It’s hard to know if it’s acceptable to take a vacation amid a pandemic and downsizing. Where are you going to go? Will your job be there when you get back?
We surveyed dozens of managers and business owners, and their advice is clear: Unless you’re just returning from a furlough, take your vacation days. “It is extremely important,” says Tiffany Glenn, vice president for human resources at payroll and HR services provider ADP. “HR should be advising time away, even if you are not visiting a destination.”
Workers aren’t heeding this advice. “We’ve noticed that people haven’t been booking as many vacation days this summer as in years past,” says Tanya Prior, director of people at phone service provider TextNow.
The company closed on July 1-3 (Wednesday to Friday) to give workers a five-day holiday; other companies are asking employees to use half of their paid time-off days by September. Here are a few things to think about before it’s suddenly Labor Day, and you haven’t moved from your desk in months:
Why should I take a vacation? One word: burnout. It poses a much bigger threat to your team and career than taking time off. You’ve been in a “highly stressful and intense situation for months, trying to manage new and challenging work-life balances,” says Andrew Roderick, chief executive officer of Credit Repair Cos.
While you may have had breaks, you “haven’t had a break from everything that is happening.” So take one. It’s “definitely your right,” adds Nora Jenkins Townson, principal at Bright and Early, an HR consulting firm.
How should I ask for time off? Use the conversation as an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment. “Good planning, communication, and coordination before and after vacation will reinforce your professionalism and dedication,” says Elaine Varelas, managing partner at leadership consulting firm Keystone Partners.
Address potential issues in advance, says Adam Selita, CEO of Debt Relief Co. Ask yourself how taking time off will affect your team; give at least four weeks’ notice; communicate with managers about timing; and get caught up on work before you leave so that the time off doesn’t cause you to fall behind.
Lastly, pick an emergency liaison. “Choose one co-worker whose judgment you trust, and ask them to reach out to you during your vacation only if a true emergency strikes,” says Rachel Cooke, host of the Modern Mentor podcast.
What should I do? Your goal is to free your mind from contemplating the pandemic, working from home, cabin fever, the news, and your isolation or lack thereof. In addition to rekindling an old hobby, think about:
- Safe trips. Socially distanced camping, renting an RV or van.
- Local sightseeing. City walks; hikes; swimming holes; vineyard hopping. “One of my direct reports said that she was not going to use her vacation, as she did not have any plans,” says Kerry Wekelo, CEO at financial-services firm Actualize Consulting. “I suggested she take a few long weekends and do local explorations. We live in Virginia, and many drives are beautiful.”
While you’re out, you’ll want to accomplish one work-related task: “Do an inventory of what your new work world feels like,” says Kyle Nakatsuji, CEO of insurance startup Clearcover.
Ask yourself: What’s easier? What’s harder? What do I need to focus on that I didn’t before? How should I manage my time differently? Vacation is pivotal to seeing work with fresh eyes—even if you’re just on your couch.
Gov. Reynolds announces assistance to low-income Iowans in preventing eviction or regaining housing
DES MOINES, Ia. (KMTV) — Statement from the office of Governor Kim Reynolds
Governor Reynolds today announced that a total of nearly $9 million in assistance is available to eligible low-income Iowans who are at imminent risk of eviction and individuals who have lost housing to quickly regain housing stability. The funding will also provide support for homeless shelter operations. The funds are made available through a supplemental appropriation to the Emergency Solutions Grant program through the federal CARES Act.
“Throughout the pandemic, our focus has always been on protecting the lives and livelihoods of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The funds announced today will assist those at risk of eviction while also providing support to homeless shelters supporting Iowa’s homeless population at this critical time. I appreciate the continued collaboration with our federal partners in support of the state’s pandemic response.”
“Providing housing assistance for Iowans in need remains a top priority,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director, Debi Durham. “The ability for Iowans to thrive and prosper begins with a safe, stable place to call home and the program announced today will be essential in helping Iowans get back on their feet.”
The Emergency Solutions Grant program will help to prevent households from becoming homeless due to eviction, assist Iowans who have lost their home to eviction to regain rental housing as well as provide homeless shelters with financial support to assist with operations and outreach as they work to serve Iowans in need and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
To be eligible for eviction prevention assistance to avoid homelessness, Iowans must have an income of 50% of the area median income or less and be at imminent risk of eviction in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria. To be eligible for assistance in rapidly regaining housing, Iowans must be currently experiencing homelessness.
