Saturday, November 18, 2017
Business

Career Q&A: A conflict with staying late

RECOMMENDED READING


Q: I'm temping at a corporation that's making noises about hiring me. Trouble is, the office culture is to stay pretty late, and I have community obligations in the evening. Some employees have confided that they were told such activities wouldn't be a problem, then once they were on board, they got chastised for leaving "early." I always get in early because of the bus, so I'm certainly putting in enough hours. How can I get both the job and a normal schedule?

A: You have to hold this conversation with your new boss — letting the employer know that you will be arriving early, but will need to leave by a certain time because of other obligations. If you arrive early, that may make it okay. Or, maybe you can stay later one or two times a week as a compromise. I do think it is critical to get this discussed and clarified in advance.

Don't quit job until you have a new one

Q: Is this a good time to be looking for a job? For most of my career, I have worked for companies that were government contractors. I took my current job three years ago knowing that the 25-mile commute would be tough. I have stayed hoping the economy would get better. With the lack of government funding and the furloughs, it never seemed like it would be a good idea to be the newest employee on a team. But to tell you the truth, I am bored, the commute is killing me and I think it is time to find something new.

A: It is always better to be employed while looking than to quit your job and then look. You are more attractive to potential employers if you are already employed. You could passively look at this time (i.e., tell your friends you are looking, tell your network, update your social media sites). This way, recruiters could reach out to you. Then, you can decide if you want to more actively look by sending resumes, calling employers, and so on.

To boost motivation, get to know workers

Q: What are some good methods or tools to improve engagement, motivation, etc. when employees have a direct supervisor where once they had only a distant program manager?

A: The manager should make a good effort to really talk to each employee on the team, to learn what they do, what their areas of expertise are, what they like about their jobs, how the manager can best help them, etc. Spend the time getting to know them as people. If it is a small team, take them to lunch individually to learn more about them. Set up some activities to build the team — maybe a social event — lunch, happy hour, some fun activity. Not only will people need to build a connection with the manager, but they will need to build trust. A great book to review is Dysfunctions of Teams by Patrick Lencioni. It offers great ideas for factors to consider when building teams.

Advance work can help session succeed

Q: I'm a manager in a department of about 25. We are gearing up for an internal retreat and I've been charged with leading a managers' breakout session. I can take the discussion in any direction. What's the best way to use those 45 minutes? Let people have a forum to vent/identify issues? Talk about what's going well? With no real direction from the higher ups, I'm just not sure how to make the time worthwhile.

A: It really depends on what the goals are for your session. Are they to get everyone pumped up and motivated? Are they to build a stronger team? Are they to identify issues and resolve problems? You only have 45 minutes, so that really is not much time and you don't want to identify problems and leave people in a state of depression about all the terrible issues.

You could always send a note out in advance to the managers asking two questions: What do you think we are doing well and what is the most important thing we should currently be working on to improve? If you collect this information in advance, you could then come to the meeting and share the strengths that people share (always important to share the positives), and you could identify the top two areas they said should be worked on. Then, you could use the meeting to collect their ideas about how to ensure the firm keeps doing the positive things and what two or three ideas they have for making improvements.

What is most important in a short meeting such as this is to be realistic about what you can accomplish in 45 minutes. It has to be concise, yet meaningful for participants.

Comments
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

As economists predicted, the tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long-lived. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Friday...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Apple will postpone release of  HomePod

Apple will postpone release of HomePod

The Washington PostApple said Friday that it’s pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year.The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart s...
Updated: 7 hours ago
HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

ST. PETERSBURG — Good Housekeeping and St. Petersburg-based HSN have chosen five finalists for their entrepreneur competition. The partners are searching for a novel item to promote as endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, denoting reliability and ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Published: 11/17/17
Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and — if the hype is to be believed — promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.B...
Published: 11/17/17
We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.RELATED COVERAGE: Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? D...
Published: 11/17/17
Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Plotting a shopping strategy for the holiday weekend? Here’s a look at holiday store opening hours for some major retailers:Thanksgiving8 a.m.: Kmart1 p.m.: JCPenney4 p.m.: GameStop5 p.m.: Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys "R" Us, Kohl’s6 p.m.: Old Navy, Target...
Published: 11/17/17
Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

TAMPA — The two biggest trends in the automotive space are ones you’ve likely heard of: electric vehicles and autonomous cars. Both will feature prominently at the Tampa Bay International Auto Show today through Sunday. The event at the ...
Published: 11/17/17
Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

LARGO — Driving down West Bay Drive, you may notice some changes to downtown Largo.A new 29-unit apartment complex on Ridge Road stands finished and ready for residents. South of the complex, land that was formerly home to a community of rundown cott...
Published: 11/17/17
Want to travel solo? Local enthusiasts share stories, tips for holidays trips

Want to travel solo? Local enthusiasts share stories, tips for holidays trips

Stephanie Maisonneuve visited the walled city of Cartagena, a port city off the Caribbean coast of Colombia. She rode horseback down the city’s cobbled streets clucking past flower-filled balconies and massive, wooden arched doors. The travel enthusi...
Updated: 12 hours ago