Workplace Rules

There’s a lot to get right when it comes to being a formal employee. In workplace, we need to know how to get along with colleagues, workplace communication and other rules to improve work efficiency and satisfaction.
  • Office Etiquette: Common Rules and Advice

    Office etiquette can impact you, your colleagues and your working environment. Practicing proper office etiquette can improve your relationships with coworkers and your professional reputation. In this article, you can learn more about the main features of office etiquette to help you navigate this workplace challenge with polite consideration. ## What is office etiquette? Office etiquette is a collection of rules or norms that relate to the behavior of people in workplaces. The purpose of office etiquette is to maintain a working environment in which workers treat each other courteously, so this form of etiquette advocates behaviors that are considerate of others. ## Key benefits of good office etiquette Offices in which the majority of workers practice good office etiquette are likely to be more satisfying places to work. Most workplace activities, such as communicating, performing various job responsibilities, managing your workspace and interacting with colleagues can be impacted by the norms of office etiquette. ## Why is office etiquette important? Here are several reasons why it is important to develop good office etiquette: - It can make a positive impression on others. As office etiquette involves behaviors that are considerate of others, practicing it can make a positive impression on your coworkers and your supervisor. Making a good impression can improve your collaboration with coworkers, your performance, your chances of being selected for employee referrals and your chances of being promoted. - It can avoid interpersonal conflicts. Failing to remember your manners at work can result in workplace conflicts that waste your time and reduce your performance. - It can help you build key professional contacts. Your professional contacts are very important to your career as they can help you in finding jobs in the hidden job market, writing letters of recommendation, researching industry news and handling professional challenges. - It can help you to develop your skill set. Developing good office etiquette can improve soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills. Good workplace etiquette can generate positive reactions in others and help you in developing contacts. ## Common rules of office etiquette The major rules of office etiquette involve several areas, such as: **Noise** **The following etiquette rules can be helpful in maintaining a quiet working environment:** - Mute your communication devices for incoming messages because message alerts can disturb the other workers on your floor. Checking your computer and your phone for messages regularly can help you to avoid missing any important messages. - Take calls in private by closing your office door and keep personal calls short. If you work in an open office space, move to a lounge area or another area where your call will not cause an interruption to others. - Be aware of the noise level of your professional conversations and minimize loud conversations. **Communication** **The following etiquette rules can improve communication in the office:** - Return all professional emails and calls within 24 hours. Use your initial reply to communicate that you need more time if necessary. - If you are running late, let your colleagues, supervisor or client know in advance. - Check all official correspondence for grammar errors, spelling mistakes and unnecessary formatting. Make sure that all of your written communication is professional. - Learn the names of your coworkers by writing them down if necessary. Remember to use their names in conversation. - Check your clothes and accessories to make sure that they are sending positive, professional messages. - Pay attention to the speaker when in a meeting and try to avoid or minimize distractions. You can handle any other communication after the meeting is over. **Communal spaces** **The following etiquette rules can be helpful in sharing communal office spaces with others:** - Do not use shared workspaces, such as conference rooms, for personal calls or personal meetings. - When eating lunch at your desk, avoid foods that produce strong smells or foods that splatter. - Avoid blocking the elevator door when the elevator is crowded by exiting the elevator and re-entering it when necessary. - Remember that others need to use devices in shared office spaces, such as microwaves, so avoid monopolizing communal equipment. - Help to keep the restroom and other shared office areas presentable by cleaning up after yourself. **Interpersonal** **The following etiquette rules can improve your interpersonal skills:** - Avoid using social media to complain about your colleagues or your boss. They could find out about your comments and this could make working with them difficult. - Avoid using office spaces to socialize. Maintain professional boundaries with your colleagues in relation to their personal space and avoid all unprofessional behaviors that could make them uncomfortable. - Be considerate of other people’s workspaces. - Keep perfumes subtle so they do not overpower a shared workspace. - Avoid sharing sensitive, personal information with your colleagues or asking them to share their personal lives with you. - Show respect to your senior coworkers with courtesies such as letting them enter and exit an elevator first or opening doors. - While you can dress a step above the company’s dress code occasionally, avoid dressing below the standard dress code. **Health** **The following etiquette rules can be used to maintain a healthy working environment:** - If you are feeling unwell, check with a medical practitioner to find out if your condition is contagious. If it is contagious, avoid going to work and risk spreading the sickness until you are well again. - Develop and maintain a healthy level of personal hygiene. ## Tips to improve your office etiquette Here are several tips you can use to improve your office etiquette: **Learn about the rules of office etiquette** While we have covered some of the most common rules of workplace etiquette, there could be additional company-specific norms that you need to know about. Make sure to check your contract or onboarding materials for any additional requirements. **Self-assess your behaviors in the workplace** Consider using this article to evaluate your current office behaviors and identify areas for improvement. Then try to improve these areas gradually. **Keep improving** Keep looking for ways to improve your office conduct as any improvements you make are likely to help your career.
