Tag: work life


How to Improve Your Career During a Pandemic: 15 Resources

The COVID pandemic has had widespread effect, not just on our health and our healthcare system, but also on our careers and the way we work. Every industry has felt its impact, some in a positive way, and most in a negative way.

As a result, I’ve had to help guide my clients and readers through the impact the pandemic has had on the job market and on their work and careers.

I’ve spent the last several months sharing my insights on how workers and job seekers can adapt to the current job market. I hope my readers have found this information helpful in such uncertain times. I also want to make it easier for them to access this information.

Therefore, I’m compiling all of my pandemic-related posts here for you to catch up on, along with some “tweetable” nuggets from various posts (see below).

I’m also including a new blog category named “COVID info” so you can easily locate all future posts related to this topic. You’ll find it within the list of other categories on the right of your computer screen or at the bottom of your mobile device screen.

If you have any specific questions about conducting a job search during a pandemic, feel free to email your question to me. I’ll try my best to answer it for you, either privately or in a future post.

15 resources to help you improve your career during a pandemic

1. How to Improve Your Work Life With Coronavirus Prevention (published March 23, 2020)

How to Improve Your Work Life With Coronavirus Prevention

“…companies who adopt remote work will replace companies who don’t.” (click to tweet)

The above quote is what experts are predicting. If you work for one of the few companies that has the capability to adopt remote work but has chosen not to, then your job may be in jeopardy.

It might be time to start updating your resume so you can look for work that will be around in the future. To help you do this, check out the next post #2.

2. How to Gain Control Over Your Career Amidst Layoffs (published March 23, 2020)

How to Gain Control Over Your Career Amidst Layoffs

“If it’s been a while since you last updated your resume, now is a good time to do so. It’s definitely more productive than spending your time watching Netflix while quarantined!”

You may not realize it, but there are probably some things on your resume hurting your chances of landing a job interview. They need to go!

Find out what to keep, update, and delete on your resume in this post.

3. Are You Prepared to Be a Freelancer If Forced To? (published March 26, 2020)

Are You Prepared to Be a Freelancer If Forced To?

“If you lost your job tomorrow and couldn’t find another one right away, would you be able to pick up and start making some extra money?”  (click to tweet)

Check out this post to find out how to create multiple streams of revenue in the event of a job loss.

4. Getting Laid Off? The #1 Thing to Ask for When You Leave (published March 30, 2020)

Getting Laid Off? The #1 Thing to Ask for When You Leave

“If you’re getting laid off due to the coronavirus, and your company doesn’t offer outplacement counseling, ask for it! What do you have to lose at this point?”

And if your company does offer outplacement counseling or career coaching as part of your severance, take advantage of it! They’re paying for it, so use it.

5. How to Avoid These 5 Career Mistakes During a Time of Panic (published April 15, 2020)

How to Avoid These 5 Career Mistakes During a Time of Panic

“Now is not the time to panic or lose hope. It’s time to do what’s within your control, which includes making good decisions based on logic, not fear.” (click to tweet)

There are five common career mistakes I see people make when they find themselves in a bad job market and start to panic. Find out what they are in this post so you can avoid them.

6. How to Make Phone and Video Interviews Run More Smoothly (published April 28, 2020)

How to Make Phone and Video Interviews Run More Smoothly

“Companies are likely to continue using remote interviews even after the pandemic is behind us.”

To ensure things run smoothly on your end of your next remote interview, follow the tips in this post.

7. Your Job Provides You Security. Until It Doesn’t. Then What? (published May 6, 2020)

Your Job Provides You Security. Until It Doesn’t. Then What?

“While you have no control over the current pandemic or your company’s response to it, you do have control over your own career strategy.”

Companies will always do what they have to do to keep afloat for as long as possible, which means you need to have a strategy in place if you lose your job.

Think you don’t need a strategy? Allow me to share a few stories with you in this post.

8. It’s Time For a 2020 Do-Over (published May 27, 2020)

It’s Time for a 2020 Do-Over!

“There are now things we have to change, but also things we get to change.”

What’s one change brought on by the pandemic you or your family have benefited from?

