A couple of weeks ago I found myself in the position of leaving a company that I had worked for over the last eight years. It had become time to move on and, as happens in these situations, I found myself in the position of having to say farewell to many good friends and colleagues whom I had worked closely with over those years.
Through this process I discovered that writing a farewell email can be a very tricky thing – you don’t want to sound too happy about leaving (even if you are!) and you want to try to leave a good impression. You ideally would like people to remember you, and of course you don’t want to burn any bridges.
Following are a few tips you may find useful if you find yourself in the similar position of having to compose a farewell letter/email:
Don’t mention personal things about particular people. Keep the email focussed on all your colleagues in general
Do mention how much you have enjoyed working with them all and that you will miss them
Leave your contact details i.e linkedin and personal email, as some of them may want to stay in touch/network with you in the future
Sample farewell email to coworkers:
As some of you may already know, today is my last working day at ACME Corporation. I will be starting work at my new position in XYZ Company next month.
Before leaving, I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed my time here and will miss the team. I appreciate all the support, insights, and help you have provided me over the past 5 years, and want to thank you for it.
If you need to get in touch with me, I can be reached at my personal email address (email@example.com), or please keep in touch via linkedin.
Feeling dissatisfied at your job? Are you faced with the prospect of staying in your current position permanently? Do you make excuses for not trying for that promotion?
Chances are you have entered the dreaded comfort zone. If you have been stuck in the same role for more than a year or two, without any opportunities to grow and challenge yourself, it starts to become extremely difficult to break out of a complacent mindset.
As the ancient chinese proverb says..
“A man grows most tired standing still.”
The key to feeling rewarded at your job, making a major improvement to your financial situation, and being successful is breaking out of your comfort zone.
If you are one of those stuck and looking to get out, here are eight great reasons why you should do exactly that.
Bucking the trend – by breaking out of your comfort zone you are setting yourself apart from everyone else. This in itself can you bring you great satisfaction. For example, lots of people think of starting their own business or working for themselves. If you are that person who actually goes out and does this instead of just talking about it, you immediately set yourself above the rest.
Rise in confidence – Stepping beyond the frontiers of comfort can help you gain confidence in your abilities. Imagine if you are someone who is uncomfortable presenting to a group of people, yet you make the effort to do it anyway. Your confidence grows as a result of this type of behaviour.
We learn from our mistakes – Everyone knows that we learn from our mistakes, however the problem is, when you are in your comfort zone you are not making any mistakes! If you’re not making mistakes, then of course you won’t be learning from them.
Think what it takes to fly – We have all seen the nature shows with the little baby bird being pushed out of the nest (comfort zone). Fortunately we are not babies, so don’t need our parents to push us off a branch, however we can take note of what it takes to fly.
Life is short – We are only on this planet for a short time and often a much shorter time than what we think. As the Dalai Lama says
“man lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never lived”
Don’t be like everyone else, put your hand up and get out there!
Make more money – Sometimes the best way to get a decent payrise is to change jobs/roles, however this sort of change more often than not involves stepping out from your comfort zone. Most people don’t like doing that, so they instead settle for whatever minimal increase their company is able to send their way.
Life is meant to be a challenge – History shows us that as humans we achieve the best things when we are challenged. Many inventions have been created because people have been challenged by different situations or events which put them far outside their comfort zones.
Let go of the past – One of the best ways to get rid of all the things from your past which are dragging you down, is to forge a new path ahead for yourself. Only by moving forward can we distance ourselves from our past.
Final motivation – the 92 day comfortzone challenge
The inspirational video below shows that to achieve success in life you need to become comfortable being uncomfortable! Are you up for the challenge? One small step over that line may be all that’s stopping you from achieving your dreams….
This is a video of recut footage redcmedia.com created as a motivational tool for one of their sales meetings. The graphic design and taglines are all original, and the music and clips were edited together.
It’s often hard to imagine that some of the most famous people in the world did not always have it so easy.
It gives hope to the rest of us that even though we may struggle through life at times, if we work hard enough at making changes in our lives we can turn things around.
