Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2015

8 ways to stay motivated while searching for a new job

Searching for a new job? Then it’s extremely important to stay motivated. Easier said than done, sometimes. To make it easier on you and help you shift your perspective, if necessary, read our little guide featured below!

1. Let your loved ones know about it! Be they friends or family – you are not alone in this, almost everybody has been at some point in your position and can relate to you. And their success stories are going to make you feel better and give you hope for a positive outcome. In any way, their experiences and the lessons gained through them might prove useful to you, so…

2. …talk to them and ask for their opinion! But beware of two specific types: the ones that are frustrated with their job or their job search themselves and the ones who trigger guilt feelings and thus demotivate you.

3. Don’t blame yourself! We live in times of financial crises that impact the job market as well – there aren’t that many open positions to begin with and, as a consequence, the number of potential candidates rises. It’s really not your fault that you can’t find a new job immediately and the reason you get turned down is not necessarily your lack of qualifications.

4. Be aware of your strong points! How did you contribute to the success of your former employer? Remember all the high points and victories in your career so far and count all the qualities that will help you impress your future boss

5. Know exactly what you want in your new job! Whatever the reasons for leaving your former job may be – they are going to help you define exactly what it is that you look for in a new position and what expectations you have from your new employer.

6. Don’t let rejections or the lack of any answer to your application demotivate you! As we have already established at point 3, a rejection doesn’t automatically mean that you don’t have the required qualifications. And if the company you applied to doesn’t grant the candidates at least the courtesy of an answer, they most probably won’t treat their employees with any more respect – and you don’t want to work for that kind of employer, do you?

7. Keep up your regular daily schedule! Just because you temporarily don’t have any binding working hours anymore, doesn’t mean you don’t need any structure in your days. In order to keep up your regular daily schedule, we recommend that you actively look for suitable job openings during the mornings and put your applications together after your “lunch break”.

8. Balance things out with your hobbies! Your former job was not the only thing enriching your life and keeping you busy, so the job hunt shouldn’t become that either. Keep up tending to your hobbies and interests and don’t let the fact that you are currently searching for a new employment define you. This ensures you lose neither your fresh outlook, nor your motivation.

The salary – European employees’ top reason for a job change

JOBswype asked – and 4800 users answered. The newest poll initiated by the internationally active job search engine sheds light on the reasons, for which employees would change their job. Not surprisingly, amongst these the amount of the monthly pay still ranks highest. JOBswype polled users from all markets where it is active, thus showing a representative, valid pan-european image.

What reasons are good enough to make employees look for another job, even in the current climate of financial crises and general worries concerning stability of employment? The answers show these to be mainly lack of career opportunities (depending on the country, between 10%-24%), routine and boredom at work (depending on the country, between 6%-22%), as well as stress and anger (depending on the country, between 8%-19%), closely followed by conflicts with colleagues (depending on the country, between 4%-10%) and/ or superiors (depending on the country, between 3%-9%), and the perceived danger of being let go (depending on the country, between 5%-9%). The main reason, however, still is the salary. More money for the same amount of work is enticing, but the other factors seem to be quite important too, for a happy employee is less likely to look on the other side of the proverbial fence and compare. While the salary is the main reason for changing jobs in all countries, the actual number of votes expressed in each one shows a clear difference between Western and Eastern European countries – in the latter, almost half of employees (depending on the country, between 38%-51%) would leave their current job for a better paycheck. The simplest explanation: in countries with less performant economies, where salaries are generally low, these are very important to employees, while in countries, where salaries reach a higher level, other factors, such as personal fulfilment and work-life-balance are just as important. The polling results certainly support this interpretation – the percentage of votes for the factors routine and boredom and lack of career opportunities also varies between Western and Eastern Europe: in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK and Ireland they reach max. 22%, respectively 24%, in Eastern Europe max. 9%, respectively 15%.

The results also show the areas, where employers should improve, if they want to keep their employees happy and boost their loyalty, because, as the saying goes, “Only a happy employee is a motivated employee.” Supervisors should pay attention to both, actual and potential conflicts and deal with them in a constructive manner during employee talks or team building efforts. The workplace and the tasks should be organised in a way that encourages and supports professional development, either through company paid courses or through a climate of flat hierarchies, where each employee can work independently and responsibly and good results are rewarded with career opportunities. 

Montag, 26. Oktober 2015

The advantages of using job search engines

Job seekers often face a tough choice. What is the best and fastest way to find employment? Skim newspaper ads in print or rather online? Visit online job boards or rather company websites? Job search engines make the process easier for you and offer orientation through that maze of opportunities. Here are our top five reasons why you should trust job engines to find your dreamjob!

