Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Father Knows Best
I'm Roscoe Chambers, the proud father of (you guessed it) Peppur Chambers. Our family has been in the Human Resources and owners of an Executive Search firm for several years. And because “FATHER KNOWS BEST”, I’ve been asked to provide pertinent information pertaining to employment search strategy for job seekers, various employment articles, and postings of open job opportunities nationwide.

Dear Readers,

Growth!...A powerful word!

With the economy rapidly sinking, a number of us have or will in the near future receive a pink slip stating that your current organization no longer requires your services. If you haven’t as of yet received this familiar pink slip document, be grateful and work as if Friday is your last day of work. But for those who have …..Dad has a tip far yah! …
But before I start, let’s talk about counter offers. If you’ve resigned for a better opportunity, in most cases never accept a counter offer from your current employer no matter how sweet the figure and here’s why: First, it’s insulting. Where did all of this money surface from as a sign of appreciation for my services and professionalism? Second, why didn’t I receive it early on when I so desperately needed and asked for a raise?
Here’s where that money comes from:
If you have not received your salary increase or bonuses for performance of the current year, most companies will move it forward disguised as a counter offer package or if you have already received your performance award for the year, the average performance award is calculated for the subsequent year and moved forward again disguised as the counter offer. Either way statistics reflect that 87% of those who received counter offers are gone within a year or less…. The goal is to keep you on board until another candidate is identified and hired.

Now for my tips….I want to share with you what signs to look for that indicate you are about to receive a Pink Slip for termination and what to do about it.
1) When you are no longer asked to have lunch with your manager
2) When your manager can’t look you in the eye
3) When your manager is walking in the same isle toward you and immediately turns into someone else’s cube until you pass hoping to not engage in any type of conversation
4) When your login and password all of a sudden don’t work and tech support can’t explain what is wrong
5) Your name is no longer in updated company directory
6) When you are no longer in charge of the company picnic
7) When your name is conveniently omitted from the email that announces the annual company benefits enrollment meeting
8) While discussed by colleagues, you are referred as “what’s her/his name”
9) No longer asked to have Chi- latte, donuts, cringle, croissants or finger sandwiches in the break room
10) When you know you kicked everybody’s ass in terms of performance and meeting your goals but your manager still rates you as…… “Slightly meets goals; needs improvement!”
11) Or the ultimate insult is when that one stupid ill-informed colleague who didn’t received the email ( there’s always one in the office) states “ it’s been wonderful working with you….Good luck in your new endeavors and don’t hesitate to call if I can be of any help in your JOB SEARCH”….. Of course the problem is, you are still physically working in your office……Where is my pistol?

Nevertheless here are additional tips to adhere to in the event the Pink Slip slips your way.
* Reflect on your gaffes at work, but do so briefly. It’s a good idea to think about what lead to your termination. Doing so will help you not repeat the same mistake again. But don’t dwell on it. By obsessing over a certain mistake, you’ll only make yourself crazy. Everything in life is 50-50. You made the best decision you could at time.
* Look at it as a new beginning. Sometimes we feel tied down at work. We enjoy a stable paycheck, but don’t enjoy the other aspects of the job. Getting terminated can be a blessing in disguise in that it allows you to go about doing something you really enjoy.
* It might not be your fault. Most companies hire and fire based on how good the economy is. There are a variety of factors aiding in corporate downsizing. Advertising agencies, for example, will terminate some of their employees if they lose a certain account. It has less to do with how well those employees executed their tasks, as it does with luck of the draw. Such might be the case in your situation.
* Think about your happiness first. Like I said in Step 2, you may not have enjoyed your old job. Your unhappiness might have lead to a poor performance that, in turn, led to your termination. Sometimes it really isn’t a good fit. That’s not any more your fault than it is whoever it was that hired you.
* Don’t let your termination consume you. We, as humans, typically work for 8 hours a day. Yet, for whatever reason, we associate our entire humanity with what we do for a paycheck. This is unfortunate. You are so many other positive things aside from a waiter, bartender, manufacturer, or manager. Why let one part of your life impact the other, more important parts?
*Look for a new job immediately. It’s best not to sit around and dwell on your firing. Instead of wasting time thinking about how unfair life is, you should refocus yourself on finding a new job.

In closing, if you received the pink slip, please don’t go postal, curse everybody on your way out or flip the bird. Remember, the working community is small and quaint; one can never determine who your next manager may know from your previous employer. Instead, with dignity, hold your head high, stand tall and hold those tears. Take all of the family and pet photos off your desk, credenza and computer tower; then with class and style place your coat over your arm grab your briefcase and proceed to walk out like you walked in ……Oh, and don’t forget your USB memory stick with all of your folders, contacts, and company proprietary information downloaded on it. Just jokes! :) Right!

Happy Job hunting!

Roscoe Chambers II is also the President of The Kennedy Group, LLC, an executive search firm that takes a broad approach in the staffing of various industries and disciplines covering levels from middle- to upper- management. Please contact him at Rchambers7@tx.rr.com

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