Mittwoch, 6. Dezember 2017

Digital nomads – a new way to work promises more freedom

The difference between young employees and the generations that came before them is represented through the values they believe in. They care less about status symbols and salaries and more about working with an added value.

The times when employees have been seeking their personal fulfilment mainly in their free time, by doing volunteer work or being active in associations, seem to be over. The boundaries between the working self and the leisurely self have been blurred during the last years, so that young employees expect their work to not only provide for them financially, but also to fulfil them. They aren’t willing to spend all their energy and creativity in boring office jobs anymore, they are looking for projects and tasks that have the potential to change the lives of others long-term. That is one of the main reasons for which more and more young people decide to become entrepreneurs, working on their own.

It figures that this change of attitude was spurred mainly by the start-up culture of tech companies. These are the best and most comprehensive examples for the fact that it only takes the right product or software to not only become wealthy, but also change the lives of millions. At this point, virtually no one could imagine life without social networks. Facebook is nevertheless not the result of some complicated production process, nor did it come from some conveyor belt. It’s the product of a student’s dream, that was developed and went online on a university campus and later took over the world. And that is only the most famous example. It’s the technological advancement that made the rise of digital nomads possible.

Because, besides wishing for fulfilling work, the representatives of the new generation also value their freedom greatly. 8 hour jobs are no longer their goal. That would be working where and when they feel good. It goes beyond home office, it’s about dividing their time freely in a way that allows them to spend enough of it on friends, family and own interests. And the internet gives them this possibility to work anytime and from wherever they want, basically from all over the world.

Will this new trend prevail and will we soon see employees freed from their offices and working from anywhere else instead? There is no answer to this question because no one can predict the future. Long-term, it seems more and more likely though that jobs will evolve to the point where employees have more opportunities for self-fulfilment. The classic nine to five job could soon be a thing of the past. 

Dienstag, 14. November 2017

Things to consider before deciding to work abroad

The current Jobswype poll underlines it again – working abroad is still attractive for a lot of people, even if they don’t represent the majority. The reasons are as different as the people themselves. Some get sent abroad by their own company, some move for love, some think they’ll find better working conditions and better pay than in their home country, while others simply like the adventure of it all. They are all facing a complicated and complex enterprise, that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Without taking into consideration all reasons, because that would be impossible, we’ll give you a brief overview of what to expect and where to pay attention.

Moving abroad is always a life changing decision, that can’t be taken easily. In order to minimize inconveniences as much as possible, you should start by gathering all available information about the situation and the conditions in the other country. Can you enter without complications or do you need a visa or a special working permit visa that is different from a touristic one? Do you have to prove that you own a certain amount of money? Citizens of the EU have it easier if they decide to move into another EU member state, but, as a general rule, every other state has their own rules and regulations regarding immigration. And one more thing – optimism is a good and helpful personality trait, but you should nevertheless know what you can expect from welfare in the foreign country of your choice in the unlikely event that you can’t find work or are injured. It could be a lot less than what you are used to from home.

Also of importance – what is the general situation of the job market in the foreign country? Are there professions where the demand outsizes the offer, is there a lack of professionals? If you work in one of those professions, you’ll have much better chances to find a new job. But even if that would be the case, it’d be pretty reckless to see yourself in the safe already. You aren’t used to the foreign system of job searching and don’t have any professional or social network to fall back on for advice or useful contacts. It can also be that life in the foreign country is ruled by different societal and cultural laws and standards. You must prove your intercultural competence. The first step: master the new language. Start taking lessons before you move, so that by the time you are in the foreign country, you’ll already be able to speak the language on a basic level. Informations about the cultural differences are usually also part of foreign language classes. You’ll know about them in advance, having the necessary time to adjust.

Montag, 23. Oktober 2017

The perfect photo for your job application

No application is complete without a good portrait photo. Although the trend coming from the USA is to renounce the photo in order to avoid any kind of discrimination based on looks, skin colour, etc., most European recruiters still expect one. If you invested a great amount of time in crafting the perfect application documents, you won’t want a bad picture to spoil your good prospects. We’ll share our pointers for taking better pictures.

