The days no longer exist where individuals spend their entire career with one company. According to the bureau of Labor & Statistics a person starting a career at age 25 will change jobs 8-10 times before retiring. That means an average of five years or less with an employer. With companies downsizing and consolidating, it is inevitable that corporate employees will be affected by these changes. The questions to ask yourself are: "What will I do to maintain my current lifestyle? Am I prepared for changes in my finances? Do I have a back-up plan?"
How to navigate Corporate America regardless of the situation, the boss or the co-workers.
The importance of utilizing social networking sites to help brand yourself.
The importance of developing a plan to have an additional income stream.
The consequences and impact of developing a romantic relationship on the job.
Select a chapter from the right column and preview an excerpt from the book in the e-reader.
The Interviewing Process – Your Turn To Ask Questions
Many times when you are granted the opportunity to interview you are so excited that you forget that you should be interviewing the interviewer. You didn’t get that memo. How many times have you sat in an interview and walked away saying, “That was a great interview” or “The person that I interviewed with was so cool” only to find out that a month into the job that this “cool” person has become the wicked witch of the West or scrooge on crack?
See you didn’t get the memo. It is just as important that you also conduct your own interview. Besides the usual questions that should be asked of the interviewer, you may also want to ask:
You should also be asking questions such as:
If and when that “cool” boss suddenly becomes that wicked beast and you are lamenting to your colleagues about how difficult that person is to work with, just remember that you didn’t get the memo. They were on their “best” behavior when interviewing you…
So What’s Your Game Plan
Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you have to know that the day no longer exist for building and planning a career (that includes retirement) around one company. Many people are finding that they will work at several different companies before retiring. In a lot of instances, it seems that you make it to that 4 year and 9 month timeframe, just a few months shy of being vested, only to get the news that your position is being eliminated. For those who haven’t planned for this day and have spent every dime they’ve made, this kind of news can really be devastating. Not only is this news devastating, but this will most certainly test your relationships (spouse, significant other, children and even those who you consider best or close friends). This is where having a Plan B comes in handy. Why Plan B? This is the true test of what you are made of. What are you going to do?
I have a friend who gave me a mug (that I cherish to this day) and the mug was engraved with the following words: Life is all about how you handle Plan B. Plan B, it’s the true test of character. Basically, Plan B is about how you are going to handle life when it throws you a curve ball. I didn’t realize how impactful those words would be, nor how I would hold on to them until I went through my second corporate downsizing. Good thing for me, I had a Plan B and now a Plan C. It’s about implementing your plans and pulling it all together.
Everyone needs to get the memo. This may be even more critical if you have experienced being laid off, downsized or you are being pushed out of an organization for whatever the reason(s). The first thing you must acknowledge is that you are not alone. It is what it is. Of course you’re upset but get over it! The sooner you do, the quicker you can move on to another space that will allow you to be productive. Secondly, you MUST do the work! I have had to learn that you can’t rely on people to help you out. In fact, it seems that some people just aren’t willing to pay it forward. These are the takers in the world. They keep taking as long as you keep giving. It doesn’t matter what you have done for them in the past. In fact, this is a great lesson to learn. Always do things with NO expectations. That way your feelings aren’t crushed and you come to understand that truly some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Just accept that people are just people and often times they just aren’t willing to stepout there and make a recommendation for you…especially in this job market. I’m not saying its right or wrong. I just want you to NOT be disappointed when that so-called “best” friend won’t recommend you for that opening that would be perfect for you or when that colleague, VP,
director or boss won’t support you despite the glowing reviews they have given you. Even more so, don’t be disappointed when that same friend or colleague stops calling and checking on how you are doing. Hey, pray for them (earnestly) and keep it moving! You, however, just continue to do the work. Know what it is you want to do. You must update your resume and set aside time to focus on your job search if getting back into the job market is what your goal is.
If you go into an interview worried about how you are going to explain being downsized, then you just wasted a lot of valuable brain cells. Potential employers bust your chops to see how you are going to react under pressure. Tell them the truth! Own being downsized, fired, not a good organizational fit or whatever the reason(s) may be. You must own it. Most employers have either been in your shoes or know someone who has. So they understand that sometimes human personalities don’t mesh. Now I am notsaying to go into an interview and tell the interviewer that your previous boss was a jerk. Focus the conversation on what you learned during your stint at company XYZ. Learn how to appropriately give a response that will satisfy the interviewer and how to smoothly and quickly move on to the next thing. Believe me, they know that being laid off is as natural as breathing. So relax! As you can imagine, it does no good to air yours or your old boss’ dirty laundry. Remember the world is small and getting smaller every day. Stay above board and whatever you do, refrain from blasting your former bosses and colleagues on social media sites. I’m just saying that you don’t want to burn any bridges.
