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Published: Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 2:16 PM
If you skip them, you risk lost income and a problem employment record. And on an emotional level, you really want to skip hurt feelings or any behavior you might regret, even if you're steaming mad at your soon-to-be-ex-company.
"With a little planning, anyone can make a graceful exit," noted entrepreneurial expert Michael Hyatt. "Life is short. The world is small—and cold. You don't need to create any unnecessary enemies. You've already made an investment in your job. Now make one in your career. Think of the future and keep the end in mind."
Whether you've had the idea in the works for months, have a new, better position or just recently realized you can't tolerate this workplace anymore, there are essentials to cover before you tell you're boss you're leaving.
»Here are five things you absolutely must do before you quit, according to Hyatt and other business and workplace experts:
Ask yourself, "Can I really afford this?" The feeling of waking up dreading going to work is all too common, but it can't be the basis for your exit plan, according to the investment advice blog The Motley Fool. "Before you pull the trigger, you'll need to figure out whether quitting is something you can manage financially," it advised. "Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, while 39 percent have no savings at all. If you fall into either category, then you're better off sticking out your lousy job until you're able to find a new one." If you let your desire to escape a bad situation overcome financial reason, you might damage your finances and rack up debt, which will only compound your misery.
Plan to exit with dignity and honor. "How you leave a job says way more about our character than how we start," noted Hyatt. He advised avoiding bad talk about supervisors, coworkers or the company, adding, "It will only make you look small and petty. It's amazing how negative comments have a way of spreading—and moving up the org chart. It's a small world."
Even if you don't have any sort of employment contract, you do have a "duty of loyalty," noted Hyatt. "Don't grow slack in your work or let things fall through the cracks. You want to turn your position over to your successor in tip-top shape. You don't want your successor saying, 'No wonder she left. It's a miracle she wasn't fired. She left us with a mess.'"
Take everything that belongs to you. Even if you anticipate an entirely friendly parting, it's wise to get all your personal items out of the picture before you announce that you're leaving, according to HR expert and Forbes contributor Liz Ryan.
This extends to personal leave, which she advised taking before you talk about quitting, and personal files on the hard drive of the company's computer. "You've got to remove them," Ryan noted. "Leave the company files alone, of course! Those aren't yours."
Other things to start bringing home, discreetly, of course, include swag from conferences and clients and contact details of customers or vendors who are personal friends. "Get your photos, music and other important information off the company laptop or desktop machine and store them on another device, one you own," advised Ryan. "Sometimes when people give notice, they're escorted out the door right away!"
Create a short-term coverage plan. Part of the "let's not burn bridges here" approach is making sure you have a plan for who can cover your work in the near term after you leave. "That is the responsible thing to do," Ryan said. "Before you give notice, think through the options. You won't be around to implement your plan, of course, and your boss might have different ideas about the way to cover your desk until she can hire someone new. Still, the more thought you can put into the question, 'What will happen after I leave?' the better!"
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:52 PM
— No one expects to navigate the work world without the occasional argument. And it's nice to "win" when you're in the right.
But what really matters more than besting your manager or co-workers in an argument is how you handle the conflicts that are an inevitable part of work, according to a Forbes piece co-written by Travis Bradberry and Joseph Grenny.
"A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on your success," they said. "How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect and connection you have with your colleagues."
Psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne gave tips for winning arguments in any setting in Psychology Today, borrowing ideas from Israeli psychologist Eran Halperin about political conflict and interpreting them on a personal, rather than global, level.
"In an argument, your appraisal that you're losing, your belief that you need to be 'right' and the extent to which you like the other person can all have an impact on the emotions you experience," she wrote. "Your emotions can also get aroused by the desire to gain the respect of onlookers - no one enjoys being made to look ignorant in front of others, and when you feel that you're being made the fool, your outrage only increases."
Anger pretty much kills your ability to win an argument in any sense of the word "win," Whitbourne said. Instead of building to an outraged furor, she recommended six key, argument-winning tools:
Know your facts
Whitbourne reminded people of all the times they made a claim about a bit of trivia, quickly realized they were wrong, and then stuck to their guns anyhow. "This is not an ideal way to win (or enter) an argument." Stop and think before you make a blooper and you'll be less likely to lose an argument, whether it's trivial or actually important to your career.
Prepare to acknowledge the other person's point of view
You don't have to agree with your foe, but if you want to win the argument, "you do need to be able to see the world the way your opponent does. Stepping into the mental set of those you argue with allows you to figure out what's influencing them. Perhaps they're feeling threatened, anxious, or annoyed. Perhaps they know something that you don't. In any case, showing empathy will lower the temperature of the debate."
