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A New Kind of Labor Day

Labor Day is always a fun time of the year. Most people are off of work for the three day weekend. Many get a chance to spend time with loved ones over picnics and barbecues. The Labor Day holiday was created in the 1880s to honor the works and contributions of American workers, and the American labor movement.

In the last two and a half years, the American workplace has transformed in ways that we could not have envisioned. Many people are now working from home. Roles and responsibilities have changed. There are many labor shortages, and pay increases. There is more transparency in recruiting and hiring.

Along with all of this change, you may have heard about the concept of “quiet quitting.” If you’ve wondered what this trend is about, it’s honestly not as new as it sounds. Quiet quitting isn’t really about quitting. It’s about employees slacking off at work. Right now, it’s all the rage among employees.

One thing the pandemic taught us is that life is short. Things aren’t guaranteed. And, when times get tough, many companies will let employees go to save the company. People care more now about benefits and balance than they care about money alone.

The question for employers becomes, how do you curb this trend? How do you keep people engaged? It’s hard anymore to know if employees are really working. When they’re working from home, employees are only seen during meetings, and only if they turn on their cameras.

Some employers have addressed these concerns by monitoring employees more. They’ve increased their use of software that measures productivity. Unfortunately, this isn’t the answer. Employees who want to do the minimum will do that, whether they are monitored or not – and whether they’re in person or working from home.

Employers should spend more time getting to know their employees. They should try to listen to what’s important to employees. They should provide training and mentoring. They should pay a fair wage. In other words, it’s time to get back to basics. Employees want to feel valued, and they want to feel respected.

But, the buck doesn’t stop there. Going to work isn’t like going to an amusement park. An employer’s job isn’t to keep everyone happy and entertained all day from nine to five. If you have found yourself quiet quitting, it’s time to reevaluate. What could you do at work to feel more engaged in your projects? What could you do to connect more with colleagues?

If the answer is nothing, it may be time to look elsewhere. Work is an important part of life. If you find yourself checked out most of the time and without hope of change, dust off your resume. Look for a new boss, a new employer, or possibly even a new industry or a new role.

Quiet quitting is not a long term solution for what should be a short term problem.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Your Secret Job Search

Benjamin Franklin said, “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” It’s hard to overstate the importance of keeping your job search private from your work colleagues.

Getting an interview can be exciting, especially if it goes well. If you’re dying to leave your company, the hope of a new job can leave you feeling both relieved and energized. And, the more interviews you have with one company, the better the chances are that you’ll get the job. Right?

Some of the reasons I’ve heard for sharing this job search secret include, “I know this person is my friend, so it’s okay.” “My boss and I are close; they won’t mind.” “My company needs to know I’m interviewing, so they’ll be prepared if I do leave. It’s the right thing to do.” “I want to see if my company will give me more money to stay.”

First, none of these reasons provide the personal benefit they appear to. They simply give away your power. And worse, they put your current job at risk.

When it comes to interviewing, nothing is a sure bet. Even if a company has talked to you ten times and is in love with you, the position may be put on hold for budgetary reasons. The hiring manager may leave, and the process may halt. The company could reorganize and the job may no longer be needed.

Until your offer is officially in writing and in your hands, there’s no offer. It could take you as long as a year or more to find a job. In the meantime, you still have bills to pay and a family to feed. Why would you put that in jeopardy?

Often, a boss you perceived to be your friend feels an obligation to let the company know you have disclosed this information to them. Even if they like you, your search may be perceived as being disloyal to the company. In the worst-case scenario, you may be fired and asked to leave immediately.

When it comes to asking for more money, keep this in mind. If you don’t have a written job offer, what incentive does your company have to give you a raise? They don’t. There’s no good reason they should offer you any more money just because you’ve been interviewing.

If you begin to tell colleagues about your search, don’t be surprised if the word gets around. People love to find something to talk about. If you share information about your search, you’re setting yourself up to become next. The last thing you want is for word to get back to your boss before you’ve found a job.