1. Job search engines always give you the newest results. Their search algorythms keep checking all the indexed sources constantly and automatically, therefore enabling search engines to present you the newest job ads. This way, you can quickly and efficiently send in your application and, thus, never miss out on an opportunity.
2. Job search engines reduce your workload. The one person who truly knows best about what kind of job would suit you best, is you. And with your criteria in mind, you search thousands of job ads. Wouldn’t it be a lot more practical, if there was someone or something that could ease that workload for you? Well, job search engines do just that!
3. Job search engines save your time. Keeping up with all the job boards and company websites take a lot of time and, let’s face it, can get pretty monotonous and tiring. Isn’t it nice, then, that you can outsource this job to the job search engine of your choice as well?
4. Job search engines are convenient. After signing up for the service and filling in your search criteria, you can use the engine‘s e-mail alert. Every morning, you can just sit back and enjoy your cup of coffee or tea while reading the newest and most relevant job ads. And send in your CV if the right opportunity arises!
5. Job search engines are user friendly. Do you also have to remember that many user names and passwords in order to access all your accounts on job boards and company recruiting websites? Switch to a job search engine and you will reduce the amount of user names and passwords to one of each.

Montag, 12. Oktober 2015

Changing your job – How often is often enough?

Working year in and year out for the same company and taking on new and greater responsibility with every promotion – what better way to show resilience, staying power and loyalty? Are employees who quit their jobs, on the other hand, automatically considered to be unreliable? If you are looking at your resume and pondering whether there are too many or too few positions held in there, ponder no further – we have a few things for you to consider!

As so many times in life, one rule applies here as well: please don’t overdo it and change your job every few months. Then again, “overdoing it” may mean different things at different stages of your career. At the beginning – for recruiting specialists, this means the years between your early twenties and early thirties – it is not only acceptable, but also understandable that young employees who just have finished studying, are still looking for the best match between their skills and the job market. They keep their resumes always up to date and ready to be sent out, because the next big career opportunity could wait behind any corner. After that though, you have to be prepare really good arguments for yourself and your desired job change in order to convince recruiters.

As a rule of thumb for the minimal duration of one job, you can count three years. The explanation is very simple: this is the span that bigger projects usually take to be completed. The first year is for getting to know every aspect of the project, the second for carrying it out and a third to leave your permanent mark in the company. After this period and all the results that came with it, you can make a convincing case for why you are ready to take on new responsibilities and broaden your horizons. Of course, this does not mean that, in order to achieve a successful career, you must change jobs very three years. Most of the time, you will end up receiving new career offers from your own company, be it promotions or new areas of responsibility.

Should you be tempted to look for another job simply out of frustration with your current one, we can only advise you to take your time and consider everything carefully, so that you have a clear picture about what is really bothering you. Otherwise, there is a real danger that you will soon be just as frustrated with your new job. Also strongly consider talking to your supervisor and finding a mutually beneficial solution, especially if you have already worked for a few years at your company. A new job in your old company – now that would be an ideal outcome!

Dienstag, 29. September 2015

Main complaints against online applications

Online applications are increasingly popular amongst companies looking for new job candidates. And for a good reason – this way, it is much easier for HR departments to manage and monitor the whole application process. Specialized software takes care of grouping applications together for each and every advertised job, automatically sends out confirmations to the applicants and oftentimes even already sorts out unsuitable applications by scanning cover letters or resumes for pre-defined keywords. For job seekers, there is the benefit of shortening the whole application process for other available jobs at the same company by allowing registered users to forward their application with just one click. But is it really easier than the classic written or electronic application? JOBswype polled its users in the UK to find out what they dislike about online applications.

The results show four evenly voiced complaints. A fifth of the users said they felt online applications take too much time to complete. Another 26% said they experienced troubles with filling out the required online forms as they had found them too complex. It can be quite challenging indeed to rewrite all the info from the resume in a way that is fitting to the fields of the online application. The whole registration process proved to be a hassle for a quarter of the British users, while another quarter missed the interaction with a real human being and would have preferred to talk in some way directly to a recruiter.

JOBswype polled its users in July 2015.

Mittwoch, 19. August 2015

Don't let your lack of work experience deter you from applying for your dream job!

It's an all too familiar problem for those who start in the workforce – they have the diploma, but seem to be unable to land a job. One of the requirements stated in most ads is „at least x years of experience“. But they shouldn't worry too much. Firstly, ads describe the ideal candidate and secondly, they can still impress the would-be-employer with their resume. Not to mention that with the right steps they can prevent this perceived „handicap“ altogether!

When after the successfull graduation the task at hand is to find a job, candidates are extremely motivated and excited for the application process. They are certain to impress employers with their good grades. But soon enough they have to face reality: very often, employers look for a certain amount of experience. But what experience when they are just starting?

