Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #23
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I am a Chef and I just accepted a promotion with a competing hotel. There are many Chef jobs in town, but I don’t want to burn my bridges. How can I leave my current employer and still maintain a good relationship with them?

Dear Working Wise:

 

I am a Chef and I just accepted a promotion with a competing hotel. There are many Chef jobs in town, but I don’t want to burn my bridges. How can I leave my current employer and still maintain a good relationship with them? Signed, Moving On

 

Dear Moving On:

 

No matter how big a community or industry you work in, you never know how your past relationships may help or hurt you in the future.

 

You can earn your current employer’s gratitude and respect by acting professionally and making your departure as easy as possible for them.

 

Your boss will probably remember your last few weeks with the company more than your last few years and so make them count.

 

Create a positive lasting impression:

o   Give as much notice as you can. Check your contract or your company’s HR policies for what the minimum notice is. If in doubt, try to give at least two weeks notice;

o   Tell your supervisor in person before you tell your co-workers. Use this one-on-one with your boss to thank them for the opportunity and for everything you have learned;

o   Keep what you say positive and professional – you don’t need to explain your reasons in detail, but you should be ready to explain why you are leaving; and

o   Write a letter of resignation.

 

Your resignation letter should:

o   Be brief and professional — stick to the facts — don’t include a detailed explanation of why you are leaving.

o   Include the date, name of the person you are sending it to, the position you are resigning from, and when your last day of work will be;

o   Be positive and polite even if you didn’t enjoy working for the organization — don’t use your resignation letter to air your discontent; and

o   Sign your letter and keep a copy for your records.

 

Other ways to leave a lasting good impression:

o   Continue your good work habits;

o   Prepare a work plan for your supervisor including: projects you will complete before you leave, the status of any ongoing projects, and written instructions for the person who replaces you;

o   Offer to help look for and orient your replacement (if appropriate);

o   Make yourself available. Your last few weeks on the job are not the best time to use up your vacation days;

o   Clean your workspace and tidy up your files. Ensure important files or project work is labeled and easy to find. Pack up any personal items and return company property such as keys or supplies;

o   If asked to participate in an exit interview, the rules stay the same—keep it positive and factual.

 

Resigning in a professional way will preserve your relationships with your supervisor and coworkers and build your reputation in your industry.

 

Good luck at your new job!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 


I just turned down a job offer as a salesperson, because they wanted me to sign an agreement saying that I would not work for one of their competitors for six months after leaving the company. This is the first time I’ve been asked to agree to these kinds

 

Dear Working Wise:

I just turned down a job offer as a salesperson, because they wanted me to sign an agreement saying that I would not work for one of their competitors for six months after leaving the company. This is the first time I’ve been asked to agree to these kinds of terms. Is this something new? What else should I be on the lookout for when negotiating job offers? Signed, Cautious

 

Dear Cautious:

 

Restrictive covenants like non-solicitation and non-competition are not new, but they are becoming more common as employers try to protect their business interests.

 

For example, most employers would not want a salesperson taking all their customer contacts with them if they took a job with the competition.

 

Before you sign any such agreement, you may want to consult with a lawyer to ensure the employer is not trying to restrict your future career options too much.

 

When considering a job offer, you should also ensure you understand the offer and consider all the terms of employment such as hours, salary and benefits.

 

Get the offer in writing or take detailed notes of the verbal offer and then e-mail or fax your notes back to the employer for confirmation. Ask the employer to explain anything you don’t understand.

 

Find out when you will be working and for how long? Will there be any shift work, overtime, or travel? Is the overtime paid or unpaid? Some professions are exempt from overtime rules. Will you be required to use your personal vehicle? If so, will you be compensated for mileage and insurance costs?

 

Compensation – What is the salary or wage? Are you eligible for any performance bonuses or commissions? Are tips involved? If so, will you be expected to share your tips with anyone else? Are there scheduled salary increases and cost-of-living raises or do you have to negotiate each one?  

 

Other benefits - What about health and dental coverage, pensions or retirement savings programs, vacation, sick days, personal days, severance pay, employee wellness programs, vehicle allowance, daily living allowance (if travel is required), and parking?

 

If you are unsatisfied with the financial compensation being offered, but are still interested in the job, you might want to counter the employer’s offer. Try suggesting benefits that have little or no cost, like an extra week of paid vacation, free parking, a better job title, or ask if you can work some hours at home.

 

Most employers expect you to think about the offer before you decide. Let the employer know that you are very interested in the job, and that you will make a decision within a specific period of time, e.g. one or two days.

 

Evaluate the offer - If you are not sure how good the offer is, you can check it against industry standard salaries, benefits and working conditions by:

·         Reviewing the Alberta Occupational Profiles available on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site at www.alis.alberta.ca;

·         Looking at the Alberta Wage and Salary Survey on the ALIS web site;

·         Talking to people you know who work in similar jobs; or

·         Checking with your professional association or union.

 

Careful, once you have accepted the job, it will be tough to negotiate changes to the offer. If you decide to accept the offer, let the employer know that you‘re looking forward to getting started.

 

If you are making a counter-offer, be prepared to explain why you are worth the extra pay or vacation time.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 

I didn’t get the Marketing Assistant job that I applied for recently and I got the impression that they thought I was over-qualified. I have just completed my MBA plus I have some related experience. The fact is, though, I need a job. Do you have any advi

 

Dear Working Wise:

I didn’t get the Marketing Assistant job that I applied for recently and I got the impression that they thought I was over-qualified. I have just completed my MBA plus I have some related experience. The fact is, though, I need a job. Do you have any advice? Signed, Eager to work

 

Dear Eager:

 

Yes, it’s possible that the employer decided not to hire you because they thought you were overqualified.

 

The employer may have been concerned that you will:

·         Expect a quick promotion;

·         Want more money than other applicants;

·         Leave as soon as you find a better job;

·         Have had performance issues at your last job;

·         Become bored with the job too quickly;

·         Want to take their job.

 

There are many good reasons people apply for jobs that they are overqualified for, including:

·         New graduates with a lot of education, but limited experience;

·         Recent immigrants who need Canadian work experience or need to support themselves while they earn their Canadian credentials;

·         Changes in your personal life, including a family relocation;

·         Desire for less responsibility/overtime and better work-life balance;

·         Desire to change careers or work after retirement.

 

Here are some tips to help you reassure employers and get them excited about hiring you:

·         Target your resumé to the position and company’s needs--focus on how your experience will benefit the organization. Keep it short—two pages or less.

·         Focus on employers who will value your skills and experience—highlight them.  

·         Develop a career plan with clear goals.

·         Be ready for the question, “Aren’t you overqualified for this job?” Explain why you want this job and how it fits into your long-term career plan.

·         Reasons you want this job could include: new career direction, new industry, new skills, excited about the company, attracted by the job duties, need Canadian work experience, or you are looking for better work-life balance, etc.

·         Show your excitement for the job and how you can contribute.

·         Let the interviewer set the tone and lead the interview to show that you have no problem taking direction and have no plans to take over.

·         Talk about situations where you have worked successfully with co-workers who had various levels of skill and experience.

·         Ask the interviewer(s) if they have any remaining doubts that you are the perfect person for this job.

 

If you want any other job search tips or advice, check out the tip sheets on the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site at http://alis.alberta.ca.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 


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