stephenviscusi

Archive for the ‘column’ Category

Does Telling Your Kids You Were Fired Make You “The Biggest Loser”?

In advice, article, column on April 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm

fight-at-schooljpg1Let me start by saying that I’m using “Dad” for the sake of simplicity. This is a non-gender question. But my editor asked me to stick with one gender, so as a father, I’m writing this column as “Dad.”

Some people tell me that they find it very difficult to tell their children that they’ve been fired. Does a 10-year-old even know what the word “fired” means? And how much do teenagers even really understand? Can you just blame the “R word”: recession? Let’s face it, adults barely know what the word “recession” means, so for your children of any age, they just know that Dad (or Mom) is now home all day, not working.

Continue Reading >>

First, Shootings by Disgruntled Fired Workers. What’s Next?

In article, column on April 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm

istock_000002525555xsmall1Do you work with someone who you think would go on a violent rampage if they got fired?

Have you ever seriously thought about that prospect? How can you not, with the reality of today’s headlines jumping out at us?

The common theme of these tragic killings is that someone has been fired or is recently unemployed, has become deeply unhappy, and feels “wronged” by the boss and co-workers. Now they’re out for revenge. For an already unstable person, getting fired is the final push over the edge that turns him or her into a homicidal, vengeful, cold-blooded killer. These individuals somehow lose their coping mechanism and turn on their bosses, co-workers, and anyone else in the way.

I detest the phrase “going postal.” It demeans our nation’s postal workers, who work so hard in what are often monotonous, routine jobs. I didn’t invent the phrase and try never to use it. However, this single phrase does help us picture this growing pattern of violence at work – which might increase as more and more Americans get fired.

Remember, ever since the “R” word – RECESSION, of course – has become the media buzzword, it’s become a blank check for the boss to fire anyone. Bosses use the recession as an excuse to fire those they have been dying to get rid of.

Continue Reading >>

Career Fairs or Career Fairy Tales?

In advice, article, column on March 30, 2009 at 7:27 pm

career-fair1Today’s career fairs seem anything but “fair” to me.

Have you noticed lately how every local TV news report has a weekly segment on a career or job fair? The footage may as well be recycled week after week: the camera pans over a long line wrapping around a corner. Then the reporter (always with surprise and a newsworthy sense of self-importance – almost as if he’s breaking a story as hot as Lewinsky and Clinton) marvels over the record attendance.

Um, is this really news? My God, half the country is unemployed, and people are lining up thinking they might land a job. Surprise! Someone give that reporter a raise.

My absolute favorite part is when the reporter corners one of the attendees and gets her to talk about how she plans to stand out from the crowd.

Oh no, wait, this is the best part: then that same person talks on camera about how she’s now begun to make friends in the job fair lines because they all recognize one another from the previous week’s job fair. Hmmm… it might be time to reevaluate that whole “standing out from the crowd” strategy.

Continue Reading >>

Headhunter Trade Secrets for Finding a New Job During a Recession

In advice, article, column on March 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm

findajobIt is important to remember even if the unemployment rate reaches 10 percent, that means 90 percent of Americans are still working.

So, do not to get caught up in the emotional anxiety of assuming you too will lose your job. The fact is that most Americans will continue to keep their jobs. Yet, workers from all companies will be let go to meet the bottom line. It’s just for show (and yes it is just for show).

Let’s face it, even the meanest boss hates to fire anyone, but when the “recession” word is used in conjunction with lay-offs, it’s really a blank check to fire anybody with no real reason needed.

Work is not a democracy. If you weren’t old enough to be working during the 1991 recession, the idea that you’re not just judged on merit or performance is probably new to you. It seems repugnant; however, get your head out of the sand.

Continue Reading >>