How to Quit Your Job with Class

Quit Your Job with ClassIf you want to quit your job, I certainly wouldn’t recommend an exit like JetBlue’s flight attendant a few years back. Although it rendered a lot of attention and definitely takes the prize for most dramatic exit, there are more appropriate ways to quit your job. No matter how dissatisfied you are with your job, it’s still important to take the high road and quit with class.

So what does it mean to quit your job with class? Here are just a few pointers to consider.

Quit Your Job with Class: Give Notice

Always let your manager know that you are leaving. In other words, give notice. This gives your manager time to come up with a transition plan and start looking for a suitable replacement.

Quit Your Job with Class: Finish What You Started

Finish any outstanding work. If you’re working on any projects, tie up any loose ends prior to your final day. Also let project team members know that you are leaving.

Quit Your Job with Class: Support Your Replacement

Transition your work and support your replacement. Assuming someone is hired to replace you before you leave, transition your work over to this individual and make sure they know how to do everything. Also, create a contact list for your replacement so they know who to go to if they have questions after you are gone.

Quit Your Job with Class: Be Prepared

Pack your personal stuff in advance of your last day. Instead of cramming all your personal belongings into a box on your last day, start taking a few things home with you each day.

Quit Your Job with Class: Be Honest

Be honest in your exit interview. Employers rely on exit interviews to identify opportunities for improvement. If you are leaving for a specific reason, let HR know what could be improved. (Keep in mind that quitting with class does not include bashing your boss or co-workers during an exit interview.)

Quit Your Job with Class: Stay in Touch

Let your manager know how to get in touch with you in case he or she needs to contact you after you are gone.

Have you ever quit your job (with class or otherwise) and have some advice to add to this list? Please leave a comment below and let us know about it!

Image: from Punch, or the London Charivari (via Project Gutenberg)

Cyberbullying Can Happen at Work

Cyberbullying Can Happen at WorkWe are all familiar with the unfortunate fact that children, teens, and young adults have been known to treat their peers nastily in voice and actions. Known to us as bullying, this age-old problem has surfaced on social networking sites and now a new survey seems to indicate that cyberbullying has extended into the workplace. What is really surprising is that a survey in the UK seems to indicate that over 80% of those in the workplace who participated in the survey have indicated that they have been the victim of cyberbullying.

The survey takers also discovered that bullying at work was on par with what kids and young teens experience in school, including being gossiped about, ignored, and even humiliated by peers. One of the latest examples of how this can happen is what occurred recently at Apple. Allegations are that the now deposed head of software who developed the non-Google Maps for the iPhone was one of those who could be described as a bully.

Bullying is no longer limited to just emails or posting on social networking sites. Bullying can also take the form of text messages to the individual’s phone, comments posted on blogs, the sharing of manipulated images of the person being harassed, or other offensive comments posted directly on the comments section of websites.

Here are some tips I would recommend that you take to curb cyberbullying at work that may actually help you.

  • You must recognize the situation as actual harassment before you can proceed.
  • The perpetrator is usually insecure in their needs and they may have been bullied themselves at one time.
  • Do not respond to the perpetrator. This may give them the satisfaction they seek to know you are miserable and their efforts are working.
  • Make a copy of the message, photograph, video, or anything else the perpetrator is sending to you.
  • Seek the assistance of your supervisor and advise them of what is happening.

In the workplace, employers should have written policies in place that prevent employees from being bullied, whether online, in the office, or anywhere in the workplace. Without a written policy, the employer can suffer from a lack of employee morale, lack of production, and also subject themselves to a possible lawsuit by not taking proper action immediately.

For anyone who reads this and who has been the victim of bullying in the workplace or knows of an incident in which someone else was bullied, share your solutions with us.

I strongly dislike bullies no matter where the bully practices his trade and would hope that you would be part of the solution to stop bullies in their tracks.

Comments are welcome.

Source: Discovery News

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Clint Hamada

Hotmail Launches Disposable Accounts

If you’ve used e-mail for any amount of time you probably have one or two disposable e-mail accounts they you use when you don’t want to give out your real mailing address. Hotmail has caught on to what users are doing and making the process easier.

In a new feature release from Hotmail today, you can simply create a bogus e-mail account from one login. This new Hotmail feature allows users to create multiple e-mail accounts that can be read, replied to, and managed from the primary users inbox. These additional logins are low maintenance and do not require extra user names or special settings to keep up to date.

