Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Positive Economic Indicator

Worked out at the gym this morning next to an old acquaintance who is in the Commercial Real Estate field. She was telling me that typically there is 10 - 20 million square feet of space being looked for to lease, in the area. She said that it has been down this year to 4 million feet being looked for, but that the most recent report now is at 8 million square feet. I thought this was a good sign for the economy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Accounting Partners View On Employment Market

In terms of the employment market, I wanted to share what we have seen so far.

Overall, as a company, we saw a very difficult 2009, culminating with a low point in demand during the middle part of the year. This was followed by a slight pick up, at the very end of Q3 which didn't materialize into a significant recovery. Q4 has been fairly flat with some signs of improvement and with many employers still pushing off hiring into 2010.

While history has taught my firm that simply changing the numbers on a calendar from one year to the next doesn't translate into a recovery, there are many signs pointing towards a 2010 recovery.

Specifically, three items stand out: Job Losses -- In November, employers trimmed the fewest jobs since the beginning of the recession and the unemployment rate posted the bigget one-month decline in more than 3 years. In October the average work week increased to 33.2 hours versus 33 hours. While this doesn't sound like much, it is important because it is a sign that employers that cut the hours of their workers were starting to restore these hours. This is the biggest jump in 3 years. Temporary worker increase -- There was a monthly increase of 52,000 temporary workers, which is the biggest jump in 5 years. Employers will hire temporary workers back first before hiring full time employees. While 200,000 - 300,000 added monthly temporary workers are needed for a real improvement, we need to walk before we can run. According to the CEO of Adecco ( world’s largest staffing firm), these levels should be reached in Q2 2010.

Click here for a poll that shows what others are thinking about 2010. http://polls.linkedin.com/p/68967/ydftb

Monday, August 17, 2009

Job Interview Follow Up - How to Evaluate an Offer

So, you follow up on your job interview and find out things are looking good…really good. You are anticipating an offer.

I know, this is a good problem to have, right? However, how you evaluate your offer is very important. To be honest, it is difficult to get this down to an exact science because the actual accepting of an offer is very emotional. As much as people do not want to admit, taking a job or not taking a job ultimately comes down to how they "feel" about it.

However, for the logical side to us there are some reasonable questions that we can ask that will bring us back to a balance between logical and emotional. Now, before I go through the list of questions, please understand that you do not have to answer a yes on each one in order to accept the offer. The truth is you do not have to answer yes on the majority of the questions to accept the offer. I will give you a recommended scoring system at the end.

1. Does this opportunity allow me to build upon my previous work experience? Yes or No

2. Do I like the actual day to day work that I will be performing in the role? Yes or No

3. Can I perform the day to day functions of this job successfully? Yes or No

4. Is there a good balance between what I have done and what I need to still learn? yes or No

5. As best as I can, am I aware of the stability of the company or position? Yes or No

6. Does there appear to be an opportunity for growth? Yes or No

7. Does the opportunity align with my personal goals that I want to accomplish? Yes or No

8. Is there an evidence of chemistry and cooperation with the people of the company? Yes or No

9. Is the compensation fair and reasonable for the role that needs to be performed? Yes or No

10. Is my personal values and philosophy in alignment with the company’s values and philosophy? Yes or No

11. Can this experience easily carryover to meet with my future goals? yes or No

12. Is the physical location of the company (commute) acceptable? Yes or No

Now, most accounting & finance people I know will have a tendency to over-analyze this list and of course that is a strength of yours and you should use it. However, don’t let one "no" keep you from accepting a good offer.

Here is a general guidline for you to follow:

Yes on 8-12: If you can get a yes to at least 8 or 9 questions, that is about as good as you are going to get.

Yes on 5-7: May still be a very viable opportunity for you, but you may have to be willing to make some compromises along the way.

Yes on 1-5: You probably need to pass up on this opportunity or run these questions by someone close to you and get their perspective. Lastly, you could possibly negotiate with the potential company to change one of these no’s to a yes.

There is no perfect formula and I will be the first to agree that sometimes accepting an offer is a gut feeling, but for the logical one out there (or the super emotional) this can be a guideline for you.