Monthly Archive for June, 2009

Apply For Unemployment Benefits-Reasons To Take Action Now By

Here’s an article by Carl Stevens that provides good career advice for those who are unemployed.

Over half of Americans who are out of work are not receiving unemployment benefits.
For some of those not receiving benefits, there is an understandable explanation. They may have been ineligible to receive benefits, or their benefits may have expired. For many people, however, the reason they are not collecting benefits simply because they do not apply.

If you are about to get laid off, have recently been lost your job, or even if you have be out of work for months, there are many good reasons why you should apply. Below are four good reasons to apply for unemployment insurance:
A financial buffer. At an average of more than $300 per week, unemployment checks can add up. Think about the funds as covering a certain portion of your expenses. If your unemployment benefits manage to cover your rent or mortgage – great. If the money also covers the cost of your food – terrific. While the amount you collect will be less than you earned while working, be thankful for the money. It will help protect your personal finances, and lessen the amount of spending required on credit or from savings.

The window will close. If you do not apply for benefits within a year of losing your job, you run the risk of no longer meeting the eligibility requirements in your state. This applies even if you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

Flexibility to find a job you like. Unemployment statistics show that, on average, it takes almost five months for people to find a new job. Without unemployment benefits, financial circumstances may require that you take the first job opportunity that presents itself. By receiving unemployment compensation while you you are seeking work, you will have more flexibility to think about different career possibilities and choose the job that is right for you.

No shame. Do not allow yourself feel bad about applying for unemployment benefits. The unemployment insurance system is funded through employer payroll taxes. Employers are required to pay a percentage of your income to support the unemployment pool in your state. In essence, this is money that would have been paid to you.

Visit to learn more about filing for unemployment benefits. There, you will find helpful tips, and a detailed guide about how to apply for unemployment insurance.
Article Source: Stevens

I wish you career success.

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

Career Advice: Beware! Scumbags Are Working The Job Market

Career Coaching

Beware of scam artists who are exploiting those who are struggling to land a job in these turbulent times. They are stealing identities and collecting fees by offering to land jobs that don’t exist.

Surely, there is a special seat reserved in hell for those scumbags who prey on people who are suffering because of they are out of work.

Consumer advocates advise exercising extreme caution when replying to job ads online to keep from being victimized.

“Put as little personal information (such as your Social Security number your age, driver’s license, banking information) as possible on your resume,” says Kayce Ataiyero, columnist for The Chicago Tribune. Use a P.O. Box instead of your home address; open a separate e-mail account.

Check out the potential employer’s history. Call the organization to verify its existence. A good source is the Better Business Bureau. Avoid ads that ask for personal information not usually called for in legitimate job offers.

Back away in a hurry from those asking for an upfront payment for training or background checks and other services before a face-to-face interview. Don’t pay for help in getting a government job.

Don’t be scammed by guarantees of employment and salaries that are just too good to be legitimate. Be wary of offerings for jobs overseas.

Career Tip: “The bottom line: don’t let eagerness or desperation to get a job cloud your judgment,” advise Ms. Ataiyero. “Scrutinize the ad and investigate the company to help prevent” a rip-off.

Your first and best line of defense against scammers is your own common sense.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

Career Advice: Seven Steps To Make Your Vacation Work For You

Career Coaching

I’m scrambling around preparing to take off for vacation. My family–all 11 of us in various combinations, depending on who can get away from work and when–are going to be spending the time together at a house we rent each year on a North Carolina beach.

We always have a great time on our family vacation. It’s a time to kick back and recharge our batteries. But we know that we must deal with many factors that can detract from the pleasures and benefits of getting away.

Here are seven common sense steps that will help assure that your vacation helps to move you toward your career goals.

1. Come to grips with the fact that your employer (readers and clients) can get along for a few days without you. However, it is to be hoped that your absence will cause everyone to recognize how much you do contribute when you are on the job.

2. Reject the macho idea that long hours with your nose to the grindstone demonstrate strength and commitment. It’s what you produce that counts. Even an ox needs time out of the yoke.

3. Hold to the dates you’ve scheduled for vacation, come hell or high water. Cancel it only on a direct order from the boss. If your employer forces us to cancel your vacation, make sure he has a good reason. Absent a reason, consider whether you are working in an environment that will nurture your growth.

4. Establish a plan to cover your responsibilities. Do work in advance. Delegate. Advise those with whom you work of your plans and what you expect to happen while you are away.

5. Leave a contact point with a “gatekeeper,” who will respect your down time, through whom you can be reached. Don’t check with the office while on vacation. They’ll call if you are needed. Don’t panic if there is no contact.

6. Flush work out of your mind. Put the components of your life in perspective. Recharge your batteries. Read things totally unrelated to your work. Get plenty of rest.

7. Be prepared to double your efforts when you return from vacation to catch up and go ahead with your work.

It’s well to remember that there is no record of anyone wishing on their deathbed that they had spent less time on vacation.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

So, Your Boss Acts Like A Jerk

Career Coaching

Unless you are among the rarest of the rare there are times on your career path when you encounter a boss who is a real jerk, a pain in the rear.

But hold up a minute, if you want to achieve career success, you’ll be well served to consider the reasons behind his behavior before you throw a fit. Understand, please, that I am not saying there are reasons that justify a bad boss, but when you understand what’s going on with your boss, you’ll be better able to cope and to manage the relationship with him so that you can advance toward your career goals.

Consider these scenarios:

1. Your boss doesn’t know how to be the boss.

It may not be his fault. The workforce is filled with people occupying the position of boss who have had little or no training for the role. They have simply stayed around long enough to climb up the ladder by virtue of seniority.

2. You boss is dumb as a post. He may be, but it could be that he just has a different way of doing things.

3. Sometimes he’s moody, rude and abrupt. You never know what to expect.

There’s really no excuse for such behavior, but the reality is you have to deal with it. Consider the possibility that your boss is reporting to someone who is riding him unmercifully to improve results. Or maybe your boss is going through a rough patch in his personal life.

4. Your boss is afraid to make a decision. He may be scared out of his wits trying to fill a position for which he is not qualified. Maybe he feels that his job is in jeopardy.

5. He always insists that things be done his way.

Consider the probability that he knows more about the situation and the assignment at hand than you do. Maybe you haven’t proven that your way is better.

6. He won’t share information.

Maybe he is bound by his boss to keep things close to the vest. Or it may be that he doesn’t have the information to share. Or it could be that you haven’t shown you can handle information properly.

7. He never pays any attention to what you do and never gives you any feedback.

When your boss ignores you, he may be paying you a compliment in his own way. That is, he could be “ignoring” you because he feels confident that you will carry out your responsibilities without his looking over your shoulder.

8. He takes all of the credit. He is jealous when the spotlight shifts away from him.

These are sure signs of an inferiority complex. His ego needs feeding. Does he see you as competition for his authority? Are you being greedy for attention?

You no doubt have some relationship problems with your boss. Take a deep breath and get use to it. You’ll always have a boss. Boss problems are a constant. Another constant is that relationships with your bosses along the your career path will determine you success.

The basic strategy for building positive relationships with your boss is simple: understand the reasons for his
conduct; support him and make him look good; where he is lacking know-how provide it; prove that he can trust you and that you are team player.

Perhaps you can help your boss to get promoted and you will be moved up to take his place.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work