As exciting as it is to share about your job search, it’s 100 percent unwise to do so. You’ll set yourself up for failure that can be difficult to repair. When it comes to job searching, there’s no better alternative than to keep yours secret.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Praise in Public

We’re at an interesting point in time when it comes to business culture. People with many backgrounds and experiences are working together more now than ever before. Some team members are young who have never worked at an in person job and have always had a cell phone. Others are older people who started working before laptop computers or the internet even existed. Some employees have only worked in at big corporate companies, while others have been at startups. These people all have different working styles. They are now collaborating together, via the tiny camera on their computers.

Variations make communication differences quite interesting to observe. You probably have some coworkers who will only call you if there’s a scheduled meeting on your calendar. Others may send you an unplanned message, asking if you have time to talk, even when there’s no meeting scheduled. And, then there are a handful that will call with no notice. These differences are driven by multiple factors, including generation and work experience.

Similarly, people have different habits when it comes to written communication. Some people prefer email, while others like Slack. Within email, there are fairly distinct differences. Some emails are sent from one person to another single person. Others include many extra people as a carbon copy, for informational purposes. Some emails will have recipients included as a blind carbon copy, to reduce the number of replies. And, other emails will add additional people to existing email chains.

Over the years, I’ve started to believe that there is an inverse relationship with email and the size of the company. In other words, the smaller an organization is, the more recipients will be included on a single email. People at startups tend to copy many people at once. This keeps everyone up to date, and is seen as being more efficient. Within a large company, it’s more common to see email chains that include only the bare minimum number of people. The sender doesn’t want to involve anyone who doesn’t need to be on the email.

The same trend seems to also be true in meetings between two companies. A small company will bring many attendees to a meeting in an effort to show that the company is legitimate. A large company will send one or two representatives, who serve as the sole points of contact.

No matter the venue, one thing hasn’t changed. Praise in public, and criticize in private. Calling someone out in a meeting in front of others does nothing but hurt your relationship with them. If you’re asking a colleague for something via email and aren’t getting the results you want, call them or email them — directly. Don’t copy additional people. Even if you aren’t trying to put them on the spot, this is how it will likely feel. No one wants their shortcomings to be pointed out in front of others. Adjust your approach, and you’ll get better results.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

No Looking Back

We’ve known that remote work was the new normal since early 2020. But, signs are beginning to emerge that we may never go back to the way things were before. Amazon recently announced that they are pausing the construction on multiple buildings, including office buildings in Washington and Tennessee. While some companies are continuing to recall employees, this change is definitely a sign of the times.

Unemployment continues to remain relatively low at 3.6 percent overall, and Amazon has over 70 thousand job openings currently posted on LinkedIn’s career site. Pausing the construction may be in part due to less than favorable news shared on a recent Amazon earnings call. But, it could be argued that it’s more than this.

We are relying on Amazon more now than ever before, from ordering everyday items online to grocery delivery, and streaming services. Amazon’s success is very much dependent on technology. And, as such, it is dependent on technology talent.

Before the pandemic, the best technology workers needed to be flexible with regards to location. Often, tech talent would relocate to San Francisco, Seattle, or New York in order to be competitive. But, remote work has introduced a new dynamic. Tech workers are moving away from big, expensive cities to the suburbs. And, some are returning closer to their roots. Moving away from the city allows workers to both save money, and to have a better quality of life.

Tech talent is hard to find and to hire. Companies are paying high salaries for niche skillsets. And, Amazon knows that. They also know that tech workers want the option to work from anywhere. In addition, studies have shown that money is no longer the most important factor for many employees. Employees are much more concerned with work life balance.

It makes sense that Amazon would stop building more office buildings. It saves them money. It allows them to hire workers anywhere. It’s a win-win for the employer and the employee.

In addition, when employees do come together in person, it’s different than in the past. Employees are no longer sitting in their cubicles all day. They aren’t going to drive an hour round trip to be isolated at work. They can do that at home. If they’re going in person, it’s to work collaboratively with their team.

Collaborative work requires a different type of workspace. For companies who are still building, they’re considering a more hybrid building model. Others are renting space in coworking buildings like WeWork.