When it comes to giving references to prospective employers and you are asked for the name of your former boss, give it to them. If the former boss knows anything at all, he or she won’t give a reference but instead will refer them to human resources where only the basics can be addressed such as employment and departure dates and salary (only if you have given written permission for that to be released). Furthermore, utilizing social media sites such as LinkedIn allow a perspective employer to review recommendations from former bosses and co-workers. This is a great way to showcase your talents, work ethic and integrity that truly represents who you are.
GET THE MEMO
Not having a Plan B
Not taking control of your career
Asking the wrong questions during an interview
Not socializing and networking with co-workers
Talking too much (about everything)
Lack of awareness around company issued equipment
High praise to Gloria Bailey-Ray, author of “U Didn’t Get The Memo: Navigating Corporate America.” The book contains thoughtful, useful advice delivered in a conversational yet motivational manner. “U Didn’t Get The Memo” a must read for aspiring professionals who want to take charge of their professional destiny. It is also a useful refresher for more experienced professionals whose climb up the corporate ladder is stalled. Deborah A. Cooksey-Attorney & University Lecturer
I have worked in Corporate America for over 35 years and I wish I would have been exposed to this book “U Didn’t Get The Memo” 36 years ago as I started out my career. This book touches on all aspects of the corporate environment, but what I found so helpful to me was the sections on The Boardroom, Leadership, Interviewing Process, Networking and The Bosses. I found the book to be helpful in so many different ways and would recommend it to those looking to sustain a career with a single employer or multiple employers. It is a great book for those like me that was caught off guard and was surprised by my corporate downsizing and not having a plan “B” in place. This book “U Didn’t Get The Memo” by Gloria Bailey-Ray provides advice to help put you in control of your life and career in the corporate environment. Thank you very much Gloria for this book. Darryl Haynes-Former Regional Vice-President of K-Mart Corporation
Throughout her professional career, Gloria Bailey-Ray has amassed a valuable cache of experience dealing with corporate infrastructure and the challenges within. While many of us say “I’ve been through so much I should write a book”, Ms. Bailey-Ray has done it! “U Didn’t Get the Memo” is the result of Ms. Bailey-Ray’s personal experience in Corporate America but she doesn’t stop there – she solicits input from other corporate professionals who have navigated the sometime ominous waters of the corporate hierarchy. Ms. Bailey-Ray walks her readers through the mine fields and pitfalls awaiting the inexperienced and unaware in today’s job market. She presents her opinions and advice in a respectful manner with the one goal of educating her reader. Many seasoned professionals will find her writings an entertaining reminder of their own careers. The real value of this book, however, is to the young professional who is just beginning his/her career and is likely unaware of what awaits. “U Didn’t Get the Memo” is a handbook on navigating corporate waters that a young professional should have in his/her “self-help” library. Mittie Grigsby, Proprietor-Grigsby Finance and Tax Services
I had the opportunity to read U Didn’t Get The Memo-Navigating Corporate America by Gloria Bailey-Ray. I loved the book and thought it was well written. Gloria does a great job of sharing insights into the challenges of working in Corporate America and provides great advice on how to deal with those challenging situations. Her book makes you feel that you are not alone when faced with crazy situations or crazy bosses. You cannot help but laugh, shake your head as you can relate to some of the stories and great advice she provides. The book is a quick read and one you will enjoy! Allison Newman-Senior Key Account Manager
U Didn’t Get The Memo-Navigating Corporate America, captures the spirit and energy of the author. Having been in the corporate world for 42 years, I’ve seen what Gloria writes about and I have witnessed time and time again. I love that Gloria has written a book about what business professionals talk about so often. People need to read U Didn’t Get the Memo because what has been written still goes on every day. People need to hear what Gloria has to say. The book hit home for me because I had a plan B & C. Young people all too many times don’t know about preparing for a plan B or C. An easy read. Bound to be a best-seller! Buy the book. Thank you Gloria! Nadine Hutton –Structural/Architectural Designer
A book that everyone working in the corporate or non-profit world or with plans to enter the work world, should read. I have read this book at least 5 times and I find something that I did not see before each time I read it. It is truly a guide for navigating the work environment. I would recommend as a “must read” for students pursuing careers in business and management. I have worked in the non-profit arena for 45 years as an employee and consultant and still found the book to provide some insights that I had not experienced. I have utilized the information from this book in my coaching strategies with students preparing to enter the work world. You can’t go wrong reading it. Barbara A. Jackson, President-Phoenix Management Group, Inc. Atlanta, GA
