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Archive for April, 2010

Monster Acquires Yahoo HotJobs for $225 Million

Monster, best known for its online employment website, has just announced that it has acquired Yahoo HotJobs from the Internet giant for $225 million in cash. Yahoo and Monster have also entered a 3 year traffic deal as part of the acquisition.

Yahoo’s HotJobs service works as you might expect any job website to function. However, the power of the Yahoo brand and some useful job hunting tools have made it one of the world’s largest job recruiting websites. Monster, while larger, stands to benefit in terms of traffic and new users.

The deal gives Monster control over the assets behind Yahoo HotJobs, along with a three-year deal that makes Monster the official tool for career and job content on Yahoo, including on its highly-trafficked home page. Monster will provide “performance based annual payments calculated by clicks and expressions of interest, subject to annual floors and ceilings” in return for the traffic Yahoo will provide.

By Ben Parr

If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Monster Acquires Yahoo HotJobs for $225 Million

Monster, best known for its online employment website, has just announced that it has acquired Yahoo HotJobs from the Internet giant for $225 million in cash. Yahoo and Monster have also entered a 3 year traffic deal as part of the acquisition.

Yahoo’s HotJobs service works as you might expect any job website to function. However, the power of the Yahoo brand and some useful job hunting tools have made it one of the world’s largest job recruiting websites. Monster, while larger, stands to benefit in terms of traffic and new users.

The deal gives Monster control over the assets behind Yahoo HotJobs, along with a three-year deal that makes Monster the official tool for career and job content on Yahoo, including on its highly-trafficked home page. Monster will provide “performance based annual payments calculated by clicks and expressions of interest, subject to annual floors and ceilings” in return for the traffic Yahoo will provide.

By Ben Parr

If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

It’s Wrong to Friend Your Boss on Facebook [SURVEY]

According to a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project, 56% of Americans think it’s “irresponsible” to friend your boss on Facebook, while 62% of bosses agree it’s wrong to friend an employee.

Reuters reports on other interesting results from the survey, including that 73% think it’s not OK to check Facebook at work, but 66% say checking personal e-mail is fine. Tweeting while at work is considered irresponsible for 72% of respondents, and watching online videos is wrong for 79%.

Other findings from the study include a fairly even split on whether companies are ethically in the clear when using social media profiles to assess job candidates: 52% think it’s appropriate with 48% dissenting. In the relationships department, a full 60% think it’s perfectly fine to unfriend an ex after a breakup. And despite the complexity of most of the social responsibility responses, one particular practice draws the ire of a majority 75% of respondents, who feel that it’s “egotistical and a waste of time” to build a Facebook profile for a pet.

The biggest caveat with these study results is the sample size: the project only polled 1,000 people. Nevertheless, it uncovers some interesting issues at the intersection of social media and the workplace that will likely become more, not less, thorny in the future.

What do you think: Is it OK to friend your boss or your employees on Facebook? In what contexts does it become more or less appropriate to do so?

By Barb Dybwad

If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

It’s Wrong to Friend Your Boss on Facebook [SURVEY]

According to a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project, 56% of Americans think it’s “irresponsible” to friend your boss on Facebook, while 62% of bosses agree it’s wrong to friend an employee.

Reuters reports on other interesting results from the survey, including that 73% think it’s not OK to check Facebook at work, but 66% say checking personal e-mail is fine. Tweeting while at work is considered irresponsible for 72% of respondents, and watching online videos is wrong for 79%.

Other findings from the study include a fairly even split on whether companies are ethically in the clear when using social media profiles to assess job candidates: 52% think it’s appropriate with 48% dissenting. In the relationships department, a full 60% think it’s perfectly fine to unfriend an ex after a breakup. And despite the complexity of most of the social responsibility responses, one particular practice draws the ire of a majority 75% of respondents, who feel that it’s “egotistical and a waste of time” to build a Facebook profile for a pet.

The biggest caveat with these study results is the sample size: the project only polled 1,000 people. Nevertheless, it uncovers some interesting issues at the intersection of social media and the workplace that will likely become more, not less, thorny in the future.

What do you think: Is it OK to friend your boss or your employees on Facebook? In what contexts does it become more or less appropriate to do so?

