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2. Assessing Yourself And Your Situation
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2. Assessing Yourself And Your Situation


This is part 2 of a several part series of presentation on job searching.

This is part 2 of a several part series of presentation on job searching.

Published in Career
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  • 12 January 2006:12 January 2006 Gallup Study: Feeling Good Matters in the Workplace @
  • My Be Careful Story: Had a guy contact me to be my “Career Coach” and help me “realize my full potential.” We dialogued a few weeks and he told me I needed to assert myself with my boss and lay out a number of simple changes in the company (that had been previously agreed to, but not implemented) that needed to happen to help me be successful at my job. I did that one Thursday and it seemed to go very well with my boss, but the following Tuesday I got notice I was being laid-off. When I called my Career Coach, he wasn’t in and I left a message telling him what happened. He never called me back. Ever.
  • Q: Does a taxpayer who is terminated from a job outside of North Carolina and who then moves into North Carolina qualify for the deduction for severance wages paid after becoming a resident of North Carolina?A: Yes. Q: If a taxpayer receives $20,000 of qualifying severance wages while a resident and another $20,000 while a nonresident, what deduction may the taxpayer take?A: Because the entire amount of severance wages received will be included in federal taxable income, the allowable deduction claimed on line 40 of the return in this case would be $35,000. In determining the percentage of income taxable to North Carolina (lines 42 through 46), the taxpayer must reduce line 42 by $20,000 since that amount was paid while the taxpayerwas a resident. Severance wages paid to a nonresident are not taxable by North Carolina even if paid in connection with a job in North Carolina; consequently, neither the income nor deduction should be considered in completing lines 42 or 43. Total income on line 45 should be reduced by the total amount of qualifying severance wages, not to exceed $35,000.Q: If both spouses receive severance wages that qualify for the deduction, may each spouse claim a deduction of up to $35,000 if they file a joint return or is the total deduction for both spouses limited to $35,000?A: Each spouse is entitled to a deduction of up to $35,000 for qualifying severance wages received during the taxable year. Q: If an employee is offered a different job with new responsibilities or at a reduced salary and the employee declines the offer and is terminated, is the termination considered involuntary?A: No.Q: If an employer relocates and the employee is terminated because the employee elects not to relocate, is the termination considered involuntary?A: Yes.If you have questions about this directive, you may call the Personal Taxes Division of the North Carolina Department of Revenue at (919)733-3565.


  • 1. Self-Analysis is Very Specific to each Person
    Situational Analysis Shares some Common Themes
    Assess Yourself and Your Situation
  • 2. Self-ANalysis
    What Went Wrong?
    Make Sure You Know What You Want
    What Next?
    Transition Options?
    Self Assessment
  • 3. Personality tests
    Recommended Read:
    Type Talk at Work
    Self Assessment Websites on Internet
  • 4. Information about yourself:
    Wants from a job:
    Personality traits
    What You Liked About Previous work experience, and include:
    Part time jobs
    Volunteer work
    Better pay
    Personal growth potential
    Company reputation
    Opportunity to drive change
    Entrepreneurial environnent
    Improved work/life balance
    Job security
    Better culture
    Industry growth
    Broaden skills
    Reporting relationship
    Self-Analysis: Prioritize Your Needs
  • 5. Analyze Yourself Against Skills Valued By Most Employers
    Problem solving
    Desire to learn new skills
    Interpersonal skills
    Oral and Written
    Effective or Persuasive?
    Ask others in your Inner Circle for candid feedback
  • 6. 6
    Group Your PrioritiesShed from the Outside
  • 7. Don’t Worry, But Do Analyze
    Why are you “un”employed?
    What Went Wrong?
