The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 23, 2013

Career Coach: A conflict with staying late


Q: Is this a good time to be looking for a job? For most of my career, I have worked for companies that were government contractors. I took my current job three years ago knowing that the 25-mile commute would be tough. I have stayed hoping the economy would get better. With the lack of government funding and the furloughs, it never seemed like it would be a good idea to be the newest employee on a team. But, to tell you the truth, I am bored, the commute is killing me and I think it is time to find something new.

A: It is always better to be employed while looking than to quit your job and then look. You are more attractive to potential employers if you are already employed. You could passively look at this time (i.e., tell your friends you are looking, tell your network, update your social media sites). This way, recruiters could reach out to you. Then, you can decide if you want to more actively look by sending resumes, calling employers, and so on.

Q: I'm a manager in a department of about 25. We are gearing up for an internal retreat and I've been charged with leading a managers' breakout session. I can take the discussion in any direction. What's the best way to use those 45 minutes? Let people have a forum to vent/identify issues? Talk about what's going well? With no real direction from the higher ups, I'm just not sure how to make the time worthwhile.

A: It really depends on what the goals are for your session. Are they to get everyone pumped up and motivated? Are they to build a stronger team? Are they to identify issues and resolve problems? You only have 45 minutes, so that really is not much time and you don't want to identify problems and leave people in a state of depression about all the terrible issues.

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