layoffs http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13168/all en-US 8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_work_discussion_516896268.jpg" alt="Woman asking questions during her exit interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Exit interviews are common when someone is leaving a job. And usually, the onus is on the employer to ask the questions. If you're taking a new job offer, they may want to know why you're leaving, or what they could have done to keep you around. If you're being let go, they'll want to make sure you know everything about the package you're receiving, and your legal options.</p> <p>Rarely do people talk about the questions <em>you</em> should ask in your exit interview. Here are eight that can provide invaluable answers.</p> <h2>1. Will my feedback be anonymous?</h2> <p>If you have some important issues to get off your chest, this is a very important question to ask beforehand. You don't want to tear into an awful boss or coworker, only to find out that it has gotten back to them. You may even want to consider if it's worth the risk at all; if you work in similar fields, your paths may cross again in the future.</p> <p>Despite this, you may feel a moral obligation to tell HR all about the problems that certain coworkers caused, for the sake of the people who are left behind. If you must spill the beans, ask this question before you say anything negative or controversial about anyone. You may even want to write something down that can go on record &mdash; minus your name, of course.</p> <h2>2. What did I do well during my time here?</h2> <p>You can phrase this question however you feel most comfortable, but what you're looking for here is feedback on your strengths. What did you do that made a difference to the company? Were you a rock star at certain things? Were you highly prized in areas you didn't even consider?</p> <p>All of this can be great information to take with you to your next job. You may have thought that speaking up in meetings about potential issues with a project was a cause for grief. But it turns out that people really valued you asking those &quot;Devil's Advocate&quot; questions, as it helped with the development of otherwise unconsidered issues. This kind of feedback can really bolster your performance in your next position.</p> <h2>3. Do I have the option to come back here one day?</h2> <p>It may seem like an odd question to ask &mdash; after all, you're probably leaving the company for very good reason. However, &quot;boomerang&quot; employees can be common in some industries, especially if you're leaving to relocate out of state and may one day return. If you're leaving on good terms, this probably won't be an issue. If you're leaving because things went sour with certain people, it may be tricky to return until they, too, have left. If you're being laid off, you should be given the option to apply for other job openings that match your skill-set in the future.</p> <h2>4. What could I have done better?</h2> <p>No one is perfect. Even an employee that is being begged to stay will still have some areas that could use improvement. Now is the time to find out what those shortcomings are, as this will help you become an even better employee for your next company.</p> <p>Don't take any of this feedback personally. You asked the question, and you need to be an adult about the answers you get. Even if things take a turn, and you suddenly find out someone you respected was constantly complaining about you behind your back, just take it in stride. Fix what you think needs fixing, and ignore the petty stuff.</p> <h2>5. Can I use you as a reference in the future?</h2> <p>It may seem like a no-brainer that they'll say yes, especially if you were a good employee, but many companies frown on their staff providing references for ex-employees. If someone from that company provides a glowing reference for a person who turns out to be unreliable, a thief, a sexual predator, or anything else negative, it can come back on the business and bite them.</p> <p>The HR department's job in any company is to look out for the business, not the people who work there. So, if you think you may want to use them as a future reference, ask before you put their name down. Otherwise, they'll typically verify your dates of employment, and that's about it.</p> <h2>6. When can I expect my final paycheck, and how much will it be?</h2> <p>Your final paycheck may not be issued to you on a regular pay period. It may also include unused vacation days, and depending on your company, unused personal days, sick time (although that's rare), and a portion of the annual bonus you were set to receive.</p> <p>Not only do you want to ask about the final total, but when you can expect to receive that amount, and whether it will be a live check or a bank deposit. If the numbers don't add up, say something now. If they don't have final totals yet, make sure you have the phone number of the person in the payroll department.</p> <h2>7. Is there any kind of noncompete in place?</h2> <p>If you were given an employee handbook when you first started, this may be covered in there. But, roles and responsibilities within an organization vary greatly between departments, so now is a good time to clarify. It's possible that you will be asked not to have any contact with your current clients or vendors for at least a year or two, especially if you will be looking to poach current accounts from your company.