9.  How to Set Post-Quarantine Goals When You Hate Goal-Setting (published June 3, 2020)

How to Set Post-Quarantine Goals When You Hate Goal-Setting

“Maybe you’re less of a visionary or planner, and instead are more of a problem solver.”

If problem solving is more your thing than goal-setting, check out this simple way to set goals from a problem-solver’s perspective.

10.  How to Stay Focused on Your Goals During the Remainder of the Pandemic (published June 10, 2020)

How to Stay Focused on Your Goals During the Remainder of the Pandemic

“Now may be a good time to start planning some future goals, even if you don’t yet know the full impact of the pandemic on your future plans.”

Even if the pandemic is preventing you from accomplishing some of your goals, you can use this time to put them in writing or update the ones you’ve already written down. You can start planning now, and then you’ll already have something to tweak if necessary in the near future. Learn how in this post.

11. How to Stop Procrastinating During and After the Quarantine (published June 17, 2020)

How to Stop Procrastinating During and After the Quarantine

“You won’t be considered a failure if you at least give your goals a try. It’s when you don’t try at all you’ll be seen as a failure.” (click to tweet)

Because so much has been put on hold due to the pandemic, it can be tempting to also put your dreams and goals for your life on hold.

But how many years have gone by where you never did what you said you wanted to do? How many more years do you want this to continue happening once we’re past this crisis?

The truth is, post-quarantine won’t be any different than pre-quarantine if you don’t make the choice to change. Learn how in this post.

12. How to Re-Direct Your Career in a Time of Uncertainty (published June 24, 2020)

How to Re-Direct Your Career in a Time of Uncertainty

“You always have the opportunity to re-direct your career, both in good times and in times of uncertainty.” (click to tweet)

If we’ve learned anything from the economic impact of COVID-19, it’s nothing is certain. And, there’s no such thing as job security. But you can take your job security into your own hands. And you can start now! This post shows you how.

13. How to Land a New Job With the Help of a Face Mask (published July 8, 2020)

How to Land a New Job With the Help of a Face Mask

“You never know who will be standing in line six feet ahead of you, or six feet behind you. It could be the person who works for a company currently hiring instead of downsizing.”

This post teaches a unique way of networking during times of social distancing.

14. LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely (published July 29, 2020)

LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely

“If you fail to follow proper LinkedIn etiquette, you’ll likely turn off the people you want to connect with most.”

Most job candidates only create a LinkedIn profile and do nothing more than “set it and forget it.” But there are more things you can and should do with LinkedIn if you want to find opportunities. And you have to understand the etiquette required on LinkedIn in order to be successful. Learn how in this post.

15. How to Answer These Important Pandemic Interview Questions (published August 12, 2020)

How to Answer These Important Pandemic Interview Questions

“What did you do with your time…during the pandemic?”

This will be a question you may have to answer in your next interview. Are you ready for it? Learn how to respond appropriately in this post.

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Stop! Watch Out For These 10 Red Flags in Your New Job

You’ve finally found a job and have accepted an offer. Maybe it’s an offer you’re extremely excited about. Or maybe it’s an offer you took just to have a paycheck until the right job comes along.

Either way, it’s important to beware of any red flags you may notice in the first 90 days of your new job. These are things you DO NOT want to ignore!

What are those red flags?

Author and president of MathCelebrity Don Sevcik gives a great answer to this question. He’s spent over 20 years in what he calls “the corporate America cube farm” for a variety of companies, including Fortune 500 companies, mid-level companies, and start-ups.

Here are his thoughts on ten red flags you shouldn’t ignore.

The following list was originally published on Quora by author and business owner, Don Sevcik. He graciously allowed me to publish it here under a new format.

#1 of 10 Red Flags

Has your job, in the first few weeks, suddenly morphed into something different from the job role on your employment contract?

And, if you call management out on it, do they use silly phrases like not “being flexible”?

Congratulations! You’ve found your first red flag.

Note: if you learn nothing else from this post, “Flexible” and “Team Player” are code for “do more work, but don’t expect to get paid for it.”