  • 8. It Probably Wasn’t Your Fault
    That doesn’t Mean You Can’t Influence in the Future or spot warning signs, or be better prepared
    Truth is:
    Job Transience is the Now the Norm
    Executives Can Be Short Of Loyalty To A Company
    Decision-maker Loyalty Gap can extend to employees
    “Employees Are Our Greatest Asset…
    Because They Are The Easiest To Liquidate”
    This Recession has been and Remains Severe
  • 9. Job Transience Is Now the Norm
    People changed employers every 3.4 years
    (Source: Bureau of Labor Stats. Of the U.S. Dept. of Labor)
    Average Job in America Lasts only 2.1 years (Dave Ramsey)
    Chart Data from ExecuNet
  • 10. What Went Wrong?
    Are you in a field that suits you? Your lifestyle?
    Is your field cyclical? Subject to downturn?
    Is your field simply in decline? What other fields interest you?
    Is your Industry cyclical? In decline? Moving overseas? Morphing into something else?
    Do you want to follow? Leave?
    What sectors, or sister industries are doing better and would value your experience?
    Was your company too big, too small, too rigid, too greedy, too bureaucratic?
    What was right and wrong about the culture?
    Would you welcome the opportunity to work for this person again? Why or why not?
    What characteristics should you be looking for in your next boss?
  • 11. Consider making changes
    What Next?
  • 12. Consider Prudent Changes
  • 13. Switching Industries
    According to ExecuNet's2009 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report Corporate HR Departments in 2003 reported hiring 14.5% from outside their industry, and that number grew to 21.3% by 2008.
    The same report indicated Search Firms only placed 12.1% in a new industry.
    Better to contact companies directly if seeking to switch industries than to go through a Search Firm
    Opportunity to switch industry is improving
    Best to look into growing Industries – What are they?
  • 14. 14
  • 15. Top Functions
  • 16. Many People Use the Phrase “In Transition” when they are actually just unemployed
    You are not “In Transition” until you are In School, Volunteering, Working Temporary, Working Part-Time, or Working Full-Time in a job that is undersized for your skills
    Transition Options
  • 17. Why Do Anything But Look for a New Job?
    Don’t I Deserve Time Off?
    Some Job Hunters React as if Job Hunting should be a full time + effort, so why do anything else?
    It’s better to:
    Avoid Job Search Burnout
    Some Job Hunters find every excuse to procrastinate – you need a steady, balanced approach.
    Filling Your Time with other activities
    Can generate New Job Leads,
    Can keep you Sharp, and
    Looks better on your resume (especially the next time you are looking)
    Avoid the Extremes
  • 18. Transition Options
    Temporary Fulltime Work
    Sub-Consulting / Contracting
    Part-time Work
    Sub-Consulting / Contracting
    Training Others / Teaching Courses
    Improve Credentials (Severance Funding?)
    Continuing Ed / Certifications / University Courses (Speeds Unemployment Insurance in NC)
    Can become a problem if you need the money
    Full-time Undersized Job
    Hazard: Can become a rut, demoralize, not look good on your resume
    Benefit: Can be a launch pad to something better, provide insights to other opportunities, and is usually better on your resume than a blank
  • 19. Temporary Work
    If you are looking for a full-time job but are having trouble finding one, consider temporary work. In addition to providing you with an income while you search for permanent employment, “temping” or “sub-consulting” can help you:
    Gain work experience in a variety of environments;
    Develop or enhance your skills; and
    Explore career fields.
  • 20. Age Bias is Real, But Deal with It
    44 percent of senior-level executives surveyed by ExecuNet were in strong agreement that their age will affect their ability to land their next position — up from 33 percent last year
    Despite increased awareness and federal protection, charges of age bias have escalated. In fiscal year 2008, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission logged more than 24,000 charges of age discrimination and recovered $82.8 million in monetary benefits. That’s a sharp increase over the previous year’s 19,103 charges and $66.8 million recovery. Survey
  • 21. Consulting for the Over-50 Group
    If you're in career transition and over 50, consider a solo- or sub-consulting role. Such work can serve as a confidence-booster as you further expand your skills and knowledge, and enable you to make valuable network connections that can help you find your next permanent positionSub- or Solo-Consulting can be a great response to the question, 'What have you been doing?', and it can lead to an enhanced skill set and more confidence.While the rewards can be far-reaching, you need appropriate skills to be a successful consultant. Consulting requires good listening and communication, openness, excellent problem-solving, tolerance for ambiguity and high cognitive complexity. You should be realistic about whether you have the requisite skills.