Our best advice, should you be in this position: keep calm – and read the ads carefully! Obviously, you should only try for those jobs that fit your profile best. But don't forget to pay attention to the wording. Most times, previous experience is not part of the must-have qualifications, but is rather listed under advantages. This is understandable, as companies always describe their ideal candidate for the position in those ads. So, of course, an experienced candidate has an advantage over an inexperienced one. but the ideal candidate is, as often in life, just that – an ideal. And this, in turn, means that you still have a decent chance of landing the job.

Use your cover leter and resume wisely to highlight all your relevant previous experiences. All of it is fair game: maybe you did voluntary work, helped out in your parents' business, had summer jobs, semesters abroad or worked on some student projects that are relevant for the position you are applying. It is extremely important that you link all your existing experience in logical manner to the job requirements. But if experience is a decided must-have, as is the case with most positions in middle management and higher, there's not much you can do. But, if we were to stay realistic, those positions are usually not meant for recent graduates.

The smartest candidates plan ahead for this stage of their career, even while they are still studying. Internships are very good opportunities to gather some hands-on experience, but the same goes for part-time jobs. Those are more than just welcome additions to a student's tight budget and can help to get you the job of your dreams. This time is also crucial for forging a small professional network that can also help you transition into the workforce.

Dienstag, 11. August 2015

How to ease back into your workflow post-holiday

You've had a great holiday, filled with relaxation, fun and unforgettable memories. Not even once did you think about work, but now, on the last day, reality is catching up. You vow to take good care of yourself from now on and to not let stress take over your worklife again. It sounds good in theory, but practice is a lot harder and sooner or later you'll find yourself overworked again. To slowly ease back into your regular work routine, take a look at our suggestions!

You should start preparing for your first day back at the office even before you start your holiday. Try to finish all tasks that have tight deadlines right after your vacation. This way, you won't have to start already under pressure and you will be able to preserve your new energy for later. After all, post-holiday relaxation should be enjoyed as long as possible!

One way to achieve this is to plan your holiday in a way that allows you to have a buffer-day between returning home and going to the office. Long travel is tiring and on top of that, you will have to reaccustom yourself to your home and probably also do some chores around the house. So why not give yourself the time for that?

If your employer allows it, experts suggest to go back to work in the middle of the week, on a Wednesday or Thursday. Why would that be better than a Monday? Easy: the weekend is just around the corner. Knowing that, you will react much more relaxed to all the new demands. The first few days are going to be tiring anyway, because you aren't used to your daily workflow anymore. Lucky for you, you'll be able to recharge your batteries soon enough!

Another great trick is to use the autoreply function of your choice email client to your advantage: set your return date on your second day back at work. On your first day, you will have enough time to go through your full inbox and work out your priorities, while no one is awaiting your reply yet. Don't forget to spend some time with the colleague(s) who filled in for you and let them bring you up to speed. A small souvenir, a token a token of your appreciation, would surely be highly aprreciated.

As for your own motivation, put your favorite framed photo from your holiday on your desk or any other highly visible place. It will work wonders. And don't worry, it won't be long until your next time off work!

Samstag, 8. August 2015

Succesful networking boosts your career

For some, it's sheer horror – attending a networking event on behalf of their company, facing a room full of strangers. With whom to start a conversation? And how? Am I friendly and outgoing enough? Most of the time, these worries are unfounded and can be easily prevented. Plus, these events can boost your own career!

First things first – no, you are not alone. In fact, most of us feel the same, even if it seems to come so naturally to our extroverted peers. We all have a certain inhibition threshold we need to overcome in order to be able to get to know strangers. This applies even to the best networkers. But then why does it seem so effortless for them?

As so often, a simple change of perspective will do the trick. You have to network, that is represent your company, meet other professionals and experts from your field of work, connect with them and ideally start mutually beneficial collaborations with them. So do all the others in the room. That's why you don't need to feel any reticence meeting them. You all have the same goal. First hurdle overcome!

Your next step is starting a conversation. Communication experts recommend two strategies. If you happen to already know somebody, you can join them and let them take care of introducing you to others. If that is not the case, try staying in a line with others, whether for the drinks or the buffet. Is the service quick or is it painfully slow? One good line about either one is a good and unforced opener for a conversation with one of your „brothers in arms“. As for the conversation itself, experts say that there is nothing wrong with the usual smalltalk about the weather, at least at the start, as it is an inoffensive topic that anybody can relate to and have an opinion on. There are some who think that smalltalk is absolutely out of place in a formal or semi-formal situation, there are nevertheless some studies proving them wrong. According to those, smalltalk has a very important social function – it brings people who don't know each other together by creating a common ground on which both can agree. When the conversation is already flowing, it will be easy for you to segue into the business topics.

