Category Archives: Quitting or Fired

How to resign your job – part 1

“The non compete clause is never enforced.  I’m not worried if they find out where I am going.”

A very real guy I know said that to his new boss.  He went back and bragged to his old coworkers about the new job.  He got a phone call from his old company’s lawyer.  Guess what?  They are enforcing the non compete clause.  If he fought it, he very well might beat it.  But during the ensuing battle he couldn’t work. So he is staying.  What do you think his career pway_out-710184_640_pixabayath looks like now?
Resignation should always be done with a simple letter stating:

I appreciate the opportunity I have had to work for XYZ Company.  I am resigning my position effective <date>.

Don’t say where you are going.  Don’t brag to your coworkers.  Don’t even admit which state or industry you will be in.

What if there is not a non compete clause in your contract?  You should resign the same way.

Why?

You may be accused of bringing trade secrets to the new employer.  They may not be able to stop you, but they can still cause you and your new company pain in the courts.

Resigning should always be done the same way.  Simply and quietly. Gloating is never a good idea.

Something To Do Today

Don’t quit today unless you already have a new job.  Then quit in a short professional letter of resignation. Practice avoiding questions about where you are going to work.

Suicidal glory is the luxury of the irresponsible.  We’re not giving up.  We’re waiting for a better opportunity.  (Bujold)

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Later:  How to resign – Part 2

A successful email

The guy who invented running died

I make the milk every morning

Propagating blueberries guerilla style

Great ideas are a dime a dozen

Confronting your boss – 5 things to do to get fired

fight-655390_640-pixabay“I won’t do things that way. You have to do it my way. You don’t have the guts to fire me,” the company President told the CEO after a long loud discussion about the direction the company was going.   The CEO left and took a 30 minute timeout.  Upon returning the boss said, “Do you want to say anything?”  The answer, “No. I’m right.”  The reply was, “You’re fired. You have half an hour to clean out your desk.”

The guy was shocked.  In his heart of hearts he knew he was right so he made a few calls to shareholders to get support.  In half an hour the boss returned and said, “I gave you half an hour and you are not gone yet.  You can walk to the door with me now, or I can call the police.”

Here’s the mistakes this real person made:

  1. He challenged his boss’s authority
  2. He called his boss a coward
  3. No apology was offered for vicious insubordination
  4. An open attempt to create a mutiny was started
  5. There was no backing down or offer of compromise.

How do you deal with your boss’s mistakes?  I admit I have done every single one of these wrong things to a boss or two of mine in the past.  Luckily my rebellion was much milder.  I never got fired for it.  I didn’t get promoted either.

Some great ways to confront your boss are in How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  You’ll find it enlightening.

Something To Do Today

Don’t see if you can get fired.

Read How To Win Friends And Influence People

Cynicism is not realistic and tough.  It’s unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don’t have to try.  (Noonan)

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Later:  How to leave your job

A successful email

Getting past a glass ceiling

True story: She can’t get a promotion.  Not even a bigger title.  The “Good Old Boys” all admit she is doing a great job.  She saves the company literally 5 to 50 times her salary every year.  She will never be promoted.  It is because she is a woman.  I know her.  I know her company.  There is no way up.  Even shooting her boss will only get a different man promoted ahead of her.

She can make her own life a living hell by suing the company.  She’ll lose even if she wins.  They would figure out a reason to fire her in a few years and then she’d have a hard time finding a job.

There are two ways to deal with a glass ceiling.

  1. Go around it.
  2. Get a new job.

Go around it

To go around the glass ceiling you need a mentor.  It is doubtful that your own boss will really help since he isn’t helping you now.  Invite someone 2 or 3 levels above you to lunch.  At lunch, don’t condemn your boss. Ask for help to grow.  Write down the advice you get.  Set up an appointment to have lunch again in 3 to 6 months.  Go over your progress with the person.  Report on how you have improved.

Scared?  Do you have to go to the owner, CEO or chairman of the board?  Do it anyway.  What have you got to lose?  You may be surprised that the person that far above you really wants to help winners like you succeed.  And if they refuse to help, try method 2.

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read, “President Can’t Swim”.  (Johnson)

Get a new job

Keep your old job as you search for a new one.  Chronicle your accomplishments in a job journal.  Report to your boss every week on your progress at work even if he doesn’t want to see it.  Take the reports and put your greatest accomplishments in your resume.

Network, contact recruiters, apply to good jobs at good companies.  Set criteria for moving and when you find the job, move.

Something To Do Today

Seriously ask yourself, why haven’t I been promoted this week?  Why haven’t I gotten a raise or a bonus this week?

