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The Migration – Two Weeks Notice

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jul 5, 2011 in Career Path

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When the going gets tough, sometimes the tough get going, but that’s no excuse to not give two weeks’ notice.

Migration is in all major animal groups, including birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and crustaceans. Migration “triggers” may include changes in local climate, local availability of food, the season, or mating reasons. In the workplace, migration could be caused by an offer of better opportunity elsewhere, insufficient pay, noncompetitive benefits, inappropriate pressures, stress, etc.

The sudden recent resignation of Washington Nationals manager, Jim Riggleman, ignited a lot of lunchtime and watercolor conversations about quitting without proper notice and whether he was justified in his decision or just plain unprofessional.

As Dave Sheinin reported in the Washington Post, On the day that the Washington Nationals moved over .500 since 2005 in their latest win, Manager Jim Riggleman abruptly resigned, taking a stand against what he saw as an unfair contract situation.

Riggleman made his dissatisfaction with both his salary and short term nature of his contract known from almost the moment it was decided in 2009. He gave his ultimatum before the game on June 23 in a sudden and brief meeting with General Manager Rizzo: a better deal by the end of the game or he quit. Riggleman didn’t get the terms he wanted and he resigned.

Quitting without proper notice is certainly within your rights but what is the true cost to your reputation? There was nothing wrong with what Riggleman wanted, but how he tried to get it is another discussion. Who would hire someone with this seeming lack of professionalism and consideration? Riggleman walked out on his team in the middle of the season, and may have doomed his career while attempting to improve it.

It’s worthwhile to note that Riggleman was replaced within a week’s time, which is true for pretty much anyone. But why damage your personal reputation and close a door you can never open again by walking out without notice?

There is no law around this, but it is customary and professional to offer at least two weeks’ notice to your employer, where able, even if you are a consultant on a project. Leaving people in a lurch is not the way to create goodwill around your name and reputation, and at the end of the day, no matter how hard you have worked, an ungraceful exit is what people will remember you for.

Executive Coach Scott Eblin who contributes to offers the following points to consider before you do something you might regret in his article Three Things to Consider Before You Quit Your Job in a Huff

Think Long Term: It sounds like Riggleman was really focused on what was eating him in the short term. He wanted a longer term commitment from his employer. It’s easy to get so caught up on what you want in the short term that you lose sight of long term considerations like, ‘What will this do to my reputation, my future employment prospects and how I think of myself down the road?’

Ultimatums Rarely Work: If you’re going to deliver an ultimatum like give me a better deal or I’m out of here, you better have a lot of leverage on your side. Before you go in with guns blazing, step back and ask yourself if you’re really indispensable. Chances are that you’re not. That’s why Charles DeGaulle said, ‘The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.’

Why Quit a Winning Team?: Apart from the fact that he was hired to coach the Nationals through a full season, why would Riggleman or anyone else quit on a team that’s improving and winning? Even if you’re not happy with your deal, you can get stuff done, learn a lot and position yourself for better opportunities down the road by nurturing a winning team.”

Quitting without notice in the middle of a project (or a season) is never going to be considered professional, no matter the situation. Your reputation is one of your best assets so approach your employer professionally to work out an exit strategy that is graceful and keeps the door open. Burning bridges is very often one of the worst career mistakes.

Companies merge, change names, etc. You never know where the future will take you, or those around you, so always conduct yourself in the manner in which you want to be treated by others and you will keep your career on a positive trajectory.

If someone (like a recruiter) encourages you to quit your current assignment without notice so you can start a job for them, THINK TWICE! It is YOUR reputation that will be damaged, not theirs.

These situations are always resolvable so talk to your supervisor about solutions BEFORE you migrate through the door, and it hits your reputation from behind.

More migration facts can be found here

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The Binturongs – How To Become A Keystone Species In Your Work Environment

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Sep 24, 2010 in Career Path, Executive Coaching, Self Improvement

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BinturongThe jungle is full of animals that play different ecological roles. Some play more critical roles than others, and there are some animals, known as keystone species, that actually maintain the structure of their ecological communities. Without them, communities become unstable and can even start to die off one species at a time. The loss of a keystone species often sets off a chain reaction that ends in a community’s destruction because it’s impossible for the other animals to replicate the functions performed by the keystone species. To get a better understanding of how a keystone species becomes so important to an entire ecological community, let’s take a look at the following example.

The Indispensable Binturong

Binturongs, or Asian bear cats, are now a target species for conservation because of their important role in sustaining the rainforest environment. They perform a task that can’t be accomplished by any other animal, which makes them an asset that the community can’t afford to lose. Binturongs are the only known animals on the planet that have digestive enzymes capable of softening the seed coat of the Strangler Fig. So what? Well, the Strangler Fig also has an indispensable role: without it, the rainforest canopy is unsustainable. And without a canopy, everything growing on the forest floor is exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight, resulting in diminished plant life and a quickly evaporating food supply for herbivores. This chain reaction can go so far as to kill entire rainforest communities if binturongs are not reintroduced.

Becoming the Binturong in Your Rainforest

So how do you become an irreplaceable employee? It’s a growing concern in this economy, with layoffs removing many species from the rainforests and jungles. But there are ways to make sure that your boss won’t even consider eradicating you: become the binturong with these tips.

1. Increase your productivity – If you were a binturong, you’d be busy all day long eating those Strangler Figs and distributing seeds. Find out what needs to be accomplished in your own environment and make sure that you’re the one getting it done. Of course, you can’t do everything, but delegating and building yourself up within the community’s hierarchy will get you on your way to becoming a keystone species.

2. Adapt to meet demands – Binturongs are focused on survival, which keeps their ecological communities alive as a result. Start thinking about your ability to survive without your company. Chances are that you’ll develop some skills that can be used to elevate your status at work. For example, stay updated on technological developments that can increase workplace efficiency, identify and improve weak skills, and join professional organizations so you can attend workshops and conferences. By listening to your survival instincts, you’ll be improving and sustaining your entire ecological community.

3. Interact with key species – Even if you’re a keystone species, you still have to answer to your boss. Let him or her know how invaluable you are by increasing the amount of time you spend together. Isolated species are seldom community keystones, so increasing your interaction with the animals around you can make you appear more integral to the sustainability of your environment. Help colleagues and superiors to recognize your importance by becoming more visible and giving more face time while maintaining a high level of productivity.

Guest post contributed by Alexis Bonari. Alexis is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She spends much of her days blogging about Education and CollegeScholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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