Hotmail’s idea is to give users a safe way to provide external parties with a secondary email address without having to give up the address that is used from personal everyday use. This, in theory, will help cut down on accounts being compromised.

“I don’t want to give my real address out to any site in the world. I might be worried they’ll spam me with newsletters, or they might resell it to other marketers. Who knows what can happen?” Said the Windows Live product management director. Increasing focus and spam is going to email, it is low-cost and is better than a spam advertiser using traditional post mail. Just like junk post mail spam is a huge problem and Hotmail’s new way of combating that looks very useful.

Another problem brought to attention is the ability to juggle one e-mail address that is used with family and friends, work, and everything else that you do on the internet. Having multiple email addresses helps divide different lives on the internet.

Each Hotmail user can create up to five e-mail addresses on one account. Any of which can be deleted and replaces at anytime with the click of a mouse. The Microsoft spokesperson also said that the Hotmail team will increase the limit to 15 address per account in the future, making it easier for heavy e-mail users don’t have to juggle multiple accounts.

Microsoft hopes to please both types of users, the normal users who want multiple accounts for home and work life and the hardcore users who want to juggle multiple things while not having to deal with any setting changes. Microsoft says they it is slowly rolling this feature accounts and should be available to everyone by the end of this weekend.

Sick At Work And Surfing The Net? You're Not Alone – Or Are You?

Some scholars estimate that presenteeism, a relatively recent buzzword that applies to people who are less productive at work because of health issues, costs employers as much as three times the dollar amount as absenteeism in terms of lost productivity.

But researchers at University of Michigan believe those numbers may be inaccurate. A new opinion paper suggests that the tools for measuring and quantifying hours of lost productivity and translating those hours to dollars are unreliable and don’t capture the entire presenteeism picture, said Susan Hagen, an analyst from the U-M School of Kinesiology Health Management Research Center (HMRC).

Because of this, the HMRC has suggested a three-year moratorium on its studies of presenteeism that translate hours of productivity loss into financial or dollar equivalents.

The HMRC defines presenteeism as reduced productivity at work due to health conditions such as asthma, back pain, allergies or depression.

“It’s hard to be 100 percent effective every moment you’re at work,” Hagen said. “We’re talking about the lack of productivity that stems from a health condition, or because you’re worried about your health.”

One of the challenges in measuring presenteeism is that all the measurement instruments use self-reported data. This means you’re depending on employees to report they aren’t working as effectively as they could be, due to their health.

“There are all kind of estimates as to how often it happens,” Hagen said. “The estimates can vary so widely. Some studies say that most workers don’t have any presenteeism, while there is other research that suggests most workers experience presenteeism to some degree.”

Another big problem is that there are so many different measuring tools, and each tool may measure presenteeism in a different way. Also, not all health problems affect workers in the same ways. For example, a person may have allergies for two weeks in May and feel horrible, but the measurement instrument could take that two weeks and expand that bad experience to 12 months. This process vastly over-reports the illness and thus, the hours lost and the subsequent financial loss.

“Almost everybody believes in the concept of presenteeism but maybe some of those calculations based on those early measurements aren’t accurate,” Hagen said.

“Our concern is that organizations may be making financial or future decisions based on data that may not support those decisions,” Hagen said.

The paper appears in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Laura Bailey @ University of Michigan

How To Be Productive On Those Days When You’re In A Daze

There should be an image here!Ever have one of those days where it feels like you can’t focus, where it feels like you’re in a complete daze? If not, you’re probably the exception because most people experience this from time to time. Whether your daze is due to lack of sleep or the crumby weather, you’re day doesn’t have to be a complete waste. There are still things you can do to make your day productive:

  • Try working on things that require less thinking such as graphics in a presentation, special effects, timings, etc.
  • If you need to do some writing, focus on brainstorming ideas and creating an outline.
  • Work in a different location.
  • Spend some time on the Internet researching new and upcoming trends.
  • Work on reports that require little brain power, such as expense reports.
  • Tidy up your office space or cubicle.
  • Take a stroll through the office and spend time connecting with people you don’t normally have time to talk with.

[Photo above by Dimitri N / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:Stress-Free Productivity]

How To Be Productive On Those Days When You’re In A Daze

There should be an image here!Ever have one of those days where it feels like you can’t focus, where it feels like you’re in a complete daze? If not, you’re probably the exception because most people experience this from time to time. Whether your daze is due to lack of sleep or the crumby weather, you’re day doesn’t have to be a complete waste. There are still things you can do to make your day productive:

  • Try working on things that require less thinking such as graphics in a presentation, special effects, timings, etc.
  • If you need to do some writing, focus on brainstorming ideas and creating an outline.
  • Work in a different location.
  • Spend some time on the Internet researching new and upcoming trends.
  • Work on reports that require little brain power, such as expense reports.
  • Tidy up your office space or cubicle.
  • Take a stroll through the office and spend time connecting with people you don’t normally have time to talk with.