By Barb Dybwad

If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

18 Sites for Finding Startup Jobs

Though it may seem like many of the job opportunities in the United States have dried up as of late, you can find a wealth of job postings on the Web that may be right up your alley. From programmers to promotions, there are many startup companies looking to hire just the right people for the positions they have open. These 18 services represent a mixture of well-known mainstream sites and companies that focus on nothing more than listings in the Web 2.0/startup market.

Have you had success using these sites? Tell us more in the comments.

General Job Site Startup Listings
AOL.CareerBuilder.com – The nice thing about the AOL.CareerBuilder.com site is that you have the salary range listed on the summary page as opposed to having to go into each listing.

Jobster.com – While they have a startups section, finding Microsoft intermixed in their thousands of listings makes you think it’s more a general technology area.

Monster.com – One of the longest running online job sites has numerous job listings for startups that you can search by company, date, job title or relevance.

Yahoo Hot Jobs – Yahoo’s job listings includes numerous listings for jobs at startups, most of them seem to be centered on the technical side.

Startup Specific

AsiaWired.com – Looking for startups in Asia? This may be the solution for you.

CoNotes.com – Focusing on nothing but jobs at startups, CoNotes has been around since 2007.

Dice.com – Browse jobs by city or pull up the category that applies to your skill set.

ejob.com – ejob focuses on staffing needs in and around Silicon Valley.

GoBigNetwork.com – A one-stop-shop for startups to form business plans, find funding and locate employees that can fulfill their needs.

HotStartupJobs.com – Aggregates startup listings from a multitude of sites.

Jobs.Mashable.com – Our very own marketplace features categories for listing jobs and looking for them also.

NeoHire.com – Lets you look up jobs by category, add them to your basket as you find ones that interest you and then apply to all of the ones you’ve saved.

nPost.com – Besides offering numerous job listings at startups, they have 225+ interviews with people from some of the companies explaining what they are about and what they are looking for in an employee.

StartupAgents.com – Both startups and potential employees can set up profiles to try to find the perfect match for each other. The service is completely free to potential employees, but will cost employers to contact potential hires.

StartupJobs.biz – A small jobs board with unique listings that you can search by type of job or occupation.

Startuply.com – Covers various industries related to Web 2.0 and startups, lets you also browse by job type.

StartupZone.com – Allows you to search jobs by occupation, location or even what stage of funding they are in.

VentureLoop.com – Provides internship listings for students at certain schools and has job listings you can search by country or occupation.

By Sean P. Aune

You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, Visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

18 Sites for Finding Startup Jobs

Though it may seem like many of the job opportunities in the United States have dried up as of late, you can find a wealth of job postings on the Web that may be right up your alley. From programmers to promotions, there are many startup companies looking to hire just the right people for the positions they have open. These 18 services represent a mixture of well-known mainstream sites and companies that focus on nothing more than listings in the Web 2.0/startup market.

Have you had success using these sites? Tell us more in the comments.

General Job Site Startup Listings
AOL.CareerBuilder.com – The nice thing about the AOL.CareerBuilder.com site is that you have the salary range listed on the summary page as opposed to having to go into each listing.

Jobster.com – While they have a startups section, finding Microsoft intermixed in their thousands of listings makes you think it’s more a general technology area.

Monster.com – One of the longest running online job sites has numerous job listings for startups that you can search by company, date, job title or relevance.

Yahoo Hot Jobs – Yahoo’s job listings includes numerous listings for jobs at startups, most of them seem to be centered on the technical side.

Startup Specific

AsiaWired.com – Looking for startups in Asia? This may be the solution for you.

CoNotes.com – Focusing on nothing but jobs at startups, CoNotes has been around since 2007.

Dice.com – Browse jobs by city or pull up the category that applies to your skill set.

ejob.com – ejob focuses on staffing needs in and around Silicon Valley.

GoBigNetwork.com – A one-stop-shop for startups to form business plans, find funding and locate employees that can fulfill their needs.

HotStartupJobs.com – Aggregates startup listings from a multitude of sites.

Jobs.Mashable.com – Our very own marketplace features categories for listing jobs and looking for them also.

