Lateral Career Move

While the world has slowly and steadily recovered from the economic downturn that it had seen in the past couple of years, the job market is still pretty sluggish. Often it can be difficult to find a job in your area of work. In such a situation, considering a job shift to another sector can be an option that should be taken very seriously. It is also a choice that you can make if you feel like your professional life has reached a dead end. Whatever your reason, lateral job shifts can often be exactly what you need to look outside your humdrum existence and do something different and challenging in your work life.

Why Opt for Lateral Career Move?

It can be quite a huge step to move from your comfort zone and thinking of opting for a job in another department or another sector. But such a career jump, though a cause for nervousness can be in fact a very good move. With the changes that have occurred all over the world where organizational structure and company hierarchies are concerned, seeking a lateral promotion may actually be a good idea. Many companies, in the wake of recession, did away with middle management position, and obviously promotion opportunities went down. In such a scenario, an employee with great work experience across the board is always a better candidate to be taken seriously. Lateral job shifts are often great ideas for a career change. An ability to make use of a job opportunity in another department also gives you a channel to showcase your potential in another department making you a valued employee.

Another reason to opt for a career move laterally is because it makes you a more worthy employee and also improves your saleability in the market. Think of it as an employer. Any person running an organization would rather have an employee who is proficient in a number of different sectors than an employee who works well in a single department. Such a career move can be a huge addition and embellishment to your resume. If you have reached a level of stagnation in your work, then making a move laterally may help you get a clearer picture of what other opportunities lie in front of you. It will also give you the opportunity to meet new people and work with different teams. A great thing about lateral moves is that though the new position comes with having to learn new things from scratch, the stress levels may not be as high as getting a promotion in your previous department. Since you would be assigned to a position at the same level as your last department, you will be more capable of tackling new work pressures.

While such career moves can generally do a lot of good for a person, it may be a good idea to also reflect on the downsides of such a move. Remember that there is always a possibility that you may be viewed as someone who lacked the requisite abilities to qualify for a promotion in your own department. Occasionally, it is also easy to consider this move as a hurdle in your path to achieving your goal. You may not always receive a higher salary. In fact, more often than not, your salary will pretty much remain the same. There is also the added stress of learning several new things. If you have been given the option of making a career move laterally, then it is important that you take a look at both sides of the coin before making a final decision.

How to Make a Lateral Career Move?

If you feel like your present job has reached a level of monotony that you cannot fight and you want a change in the form of a new challenge, then a lateral professional move may be the answer for you. Most people tend to view a job move into another department as professional suicide because who would want to forsake all that they have worked for. But, it is not necessarily so. Though not in the same field, your move can gain a lot from the experience that you already possess. So, if from the section above you have managed to understand the pros of a lateral job shift and have decided to make the move, we tell you how you can go about the process.

– Firstly if this job opportunity has not been given to you, then you need to take a look at the different avenues open to you and decide what seems the most appealing.
– Make a list of your skill set and see how these skills can hold you in good stead in a new job.
– It is also extremely important that you consider how this job change will affect your long term goals and also what career opportunities will present themselves to you, if you take the plunge.
– It is important that the job shift gives you both personal and professional happiness, so ensure that you do not lose sight of this.
– Also, before making the move, make a list of all those reasons that are responsible for you to consider this move.
– If you have a mentor or a guide, then it may be a good idea to always consult this person before you make the jump. Sometimes, it is easy to ignore the obvious when you are looking at it yourself.

Making a jump in your career laterally is something that needs to be well planned out and that needs you to give it a lot of thought. Shifting from one field of work to another is never easy and without giving it proper thought, you would be treading a very fine line.

Best Second Careers

Back in college days, when you had to pick a subject to major in, little did you know about it. And just when you started to get an insight, you were asked to make career decisions. It was more like, you fell into it, than you chose it for yourself. Similarly, many professionals would say that careers are what happened to them, and not what they made for themselves. On the contrary, a second career gives you a shot at reviewing your experiences, and making the best second career’s decision. It is your chance to start afresh and turn over a new leaf.

The biggest advantage of a second professional inning is the savings from the previous one. With the benefit of work experience and a monetary cushion, starting your dream entrepreneurial business is a best option for the second act. With the Internet and time at your disposal, chalk out a plan for your firm. Look at the investments you would have to make and effort you’d have to put in. Hire a good consultant, who can provide you with his expertise to maximize profit and minimize expenditure. Send a mail to your friends explaining your business plan. Their responses will help you gauge the additions and subtractions you need to make to your plan.

