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Archive for the ‘Making a Lateral Career Move’ Category

"Should I Quit my Job?" 4 Scenarios in Which Quitting is Advisable

In a bad economy, it can be difficult to quit a job when there are so many professionals out of jobs. But if you’re faced with a bad workplace situation or you’re presented with a better opportunity elsewhere, it’s okay to take the plunge and give your two week notice.
Although quitting a job is always a difficult decision to make, not recognizing when it’s time to quit could hurt your resume and, most importantly, make you unhappy with where you are in your career.
If you’re looking for the push to finally quit that job, here are four scenarios that give you the right to walk away to a better opportunity.
1. Poor Work Environment
You should never have to deal with a bad work environment, whether you’re faced with harassment or poor management. Many professionals will tell you that a great work environment can make a world of a difference, so it’s no surprise that a poor work environment can have the same affect. Never put up with harassment in the workplace and don’t let management take advantage of you with unreasonable work conditions.
2. Low Pay
In an economy like this, chances are no one is being paid what they are worth. But there’s a difference between cutting back on salaries and taking advantage of workers who know they are lucky to have a job in the first place. Be sure to network with other workers in your field to find out the average salary in your area for your industry. If you fall way below the average, speak to your boss. But, it’s time to walk away if your concerns continue to go unnoticed. Staying at a job with low pay will hurt your future chances of receiving the salary you deserve.
3. No Chance of Growth
If you have been making the effort to move up the corporate ladder with little response from management, it may be time to move on to another company. Once a worker shows interest in taking on more responsibility, management should take notice and start grooming them for a higher position. If you’re willing to learn, but no one is willing to teach you, this could mean that either you’ll get stuck in your position or management is trying to give you the hint that they don’t think you’ll stick around much longer.
4. Better Opportunity
Many times during your career you’ll be presented with another job opportunity, and chances are it may be during a time when you’re not even looking for a different position. Some professionals are hesitant to leave a job they’re comfortable with to pursue a position at another company. Take the time to weigh all of the pros and cons of quitting your job for a better opportunity elsewhere. Those who take risks in their careers are often the most successful and the happiest.
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By Christine Rochelle
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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.

Seven Smart Career Networking Moves Guaranteed To Make You More Memorable

It’s a fact: employers prefer to hire people they know over “mystery” candidates. That’s why networking accounts for how 64 percent of people find jobs, while only 11 percent find work through advertisements (New York Times survey). Conferences, trade shows, meetings, and small-group gatherings are excellent venues for being visible, getting connected, and becoming known to the people who have the power to hire. Here are seven “Cs” for making the most of networking events.

1. Catalog your strengths, value, and vision. Know who you are and what you want. What are your greatest strengths? Convert those strengths into value. Think in terms of return-on-investment (ROI) how would you describe your ROI were an employer to ask, “What can you do for us?” Finally, envision. As Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” What opportunities are you targeting? What skills do you want to use that would tap into your tingle factor?

2. Create your marketing theme. Using three key strengths from No. 1 above, compose a short verbal business card. Here’s an example: “As a sales rep for hotel properties, I specialize in the 3 R’s: Research, Relationships, and Revenue Growth. My research skills helped unearth a list of 40 qualified prospects. My relationship skills opened the doors to meet decision-makers and match the benefits of our property with their needs. The result is that revenue grew more than 30 percent over the past 12 months, at a time when most properties’ revenues were stagnant or declining.”

3. Chart your course. Literally. If you’re attending a large convention or trade show, do some logistical planning to cover all the ground efficiently. Review the list of attendees to identify whom you want to meet and when and where you might call on them. Ask colleagues their recommendations for whom you should consider meeting. If time permits, do a quick Google.com search on your target contacts so you’ll have some personalized dialogue once you’ve completed the perfunctory pleasantries. In some cases, it may be appropriate to email or phone your contacts in advance of the event. Mention that you’ll be attending and, at the suggestion of so-and-so (e.g., a known and trusted colleague of the contact), are looking forward to saying a brief hello.

4. Connect with people. Measure your networking success by the number of meaningful conversations you’ve had, not by the number of business cards you’ve handed out or collected. The fastest way to have a meaningful conversation is to put aside your personal agenda for finding a job and focus on the other person. How? Smile, look people in the eye, and care about them by asking questions, such as “What’s the most interesting exhibit (or, seminar, idea, project] you’ve seen here?” Or, “Who would you like to meet here?” (you may know someone who could help make the connection). Or, “What do you hope to accomplish at this event?”

5. Clarify needs. Clarify your contact’s needs so you can understand how you can be of value. Arm yourself with intelligent questions: “What important projects are gathering dust in your in-box? What interesting projects are you working on now and where might you need help? What changes or challenges do you see in the next 6-12 months at your company, and what will those changes bring? What resources or ideas are you looking for at this meeting/event?” Notice that you’re not asking whether there are any job openings available!

6. Collaborate on needs. Position yourself as the answer to those needs. For instance, “In my most recent position, we had a similar problem. What have you tried so far? We found that XYZ system worked well in our situation.” Or, “are you aware of such-and-such a resource?”