U Didn’t Get The Memo laid out the solution(s) for me to be better informed along with becoming more relevant in my organization. After 21 years of military service, I retired from the U.S. Army. I wondered how the “transition” from soldier to civilian would affect me. I was unsure if the “outside” corporate world would hold the same structure as that of the military. Jumping feet first in the corporate world, I took a position within the U.S. government as a Department of Defense Civilian. “U Didn’t Get the Memo” provided me the perfect understanding of corporate functions. Everything that I was struggling to understand instantly became perfectly clear. First lesson I learned, was everyone does not have good work ethics. Second lesson I learned, was unless I was making myself relevant, then I would never know all of the things that were going on. This book put into words, why everyone was not on the same “page”; simply put, they all did not get the memo!!! Thank you, Mrs. Bailey-Ray, for showing me know how Corporate America works and how to make sure that I will Always Get the Memo!!! SUPPORT THE SOLDIER! ALAN G. ROGERS, GS 13-US Army (Retired)
I recently finished reading Gloria Bailey-Ray’s book “U Didn’t Get The Memo.” It was the best self-help book on navigating Corporate America that I have ever read! Her insights on company politics, dos and don’ts, and how to plan a successful career make this book a must read. It’s practical, well written and at times Gloria’s wit makes you belly laugh out loud. Gloria has written an amazing straightforward guide on how to get” back up on the horse” after realizing” U Didn’t Get The Memo!” Joanne Judt-Retired Account Manager from Corporate America & Alameda County Master Gardener and Sommelier
U didn’t get the memo is an eye opening experience. For me this book was a how to survive corporate America when you’re on the outside trying to fit in. Leadership seems to put staff in category or boxes based on assumptions not necessarily fact and run with it. The memo I received was the rules are not written, the rules change when convenient and you didn’t get the change until after the fact. I learned from reading the book that everyone is not as smart at everything, nor should we believe that they are. A persona is just that. However it can be mirrored, changed, seen through or exposed. Hard work, dedication and loyalty don’t always ensure success either. The sand box aka Corporate America is just a great big box where rules apply to some, shared by most and if you’re not careful you will get sand in your eyes because you did not see it coming. U didn’t get the Memo means pay attention, stay engaged and look ahead because the Memo is posted whether you’re looking for it or not. Ms. Sheryl Rogers-Manager Environmental Services-Baylor Scott and White Hospital
U didn’t get the Memo” is the title that captures it all. “U didn’t get the memo” highlights the many times in our lives that we did not get the memo, did not read between the lines of the memo or just plain didn’t know it was “The Memo”. “U didn’t get the memo” gives you a “heads up” on potential sink holes at work. The book should be read by every college student/graduate. D. Cooke-QNA Solutions Inc.
U Didn’t Get the Memo” tells us what we already knew but were afraid to acknowledge. This insight will hopefully liberate those who have blamed themselves and others for career failures. Learn the rules – change the game! Angela Anderson-Healthcare Privacy & Security Officer
U Didn’t Get The Memo is so real and authentic regarding the day to day career challenges employees face in the work place today. It provided a validation of what we all face, the tough decision, the heart to want to support the company and be recognized as a good and hardworking employee and at the end we all say for WHAT! You didn’t receive the promotion you deserved, looked over for the pay increase etc. Your book provides an outlet for all readers, and most of all guidance, and a new perspective to move forward creating a Life of Purpose and meaning… Thanks for being so real and pure with your message allowing us ALL to know as readers, we are Not alone in our thinking, and real life experiences as we all navigate the rough seas or Corporate America! You did an excellent job writing the book and telling your story allowing all readers to resonate with your message. A must read for the Corporate Worker….
Jackie Welch, CPCC TIRO Life Coach
Retiree of Corporate America 28 years with the same company Xerox Corporation
“What a great effort by Gloria Bailey-Ray to peek behind the scene of corporate America. This book is a lantern light, leading all of us to a smoother experience at our workplaces! She offers insight into the flaws of employee behavior and gives easy to absorb solutions. A solid addition to the library of the first entrant into the workforce or the long-time survivor of corporate America.” Leon Richmond, M.D.
U Didn't Get the Memo is a wonderful book for those who have been caught off guard or those who fear uncertainty and want to be better prepared.