Try to be, or at least seem, open-minded
"Becoming defensive is one of the worst ways to win an argument. Don't let your opponent sense that you're digging into your position without being willing to consider alternatives. And if you let your opponent speak, he might come to your side without your having to do anything other than listen."
Keep your emotions in check
Halperin's research revealed how important emotions are in determining your ability to appraise situations. "If you lose your temper, you'll only antagonize your opponent, which will further heighten his or her wrath, and the process can only escalate upwards," Whitbourne explained. Worried that you'll seem weak if you suddenly become calm in the middle of the argument? Don't worry. You'll gain points by showing self-control.
Stay hopeful that the argument can be resolved
Arguments can stir up negative emotions. If you're in the midst of a screaming fest, it's tough to envision a resolution where you still have your dignity intact. But strive to stay optimistic. "Invoking the feeling of hope allows you to think more clearly, leading to the possibility that you'll win by sheer force of logic." If you believe there's a way out, you're more likely to find one. "This is what happens in ordinary problem-solving, when thinking outside of the box can help all sides come up with a solution. Such an 'aha' moment in an argument can lead you straight to victory."
Respect your opponent
You may not emerge as the clear victor in an argument, or you may get your way but make your business relationship worse. It's important not to insult or degrade your opponent during the conflict. "Even if the individual is someone you'll never see again, it's still important to show that you meant 'nothing personal' in the dispute."
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:29 PM
— Whether it's the teen who'd like extra money for things like clothes or gas or a parent who'd like to see their high school or college-aged child get off the couch when school’s out, a part-time job can be a wonderful thing.
Of course, child labor laws dictate how young is too young to work and what hours (and under what conditions) older teens can work. They'll eliminate a few job options for teens, but there are still plenty of places to work.
Just keep in mind a few things, according to the team at Localwise: "It's important to be able to get to your job easily and relatively stress-free." They also advised teens to make sure the job fits with their schedule and note any unique experience a job might require before applying.
»Localwise and other employment bloggers recommended these eight part-time jobs for full-time teens:
Barista: "Working as a barista will hone your skills at making the perfect cup," Localwise noted. If you can hack the early morning shifts, it also gives you a chance to become a coffee snob.
Juice/smoothie shop cashier: "The only thing you need to know going into this job is how not to stick your hand into a blender," Localwise joked. There is also a little math involved, so overall this job is great for teens looking for money-handling experience or who are interested in non-greasey fast food work.
Lifeguard: Localwise considers this job as "close to Super Hero as it gets." While lifeguard jobs can involve winter hours at health clubs and indoor pools, they're more likely to be available in the warm months. Check into water parks too. Be sure to find out where you'll get your CPR training and lifeguard certification - and who pays for it.
Caddy: One of Localwise's "best paying jobs for teens," caddies can make $50 to $100 in a day, sometimes in cash, and you can choose your own hours. You do need to know your way around a golf course and be able to walk and lift equipment, though.
Product merchandiser: Teens can flourish on the sales floor of a shop, restocking, taking inventory and styling display mannequins. Expect to make around $12.50 per hour in this position, according to Localwise.
Car wash attendant: Money Crashers highly recommended working at a car wash for students who like to stay busy at work, like to have a shiny car themselves (since they can probably get washing services free) and would appreciate the occasional tip in adddition to minimum wage.
Packing and moving services: If you like to stay active and are organized, look into working for a bonded and insured moving company as an assistant for packing and moving personal possessions.
Photo scanner and archivist: Teens whose schedules are chock-full of activities and high-pressure homework can still take on work if they concentrate on side hustles instead of employer-based schedules, according to Money Crashers. One good idea scanning and archiving documents and photos. "No one has the time to tackle this time-consuming task," Money Crashers noted.
How to help your teen get a job
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 4:56 PM
— Certainly, it's ironic that it costs money to work to make money to pay your bills. But if you haven't considered how much you spend on the expenses of working, from commutes to coffee, you may be missing significant ways to cut back your personal expenses.
These tactics are even more important if you're considering cutting back on your work hours in the near future, or another upcoming event in your life will necessitate saving money in all areas.
Cutting back on work expenses may be far easier than you think, according to frugal bloggers. And there are side benefits like improved health from walking instead of always taking a cab, or packing a lunch instead of eating fast food.
Here are eight quick money-saving ideas to consider:
Consider sharing your ride. If your work involves a lengthy commute, or even a short one, you may be kissing hundreds of dollars a year goodbye in commute expenses. One way to save the big bucks, according to Marie Claire, is simply to find someone to carpool with. If you're feeling adventurous, check out erideshare.com to hitch a ride with a friend you haven't met yet.