</p> <p>Legally, you may not have anything to worry about, as this is typically more of a courtesy. How you handle this, of course, is entirely up to you. At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you and your family, and if there's nothing in writing to stop you approaching people, it's your call. And of course, if they approach you without any prompting, that's another ballgame entirely.</p> <h2>8. What about a severance package and health benefits?</h2> <p>If you're being laid off, your company may have a set severance package in place. Many businesses offer two weeks of pay for every year of service, up to a cap of their choosing. Others give you a set figure (anywhere from a week to a year) regardless of your time there.</p> <p>You'll also need to know what's happening with your health benefits. Unlike most other countries, health benefits are tied to employment in the U.S. and losing coverage can be costly (or even deadly). Will the company continue covering your health insurance, and if so, for how long? What about COBRA? These are important questions to ask, and if they won't continue coverage, ask for more money in your severance to help cover the costs.</p> <p>If you are planning to leave your company soon, make sure you have at least some of these questions ready for your exit interview. And if you suffer a layoff, please remember to ask about your severance and benefits. Good luck!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer">10 Work Perks You Can&#039;t Get as a Freelancer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-you-hate-your-new-job">How to Deal When You Hate Your New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-leave-your-job">10 Fun Ways to Leave Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-do-before-you-quit-your-job">5 Things You Must Do Before You Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income benefits employment exit interview feedback human resources job hunting Job Interview layoffs quitting severance Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:31:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1936196 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Moves to Make When a Layoff Is Coming http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-when-a-layoff-is-coming <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-moves-to-make-when-a-layoff-is-coming" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_suffering_headache_23825868.jpg" alt="Woman making money moves with coming layoff" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The signs are right there:</p> <ul> <li>All departmental budgets are cut way back;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Several key senior managers suddenly resign;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Entire divisions are consolidated, outsourced, or cut; and<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Many meetings that were previously open to everybody are now held behind closed doors.</li> </ul> <p>You haven't been laid off (or fired!) yet &mdash; but the company isn't doing so hot, and you strongly suspect you'll be on the chopping block soon. What should you do to prepare? Here is your checklist of 10 money moves for when a layoff is coming. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming?ref=seealso">20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a>)</p> <h2>Health Care Coverage</h2> <p>Whether you're single or have several dependents, you need to plan how to pay for scheduled and unexpected health care related expenses.</p> <h3>1. Inquire About COBRA Continuation Health Coverage</h3> <p>The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires group health plans to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated. Generally, this legislation applies to all private group health plans from employers with 20 or more employees. Some states have similar laws for employers with less than 20 employees.</p> <p>Inquire through your health plan administrator whether you're eligible for COBRA coverage, what coverage is available for you and your dependents, and how much it costs. If you're entitled to COBRA coverage, you'll have an election period of at least 60 days to choose whether to accept continuation coverage.</p> <h3>2. Gather Quotes From HealthCare.gov</h3> <p>While COBRA may be an option, it's often quite expensive. At <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov">HealthCare.gov</a>, you can shop around for health plans available in your Health Insurance Marketplace, check whether or not you qualify for Medicaid, and determine if your children are eligible for the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/childrens-health-insurance-program/">Children's Health Insurance Program</a> (CHIP).</p> <p>By comparing how much it'd cost to maintain your existing coverage through COBRA vs. alternative options, you can make an informed decision about health plan choices.</p> <h3>3. Update Your Mailing Address With Your Current Health Carrier</h3> <p>This is key so that you receive any plan cards, bills, and forms, such as the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1095a--2015.pdf">Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement</a>. The Form 1095-A enables you to take the premium tax credit, reconcile the credit on returns with advance payments of the premium tax credit (advance credit payments), and file an accurate tax return.