Showing posts with label Tips to save job. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tips to save job. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


How to keep your job

Forget boasting and flattery. If you want to avoid getting laid off, right now it's all about the money. Let's say you work in an industry that's been hit hard by the economic downturn, and you're watching competitors downsize left and right. You're pretty sure that layoffs are headed to your place too, and fast. What's your best strategy to keep your job?

You might first think of the approach that many people use at annual review time: Ask your boss for a meeting in which you quantify all your fabulous accomplishments over the past year. But that isn't likely to have much effect right now, in part because very few people's bottom-line results have been particularly fabulous lately.

Praising your boss's new suit/PowerPoint presentation/visionary ideas is fine, but it probably isn't going to stop the ax either. In a downturn you need to speak the language that matters most: dollars and cents.

Employers looking to cut personnel costs can either lay people off or lower their wages. Though there are exceptions, employers are generally more willing to do the former.

Truman Bewley, a professor of economics at Yale University, has shown that's because they fear low worker morale and even sabotage. Basically, they don't want unhappy people around who may cause trouble.

So if your job really is in danger (and you'd rather have less money than no money) you need to address that fear head-on. Let the big guy know you're willing to work, contentedly and productively, at a lower wage than you currently receive.

Some possible openers: "I don't consider salary a final measure of my self-worth." Or "My friend Peter stayed on at his job at lower pay to help keep his company afloat. I really admire that."

This move isn't without risk (see "Fireproof Your Job"). And it won't be fun. It's hard for most of us to admit that we may be worth less to our employer than we once were. But that's exactly why signaling acceptance of a wage cut can prove effective. It's the one strategy that the brownnosing braggart down the hall won't find so easy to mimic.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tips: Surviving the Recession

Act now on these recommendations to demonstrate that you are an indispensable IT pro.

Align your role with the organization’s objectives.
IT professionals who directly impact business outcomes have the best job security and growth opportunities, but company priorities often shift during a recession. Talk with your boss to understand the current strategy and then connect the dots between your daily activities and the business plan. If necessary, suggest ways to recalibrate your role, so it is better aligned with the company’s objectives. If realignment isn’t possible, begin a proactive job search, just to be safe.

Stick with the basics.
“Now’s not the time to jump to a hot technology,” says Wallace. “Companies will be focused on creating operational efficiencies and delivery of the basics through installed and proven technologies.”

There’s no doubt that prowess with emerging technologies creates financial opportunities and longer term job security, but accepting a role using an unproven technology with limited market share is risky. Postponing that move for six months may have little impact on long term earnings, yet six months without a paycheck could be devastating.

Transfer to a mission critical project.
“Core projects that are vital to the execution of the strategic plan will be the last areas cut during a recession,” says Margaret Meloni, an IT career strategist based in Long Beach, Calif.

Projects with approved budgets that enhance or maintain existing applications or improve workforce productivity are more likely to remain stable during a downturn, while projects that require new funding are often cut or placed on hold. The sooner you request a transfer to a strategic, fully funded project, the more job security you’ll have.

Suggest ways to increase operating efficiencies.
Could a few programming changes eliminate several steps in accounts payable transactions? What would be the cost of the change and the ROI? Businesses look for every possible way to save money during downturns. Demonstrate your value by showing that you understand business needs across the company and that you can adapt the technology to drive operating efficiencies.

Propose project cost savings and containment strategies.
“Show that you can think like a manager and suggest ways to save money on current projects,” says Tony Habash, executive director and CIO for Washington D.C. based American Psychological Association.

Habash suggests that IT professionals review the current application development process, contractor usage, outsourcing potential and vendor agreements for ways to generate cost savings.

“The key is to be proactive and don’t wait for someone to ask you for suggestions, because the current leaders may not be aware of the best cost savings options,” says Habash.

Upgrade your skills.
Take advantage of your employer’s tuition reimbursement program, because acquiring new skills will increase both your present value and your future marketability.

“Following a lay-off, one database administrator I know didn’t receive a single offer for six months,” says Meloni. “As soon as he completed a Microsoft SQL Server boot camp, the offers just started coming in.”

Declare your value.
“Now’s the time to make sure you’re noticed by management,” says Steve Haag, a Dallas-based VP and technology officer with professional services firm HNTB Corp. “Write up notes from classes you’re taking or client visits and share some intel with your boss to get attention in the right way. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day, but go to the trouble of documenting your ideas and celebrate your accomplishments.”