Either way, the old building is history. The sooner that more businesses realize this, the more likely they are to be competitive with hiring. And, in turn, they will be more competitive in business. Employees want more balance and more control over their daily lives. They have more choices than ever before, and they know it. It’s time for companies to realize that there’s no looking back. This is the new normal.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Uncertainty in the Market

Lately, quite a lot of focus in the news has been on topics that evoke fear. The stock market is down. Hiring may be slowing. Prices are skyrocketing. The labor shortage still exists, and supply chain issues have not been fully resolved. We’re living inside of a system with uncertainty. And, the uncertainty creates fear. But, it could be argued that uncertainty was there all along.

Uncertainty and fear are often the products of the unknown and of change. These feelings can lead us to try to find, or to stay in a stable spot. We may remain with our current employer for the job security. We may try to minimize the change we introduce into our lives. This makes sense. At times, it can be a matter of survival.

But, in the way business works today, uncertainty may become a normal part of working. Let’s back up a little. Just a few generations ago, a stable corporate job would last for your entire career. If you were pragmatic, you’d get one job and slowly climb the ladder at your company one step at a time.

This has evolved. For many career paths, the way to the top now comes through a series of job changes. Whether you’re switching companies or career fields, the road is no longer a linear one.

The more that your career is non-linear, the more you’re introducing both change and risk. After all, you may join a new company that is not a fit. You may try a new type of role and find that it doesn’t work for you. But, many successful careers now demand this type of change to continue to grow.

As you can imagine, your current company is less likely to invest resources into you if your path will lead you outside of their doors. This forces you to be in the driver’s seat. You must make your own connections, be in charge of your own education, and make your own way. You must be the CEO of your own career.

You must also show up as a ready-made package, as if you were a consultant. It is similar to running a small business. But, it doesn’t come without risks. You may not always have the same income. Competition is higher. You must prove your value to stay relevant. In other words, the current market is full of uncertainty and change. But, this kind of uncertainty already exists in today’s working world.

If you find yourself at a point in your career where you’re ready for a change, don’t wait. Things may or may not feel more stable soon. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you quit your job with no plan. It means that you should start taking small steps today that will lead to bigger changes later. Begin networking and interviewing for jobs. Walk yourself through the uncertainty and change one step at a time.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

The Unspeakable

Have you ever had a close family member die? Sometimes, the pain of the loss is so great that it’s hard to even say to another person, “My grandfather died.” It makes it real. And, it makes it more painful. When it comes to current news events, this week was one of those. It’s hard to say much because we’re all still processing this new information, and our new world.

Typically, it can be good for a workplace to remain neutral on matters that relate to politics or religion. After all, employees and customers are made up of all different sorts of people, with different views. Remaining neutral respects the individual perspectives of everyone. It is a reminder that we live in a nation with free choice, and that our personal choices are our own.

In addition to the surprise of the court ruling, it is also surprising to see so many large companies speak out. Amazon, Apple, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have all committed to paying for their employees to travel to places where abortions are legal. Google will even permanently relocate employees to new cities without a work justification. Many other companies are offering similar commitments to their employees, including Airbnb, Bumble, Citigroup, Disney, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, and Netflix.

Initially, the wave of company responses was surprising. This seems like another politically charged issue that a company might keep quiet about. But, there’s another way to look at it. It comes down to offering all employees the same benefits.

Let’s think of this from another angle that’s less painful. In some countries, a certain minimum number of days of vacation is customary. In the United States, this is typically two weeks of vacation. In some countries in Europe, employees receive eight weeks. It would seem strange if a company offered completely different amounts of vacation to employees who did the same job. But, we’re not talking about vacation. What we’re talking about is more serious.

In this case, we’re talking about healthcare. And, healthcare is very often tied to the employer. Thinking of it through this lens, it does make sense for a company to make a decision about the type of healthcare they want to provide their employees. It makes sense that a company like Citigroup would want every employee to have the same healthcare benefits.

The past two years, it has been sad to watch our nation become more divided. With an increase in remote work, there is the possibility of moving more freely. And, the moves might bring people with diverse views together. It might help us to find a more common ground. Unfortunately, decisions like this one will continue to stoke the fire that is keeping us apart.

The one way through is together. Whether personally or professionally, try to keep the lines of communication open with those who see things differently than you do. A larger divide is not the answer.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach