February 23, 2009


Unemployment tip for the day: Why not have the high-end coffee experience in your own house? Just buy some flavored beans and cut it half and half with a grocery store house brand. If you want the experience of the snooty underpaid kid waiting on you, just call your own teenager or a relative who is a teenager. They will be happy to make you feel stupid.

Today I started my first outplacement class. And I can honestly say that I did it because I felt that it was an expense to my former company. I started with malicious intent.

Instead I found an online support group with people from across the country wanting to chime in with helpful suggestions. The leader was at her home computer in New Mexico. Fired top level executives are not in this class – they probably have individual career coaches. And clerical people who lost jobs did not receive this as a benefit. Thus my group is professional and middle management people, representing all the big companies in the news in January when thousands were let go.

Here are a few caveats I learned today while sitting in my green overstuffed living room chair, holding the laptop, and wearing a headset. The attire for “outplacement classes” (since we are unseen) is a black T-shirt with a toaster on it marked “Toast” (appropriate) and basketball warm-up pants that rustle when you walk. (I bought them so I could literally say to Husband when I go into the kitchen, “I’m here to rustle you up some grub.”

What I learned:
The work world is changing. Loyalty is going out the window. Understand that and use it to your advantage.
One has to learn to be flexible.
Don’t understand technology? Learn it. (Today was my first experience with the Webinar, after downloading an update to Microsoft and Java, I actually was able to log-on. Hooray for the Baby Boomer with the reading glasses on a string around her neck!)
GenXers will stay at a job on the average one year, while Baby Boomers average is 2.5 years.
Baby Boomers are needed in the work force – employers like their solid work ethic.
Baby Boomers have something to learn from GenXers who are flexible and go where the work is, and have also learned that the Job is not everything.

This class continues for eight weeks. While the ultimate goal is to come out with a new job, the process forces you to think about where the journey is taking you next. Quoth the raven.