  • Best Questions to Ask on Your First Day of Work

    Asking important questions on your first day of work can prepare you for new work responsibilities. Starting a new job is exciting, but as with anything new, you will probably have a lot of questions. This article provides some of the best questions that you can ask when it’s your first day on the job. ## Why is it important to ask questions on the first day of work? Asking questions on the first day of work helps you get a feel for the work environment and helps you understand company policies. It contributes to your overall level of confidence and allows you to get started right away with important tasks. Asking questions also shows your manager that you care about your work ethic and desire to be responsible in your new role. Depending on the type of job, you may have several questions regarding general company policies and processes, in addition to specific questions about technical skills. ## Best questions to ask on the first day of work Here are some of the best questions to ask your new boss on your first day: ### What would you like me to work on today? Asking this question ensures you’re focusing on what your manager would like you to do. Rather than sit and wait for direction, you should ask immediately so you understand any expectations. Plus, it shows that you care about your work responsibilities and that you respect your manager’s authority. If you’re part of a team, they’ll appreciate your initiative as you take ownership of your role. ### Who will I be working with frequently? Collaboration is an important aspect of most jobs, which means you’ll have coworkers you communicate with often. On your first day, you’ll likely meet these people. But in the event that you are not, ask who the key members of your team are and how their roles relate to your work responsibilities. ### When my manager is not available, who do I report to? Sometimes managers are not around when you have questions. It’s good to have a backup when they’re attending meetings and taking time off from work. Ask your manager whom you should direct any questions or concerns to when they’re not available. This saves you time and frustration later and allows you to approach others with confidence. ### What is the best way to communicate with everyone on the team and within the company? There are many kinds of office environments that communicate in different ways. Sometimes the best way to communicate is to talk to someone in person, but at other times it may be better to send an email or message. Rather than watch and wait, just ask your manager which method of communication he or she prefers. Over time, you may change your communication strategy. It helps to ask in the beginning so there are no delays in response. ### What is your name or what name do you prefer to be called by? Sometimes people have names that are hard to pronounce or remember. They may prefer to be called by a nickname that you’re unaware of. For these reasons, verify your coworkers’ name preferences to avoid any resentment or embarrassment later on. ### Will I receive formal training? Some jobs necessitate a training session or two because the job requirements are specific to that company’s goals. Other jobs rely heavily on your current skills and technical training. It’s good to ask if you’ll be needing formal training so you know what to expect in the first week. ### What is your policy regarding breaks and lunchtime? How long do I have? Everyone needs a break from work, especially those with full-time schedules. The details of your break and meal periods depend on state and federal laws, so it’s good to ask what your company policy is regarding breaks. ### Where is the bathroom and break room? Throughout the day, you’ll need to pay attention to your physical needs, which involve going to other places in the building beyond the area where you’re working. If you haven’t been given a tour, ask your manager or another team member to give you a quick look around the building so you know where to find the bathroom and the break room. ### How should I let you know if I’m running late or can’t make it to work? Even if you’re in excellent physical condition, you may still get sick and not be able to work. You should know how to communicate with your manager during these times and other times when you may run into problems that prevent you from going to work or getting there on time. Depending on your employer, you may need to have someone cover your shift. Ask if working from home is an option. ### What tips do you have to improve efficiency in the workplace? Sometimes it helps to know certain shortcuts or tips that can make your work go faster. Take the proactive approach to increase your efficiency rather than finding this out on your own through trial and error. There will still be things you learn along the way, but it’s always helpful to get advice from the start. ## How to prepare for your first day of work Before your first day of work, here are a few things you can do to prepare for a successful experience: **1. First, write down your first-day questions** Even though your questions may seem simple enough, there’s a chance you’ll neglect to ask certain questions on your first day if you’re nervous or busy with other tasks. By taking a written list, you’re sure to get all your questions answered. **2. Second, pack your bag with the necessities** Bring a bag that contains basic items like notebooks, pens, snacks, tissues, your phone charger and even a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated so you will be prepared while still figuring out where to find everything you need. This helps you feel more secure and provides for your basic needs on your first day. **3. Third, practice your elevator pitch** Most people you meet on your first day may ask about your history and how you came to work for the company. Practice telling others who you are and what you’ve done in the past so you’re not taken by surprise. **4. Fourth, drive your work route** Depending on the distance from your home to your work location, you may want to try a practice run to ensure you get to work on time. This is especially true for areas with heavy traffic. If possible, try driving your route at the same time you’d drive it on other days to get a feel for the time it takes you to get there. **5. Fifth, look over your paperwork and bring identification cards** You’ll likely need to bring completed employment forms and identification cards with you on your first day for the human resources department to keep on file. Put them in your essentials bag before you leave. **6. Sixth, choose your work outfit** Save time in the morning by choosing your work outfit ahead of time. Lay it out before you go to bed for easy access. **7. Seventh, set multiple alarms** To make a good impression on the first day, you should plan to arrive at work early. Set your alarm on your phone, and any other alarms just in case one of them malfunctions. **8. Last, get plenty of sleep the night before and arrive at work early** Being well-rested helps you focus better at work and improves your overall health. Plan to go to bed early and give yourself enough time to arrive 15 minutes early to work.
