These days we work a lot of hours in office. Sometimes and in some cases these hours are as high as 20 in a day! For many people, there is hardly any life outside office.
- CareersMotivation and Personal Development
One of the things that most personal development Gurus talk about these days is to treat yourself as a “Brand”.
A lot of people are losing jobs. And as more people are losing jobs, there are others who are lining up to take advantage of these people by scamming them while offering “work from home” deals. All sorts of things are promised! From stuffing envelopes to mystery shopping etc. And these things are made to look exotic. Well, most of all this is just scam.
Wanted to share some important and salient points about COBRA Subsidy plan.
- Valid for people who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009
- To be eligible annual income cannot exceed $125,000 for a single person and $250,000 for a couples
- 65% of existing COBRA premiums will be subsidized by the U.S. Treasury Department
- Subsidies will be available for up to 9 months
- If you declined COBRA coverage after September 1, 2008 you will have the option to re-enroll into COBRA with the above subsides
- Notices of the COBRA subsidies and re-enrollment information will be sent from the COBRA administrator (usually your previous employer)
- Subsidies will be paid, via a refundable tax credit, directly to the COBRA administrators
- Subsidies will terminate if the enrollee acquires a new health insurance plan through another employer or is eligible for Medicare
These days when the unemployment is running real high, the anxiety in the population is going up as well! When anxiety rises, so do the searches for those areas.
Google has given the trends in search for “Unemployment” and how it has gone up almost 3 times this year! It clearly shows that people are looking for stuff that is linked to unemployment – benefits, coaching, ideas, thoughts, help etc. And these are not the times when one can easily move from one job to another and hope that things will be hunkry dory. It wont be! Things will take time to get better. When? is anybody’s guess. I am predicting that this will go worse for next 1 year at least, before it has any hope of improving.
Here is another chart from Technorati – the aggregator for the blogs. As you can see, people are also blogging more on this topic!!
These are times when people are looking at their lives and the surrounding chaos and some are seeing their jobs disappear. It is not a good situation. If one is in that period of mid-life where one starts re-evaluating one’s life that has been and that would be, the imperatives and benchmarks are often different. How does one look for a direction forward? I will share with you two “frameworks” that I have used previously in my life.
Economy and My Direction should Synergize
It is important that one does what one feels one enjoys doing. But we also have to be mindful of where the world is going to? We cannot simply enter a new field or plan our future direction along a direction which the world is moving away from. So, I have found that it helps to sit down and analyze the future “sun-rise” areas. These are areas that are growing and will keep growing on for some time. It will help if you can position yourself in those areas and enjoy the ride as it all grows on. Jumping on the bandwagon? Well, you can say.. but it is more than that.. it is anticipating and forecasting the “bandwagon” of the future!
For this one needs to carefully interact, listen, read up on, and think on areas totally unrelated to what one does. Because if all you know is your area, the chances are you wont know anything else! And that is the key here – to think outside of the box!
This has served me well. When I was starting out in my career and 3 – 5 years into, I realized that I was a strong generalist with strong skills in analysis, so I moved to consulting. And once in consulting, I realized that ERP and technology will grow rapidly and I entered those areas as I moved on. That has helped me a lot in shaping my career over the years. What will I do next in the coming future? Good question! That is what I am evaluating currently.
All our lives we try to fight hard and study to get jobs and create a career.Save moneys – climb the ladder, kill our dreams just to feed our families. There is a certainty and a feeling of safety. Or is it? In these days? Outside of these jobs is fear of risk. To hide from that risk we keep running. Running from the joblessness and running from standing still. What if you just stand in one place and say. Enough is Enough! I will not go on with this.
What would happen then? Just try to stop running from your fears and stand up to meet with your dream.
Archimedes said – “Give me a place to stand on and I will move the earth”. I am setting the lever.
Getting a job when you do not have the right experience or credentials is tough. But if one is smart, he/she can easily off-set that by sheer enthusiasm. It requires focus and targeting the interviewer/company that you are interviewing for.
I remember when I first came to US with an Indian company to be trained in an ERP package. The other folks in the team were all experienced in the in-house ERP package that my company sold back home. It wasn’t the best ERP but it had most of the features. And out of 20 in our team, 18 had worked on it for years. So quite obviously they had stronger credentials than I had. But I was determined to grab the project. And coincidentally only one was on offer. I did not know which area it was in or which client of this Big 6 would it be for. However, this is how I went about the process:
1. I looked for the weaknesses of the home-grown ERP that my colleagues had worked on. And the strengths of the new product that we were trained on.
2. Then I looked for my strengths. It was finance and cost accounting.
3. My gap analysis in #1 suggested that the home-grown ERP did not have a cost accounting module which this new product had and was strong at. This, I knew instinctively, was my chance!
4. I sat down to tailor my resume (not fudge). I remembered and listed all the things I had done in accounting and cost accounting in particular from the fact that I was a Cost Accountant to the fact that one of my internship projects had indeed helped that organization save money (Rs I million). I mentioned all that upfront. Along with the other stuff on accounting of course.
The interviews happened and I did not over promise on my understanding of technology but stuck to my process side knowledge. Ultimately, out of the 20, I was the only one to get the project, because luckily for me the project that came up was miraculously in cost accounting. Bingo!
Ever wonder why you are so unhappy in your job? Well, this Law Professor from University of Cincinnati has figured it out! The rules from “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job” ring true to him:
The first sign of a miserable job is anonymity, which is the feeling that employees get when they realize that their manager has little interest in them a human being and that they know little about their lives, their aspirations and their interests.
The second sign is irrelevance, which takes root when employees cannot see how their job makes a difference in the lives of others. Every employee needs to know that the work they do impacts someone’s life–a customer, a co-worker, even a supervisor–in one way or another.
In 1990, I went to Insitute of Rural Management, Anand. It was and remains one of the premier Business School that caters to Rural Management specifically. It was started with a dream that since Indian MBA students need to understand villages as much as the corporate intricacies! Well, we did learn a lot about rural life. Yet it was an elitist institution of sorts.
THAT was revolutionary in terms of business school education.
Now, a lady called Chetna Gala Sinha has taken that concept to its logical conclusion – an MBA school for the rural poor – Mann Deshi Udyogini Business school ! The students are semi-literate who need education in business subjects to start using funds loaned via the micro-finance lenders. This school – for rural women – also helps in spreading empowerment to women.
Sagar of “Development through enterprise” introduces Mann Deshi Udyogini Business school thus:
MDU was started in December 2006 by the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank (MDMSB), which is a co-operative society providing micro-credit to rural women entrepreneurs in Satara district of Maharashtra state in India. Chetna Gala Sinha, the founder-chairperson of MDU, is an Ashoka fellow and she started the MDMSB in 1998 in order to cater to the credit needs of rural women. According to Chetna, the idea of starting a business school came from an enthusiastic semi-literate woman, who kept pestering her for know-how about the wholesale vegetable business and other startegies to improve her own vegetable business. MDU was started in December 2006 with a Rs. 7 lakh (about $17500) grant from HSBC.