 Make sure to be in good spirits and play your favourite song in the background or do anything else that gets you in a good mood. Your face won’t be able to hide a bad disposition and that, in turn, won’t make you look friendly, positive and in charge. Next step is to decide, what you want to communicate through your portrait – what kind of position are you applying for and what attributes that can be conveyed visually would make a good case for hiring you? There are a few camera tricks available. Are you applying for a managing position? Then the photo should be shot slightly downwards on you, from higher up. Are you applying for an executive position where they are looking for a congenial personality? In this case, the photo should be shot upwards, with the camera slightly down below. In both cases, don’t forget to smile, in the latter even brighter, so that your smile highlights your seriousness and competence, respectively your positive and warm personality.

Choose a neutral background for your photo. You know those pictures of people, whose shirt or blouse matches the print of the wallpaper behind them and makes them visually fade into the background? You’ll want to avoid that at all costs. Think about your mother’s advice and straighten your back. It won’t necessarily be visible in the photo, but your whole body language will change with a straight back and pulled back shoulders – you’ll look vital, optimistic and full of energy. And those are attributes every recruiter is looking for. The outfit that you wear should be professional above all. That obviously means no visible creases and stains. Think about whether you want the photo tob e coloured or monochrome – black and white looks very serious, colour on the other hand livelier and warmer. Choose according to the type of position you are applying for.

You still have that great photo from ten years ago? Put it in an album, not in your application! Even if it is your favourite photo of yourself, you should still always use a new one. They will know the difference, at the latest at the job interview and it won’t make you look good. “But it’s hard to take a good portrait photo!” you’ll say. True. That’s why we saved the best advice for last – let a professional do it. In a studio, a professional photographer will be able to get the best out of your portrait.

Things to pay attention to in job ads

It’s been said that career networks are gaining more and more importance in regards to finding suitable, available jobs, the loser being classic media. Or that headhunters are on the lookout and snap up good employees. There is some truth to it, as the run of newspapers declines steadily and as job seekers prefer to look online. It’s also at least partially true that some openings aren’t even advertised to the public, as employers rely on recommendations. Still, job ads remain the number one recruiting tool – you’re most likely to find your new job reading them. But do you know what makes a job ad good? After all, the company advertises itself through it. Read on to find out what the differences are and what you should definitely pay attention to.

Let’s agree on something right at the start – ads which promise you a big salary which, in turn, isn’t at all proportionate with the number of working hours are a scam and you should stay away from them. A good job ad is always realistic. Just as your application portfolio tells the employer all there is to know about you at this stage, a good job ad tells you e erything you need to know about your potential employer and the advertised job. You should expect to find information about the company, the open position, the expected qualifications, the application process and the salary. But let’s talk about each of those.

From the company description, you can take away some basic data, like the name of the company, the industry and its position within. You’ll know right away whether it’s a small family business or an international conglomerate. Next, you’ll find out about the actual job – what will be your tasks and how much responsibility are you supposed to take, but also what qualifications are expected from you. Pay a great deal of attention to the wording of the ad, because some of those key words should also be in your application. And apropos of qualifications – they can be twofold: must-qualifications and should-qualifications. The second category includes qualifications your employer would consider a bonus, but which are not indispensable. Should you meet the criteria of the must-qualifications, apply asap! The ad also tells you about your future salary, but most of the time with the addendum that your actual pay depends on direct negotiations. Companies sometimes mention other applicable bonuses, like gym memberships or public transport cards. The ad usually ends with some quick information about the duration of the application process and a contact person for future questions.
If the job ad you’re reading looks like the one described above and you also meet all the requirements therein, then don’t overthink it and send your application out quickly!

Sonntag, 27. August 2017

This is how you’ll get a promotion for a managing position

You are new in your job, just started working and want to reach the stars? Be in a managing position in a few years? At first, for many it may look like (good) bosses possess a special gene or some extraordinary personality traits. The truth is, they have put in vast amounts of work and also had a little bit of luck. Sadly, we can’t provide you a blueprint of how to be promoted to a managing position. We can, however, provide a few starting points that will set you on the right path. Let’s get started!

