Parental leave is technically a basic human and citizen right, but its paid forms are becoming more and more of a luxury in the current work field. It usually falls on employers whether they want to offer an extended paid parental leave, and since many small and medium companies are already struggling to survive on the harsh market, very few of them are generous in this department. [Read more…]
The paradise of employer sponsored health insurance for otherwise insured spouses is reaching its end. If up until this moment, the spouse of a well-insured person was happy to enjoy some of the benefits which came from their partner’s health insurance, this won’t be such an affordable option anymore. The newest healthcare trends in the world of insurance business are moving towards making employers refuse to extend their insurance plans to their employee’s spouses, due to a new spousal surcharge. [Read more…]
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Are you interested into trying your hand to some small-scale investments of your personal finances? That’s a wonderful way to expand your portfolio and personal expanses. Even higher education facilities such as the Harvey Mudd college offer ROI for their students and investors. First of all, you should know that’s a very good idea, since your personal earnings can only get you so far. Second of all, the world of investments may seem a little intimidating at first if you’re a beginner, but we will walk you through the basics of what you need to know. Today’s post will give you all the required details about the return on investment (ROI), the ROI formula and all you need to know about using a ROI calculator. [Read more…]
A recent Payscale article about the top college ROI rate among our nation’s universities ranks Harvey Mudd College as first first place. The ROI (or college return on investment) rate basically serves as an index on how worthwhile college debt is based on typical earnings following graduation. On average, Harvey Mudd offers the most lucrative degrees in higher education. That means that following graduation from most degrees or programs offered at this school (they also possess a graduation rate of 91%), graduates should expect to earn a high enough wage to be able to pay back college debt quickly while still enjoying a comfortable life style. [Read more…]
The job recruitment process is about to get a lot easier with Switch, the new employment app that allows employers to review candidates a lot faster and simply swipe right if they’d like to connect with them. The prospective job candidates need to swipe right as well if they’re interested in the job, so the process really works both ways, just like Tinder does for the dating scene. This iOS mobile app also guarantees the user’s anonymity until they decide to connect with the user on the other end of the line. All in all, this just might succeed in changing the employment application process considerably. Let’s take a look at how Switch works and how it could impact employers and prospective employees. [Read more…]
In this ever changing working world, being present in a physical work location seems to matter less and less. Last year’s statistics showed that a powerful global trend of switching from the traditional working hours to flexible working opportunities with Generation Y employees openly asking for flexi time rather than for higher pay. Earlier this year, an article on Blogging4Jobs emphasized the fact that even company managers perfered this shift in work hours. Companies created more and more remote teams, offered more flexible work hours, and choose technology to virtually lead their companies. Additionally, technology was used to keep in touch with everybody and measure results. The focus of employers has shifted from higher pay and promotions towards keeping employees happy, engaged, and support so that they may deliver the best results.
This is why recent data show that almost 15 millions of Americans have chosen flexible working hours over traditional working schedules. When they deliver the results is crucial but where they deliver them from doesn’t matter anymore. So if you are being seduced by the perspective of working from home as part of a new remote team, but you’re still bound to your traditional ways of going to the office no matter what, here are five reasons why you should opt for flexible working hours.
1. Flexible Work Hours Offer a Better Balance Between Professional and Personal Life
This is the big drama everybody complains about: in truth, work hours aren’t limited from 9 to 5. People have complained about work cutting in to their personal lives for years as they are almost suffocated by their jobs. Many people who chose flexible work hours do so they may gain more time for themselves and for their families.
2. Flexible Work Hours Relieve Workplace Stress
It’s good to go to work every day. Sometimes it can be also be fun. But, choosing flexible working hours means not having to endure annoying coworkers face to face anymore. You won’t have your boss coming up from behind you three times a day. The shenanigans of daily morning/evening nerve breaking traffic, interminable face-to-face meetings and those dead moments in a day when there is little or no work to be done aren’t there either. Working in remote teams that stay connected through technology means efficiency and time management are of essence. While you can be a rock-star programmer working from home, nobody will have a clue that you deliver incredible results wearing only pajamas.