</p> <h2>Retirement Planning</h2> <p>Times may be tough, but continue building up your nest egg. Your future self will be glad you did.</p> <h3>4. Pay Down Any 401K Loans</h3> <p>If you're part of the <a href="http://www.pensionresearchcouncil.org/publications/document.php?file=1271">20% of 401K holders</a> that took a loan from their plan, plan to pay back as much as you can, as <em>soon</em> as you can. When you're laid off or fired, you have only up to 60 days to pay back outstanding balances &mdash; or those funds become <em>taxable </em>income. Also, you would have to pay a 10% early distribution penalty if you're under age 59 1/2 and may be subject to additional incomes taxes and penalties from your state.</p> <h3>5. Check Vesting Period of Employer Contributions</h3> <p>Your employer may require you to work for a specific timeframe before vesting the employer contributions in your retirement account. Contact your retirement plan administrator to understand your fully vested balance.</p> <h3>6. Update Your Mailing Address With Current Plan Administrator</h3> <p>This is important for everybody, but is critical for individuals with a retirement account balance under $5,000. According to a Plan Sponsor Council of America survey, <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2015/01/13/how-to-avoid-being-forced-out-of-your-401-k">57% of 401K plans</a> mail a cash-out check to individuals with balances under $1,000 and transfer accounts to an IRA for those with balances between $1,000 and $5,000. If you would like to prevent these events from happening, contact your plan administrator within a period usually of 60 days from the date of termination. Still, having the correct address on file prevents that a check, form, or notice is lost in the mail. (Yes, rolling over a retirement account is still mostly a paper-based process!)</p> <h3>7. Explore All of Your Rollover Options</h3> <p>Besides cashing out and rolling over to an IRA, there are many other options available for you. To find out all of them, review <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-rolling-over-all-of-your-401ks-and-iras">A Simple Guide to Rolling Over All of Your 401Ks and IRAs</a>.</p> <h2>Emergency Fund Planning</h2> <p>Since a rainy day may be coming soon, establish how you'll make ends meet in case it takes longer than expected to find a new job.</p> <h3>8. Strengthen (or Start) an Emergency Fund</h3> <p>Sock away more into your emergency fund than you usually do. One way to strengthen or start your emergency fund is to use the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator">IRS Withholding Calculator</a> to estimate your current tax bill (or return) for next year's return. Since about three in every four Americans get a refund every year, chances are that you'll be able to take home more with you for the next couple of paychecks. Follow the recommendations from the IRS Withholding Calculator to adjust your Form W-4 and put the extra monies from your next paychecks into your emergency fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso">Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h3>9. Shop Around for Financing</h3> <p>Now, while you still have a job, is the time to look for financing, not once you're laid off. Select a financing option that would act as a last resort fund in case your emergency fund or saving account runs out. Besides a credit card, take a look at a personal line of credit, peer-to-peer lending account, and home equity line of credit (HELOC). Remember you're securing financing but you don't have to use it unless you really have to.</p> <h3>10. Learn the Process for Unemployment Benefits</h3> <p>Once you're laid off, you'll be worried about too many things. Buy yourself some time and contact your <a href="http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp">State Unemployment Insurance agency</a> ahead of time to learn how to file a claim by telephone or over the Internet. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, so find out your state's eligibility requirements, steps to file a claim, and reporting guidelines for continued eligibility.</p> <p>In most states, unemployment benefits (a percentage of an individual's earnings over a recent 52-week period up to a maximum set by the state) are paid up to 26 weeks. Having this support can provide you much need peace of mind during your search for the next job.</p> <p><em>How should you prepare for a layoff?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-when-a-layoff-is-coming">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/left-a-job-do-a-rollover">Left a job? Do a rollover.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-its-okay-to-delay-retirement-savings">5 Times It&#039;s Okay to Delay Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income 401k downsizing emergency funds going out of business health care IRA laid off layoffs unemployment Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1726484 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000077659843_Large.jpg" alt="she needs to make these money moves after getting fired" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just about everyone goes through a job loss at some point in their lives. Hopefully, any job loss you endure will only result in a short time out of work, and minimal financial hardship. But even if you expect your time between jobs to be short, there are a number of things you should do right away to ensure you can make it through a stretch of time with no income.