A professional with industrial experience is a better teacher than one who limits himself to the confines of a classroom. A second career, after 15-10 years of experience, teaches you a lot more than what you learned way back in school. So, here’s your chance to share your knowledge and hone the skills of those who aspire to reach higher planes. Take up a job as a post graduation professor for college students. It is not only a high paying job, but rewarding one too. Connecting with the younger minds is a brilliant of living the bygone days all over again!

Social Work
If your second career is about giving back to the society and working for a cause, then being a social worker is the right thing for you. It’s a career that will reward in intangible ways with greater fulfillment. Being a social worker is radically different from being a high salaried professional. It gives you chance to help those who cannot help themselves, inspire those who live in despair, and motivate those who are ignorant to the real problems of life. Nothing is more satisfactory than working for a cause that is larger than life.

Freelance Journalist
Being a full-time journalist allows you minimal leniency. It constricts you to lengthy working hours and intrudes your personal life. So, if you are a full-time mother of a newborn or in the just married phase, then being a freelance journalist is the best way out. It keeps you in tune with your skills of reporting and writing, and allows you to build your profile, till the time you are ready get back to it full-time. Lifestyle journalism, capturing human interest stories, or working with magazines instead of newspapers, will give you a chance to explore your writing style in a whole new way and keep you occupied as well.

Hobby as a Career
Music, dance, photography, designing, nature lover, fitness freak, acting, and a hundred more hobbies that you experimented with, will now come to your help. Chose the one thing you were good at and loved doing, to turn it into your second act. For instance, if the art of making objects out of origami is a hobby you’ve pursed for a long time, then teach kids around your block few tricks of folding paper. Start your own classes and unfold the joy of empowering someone with a hobby for a life.

These were some of the second careers that you can pursue after a long professional intermission. A second career is more about emotional satisfaction than monetary ones. Thus, pick a career option that you wanted to do. It’s never too late, you know!

Creative Ways to Quit your Job

Are you one of the numerous people out there who are fed up of their jobs and are looking for a change? Or like those numerous people who have had just about enough of their tyrant bosses and are desperate to get away from them? Or one of the reasons for leaving your current job is that you fall under the category of those who have silently observed and been made the proverbial scapegoat at their workplace, but now have no intention of carrying on with the same behavior? Or are you fed up of coming up with excuses to not do something that you already hate? Whichever category you come under you’ll be well aware that these excuses won’t really last long. And the more you postpone it, the more miserable you’ll be. Am I right, or not? So let’s take a look at some ridiculous methods you can employ to call it quits.

Totally Obnoxious Ways to Quit Your Job
Though workplace ethics dictate that if you’re quitting your job you should hand in a duly signed resignation letter and serve the required notice period, sometimes the frustration becomes too much to handle. First of all, there is absolutely no job satisfaction whatsoever. Plus, you have to hear the long and droning speeches of your boss who has no clue that you hate your job! So why not be a little adventurous and just QUIT! I guess this is one of the few contexts in which quitting can be considered a good thing. There’s no real point in extending your own wretchedness by following a mundane routine that you have no passion for. So, on that note, let us see some creative ways you can quit your job or get yourself fired, so that you can just LEAVE the place and never look back.

– Try out a crazy prank. I mean explore all the avenues of pranks that you possibly can in a workplace. Play these silly, stupid, really annoying pranks on your boss and/or your colleagues if you dislike them too. Then, when questioned about it, just exclaim that you cannot believe you are being accused of something so heinous, and announce that you are quitting because you cannot function in an environment filled with such mistrust.
– Send out memos to every single person, on every single desk, and every single department and floor, saying that you are quitting.
– Get access to the PA system when no one is around. Connect the intercom to all the departments, say that you have an important announcement to make, introduce yourself, and shout out “I QUIT!”
– This tip is for those who have been ‘planning’ to quit for quite some time, but somehow never got around to doing it. Stay back late the previous evening. Go to the printer and print out fliers with the words “I QUIT” on them, in different colors. Photocopy these fliers. Decorate the entire office with the fliers like you would for a celebration. After the decoration is done, just stick the remaining ones on the walls, and if they still remain, just scatter them around the entire office, including the washrooms and housekeeping closets.
– If it’s one of those days when you get yelled at early in the morning, there’s nothing like a great lunch escape to make you feel exhilarated. At lunch time, announce that you’re eating out and simply don’t return. When your boss contacts you on your cell phone, just send him a text saying that you quit.
– Leave for a long and well-planned vacation and never go back to work. Even better, send your boss a postcard declaring that you quit!
– When your alarm rings in the morning, instead of snoozing it, just turn it off and go back to sleep. Continue this for over a week and you’re as good as fired.
– If you’re good with words, draft a poem or an elaborate email about why you’re quitting and send it to every single person in your office email address book one day before you quit, after everyone leaves for the day.