3. Flexible Work Hours Will Give You Your Own Rhythm
Some people hate the drudgery of having to wake up and work in the morning. Others fail at almost everything they do when having to work after the lunch hours. This kind of flexibility will allow you to find your own working rhythm. If you are a morning person, finishing your daily tasks at lunch allows you to go to the gym, take the kids from school or even cook dinner for the whole family. If you’re more productive at night, you won’t have a manager scolding you for being late again in the morning.
4. Flexible Work Hours Allow You To Engage in Your Favorite Activities Once More
Flexible work hours basically buy you time for everything you want to do. Be it arts and crafts hobbies, sports, writing, watching movies or playing with the dog in the back yard; as long as you deliver your results in due time with due proficiency, nobody will question your choice of going to those dancing lessons three times a week starting at four o’clock in the afternoon. And because you set your own time limits, you can also go to those medical check-ups you have postponed for far too long.
5. You may get an extra freelance job
You can do everything you want on the side, provided you’re committed to your company and you give 110% to your job. But in those extra free hours you can start getting involved in personal side projects which can monetize at some point. Or, you could even learn new things.
There are even more good reasons for choosing flexible working hours. Before that, be sure you are aware of all the drawbacks this choice entails. Test yourself to see if you’re up to it.
Sometimes it seems that the HR world and the employee world are completely different and opposing sides, even if they meed daily in the company’s offices. There are tons of literature addressing HR specialists and a double amount of data addressing the employees, and yet it seems that this information doesn’t correlate and doesn’t make things better. A recent article published by HR News Daily speaks about 7 capital sins any good HR manager should avoid making and today we will take a look at these mistakes made by the HR manager and try interpreting them from the employee’s point of view, as if the said manager unknowingly keeps doing those mistakes, it’s your task to put a stop to them, for your own benefit.
1. The HR manager makes performance evaluations only once a year
And what’s it to you, you may ask, as nobody likes these evaluations anyway, nobody wants them and everybody fears them. Your benefit from multiple and repeated evaluations throughout a year comes from the fact that if you are a talented employee, your results contributed to the company’s overall performance and you had some good ideas to push the company forward, the HR manager should know about these achievements and evaluate talent, skills, development and engagement. And these evaluations are not only good for you, but for the company as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for more than just an evaluation a year (unless you’re the sloppy one in the bunch running away every time annual performance assessment comes to town).
2. The HR manager plays the role of the monster under the bed and the unforgiving deity all at once
Good HR strategies involve communication, transparent exchange of facts, openness, reliable feed-back and so on. Bad, sinful HR strategies can be narrowed down to the HR manager coming over the employees like a hawk, delivering a monologue about everything that is going bad and should be improved, placing some threats, bashing people around and instilling fear in the hearts of the innocents. That’s why nobody likes the HR people. If this is the case in your company, you should take a stand and openly talk about all these problems. The HR manager is there to nurture talent, support the people in doing things better, to communicate with the employees, listen to them and find solutions to all the issues. Playing the power card is one of the biggest mistakes made by the HR manager and you should try to put a stop to, not by complaining around, but by constructively making points backed up by facts, figures and other companies’ examples.
3. The HR manager takes rumors and gossip into account when evaluating
Now this one is one of the worst mistakes made by the HR manager and you should proactively try to draw their attention over this harmful attitude and behavior. The HR manager’s role is to support the human resources, to back them up, find improvement means for their performance and work to build and maintain the employees’ engagement towards the company. Hearing that John from Accountants is lazy and does a poor job should be not enough to take actions against John. Rumors and gossip are quite hard to eradicate from a company, so everybody hears everything about the others, with the usual “I work more and better than the rest of you” routine. So it can happen to you what it happened to John and this is inadmissible. Try to talk the HR manager into studying the facts, the numbers, the statistics and the concrete information on somebody’s performance, not only to sum – up the co – workers complains, gossip and corner whispers in the cafeteria. If you want to stay in that company and do a good job, this HR sin should be constructively pointed out and eliminated.
Easier to be said than done, isn’t it? Shouldn’t it be better to let the HR manager read all the specialist advice out there while you stay out of this business? Perhaps, but HR managers are also humans, just like you, and just as they can give you feedback, point out your mistakes and share their opinions on your performance, so can you.