</p> <p>As someone who endured two layoffs in the past, I can tell you that these steps will help keep you afloat until you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-after-a-promotion">land a new position</a>.</p> <h2>1. Determine if You Are Eligible for Severance and Vacation Pay</h2> <p>If you've been let go from a job, employers will often provide severance pay based on the length of time you worked there. You may also be paid for any unused vacation time. The company should explain your eligibility for these funds upon your termination, but if not, make a point to check with the human resources department. In some cases, you may have to engage an attorney to fight for what you believe you are owed.</p> <p>Companies generally aren't required to offer severance at all, but there are instances when you may feel you are due money for uncompensated overtime or other reasons. Just keep in mind that benefits may vary depending on if you were fired for cause or laid off through no fault of your own.</p> <h2>2. Assess Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Now is the time when your savings will come in handy. If you've followed the advice of many personal finance experts, you have at least three months of expenses available in liquid savings. But now is the time to assess precisely how much you have and what your expenses actually are. With proper savings and cuts to your spending, you should hopefully be able to pay your bills until you get back to work.</p> <h2>3. Reduce Unnecessary Expenses</h2> <p>You may <em>think</em> you're living frugally, but now is the time to really strip life down to the bare essentials. Your expenses should really come down to your rent or mortgage, utilities, and a modest food budget. (Keep the Internet and cell phone services, as you may need them for your job search.) But that cable TV subscription? Kill it. Gym membership? Suspend it. Avoid going out to eat, or shopping at high-end grocers. And turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees. Every penny you save now is money that will help get you through to the next job.</p> <h2>4. Assess Your Health Insurance Situation</h2> <p>If you received health insurance through your employer, your benefits may no longer be accessible to you. It's likely that you are eligible for COBRA benefits, which provide discounted coverage between when your benefits run out and when new benefits kick in. After a job loss, you usually have 60 days to apply for COBRA benefits, and they last between 18 and 36 months, depending on your situation. At this time, it's also worth exploring insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act at HealthCare.gov.</p> <h2>5. Apply for Unemployment Benefits (But Don't Necessarily Claim Them Right Away)</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, there's a good chance you'll be eligible for compensation from unemployment insurance. In most states, unemployed people are entitled to up to 26 weeks of benefits that are a portion of their previous salary. Note that earnings from part-time or freelance work can be deducted from unemployment benefits. You don't necessarily have to claim unemployment benefits right away if you still have some money coming in, but it's still important to research options and get your name into the system immediately after a job loss.</p> <h2>6. Accept Outplacement Service if It Is Offered</h2> <p>You may feel like you can do a job search by yourself, but if your former employer is connecting you with assistance for free, take it. Outplacement professionals can help you update your resumé, assess your skills to see what jobs might be right for you, and even help you with interviews and salary negotiations.</p> <h2>7. Update Your Resumé and LinkedIn Profile</h2> <p>Hopefully, these are things you've kept more or less up-to-date anyway, but if you haven't looked at them in a while, give them some attention now. You don't have to necessarily reveal that you are between jobs, but it's important to have up-to-date information on your skills and accomplishments. Be sure to make several resumés based on the different types of jobs you may be pursuing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=seealso">30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>8. Collect All Your Retirement Account Information</h2> <p>If you've lost your job, you're no longer going to be able to contribute to your company's 401K, or other similar retirement plan. You don't necessarily have to do anything with the account right away, but eventually, you may want to roll your old 401K into another 401K or IRA.</p> <p>In the immediate term, make sure you save the login and password information to the account, as well as any relevant paperwork. It will also be important to check your account balance to see how much of your matched contributions were &quot;vested.&quot; If you leave a company after a short amount of time, it's possible that the company can reclaim some matching contributions.