1. Build a strong professional network. By building and maintaining a strong professional network, you will find like-minded individuals that are able to relate to your challenges and worries and provide you with good advice and, most importantly, mentors. They have already arrived at the point that you want to get to in a few years and can not only give you good advice, but also point out opportunities for you that you’ve had otherwise ignored. Regularly attend (social) events from your line of work (talks, seminars, fairs etc.) and befriend the right people.

2. Always stay up to date.  A good boss always sets a good example for the team that they are leading. This means that they have to stay up to day with all news and developments pertaining to their field of work, so that they are able not only to help out their underlings in moments of need and provide solutions, but also to give new impulses. It’s only possible, if they’ll actively keep themselves up to date with news, new developments and new methods. Start doing this right now and your superiors will definitely notice and appreciate your effort and dedication. In turn, you’ll be on their radar come promotion time.

3. Don’t forget the basics of your job. You want to be the referee without knowing the rules of the game? In the same way, in order to lead a team, you must be aware of every and each detail and procedure of your daily work. Don’t be afraid to learn from other colleagues and don’t shy away from new tasks and new (and increased) responsibilities. Without solid experience, you just aren’t ready for a managing position.

4. The qualities of a manager. You won’t find the one quality of a manager, because oft he differences between positions, domains and companies. If you nevertheless are reliable, a good communicator, ready to take on responsibility and self-reflected, you are on the right way.

Mittwoch, 9. August 2017

This is how you’ll survive the hottest days at the office – the best advice against the heat

Summer also brings high temperatures with it, not even at during the night do we feel any relief. We don’t really mind all that during the summer vacation, but it can get tiring really fast during office time. When outside temperatures reach 30 or 35 degrees, it isn’t much cooler inside either. A/C units aren’t a standard yet and employers aren’t bound by law to send employees home during heatwaves. They only have to provide bearable working conditions. Seeing that companies don´t just close down their business during summer and send their employees on a vacation, here are a handful of suggestions that can make your life easier working during a summer heatwave.

1. Ventilate the office in the morning. Open all the widows in the morning, when you get to your office and let in the fresh, cool morning air before it gets hot. Then close all the windows, because later having them open won’t help at all, as only the hot air circulates. Close the windows and make use of blinds or curtains. This will keep the office protected from direct sunlight and hopefully keep the heat away as well.

2. Use a ventilator. A ventilator is no A/C unit, but it can still help cooling you down, as it supports the evaporation of sweat from your skin. But beware - point it at your forehead or neck and you’ll maximize your chances to get a cold or some sore back and neck muscles and headaches. It’s better to point the ventilator at your upper body.

3. Choose the right clothing. Wear light-colored and airy clothes made from natural fibers. They let your skin breathe and keep your body safe from overheating.

4. Drink lots of liquids. You know the rule: an adult should drink about two litres per day. During heatwaves, your body loses much more humidity than usual, so you should adjust your intake accordingly and drink up to twice as much. Don’t neglect to stay properly hydrated, as it can have all sorts of bad consequences, like headaches and drops in concentration. Stay away from caffeinated or alcoholic beverages and add water to fruit juices.

5. Cool yourself down. Place cooling pads on the nape of your neck or on your legs, as they will make the heat more tolerable. Same goes for the following trick: place your wrists under running, cold tapwater and keep them there for a few minutes. Another clever idea is filling up a spray bottle with green tea, cooling it and then using it to moisten your face and neck every now and then – try it, it’s incredibly refreshing!

6. Begin work sooner. If you can’t beat the heat, get out of it’s way! Talk with your supervisor about switching up your working hours and begin to work sooner in the morning. This way, you’ll get the best of both: working and being productive during the cooler morning hours and enjoying summer somewhere in the shade, with a drink in your hand during the afternoon. 