  • 22. Part-Time/ Temporary Jobs
    Part-time or temporary jobs can help you while you are seeking full time employment. These jobs are stop-gaps in that you have no intention of remaining in them for an extended period of time.
    The Optimumpart-time or temporary jobs can offer:
    Adequate income on a regular basis to help you to financially;
    Near immediate entry and exit from it (So you can take that better Full-time opportunity when it comes);
    Moderate demand on your working time so that you can continue to explore a permanent career area; and
    Afford you continual contact with a wide variety of people so that you can make contacts during your work time that might be helpful in your career exploration.
  • 23. Examples of Part-time/ Temporary Jobs
    Advertising space salesperson
    Cab/bus/train driver
    Call Center
    Census taker
    Comparison shopper
    Domestic / house cleaner
    Employment agency interviewer
    Golf caddie
    Mail carrier
    Marketing research interviewer
    Museum guard
    Of Counsel
    Opinion poll interviewer
    Photographer’s assistant
    Retail store clerk
    Security guard
    Short order cook
    Temporary office worker
    Trainer / Instructor
    Travel agent
    Webmaster / Website Designer
  • 24. Temporary Service Firms
    Finding the Right Temp Firm:
    Does the firm offer any individualized training programs?
    Does the firm perform adequate screening tests?
    Will the coordinator place you in jobs that meet your needs?
    Investigate the Firm’s Reputation
    Get recommendations from the current “temps” as well as from client companies.
    Don’t Assume there are no Temp Firms in your specialty
    Don’t Assume Temp firms only deal with non-exempt level positions
  • 25. Go Back to School?
    Can help a change in function, field, or career direction – not as needed for an industry change
    Think about professional continuing education and certification programs
    Consider online and night school options so that you can quickly return to work without interrupting classes
  • 26. Volunteering
    Think about organizations that can use your skills
    Government Agencies
  • 27. Are You Still on the Payroll?
    Have You Been Offered Severance?
    What Are Your Financial Realities?
    Assess Your Situation
  • 28. Can You GET Happy?
    If You Are Unhappy
  • 29. Satisfaction by Function
  • 30. Top Reasons For Dissatisfaction
    1. Limited advancement opportunities
    2. Lack of challenge/personal growth
    3. Compensation
    4. Stress level
    4. (tied) Job security While stress and job security concerns are mounting, boredom and a shortage of opportunities for advancement remain key drivers of voluntary turnover
  • 31. What do Employees Need to be Happy?
    The need for trust. Expecting the company and management to deliver on its promises, to be honest and open in all communication with you, to invest in you, to treat you fairly and to compensate you in a fair and timely manner.
    The need to have hope. Believing you will be able to grow, develop your skills and have the opportunity for advancement or career progress.
    The need to feel a sense of worth. Feeling confident that if you work hard, do your best, demonstrate commitment and make meaningful contributions, you will be recognized and rewarded accordingly.
    The need to feel competent. Expecting you will be matched to a job that aligns with your talents and your desire for a challenge.
  • 32. 2006 Gallup Poll: Unhappily Employed
  • 33. Goal is to Get Happy, But Be Careful
    Happy in the same job
    Happy in the same company, new job
    Happy in a new company
  • 34. Happy in the Same Job
    Keep a To Do List – Scratching off accomplished tasks is a positive feeling
    Find the Humor – See the funny side of situations (but don’t get sarcastic)
    Just say no - Eliminate activities that aren't necessary and that you don't enjoy
    Listen to music while you work - Respectfully
    Avoid unproductive meetings
    Find and Work on something you're passionate about
    Pursue Personal Development Goals
    Learn New Skills (Prepare for a New Job)
    Meet New People (Network)
  • 35. Happy in the Same Company, New Job
    Ask for more responsibility
    Take More Responsibility: Work Comes to Those Who Do It
    Build Your Internal Company Network
  • 36. Get Prepared!