[Photo above by Dimitri N / CC BY-ND 2.0]

More Communication In The Workplace – What Does It Really Mean?

There should be an image here!Employees often say that they want more communication in the workplace. What does this really mean though? Chances are when employees are asking for more communication, what they really want is better communication. They want to know how they are impacted directly and what’s in it for them.

Take for example the manager who forwards onto his or her team, an email about an upcoming technology roll-out. If there is no information in the email about how the technology roll-out will directly the team, when asked how the roll-out went, the team will inevitably say that there was not enough communication. The real problem is not the quantity of communication but rather the quality.

However, had the manager tailored the information for his or her team to specifically state what the direct impact would be and what was in it for them, the team likely would have been satisfied.

So, when employees tell you that they want more communication, consider looking at how information is shared with them and if messages are being tailored appropriately for the audience. If not, employees will always be looking for more.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Can Perfectionism Negatively Impact Your Career?

There should be an image here!The answer is yes. Striving for perfection can definitely have a negative impact on your career.

Don’t get me wrong, is some cases, every detail needs to be perfect. However, the problem with always trying to strive for perfection is that it takes much longer to perform tasks. In my experience, perfectionists have a hard time differentiating between when perfection is required and when the task just needs to get done. With the latter, what ends up happening is the perfectionist becomes a bottleneck. When it comes to meeting deadlines, no one wants a constant bottleneck on their team.

Think you might be a perfectionist? Here is a short quiz from Discovery Health called Perfectionism Test to help identify if you have perfectionist tendencies: http://discoveryhealth.queendom.com/perfectionism_abridged_access.html

Furthermore, if you are a perfectionist, here are 5 Ways to Stop Trying to be Perfect.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

More Communication In The Workplace – What Does It Really Mean?

There should be an image here!Employees often say that they want more communication in the workplace. What does this really mean though? Chances are when employees are asking for more communication, what they really want is better communication. They want to know how they are impacted directly and what’s in it for them.

Take for example the manager who forwards onto his or her team, an email about an upcoming technology roll-out. If there is no information in the email about how the technology roll-out will directly the team, when asked how the roll-out went, the team will inevitably say that there was not enough communication. The real problem is not the quantity of communication but rather the quality.

However, had the manager tailored the information for his or her team to specifically state what the direct impact would be and what was in it for them, the team likely would have been satisfied.

So, when employees tell you that they want more communication, consider looking at how information is shared with them and if messages are being tailored appropriately for the audience. If not, employees will always be looking for more.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Can Perfectionism Negatively Impact Your Career?

There should be an image here!The answer is yes. Striving for perfection can definitely have a negative impact on your career.

Don’t get me wrong, is some cases, every detail needs to be perfect. However, the problem with always trying to strive for perfection is that it takes much longer to perform tasks. In my experience, perfectionists have a hard time differentiating between when perfection is required and when the task just needs to get done. With the latter, what ends up happening is the perfectionist becomes a bottleneck. When it comes to meeting deadlines, no one wants a constant bottleneck on their team.

Think you might be a perfectionist? Here is a short quiz from Discovery Health called Perfectionism Test to help identify if you have perfectionist tendencies.

Furthermore, if you are a perfectionist, here are 5 Ways to Stop Trying to be Perfect.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:Overcoming Perfectionism]

Mad At Your Boss? Here’s What Not To Do

There should be an image here!Getting mad at your boss is one thing (and bound to happen). How you react when you’re angry is another thing. You likely want an opportunity to share your opinions or concerns but blowing a gasket and publicly displaying your anger is definitely not the way to do it.

If you find yourself at odds with your boss (or other management), consider the following list before you react.