Use any of the above mentioned ways to quit your job and you’ll be free as a bird and ready to explore a new world of opportunities!

How to Handle an Exit Interview

While some organizations do not concern themselves with the resignation of some employees, there are others that require you to be a part of an exit interview that is conducted for the purpose of receiving constructive feedback about the organization and your experience there. Exit interviews are becoming more and more common, and preparing for one is extremely essential. This is because, if you are leaving the organization and even opting for a full-fledged career change, you don’t want to leave on a bitter note and spoil relations. It affects your future, and remember, your potential employer will always go back to your former employer for a reference, or for some general feedback regarding you and your job performance.

Commonly Asked Questions
An exit interview is usually conducted by the HR manager, or a member of the HR team, where you will be asked to provide feedback on your experience in the organization, and the factors that led you to leave it. Here, you have to be careful to think before you speak. After a resignation letter is submitted, you can expect an exit interview to be conducted soon. Usually, it is conducted on an employee’s last day at the organization. However, it is already a very stressful time, so a lot of organizations have started doing so some time after the resignation of the employee, when she/he is more comfortable and relaxed, and capable of giving the right feedback. Here are a few questions that you can expect:

– What triggered your decision to leave this organization?
– Was your job and your position satisfying to you?
– What was most dissatisfying about your job?
– Were you satisfied with the reviews you received about your performance?
– Did you achieve some of your career goals while at this organization?
– Were you satisfied with the pay and benefits you received at this organization?
– Were you satisfied with the human resource management at this organization?
– What is it that your potential employee is offering you, that this company doesn’t?
– Is there anything that this company can do to change your decision?
– Would you consider working for this company in the future?
– Would you recommend someone else to work here?
– Do you have any suggestions as a replacement for your position?
– Were you ever harassed in any manner while on this job?
– Is there anything else you would like to add to the feedback you have provided us so far?

Also, for those of you looking for information on how to hold an exit interview, these questions will serve as a guideline.

Useful Tips
As an employee, you may be able to candidly answer some questions, but the others may pose tricky, as you know you don’t want to do anything to leave behind any bitter feelings.

– Don’t Complain: A lot of employee’s use an exit interview as a medium to rant about all that has made them unhappy in the organization, and what they truly feel about it. This is not the correct way, as such behavior may be perceived as immature. Always maintain your calm, and provide constructive feedback about the place you have worked at for so long.
Don’t Point Fingers at Individuals: When providing feedback, do not specifically pinpoint people you were unhappy with. Always speak of the organization as a whole.
Avoid Being Misunderstood: A lot of times, what you say is misunderstood as a direct attack at the organization. Also, you don’t know where this feedback is going. It may go to your manager, supervisor, or directly to the CEO of the organization. In such a case, you don’t want to be misunderstood. Ensure that your HR understands exactly what you are trying to say, and that it is not misconstrued.
Be Honest: This tip is essential when you are leaving the organization because of certain practices there, or if you have faced any sort of harassment from co-workers or superiors. An exit interview is held for the purpose of attaining feedback, and learning what can be done to improve the organization. As such, in matters such as these, put the information across as clearly as possible, without blaming anyone.

Some organizations may also give you forms that you need to fill up as an alternative to going through a face-to-face interview.

A common belief about exit interviews is that it is an invasion of an employee’s privacy, as more often than not, an employee resigns for personal reasons. They also believe that such feedback should be taken from employees at regular intervals during their tenure in the organization, and not when they have decided to cross over to a rival organization. Yet, until this thought is seriously considered by different organizations, it is a practice that is followed by many companies, and until you come across an organization that thinks otherwise, knowing how to handle it is essential for you. The bottom line is to maintain your calm, and be confident about what you are saying. Do not risk your self-respect simply to keep your employers happy. Yet, do not point fingers at anyone and be diplomatic.

