Tuesday, April 23, 2013

50 Ways to Leave Your Employer…

Just slip out the back, Jack. Make a new plan, Stan. You don't need to be coy, Roy. Hop on the bus, Gus. You don't need to discuss much. Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free.

Paul Simon could have easily been talking about the resignation process with these song lyrics. When you’ve accepted an offer of employment and are preparing for your resignation with your current employer you experience all sorts of emotions. While it should be an exciting time often it creates a bit of anxiety.

What will the reaction be of your boss? Well, typically you can expect three different potential responses.

The quilt trip: “How could you do this to me?”
The angry boss: “Get your things and get out of here.”
The good boss reaction: “Hey congratulations. I’m very happy for you. I wish you the very best.”

Just like anything if you know what could be coming you can best prepare yourself. So just knowing these are the likely possible reactions you can be prepared on how to handle. But experience has shown over these years that  there is a certain way to approach the resignation that will help the process go smoothly for you.

First, prepare a resignation letter. For example, I suggest this wording:

“Mr. or Ms. (Name):

I respectfully submit my resignation to be effective (Day and Date).

The reason for my resignation has nothing to do with you as my supervisor or with (ABC Company) as an organization, but rather it is due to an exceptional opportunity, which I have accepted, that is more in keeping with both my personal and professional goals.

I have enjoyed my association with (ABC Company) and wish all those employed by the organization much future success.”

You hand the letter to your boss. They may ask, “What is this?” You simply say, “please read the letter.” The letter diffuses the situation by not making it personal regardless of whether it is. The reason for my resignation has nothing to do with you…. These are powerful words. Telling your boss that they nor the company have anything to do with your decision. Instead, it is all about… an exceptional opportunity.  In addition, an exceptional opportunity that “I have accepted”. You've committed to this new opportunity. That often helps defuse the opportunity for your boss to propose a counter offer. Not always but it can give them the message that you are committed to this new opportunity.



So remember, you called the meeting. You don't need to discuss much. Just drop off the key, Lee and get yourself free. It will feel as though a heavy weight has been lifted off your shoulders once you’ve resigned.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Do People Plan Their Vacations Better Than Their Careers?


Well spring is in the air here in Iowa. Temperatures in the low 60s. Nice gentle rain has turned the grass green overnight. When I arrived to the office this morning the parking lot was covered with earth worms. Wait….is that spring I smell? Or the literally hundreds of earth worms! Well, here in Iowa I guess it is one in the same. I don’t mean to dwell on these earth worms, but it was a like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, except worms instead of birds. Should we be fearful?  Will they attack?  Our parking lot was a fisherman’s dream come true. Or some entrepreneurial kid with a dream of setting up a bait stand.

Spring is also a time when I’m printing off local community summer recreational program offerings to fill in my two teenagers’ days with activities to keep them busy during their summer break. I create a calendar for each child with their respective activities clearly documented for each day of the week. Coordinating & planning.

Someone once said that people plan their vacations better than their careers. While not true of everyone, naturally there is certainly truth to that. In fact I was just speaking with a candidate the other day and we were discussing why they were exploring the market. They had recognized that previously they had not put a lot of thought into their career. And now they wanted to do a better job with that going forward.

So as you make your plans for your summer, whether it be what your kids will be doing or your family vacation, take some time to do some planning for yourself. Set short and long range goals. Make them realistic but goals that will keep you on track. Some of what happens to us in our careers is no doubt about timing and circumstances. However, there is something to be said about having an active involvement in how you plan things out as well. Maybe it’s about positioning yourself. Perhaps take a course or two that would be relevant to where you want your career to head. But the key is to carving out the time to make the plan. And then follow through with it.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Great Opportunity?


Great opportunity in……

Why? Why is this a great opportunity?

Every morning I start my day by going through email. Within these emails are LinkedIn Group notifications. I scan the notifications for interesting discussions, and pause and chuckle to myself every time I see a job posted as “Great Opportunity”. Seems like a very subjective word, “great”.

Michael Jordan was a great basketball player. Joe Montana was a great football player. Mohammad Ali was a great boxer. Describing these sports legends as great seems very legit. Each of these individuals was assigned the prestigious title of “great” based on a defined set of criteria generally agreed upon by sports analysts, other sports legends, and fans alike.

To the best of my knowledge the insurance industry has not created a defined set of criteria to establish what is a great opportunity. Therefore, the term is subjective and simply becomes an overused and meaningless word.

Truth is that this will be a great opportunity for someone. But that’s not why the recruiter posts as such. They are attempting to draw attention. But can every job opportunity be a great opportunity? Can you honestly tell me you have a great opportunity for me without knowing what my interests & expectations are? Perhaps a better way to tell the story is by briefly describing what makes this a desirable opportunity. Maybe it is with an A+ AM Best rated carrier. Maybe the company is experience significant growth. Maybe it is a newly created position. These are no guarantees that the opportunity is great, but at least the term “great” is not being overused.

Recruiters are using marketing 101 when they use terms such as “great” by trying to catch attention. But if you answer one of these, ask them what makes this a great opportunity. Because the reality is, if they don’t know about your interests and what’s important to you, then “great” is just an overused word.