  • If you’re the type of person to react in anger, it’s best to distance yourself from the situation and come back when you have calmed down.
  • When you do get the opportunity to speak, don’t attack your boss personally, rather attack the problem.
  • Look at the situation from your boss’s point of view so you can understand where he or she is coming from. If you’re not clear, ask the question. It will make for some productive discussion.
  • It’s difficult not to speak up during the heat of the moment. However, remember that there is a time and a place for certain things to be said and discussions to occur. Sometimes it’s better to hold your tongue and save the conversation for a more appropriate setting.
  • If you choose to attack the problem in public, be prepared for the possibility of having to apologize for your actions in public.
  • Sometimes you need to agree to disagree and leave it at that. You were hired for a specific purpose and it likely wasn’t to fight battles.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

How To Look For A New Job While You’re Still Employed

There should be an image here!Many people are employed but still looking for other opportunities. The challenge is if your current boss gets wind of it, he or she may prematurely start looking for your replacement or worse yet, make your life miserable. So what do you do if you’re looking for a new job but don’t want your current boss to find out? Here are a few things you can do to keep your job search under the radar.

  • Don’t suddenly change your appearance in preparation for an interview. If you wear casual clothes to work each day, showing up in business attire, such as a suit, is a sure way to look conspicuous. Instead, pack a change of clothes for your interview and make arrangements to change once you leave your current workplace.
  • Avoid talking to potential employers at your desk. Instead, use your personal cell phone. Furthermore, avoid using your current work computer to 1) search for potential jobs and 2) communicate with potential employers.
  • Don’t use resources within your current work environment to prepare for an interview. This includes printers and photo copiers. You never know who may beat you to the printer or inadvertently pick up your resume at the copier.
  • If possible, schedule any interviews first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. The less work disruption, the less likely anyone is to question your whereabouts.
  • Be particularly careful if you are interviewing with an employer who is also a client of your current employer. You never know who you may run into.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Managing People Distractions

There should be an image here!Last year, my co-workers and I moved to a new office. We went from working in our own private cubicles to working in pods. There are now three of us in one pod, where there is absolutely no privacy. When I look back to the first few weeks of pod life, I can definitely say that the most challenging aspect of moving into a pod was trying to work amidst the people distractions.

The first few weeks of pod life were not my most productive but I eventually found ways of dealing with the people distractions. Here are a few of the things that seemed to work for me:

  • Attitude is key — accept that people distractions are part of the job.
  • Have a pair of ear plugs or headphones on hand to block out the noise.
  • Stay organized with a task list. Reward yourself if you are able to accomplish all your tasks without getting distracted.
  • Have a conversation with your co-workers to set some ground rules for the pod. This might include dedicated quiet time, taking lengthy phone calls in dedicated meeting rooms, etc.
  • Be considerate of your pod mates. Recognize that they too are likely trying to get accustomed to the new arrangement.
  • Put up dividers between the desks within a pod to give some level of privacy. You can purchase portable dividers for minimal costs.

If you’re trying to adjust to pod life, rest assured, within a few weeks, you’ll get used to it and will become oblivious to many of the people distractions going on around you.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Survive A Workplace Screw-Up

No one is perfect and we have all screwed-up at some point. Unfortunately, a workplace screw-up can be far more embarrassing and stressful than a personal screw-up. If you are in the midst of a workplace screw-up, here are a few tips you can use to get by:

  • First of all, if you do screw-up, just admit to it. It is far more professional to admit to your mistake as opposed to making excuses or trying to put the blame on someone else. Also, the sooner you admit to a mistake, the sooner you can move on from it.
  • Conversely, if you do screw-up and your manager isn’t aware of it yet, be proactive and tell your manager before they find out about it from someone else.
  • Expect others to criticize your screw-up. When they do, remember to listen and accept the criticism, as opposed to getting overly emotional.
  • Don’t be defensive when others criticize your mistake. Accept the criticism and try to learn from it.
  • After receiving criticism, don’t dwell on it. Dwelling on negative events and criticism will only make you negative. In addition, others are more likely to move on if they know you have.
  • Finally, turn your screw-up into a positive by gathering your team members and discussing the lessons learned.

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Don’t Call A Meeting For The Sake Of Meeting

I’ve come across many teams who have re-occurring meetings, even though they don’t have agendas. Some people feel that regular meetings are important. However, holding meetings for the sake of holding meetings is a great way to alienate attendees. Why is that? Meetings without actionable agendas are a waste of your attendees’ time. What ends up happening is you meet to discuss what to discuss as opposed to specific action steps. The result — a lot wasted time. It’s much better to be conscious of people’s time and only call meetings when you have a concrete purpose.

Furthermore, each meeting should end with an action step that identified who will do what by when. You should question the purpose of any meeting that ends without at least one concrete actionable item. If there are no actionable outcomes, chances are you didn’t need the meeting.

[awsbullet:Meeting Excellence]