Examples of assistance available to eligible individuals include rent and utility payments, including in arrears, legal assistance, application fees, security and utility deposits, moving costs, case management and credit repair. All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers.
Individuals in need of assistance must apply through the Coordinated Entry helpline in their area, which is available along with additional eligibility and program information at iowahousingrecovery.com.
Thirty-five agencies were awarded a total of $8.8 million in Emergency Solutions Grant Program funds. The full list of awards is available here. The assistance will remain available until all funds are exhausted or September 30, 2022.
The Emergency Solutions Grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Iowa Finance Authority in partnership with participating Iowa service agencies.
Dovly, the Credit Repair Engine, Welcomes Todd Davis, Co-Founder and Former CEO of LifeLock, to Advisory Board
PHOENIX, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dovly, the credit repair engine that tracks, manages, and fixes your credit, today announced the appointment of Todd Davis, co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of identity protection leader LifeLock, to its board of advisors.
“Todd is one of the most innovative marketers and business leaders in the personal finance industry,” said Nirit Rubenstein, CEO and co-founder of Dovly. “His unique understanding of consumer mindsets and financial technology enabled him to create and scale a transformational business. His insights will help us take Dovly to the next level.”
“Millions of Americans have at least one serious mistake on their credit reports,” Todd Davis, co-founder and former CEO of LifeLock, explained, “yet far too many of those people aren’t even aware of it, nor do they understand the impact these mistakes have on credit scores. Dovly is a game changer.”
After launching his career with Dell in the early 1990s, Davis co-founded LifeLock in 2005. Five years later, the company ranked eighth on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing companies in America, and in 2012, the company went public. By 2014, LifeLock had over three million subscribers and 700 employees. Symantec acquired the company in February 2017 for $2.3 billion. Davis now serves as chairman of the board of Kadenwood and Aesthetics Biomedical.
Dovly also welcomed Jacky Chiu, the former vice president of product of LifeLock, to its advisory board. Chiu is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Brightside, a financial technology company that recently secured a $35 million series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Dovly is an advanced credit repair engine that tracks, manages, and fixes your credit. Dovly’s fully automated technology enables customers to get ahead financially by leveraging credit intelligence to repair credit scores. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and has increased its customer base by 160% this year alone. In June of 2020, Dovly raised a $2.25 million round of seed funding led by NFX, with participation from 1984 Ventures.
Learn more at www.dovly.com.
Black Lives Matter job fair aims to provide economic opportunity in Polk County
LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Black Lives Matter organizers in Polk County are putting together a database to help lead people on the path to economic opportunity.
“I do a lot of things. General contracting, general clean up,” Tony Jones, of Lakeland, told a local recruiter.
Jones is a veteran looking for a job. He served four years in the U.S. Army.
He wants to work, just needs an opportunity.
“You can’t pay no bills and eat if you’re sitting at home waiting for somebody to hand you something. You gotta get out and get it,” he said.
Jones came to the Dream Center in Lakeland to try to take those steps at a job fair organized by Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc.
Black Lives Matter advocates protested to end police brutality this summer in Lakeland and all across the world with the ultimate goal of social justice.
“What’s going to happen next with Black Lives Matter after the marching and the rally? For us, it’s providing economic opportunity,” said Jarvis Washington, President & Founder of Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc.
Wednesday’s job fair event launched Washington’s economic initiatives.
“We’re going to be working on the personal growth of the individual. We’re going to be helping them on everything from the mentoring program, credit repair programs, teaching them money management,” he said.
BLM partnered with Civitas Recruiting for the event.
Susan Freebern created the organization a few months ago to help community leaders steer under-served communities to good-paying jobs.
“They don’t know where to go to get these kinds of jobs. They don’t feel like they’re offered these kinds of jobs through regular staffing companies. I’m just going to go find those jobs and bring them to them,” she said.
On Wednesday, Civitas Recruiting and Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk gathered information to recruit workers for future projects through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program.
“Nothing’s gonna be fixed overnight or taken care of. I think we just need to all strive together, make positive steps. That’s all you can do,” Jones said.
To sign up for the program click here.
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