If you've ever quit a job before, you're probably already familiar with an often uncomfortable and overlooked aspect of employment: the exit interview. But what you might not realize is that an exit interview can be just as important as a job interview. Not only do you want to leave your place of employment with a good reputation for the purpose of references, but in case you want to come back some day.
Here are our top tips for nailing your exit interview.
1. Don't Think It Doesn't Matter
While you may be tempted to air all your grievances and get your complaints out in the open, in most cases, this isn't a good idea. Not only is it unlikely to actually incite change, it's a surefire way to get yourself written off by the company. There's nothing wrong with calmly and respectfully telling the HR representative you're likely to talk to that you have issues with the company, but make sure you don't cause a scene, no matter how much you may feel like it.
2. Prepare Ahead of Time
Don't go into an exit interview assuming that you'll just come up with what to say on the spot. While you may not know exactly what they're going to ask you, you can be sure they're going to ask you what you liked about the job and what you didn't like about the job. Make sure you have a clear and concise list of the pros and cons of your former position, a few ideas about how you would improve your position, and a few ideas about what you wouldn't change. Try to project the kind of poised and positive attitude you would want to project in a job interview.
3. Focus on the Relationships You Built at the Company
This doesn't only apply to the exit interview itself, but also to all of your behavior as you prepare to leave your job. Write notes to all your colleagues that you connected with, thanking them for their help and support. Try to compliment a specific talent you think each person has. These kind of small gestures may seem like no big deal, but they go a long way to ensuring you preserve the relationships you built at the company — relationships that may open doors for you later in life.
4. Focus on the Positives
If you begin the interview by first telling the HR rep what you loved about your job, they're more likely to see you as a level headed, neutral person when you tell them the things you didn't like about your job. Plus, focusing on the positives is a much better way to ensure you leave the company on a good note.
Most importantly, keep in mind that an exit interview isn't an ending, its a new beginning that could have a big impact on your career in the future.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.