Now write down in your job journal what you can do to get a promotion, raise or bonus as quickly as possible.

Will that make you happy?  Is that what you really want?  If yes, go do it.  If no, better figure out what you really should be doing.  There is no time like the present to change your life.  You get to be happier longer if you change today.

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Later:  The hours game

Confronting your boss

How to leave your job

Coyote traps at work – when to gnaw your arm off

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps. (Phillips)

Coyotes stuck in a trap have been known to gnaw their foot off to escape.  A lot of these three footed coyotes survive for years and do very well. Okay, they do well compared to coyotes that were killed by the trapper.

Scared to leave your job?  Nasty non compete?  Family responsibilities?  Too comfortable?

Are you really going to stay in that job until you retire no matter how you are treated?

If the company starts losing money is the president going to fire himself, or fire YOU? 

Do you have to shoot your boss to get a promotion?

Don’t leave just because you can.  If your job is fulfilling, pays well and gives you a chance to progress to where YOU want to go in your career, STAY.  If you have a history of job skipping, stay awhile even if you don’t like it there.  There are good reasons to stay in your current job.  Fear is not a good reason.

Yesterday I wrote about non competes.  If you are concerned about yours, talk to a lawyer who specializes in employment law.  Many non competes are not enforceable.  That means they are legally unfair or immoral.  You are not morally obligated to do something immoral.  It does not make sense to feel obligated to do what it is not legal to expect of you.

If you have a valid non compete, consider doing whatever you have to do to get out of it.  One good way is to go to your boss and say, “I want a new contract with a more limited non compete.”  Don’t threaten to quit, just ask him to reasonably limit the non compete.  If he says, “No,” you can always start looking for a job.  If he fires you for asking, check with your lawyer.  He may have just voided the non compete.  And last of all, he may realize you are upset and give you a raise or a promotion.

Even if you have to quit and commute 3 hours a day, it is better to quit now rather than later. Do you really think that in 3 years or 10 years you will have LESS obligations and lower expenses than you do now?  Slavery is illegal.  Don’t allow yourself to be a slave.

Don’t let fear paralyze you. Carpe diem. Seize the day.  Carpe jugulum. Grab the day by the throat and make life give you what you deserve.  You CAN change your life.

Something To Do Today

Like your job?  Tell your boss.

Want to leave?  Figure out how.  Don’t be chained to a life of low expectations.

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Later:                          Glass ceilings

The hours game

Confronting your boss

How to leave your job

Non-compete agreement abuse

Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity than straightforward and simple integrity in another. (Colton)

Non-competes

For a year Jim did a two hour commute-one way, every day.  What a horrible thought.  He did it to get out of a non-compete agreement.  Do you think he will ever sign another one?

Lawyers in Pennsylvania are expressly prohibited by law from having non-competes for lawyers.  It is unfair, they say, to do that to lawyers and their clients.  A lawyer leaving a law firm SHOULD be allowed to steal clients.  So why do non-competes apply to everyone else? Because lawyers are paid to write them.

There are reasons to sign a broadly applicable non-compete agreement:

  1. You will be trained from total ignorance to blinding expertise and will be paid lavishly with a guarantee of 1 year of pay after you are fired or quit.

Not a long list.  Is it?

Here’s a list reasons to sign a limited non-compete agreement:

  1. You will learn crucial trade secrets
  2. You might steal customers or employees
  3. You will receive some training and the costs need to be repaid

A simple non-compete clause is the most dangerous. You can be barred from every job in an industry or area if your contract only says, “You will not compete.” Make sure any contract you sign clearly states what specific things you are not allowed to do.  It should list:

  1. A reasonable period of time that you cannot compete (never more than a year)
  2. A precise group you are not allowed to work for or call on
  3. Specific jobs you cannot do for someone else
  4. A geographic area it applies to (within 35 or 50 miles of where you worked)

If you don’t like a contract, change it.  Cross out sections and write in the margins.  Initial the changes.  Handwritten changes on a contract take precedence over the typeset text.

Take control.  You want a job, not a prison.  You need freedom to take another job in order to make this one worthwhile.  Have the guts to change a contract that is too restrictive.  You’ll be surprised how often your changes are accepted.  If they are not accepted, leave.  Value your freedom.

Something To Do Today

Time to gossip.  Ask people you know or strangers you meet at bars or the gym about non-compete agreements.  Get them to tell you horror stories they have heard of.  You will be appalled.  It is an education you need.