Dienstag, 27. Juni 2017

These jobs are future proof

Choosing the right career path and profession will be – again, as every year -  a familiar plight for a lot of young people and their respective parents, who want to make sure their offspring chooses wisely. Suddenly, becoming a popstar, a football player, a princess, a ballerina or a train conductor give way to more realistic options, based on individual talents and interests. School helped get here as well, by offering the opportunity for career days, counselling and internships. Next to personal talents and financial security, the actual offers and opportunities delivered by the job market are also of utmost importance. We’ll try to look into the future and consult our very own crystal ball to tell you, which jobs are future proof. The list below is no ranking.

1. Technical professions – there’s always going to be a need for good engineers, because regardless whether we want to produce clean energy, build more efficient means of transportation or send manned missions to outer space or the deepest bottom of our oceans, we’ll have to rely on them finding brilliant solutions.

2. IT – informational technology is already an important part of our everyday lives and that is very unlikely to change. Programmers, system administrators, network engineers etc. will keep on making sure that we, the regular user, have the easiest time using technology. And answering all of our ignorant questions.

3. Architects – the number of people living on Earth is increasing every day and with it increases the need for answers regarding the intelligent use of living spaces. New, eco-friendly and sustainable cities will develop, planned by a whole new generation of great architects.

4. Tourism, wellness, gastronomy – Good news for people willing to make their career in the field of services , be they on the administrative side of businesses or working directly as cooks, waiters, receptionists, cosmeticians or masseuses – we’ll be more than happy to use their services in the future as well.

5. Healthcare – We live longer than our ancestors because healthcare gets better and better. Still, after a certain age, we need our regular maintenance check-ups. And since there will be more and more senior citizens in the future, doctors won’t go out of business.

Dienstag, 6. Juni 2017

New approaches in recruiting

Gone are the days, when the hopeful candidate would read through hundreds of newspaper want ads. Since the internet became a second home to all but a few, searching for a job also happens mostly online. User can rely on the offer of big, generalist job portals, but also smaller ones that specialize on only one specific field of work and which offer decisive job seekers the fastest way to their new employment. Most advantageous in recruiting are job search engines like Jobswype because they gather results from virtually all available online sources. Social media has also increasingly become a threat for traditional print. Read on to find out how companies react to these developments and how they approach jobseekers.

Online offers are increasingly more popular. 90% of the respondents to an online poll conducted by Jobswype on European level in March 2017 said, they would search for jobs only online. Companies reacted to this trend, as evidenced by a 2015 statistic from – 95,6% use online job portals for recruitment purposes.

In order to get the best possible results, companies try to publish their want ads as far reaching as possible. Generalist job portals offer them more than enough outreach, but also increase the potential for unqualified applications. Specialized portals, on the other hand, speak directly to their intended audience. One other significant advantage for companies offered by job portals – built-in applicant tracking systems, which take over the administration of all received applications and help the company save time and money. We have already listed the reasons why these systems are advantageous for applicants as well.

The actual success of the want-ads is also influenced by the use of online medium adequate wording and layout. Online ads are no in-house-ads. They shouldn´t exceed 200-300 words, while still being very precise, so as to optimize the feedback and reduce the numbers of unqualified applications. The job title should be as close as possible to the actual profession to reduce confusion amongst the applicants.

As we’ve seen, companies that use the right tools are able to reach potential, highly qualified applicants just where they are spending most of their time – online. Still want proof? Just take a look at the career and job sections of the online version of your newspaper of choice, a good illustration for the saying „If you can’t beat them, join them“.

Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017

When computer programmes determine your application success

You’ve surely already asked yourself what exactly happens with your application papers inside the company while you are waiting for the callback for the job interview. How exactly do the people from HR manage to go through all those mountains of documents? How long does it take them to figure one candidate out, based solely on the information she or he has provided? Are their desks swamped with papers? The truth is that most big companies rely on the services of so-called application tracking systems (APS). Read on to find out what these are and what it all means for your future applications.

