Category Archives: Employment

8 Things You Should Do Before You Quit Your Job

8 Things You Should Do Before You Quit Your JobLeaving a job is seldom easy because your livelihood is tied directly to your employment. That doesn’t mean you should stay in a job you hate or that’s not letting you meet your career goals. If you’ve decided to quit your job, here are some things you should do to make the transition smoother and leave your reputation in tact.

Be sure quitting is your job is the right choice. Sometimes leaving a job is a no-brainer and sometimes it will feel like the toughest decision you’ve ever made. Before you put a plan to resign in motion, i.e. tell your employer you’re leaving, think through your decision to leave and be sure it’s the best thing for you right now.

Update your resume to include the most recent information about your role and duties. If you’re planning to hunt for a new job, an updated resume is essential.

Line up a new job. Ideally, you’ll have another job – or some source of income – before you resign from your first one to eliminate a gap in income or lapse in health coverage. Avoid job searching on company time or using company resources (like your work laptop) if you don’t want to tip off your employer to your job search. Also, be careful what you put on social media about your job search just in case your employer is monitoring your social media pages.

Stash some money away. As you contemplate leaving your job, it’s smart to cut back your spending and start putting extra money into savings. This is especially true if you don’t have another job lined up or if there will be a gap in your employment.

Apply for any loans before you leave your job. Once you quit your job, you may find it harder to get approved for a loan, even if you’ve started a new job already. Because lenders look at the length of time you’ve had in a particular job to predict your financial stability, a recent job change could make it harder to get approved. So, apply before you quit your job to improve your chances of being approved.

Remove your personal items, transfer personal files and contacts from your computer and smartphone. Don’t take confidential or proprietary company information with you or else you could be sued. Try not to make it obvious that you’re clearing out your personal items, e.g. carrying a big box of your things out the door, unless you’ve already announced your resignation.

Give proper notice. The required time period may vary depending on your employer, but two weeks’ notice is generally standard. Regardless of why you’re quitting, be pleasant in your resignation letter and thank your employer for your time at the company. Leave on a positive notice because you never know if you’ll cross paths with your employer or if you’ll end up coming back to the company in the future.

Talk to HR about your benefits. You may be entitled to some company benefits – like unused sick or vacation days – when you leave. At the very least, get an understanding of what happens to your retirement plans. And, if you’re not starting a new job right away and don’t have other health coverage, ask about continuing your health insurance through COBRA.

The more preparation you put into your resignation, the easier it will be to quit your job. Start preparing once you’ve made the decision to quit.

Salary vs Commission: Which Do You Prefer?

Salary vs Commission: Which Do You Prefer?Everyone’s job situation is different. Some people are paid hourly, others a flat rate for the year, and others on commission. There are advantages and disadvantages to each payment system, and it definitely takes some getting used to when changing from one system to another.

Here are the pros and cons for the 3 most popular compensation structures:

Hourly

Pros: It’s very easy to see that the more you work, the more you earn. If you are a hard worker, you have the potential to earn even more money for working overtime, which is often at a rate of 1.5 times the normal rate.

Cons: There is very little stability. Also, if you are sick or need a vacation day, you may feel guilty and go to work when you shouldn’t.

Salary

Pros: There is more stability here and it’s easy to know exactly how much you’ll make every pay period. You are likely entitled to benefits, which can help you take off work without having to worry about making less money.

Cons: There is not much ability to increase earnings since performance reviews are often once a year. Also, you may have to work more than 40 hours a week without being compensated for it.

Commission

Pros: The better you are at your job, the more you will get paid. There is no limit to how much you can earn.

Cons: You can never be sure how much money you will make in a given month, which makes planning difficult. Sometimes, factors outside of your control will determine if you have a good or bad month.

Throughout high school, I worked summer jobs, all of which paid me hourly. The more I worked, the more I got paid. So when I wanted to leave my job picking fruits and vegetables on a local farm at noon, it meant that I wouldn’t be making money during the afternoon.

After college, my first job was a set salary for the year. There was definitely a sense of security which I appreciated.

Now, my compensation consists of a base salary in addition to commission based on a percentage of sales. There’s no limit to how much I can make, which I like. I am able to motivate myself because I know that the harder I work, the better I will do, and the more I will earn.

What payment structure do you have? Do you like it? Which is your favorite?

Updated August 23, 2015 and originally published March 26, 2012.

There’s No Shame In Switching Jobs

There's No Shame In Switching JobsThe media loves to run trend pieces about how millennials are allegedly worse than other generations in some respect. According to these articles, millennials change jobs more often and are less loyal to employers than people in other generations. Writers present a past filled with workers who dutifully stayed at the same job for 30 years and then negatively discuss millennials who not only job hop, but refuse to walk miles each way uphill for their respective employers.

These articles are mainly lazy garbage, but at this blog, we love to debunk garbage!

The Facts about Job Changes

Contrary to popular myth, people have longer tenures with companies than in the past. At 4.6 years, job tenure in 2012 (the last year for statistics) is actually longer than it was in 1983. Longevity on the job increased across age groups in the aftermath of the recent recession.

Another notable fact is that relatively frequent job changes are commonplace for young workers. A Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that later Baby Boomers (born between 1957 and 1964) held an average of 11.3 jobs by age 46. Job changes appear normal for young workers in general, not millennials in particular.

Changes Make Financial and Career Sense

Modest income growth has been the norm in recent years. Raises only averaged 3% in 2013 and 2014. If a person negotiates a raise of 5% or more at a new position, that individual just noticeably increased his or her take home pay. This fact provides an incentive for people to change jobs.

Millennials in particular need to consider job changes in order to improve their financial situations. It takes millennials 4 years longer to reach the median income for the country than it did their older baby boomer counterparts. The weight of slow income growth is an actual trend, not an exaggeration, and people need to be aware of and react to in their best interests.

Another rarely discussed fact is that people are not rewarded for a long tenure if they have to go out in the job market again. New employers simply do not view it as a good sign. They might wonder if the applicant became complacent career-wise and failed to keep his or her skills up-to-date. If a person fails to achieve a promotion after four years with any employer, it is a good idea to push for one or look for more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

People Responding to the Job Market

While journalists point to the small percentage of people with long careers at one employer, the facts indicate that those folks were always an anomaly. Most people did not experience stints of 30+ years at a single company. People changing jobs numerous times, particularly when they are under 46, is the long-term norm, not a new trend.

All of this information points to a conclusion that millennials are assessing their work situations and making changes like their predecessors. If anything, people today are perhaps too loyal and need to consider more changes to combat slow income growth. Millennials need to ignore stories that amount to little more than “kids these days” and take a hard, objective look at how to grow their incomes in such a challenging environment. A job change is likely the sensible solution.