January 29th, 1954 signaled the birth of one of the greatest media sensations of our time. She didn’t however choose the best place to be born, beginning her journey in the small, poverty stricken town of Kosciusko, Mississippi. Oprah had a tough start to life – there is no doubt about that.
After leaving Kosciusko to stay with her father in Nashville Oprah eventually ended up back with her mother (then living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin). This is where she was first abused, by her cousin, who was looking after her and her sister at the time. Oprah was only 9 years old and suddenly had a terrible secret to keep.
Much of Oprah’s childhood was spent in poverty.
Oprah showed great promise in her early school years, skipping not just one but two grades and eventually ending up attending Nicolet High School -which was considered an all white school in Glendale, Wisconsin. This was never a problem for Oprah and she has been quoted as saying..
“In 1968 it was real hip to know a black person, so I was very popular.”
The question you may be asking yourself is how did she get her first big break?
It wasn’t at her first job. Her first foray into the workforce involved working at the corner grocery store and she was not even allowed to talk to the customers! For Oprah, who loved talking, this was very, very hard.
Finally, Oprah managed to land a job that paid her to do what she does best. Talk! WVOL were looking for a newsreader and Oprah managed to land the position.
Oprah got her big break when she was 19 and Channel 5′s Chris Clark hired her as a reporter on a Nashville news team.
Over the next ten years Oprah went from strength to strength, a highlight being turning the lowly rated half-hour morning talk-show, AM Chicago, into an astounding success. So successful that eventually in 1984 it was renamed the “Oprah Winfrey” show.
Who would have believed that in January 2013 Oprah would be hearing the confessions of the infamous Lance Armstrong!
This short video runs through some of the highlights of Oprah’s life.
A truly remarkable person, we can all learn something from her story. Only through hard work and perseverance can we expect positive outcomes in our life. They may seem elusive, however don’t give up….your next break may be just around the corner.
Its always interesting to reflect on the year that has been. Every day companies are relying on senior staff to make sensible decisions that will improve the value and brand of their public profile.
Here are some of the situations that did not go as planned, and the story about what happened to those responsible for the failures.
Apple Maps – Scott Forstall
With millions of apple users not only getting lost, but becoming disillusioned with the iPhone, the aftermath of the Apple maps saga finished with a reshuffle of senior apple execs. Scott Forstall had been with apple since the early days and led the developement of the Apple maps project. Reports hint that it was rushed into production without the thorough quality assurance testing that it became apparent was required.
Add to that the fact that Scott was reportedly difficult to get on with and it becomes clear to see why he was removed from his position.
Status: Fired Why: Refused to sign apology acknowledging fault. Difficult to work with.
Wheedle – Carl Rees
Whenever public expectation is set high, your product had better not only work the way it’s intended too, it should work well. The team at Wheedle did a fantastic PR job and were causing ruffles in the feathers of NZ’s auction website heavyweight, Trademe. However, it became quickly apparent that the site was not ready for the big time with reports of security issues that ended in a rewrite of some of the code.
Carl Rees had to make an extremely difficult decision, and did exactly that by taking the site completely offline, followed up by an independent review to ensure all potential issues were taken care off.
From our initial look at the Wheedle site, it seemed to have a lot of potential, so we wait in the eager hope of a quick relaunch of Wheedle.
Much like the Apple maps, the core issues pointed to not enough quality assurance testing. Certainly this is a lesson to be learned by other start ups.
Status: Still employed Why: Accepted responsibility and communicated this to members via email stating his commitment to fixing the problems/issues.
Symantec Corp – Enrique Salem
In July, Symantec unexpectantly fired CEO Enrique Salem after disappointing results. The board made the decision to fire him after taking a hard look at themselves, and asking the question of whether or not they were doing everything in their power to improve the positioning of the company. Enrique had been with the company for 19 years, with the last 3 years spent as CEO. Results in that three years had not improved however there was investor expectation that they would. Proof that no matter how long you have been with a company, time is never a shield in this kind of situation.
Status: Fired Why: Failure to improve the profitability of a struggling company.