Career Change Ideas

There are many people who think of changing careers, just because they are not satisfied in the field they are presently working in. A career change has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it gives the individual a sense of satisfaction that he is doing or going to do what he actually wants to. On the other hand, there can be many different obstacles or difficulties that can come in between you getting into a new profession. Such difficulties include obtaining the related field’s training and getting income of an inexperienced professional in the new field of work. However, with some ideas; you can smoothly sail from your old job to a new one.

Note Down your Skills and Capabilities
If you are thinking of changing your career path, you most importantly need to assess what skills you presently possess, that you can use in your new profession. You need to make a list of all the corporate, behavioral, communication, technical, and analytical skills that you have and consider if they can be used to excel in your new job. Such skills are also known as transferable skills.

Determine the Field you Want to Be In
After you have determined all of your capabilities, simply think of in which field you would be if it was not the present field you are in. Think about your secondary career options. If you want a change, just because you are not satisfied with your present field, you can surely consider a profession that would give you the utmost job satisfaction. If you are getting into a new profession due to less pay and less prospects of development, you can think of a job which is in demand with a good pay.

Research the Ways of Getting into the New Field
After you find out which career you want to be in, do an exhaustive research to determine ways and methods for getting into that particular field. Make a list of fundamental requirements that are needed in the new job. See if you can use your current skills and capabilities in your new job. Attend job fairs, career education, and career counseling seminars. If you need to acquire more skills, find out what trainings and certifications you would require. Register for the related training, degree, or certification; and perform well.

Gain Some Experience
Gaining some experience of the tasks to be performed in the prospective field is a better idea to find out if you would really enjoy working in that field. During your current job, try to find opportunities to do tasks that are directly related to those in the new career you are looking forward to. If you have time, you can even opt for a part-time job to gain some knowledge and understanding about the new career.

Flexibility is The Main Key
If you have made up your mind to change to a different career, it is very essential that you be open and get flexible for the changing process. You would certainly need to do hard work for getting into a different career. Do not set your mind only on the job you want to do, but also consider other career opportunities related to the job, it does not matter even if it is of a lower position in a company. Remember that in changing professions and being successful, you should be the most flexible to handle all possible situations that come prior to the change.

In changing careers, one significant point to remember is that you should keep advancing your skills and be flexible in whatever circumstances you face in your new profession.

How to Lose a Job in 10 Days

So you are discontent, dysfunctional, discomfited and dis-eased with your job, and by hook or by crook you want to get terminated from employment. You’ve tried to be as incompetent an employee as possible, and yet you’ve not fallen to prey to the job cuts and the economic recession, that people keep talking about (you’re an economist yourself, but don’t know what recession is, that’s how bad an employee you are but they’re still not firing you!) So what do you do?

Getting terminated is not very difficult. When in a soup, go for a coup, is what I say! Take an extreme step. Don’t wait for someone to slip the pink slip to you. Don’t wait for that entire long-drawn termination process. An easy way to get the office to rid themselves of you, is to become the number one villain of the office. You don’t have to be very blatant in your villainy – you don’t have to get your face tattooed or scarred, nor do you have to empty a bottle of eye-liner onto your eyelid to get the deathly Gothic look.

You can always be subtle because ’tis the age of subtlety. Yes! You can dress up in pristine branded clothes, resembling the hero, when actually you are the villain. You don’t need to have a loud and guttural evil laugh, a snigger to the side will suffice. So getting down to business, how do you go about becoming the villain in the office, thus, successfully ensuring losing your job? There are so many ways for losing a job that you will be amazed. Let me lead you into temptation…

The Yawnfather
Sleep during meetings! Irrespective of whether they are boring or not. In fact, irrespective of whether the director is excitedly talking about his ambitious project to foreign clients, while speaking exceptionally bad Spanish at the top of his voice. In fact, irrespective of the presentation having such bright slides that it would make Gwen Stefani’s makeup seem dull; still fake sleeping (you get the point). And now is the time to use that loud, obviously fake and extremely distracting yawn you have been practicing since you were six years old. It’s sure to be a head turner and a job burner. Simple, soporific and a terrific way to get terminated from job.

