Help! I’m Fired and They’re Taking My Tech

Fired

Fired
A good friend of mine just left her job.  She’d been with the company for more than 15 years and it was time.  What will she do now?  Actually she has a bunch of options, but that’s not what this story is about.  As we were talking, she said that she needed to “figure out her tech.”  And so that’s what we started to do.

She will have to give back her BlackBerry and her company laptop when she leaves.  In a few weeks, she will be “techless.”  Of course, her company email is only going to be active for a few more weeks.  They will not forward her emails, but they did agree to put a “no longer with the firm” autoresponder on her account for 90 days.  Sadly, they won’t include an email address link in the autoresponder.  It’s just going to say she’s no longer with the firm.

Sound familiar?  Here are a few tips to make this transition much easier.

First, set up a professional email account.  It should not be an @gmail or @hotmail or, heaven forbid an @aol account.  It should be at yourdomain.com.  You can still use Gmail or Hotmail as an email client, you just need you@yourdomain.com as your email address.  How do you do it?  Go to your favorite hosting service, 1and1.com, GoDaddy.com, etc. and register a domain and sign-up for hosting services.  They are always running remarkable deals on 1and1.com.  I just checked, and today, a complete package is $4.99 per month with three months free.  Other hosting services and registrars offer competitive deals, take advantage of one.

Once your domain is registered, set up either an email mailbox or forwarding account @yourdomain.com.  1and1.com has a browser-based, email client. If you like it, use it.  If not, set up a forwarding account to your “professional” Gmail or Hotmail account.

Here’s the important part.  Make sure that change your account settings so that the “send mail as” reflects your new, you@yourdomain.com address.  Otherwise, you will confuse people by telling that your email address is you@yourdomain.com when they are getting emails from you from you@gmail.com.

This is easy to do, and it looks so much more professional.  My email address is shelly@shellypalmer.com  — it’s certainly more polished than shelly.palmer@gmail.com or cutepuppy43@aol.com.

Next stop, the phone store.  If you’re trained on a BBerry, and you really love the functionality of the keyboard and email client, there is no reason not to get another one.  The learning curve will be zero and you can just continue to do business as usual.

However, if you would like to be fashion forward in the connected world, you must consider an Android device or iPhone.  At this writing, the Android of choice is the HTC Thunderbolt with an extended battery.  It’s 4G and awesome.  That said, it may be too much phone for transitioning BBerry users.  Many people I know have returned their Android devices after a few weeks because they were overwhelmed with the features.  I don’t fully understand why anyone would choose to not to accept the challenge and embrace the amazing amount of things you can do with a smartphone, but I’m just reporting what my friends and colleagues have shared with me.

If you want an iPhone, the “new” iPhone is only a few weeks away.  Wait for it.  As I love to say, if you want an iPhone (or any iDevice), nothing else will do.  Don’t let anyone talk you out of your Apple love, you will simply be unhappy.  In truth, you will be unhappy with your iPhone too, but that’s for a different column.

The last thing on your transition list is a laptop.  As it turns out, you’re in luck.  It’s really hard to buy a bad computer right now.  Pick a price point that suits your needs and knock yourself out.  Mac or PC?  If you are trained on Microsoft Office, and you want to continue using it, you must buy a PC.  Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac is a seriously crippled version of Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows.  You will really be unhappy (and screwed) if you purchase a Mac and Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac and think you are going to have comparable features to the PC/Windows version you used at your old job.

If you don’t need to use Outlook, get a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air, they cost more then comparably featured PC’s, but they’re worth it! (Yes, I’m a Mac devotee and no, they don’t pay me to be one.)

There is much more to this story – a lot more.  I cover all of it in my new book, Overcoming the Digital Divide: How to use Social Media and Digital Tools to reinvent yourself and your career.  It’s a quick read that will help you transition from your old job to your new digital life.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, co-founder of Metacademy, and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC and writes a popular daily business blog. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and his latest book, Blockchain - Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance, is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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