Don't forget to exchange cards with your new aquaintances. And remember to message them a few days after to ensure that the nice impression you've left has real staying power. That's how you build your professional network step by step and, thusly, stay updated on all the new developments regarding your field of profession. Those regular updates will come in handy not only at your workplace, but also if you should decide to find other employment in the same field. Never underestimate the power a friendly suggestion from a trusted co-worker can have on the recruiter!

Dienstag, 28. Juli 2015

10 tips for increased motivation

We've all been there – on some days, nothing seems to work. Losing valuable working time doesn't take away any of our tasks, but it does increase the pressure we feel. We think, this is avoidable! Here are our best tips to increase your motivation and get you started again in no time.

1. Find the reason for your lack of motivation. It's usually something small. Maybe all it takes to make the impression that you are buried in work go away is to simply clear your desk.

2. Visualize the outcome of your task. Think about the contetment you will feel when you'll finish your project.

3. Remember your successes so far. After all, this is not the first difficult task that you had to solve at the office. Don't forget – success is the best motivator!

4. Decide your next step. Your task may be difficult and complicated, but it can be broken down in smaller, easier steps. And these are easier to manage.

5. Plan the next day in advance. Start your schedule with the easy tasks and the feeling of accomplishment that they give you will motivate you for the more difficult ones.

6. For starters, concentrate on your work for five minutes. Most of the time, it will be enough for you to find your usual rhythm.

7. Find a motivated colleague and work side by side. Their motivation will rub off on you.

8. Use your acting talent and pretend to be motivated. You are helping your real motivation to come to the forefront.

9. Read - not only self-help-books, but whatever you like. New ideas will inspire you and speed up your mind and thusly facilitate solution finding.

10. Choose a personal mantra. Don't worry about settling on a corny sentence, as long as it really motivates you!

Good luck!

Having the Boss as a Facebook Friend

What should you do if you get a friend request from your boss on Facebook? That’s a question that concerns more and more employees nowadays. Trouble is, the answer isn’t staring you in the face: no matter whether you accept or decline the request, it may have unpleasant professional consequences.

As an employee, you’d be well advised to think twice before you friend your co-workers or superiors on Facebook. Social media tend to influence your occupational life, and even though the divide between personal matters and those of business becomes more and more blurred, there may still be contents you would rather not share with your boss. At all events, the choice is yours in this situation. That won’t be the case any longer once you receive a Facebook friend request from your employer. It’s necessary to react, then. The question is: how to?

Employees are in a bit of a bind when they have to decide whether they should add their boss to their list of friends on Facebook. Many of them regard such a friend request as a nuisance or as an intrusion into their private lives. However, very few do actually dare to decline it because they are apprehensive of possible consequences such as losing their jobs. And even if the worst doesn’t come to pass – employers aren’t likely to take kindly to rejection, however courteously it is worded, and explaining that you only use your Facebook account for private purposes also might not prevent all negative consequences.

On the other hand, if you accept the friend request of your boss, you should always take precautions as soon as possible. Otherwise, your superior will get to see your party pictures and be able to read along when you exchange views on problems or contents with your friends. To put it briefly, your new Facebook friend will find out quite a lot about your private life, and if you call in sick, for instance, while your posts reveal that your failure to appear at work can be put down to an entirely different reason, it may even lead to your dismissal. Therefore, you should only post entries or contents that won’t get you in trouble if others see them at your place of work, or change your privacy settings at the very least.

Last but not least, all these deliberations beg the question: aren’t there any advantages to having co-workers or superiors as Facebook friends? There are some, of course. You can use your Facebook account for professional exchanges, for self-marketing or to network. It is also possible to organise projects or hold virtual ad-hoc-meetings via Facebook. Did all of your colleagues friend your boss? That may be reason enough for you to do so, too. Still, you should always consider the ramifications: taking this step will mean that your Facebook account won’t – solely – serve for your entertainment any longer. It will be used for professional purposes instead.

Dienstag, 21. Juli 2015

The diplomatic way to resign from your current job

Everything is done – you’ve mastered the application process, negotiated for the best possible salary and working conditions and the contract is ready for your signature. But there’s a catch:  you have to quit your current job. Whether you were happy with it or not, this is most probably not going to be easy.

After all, deciding to give up on your current job and start looking for a new one wasn’t easy either. The reasons for which employees choose to do so haven’t really changed over time. These are mainly the lack of perspectives, over- or under-challenging conditions, unsolved conflicts with colleagues or underpayment. It’s advisable, however, that you try first to find a solution to any of these problems, with your supervisors. A promotion, a raise or a company funded  training, as well as the new responsibilities these bring with them, are usually very good incentives for employee motivation. Ongoing conflicts with colleagues or supervisors are, however, not as easily solvable and, depending on their severity, can be grounds for a resignation.

