Monthly Archive for January, 2008

When You Have To Fire Employees

Career Advice:

The economy of the United States is in some stage of a recession. The condition is said to be worldwide.
Regrettably, this means that many people will be fired or laid off from their jobs.

Recognize that firing someone is a distasteful and painful experience for everyone concerned. Lives are disrupted; livelihoods are threatened. Egos are devastated. There are costs to employees and employers alike. Therefore, it goes without saying: firings ought to be avoided if at all possible.

Here are some career tips that will help you handle this odious task if you must do it. But it will never be easy.

Common Sense Career Tips

• Once a decision has been made to terminate employees, announce the actions as soon as possible. Be specific and definite. Don’t give the rumor mill a chance to get started.

• If feasible, a senior member of management should deliver the bad news face-to-face or in small groups. Hand out a written statement covering the announcement as a back up.

• Provide all of the facts as to the cause in one announcement. Don’t let unanswered questions and rumors prolong the crisis and feed unrest.

• Express empathy, but resist being overly generous in praise for the employees’ contributions. Such expressions may be translated into some unfounded hope that the decision can be reversed. Also, in this litigious age, praise may be taken out of context for legal action by a disgruntled employee.

• Spell out the terms of severance – pay and benefits. If the circumstances allow it, an offer to provide help in getting another job may be in order. Provide an information center where employees can get information specific to their situation.

• Give employees an opportunity to have their say. This can be a very tedious time. Because of the high emotions on both sides, an angry shouting match can develop. The official making the announcement should maintain his calmness and avoid arguments. Don’t let the meeting become a forum for debate.

• It may seem heartless at the time, but it is better to have employees leave the premises within a very short time. No good is done for anyone if the dismissed employees stay around for any length of time. The inevitable gossip and recriminations will poison the water for all.

Believe it or not, while never welcomed, most firings – if they are justified by sound personnel and economic reasons – can have some positive results if both parties work at making the best of a bad situation.

I wish you success for your journey on the career path!

For more free career advice, please click here click here.

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

Are You Creating Successful E-Mail?

Career Advice:

I want to share with you some helpful career tips regarding effective e-mailing for business purposes. They are from a good book titled “The Language of Success” that’s just come to my attention.

Here are eight guidelines for creating successful e-mail provided by Tom Sant, along with my comments:

1. Choose a business-like e-mail name. (Save the would be funny stuff for another time.)

2. Use the subject line. (Help your reader figure out if the subject is of interest.)

3. Sign your e-mail. (Close the loop. Include contact information. A bit of a business message won’t hurt.)

4. Avoid writing too informally. (You want to be taken seriously, so avoid the hip-hop language.)

5. Limit your emoticons and acronyms. (“Emoticons is the term applied to the various combinations of punctuations used to express emotion and to the actual icons that show little faces in various states of happiness or distress.” You may have already known that, but I didn’t.)

6. Be polite. (Enough said.)

7. Write to be read on the computer. (Keep in mind, many people who are oriented to the printed page sometimes have difficulty reading lengthy message on the screen.)

8. Check it before you send it. (Just think of all the horror stories of people who have gotten in a jam by ignoring this rule.)

I hope these job tips contribute to your career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

4 Tactics To Accelerate Your Career

Career Coaching

It’s surprising how often ambitious men and women fail to employ four basic tactics in their pursuit of career success. They are easy to apply; they are common sense in action. There are just two requirements. One, you are sincere in your feelings. Two, you must dampen your ego.

To read more on this subject and other career tips subscribe to my free newsletter, The Career Accelerator (c). Click here. No charge, no obligation.

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach


Here’s your chance to take advantage of my offer to provide free personalized career advice via “Your Blog For Career Advice” from now until the end of February.

All you have to do is “Post A Comment” below, describing any issues that may be affecting your career. I’ll respond with my best opinion as to actions you may take to solve the problem. Hopefully, others who visit the blog will share their thinking, too.

Please post your comments anonymously.

I can’t guarantee the results, but I do believe participation in this blog can help you deal with the challenges you are facing everyday on your job.

Let’s work together to accelerate your career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach


Most employed people spend at least one-half of each day with activities focused on job-related issues, either actually working, commuting from home to workplace or thinking/fretting about work.

Surveys show that a substantial number of us are unhappy with our jobs at any given time. Therefore, there is a vast army of men and women who are unhappy half of their lives. Reasons vary: bad boss, lack of opportunity and pay.

Think about. If you are in this number it’s time to look at your options for correcting the situation. Change jobs/careers, get new responsibilities at your present place of work, look for and appreciate the pluses or accept the condition until you can do better.

The point is: act today.

I believe you will find my free newsletter, The Career Accelerator (c), helpful in dealing in a positive way with your career-related issues. To subscribe please click here:> There’s no charge or obligation.

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

Are You Open To New Job Opportunities?

If the answer is “yes”, you are among the 72 percent of employees who’d like to have a chance to change jobs.

What’s the source of this unrest? Just over four out of ten blame it on either on dislike of the management style of their boss or on their lack of leadership skills, according to a survey by>

Reporting on the survey, Reuters news service says, “While salary (36 percent) and (lack of) growth potential (34 percent) are also major considerations in deciding whether to seek out a new career challenge, the majority of respondents, 55 percent, agree that ‘people don’t leave companies, they leave managers’.”

Three out of ten employees say that having a good boss is the number one aspect of their jobs that determines happiness. This is followed closely by salary and opportunities for advancement. Some 70 percent of the respondents prefer a hands-off boss who trusts them to do their job but is there when needed.

Does this report agree with your experience?

I wish you career success!

For more career advice, visit

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

Job Advice: AM I "NUTS" OR WHAT?

Okay, maybe I’m completely “nuts”, but I believe that anyone truly interested in achieving career success is not going to try to game the “sick day” benefit.

I have no quarrel with taking the infrequent “sick day” off without being flat of your back in your sick bed. Even a day off to reduce stress or to deal with personal matters that are driving you up a wall qualify as a legitimate reasons to call in sick, in my opinion.

But now, a British employment news website, has published a Sick Day Calendar that highlights days that “have optimal potential for extending standard holidays into longer leaves of absence”. Say what?

“With close to 600 million vacation days lost by American workers each year, it’s quite likely that the number of wasted sick days is even greater,’ says> (The underlining is mine.)

Leap Year provides one of the calendar’s “official” sick days, these folks declare. This is on the theory that working the extra day provided by Leap Year without pay is unfair.

“Hell no! You need to call in sick on Friday, February 29 and do something out of the ordinary with the three-day weekend,” contents.

What do you think?

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach