Archive for October, 2013

What did you do during the furlough? Looking back…

October 17, 2013

The headlines in this morning’s paper tell a great story.  Shutdown Ends.  No, wait, it’s not really a great story.  Seems to be the end of an embarrassing story.  You know the feeling of reading a trashy book on the metro and you hope no one notices?  That’s what the latest federal snafu feels like to me.

Nevertheless, I do congratulate federal employees who are hitting the road or the keyboard this morning.  I am also happy for  lunch wagon vendors, dry cleaners, auto mechanics, hairdressers, restaurant workers, lawn crews, and day care workers whose livelihoods have been damaged.

As an individual, what will you say about this time when asked?  Here are options I’ve been hearing–

  1. Laundry, closet cleaning, porch painting…
  2. Wrote a letter to your representative and both senators, requesting them to act like adults or you would fire them.
  3. Took a meal to a family whose food stamps were threatened.
  4. Kept healthy.  This meant getting exercise, eating healthy food even when spending less on groceries.
  5. Volunteered at the nearest service provider which was suddenly unfunded (soup kitchen, park, day care center, school program, etc. etc.).

I am predicting that future job interviews for some people will include questions about the furlough time.  Everyone will really need to practice the answer, with the goal of staying calm and professional.  Stay tuned for what to say when asked your opinion.  (And what not to say).

Shutdown Strategies…Keep Your Network Alive!

October 6, 2013

I am Ann Poritzky — guest blogger.  I am a close friend of Anne’s and a furloughed government employee. 

Whether you are working or searching, here are some suggestions for dealing with the Shutdown and keeping your network alive. 

  • Write to your elected officials in Washington, DC. (Some of their staff members are furloughed so the member of Congress or Senate might actually see what you wrote.)
  • Post information on business-oriented social networks, like LinkedIn. While many furloughed government folks are not allowed to check their government email addresses, they may be monitoring LinkedIn or other social media networks. 
  • Visit websites and of organizations that interest you. Government sites with furloughed web teams are not staying up to date, but most of the site’s information is still available. Private sector and nonprofit organizations’ sites are up and running so if you have time, visit them. 
  • Meet for coffee, lunch or a walk with current or prospective members of your network. Some folks may be more available during the shutdown, but watching their $ more carefully.

If you have suggestions for keeping your network alive during the Shutdown, please send them along by commenting on this post.

Ann P.