Lord of the Trings
Cell phones have truly become more of a nuisance than anything else. Hence, why not take advantage of this and use this nuisance to become a nuisance yourself? Set your cell phone to the loudest and most annoying ring-tone ever. Don’t stick to the staple ring-tone’s, make a style statement. If you’re a guy, you can keep a song that has a string of abuses (any Eminem song basically) or just to irritate people further, you can keep ‘I’m a Barbie girl’, and claim you have to keep it because you lost a bet, or you can use the chorus of ‘Mr. Lonely’, nothing irritates people more than that shrill high-pitched voice. Oh and of course, ensure that your cell phone rings. Ask a friend to give you a missed call every half an hour. That’s what friends are for anyway, aren’t they!

Distress the Damsel in Distress
In every office, there is always the perennial damsel in distress, the woman who does not know how to even walk a step without beckoning for help, at which all the males in the office would leave their dying relatives bedside to spontaneously appear. Yes, while most men will be at her beck and call (hoping half-heartedly for a peck and call), you need to willfully ignore her. Yes, this is a case where ignorance will be bliss. She will get disgruntled with your ‘discourteous’ behavior, and will use her popularity and get you fired. There you go! This story will become the office version of Beauty and the Beast indeed. (Warning: There might be some people who will go about masquerading with placards claiming you were wrongfully terminated from job, or that you were terminated for no cause that was worthwhile. Take adequate measures to handle these people beforehand).

Who Let the Dogs Out?
When it comes to animals, at one end of the spectrum are hardcore non-vegetarians, whose digestive tract can only digest meat, while at the other end are PETA activists. In between these two extremes, are people who are dead scared or dead allergic of animals. So if you have a colleague who is an asthmatic, then all you have to do is leave a cat in her office. Also if you know of a colleague who cakes her face with so much make-up that her face looks double its original size, then you can just drop in a cute dog who can’t do without licking people’s face. And voila! Your new-found hobby of being the zoo-lander will land you with a pink slip, before you can say “Holy cow!”

The Whole Nine Guards
There is no better way than by capitalizing on your talent for procrastination. You always keep snoozing your alarm, thus ending up coming late to office. The only difference is that now, you will purposely come late to office, and will not ask your horn-rimmed bespectacled best buddy to swipe your card for you while all the security guards aren’t looking. Now, you will actually take credit for coming late. Stroll into the office at your own leisurely time like you’re the king of the jungle. If anyone asks you why you’re so late, you can suddenly turn into a nature-freak and say things like “I was waiting to see the leaves turn yellow” or “I was waiting to see whether after rising from the east, does the sun stay there or not?” or you can even say “I was willing to test my neighbor’s patience level by seeing how long it takes for him to blow his top when I’m staring at him through my window.” You can actually do these things if you want. And before you know it, you’ll be walking out of the office with the termination letter in your hand and a smile on your face.

Become the Gossip Girl
Use the office cooler for reasons besides thirst. You know that if the office cooler had ears, he would have to go that extra mile for asking for forgiveness from God for having sinned by hearing all the gossip that, he has no option but to hear. And irrespective of your gender, you’ve been a part of that gossip group all through. The only difference will be that this time when people ask you if it was you, you only have to truthfully admit it, unlike vehemently denying it the way you always did. You can say things like “Oh you know, Mel is on a diet! And you know why she’s going on a diet? ‘Cuz Sam told her she was too fat for him!” This will obviously enrage women who are members of WTF (Women True to Feminism), and they will go stomping off to eat Sam alive. Of course, after the furor is settled, and you have been identified as the cause for the whole episode, you will be fired under clause no. 420 which states ‘Fired for causing discontent and discord in the harmonious and peace-loving office environment’, or some untrue clause like that. Oh, but make sure that while you are leaving office with your packed brown boxes, leave Sam a sorry note, or at least your coffee mug (provided it is unstained and uncracked) or better still, a part of your remaining pay slip, if you get any at all that is.

Dumb and Dumber
Ever wondered what it must be like to be Archie for a day? Sans the noisy jalopy (do use one if you have one!) you can try out all the antics that he uses to bug the life out of Mr. Lodge. Drop everything in sight, stumble on everyone in sight and if you have a cup of hot coffee in your hand, the more the merrier! Especially, use this trick if you know that the office environment is such that job stress is at its peak. If you see a colleague in a white or cream-colored shirt, let the loaded coffee mug ‘accidentally’ slip out of your hand. Mix up your colleague’s extremely important documents just before his big presentation. Let the first slide of the presentation be ‘I am done. Thank-you for your time and money, suckers!’ Even if all the above tips fail, this one surely won’t.