But, after thorough deliberation, you found a new job, so now you have to let your current employer know. Of course, you have the right to resign anytime, but keep in mind that you might need your current employer’s help in the future, in the form of a recommendation. It’s in your own best interest to leave a good impression.

Talk to your employer as soon as possible and be mindful of the applicable period of notice. If possible, finish all your projects during this period or, at the very least, make sure you pass on all relevant info to your successor. Never mention the amount of your frustration with your current job, even if it may be considerable. Instead, mention that your new position allows you considerable opportunities to grow and evolve. Those are reasons any good employer will understand.

Doing all this, you ensure that you will be pleasantly remembered. And, who knows?... If the right offer comes along, you might be back some time in the future!

Dienstag, 14. Juli 2015

How to Recharge During Work

Nothing makes an overworked employee happier than calling it a day and leaving the office in the evening. The break is also surely well-deserved – but you won’t be able to enjoy it if you’re about to fall over from fatigue. Would you like to spend some quality time with your family or going out with friends? Then make sure you have the opportunity to recharge during work.

That may sound odd at first, but if you overtax yourself at your place of work, you’ll be too tired at the end of the day to do much of anything, and your employer won’t benefit from it, either. Zeal and diligence are recommendable, but you’ll only be able to do your job well in the long run if you are in peak form. That takes rest periods during the work day, so don’t hesitate to go on a break if you feel it’s necessary – and make sure you really use that time to relax.

In order to recharge your batteries, you have to interrupt work both physically and mentally. Thus, instead of checking your emails, you should leave your desk for a while, stretch and move around a bit. Get out of the office for a couple of minutes if you have the chance or open the window at least to let in some fresh air. Don’t let your thoughts circle around the tasks you still have to complete – that doesn’t contribute to relaxation in the least.

A coffee break or a joint meal is the perfect opportunity to have a chat with your colleagues. At other times, you may feel more like spending some time alone. In that case, you can also listen to relaxing music or take a newspaper, magazine or book into hand and read for a while to recharge.

Relaxation exercises and techniques also help you to get rid of pent-up stress. Just find a quiet corner where you can sit back in peace and unwind, then close your eyes and take some deep breaths, and you’ll already feel the tension leaving your body. Give it a try! Taking five minutes may already suffice to recharge, and work will go all the more smoothly afterwards. 

Freitag, 26. Juni 2015

The right way to ask for a raise

Did you find out that your peers earn a better pay than you for doing the same job? Do you dedicate yourself wholly to your work and constantly get good results, yet your salary has stayed the same for years? Maybe you expect a visit from the stork soon? There are lots of reasons why you would want a pay raise. We’ll tell you the best way to ask for it, but also that your net income could increase even while the number on your paycheck stays the same.

Your salary falls under the confidentiality clauses of your contract in most companies, and for good reason. There’s probably nothing else as deadly for the motivation of the common employee as finding out that his or her peer earns more money for the same job. Be sure to prevent this by thoroughly researching the usual salaries for your line of work and education level even before you go to your first interview. But even if the starting salary satisfies you, it doesn’t mean that it must stay the same over the years.

In some companies, automatic yearly pay rises are part of the contract, practically rewarding employees for their loyalty. This is not the norm, though. Smaller, familiy-owned companies, are known for also taking the developments in their employees‘ private lives into consideration, offering raises in the event of marriages or arrival of children. HR managers of bigger companies with hundreds of employees, however, don’t have the same insight into the private lives of these and therefore assume that they are satisfied with their salaries as long as there are no signs to the contrary. But when is he best time to give those signs?

Most companies evaluate their employees yearly. After such an evaluation, does your supervisor tell you that he and the company are just as satisfied with your work as you are? Then, that is the ideal moment to ask for a discussion regarding your salary prospects. Be extremely well prepared for the actual meeting, no matter how positive your evaluation has been. Keep your calm and stay on topic while always highlighting with as many concrete examples as possible all the ways that you are valuable to the company. Ideally, your supervisor will agree with you, but don’t forget that, after all, you are attending a negotiation. And stay flexible, for your net monthly income could still increase, even if your salary stays the same.
You could walk away with a lot of other benefits. If your employer agrees, for example, to cover the cost of your phone contract, your commute or your private health insurance and pension plan, at the end of the month you will still be left with greater savings. Good luck!

Montag, 22. Juni 2015

Job Application via Online Form

Theoretically, people in search of work have great many options to choose from when they apply for a job, yet in reality, deciding how they do it is rarely left to them. Most employers have a preference, and while nowadays applications largely take place by electronic means, it’s not the same whether you send an email or fill out an online form.