Being an entrepreneur in today’s challenging economy (to say the least) is no easy feat, especially for the ones who want to start fresh and don’t know much about what they are getting themselves into. Without intending to demoralize anyone, we have to mention that many new ventures faced failure because a whole range of reasons which have a lot to do with the ever – changing and unpredictable landscape of our national (and even global) economy and, no matter how harsh this sounds, with the entrepreneur’s inability to see the big picture and build a back-up plan to overcome all possible obstacles. Specialists fill in countless numbers of online and written pages with countless of advice focused on new entrepreneurs, highlighting the fact that a good idea doesn’t always translate into a good, profitable business. So today we will see some entrepreneurial mistakes that can cost you the business, even if you’re planning to open a restaurant in your neighborhood or build an online store with hand – made products, the principles are the same.
You don’t assess well the business plan
Many new entrepreneurs have a good idea, sometimes original, many times put in practice already and viable (in the case of others) and start building a business plan around that idea. Opening a cafe or a restaurant in an area where there are few or none looks like a brilliant idea, one that cannot miss. But a business plan, as you already know, means assessing all variables, obvious and hidden, making extensive and complex calculations, financial projections, risk – assessment, positive and negative projections and so on. Doing a business plan on a model is one thing, testing your business model is another one. You can hire a specialist to analyze your business plan or evaluate it with SCORE or other tools available for small enterprises to see where you might get wrong and where your projections don’t match the reality.
You don’t save enough money for back – up
This is a common mistake many people do: they invest everything they have in a business or worse, they get themselves into serious debts that have to be paid at some point, while the business is still growing and not making a profit. Before starting anything, make sure that you have financial reserves to sustain the business at least for two years, until it becomes profitable. Many entrepreneurs fail because they invest and invest and get stuck because the lack of money to roll. Perhaps the business model you rely on shows you are going to make a profit in the next three months, but being prepared for the unpredictable is just good strategy. Entrepreneurial mistakes that can cost you time, money and even your health consist in not having a back – up plan even when everything looks perfect on paper.
You are not committed to your business 110%
If you believe that a start-up or a growing enterprise is something you can get yourself involved into a few hours a day, you start on a wrong path. Having your own business sounds great in movies, where the main character has a full time job and manages to become a millionaire working from time to time for his own venture. Reality is that you will have to dedicate your business your entire time and efforts, and then some. Successful ventures need dedication, no matter if you have to spend all your days and nights in your restaurant or every given weekend for creating hand – made jewelry. If your personal life style doesn’t comply with the true requirements of managing your own business, the people you hired, the money you’re rolling and the time needed to strengthen your position on the market of choice, maybe you need to re-evaluate your future as a successful entrepreneur.
Before jumping at the opportunity of making money fast and easy, look around you, identify the successful businesses that seem to be solid and profitable and ask advice from people who are already playing this game with ease. Of course, one business model doesn’t resemble another and copying exactly a plan might be a very wrong idea, but asking for advice and learning from others’ mistakes is a good start to avoid the most common entrepreneurial mistakes that make the difference between a successful venture and a money pit.
Learning to work in a team! The holy Grail of all HR consultants, organizational psychologists, managers, team leaders and employees alike. There are online studies and articles and research in this field to fill the Library of Congress and there would still be room for some more. And apparently, there is room for more, as even in today’s world, characterized by endless resources and access to information, the problem of turning individuals in team – players is still very hot, for human resources specialists, executives and the working force. We sad it before and we will say it again, becoming a better employee means becoming a better you.
The issue has been analyzed from all possible angles and, while some experts consider it is the manager’s job to employ strategies so that the employees end up working better and more efficiently together, others consider it’s the employee’s holy mission of making the other colleagues work better with him or her. While many recruitment processes include personality tests digging up for team – oriented players, there are also humongous quantities of tips and advice on how you, as an employee, should find the best strategies to employ for becoming a better team player. In other words, before trying to change the others, you should start working on yourself.
1. Know yourself and the people you are working with
This sounds like a no – brainer, but you’d be surprised to know how many people go through life and through jobs without knowing the essentials about who they are and who are the people they are working with. Knowing and understating exactly what are your and the others’ attributions, roles, capacities, skills, limitations and job descriptions is the first step. Knowing what can turn your nice colleague into a blood thirsty conflictual monster is another. You don’t need extended psychology classes to learn how to manipulate others to do their jobs or avoid conflict, but being aware of what motivates, depresses or pushes the others is only reasonable.
