Who wants to be a Millionaire?

Good morning and happy Friday!

With all of the buzz going around about the Multistate Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot, I couldn’t resist posing a few questions to my readers! $540 MILLION, largest jackpot ever in history!!! That’s a lot of clams. I don’t know what I would do with myself if I were the lucky winner of that chunk of change. Of course, I would still be the faithful blogger that I am, but still! A win like that would definitely be life changing.

My question for you is, what would you do if you were to land this jackpot? Would you continue to work? Would you follow your dreams and be your very own boss or a business owner? Or would you flat out quit and retire the minute the dollars hit your bank account? Basically, how would winning enough money to last a lifetime affect your life as a job seeker, employee, or manager?

I am curious as to what you all will have to say about this, so bring on the comments!

Fingers crossed for all you lottery ticket holders!


Building, Not Burning, Bridges

Dear Anita,

I have been working for my current company for the last 2 years. I love where I work and who I work with but time constraints in my personal life and the long commutes are becoming taxing. Recently I have been offered a position very close to my home which I have accepted. How do I tell my current employers about my intent to resign while avoiding any bad feelings?

Dear Needing a Smooth Exit,

As exciting as the opportunity of new career change can be, wrapping up the loose ends and cutting the cord can be difficult to do in a clean way. Making the decision to resign from a current position that you love hard on everyone involved, the last thing you want to do is have negative and hurt feelings upon your departure.

Breaking the News Without Burning Bridges!

When breaking the news to your supervisor, be sure to do so in a private setting. If possible, offer to assist in finding a new placement.

You should know who the best candidate for your old position, right?

Don’t leave them hangin’!
As a rule of thumb, you always want to give you current employer a minimum of two weeks before leaving you position.

Get this taken care of through a simple but formal letter of resignation with the date of letter submission and last day of work clearly outlined. This way the employer has ample time begin the search for your replacement and for everyone to make sure all projects and work is ready for the transition.

Here is a simple sample resignation letter:

(Today’s Date)

Dear (manager name),

I hereby tender my resignation from my position as (position). My last day will be on(today’s date), two weeks (or whatever length of time you choose) from today. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to work with you and (company name). I look forward to staying connected in the future.

__________________________ (Sign name)

(your name)
(phone number)

Work Away your Remaining Days!
During the last two weeks or however long the amount of time you are still working, make sure you are WORKING. Don’t slack off or goof around with other in the office. Your current supervisor, co-workers, and even I would not look highly upon this.

Stay linked to those you like!
Finally before heading out the door be sure to leave your contact information behind for those who you wish to remain in your professional network. Who knows, this new job may not be what you expect and you could come back later for other opportunities.

Want to read more about sensational resignation by one of the world’s top executives?

Check out TradePost:Goldman Sachs Exec Makes Big Exit today!!

Public Recognition

A reader writes….

Dear, Anita,
Due to tight budgets, I am unable to give my staff promotions or raises so I’m trying to come up with additional ways to reward them – without breaking the bank. Besides giving positive feedback one-on-one or a pat on the back, what are some other ideas?

Dear, “Mindful Manager,”

As you’re leading your team through projects, sitting in meetings, and making decisions, there’s no doubt that your role as a manager is critical. What you may not realize, however, is that the way you interact with your staff (including your tone with them, your body language, your words) has a tremendous impact. In most cases, your team cares about what you think of them and their performance on the job. One simple way to truly “make their day” is to recognize them publicly.

Don’t limit the praise and high-fives to your private meetings. Instead, make a point of recognizing their good work and dedication in front of the entire staff…. Or in front of the entire company for that matter! Even the shyest of shy likes to be recognized in front of peers and co-workers… there’s just something about being a hero for that very moment.

My advice would be to get on the agenda the next time you have a company meeting. Or initiate a “town meeting” with your immediate department where you can share some success stories and invite key performers up on stage.

Another idea is to establish an “Employee of the Month” program where recipient names are featured on the company website, in a newsletter, or even on the internal intranet site (if available).

Public recognition is a great (and affordable) way to acknowledge employees. It also motivates others who may be seeking the limelight to crank up their performance a notch or two.

Hey Managers! What are some other suggestions for recognizing top performers? Do you agree that public recognition works well?

Please post your comments here!

Covering the Cover Letter

A reader writes…

Dear, Anita,

I have two questions that I hope you can address: What’s the secret to a good cover letter? And is a cover letter even necessary these days?

Dear, “C.L.,”

I have been asked to address the cover letter question by a few readers as I know it’s a hot topic when it comes to searching for a job. I can’t tell you how many cover letters I have seen over the years that look like a generic template and a game of plug-and-play (insert name here… insert date here…. etc.) I’ve even seen cover letters that have a different color font where the hiring manager’s name is supposed to go… a tell-tale sign that it is a standard form letter that has been forwarded or used countless times.

My advice is this…

  • If you’re writing a cover letter just because you think it’s the right “protocol”… Don’t bother.
  • If you plan to reiterate the content of your résumé in your cover letter… Don’t bother.
  • If your cover letter is not a quick, relevant read… Don’t bother.

I, personally, only think a cover letter is necessary if you’re changing careers or if you need to clarify certain things that your résumé can’t explain alone. A cover letter can also serve as a nice personal touch if you recently spoke to someone (say, a hiring manager) about a position. You can use the letter as a thank you for their time and consideration as well as to reiterate 4-5 key reasons why you would be a good fit.

I found the following article on CareerBuilder that I think “covers” the cover letter question very well. I encourage you to take a look: http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-2446-Resumes-Cover-Letters-Do-I-really-need-a-cover-letter-New-thoughts-on-an-old-standard/

Okay HR and Hiring Managers… we want to hear from you. Do YOU think cover letters are necessary? Do you even read them? Please post your comments here!


Rude Remarks

A reader writes…

Dear, Anita, is it ever appropriate to call out a client or co-worker for being rude? Do you have any tips on how to do this so I don’t sound like the rude person?

Dear, “Rude-y,”

There’s no doubt about it, people get heated up over things at work and have a tendency to lose their cool. I have heard and seen it all, from boardroom blowouts to in-person insults and even phone call finger-pointing — imagine that!

To answer your question, I definitely think it is appropriate to call out a client or co-worker for being rude. Unfortunately, sometimes people need to be put in their place in order for business relationships to continue.

Not fun and definitely not easy.

Here are a few word tracks to consider when, or if, faced with this situation:

  1.  “Excuse me  for interrupting, but I can sense you are becoming very frustrated with <XYZ>. I think we are likely to come to a resolution if you would please lower your voice.” (Or control your temper… or whatever the case may be).
  2. “Mr. X, you seem to be getting a bit defensive in your tone, would you mind not speaking to my colleagues and me that way? It is becoming counterproductive.”
  3. “I do not appreciate being spoken to that way and suggest we table this conversation (meeting.. whatever) until you have had a chance to cool down. Perhaps you would like me to discuss the matter with your supervisor… I’m sure she (or he) would be interested in hearing about how you are handling this situation.”

The situations may vary and your responses will certainly vary accordingly. The key is to remain calm and professional at all times… even if you’re burning up inside, ready to jump out of your own skin! Maintain your composure and kill them with kindness by using your manners and staying positive… this always gets ‘em! Most importantly, do not stoop to their level – you’re better than that!

I CAN’T WAIT to hear your stories on this one! Please share examples… but remember to keep it clean!


Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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