Sales Hiring and Employment Advice

Category Archives: Starting a Career in Sales

Do You Understand Wrongful Termination?
March 27, 2014
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by  Heather R. Huhman

If you’ve recently been laid off or fired from your job, do you know if your termination was legal?

Although the majority of employment contracts are at-will (which means the employee or employer can end the relationship under any circumstance), there are some important factors you need to be aware of when determining whether or not you have been the victim of wrongful termination:

What does wrongful termination mean?

When an employee claims wrongful termination, he or she believes the firing breached a contract with their employer or some type of public law. If an employee was fired and had an employment contract requiring termination for a cause, that employee can sue for arbitrary discharge (which means being fired without reasoning).

The most common type of wrongful discharge claims occur under at-will employment contracts. In this case, the terminated employee can sue for wrongful discharge if they can provide an implied contract for permanent employment along with the arbitrary discharge.

If the employee chooses to base the claim on public law, the most common claim is termination because of discrimination or whistle-blowing. If an employee is fired because they refused to break the law, the employee can sue their employer for wrongful termination.

What if my employer promised not to fire me?

In the workplace, there are typically written and implied contracts created between the employee and employer. If you have a written contract with your employer, this will strengthen your argument when suing for wrongful termination. For example, you could have a signed a contract saying that your employer would need a valid cause to terminate you. If you have this type of document, it can be used to support your argument.

On the other hand, there are implied contracts that are more difficult to prove. This could be a contract based upon a verbal agreement between you and your employer. These types of contracts are hard to enforce because there isn’t a written document to support it. When trying to prove an implied contract exists, there are number of factors to be considered such as the duration of your employment or the frequency of your promotions. These factors can be used to argue your case for wrongful employment.

What if my employer violated public policy or law?

When an employer violates public policy or law, these termination cases are much stronger to argue. In the case your employer fired you for an illegal reason such as discrimination, whistle-blowing, defamation, or an absence due to public policy (such as jury duty), you may have a valid claim for suing your employer. If you believe you were fired because of any of these reasons, you should seek help from a lawyer immediately.

How do I get more information about termination?

If you’re not sure about your rights as an employee, contact the human resources department of your company. Even if they’re in the process of filing your termination, they can answer your questions and inform you about any benefits you’ll qualify for. After determining if your termination was unlawful, you need to seek remedies for your case and obtain legal assistance as soon as possible.

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Heather R. Huhman is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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Do You Want to Live the Most Profitable Season of Your Life?
March 24, 2014
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by Dan Miller

Success is not an accident. It’s the result of careful introspection, planning and taking action.

“Dan, the merry-go-round of my professional life has left me no farther than a few steps from where I got on and now with a weak stomach.” Thus began the description of life from a very “successful” attorney.

Many times a career path starts because of circumstances, rather than priorities. Family expectations, chance occurrences, a friendly teacher, or seeking money can lead us down an unfulfilling career path. It’s tough to make good choices at 18 that will be meaningful at 45. Just recently, I saw a 44-yr-old client who opened with the comment, “I’m tired of living my life based on the decisions made by an 18-yr-old.”

merry-go-round

If your work life is not providing a sense of meaning, purpose and fulfillment, draw a line in the sand. Decide what the ideal day would look like; how you would spend your time, what skills you would use. Money is ultimately never enough compensation for investing one’s time and energy. There must be a sense of meaning and accomplishment.

And a surprising thing frequently happens while making a fulfilling and worthwhile contribution – rather than learning to live on “beans and rice” there is often the release of a financial flood. A former pastor, who is now a well-known artist, relates that his income is 8-10 times what it was previously. And this while finding authenticity in his God-given calling. The frustrated corporate executive who is now a web content and book writer tells me that she has reduced her work week hours by 2/3 but has increased her income 3 times over. Scott Adams escaped the cubicle and became a multi-millionaire with his “doodling.”

You’re a different person after 10, 20 or 30 years in the workplace. You should know more about yourself and you certainly are a candidate for things you were not at the beginning of your career. Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look, realign and move into the most productive and profitable season of your life.

Life is too short for “merry-go-round” sameness.

Believe that a life of purpose and meaning is your best source of financial success as well. I hope it’s no secret that’s it’s easier to make money doing something you love than doing something you hate. Success is not an accident. It’s the result of careful introspection, planning and taking action.

