The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

February 22, 2013

Career Coach Q&A: As Cuts Loom, It Never Hurts to Prepare

Career Coach columnist Joyce E.A. Russell, an industrial and organizational psychologist, discussed workplace issues in a recent online forum. Excerpts:

Q: So the obvious question has to be: What does the job market look like given the latest round of sequestration discussion? While I am a contractor at a federal agency, I am seriously thinking about testing the waters right now because of the continued banter.

A: For some employers, I have heard they are really not that affected by the threat of sequestration and they say it is business as usual. For others in the government, they are hedging on hiring due to possible cuts. But many groups have already set up contingency plans for possible cuts or changes in jobs. I think it is always a good idea to have your resume ready and make sure you are marketable, so why not see what the market looks like?

Q: I am debating moving into independent consulting. I'm confident that the number of potential clients I have lined up would make me able to have work for at least 12-15 days per month. However, I'm struggling to figure out how to set my daily rate. I'm single, so I would need to get my own health insurance, but don't know how much that might cost (I'm healthy). I'm not sure what additional taxes I'd be paying when self-employed. Can you direct me to resources to help determine what "hidden" costs I will need to consider as well as how to calculate them?

A: There are lots of resources out there to help individuals start their own businesses. Looking at resources provided by the Small Business Administration or www.entrepreneur.com can be helpful. They actually provide step-by-step instructions for what you can do and what you need to think about. I would also suggest spending some time talking to other independent consultants in your career field to learn their views of the "dos and don'ts" and "hidden" costs, etc. You'd be surprised at how willing others are when it comes to sharing information.

Text Only
Business
  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.

     

    July 31, 2014

  • Fancy management systems won’t fix bad managers

    In violation of my long-standing “only watch TV” rule, I read an article recently about how Zappos is adopting a management structure known as holacracy.

    July 30, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Supervisor-employee boundaries must be honored

    QUESTION: Two weeks ago, my husband “Barry“ unexpectedly came home from work with a large flat-screen television. He explained that one of his employees gave it to him as repayment for a loan. I was shocked, because I had no idea that Barry was lending people money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Silly mistakes that sink job applicants

    Some employers won’t care - or won’t catch them - but mistakes in word usage can put your application in the reject pile.

    July 29, 2014

  • Watercooler: Raised to the roof

    Q: Over 15 years, I have worked my way up the corporate ladder with the same organization. I have been given a raise every year and excellent reviews, as well as several promotions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Career Coach Q&A: job search follow-up; introverts as leaders

    Starting a business:

    Q: I have a stable job that I don't hate, but I have an idea for starting my own business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

Business Video
Stocks