NeoHire.com – Lets you look up jobs by category, add them to your basket as you find ones that interest you and then apply to all of the ones you’ve saved.

nPost.com – Besides offering numerous job listings at startups, they have 225+ interviews with people from some of the companies explaining what they are about and what they are looking for in an employee.

StartupAgents.com – Both startups and potential employees can set up profiles to try to find the perfect match for each other. The service is completely free to potential employees, but will cost employers to contact potential hires.

StartupJobs.biz – A small jobs board with unique listings that you can search by type of job or occupation.

Startuply.com – Covers various industries related to Web 2.0 and startups, lets you also browse by job type.

StartupZone.com – Allows you to search jobs by occupation, location or even what stage of funding they are in.

VentureLoop.com – Provides internship listings for students at certain schools and has job listings you can search by country or occupation.

By Sean P. Aune

You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, Visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Building Your Career Portfolio: Four Career Investments for a Purposeful Lifetime

“When I was laid off, I was shaking so badly that I didn’t know whether I could drive home,” said Kristin, 32, a mother of three who lost a public relations job. “My heart was pounding and I felt disassociated, like the whole thing was a bad dream.”

After working at the same company for five years, David, 36, was escorted out of his building after being informed that the company was heading in a new direction and no longer needed his type of skills.

Shock, rootlessness and anger are just a few normal responses many feel when they lose their jobs to corporate downsizing. Since the national crisis on Sept. 11, the U.S. Dept. of Labor states that jobless claims are approaching 700,000 across the U.S. the highest in nearly a decade.

How can you mitigate career risk — otherwise known as the pitfalls of marketplace change, economic turndowns, downsizing, personal health and life changes, and distasteful company politics that can wreck havoc with one’s life?

The answer lies in building a CareerPortfolio™, a career risk management approach, similar to building a financial portfolio, that can help you develop four, specific career assets, or “investments.” Why four? Because these four ingredients offer a well-balanced opportunity for you to earn, learn, and help others throughout the rest of your life. And, like a financial portfolio, you can diversify risk so that you always have a number of career options on tap.

Begin with a Personal Purpose
To build a CareerPortfolio, start by developing your personal purpose. Your personal purpose is your investment strategy that guides all of your career decisions.

Begin by answering the following questions.  

  1. How would I like to be remembered 100 years from now?
  2. What am I passionate about?
  3. Two projects when I made a difference in recent years are (list them):
Now think about the big picture and write down the purpose of your life by filling in the blank: The purpose of my life is to____________________________.

You can revise your personal purpose statement as needed. It will help you decide what types of opportunities are worth pursuing. You will become purposeful rather than just “busy.”

Develop Your CareerPortfolio™
Now, it’s time to assess the kinds of career assets you either may want to develop. If you have two or more of the following career assets working in your life, you will be building optimal career wealth over time.

  1. Primary Income Investment — your job, or business that you own, where the majority of your financial income is earned.
  2. Secondary Income Investment — an optional, alternate source of income that allows you to gain additional knowledge, career options, income, and sense of purpose. Not everyone is destined to own a business. However, those who choose to develop a business or occasional side project can start out small, and grow the business over time.
  3. Volunteer Investment — finding one or more ways to reach out to your community in a way that is meaningful to you. When volunteerism supports your personal purpose, you can gain new skills and meet valuable new contacts, all while making a difference in your world.
  4. Lifelong Learning Investment — including mentorship, focused reading and education.
Once you identify your desired career assets, you can put together a step-by-step plan for building your CareerPortfolio. Your overall life goals, available time, the ability to balance work and family, and stage of your life all should factor into your decision-making.

A CareerPortfolio in Phoenix
Pam Overton, partner in the national law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Attorneys at Law, has built a CareerPortfolio comprising three major career investments: Primary, Volunteer, and Lifelong Learning.

Pam’s personal purpose is to excel at her career, while supporting her family and placing them as her No. 1 priority. Her purpose includes having a strong charitable and spiritual life to add perspective and balance.