Create revenue opportunities.
Generate revenue, not overhead and you’ll be irreplaceable. While techies may not see themselves as marketing or sales gurus, Haag suggests that IT professionals network with their counterparts at client companies or rub elbows with clients at classes or community events. In the process, you may uncover an unmet need, and then suggest a new service to meet it. Also being connected to clients demonstrates skill versatility and engenders job security.

Be a team player.
If you’re meeting performance expectations ask for a raise, but do so judiciously, because you don’t want to appear selfish, if your company is struggling financially. Be a calming and positive voice within your IT team, because it’s a chance to show your leadership skills; don’t underestimate the advancement opportunities that might arise due to company downsizing or reorganization. Habash suggests that IT professionals think of other ways they can help the enterprise, so they can offer to fill those roles, if their present job is eliminated.

Take charge of your career.
Even if your job seems secure, update your resume, make contacts and get your reference list together because doing so will make you feel confident and in control. Resume creation is worthwhile, because it forces you to detail your value and accomplishments, then you can use the info to highlight your value during discussions with your boss. Plan for the best, yet prepare for the worst and you’ll not only survive the recession, you’ll thrive beyond it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

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Insurance companies offer job-loss cover to employees in India

Kolkata: Finally, some sort of relief measures comes to the employees who were layed off. Insurance companies are coming forward to offer insurance cover that guarantees payment of some EMIs on loans availed, reported The Economic Times.

Initially, ICICI Lombard has started to offer such schemes and other insurance majors like Bajaj Alliance General Insurance have also come up with similar insurances. International markets like U.S. has already witnessed such schemes as companies find it hard to survive due to recession and liquidity crunch. For instance, Hyundai Assurance in the U.S. is offering to cover up to $7,500 of the debt on a new Hyundai car in case of a job loss as well as personal bankruptcy if self-employed.

ICICI Lombard's insurance cover also includes a mediclaim policy that ensures the payment of EMI for three months after someone has lost the job. "The job loss may be due to a closure of a division or a department on account of poor financial health or action of any public authority resulting in the closure of the employer's firm. The job loss may also be termination from employment due to illness. The premium for such a job loss cover is a factor of loan amount, policy duration, loan tenure, and age," said Sanjay Datta, Head, health & personal accident insurance, ICICI Lombard.

According to an insurance analyst, the cover offers a shield against job losses for a limited period, but at least, a beginning has been made at a time when Satyam employees are facing uncertainty while the economy is in turbulent times.

Bajaj Alliance had launched a job-loss cover product in partnership with financial institutions. A senior official of the company said, "We have a product that offers a cover of up to three EMIs in case of job loss." Unfortunately, the company could not find many takers for the policy then.

Interestingly, Flybe, a U.K-based airline is also offering a cover to its customers which allow them to claim a full refund on their travel costs if they lose their jobs. The scheme is applicable to passengers who book flights, hire cars and book hotels in January, and are due to travel before October 24.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

5 Ways to Protect Your 401(k) if You're Laid Off

Unexpected job loss can derail retirement plans in an instant. American employers shed 524,000 jobs in December, and 31 percent of employed adults ages 45 and up think it's likely that their job will be eliminated this year, according to a recent AARP survey. The good news is that if you do get laid off, you can still keep your retirement plan intact. Here's how to handle your 401(k) if you lose your job or your company goes under: For Complete Story Click Here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 30 skills every IT person should have

Source: InfoWorld
An IT manager's guide on how to be better at what you do, no matter how experienced you are. On MSN the other day, I noticed an article called "75 skills every man should master." It included some skills I have and some I don't. For example, I can tie a knot and hammer a nail, but frankly I can't recite a poem from memory, and bow ties still confuse me.

It was an interesting read and made me realize I could be more well-rounded than I am. To be honest, we all could be.

So in the spirit of personal growth, I developed a list of skills every IT person should have.

1. Be able to fix basic PC issues. These can be how to map a printer, back up files, or add a network card. You don't need to be an expert and understand how to overclock a CPU or hack the registry, but if you work in IT, people expect you to be able to do some things.

2. Work the help desk. Everyone, from the CIO to the senior architect, should be able to sit down at the help desk and answer the phones. Not only will you gain a new appreciation for the folks on the phones, but you will also teach them more about your process and avoid escalations in the future.