</p> <h2>9. Adjust Your Auto Insurance Premium</h2> <p>What you pay for auto insurance is often partially based on how much you drive. If you are no longer commuting to work, you may be able to reduce your premium slightly by arguing that you're driving less. Your rate is especially likely to go down if you're no longer driving and parking in a dense, urban area.</p> <h2>10. Take a Breather</h2> <p>It's okay to take some time off before doing any hardcore thinking about your next career move. While you don't waste a lot of time in getting back to work, it's important to make decisions with a clear head. Do you want to remain in the same field? Do you want to start your own business? Do you even need to go back to work full-time? There is a lot to think about, so take some time. This is as much a financial move as one for your mental health, because the last thing you want to do is rush into a job that you're not suited for and find yourself back in the unemployment line again.</p> <h2>11. Reallocate Some Investments for Income</h2> <p>If you have some investments in a non-retirement account, it's worth examining whether you can adjust them to produce some income. It's not necessarily a good idea to immediately sell a large quantity of stocks or mutual funds, especially if they are for long-term savings. You certainly don't want to do anything rash. But perhaps a portion of your portfolio could shift to bonds or dividend stocks that will help bring you some extra cash.</p> <p><em>What other money moves should you make after getting fired? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-1">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Budgeting employment fired getting fired job loss jobs layoffs money moves resume unemployment Tue, 08 Mar 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1667924 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways Life Is Amazing With an Emergency Fund http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_000022968360.jpg" alt="Family enjoying life knowing they have an emergency fund" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, far too many people are living on the financial edge. High <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/">rates of personal debt</a> are crippling many families, and leaving them unprepared for the unexpected.</p> <p>Building an emergency fund is an important part of any financial plan. In fact, it may be the most important thing you do with your money. Opinions vary on how large an emergency fund should be, but most financial experts suggest socking away <em>at least</em> three months worth of salary (or more if you can).</p> <p>Let's take a look at the many ways an emergency fund will improve your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund?ref=seealso">A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Can Get Stuff Fixed</h2> <p>People without emergency funds will often let problems go until they get even worse. That car repair that might have been $500 could turn out to be $2,000 later if it's not addressed. That flooded basement could turn into a massive mold problem if you don't get it taken care of right away. An emergency fund is a necessity for any homeowner.</p> <h2>2. You'll Never Have to Cheat Your Future Self</h2> <p>If you have an emergency, you may find yourself dipping into your retirement savings. If you do this, you may pay penalties, and you're costing yourself thousands of dollars down the road. Keep an emergency fund so you won't have to tap into your retirement.</p> <h2>3. Getting Sick Isn't the End of the World</h2> <p>So you tore your ACL in a bike accident, and even though you have insurance, the medical bills are higher than you expected. It's okay. That's what an emergency fund is for. If you have money saved, you can focus on the most important thing &mdash; getting well.</p> <h2>4. You Can Endure a Layoff</h2> <p>As someone who once faced two layoffs in a four-year period, I can tell you that having some money in the bank can really take the pressure off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 45% of unemployed people in February reported <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf">being out of work</a> for more than 14 weeks. An emergency fund will allow you to keep paying your bills, and you may also have the luxury of waiting for a new job that's a good fit for you.</p> <h2>5. You'll Avoid the Debt Spiral</h2> <p>If you don't have the cash to respond to an emergency, you may find yourself tapping credit cards or taking out a second mortgage. Before you know it, you're saddled with ever-increasing credit card payments. Your financial situation just gets worse from there. An emergency fund will prevent you from facing an explosion of debt.</p> <h2>6. You Won't Have to Borrow From Friends and Family</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with family members lending each other a hand, but things can get stressful when money is involved. Will you have the ability to pay your brother-in-law back if he loans you $2,000? How will he react if you can't pay up? And if you do get a loan, will there be strings attached? Family members might be more forgiving than a bank, but you run the risk of straining relationships along the way.