Her Primary Income Investment is her litigation practice, which focuses on complex litigation, business torts, breach of contract and condemnation matters. In this role, Pam won the Golden Heart of Business Award in 2000. She also was recognized by Today’s Arizona Woman Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Business Women in the State of Arizona” for two consecutive years.

Pam’s Volunteer Investments include serving on the board of directors for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping women who need assistance in career, financial and life skills to better their futures. This board of powerful community movers and shakers provides Pam an opportunity to learn leadership skills, provide value to the organization, and learn more about community issues.

Pam’s additional Volunteer Investments include supporting cancer and heart research and development. She has dedicated many fundraising hours at All Saints’ Episcopal Day School where her children attend school, integrating volunteer service with family life.

For Lifelong Learning Investments, Pam is a member of several lawyer’s professional associations and has served on the Arizona State Bar’s Ethics Committee, sharing and gaining insight which ultimately benefits her clients.

“All of these career investments add valuable perspective to my career and bring opportunities to learn and build lasting friendships,” Pam said.

Pam reviews her career investments periodically to ensure balance, as she and her husband raise their three children.

If you have two or more CareerPortfolio assets in place, you will be far more flexible and confident to face future career changes. Regardless of your age or place in life, it’s never too late to build a purposeful and rewarding CareerPortfolio.

by Carol A. Poore

If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books for Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, CompTIA, Sun, IBM, HP and many more.

Building Your Career Portfolio: Four Career Investments for a Purposeful Lifetime

“When I was laid off, I was shaking so badly that I didn’t know whether I could drive home,” said Kristin, 32, a mother of three who lost a public relations job. “My heart was pounding and I felt disassociated, like the whole thing was a bad dream.”

After working at the same company for five years, David, 36, was escorted out of his building after being informed that the company was heading in a new direction and no longer needed his type of skills.

Shock, rootlessness and anger are just a few normal responses many feel when they lose their jobs to corporate downsizing. Since the national crisis on Sept. 11, the U.S. Dept. of Labor states that jobless claims are approaching 700,000 across the U.S. the highest in nearly a decade.

How can you mitigate career risk — otherwise known as the pitfalls of marketplace change, economic turndowns, downsizing, personal health and life changes, and distasteful company politics that can wreck havoc with one’s life?

The answer lies in building a CareerPortfolio™, a career risk management approach, similar to building a financial portfolio, that can help you develop four, specific career assets, or “investments.” Why four? Because these four ingredients offer a well-balanced opportunity for you to earn, learn, and help others throughout the rest of your life. And, like a financial portfolio, you can diversify risk so that you always have a number of career options on tap.

Begin with a Personal Purpose
To build a CareerPortfolio, start by developing your personal purpose. Your personal purpose is your investment strategy that guides all of your career decisions.

Begin by answering the following questions.  

  1. How would I like to be remembered 100 years from now?
  2. What am I passionate about?
  3. Two projects when I made a difference in recent years are (list them):
Now think about the big picture and write down the purpose of your life by filling in the blank: The purpose of my life is to____________________________.

You can revise your personal purpose statement as needed. It will help you decide what types of opportunities are worth pursuing. You will become purposeful rather than just “busy.”

Develop Your CareerPortfolio™
Now, it’s time to assess the kinds of career assets you either may want to develop. If you have two or more of the following career assets working in your life, you will be building optimal career wealth over time.

  1. Primary Income Investment — your job, or business that you own, where the majority of your financial income is earned.
  2. Secondary Income Investment — an optional, alternate source of income that allows you to gain additional knowledge, career options, income, and sense of purpose. Not everyone is destined to own a business. However, those who choose to develop a business or occasional side project can start out small, and grow the business over time.
  3. Volunteer Investment — finding one or more ways to reach out to your community in a way that is meaningful to you. When volunteerism supports your personal purpose, you can gain new skills and meet valuable new contacts, all while making a difference in your world.
  4. Lifelong Learning Investment — including mentorship, focused reading and education.
Once you identify your desired career assets, you can put together a step-by-step plan for building your CareerPortfolio. Your overall life goals, available time, the ability to balance work and family, and stage of your life all should factor into your decision-making.

A CareerPortfolio in Phoenix
Pam Overton, partner in the national law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Attorneys at Law, has built a CareerPortfolio comprising three major career investments: Primary, Volunteer, and Lifelong Learning.