Cut gas costs while you're driving. Keep your heater or AC on just long enough to get your car to the right temperature, or roll down your windows to save gas money.
Double check the bus and train fares. Marie Claire suggested re-checking your route and pinpointing the place at which your commuting fare goes up. "If you can save a few bucks a day by getting off two blocks earlier, it might be worth the extra cash," it noted.
Walk on by expensive hosiery. If you're habitually spending $40 a pair for hosiery that adheres to your company's dress code, cut it out, Real Simple recommended. "That $40 pair may take a little longer to ladder, but in winter especially, you're usually better off buying multiple pairs of cheaper tights than one or two pairs of expensive ones, New York-based image consultant Annie Brumbaugh told RS.
If you're in a white-collar career, buy one really good jacket. Instead of spending lots of time and money coming up with new business outfits each week, buy a quality jacket and base your wardrobe on that. "A very good jacket can do a lot for your overall look," Brumbaugh said. "You could wear just a T-shirt and jeans, but an expensive, fabulous jacket upgrades your outfit." RS advised to look for a jacket that fits the widest part of your body and if your bust is large, buy a jacket that will close over your chest. In any case, have a reputable tailor fit the jacket so you can wear it with several outfits a week.
Protect those expensive work shoes. Instead of buying lots of inexpensive shoes that won't last or continually replacing one high-quality pair, Brumbaugh recommended buying high quality in a style you can wear daily. To protect that investment, have your good work shoes weatherproofed and the soles reinforced with rubber at a shoe repair shop.
Break the fast food lunch habit. Eating lunch from home instead of greasy fast food may be one of the easiest ways to start saving money, according to the Balance. "Food prices are going up, and it is common to spend around $7.00 or $8.00 a meal at a fast food restaurant," it said. "If you add this up for lunches, it would be around $40 a week or $200 a month. This is just for one person for one meal."
To make eating lunch at work easier, the Balance recommended packing a lunch the night before and carrying it to a park to eat if you can't bear to stay at your desk while you eat. "Frozen dinners and soup are a good fallback for the days you didn't have time to prep a lunch," the Balance noted.
Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 @ 10:58 AM
— Since you spend so much time at work, of course you want to have friends there! But whether you're enjoying the nonphysical, non-romantic friendship of a "work spouse" or have numerous buddies at the office, some friendships do more harm than good.
According to workplace and psychology experts, these are six signs you might need to end a workplace friendship:
Your friend needs you... all the time. "Women tend to rely on their friends more heavily for emotional sustenance," Irene S. Levine, psychologist and author of Best Friends Forever, told Real Simple. "But if someone is constantly depending on you, that's when it's toxic." An overly-needy buddy will exhaust you and take up precious workplace time, with demands that range from acting as her consultant on every decision to requesting financial help.
You're on a rollercoaster. Similar to off-hours friendships, a workplace friendship that goes up and down and around might need to come to an end, according to Levine. "The unpredictability takes a toll on you," she said. "It can make you anxious, nervous, or depressed when you don't know what to expect from a friend whom you're supposed to rely on."
Your "work spouse" is showing signs of too much attachment. If your go-to work partner is now closing the door each time you meet, scheduling lots of after-hours activities that don't really have much to do with work or spending every hour in your cubicle, you may want to pull back a bit, according to Monster.com. Even if you don't have a spouse waiting at home, you want co-workers to know that your workplace relationship is on the up and up. Aside from stopping the rumor mill, you also want to let other colleagues know they are appreciated and equal.
A work friend wants you to do their chores. A friend who's taking advantage of you should cease being a friend, starting tomorrow. You can assume you really are charming and co-workers like spending time with you, but only up to a point, according to U.S. News. If a recent friend, or even a long-time pal, starts asking you to take on some of their work, it's time to question the validity of your connection. "More devious types may simply be the equivalent of that kid who, during group projects, unloaded all the work on you and walked away with an 'A' on the project," U.S. News noted. "You're mature now, so don't let that happen ... again."
Colleagues essentially consider you the same person. If you're so close to a co-worker that people literally cannot distinguish you, your friendship is depriving you of a chance to shine as an individual and take on new challenges, said psychologist Andrea Bonior in Psychology Today. You'll also suffer from any negative parts of your friend's reputation or job performance. "Don't let your bosom-buddyhood keep you from being seen as your own person," Bonior said.
It would be too drastic to end such a friendship, but you should definitely seek other buddies at work, ask to be put on separate projects occasionally and ask others for input when you can, not always your work twin.
Your supposed friend betrays you. A friend who betrays a bond doesn't get a pass just because it happened at work, according to Levine. Don't ignore that gut feeling telling you it's a big deal. Any betrayal is a sign to reevaluate the relationship.