    Start Looking!
    RISK: Self Fulfilling Prophecy
    Un-Confidently Employed
  • 37. While You’re Still on the Payroll
    2nd Mortgage / Credit Line
    Credit Union
    Tuition Benefits
    Health Benefits
    Medical / Child Care Spending Accounts
    Professional Certifications / Continuing Ed
    Network / Contacts
  • 38. Prep Before
    Make sure resume / LinkedIn profile is updated and current.
    Talk to co-workers and colleagues before you leave for their contact information.
    Talk to vendors / customers / contacts outside the company for their contact information.
    Don’t download confidential business information
    If you won’t be taking your computer or cell phone with you, get the numbers out well in advance.
  • 39. Things You Should Consider
    If You Have Been Offered Severance
  • 40. If You’ve Been Offered Severance
    Over 40? – Employers are Legally Required to Give You 21 days to Review Agreements
    Negotiate Terms
    Wrongful Termination?
    Incompetent Boss or Management is not grounds for claiming Wrongful Termination
    Letting You Go for No Reason is not grounds for claiming Wrongful Termination
    Harassing you about things related to the job is not grounds for claiming Wrongful Termination
    Racial, Religious, or Sexual Harassment
    Military Service?
    Family Medical Leave?
  • 41. USERRAUniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
    Prevents Veterans from being discriminated against as a result of military service
    Administered by the U.S. Dept of Labor, Veterans Employment & Training Service (VETS)
    For further information/assistance,
    or call: 860-263-6490
  • 42. Negotiate
    Recognize that Employers have No Requirement to Pay ANY Severance
    Recognize that your best time to Negotiate is as close to notice of termination as possible
    Money is not the only thing on the table
    Consider value to You versus Cost to Company
    Timing of Severance Payments / Tax Year Issues
    Severance up to $35K can be NC Income Tax Free
    Office Use?
    Keep Phone / Blackberry / Laptop / Phone Number?
    Contingent Additional Severance
    Continuing Education / Classes?
  • 43. Most of us work for the money and when the work stops the spending must be managed more closely
    Financial Reality Check
  • 44. Invest – Don’t Consume
    Change Your Behavior Quickly – It’s Easy
    Changing Your Family’s Behavior May Be More Difficult
    Stop Eating Out Except lunch or coffee for Networking – and learn to Eat Cheap – (Water is free and better for you)
    Reduce and Delay Spending Where Possible
    Budget – Plan Your Spending
    Focus on Improving What You Can Control – Don’t Worry about What Can’t be Changed
    Accept Charity with Grace
  • 45. Health Benefits
    Maintaining Continuity of Coverage Can be Critical for Pre-existing Conditions
    Can Insurance Shift to a Spouse?
    Recovery Act Includes COBRA Subsidy
  • 46. Taxes and Severance
    North Carolina G.S. 105-134.6(b)(11) reads as follows:
    Severance wages received by a taxpayer from an employer as the result of the taxpayer's permanent, involuntary termination from employment through no fault of the employee. The amount of severance wages deducted as the result of the same termination may not exceed thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) for all taxable years in which the wages are received.
    See additional information.
  • 47. Taxes and Job-Search Expenses
    If you itemize, job-search expenses are deductible up to a limit which equals 2% of your adjusted gross income. You can deduct certain expenses you have in looking for a new job in your present occupation, even if you do not get a new job.
    Employment and Outplacement Agency FeesYou can deduct employment and outplacement agency fees you pay in looking for a new job in your present occupation. This includes fees to online services.
    ResumeYou can deduct amounts you spend for typing, printing, and mailing copies of a resume to prospective employers if you are looking for a new job in your present occupation.
    You cannot deduct these expenses if:
    You are looking for a job in a new occupation,
    There was a substantial break between the ending of your last job and when you began looking for a new one, or
    You are looking for a job for the first time.