk for reduction, get moving NOW to be prepared if you are impacted. Current employees should get a “Plan B” ready now.

jobseeker

After coaching hundreds of people during my 30 year sales and marketing career and now as a professional coach, I have heard it all. Here are the top three excuses why they are not preparing for their next career move:

“It won’t happen to me; I’ve been here a long time.”

“I have no idea what I would do next.”

“Our business/company is doing just fine.”

Here are the top 3 things you should do right NOW, while you’re still employed:

1. AIM: Write out your “next job” goal with great precision, including target functions, industries, and companies. Avoid squishy goals such as “leverage my background in blah, blah, blah” or “I’m flexible so something in the retail space.” If you don’t have a list of 10 target companies, subscribe to your city’s local Business Journal and invest in their Book of Lists, as well. They have a jobs board, as well.

Why do I mention jobs boards when you aren’t even looking? Because they are the best resource to do your homework. Take your next-career-move goal statement and go and window shop on the jobs boards. Monster.com, Indeed.com , and many others are ideal for just checking out what is out there that meets your goal profile. If it doesn’t exist, then you’ve set a target on a unicorn. Change your goal so you are stating a target that exists as a real job.

2. UPDATE: Re-boot your résumé. Don’t just add your current position; give it a face-lift with keywords, power verbs, relevant skills, and metrics.

But, remember: résumés don’t get you jobs. It’s how you present yourself on top of the résumé, so prepare a draft cover letter and think about how you would position yourself to an executive of that company if you were looking.

3. NETWORK: Combine social media with face-to-face connections. Start attending industry or association events, alumni events, and any other relevant events you can identify. Use your local Business Journal to find the best events, job leads, fast-moving companies and much more.

It is more urgent now than ever before that you be ready today for something that could happen to you tomorrow. The job market is already highly competitive and job searches are taking much longer than in the past (an estimated one month for every $10K in annual pay).

We have car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, but no “Job Insurance”… build it now. There are things you should and could be doing to prepare for your next career move.

Don’t worry; you’re not sneaking behind anyone’s back. The activities you should be involved in are everyday business behavior and don’t have to be “hidden” from the public or your employer. For example, using LinkedIn. Many companies see the value of great LinkedIn profiles for their employees; they’re even teaching how to build one! However, you can still make huge progress by learning how to conduct a confidential career-building set of activities.

Don’t be caught without a “Plan B” for your career. It’s nobody’s responsibility but yours. – Dana Manciagli