Pam’s personal purpose is to excel at her career, while supporting her family and placing them as her No. 1 priority. Her purpose includes having a strong charitable and spiritual life to add perspective and balance.

Her Primary Income Investment is her litigation practice, which focuses on complex litigation, business torts, breach of contract and condemnation matters. In this role, Pam won the Golden Heart of Business Award in 2000. She also was recognized by Today’s Arizona Woman Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Business Women in the State of Arizona” for two consecutive years.

Pam’s Volunteer Investments include serving on the board of directors for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping women who need assistance in career, financial and life skills to better their futures. This board of powerful community movers and shakers provides Pam an opportunity to learn leadership skills, provide value to the organization, and learn more about community issues.

Pam’s additional Volunteer Investments include supporting cancer and heart research and development. She has dedicated many fundraising hours at All Saints’ Episcopal Day School where her children attend school, integrating volunteer service with family life.

For Lifelong Learning Investments, Pam is a member of several lawyer’s professional associations and has served on the Arizona State Bar’s Ethics Committee, sharing and gaining insight which ultimately benefits her clients.

“All of these career investments add valuable perspective to my career and bring opportunities to learn and build lasting friendships,” Pam said.

Pam reviews her career investments periodically to ensure balance, as she and her husband raise their three children.

If you have two or more CareerPortfolio assets in place, you will be far more flexible and confident to face future career changes. Regardless of your age or place in life, it’s never too late to build a purposeful and rewarding CareerPortfolio.

by Carol A. Poore

If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books for Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, CompTIA, Sun, IBM, HP and many more.

Developing Your Job/Career/Life Survival Plan: Preparing for the Possibility of Losing Your Job in Weak Economic Times

Let’s start with something positive: the job market will get better. Even though we are bombarded with news of company collapses, massive layoffs, and talk of the unemployment rate hitting close to 8 percent in 2009, we should stay focused on the things we can control which include things like upholding strong job performance, building a strong internal and external brand, and keeping a strong hold on the reality of your situation.

In any economy, no one’s job is safe, but in a weak and unstable economy, the concept of job security goes off the table. What can you do to prepare yourself for this type of work environment? Here are 10 steps to developing your job, career, and life survival plan.

1. Don’t stick your head in the sand. While it’s a natural inclination to avoid or hide from bad or potentially bad news, you must stay alert to the signs that your company or your job (or both) are in trouble. Numerous signs will suggest that your job may be in jeopardy, including problems the company is facing (such as corporate restructuring, big drop in earnings, and rumors of a merger or acquisition) and factors related to you and your job (such as being reassigned from strategic projects, not being invited to key team meetings, and negative comments from your boss). Once you see the evidence stacking up, jump into action to protect yourself, your job, your marketability, your finances, and your family.

2. Create or strengthen your distinctive niche/personal brand. Most of us, in normal times, don’t spend a lot of time on our careers. We’re so focused on doing our job to the best of our abilities that we sometimes lose sight on the importance of building and promoting our career brand. While your job is not in jeopardy, you should be taking advantage of your employer’s benefits to further your education, training, and certifications. But even when your job is in jeopardy, track your accomplishments weekly and develop a clear and distinctive niche — a personal brand — that you can use as a key tool to find your next job. Of course along with building your brand, you also need to retool your resume, polish your interviewing strategy, and seek opportunities through a variety of methods (including the all-important method of networking, step #4).

3. Develop a career strategy with multiple options. You always want options, but in a bad economy or when trying to safely jump from a dying organization, job-seekers need a strategy with multiple options… you need not only Plan A, but also Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D. Your main career goal should be your top option, such as another job in the same field. But when you face the possibility of getting downsized, it’s also an opportunity to evaluate what you really want to do in the next phase of your life — which might include changing careers. You also may need to consider taking an interim job, such as temporary work or consulting. A final option to have on the table is simply a job that will pay the bills until things get better (what experts call a survival job — see step #9). Even if you’re the type that hates planning, now is the time to map out some potential exit strategies that are best for you. And, most importantly when conducting your planning, follow Apple’s strategy and “think different” to uncover multiple career options.

