Monday, January 31, 2011

My old boss keeps calling me..

The JobDoc at Boston.com answers questions from readers about the world of work. 

I wanted to share one of the questions I read recently.  A former employee asked, "How long do I help my former boss?"  I thought I would share the response because it is actually a question I am hearing more and more from dislocated workers. 

It turns out that four months after leaving a job, this former employee was still being contacted by her old boss or his secretary with questions about day to day operations.  Not only was the former employee a little upset that she was still being called months after leaving, she was feeling a little bit harassed when her former boss called her on a Saturday evening asking for a report.   The bottom line question - How long should I wait before I can tell my former boss not to call me anymore?

The abbreviated version of the JobDoc's answer was that a former manager should no longer have expectations that former employees need to help them find things, or support their efforts. However, a former employee may find that being supportive of the company's efforts could earn them long term rewards, such as a professional reference or a potential re-hire opportunity later. 

JobDoc also gave advice on how to transition from a company so that there is no reason for these kinds of follow up calls.

Of course we don't want to burn our bridges, but former bosses need to be mindful as well when employees have moved on.

You can read the full response here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

10 Most Asked LinkedIn Questions

If you are not yet connecting with fellow professionals on LinkedIn, it is time that you start.  My colleague, Jackie Cameron, owner of Cameron Consulting, developed this list of the top 10 most asked questions about LinkedIn. 

Jackie answers the following 10 questions and gives really practical advice on how to use LinkedIn to stay connected.  If you have any of these questions yourself Jackie's answers can help you take that next step.

1. Why bother?
2. How do you decide who to connect with?
3. What if you get an invitation to connect and you don’t want to?
4. How can I get introduced to someone I really want to connect with?
5. What’s the point of an update?
6. Why would I give a recommendation?
7. What should I include in my profile?
8. Do I really need a picture?
9. Why would I bother putting up a book list?
10. How much time will it take?

Whether you decide to connect with folks on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site, keep in mind that the online footprint you develop will become a part of your professional persona.  Stay positive online.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Job Search Strategy with O*NET Online

Pundits and politicians salivate every month about what the unemployment numbers mean for American workers. If you’re like me, you probably think the media spends more time debating instead of offering real solutions.


I guess that is where we come in and so today, like I have done before, I happily endorse a great online resource called O*NET, sponsored by the Department of Labor. This free online resource has three great features that must be a part of any jobseeker’s job search strategy.

The three features are:

How to identify growing industries – If you or someone you know was laid off from a declining occupation and those jobs aren’t coming back, how can you find growing industries?

The Bright Outlook - Thinking about retraining and can’t think of which careers will be growing over the next decade? The Bright Outlook feature can help you here.

Related Occupations – Trying to find a related career that might use most of the skills you already have? This feature helps you reduce the time to switch.

Read the complete article - How to Use ONET Online as Part of a Competitive Job Search Strategy

Checkout O*NET here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's up with salaries?

Since 2006, The Payscale Index has been reviewing wage trends for full-time, private-sector employees in 20 metro areas, 15 industries and three sizes of companies.  Some highlights of the Q4 reports include:

- Wages at small companies with less than 99 employees declined a full percentage point when comparing 4th quarter of 2009 to the same period in 2010.

-Quarter 4 of 2010 saw the lowest wages for construction workers in over 3 years.

Overall the index shows that wages in 2010 were flat. 

With the economy as it is, even though companies have billions sitting on the sidelines, many workers might be looking at another year with no increase in salary.  If no pay raise is in store for you this year, but you still want to show career progress think about these 3 suggestions I made a while back.  No Pay Raise? What Else Could You Ask For?