</p> <h2>7. It's Easier to Be Your Own Boss</h2> <p>Having an emergency fund is especially important if you have unpredictable income. If you're a business owner or freelancer, you'll go through ups and downs and may even have stretches where you are bringing in no money at all. Build up your emergency fund when things are going well, and you'll find that the lean times won't seem so bad.</p> <h2>8. You Can Splurge Once in a While</h2> <p>Building up an emergency fund takes financial discipline. But ironically, this financial discipline could eventually mean that you can be irresponsible once in a while. When you have no savings, going out for a big steak dinner is a bad idea. But when you have an emergency fund, you can get away with it on occasion. The key is to avoid splurging before that savings is built up, and make sure you have a plan to replenish any funds you might dip into.</p> <h2>9. It Makes It Easier to Have Kids</h2> <p>Kids are expensive, so on the one hand, they do make it harder to build up your savings. But if you work hard early to make sure you have an emergency fund in place, you'll be prepared to take on the expenses that parenthood brings. Kids break things. They hurt themselves, and each other. They have educational needs and activities that often cost more than expected. Moreover, having a good chunk of savings makes it easier for parents to take time off work to care for new babies. An emergency fund is a parent's best friend. (It's also worth noting that emergency funds can be hugely important if you find yourself with a new addition unexpectedly.)</p> <h2>10. You Can Survive Your Mistakes</h2> <p>Maybe you were late on your taxes and have to pay a penalty. Perhaps you (or your kid) spilled grape juice all over your laptop, rendering it unusable. Maybe you got distracted while driving and smashed up the car. No one is perfect. But when you live without an emergency fund, you're living without any margin for error.</p> <h2>11. You Will Have the Gift of Flexibility</h2> <p>An emergency fund can keep you from getting locked in. You can take time off work to work on that novel. You can take that dream job, even if it doesn't pay quite as much. You can dump your boyfriend and move into another apartment. If you live below your means and build up your savings, you end up with more options in your life. And that's a major key to happiness.</p> <p><em>How has having an emergency fund benefited you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-emergency-fund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-use-savings-to-pay-off-debt">When to Use Savings to Pay Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-emergency-fund-costing-you-money">Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt emergency fund layoffs savings Wed, 08 Apr 2015 17:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1372977 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Types of Employees You Can’t Afford to Keep http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-types-of-employees-you-can-t-afford-to-keep <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-types-of-employees-you-cant-afford-to-keep" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-types-of-employees-you-cant-afford-to-keep</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-types-of-employees-you-can-t-afford-to-keep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015676206Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the economy showing some signs of slowing, you may be wondering if you have the right team in place to navigate whatever crazy detours lie ahead. Many companies are relying heavily these days on their existing teams &ndash; instead of a large infusion of new talent &ndash; to power their growth.</p> <p>A <a href="http://about.intuit.com/about_intuit/press_room/press_release/articles/2011/SmallBusinessEmploymentIndexShowsImprovedJobGrowth.html">recent survey</a> of about 66,000 businesses with 20,000 employees or fewer that use Intuit Online Payroll found that, while hiring &ndash; which has been flat for months &ndash; rose .2 percent in June, a significant number of firms have decided to increase hours and pay for existing staff rather than hire additional people to handle the work. The numbers reflect this. According to the Intuit Small Business Employment Index, average hours and monthly pay for hourly workers both rose .2 percent in June &ndash; after each measure dipped .1 percent in May.</p> <p>So what type of staffer do you need for your company to thrive under current conditions? &ldquo;The ideal employee is someone who does their job above and beyond &ndash; while continually looking for opportunities to learn and grow,&rdquo; says Andrea Nierenberg, an executive training, recruiting and consulting firm in New York.</p> <p>Many bosses, however, find that this isn&rsquo;t quite the profile of the folks they have on their payroll. Here are five types of employees who, either directly or indirectly, can chip away at the health of your company (not to mention your sanity!). If you can&rsquo;t rehabilitate them, Nierenberg recommends finding a replacement.