 The term ATS refers to different software solutions, which, simply put, help companies administrate impressive numbers of received applications. The process of registering and filing away application documents, as well as sending out written confirmations to the candidates, becomes a fully automatic one. ATS often also do a first selection of suitable candidates. This means that your success is determined, at first at least, by a machine. Scared? Those opposed to technical solutions will say that the application process thusly becomes even more impersonal, a tendency that they spot in all circumstances where there’s some form of IT involved. But look at the situation from another angle – software doesn’t have any prejudices or personal likes and remains as objective as possible. And think about the sheer amount of applications that are sure to turn up for any good position. It’s only logical that working through them without any technological help takes a lot of time and makes the whole application process longer. You surely don’t want to wait for months to get an answer. You’d rather now as soon as possible whether you have a shot at the vacant position or not.

Now that you know all this, you can change your application documents accordingly to maximize your success. Keep in mind that ATS, much like regular search engines, look for some specific key words in your documents, which give an impression of your qualifications and skills. Read the wording of the job ad carefully and you’ll be able to spot these and use them in your application. Avoid using lots of pictures and logos that could confuse the software and keep it classic. The same has to be said about your language – software, as opposed to a human being, isn’t able to read between the lines in order to determine whether the candidate has the required skills and qualifications. Humans can, on the other hand, overlook simple typos, but a machine can’t. Don’t allow it to come to that. It would be regrettable if one or more of your qualifications weren’t accounted for, just like you didn’t have them, because of a typo. It could end up costing you the job interview. 

Dienstag, 18. April 2017

Constant availability at work and ist effects on you

Does the following sound familiar? You’re already at home, relaxing on your couch and enjoying your free time when suddenly your phone rings: it’s your boss with the newest input regarding the project that you are working on. A new idea or some new piece of information (at least that’s the explanation you are getting) that just couldn’t wait another second, certainly not until the next day. No big deal, as you are tempted to think, you’ve only lost five minutes. And having a cellphone is all about constant availability anyway, isn’t it? Is this the new normal in your professional life and are there really no consequences for you?

Modern technology is, again one might say, both a blessing and a curse. Everybody owns at least a PC or notebook and most households have been conquered by tablets and smartphones alike. The Internet can be accessed anytime and virtually anywhere. The sum of available social networks and apps is ever growing, just as the number of their users. As a direct result, we are constantly available. Which sounds fine – family and friends can reach out to us anytime and we can plan things together. The flipside is that the same goes for bosses and colleagues. The temptation level is high. We know that we can access our work email account anytime, so we do it. Maybe just to make sure that we didn’t forget anything, but more often than not also to finish stalled tasks. Before we know it, we get used to being available for work anytime. And not only for bosses, but also for colleagues or clients that just have one thing to clear up.

Which employees are most likely to agree to blur the lines between office hours and personal free time? Most of them are younger and therefore used to the current conditions of the job market, which include temporary employment and smaller wages. At the same time, they are also the first generation that grew up being connected. It’s no stretch to them to work on some easy tasks during evening hours or the weekend. They are eager to keep their jobs. Overambitious employees, who never want to make any mistakes, are also amongst those that are constantly available, especially if they work in small companies with few colleagues, but many tasks and great responsibility.

The consequences are unsurprising: fatigue, being overworked, arguments with life partners, who are not always understanding when their significant other spends big chunks of his or her free time working or is just plain too tired for any activity on holidays. Which leads to not recharging one’s batteries enough, by the way. That’s why we advise you to pay great attention to your work-life-balance. Don’t forget that the legal restrictions regarding the maximum amount of working hours per day are there for a reason. In order to function properly in your chosen profession, you need your free time as well. It’s less of a privilege, actually quite the contrary – it’s a must.

Freitag, 24. März 2017

The basic principles of good networking

Good relationships, be they business or private, never hurt anybody. Especially in business it’s important to surround oneself with likeminded individuals. It still holds true, however, that successes based solely on good relationships are somewhat frowned upon, but we should nevertheless ask ourselves: How likely is it really that that particular co-worker got his or her promotion or higher pay only because of who he or she knows and not based on competencies and good results? Ideally, one should have both: be competent and have a good professional network. Read on to find out how to successfully build one!