Learn this quickly. Because the most important thing every morning is waking up, looking in the mirror, and being able to respect yourself.

Red Flag #2

If you work in a job as a “doer,” such as developer, builder of things, etc., do you find yourself booked up in many meetings?

Consider this red flag #2.

“Doers” should not be in too many meetings. Because (gasp!) they need time to actually do stuff.

If management cannot squash this early so you can do what you do best, you’ve found yourself at a mis-managed company.

Red Flag #3

In the first few weeks of joining a company, do you notice lots of “cliques” and keep running into “unexpected, unspoken rules”?

If so, you’ve dug up another red flag.

I remember years ago working at a company doing development. In my interview, I was crystal clear when I said, “I don’t like filling out a lot of paperwork to push code. I just want to code, test quickly, and push it out there.”

Alas, three weeks after getting hired, management “revealed” that every code push needs a three-page document filled out, a web form filled out, and three layers of approval just to get a change in. It was ridiculous.

The more red tape, the bigger the red flag.

Red Flag #4

Does your company push “social-time” off hours and unnecessary get-togethers? Do they overly push charities and social justice groups?

Congratulations, you’ve found another red flag.

Nowhere in any standard employment contract anywhere should it state you must be active with charity or social justice causes if you choose not to be.

Note from Lori: some of these events can be good in building your network and in giving back to the community. I think what Don is trying to say here is when it gets to be so much that it takes time away from your family or causes undue stress, then beware of this. The operative word in his statement is “unnecessary.”

Red Flag #5

Does your company value “in-office” time more than they do results and accomplishments during your work hours?

If so, you’ve found another archaic, and detrimental red-flag.

If I get eight hours of work done in two hours, then what I do after that shouldn’t matter. Because, it’s not like corporate will pay you more for additional effort.

Great bosses will let you leave early and give flex time when you pump out work quickly.

Red Flag #6

Do scheduled meetings always run over time, or start late, or both?

Time wasters are another red flag.

Also, meetings, especially corporate meetings, are notorious for posturing and politics. And if you aren’t a fan of meetings like me, then this is a HUGE red flag.

Meetings should have an agenda, allow no rambling, and get to the point quick. As in, who is doing what, who needs help, and when can we expect things to get done.

That’s it. No more.

Red Flag #7

Are you having a hard time finding a document about annual raises and bonuses? As in, you do “x” and “y”, and this is how you advance. And when you ask about it, does your manager hem and haw or avoid the subject?

You can find this red flag in 90% or more corporate jobs.

Red Flag #8

Do most people at or above your level use unnecessary buzz words to describe something? As in, can you find a word from grade 5 to grade 7 on the Flesch-Kincaid reading level to replace their silly buzzword, and not only keep the meaning of what they were trying to say, but enhance it?

Congratulations, you’ve found another red flag.

The key to communication is simplicity and clarity. And buzzwords violate both those rules.

If we can’t have a simple conversation about “my contract” and not my “annual incentive protocol,” then that’s a problem.

Red Flag #9

Are the dumbest people in the company promoted and are the superstars passed over or marginalized?

You’ve uncorked another red flag.

And this, like red flag #7, happens at 90% or more of corporate companies. It’s red flag football, and you never score a touchdown.

#10 of 10 Red Flags

Does your new company change “direction” every 2–4 weeks?

Pat yourself on the back detective. You’ve found another red flag.

If management cannot figure out what to do, and they get paid large coin to do one job, then you’ve found yourself in an insane asylum. Best to pull the cord and exit stage left.

Pay Attention to the Red Flags

Thank you to Don for sharing these warning signs.

I don’t promote continuing to interview for jobs after accepting an offer. But, I do recommend you keep your finger on the pulse of your new company and your eyes open for a back-up plan if things don’t work out in the first 90 days.

This includes maintaining your networking relationships and staying active on LinkedIn.

Even if you’ve done all the research you could possibly do before accepting an offer, there’s always a chance things will change.

Your supervisor could change due to a promotion or transfer.

Your role could change due to a merger or acquisition.

Anything can happen. So pay attention to the red flags!

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red flags