7. Continue the connection. Look for appropriate opportunities to ask for a business card or gain permission to make contact again soon. For instance, if your contact is checking her watch or looking distracted, you might say, “I don’t want to take up too much of your time just now. Perhaps we can continue our conversation after the conference/meeting. When would it be convenient to touch base with you again?” Or, “I recently read a fascinating article about that subject. I’d be happy to email you the link if you’ve got a business card handy.” Or, “I know someone who may be a good connection for you. I can email you their contact info.” Or, “Who else should we include in our next conversation?” Or, “Who else would you recommend I speak with about that?” As a creative way of following up with contacts, one bright job-seeker carried a camera with her, took photos of her target company’s exhibit booth (with their permission) and offered to email a digital photo later.

Carve out some post-meeting/conference time on your calendar for follow-up with personalized emails or phone calls. Commit to keeping these new relationships alive in the months ahead. When the right opportunity opens up at your dream company, you’ll find yourself on the short-list, head and shoulders above the mystery candidates!
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by Susan Britton Whitcomb

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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.

Making a Lateral Career Move: The Pros and Cons

You have been working hard, tracking your accomplishments, and promoting your personal brand within your organization all the right moves to obtaining that promotion you know you deserve. Instead of the promotion, however, your boss calls you in for a chat and tells you that you are being talked about for a lateral position that just opened up, a position with the same or similar title and pay grade but in a different part of the organization.
Or, perhaps it’s you who has decided that for whatever reason you will not get promoted within your department but you love the organization so you are considering a lateral move with what you hope will be more opportunities down the line.
Whatever the reasons for considering a lateral move within your current organization, take a moment to read this article and then take much longer to weigh the pros and cons of applying for or accepting the lateral move. If you’re feeling forced to take the lateral move, you might consider whether you are doing something wrong.
Finally, remember that some of the best run organizations understand the value of their employees and the importance of retaining the best workers within the organization even if that means shuffling some people into new positions, so do not assume that a lateral move is a knock against you. The key is understanding the organization’s corporate culture and whether it does indeed value its employees.
Pros of a Lateral Move
• Promotion Potential. Organizational structures have become much flatter with the downsizing that many organizations have done in eliminating middle management positions. With this flatter structure comes fewer opportunities to be promoted, but making a lateral move and gaining more experience and more contacts within the organization should make you a much more attractive candidate for a promotion when a position opens in the future.
• Improving Job Security. A lateral move from an under-performing or soon-to-be-downsized department gives you a chance to not only stay with the company, but also show your value in a new department.
• Increased Marketability. Gaining new skills and broadening your capabilities and accomplishments can also make you a much more attractive candidate to headhunters and outside organizations with positions to fill. So, even if you are happy with your organization now, it never hurts to make yourself a more attractive job-seeker.
• Professional Development. If you have been in your current position for a number of years, you may have become so good at it that you know all there is to know perhaps even become a bit bored with it. By taking a lateral move and learning new skills, you may again become excited with the challenges you’ll face.
• Fresh Faces. Taking a lateral move means working with new people and new teams, giving you the chance to make new friends and contacts especially important if you are tired of the people you currently work with, or simply like meeting new people.
• New Boss. Let’s face it, not all bosses are made equal. Maybe it’s time to switch to a new boss and show him/her what you’re capable of doing. Your current boss might be just fine, but perhaps s/he just does not see you for your potential. Or perhaps it’s simply the opportunity to learn from a new boss, especially if you feel you have maxed out with your current one.
• No Additional Responsibilities. While a lateral move will provide you with new challenges and learning opportunities, because it’s at the same level as your current job, it will not tax you with more responsibilities. It’s a good solution for someone seeking a new challenge, but not yet ready to tackle more responsibilities/pressures.
Cons of a Lateral Move
• Internal Perceptions. You’ll want to analyze the corporate culture of the organization because in some organizations, folks making lateral moves are seen as the people who just don’t have the skills to get promoted, and you’ll certainly want to avoid that label.
• No Closer to Goal. If you’re like many folks, you have a specific job title you want to reach in your career, and a lateral move takes you no closer to your goal.
• Same Salary. While a promotion carries with it more money (and perhaps other perks), a lateral move usually offers no financial incentives and in some cases, perhaps a lower salary.
• Further From Your Passion. While a lateral move might make the most sense in moving your career forward, it often takes you out of your field and away from your career passion. While not always a bad thing, many unhappy workers realize at some point they are unhappy because they are not working in what they love.
• Chance of Failure. In any job, there is a chance of failure, but if the lateral move is way outside your current comfort zone or into a department that has internal turmoil, there is always the chance that you could fail and lose your job.
Final Thoughts
For those in the corporate world, it’s ingrained in our thinking from the beginning and from popular culture that climbing up the ladder is the direction of choice as well as a sign of success, but in today’s business environment, that simply is no longer the case.
If you’re contemplating a lateral move, whether on your own or suggested to you, schedule a talk with your current boss. It’s possible your boss either does not know your ambitions or has a misconception about you or your situation. If you have a mentor within the organization, schedule a meeting with him/her as well.
A lateral move may make sense for you and your career, but before you make that final decision, be sure to do your research and make an informed decision.
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

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