When it is time to leave…

compass2

Sometimes you’ll initiate leaving a company, other times it may just happen out of the blue. In any case, there are a few things to think through before leaving a company… while you have access to corporate email and phone systems.

    1. Have a personal plan, if you don’t have one get one (make a budget…) but that will likely need to wait until you have time to think about it. What do you want to accomplish in the next 30, 60 or 90 days. Don’t get lost.
    2. Create a list of efforts you are working on and who your backup is – give this to your manager.
    3. Leave an out of office message for those who need to access your efforts/customers.
    4. Make sure your leader and those who will need to know (HR) have a valid address and phone number.
    5. Archive (non-company owned) materials for yourself, so you can reference them later.
    6. Make sure your manager knows about any materials that are in shared resources (e.g., OneDrive for business) that may be accessed by others but could go away when your accounts are removed.
    7. Does your company have any gamification efforts in health or other areas where there are monetary rewards? Make sure you cash them in.
    8. Save all the information on benefits for ex-employees that you can find (e.g., COBRA). They will give you a number of documents in a larger company, when you leave, but there can be alumni groups… on-line as well. They can be a tremendous resource.
    9. >Send a note to those you have been important to your work with the company to let them know you’ll be gone.
    10. Try to get a copy of anything you sign.

Help make the transition go well for everyone. Meet with your supervisor and offer to do anything possible to help fill the void created by your departure. It can be a rough time for them too.

Don’t burn any bridges, you never know which ones you may need to cross again in the future.

After you’ve left:

  1. Check on unemployment benefits. Depending on the state, even forced early retirement can have unemployment benefits associated with it. Health insurance will likely be important area of focus as well.
  2. Be positive — This is just another stop along a journey. Spend your extra time getting fit, educated or something that will improve your person outlook. Prepare yourself of the emotional roller coaster to follow.
  3. Update LinkedIn and your résumé. Some people scoff at LinkedIn, but this is what it is for.

I am sure I’ve missed something but those were what came to mind this morning. Drop a comment with ideas to help things go well.

#unemployment #work #COBRA

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Hosts file for your protection

securityWith the recent rash of security concerns (across all platforms) I was looking into what can be done to route at least some of the nefarious traffic to the bit bucket. So I thought I’d write a brief post about the effort.

Most people are aware that DNS servers change the more user friendly internet addresses like yourbusiness.com to an IP address that computers can work with more effectively (e.g., 192.x.x.x). We can use this process to provide a bit more safety.

There are two simple ways you can try to subvert addresses pointing to bad locations. One is to use a domain name server that knows about bad services and provides a safe place to route the traffic.

IBM recently announced its quad 9 (9.9.9.9) DNS server. The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) has partnered with IBM and Packet Clearing House to launch this free public DNS service. It intended to block traffic to domains associated with botnets, phishing attacks, and other malicious hosts. They continue to update it as new porly behaving addresses are discovered.

The other technique is to place entries in the hosts file on your machines. The hosts file actually gets a first shot at interpreting address. There are organizations that maintain HOSTs file that you can download, containing known ads servers, banner sites, sites that give tracking cookies, contain web bugs, or infect you with hijackers. Here are web sites for organizations that produce these hosts files:

Life hacker had an article about modifying your local hosts file, that is still valid and may be worth looking at if you’re thinking about adding this level of protection.

This all came to mind over the last few weeks, since Steve Gibson’s Security Now! podcast mentioned some new user tracking software that can be easily thwarted with a few hosts file entries.

 

Nine questions to ask during a strategic shift

questionsI was talking with someone the other day about a strategic change they were contemplating and what it takes to adopt a new approach, strategy or tool. They were looking for guidance on the issues that might disrupt their efforts. Rather than just answer the question specifically, I thought about it from a process perspective and attempted to answer their need more generally:

Nine questions that will help improve your understanding of the impact and implications of events that may disrupt your plans. This approach attempts to look at the issues from the outside in.

  1. What is happening today? Look for the events or cultural trends that support or imped the change you’re trying to make. We have lots of examples today of cultural disruption and individuals being blindsided by cultural perspective, learn from their mistakes.
  2. What does it mean for others? Look at how the change will be viewed. In many cases perception is reality. Will others really need your solution?? What will it take to keep up with demand, when they do???
  3. What does it mean for you and your team? What are your motivations and will they sustain you through the entire process of change – making a change can be lonely.
  4. What needs to happen first? Every change requires a bit of triage. You can’t eat the elephant whole, so where would you start to increase your likelihood of success.
  5. What does it take to be a change agent? Unfortunately, just because you want to do something different, you will not necessarily be ordained by others as someone to follow. Do you have a vision?? Do you have the relationships needed to initiate the change??? No person is an island. To be a leader, you must have followers.
  6. Do you know what needs to be done next? Change of almost any size requires a plan. We already looked at what needs to be done first, can we make an unstoppable train of events that will carry the change through to completion – plan on it. Also look for measures of success so you can adjust along the way.
  7. When is the solution needed, is this the right time? Every change has an optimal time for it to take place. If now is (or is not) the time – why??
  8. Who will be affected? It is as important to understand who will be crushed under the wheels of progress, as who will be elevated by the change. Thinking about the implications of all the affected parties will greatly improve your plan and its effectiveness.
  9. How much investment will be needed? I’ve kept this until the end, not that funding isn’t important but based on the fact that if you haven’t thought about these others issues you probably only have a vague notion of what it will take to be successful. If you have the right camp of supporters, it can significantly reduce your funding needs. Similarly, if you’re going after the wrong market or don’t have the right kinds of support, no amount of funding will make your efforts successful.

There are likely some gaps in this thought process, but this approach been helpful over the years, maybe it will be useful to you too.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” – Woody Allen

IoT triggering some thoughts

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my initial foray into IoT for the home.  I now have my Ring Doorbell installed and a few Wemo switches.

It wasn’t hard to do and with IFTTT integration I can set up actions for numerous triggers like:

  • Turning on the lights at sunset
  • Log when someone comes to the door in a spreadsheet
  • Turn on the house lights when my phone is getting close to home
  • Use Google assistant to do a variety of things

My only complaint is that IFTTT is a bit slow in recognizing a triggering event (like motion) from the Ring doorbell. It takes a minute or more for the action to occur.

It is great that I can have my devices talk to each other, I just wish there was a bit more for them to say. A number of years ago I put together the following illustration:

IoT Value

It seems that IoT is like Metcalfe’s law for the internet:  the value generated is  proportional to the square of the number of connected devices in the system. The one thing that’s true though is that there are more devices with more interfaces all the time.