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January 2007 Archives

January 5, 2007

Postscript to a layoff

Layoffs aren't easy for anyone. I've heard the stories of managers who preferred to resign rather than pick someone on their team. The trauma on the receiving end is obvious. Company support in the new job search varies tremendously, but I think this probably marks the upper limit of what the employer can do:

As noted, the Jobster employees laid off this past week were done so for strategic business reasons, not for performance reasons. This was a business focus move. Period.

In fact, we are quite proud of the fact that this company was built by some of the best and brightest people in the business.

I will personally go to bat for any of these individuals and am prepared to recommend each and every one of them. Part of my personal pledge to them is that I will do anything and everything in my power to smooth their transitions and help them land up in great places.

Jason Goldberg, Founder & CEO, Jobster

Jason's post continues with instructions on how to use Jobster to identify past and present Jobster employees, and then he invites recruiters to contact any of them—including the current employees.

How many CEOs would publish the company directory, invite recruiters to look around, and offer a personal recommendation of everyone he just laid off (and an implied recommendation of everyone who's still there)? Very nice.

If you haven't tried Jobster in your your search yet, give 'em a look.

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January 30, 2007

Work at home... for criminals

Do the words "work from home" make you suspicious? They should. While legitimate freelance and telecommuter opportunities are out there, it's a lot easier to find the scammers. Part-time, work-from-home offers should set your spidey-sense tingling. Before you sign up, make sure you know what you're getting into.

A federal investigation recently revealed an international money-laundering scheme that used a work-from-home setup to launder counterfeit traveler's checks. Steve Bryant tells the story (via Techdirt):

Abbie began receiving FedEx packages from Saunders, and her job was to remove the brown envelopes inside and mail them in new FedEx boxes throughout the United States. Abbie also received U.S. Postal Money Orders, and was told to complete the money orders with names and addresses provided by Saunders. Abbie received two packages total, and was paid $100 for the first and $300 for the second.
Would it make sense to you to get paid hundreds of dollars to receive and resend checks? You know the rule—if it sounds too good to be true...

In this case, the work-from-home participants weren't victims; they were unwitting participants in a crime, and they got to experience the fun of being caught up in a federal investigation. Other easy-money scams that might come your way target your money:

Despite the timeless wisdom of Sutton's Law, jobseekers are targets for scammers and other criminals. Before you sign up for somebody's great program, take steps to protect yourself:
  1. Know who you're dealing with. Opportunity doesn't knock anonymously.

  2. Check up on the company, people, and business before signing up. Search on the company name and the names of any individuals—this includes recruiters. Add scam or fraud as an additional search term to see if the company's name is associated with those terms.

  3. Understand how the business makes money. Does it make sense? Is it legal? A simple search on envelope stuffing or payment forwarding would give you ample warning. Snopes and Scam.com are also helpful.

  4. Understand how your contribution is worth your compensation. If you're not doing anything worthwhile, why would they pay you? If the promised compensation is well above the market rate, why would they do that? Refer back to question 3.

  5. Don't pay for a job—legitimate opportunities don't work that way.
Paranoid or not, some people are out to get you. Remember the line from Hill Street Blues: "Hey, let's be careful out there!"

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About January 2007

This page contains all entries posted to The Net-Savvy Jobseeker in January 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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