Stryker Corporation – Steve MacMillan
On February 8th, 2012 the world watched in awe as the seemingly successfull CEO of Stryker Corporation suddenly resigned for “family reasons”. The news finally got out that it was related to rumblings of disapproval from some of the board regarding his romantic connection with former Stryker employee Jennifer Koch. It shows that even high flying CEO’s are human, however are expected to act professionally as well as appropriately – especially when it comes to employees.
In June 2012 a luxury lifestyle allegedly funded by the company he worked for cost Lotus CEO Dany Bahar his job. Rumours have it that multiple wristwatches and fancy travel via helicopter and chauffeur are some of the reasons why. Add to these the fact that the company was unprofitable and Dany’s turn around plan wasn’t working, it becomes clear why this CEO faced a swift and painful termination of employment.
Status: Fired Why: Misuse of company funds, failure to turn around company.
What becomes apparent when we read about the downfall of these powerful business executives is that no one gets fired without reason. Although for some the mistakes are unrecoverable, it is possible for others, depending on the circumstances, to dig themselves out of a hole and crawl their way back.
With no one immune to scrutiny, the cases serve as valuable learning lessons for both long established and new startup companies alike.
It will be interesting to see what stories of success and follies lay in store for us in 2013!
One of the kids asked me as I was driving her along today, what exactly was the age that she could head out into the work force and get a job. Although I appreciate her willingness to work, and could use the extra money, I wondered if at 11 years of age she might be out of luck!
A little investigating turned up that it varies a little between countries, however over 160 countries around the world subscribe to the “Convention Concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment.”
This convention stipulates that a country can set it’s own minimum working age, however there is a minimum of 15 years of age. There are some exceptions though – for example in some cases, as long as the work does not interfere with school work or jeopardise health, then ages as low as 13-15 can be employed.
We look at minimum age laws around the world:
United States of America
In the United States the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) sets the minimum age for employment. In most cases, 14 years old is the minimum age. Additionally, there are limits to the hours worked by those under the age of 16.
Different states have different legislations.
Tasmina, New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territories
For these states, the minimum age for employement is 14 years. This is for part time and casual employees that are working outside of school hours.
The Child Employment Act 2003 dictates that the minimum age of employment is 15 years.
Queensland has its own act, the Child Employment Act 2006. This Act allows children under 16 (and that have not yet completed year 10) to commence work for a maximum of 12 hours in a school week with parental consent. They cannot work between the hours of 10pm and 6am. In the school holidays kids can work up to 38 hours a week. The ACT helps ensure that energetic youngsters still have time to do their school work.
WA has the Children and Community Services Act 2004. Additionally, there is also the School Education Act 1999.
Employees under 15 years of age require parental consent to work. The work must be outside of school hours and they cannot work between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
There is compulsory school attendance at school for all children up until they turn 17. Employees under this age may not work during school hours.
The youngest a child can work part time is 13 years of age, exceptions to this include work along the lines of
Along with a myriad of state rules and legislation, the Federal Government does allow children under the age of 17 to be employed, providing the work is not likely to endanger their safety (or health).
In closing, although our kids are not yet out in the work force, they are starting to appreciate the benefit from working odd jobs, ie babysitting, etc.. As a “real job” may be just around the corner, it’s nice to consider there are laws out there which exist for the welfare of the citizen/employee, of which everyone should be aware.
One of our website regulars recently asked this very good question. Where are all the jobs?
Well the answer is that things are changing rapidly in the world. Jobs don’t always get advertised in the same manner as in the past. Despite the fact that the world is going through immensely difficult times, the number of jobs being listed on job search sites, according to reports, is actually higher than previous years.
It needs to be recognized though – some types of jobs are fading away and in another 20 years, may not even exist. Others are on the rise and skills in these areas are in demand. If you get stuck in an area that is on the decline, you may well be in for extreme competition when it comes time to applying for such a position.
If you look at the below interactive chart you will see unemployment levels in the United States of America are not as gloomy as what some people might have you think.
Sometimes I think the question is not where have all the jobs gone? It should be where have all the “good” jobs gone? Because that is so much harder to quantify.
With cheap labor available on demand from countries like China and India, and with outsourcing commonly used by many companies, large numbers of jobs that used to be available are now taken by labor forces that will do almost the same job for a fraction of the price.