4. Stay connected with your network. If your industry is contracting and/or your employer is likely to announce a company-wide restructuring and downsizing, chances are most people in your network have already heard the rumors. Too often in times of trouble when we should be reaching out to our network of friends and contacts for their assistance we hide in shame or embarrassment. Bad things happen to all of us at one time or another. Swallow the bitter pill as quickly as possible and begin talking, phoning, and emailing all the people in your circle from friends and family to former co-workers and bosses. Seek their advice and ask for information about people they know who may be hiring. In other words, your mission is to seek job leads that you can lead you to a new job. Along the way, you can also ask for career advice.

5. Get organized at work, gathering contacts and resources. While it is certainly not time to panic or cause panic it is a good time to get things in order in case a downsizing occurs, and especially if it is one in which employees are told at the end of the business day to vacate the premises and not return. So, move all your personal files to a flash drive that you can remove at a moment’s notice. Have your file of performance reviews and what I call “kudos comments” (boss, co-worker, or customer spontaneous notes to you about your good work) on your desk or in a handy location. Personally, I would bring them home today so that I don’t accidentally forget them. It’s also a good time to quietly gather co-workers’ personal email addresses and ask a few key people whether they would serve as references for you should anything happen. Of course, also provide your information to others and agree to serve as references for them. If possible, request a copy of your personnel file “for your records.” If your employer is offering severance packages to people at your job level, you should read all the details even if you are positive you want to stay with the employer.

6. Prepare your finances by developing a conservative budget. One of the things that many downsized workers do is to keep spending at a level beyond their means it’s kind of a way to protect their ego from the reality of the situation which just makes matters worse when the bills arrive. Instead, prepare yourself ahead of time and start making adjustments to your budget now so that perhaps you’ll even have a cushion to fall back on if the layoffs become a reality. You can always find some non-essential items in everyone’s daily or weekly spending, whether cutting back on eating out or walking the few blocks to work rather than taking the bus or subway. Find ways to become more thrifty. If you have any kind of company-based pension plan, now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the options from rolling it into your next employer’s plan to being able to withdraw money to afford your housing, fuel, or food costs.

7. Make use of all your benefits before they disappear. While some employers may pay you for any unused vacation days if you’re laid off, many others will not and none will pay you for unused personal days, comp time, or sick days. So, you might consider taking some time ideally to find a job with a more stable employer. And if you have employer-based health benefits, now is the time to schedule that physical, eye exam, or dental appointment. While you can buy extended health coverage if you are terminated, expect the costs to be double or triple or even higher than what you had been paying. If you have unreimbursed expenses, submit those receipts as soon as possible. If your employer still has a professional development budget and you find a seminar, class, or certification that can improve your job performance (as well as make you more marketable when job-hunting), go for it.

8. Put together a layoff plan. No one likes planning for bad scenarios, but it makes sense to be prepared for the worst. No matter how much you try to prepare for it, the shock of a layoff is traumatic — and you will not be able to think straight for quite some time. So, it’s best to develop a plan now, while you are thinking normally. Ideally, develop a one, three, and six-month plan to cover the time you may be unemployed. (In a really bad economy, you might want to also develop a one-year plan.) You’ll want to include in the plan contingencies such as money set aside in a layoff fund for the most basic bills; a strategy for telling your partner, family, and your network; a home-equity or line of credit for emergency use; a quiet place in which you can base your new job-search; a revised resume showcasing your skills and accomplishments; and a list of job-support organizations and groups. You may also want to include a list of financial and job-search resources, such as the location of the local unemployment office or one-stop career center.

9. Consider a survival job to pay the bills. Depending on the economy, your industry, and your profession, you may not be able to find a job at the same level as you had before the layoff. Never give up on finding that job (or one at a higher level), but there may come a time when you are close to exhausting your savings and other financial resources when you’ll be forced to make a decision about how long you can last without any job and how well you can handle a working in a job that you feel is beneath you but one that will help pay the most basic of bills. Taking a survival job can be a humbling experience. You’ll need to check your ego at the door, and you’ll probably work longer and harder hours than you have in years.