Are you still new to the workforce and have no idea about who should be part of your network? Star of by knowing that there are two categories of people of importance for you: the ones having roughly the same career goals as you and the ones who have already reached those goals. With the former, you can exchange ideas about the daily difficulties and challenges in your job and gain some new insights and possible solutions. Furthermore, you’ll stay close to all the new developments in your field of work and gain valuable information about the working conditions in other companies, about payment levels and new trends. Come to an understanding with all participants that everything discussed will be considered off the record and you won’t have to worry about power plays or double crossings. People from the latter category – the ones that have already reached the goals you’ve set out to accomplish as well – may become mentors and designate you as their successor. Not the worst prospects, are they?

Until it comes to that however, you will have to gain the trust of the others. To some people it comes naturally, as their social skills are extremely developed. How they do it? Not only through perfect smalltalk. Good networkers instinctively know that they have to start by offering some tips and good advice themselves. Are you able to provide support either through referrals to good contacts, through practical advice or good ideas? Very well then, in return you can expect the same. Special networking events or congresses in your field of work offer he perfect setting for meeting interesting people.

Don’t forget about the rules for good communication and brush up on your small talking skills. Show your counterpart that they are important to you by attentive listening, intelligent questions and positive and open body language. Don’t head into one of these events unprepared, as you will risk getting stuck in small talk. To make a lasting impression however, you should strive to get beyond that. Always take an appropriate amount of business cards with you and develop a system for dealing with the ones others will hand out to you. One example would be to put the cards of interesting people in your right pocket and uninteresting ones in your left. Your counterpart won’t notice anything, but it will make your life a lot easier once you have to sort through them all after the event.

Still not sold on the importance of good networking? Think about these words of wisdom: Relationships are only bad to those who don’t have any.

Freitag, 17. Februar 2017

How to master public presentations

“What if I won’t be able to say a single thing?“ – should the thought of giving a public presentation cause you to break a sweat, rest assured.You are not alone. Even the most experienced speakers still experience some form of jitters before taking the stage. They say that it actually makes them perform better. In your job, you are sure to be faced a lot of times with the task to give a presentation, be it in front of colleagues or an external audience. Read on to find out how you can master it.

The most important thing is knowing your subject. That’s the starting point of your research, during which you’ll gather as much data as needed. So far, so theoretical. Practically, the duration and extent of your research depend on your audience and the duration of your presentation – of course you’ll need more data for a 30-minute-speech compared to a 10-minute one. And an expert audience expects more depth than one composed of laymen. Whatever data you will use in your presentation, make sure one thing – that it’s always accurate.

Next up, you should check the technical aspects pf your location – most places will provide a screen and a projector, at the least. And there’s a good reason for that, too – in order to write down some ideas on a black- or whiteboard, you’d have to turn your back to the audience.  But people will follow your word much better if you keep eye contact. Your ideas have another written form – thanks to your office software, they will be projected on the screen behind you in the form of slides. Be careful about creating and editing those slides – as a rule of thumb, keep them as simple as possible and don’t overstuff them with either too many unnecessary pictures and graphs, or too many different fonts and animations. They will only wear your audience out and take away their attention from your presentation. And you always want to grab and hold the audience’s attention. There are a few tricks for that:

1. Use a joke or a personal anecdote as your starting point and you’ll hook your audience right from the start. Starting with thanking them for being there doesn’t exactly show off your creativity.

2. Does it seem to you, that you are talking just a bit slower than you usually would have? Great, that means that you have found the perfect speaking rhythm for your audience. Speak up clearly, don’t forget to pause every now and then and modulate your voice. A monotone voice will put your audience to sleep.

3. Always give your audience good visual examples to underscore your points and to make rather abstract facts and figures palpable to them.

Studies show, nevertheless, that even the most engaging presentation will get tiresome at some point, as the audience’s interest level drops after roughly 45 minutes. That’s why your presentation should never exceed this time limit. 