3. Do public speaking. At least once, you should present a topic to your peers. It can be as simple as a five-minute tutorial on how IM works, but being able to explain something and being comfortable enough to talk in front of a crowd is a skill you need to have. If you are nervous, partner with someone who is good at it, or do a roundtable. This way, if you get flustered, someone is there to cover for you.

4. Train someone. The best way to learn is to teach.

5. Listen more than you speak. I very rarely say something I didn't already know, but I often hear other people say things and think, "Darn, I wish I knew that last week."

6. Know basic networking. Whether you are a network engineer, a help desk technician, a business analyst, or a system administrator, you need to understand how networks work and simple troubleshooting. You should understand DNS and how to check it, as well as how to ping and trace-route machines.

7. Know basic system administration. Understand file permissions, access levels, and why machines talk to the domain controllers. You don't need to be an expert, but knowing the basics will avoid many headaches down the road.

8. Know how to take a network trace. Everyone in IT should be able to fire up wireshark, netmon, snoop, or some basic network capturing tool. You don't need to understand everything in it, but you should be able to capture it to send to a network engineer to examine.

9. Know the difference between latency and bandwidth. Latency is the amount of time to get a packet back and forth; bandwidth is the maximum amount of data a link can carry. They are related, but different. A link with high-bandwidth utilization can cause latency to go higher, but if the link isn't full, adding more bandwidth can't reduce latency.

10. Script. Everyone should be able to throw a script together to get quick results. That doesn't mean you're a programmer. Real programmers put in error messages, look for abnormal behavior, and document. You don't need to do that, but you should be able to put something together to remove lines, send e-mail, or copy files.

11. Back up. Before you do anything, for your own sake, back it up.

12. Test backups. If you haven't tested restoring it, it isn't really there. Trust me.

13. Document. None of the rest of us wants to have to figure out what you did. Write it down and put it in a location everyone can find. Even if it's obvious what you did or why you did it, write it down.

14. Read "The Cuckoo's Egg." I don't get a cut from Cliff Stoll (the author), but this is probably the best security book there is -- not because it is so technical, but because it isn't.

15. Work all night on a team project. No one likes to do this, but it's part of IT. Working through a hell project that requires an all-nighter to resolve stinks, but it builds very useful camaraderie by the time it is done.

16. Run cable. It looks easy, but it isn't. Plus, you will understand why installing a new server doesn't really take five minutes -- unless, of course, you just plug in both ends and let the cable fall all over the place. Don't do that -- do it right. Label all the cables (yes, both ends), and dress them nice and neat. This will save time when there's a problem because you'll be able to see what goes where.

17. You should know some energy rules of thumb. For example: A device consuming 3.5kW of electricity requires a ton of cooling to compensate for the heat. And I really do mean a ton, not merely "a lot." Note that 3.5kW is roughly what 15 to 20 fairly new 1U and 2U servers consume. One ton of cooling requires three 10-inch-round ducts to handle the air; 30 tons of air requires a duct measuring 80 by 20 inches. Thirty tons of air is a considerable amount.

18. Manage at least one project. This way, the next time the project manager asks you for a status, you'll understand why. Ideally, you will have already sent the status report because you knew it would be asked for.

19. Understand operating costs versus capital projects. Operating costs are the costs to run the business. Capital equipment is made of assets that can have their cost spread over a time period -- say, 36 months. Operating costs are sometimes better, sometimes worse. Know which one is better -- it can make a difference between a yes and no.

20. Learn the business processes. Being able to spot improvements in the way the business is run is a great technique for gaining points. You don't need to use fancy tools; just asking a few questions and using common sense will serve you well.

21. Don't be afraid to debate something you know is wrong. But also know when to stop arguing. It's a fine line between having a good idea and being a pain in the ass.

22. If you have to go to your boss with a problem, make sure you have at least one solution.

23. There is no such thing as a dumb question, so ask it ... once. Then write down the answer so that you don't have to ask it again. If you ask the same person the same question more than twice, you're an idiot (in their eyes).

24. Even if it takes you twice as long to figure something out on your own versus asking someone else, take the time to do it yourself. You'll remember it longer. If it takes more than twice as long, ask.

25. Learn how to speak without using acronyms.

26. IT managers: Listen to your people. They know more than you. If not, get rid of them and hire smarter people. If you think you are the smartest one, resign.