Many job ads indicate what kind of application is favoured by the advertiser. Employment notices may even contain a direct link to an online form. If this is the case, job seekers are well advised to take this avenue. Otherwise, it’s highly possible that their applications won’t be taken into consideration when personnel managers choose the new staff members, and even though filling out a form might not be a feat, there are certain specifics that should still be borne in mind.

Application forms make finding promising job candidates easier. The standardised text fields enable personnel managers to get an overview of the applicants’ qualifications without much ado because the information provided this way is easier to analyse. In fact, in the case of long application processes, the choice is often narrowed down by software. Thus, using the right key terms and filling out all text boxes appropriately is of great importance. Since the number of characters one might type in is limited, selecting the essential information and phrasing your text correctly matters, too. Therefore, you should consider carefully which details are really relevant and which ones can be omitted without any problems. Take your time and read over passages thoroughly – you might even find spelling mistakes or typos that have to be eliminated.

Besides providing personal data and information about your education and career, filling out online application forms might include drawing up a motivational letter. Take this opportunity to describe why you are best suited for the post advertised and emphasize your incentive. Application forms give little scope for creativity per se – hence the major importance of formulating a captivating motivational letter.

In addition to filling out the application form, job seekers can often also upload certain documents to the website of the company. In doing so, attention should be paid to the size, the format and the name of the files. Last but not least, supply a serious email address for contact, and save the completed form on your hard disk before submission. That way, you’ll be able to check the information you provided later on which may come in handy when you prepare for the job interview.

Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2015

The perfect amount of vacation time

Vacation is important, no doubt about it. Both the employee and the employer benefit from a relaxed, rested and creative team tackling their everyday tasks. But what is the perfect amount of vacation time that one should take and can a vacation ever be to long?

When days get longer and hotter, we automatically start thinking about our next vacation. Be it at the beach or in the mountains, vacation time is sacred for most employees. Could it be related to our memories of the long-gone vacations we took with our parents? Fact is that the average vacation time has steadily decreased over recent years. It hovers around the one-week-mark. We take advantage of weekends and bridging days for short trips, while our parents used to take up to two, maybe even three weeks off in a row during those magical days of summer.

Reasons for this are many. Daily work routines have changed and it gets more and more challenging to draw a clear divide between work and play. Mobile phones and notebooks ensure that we are connected to our jobs practically all the time and everywhere. Thusly, we face a great temptation to take one more look at our inbox or to set up just one more meeting for when we get back to work.

Psychologists and practicioners of occupational medicine caution us, however, that those behaviours are wrong. Vacation should be a time to disconnect from work and just enjoy time without being on the clock. When else is there a better time to give our partners and spouses, children, family and friends our undivided attention? And wasn't there that book, that we always meant to read, but never actually found the time to do that? Or that exciting hobby we always wanted to try? Vacation couldn't be long enough!

Wrong again! If we take to much time off, we'll get out of synch with our established daily rhythm. On the flipside, if the vacation is to short, we won't rest enough. Therefore, experts recommend taking vacations of seven to ten days. This duration ensures the optimal recovery effect, while a longer one doesn't increase it further. There should, however, be two or three such vacations per year. In the meantime, we can fight the fatigue by enjoying small breaks from the work routine, time spent with our family, hobby or friends.  

Mittwoch, 27. Mai 2015

Finding the Right Job – The Key to Happiness?

Profession is a crucial factor in the life of each and every working individual. After all, employees spend a significant amount of time at their places of work. Day after day, they go to work and sit at their desks surrounded by their colleagues, completing tasks according to the instructions of their superiors. Thus, it’s only logical that one’s occupation also impacts other areas of his or her life. Yet does that also mean that getting your dream job equals to finding happiness?

Well, that would certainly make things a lot easier. Those who are unhappy would only have to determine what’s important for them and start searching for a post accordingly. Do you aspire after a job with a high chance of promotion or do you rather seek an artistic or academic career? Are income and benefits more relevant to you? Is it the company of nice and helpful co-workers, a good working climate or a boss who values effort and leaves space for personal development what you value most? Go ahead, then, and look for a job that suits you, but don’t expect to automatically attain happiness when you find one.

The factors listed above give you perspective and make everyday work more pleasant. Their lack conversely leads to frustration and discontentment. Thus, professional life influences your emotional state. Being satisfied with your work does contribute to happiness, but there is also more to it.

Your job only constitutes part of your life. How important it is depends strongly on your personality and your value system. All the same, other areas like private life, or family and friends, also have a certain significance. In order to attain absolute happiness, everything has to add up. So don’t focus solely on your job – find a balance instead.

Information Search – The Essential Requisite for Successful Job Interviews

Are you contemplating taking on a new job? Inform yourself about potential employers in advance, and you won’t blunder at the job interview.