Montag, 23. Januar 2017

Keeping deadlines – it’s all about the right steps

Do you sometimes wonder, how your career role models or some of your colleagues seem to make keeping their deadlines appear to be a piece of cake, while you are under time pressure most of the time? The good news - there are studies proving that most of people only reach peak productivity under time pressure. Your colleagues obviously fall in the same category. That they keep their cool while doing it and don’t let stress get the best of them is likely due to some sound principles, which they are following. Read on to find out all about those.

1. Don’t be afraid to say „No”. You have enough tasks for two, but because you are such a model employee, your boss wants to give you yet another one. If you agree to it on the spot, you’ll probably make a big mistake as you won’t have any more time to accomplish all that is asked of you. It’s a better idea to politely decline and tell your boss about your lack of time. If he really wants you to take on the new task, he should first free you from some other one.

2. Find out what is exactly expected from you. What is the exact result that you have to reach? If the description isn’t clear enough for you and leaves you with further questions, ask them. It will help you determine whether you have enough time to take on the task and are able to meet the desired deadline. Keep your estimate realistic and don’t hold back, should you think that you need more time. At this point, the deadline might still be flexible and your opinion can be taken into consideration.

3. Write down all agreed dates. If you and your supervisor have reached an agreement about the final deadline, write it down somewhere, ideally in a place that you can always see. The simple fact that you can see the deadline marked in your calendar is already enough to boost your motivation.

4. Split up the task in several steps. You know the end result of your task and you know the timeframe you have at your disposal to reach it. Think about the task and split it up in smaller steps with their own deadlines. You set these for yourself. The good feeling you get from accomplishing each step will keep you going until you reach the desired goal.

5. Always plan for a buffer. According to an old saying, everything takes twice as much time as planned. Well, generally it won’t quite come to that, but unforeseen things can happen all the time. Plan accordingly and always leave room, so that these unforeseen events are accounted for.

And should it really happen that, despite your best planning, you can’t meet the agreed deadline, we advise you to tell your supervisor as soon as possible. Together, you can take all the necessary measures to minimize the negative impact.

Montag, 9. Januar 2017

Get a good start at the office in the new year

Holidays aren’t completely over yet, so many of you will still be vacationing. The second week of January, at the latest, will see you back at the office, though – a new year filled with new projects, challenges and success stories awaits! Maybe it is going to be the year that sees you getting that coveted promotion, the pay raise that you’ve worked for so hard or the big assignment that is going to show your superiors that you deserve both. To achieve all this, you should start your new year at the office in stride. Here are our suggestions!

1. Don’t plan too many tasks on your first day back at work. If possible, don’t immediately go off to the most important meetings. Not only will you find it rather hard to snap back into full productive mode after two weeks of relaxation, but, with all other things thrown at you at the office (read the next sentence), you’ll risk losing track of your schedule and thusly getting stressed out. It’s best if you start by reading through all the messages you might have got during your time away from the office and setting your priorities for the next days accordingly. And allow for some down time with the colleagues to exchange holiday impressions.

2. Review the past year with all things good and bad. What turned out to be a success at work and what didn‘t work exactly as it should have? Remember that there are always wins, as well as losses. By remembering all important milestones of the past year, you can achieve a balanced view and learn from the good, as well as from the bad. What new skills and strengths did you discover about yourself and how can you best further develop and implement those into your work routine? Be honest with yourself and you will find that it will only benefit you!

3. Prepare for the yearly performance review. The balanced view of the past year that you have achieved earlier is, at the same time, the best preparation for the yearly performance review. Many companies schedule these conversations close to the beginning of the new year. For you, this will be a good opportunity to find out how much the company and your superiors value your contributions. And the best opportunity to negotiate or at least mention possible pay raises and promotions. You have done the homework and have practical examples from the past year to plead your case!

4. Don’t forget about your resolutions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a healthier diet, more physical activity, giving up smoking or just staying more calm than last year – start doing those things right on your first day. Otherwise you’ll soon be trapped again in your old habits and might come to regret it next year.