</p> <h3>The Creativity Zapper</h3> <p>In today&rsquo;s fast-evolving business world, it&rsquo;s essential to encourage your entire staff to keep fresh ideas flowing, even if some are half-baked at the moment and need a generous dose of feedback from others to be useful. An employee who persistently responds to colleagues&rsquo; suggestions with comments like &ldquo;We did that in the past, and it didn&rsquo;t work&rdquo; can act as an enemy of innovation. Who will want to share suggestions for growing the company if an office sniper is likely to make them feel stupid?</p> <h3>The Poor Listener</h3> <p>The workplace is less hierarchical today than it once was. No matter what his or her role, someone who never stops talking long enough to hear what colleagues are saying won&rsquo;t deliver the results you need or help morale any. Workers need to be open to learning from everyone on your team, even the most junior members, and if they&rsquo;re not, you could be missing out on important information.</p> <h3>The One-Person Show</h3> <p>Many great employees will never be &ldquo;rah-rah, go-team&rdquo; types. But today&rsquo;s workplace is more collaborative than ever, says Nierenberg, so there&rsquo;s no room for someone who can&rsquo;t find a way to work effectively with others, whether it&rsquo;s colleagues, contractors and freelancers you hire, or members of a client&rsquo;s staff.</p> <h3>Mr. (or Ms.) Rigid</h3> <p>Companies need to be nimble enough to react instantly to changing economic conditions. &ldquo;Today, things turn on a dime,&rdquo; notes Nierenberg. That means your employees, in turn, need to be flexible about the work they do. If they resist new types of projects or can&rsquo;t change priorities quickly, they could be hampering your firm&rsquo;s ability to stay current.</p> <h3>The Luddite</h3> <p>In the not so distant past, every office seemed to have a few people who got away with ignoring new technologies. That era is over, says Nierenberg. Today, in virtually every job today, she says, &ldquo;You have to be up to date.&rdquo; While a boss can&rsquo;t demand that employees spend their free time hanging out on Twitter or Facebook, it is reasonable to require that they master new technologies needed to do their jobs better, putting their best effort into training the company provides. Rest assured, your smartest competitors are requiring their teams to stay current.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elaine-pofeldt">Elaine Pofeldt</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-types-of-employees-you-can-t-afford-to-keep">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-job-when-youre-in-a-workplace-relationship">How to Protect Your Job When You&#039;re in a Workplace Relationship</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-you-should-always-ask-in-an-exit-interview">8 Questions You Should Always Ask in an Exit Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-ways-to-make-more-money-this-year">100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center employee relations employee types employees firing layoffs small business Thu, 28 Jul 2011 18:31:29 +0000 Elaine Pofeldt 620100 at http://www.wisebread.com The Upside of Mass Layoffs http://www.wisebread.com/the-upside-of-mass-layoffs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-upside-of-mass-layoffs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007940307Small.jpg" alt="Man with his belongings leaving a job" title="Man with his belongings leaving a job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting fired sucks; there&rsquo;s no getting around that. But when you&rsquo;re fired along with a bunch of other people at once, it&rsquo;s a different story.</p> <p>In corporate speak, they&rsquo;re called reorganizations. We call them bloodbaths.</p> <p>Typically there are some high-level things in play when a mass layoff goes down. From a bad economy to a new CEO with a new direction, it doesn&rsquo;t always mean you&rsquo;ve done a bad job or done anything wrong. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip Is Coming</a>)</p> <p>This makes it easier to find something positive out of the whole fiasco. Here are four positives to a mass layoff/bloodbath/reorganization.</p> <h3>An Expanded Network</h3> <p>A mass layoff is like poking an anthill with a stick: All those ants fleeing the hill are going to end up somewhere, and it&rsquo;s up to you to keep in touch with all those people who are being forced to go.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ve been working with these people every day for years, and they know you better than you think. Guess what&rsquo;s going to happen: They&rsquo;re all going to get jobs doing something else at some other company (or working for themselves). In a matter of months (more or less), your network is going to double or possibly triple, and you&rsquo;ll have that common ground of having gone through the &ldquo;reorganization&rdquo; together.</p> <p>Companies you didn&rsquo;t even know existed will now be &ldquo;infiltrated&rdquo; with the people that know you and your work the best.</p> <p>This is huge. For example:</p> <ul> <li>The designer you worked with to crank out that impossible project over the weekend that one time? He&rsquo;s now a senior designer over at company X.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The project manager who took you under his wing because he saw some potential is now working at a tech startup that is growing fast.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The copywriter that always came by to ask for you to proofread his copy is at an ad agency across town that needs freelancers&hellip;didn&rsquo;t you always want to work at an ad agency?