Have you found a suitable position at last? It’d be really unfortunate to forfeit your chance at this point, then – especially because you can easily avoid it by doing research prior to the job interview. Thanks to the internet, reading up on potential employers and the company in question is quite easy, and can be accomplished rather swiftly. Consequently, showing up unprepared hints all the more at a lack of interest in the job. So, take time to find out who exactly offers you a job opportunity. Is it an individual enterprise or a large company? What can you learn about its structure? What about the business policy? Which strategies are embarked upon?

The corporate image and the self-presentation of the company give away a lot about the notions and ideals represented by the potential employer. If you take the trouble to gather information, it may prove advantageous at the job interview and help you make a good impression. By contrast, if you fail to acquaint yourself with the company, a single remark may prove fatal.

If you’d like to score as much brownie points at the job interview as possible, it isn’t enough to possess knowledge about the company structure and the business policy. Finding out the particulars of the job is also part of an excellent preparation. Which field of business the employer focuses on exactly and what the new employment would entail is worth knowing. Obtaining this information in time may also help you with the job application and with writing the motivational letter. Thus, information research is doubly useful, and it also increases your chances of reaching your goal considerably.

How to Hit the Mark with Your Application Letter

Cover letters constitute an important part of job applications. They are the first document personnel managers take in hand in order to get an idea of job seekers. If application letters don’t arouse interest, the whole application will be put aside. Thus, it is of prime importance how you phrase and fashion your cover letter.

Application letters are addressed directly to the recipient. Therefore, using the correct salutation and form of address is vital. The introductory paragraph follows immediately after the greeting. You may score points by formulating it originally instead of choosing boring, impersonal or standardised phrases like “I hereby apply”. Your desire hereof should become apparent when reading the subject of the cover letter. Consider how you can stir up curiosity when you start writing the cover letter. Coming straight to the point and clarifying why you would be an asset for the company is conductive. Furthermore, you can give the application letter a personal touch by stating your enthusiasm. Of course, you may also make mention of phone calls or other kinds of contact with the personnel manager.

First and foremost, cover letters serve one purpose – to state your motivation. Why would you like to work for the company in question? What makes you want to pursue this profession? Tailor your explanations to the requirements of the position you strive for, and detail how you can enrich the company. You should bring up experiences and competences, know-how and interests that are to your advantage, even if they aren’t mentioned explicitly in the employment ad. Nevertheless, caution is advised. Repeating what you state in your CV is redundant and superfluous.

Striking the right note in your application letter is essential. Choosing active verb forms and using comprehensible wording furthers your case. Don’t get off the track and be authentic instead of borrowing a cliché. That will help you to set yourself apart from other applicants. Take time to check your application letter – and also all the other application documents – for mistakes, and be mindful of the text structure and visual aspects. Don’t make the mistake of using the same cover letter for more applications. Personnel managers tend to notice if you don’t bother with adapting it – which impacts your application very negatively.

Montag, 16. März 2015

Working To Live Or Living To Work? - Prince Ea

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

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Dienstag, 10. März 2015

Career and Personal Life – How to Balance Both?

Private life and profession shape the life of each and every working person, but whether they affect it positively or not, depends on your ability to reconcile them. By creating an even-keeled balance, you ensure your success, happiness and satisfaction. In contrast, neglecting one of these areas of life leads to frustration and discontent.

Suppose you work overtime in order to finish a project. Next time, you stay longer because you don’t want to forfeit your chance of being promoted, until it slowly but surely becomes a habit or even an expectation. At this point, if you don’t continue to fill in you won’t only jeopardise your advancement but your job as well. Working too hard, however, occurs at the expense of the time you can spend with family and friends. Your job may make it impossible for you to relax and recover, which leads to frustration, fatigue, isolation and even more stress. This in turn impairs your performance. As a consequence, both your career and your personal life are affected negatively.

The opposite is also true, however. If all goes well at home, you do better in your profession. Therefore, the question that arises next is apparent: How can you balance your career and private life effectively? There is no easy answer, if only because each and every situation in life is different, but it’s already helpful if you think ahead. Consider what really matters to you. What kind of sacrifices are you ready to make in order to ensure it? Of course, it’s obvious that concentrating on your career means having less time off, but making sure you still have a private life doesn’t mean you have to give up your profession as such. You just pursue somewhat less ambitions in order to reconcile both areas of life, to strike a real, healthy balance.

There is one more fact that has to be brought to attention: work-life-balance is an ideal that can only be achieved temporarily. Even if you succeed in striking a balance between career and private life momentarily, one unexpected occurrence is enough to turn everything upside down. This, however, is no reason to despair. Occasionally neglecting this or that is not the end of the world. Just make sure it doesn’t happen in the long run.

Montag, 2. März 2015

Unsolicited Application – How to Do it Right?