27. IT managers: If you know the answer, ask the right questions for someone else to get the solution; don't just give the answer. This is hard when you know what will bring the system back up quickly and everyone in the company is waiting for it, but it will pay off in the long run. After all, you won't always be available.

28. IT managers: The first time someone does something wrong, it's not a mistake -- it's a learning experience. The next time, though, give them hell. And remember: Every day is a chance for an employee to learn something else. Make sure they learn something valuable versus learning there's a better job out there.

29. IT managers: Always give people more work than you think they can handle. People will say you are unrealistic, but everyone needs something to complain about anyway, so make it easy. Plus, there's nothing worse than looking at the clock at 2 p.m. and thinking, "I've got nothing to do, but can't leave." This way, your employees won't have that dilemma.

30. IT managers: Square pegs go in square holes. If someone works well in a team but not so effectively on their own, keep them as part of a team.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


You Won't Get Hired That Way: 5 Common Job Seeking Mistakes

Source: UC Daily News
From newly minted graduate to displaced executive, it's as if we have an inherent human pattern when job-seeking. Unfortunately our instinctive response is not our best response when it comes to finding employment. Like flying an airplane, job seeking turns out to be a counter-intuitive process. Take a look at the five patterns most people follow and why those choices are not their best.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Worst Interview Mistakes Women Make

The current economic climate, with fewer jobs and more applicants for each position, requires job seekers to have impeccable interviewing skills. Men and women make many of the same mistakes--arriving late or unprepared, refusing to answer a question, or lying about previous experience. Women, however, can make particular missteps--from talking too much to dressing inappropriately--that hurt their chances or cost them the job. Click here to know Eight Interview Mistakes Women Need to Avoid.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

10 Habits that Bosses Love

Every boss wants employees who do their jobs well. But even among highly competent employees, there are distinctions. Here are 10 tips for making sure you're on the boss's A-list: 

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Especially at the beginning of your relationship -- that is, when either you or the boss is new to the job -- err on the side of giving your boss too much information and asking too many questions. "There's no such thing as a dumb question," says Marianne Adoradio, a Silicon Valley recruiter and career counselor. "Look at it as information gathering."Don't keep up the constant stream of communication unless your boss likes it, though. It's best to ask directly whether you're giving the boss enough information or too much.

2. Acknowledge what the boss says. Bosses appreciate "responsive listening," says John Farner, principal of Russell Employee Management Consulting. When your boss asks you to do something or suggests ways for you to improve your work, let her know you heard.

3. Collaborate. When your boss has a new idea, respond to it in a constructive way instead of throwing up roadblocks. "Be willing to brainstorm ways to get something done," says Michael Beasley, principal of Career-Crossings and a leadership and career development coach.

4. Build relationships. You'll make your boss look good if you establish a good rapport with your department's customers, whether they're inside the company or outside. Bring back what you learn -- about ways to offer better customer service, for example -- to your boss. This is also helpful for your own career development. "Everybody wins in the long run," Adoradio says.

5. Understand how you fit in. Is your boss detail-oriented, or someone who keeps his head in the clouds? "The boss's personality is just incredibly important," says Norm Meshriy, a career counselor and principal of Career Insights.Equally important is understanding what your boss wants in an employee. It may be, for example, that a boss who is detail-oriented will expect his employees to be as well. But a boss who has no time for details may actually appreciate an employee who does.

6. Learn the boss's pet peeves. If your manager has said repeatedly that she hates being interrupted first thing in the morning, don't run to her office to give her a project update when you first get in.

7. Anticipate the boss's needs. Once you have worked with your boss for a while, you should be able to guess what information he will want before approving your purchase order, for example.If you provide it ahead of time, "that's a gold star," Farner adds.

8. Think one level up. You still need to do your own job, of course. But when managers consider who deserves a promotion, they look for people who understand the issues that their bosses face.

9. Open yourself to new ways of doing things. When your boss comes to you with a new idea, don't simply dismiss it. If you don't think it will work, offer to discuss it further in "a mature, responsible, adult-like way," Beasley says.<

10. Be engaged in your work. Arguing with your boss over every request is not a good strategy, but neither is simply shrugging your shoulders and agreeing with everything your boss says. "The manager would like to see an engaged individual," Beasley says. That means both showing enthusiasm for your work and speaking up when you see room for improvement.