 

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Later:

Coyote traps – when to gnaw off your arm

Glass ceilings

The hours game

Rigor Mortis – 10 signs of job death – 7 job CPR fixes

Job death is NOT a bad thing.  It is a part of your progress.  Once you are dead, just get on with your life.

Rigor Mortis – signs of job death –  job CPR fixes

When your job is dead you have a decision to make: keep it or leave?   If you keep it, perform CPR on your job whenever possible.  If you decide to leave, check for rigor mortis before you give up hope.

Signs of job death and rigor mortis:

  1. Dilbert cartoons posted over the company goals
  2. No one notices your 2 hour bathroom breaks…3 times a day
  3. Facebook used more than all other applications combined
  4. No raises in more than 2 years…even for your boss’s mistress
  5. You try to organize a union and there already is one
  6. Surgery required on bitten tongue after your annual review
  7. Quality program of the month comes from a federal agency
  8. A job with the State Department of School Taxes sounds exciting
  9. Members of the beef and whine lunch club get food poisoning
  10. Spouse uses an electric cattle prod to push you out the door in the morning

CPR for your job:

  1. Learn new skills…pay for it yourself
  2. Turn in weekly, monthly and quarterly job reports to your boss and possibly his boss
  3. Go to lunch with enthusiastic people, find out why they are that way, contribute
  4. Get involved with Toastmasters…guaranteed excitement and comedy, some of it on purpose.
  5. Find out everyone’s birthday and decorate their cubicle
  6. Ask the people everyone respects how you can make a bigger difference
  7. Help a customer without permission

There is always something you can do. What is it?

Something To Do Today

Time to write your weekly report in your job journal if you didn’t do it Friday.  Make a copy in a format your boss can use to send to his boss.  Give it to him even if he protests he doesn’t need it.  There is no way he can know all the good things you have done unless you tell him.

Check out www.toastmasters.org .  Go to a meeting at 2 or 3 different clubs.

Dangers using the job supermarket

Job Supermarket

When I was in Spain in 1977 I knew of no supermarkets there.  You had to go to a small store and ask for exactly what you wanted.  The owner would bring out what you asked for from behind the counter.  There were no food aisles to roam.

By 1979 supermarkets were taking over the country.  Huge places filled with choices.  You could literally make shopping an all day event, and forget to come home with what you needed. Then you would go to that local store and ask the owner for what you forgot, if the store was still in business.

Now let’s talk about the job supermarket.

In 2003 and 2009 jobs were few and far between.  Candidates were happy to accept any job offer if they were unemployed for a few months.  Employers were being very picky.  Salaries were often dropping.

In 2005 and 2014 a job boom started.  Employers were starting to beg for workers in 2007 and 2015.  People who couldn’t get a job in 2004 or 2010 were getting multiple offers.  People fed up with the way they have been treated for years are changing jobs.

Unfortunately in 2007 and again in 2015 some people are going job hunting, changing jobs, and forgetting to improve their situation.  Employers get very wary of people who hop between jobs

The moral:  Be careful you don’t make it impossible to get a great job because you were seduced by sparkling packaging on inferior jobs in the job supermarket. If you aren’t careful the stores you could have gotten a job in will be like the stores in Spain, they’ll be out of business as far as you are concerned.

If you go out and quickly change jobs only for a small salary increase, you will probably be disappointed.  By the time you figure out why you are disappointed, it will be too late to switch jobs again.  Two new jobs within a year just doesn’t sit well with most employers.

Don’t lose your head.  If you want a raise, tell your boss without threatening him. Show him what others are earning.  Educate him. Don’t forget to listen to him.  He may tell you a few things you need to fix to be worth a raise. Giving your boss a month or two to fix a problem gives you more time to improve your marketability.  Figure out what will really be a job improvement.  Take control of where you want to go instead of letting 50 sparkling job ads seduce you.

As the next few years continue to heat up, use the opportunities available to get where you would like to be. Don’t settle for a raise.  Demand an opportunity in your current job and your next job.

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created, created first in the mind and will, created next in activity.  The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination. (Schaar)

Something To Do Today

In your job journal make two lists.  1.  The things you like about your job.  2.  The things about your job that could seriously be improved.

Next write down what can be done in this job and in searching for a new job to seriously improve your situation.

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Next:     Rigor Mortis – signs of job death

Later:    Resumes: trash or treasure

Use the slings and arrows of outrageous job fortune to win

Goliath was the best thing that ever happened to David. (Weed)

Okay, Goliath tried to kill David.  But it was how David reacted to Goliath that made him famous.