10. Find support from family and friends and keep a positive outlook. Besides getting a good handle on your finances, the next most important thing you can do is seek the solace of family and friends (rather than hiding the news from them, which many laid off workers attempt to do). Family and friends can help mend your ego and emotions by providing the positive support you’ll need. If you are like most people, you’ll need to work out your feelings of anger, embarrassment, fear, and others that typically follow a layoff and while some of that will need to be done on your own, the more people giving you positive reinforcement, the faster your recovery.

Final Thoughts
While you never know what to expect when your employer is struggling to survive in a weak economy, the chances that you might be downsized increase greatly no matter what your job and you can better prepare yourself for the worst possible outcome by developing a plan to assist you in getting through the situation. What’s the worst that could happen? You waste a few hours developing a plan you never have to use? That’s the best scenario!

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

You should be well equipped with these most in-demand I.T Certifications/Exams, Before searching any job, visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

Developing Your Job/Career/Life Survival Plan: Preparing for the Possibility of Losing Your Job in Weak Economic Times

Let’s start with something positive: the job market will get better. Even though we are bombarded with news of company collapses, massive layoffs, and talk of the unemployment rate hitting close to 8 percent in 2009, we should stay focused on the things we can control which include things like upholding strong job performance, building a strong internal and external brand, and keeping a strong hold on the reality of your situation.

In any economy, no one’s job is safe, but in a weak and unstable economy, the concept of job security goes off the table. What can you do to prepare yourself for this type of work environment? Here are 10 steps to developing your job, career, and life survival plan.

1. Don’t stick your head in the sand. While it’s a natural inclination to avoid or hide from bad or potentially bad news, you must stay alert to the signs that your company or your job (or both) are in trouble. Numerous signs will suggest that your job may be in jeopardy, including problems the company is facing (such as corporate restructuring, big drop in earnings, and rumors of a merger or acquisition) and factors related to you and your job (such as being reassigned from strategic projects, not being invited to key team meetings, and negative comments from your boss). Once you see the evidence stacking up, jump into action to protect yourself, your job, your marketability, your finances, and your family.

2. Create or strengthen your distinctive niche/personal brand. Most of us, in normal times, don’t spend a lot of time on our careers. We’re so focused on doing our job to the best of our abilities that we sometimes lose sight on the importance of building and promoting our career brand. While your job is not in jeopardy, you should be taking advantage of your employer’s benefits to further your education, training, and certifications. But even when your job is in jeopardy, track your accomplishments weekly and develop a clear and distinctive niche — a personal brand — that you can use as a key tool to find your next job. Of course along with building your brand, you also need to retool your resume, polish your interviewing strategy, and seek opportunities through a variety of methods (including the all-important method of networking, step #4).

3. Develop a career strategy with multiple options. You always want options, but in a bad economy or when trying to safely jump from a dying organization, job-seekers need a strategy with multiple options… you need not only Plan A, but also Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D. Your main career goal should be your top option, such as another job in the same field. But when you face the possibility of getting downsized, it’s also an opportunity to evaluate what you really want to do in the next phase of your life — which might include changing careers. You also may need to consider taking an interim job, such as temporary work or consulting. A final option to have on the table is simply a job that will pay the bills until things get better (what experts call a survival job — see step #9). Even if you’re the type that hates planning, now is the time to map out some potential exit strategies that are best for you. And, most importantly when conducting your planning, follow Apple’s strategy and “think different” to uncover multiple career options.

4. Stay connected with your network. If your industry is contracting and/or your employer is likely to announce a company-wide restructuring and downsizing, chances are most people in your network have already heard the rumors. Too often in times of trouble when we should be reaching out to our network of friends and contacts for their assistance we hide in shame or embarrassment. Bad things happen to all of us at one time or another. Swallow the bitter pill as quickly as possible and begin talking, phoning, and emailing all the people in your circle from friends and family to former co-workers and bosses. Seek their advice and ask for information about people they know who may be hiring. In other words, your mission is to seek job leads that you can lead you to a new job. Along the way, you can also ask for career advice.