2. Don’t expect the problem to go away by itself
Many managers complain that their employees do a lousy job working as a team, which endangers the company’s results to some end. Why aren’t they functioning like a team? Maybe they don’t get along so well, maybe they are opposite personalities clashing daily, maybe they don’t have the same goals. As a manager, there are a lot of things to be done here. But as an employee belonging to such a team, things can get difficult. If you realize that you people have problems with one another, then do something about it and solve them. Never let a conflict, a failure, a drawback, a personal issue or a fight pass without a closure or a resolving. People are prone to find guilty parties and patsies, to pass judgement, blame and hold grudges. If your manager didn’t take the proper solutions yet, be a team player and work towards the greater good of the team, even if sometimes there are very bitter pills to swallow.
3. The best strategies to employ for becoming a better team player come with experience
In other words, be patient and open to learn. You will find people you won’t like, but this doesn’t mean they are not valuable to the team or it’s impossible to work together with them. You will find reactive people who may seem difficult just because you make things difficult for them without knowing it. You will find people who need better guidance to do their jobs, who need you to help, who will let you do the job for them and so on. Becoming a true team player doesn’t happen over the night. You may be a nice person, and all the others think they are nice persons, and yet, there is a lot to learn.
Overcoming prejudice, understanding people’s needs, understanding your needs and reactions, they all come with practice. Managers are looking for flexible, adjustable, relaxed people. Becoming an asset and not yet another difficult colleague is your own responsibility.
Though we’d all like to avoid dealing with people we dislike for one reason or another, unfortunately life proves this is next to impossible. Such situations become especially aggravating when they happen at work: good ideas are turned down without an explanation, employees become stressed out and inefficient, some turn vindictive, while others simply resign themselves to the notion that their career is going down the drain. Luckily, Forbes magazine has got a few tips and tricks for employees that are forced to deal with incompetent managers. So here’s the checklist below – use it wisely and turn a conundrum to your advantage.
Use their weapons against them
Some bosses literally feed off the misery of their hierarchical inferiors. In plain English, they love to see them suffer, whine, complain, and be absolutely miserable. To this end, they will do everything in their power to make sure they reach the above goals. The best way to deal with incompetent managers of this kind is not to play into their power-plays. Do not, for the life of you, cry or whine. Instead, simply walk around the office looking miserable. This won’t stop them from making everybody else feel horrible, but at least it will keep them from lunging into a vicious attack against you.
Deal with incompetent managers by moving up and away
The best way to deal with a boss that’s just sadistic and seems to enjoy making people suffer at work is to flee their presence. If you’re not faced with a manager that will do everything in their power to keep you from advance in your career, then take this as an opportunity to flee the scene. Usually, such people are entirely disenchanted with their own evolution and will stop at nothing from making you feel the same. Since they have absolutely nothing to teach you, don’t waste any time trying to teach you a lesson, it will only emotionally deplete you. Instead, focus all your energy in moving as far from as possible.
Some bosses suffer from conspiracy theory syndromes and are convinced just about everybody in the organization, from the CEO to the cleaning lady, is out to get them. Usually, they are also reluctant to see employees get transferred, for fear they might divulge secrets about them to other people around the office. Your best approach is to promise them you will hand over a list of everybody in the organization that’s out to get them. Of course, you don’t have to turn into a snitch – just make your promise seem believable and realistic.
How friendly is too friendly?
Some bosses are not evil, nor paranoid, but they seem to be oblivious to the existence of that fine line between professional and friendly relationships. And, of course, a boss that oversteps such limits might prove impossible to get rid of, in the long run. Your best bet? Get them a dog for Christmas. Get them to sign up for classes or find them a hobby of some sort. Just make sure to carefully remove yourself from the situation in the process. If you don’t do this in a timely manner, you’ll most certainly regret it later.
Avoid the scheming type
Nothing quite compares with a scheming, vindictive, Machiavellian type of boss. While we’d love to have some advice on how you could one-up such a person, they often seem far too detached, devious, and uncaring to be affected by any action taken against them. So if you have to deal with incompetent managers of this type, perhaps you would be best advised to consider transferring to another department, or simply steering as clear from them as you can.