</li> </ul> <p>A strong network is crucial to your long-term career prospects, and a mass layoff means the number of companies that know about you is going to grow fast.</p> <h3>A Fresh Start</h3> <p>When a friend of mine got fired a few years ago, I walked up to him and tried to find the right combination of words to comfort and console.</p> <p>Instead, he looked relieved: &ldquo;I can finally leave!&rdquo;</p> <p>It struck a chord with those of us that weren&rsquo;t fired, and for the rest of the day we wondered who the lucky ones really were.</p> <p>Getting fired is like getting a kick in the pants to go out and do what you really want to do.<strong> </strong>We all tend to complain about our jobs, but we rarely do anything about it.&nbsp;Once you get fired, you have no choice: It&rsquo;s time to get your ass in gear.</p> <p>My friend felt liberated because his job had become more and more tedious and restrictive. While he wanted to free himself from it, it&rsquo;s hard to leave a full-time job that pays the bills, especially when the economy sucks.</p> <p>Getting fired gave him a fresh start. He had the time to take a closer look at his life and his career and ask himself that eternal question: What do I <i>really </i>want to do with my life?</p> <p>Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity and don&rsquo;t waste it&hellip;it doesn&rsquo;t come around often (hopefully).</p> <h3>A Lesson in Skills</h3> <p>Who survived the bloodbath? Don&rsquo;t try to write everyone off as a brown-noser that simply &ldquo;knew the right people.&rdquo; Take an honest look at the people that were left behind.</p> <p>Sometimes it&rsquo;ll be as simple as &ldquo;all the engineers were kept&rdquo; or &ldquo;marketing wasn&rsquo;t impacted at all,&quot; which is still useful &mdash; maybe you should pick up some skills in fields that are widely considered untouchable.</p> <p>Other times it will be more nuanced. If the guy who always contributed new ideas without being asked for them was kept on, that&rsquo;s something to take into your next job.&nbsp;What about the person who started as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-rock-your-next-presentation">terrible presenter but worked hard to get better</a>? Was that improvement valued enough that they kept him on?</p> <p>Pay close attention, and you should be able to find some common details that stick out, details that can help when you&rsquo;ve found a job you love and want to survive the next reorganization.</p> <h3>A Chance to Test Your Mettle</h3> <p>There is a great book out there called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl/dp/0671023373" target="_blank"><em>A Man&rsquo;s Search for Meaning</em></a>&nbsp;by Viktor Frankl. In it he describes his experiences in concentration camps during World War II.</p> <p>The interesting thing about Frankl is that<strong> </strong>he viewed these terrible conditions as an opportunity to see what he was made of.</p> <p>Think about that for a second: A man that was in one of the most horrible places and times in the history of the world thought to himself, &ldquo;Wow, how many people get to experience something this awful? It&rsquo;s a great chance to see what I&rsquo;m capable of in how I react to this.&rdquo;</p> <p>If Frankl can turn being in a concentration camp into something positive, we should have no problem taking a positive out of getting fired from a job.</p> <p>You have no job, and your previous employer just told you they don&rsquo;t want you anymore: What are you going to do about it?</p> <ul> <li>Are you going to pity yourself and complain that it&rsquo;s their loss?</li> <li>Are you going to blame your old boss because he was &ldquo;a jerk?&rdquo;</li> <li>Are you going to cop out and say that you were about to quit anyway?</li> </ul> <p>How about being honest with yourself and taking the time to learn a thing or two about yourself? Ask:</p> <ul> <li>What can I change to make myself a more worthwhile employee?</li> <li>Who can I talk to about giving me an honest assessment about my work?</li> <li>What am I going to do differently in the future?</li> </ul> <p>It&rsquo;s all about learning and growing. If you just got fired and are facing a terrible economy, a monthly mortgage payment, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">high-interest credit-card debt</a>, what are you going to do about it?</p> <p>This is a rare chance to test yourself and see what you&rsquo;re made of.</p> <p>What you find may surprise you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-upside-of-mass-layoffs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-emotional-turmoil-of-unemployment">When Your Employer Dumps You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Career Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40">The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-professional-association-can-boost-your-career">11 Ways a Professional Association Can Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-use-social-media-in-business">13 Ways to Use Social Media in Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building getting fired layoffs networking Fri, 18 Feb 2011 12:36:13 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 490913 at http://www.wisebread.com