5. Get organized at work, gathering contacts and resources. While it is certainly not time to panic or cause panic it is a good time to get things in order in case a downsizing occurs, and especially if it is one in which employees are told at the end of the business day to vacate the premises and not return. So, move all your personal files to a flash drive that you can remove at a moment’s notice. Have your file of performance reviews and what I call “kudos comments” (boss, co-worker, or customer spontaneous notes to you about your good work) on your desk or in a handy location. Personally, I would bring them home today so that I don’t accidentally forget them. It’s also a good time to quietly gather co-workers’ personal email addresses and ask a few key people whether they would serve as references for you should anything happen. Of course, also provide your information to others and agree to serve as references for them. If possible, request a copy of your personnel file “for your records.” If your employer is offering severance packages to people at your job level, you should read all the details even if you are positive you want to stay with the employer.

6. Prepare your finances by developing a conservative budget. One of the things that many downsized workers do is to keep spending at a level beyond their means it’s kind of a way to protect their ego from the reality of the situation which just makes matters worse when the bills arrive. Instead, prepare yourself ahead of time and start making adjustments to your budget now so that perhaps you’ll even have a cushion to fall back on if the layoffs become a reality. You can always find some non-essential items in everyone’s daily or weekly spending, whether cutting back on eating out or walking the few blocks to work rather than taking the bus or subway. Find ways to become more thrifty. If you have any kind of company-based pension plan, now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the options from rolling it into your next employer’s plan to being able to withdraw money to afford your housing, fuel, or food costs.

7. Make use of all your benefits before they disappear. While some employers may pay you for any unused vacation days if you’re laid off, many others will not and none will pay you for unused personal days, comp time, or sick days. So, you might consider taking some time ideally to find a job with a more stable employer. And if you have employer-based health benefits, now is the time to schedule that physical, eye exam, or dental appointment. While you can buy extended health coverage if you are terminated, expect the costs to be double or triple or even higher than what you had been paying. If you have unreimbursed expenses, submit those receipts as soon as possible. If your employer still has a professional development budget and you find a seminar, class, or certification that can improve your job performance (as well as make you more marketable when job-hunting), go for it.

8. Put together a layoff plan. No one likes planning for bad scenarios, but it makes sense to be prepared for the worst. No matter how much you try to prepare for it, the shock of a layoff is traumatic — and you will not be able to think straight for quite some time. So, it’s best to develop a plan now, while you are thinking normally. Ideally, develop a one, three, and six-month plan to cover the time you may be unemployed. (In a really bad economy, you might want to also develop a one-year plan.) You’ll want to include in the plan contingencies such as money set aside in a layoff fund for the most basic bills; a strategy for telling your partner, family, and your network; a home-equity or line of credit for emergency use; a quiet place in which you can base your new job-search
; a revised resume showcasing your skills and accomplishments; and a list of job-support organizations and groups. You may also want to include a list of financial and job-search resources, such as the location of the local unemployment office or one-stop career center.

9. Consider a survival job to pay the bills. Depending on the economy, your industry, and your profession, you may not be able to find a job at the same level as you had before the layoff. Never give up on finding that job (or one at a higher level), but there may come a time when you are close to exhausting your savings and other financial resources when you’ll be forced to make a decision about how long you can last without any job and how well you can handle a working in a job that you feel is beneath you but one that will help pay the most basic of bills. Taking a survival job can be a humbling experience. You’ll need to check your ego at the door, and you’ll probably work longer and harder hours than you have in years.

10. Find support from family and friends and keep a positive outlook. Besides getting a good handle on your finances, the next most important thing you can do is seek the solace of family and friends (rather than hiding the news from them, which many laid off workers attempt to do). Family and friends can help mend your ego and emotions by providing the positive support you’ll need. If you are like most people, you’ll need to work out your feelings of anger, embarrassment, fear, and others that typically follow a layoff and while some of that will need to be done on your own, the more people giving you positive reinforcement, the faster your recovery.

Final Thoughts
While you never know what to expect when your employer is struggling to survive in a weak economy, the chances that you might be downsized increase greatly no matter what your job and you can better prepare yourself for the worst possible outcome by developing a plan to assist you in getting through the situation. What’s the worst that could happen? You waste a few hours developing a plan you never have to use? That’s the best scenario!

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

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