As the world goes through one of the toughest economic times in recent history, a high percentage of employees are becoming increasingly disengaged in their jobs.
When times are tough it can be tempting to stay put, as a secure position is surely worth something when so many are struggling to find work at all.
A recent survey of 411 workplaces in the US, by Right Management, showed that more than 60% of the workers expressed themselves as either unsatisfied, or somewhat unsatisfied in their jobs. Only 19% of the respondents described themselves as satisfied.
Employers are in an unenviable position and are having a challenge put to them – how to engage their workforce? An engaged workforce not only creates a more pleasant working environment but can also greatly increase productivity, and as a result of that, profitability.
The team at Jobhunters have done considerable research on this very subject and, as a result, have found that the below areas are crucial when it comes to building engagement from staff
Effective development/training opportunities
The opportunity for employees to grow and progress in their roles
Open communication from management
An emotional connection to the company (make employees feel that they are immensely valued by the company)
Most people start a new job with a lot of ambition, hope and passion. Unfortunately if the right guidance, feedback and opportunities are not provided to these bright eyed, engaged workers – they will begin to become discouraged and bitter. Their shattered dreams and unfulfilled expecations will slowly twist them into every employer’s worst nightmare – a disengaged employee.
The good news is that its never too late to turn things around – if your employer doesn’t want to engage with you, then find one that does.
In a recent gallup poll of more than one million US workers it was found that more people leave their jobs because of problems with their boss, than because of low pay or the fact that they were having issues with the company they work for.
Ineffective managers are detrimental to the wellbeing of any company. Management should be accountable for the retention of high achieving staff and if this is not monitored and acted upon when there is a problem, vast amounts of company profits will go down the drain in HR and people costs.
The problem is that often when you have an issue with your boss or an immediate superior, there are limited options when it comes to dealing with the situation.
Jobhunter’s Steps to Effectiveness – dealing with an incompetent boss
Try to find the core of the problem – this is essential as unless you fully understand what the underlying cause of any tension is, you will be hard pressed to fix things. You may find after you take a deep look at things, that you are actually the problem. If this is the case and if the situation is fixable, then by changing your behaviour you may be able to alleviate the problem.
Talk to your boss – As hard as it is, you really need to talk to this person. Find out what their expectations are and what exactly it will take to make them happy. This could go a long ways towards helping achieve a happy equilibrium – a happy boss normally means happy employees.
Go to your boss’s boss – Often the unforgiveable move in many bosses’ eyes, however it can be an effective one. Make sure you have done everything possible, though, before taking this step and be sure to listen carefully and follow the advice of the senior manager.
Gather support – If you are still not having any success and it is more than just yourself having issues, try to convince a group of your co-workers to join you in a second visit to your boss’s boss. This will ensure that there are no doubts here – there is a real problem and someone needs to do something about it.
Move on – After trying all the above, if there is still no acceptable resolution to the situation then it’s time to either ask for a transfer (if you want to stay with the company) or get a new job somewhere else. You have done all you can.
If you have a story that you would like to share with us about a mean or nasty boss who is making work life unbearable for you please leave us a comment at the bottom of this page.
In today’s tough job market it may seem fair enough for an employer to expect and even ask for a long term committment from a staff member. However is that really fair? And is it even legal?
We came across one example where management asked a staff member whether they planned to remain with the company long term prior to agreeing to pay for their professional development training. In essence, they offered the training as a carrot to commit to long term employment. Well, as far as the team here at Jobhunters can tell, unless you have a contract stipulating that you agree to work for the employer for a certain period of time, then it is not fair or legal.
Some of the best methods for employer’s to get long term commitment from their staff is to..
Pay a fair wage comparable to what the employee would attract elsewhere
Offer training and advancement opportunities
Set goals for employees to strive for
Provide a comfortable work environment with additional perks like an onsite gymnasium, creche, subsidised meals etc
Reward above average efforts (Bonuses)
Pay attention – when there is a real problem, listen and act on it
If you do those things as an employer you won’t need to take desperate measures to make your employees promise to stay long term. Quite simply, they will want to.