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.