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Dan Miller, President of 48 Days LLC, specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions. Dan is active in helping individuals redirect careers, evaluate new income sources, and achieve balanced living. He believes that a clear sense of direction can help us become all that God designed us to be.

Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You LoveNo More Dreaded Mondays and Wisdom Meets Passion.

Friendly Boss? The Key to Appropriate Business Relationships
March 19, 2014
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Donna Fuscaldo

by Donna Fuscaldo

Rewind a decade and HR professionals would cringe at the thought of the boss being friends with his or her employees. After all, how would he or she be able to dole out orders if there wasn’t the boss/employee wall separating the two, was the common thinking. These days the boss/employee friendship is much more accepted in all types of companies, both big and small.

The key to making it work, however, is knowing where to draw a line.

“There’s not much of a barrier now” when it comes to the boss having relationships with employees, says John Ricco, partner in recruiting firm The Atlantic Group. “It can be a double edge sword. You can be close to them but you don’t want to be overly close.”

In this era of job hopping and fierce competition for talent, there are benefits to having a friendship with employees. Not only can it build loyalty and boost morale, but it’s almost inevitable since we spend more time at work then we do at home with our families. “Having a friendly rapport can drive a positive and open corporate culture, and increase morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at recruiting firm Robert Half International. “It’s helpful for managers and employees to know a bit about each other on an individual level.”

Friend or Mentor

Just like there are pros to being friends with your employees, there’s also a downside if the relationship isn’t managed. Managers have to be mindful of getting too close to one of his or her reports because it can make it hard to give out orders or worse appear inappropriate or unfair to the other employees in the office. That’s why experts say bosses have to set boundaries and stick to them. Yes it’s ok to go out for one or two drinks with staff after work but it’s not a good idea to stay out until 2:00 a.m. downing shots. “If you feel like you are getting too close and it’s awkward to give instructions you may want to take a step back,” says Ricco. Instead of being their drinking buddy, he says to use the friendship as a way to mentor staffers.

According to McDonald the boss has to make sure he or she is still in control of the relationship. For instance can he or she still make tough decisions, give constructive feedback, keep sensitive information confidential, be objective and get the team to rally behind him or her? “For leaders to be effective, they must gain and maintain the respect of the team,” he says.

Showing Favortism

Even a well-managed friendship can have some bumps along the road. For Chris Hobart, CEO and Founder of Hobart Financial Group, he did an about face when he realized the boss as a friend mentality wasn’t working for him or his business. “What I found is as much as I want to look at people as friends the reality is they always looked at me as the boss,” says Hobart. “There has to be that defined line. Too often if you get friendly favors can be called in or expectations are going to be made. It can create a situation where other employees see it as favoritism.” Hobart says it’s ok to chat with employees and to ask about their family and weekend but beyond that he draws the line. “It’s good to care and it’s important to show you are interested in who they are and what they are becoming as an employee and person,” says Hobart. “It doesn’t mean you need to saddle up next to them on a barstool and become best buddies. That relationship becomes dangerous.”

Social Networking

Forging friendships with employees, albeit managed ones, can have its benefits, but one thing career experts agree bosses should avoid at all costs is becoming friends on their employees’ social networks. “People might not give it a second thought to friend their manager or their employees on Facebook. But in doing so you can open up your personal life to your professional and business contacts,” says McDonald.

According to a 2013 Robert Half survey six in 10 managers said they were uncomfortable being friended by their bosses or they employees they oversee. What’s more nearly half of survey respondents said they preferred to not connect with coworkers on Facebook, compared to 41% in 2009. “You may wish to keep your LinkedIn and Twitter feeds reserved for business connections and activity, and use Facebook for interaction with friends and family,” says McDonald. “Just one inappropriate post or photo could torpedo your professional reputation, so always be mindful of your social media activity and privacy settings.”

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Donna Fuscaldo is a freelance journalist hailing out of Long Island, New York. Donna writes for numerous online publications including FoxBusiness.com, Bankrate.com, AARP.com, Insurance.com and Houselogic.com. As a personal finance reporter for years, Donna provides invaluable advice on everything from saving money to landing that dream job. She also writes a weekly column for FoxBusiness.com focused on technology for small businesses. Previously, Donna was an equities reporter for Dow Jones Newswires and a special contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Through the Glassdoor Blog, Donna will provide tips on how to find a job and more importantly keep it.

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