The concept of unsolicited application is nowadays widely known. But how do you have to put in a speculative application in order to obtain the desired result? What distinguishes it from other application types and what are its benefits? These are the questions discussed below.

Like other application types, an unsolicited or speculative application aims at getting a job at a specific company. Instead of applying for an advertised position, however, you are the one who contacts potential employers in order to find work at the hidden job market. You take the initiative and make the first move by reaching out to the company.

There are different ways to do just that. You can choose to email your application or send it by post. Furthermore, many companies offer standardised application forms that can be filled out online. In most cases, it’s easy to find out which method potential employers prefer by taking a look at their website.

You’d be well advised to read up on these kind of details as well as on the company itself because a speculative application can’t be submitted without thorough consideration and diligent preparation. By making an unsolicited application, you state that you’d like to work for the company in question. In order to have a better chance of getting the desired job, you have to address your writing to a specific contact person, and not at the personnel department as such. The information you read up on helps you to determine who that person should be. You may also learn a lot about what the company distinguishes itself in and which concepts it values. Armed with this knowledge, it’ll be much easier to awaken interest and to state why you’re the one the company should employ.

By submitting an unsolicited application, you can avoid having to contend with a lot of competitors. If the application arrives at the right moment, it may lead to the desired outcome very quickly. Another advantage of speculative applications is that the decision whether you write a brief application or submit a complete application portfolio is up to you. That said, you should always keep in mind what is more suitable for the job in question. Finally, no matter which form of speculative application you decide upon, you have to adhere to the basic rules of drawing up the application papers at all times.

Job Application per Post – How to Do it Right?

If you’re hunting for a job or about to apply for the position you strive for, you surely wonder how best to go about it. What does it come down to? One of the determining factors is the decision how you try to obtain the job in question.

Regardless of whether you’ve found the right job advertisement or it’s an unsolicited application you plan to submit, there are three possibilities: you can post your job application dossier, send the necessary documents per email or fill out an online form on the website of the company.

Which way you best choose has to be decided ad hoc. If there are directions in the employment ad referring to this, you should adhere to them – otherwise, your application may be disregarded. If a potential employer provides an online form, you have to apply this way, even if this modus operandi isn’t pointed out specifically. By contrast, if the decision is up to you, you should consider which way of application is preferred in a particular line of work.

Naturally, the pros and cons of an application depend on what form it takes. On the one hand, applications per email are easier, faster and cheaper to send. On the other hand, it’s easier to leaf through printed documents and to size them up at one glance. The optical impressions they make also differ.

In the case of applications per mail, details matter a lot. The documents you post determine if you have a real chance of getting the job. The first impression counts – thus, your letter has to carry sufficient postage and the address must be written legibly on the envelope. If you’d like to appear to be a decent and respectable person, your dossier shan’t be crinkled, or contain spelling mistakes or typing errors. When designing the application documents, you should also keep in mind that they’ll be produced in hard copy. That doesn’t mean they can’t be fashioned inventively – but you should always consider what kind of impression a specific detail conveys.

Mittwoch, 7. Januar 2015

Job Application per Email – Be Mindful of Details

In this increasingly digitalized world, applications per email become more and more common. Still, even if you apply for a job this way, you have to use care when compiling and designing the necessary documents, and go over them carefully before you hit the “send” button. The same quality standards apply for email applications as for the ones by post. If you don’t even fulfil these requirements, you most certainly won’t get nearer to getting the job of your dreams.

Job applications of any kind are sent with the same goal in mind: to be selected for the desired position. Accomplishing that depends rather highly on whether your application documents convey an impression of professionalism and competence. This may only be the case if you bear in mind the same minimum quality standards that also apply for postal applications.

Email applications can’t teem with mistakes of any kind. While in the case of applications per post due regard to orthography is advised, in this case, it’s the clerical errors and typos that may be overlooked quite easily without checking your documents twice.

When applying online for a position, job seekers are also faced with other kinds of challenges. Sending your application from a professional email address that should be comprised of your first and last name is of great importance. The next step is phrasing the subject in a way that’s informative and accurate. Recipients should be able to recognise at a glance that the email in question is an application for a certain position and whether it’s in regard to an employment ad.

The text in your email has to be to the point and convincing – otherwise, potential employers won’t bother with taking a look at the attachments. These have to be provided with informative file names. In any case, you should limit the number of documents you enclose to a minimum, and, if possible, send your motivational letter, CV and the necessary certificates as a single PDF document. That way, the formatting will be retained and there shouldn’t be any problems with opening your application papers.

When applying for a job per email it’s also important that you contact the correct person. If the recipients aren’t in charge of hiring personnel, they’ll delete your application with one click. You should also make sure that you include your contact information. If it isn’t clear how to get in touch with you, your email will be discarded without further ado.