How horribly bad stuff can eventually help you have a great job

Some people claim that the best thing that happened to President George W. Bush, was that terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center towers. There is even an apocryphal account of Bill Clinton saying, “If only that attack had happened on my watch, then I would have been a great president.”

How about these:

  • Not getting a job you really want.
  • Someone else getting the promotion you worked for.
  • Being laid off.
  • A terrible job performance review.
  • A letter of reprimand in your file.

Disasters? Yes.  Setbacks? Yes.

Setbacks make me think of the two richest families in our neighborhood when I was a kid.  One ran a gas station.  The other was a plumber.  They couldn’t get great jobs, so they took opportunities no one else wanted.  The gas station manager now owns 10 car dealerships.  The plumber started his own company and employed a host of people. They took stock of their situation and decided to move forward.

Evaluate why you really suffered a setback.  Ask the easy questions and the hard questions.  What did they do to me?  What did I do to me? Where can I go from here?

One of the oldest books on the subject of success is Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.  Every other book on the subject just steals his material and puts it in different words.  His book can help you gain perspective and focus on what you can do.

Are you dealing with a Goliath?  Then make sure you DECIDE how to react.

Today is always the time to start your future.  Yesterday is past.  Today you can make tomorrow a little better.  Focus on what really caused your current situation.  Then go forward with a plan.  The world will change around you.

Something To Do Today

Get a copy of Think and Grow Rich and read through it.  It’s a classic.

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Later:  The job supermarket

Rigor Mortis – signs of job death

Job search: what the reality show would look like

There is a natural progression to a job search and how you feel when you have been fired.  Let me give you the key line that would be in the 8 episodes of the reality show, “I Was Fired.”

Episode 1:  Fired?  I’ll have another job before I’m out the door, you slug.

Episode 2: If I call 3 of my friends, I’ll have two job offers by the end of today.

Episode 3: I better file for unemployment checks.  This may take a week or two.

Episode 4: After “Survivor” I’ll try to send out a resume on “CareerBuilder”.

Episode 5: Will the sun ever shine again?  Why don’t the stars twinkle anymore?

Episode 6: The capitalist military industrial complex corrupts and destroys all the slaves forced to toil therein.

Episode 7:  My dog still loves me.  That’s a start.

Episode 8: I can have the job? Really??  The pay is low…but I’ll prove you made a great decision!

The real job search emotional progression includes:

denial,

getting mad,

reconciling with reality,

not knowing what to do next,

getting depressed,

realizing your self worth,

and finding a job.

It’s natural.  Where are you at?

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Later:              What to ask in every interview

Fired! The first 6 things you should do

Fired.  Laid off.  Terminated. Given a severance or pink slip. Let go. Walked to the door.  It’s a terrible, traumatic experience.

Here’s what you do.

First, be nice.  No bridge burning.  No yelling.  Your boss may have been ordered to fire you and is being fired in another week.  You may end up working for him at his new job.  Your future employer may call him for a reference.

Be careful. Do not quit!  If you quit, they can argue against your getting unemployment compensation.  If they say, “You can resign, if you’d like,” tell them, “No. You said you are firing me.  Is this an offer to let me stay?”  Dan Rather’s three writing assistants, who refused to quit, were still getting paid months after they were asked to resign because they would not quit. Then they got a great severance package.

Don’t sign anything unless there is something in it for YOU.  A good phrase to use is, “Let me take this to my lawyer and see if he wants me to sign it.”  You’d be surprised how often they say, “Don’t bother.”   Most things they want you to sign are to protect themselves or keep from giving you money.

If they say, “You have to sign this today without legal counsel,”  get that phrase in writing from them, sign it,  and take all the paperwork to your attorney.  Be careful.

Get your personal belongings.  All of them.  Get your job journal first of all.  If you even get a whiff of layoffs, get copies of your job journal, old job reviews, awards and attaboys to your house.  They’ll help you in your job search.

If someone argues with you about personal stuff you are taking, keep putting it in the box as you talk with them.  Your stuff is your stuff.

You don’t have a right to take client lists, trade secrets, client contracts or other company property.  You can always ask for permission to take it, though.  The guy walking you out of the office often feels so guilty he’ll say, “Just take it.”  If he says you can take it, you have a presumptive right to it that you don’t have without his permission.

Now, go directly to the unemployment office and file for compensation.  Do it today. Even if you are fired you can leave with grace.  All they can do is get you out of the building.  After that, it is all up to you.  Good luck.

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I love this quote

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm! (Lombardi)

Something To Do Today

No.  Don’t go get fired for practice.  Go back and read:  What to do before you quit.

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Later: Job search progression