  • These 7 Tips Will Help You Deal With an Overly Demanding Boss

    If you’ve never worked with a workaholic boss before, it can be a huge change from what you are used to. Many managers and supervisors have a way of thinking about work where it can feel like nothing you do is enough. This can leave you feeling stressed and anxious about work. In some cases it can even feel like your boss is being deliberately difficult which only adds to the pressure. Often, this can also damage your work/life balance, making your usual high standards even more difficult to maintain. Ultimately, there are as many ways to deal with an overly demanding boss as there are demanding bosses. We’ve picked the 7 most universal of them to help you out. **1. Don’t cave to them.** An important thing to note about demanding bosses is that if you cave in to them and simply do as they ask, their behaviour will continue and get worse. Ultimately, if you are put in a position where you are asked to do too much work, you need to make it clear to your boss. It is the case that they may not realise that they are putting too much stress and pressure upon you. Caving in to their demands will only make the situation worse. **2. Make their job easier.** One of the most valuable things you can do for a boss that is demanding is to find ways to make their job easier. It’s common that a demanding boss is simply in pursuit of productivity and would welcome any idea that can help with this. So why not do some research into tools that can help them? Technologies like time trackers and online employee roster planning software can make a huge difference to businesses. Consider what might be helpful at yours and bring those suggestions to your boss. Not only can this help you build a better working relationship with them—it can improve working practices at the company. **3. Align your expectations with theirs.** It is often the case that managers and employees can become confused about what the other is expecting from their work. Typically this can lead to a deadline being missed or a piece of work being completed incorrectly from a manager’s perspective—which means they take it out on their employees. Whereas from the employee’s perspective, they have done what was asked and put hard work in only to be criticised. It’s important, then, to ensure that your expectations are aligned with your manager’s. When you are discussing a project, make sure that you have documented evidence of their exact requests—if they ask you to do something additionally ad hoc, get them to send it over by email. **4. Don’t let them affect your work.** It’s important that you don’t let a demanding boss affect you and your work. You shouldn’t take their criticism personally—it’s likely that they simply have a different way of working from yours and are just trying to get more out of you or motivate you. Remember that you need to stay on good terms with your employers and managers so it’s always best to keep a high standard of work but take steps to deal with the issues. **5. Remind them of your previous successes.** Your boss should be keeping track of your successes, but there are those that do not or are simply busy with other tasks. That’s why it’s important that you should remind your boss of your successes – when they are told of what you have done well they are more likely to praise you and appreciate you. **6. Adopt their perspective.** Always remember that if your manager is being demanding, there is probably an underlying reason for it. Maybe they have a superior putting pressure on them to meet targets or perhaps they are facing deadlines that you aren’t aware of – in any case, it’s usually the case that there is a reason that they are putting pressure on you. **7. Be honest: is it just a demanding boss or a bully?** It is important to consider whether your boss is being demanding as a way of encouraging productivity, or whether they are simply bullying. Bullying in the workplace is common and can be difficult to notice when it is your superior. The next time your boss makes a demand of you, take a step back and ask yourself whether what they are asking is reasonable or whether they are being deliberately malicious. If it is the case that bullying is taking place in the form of an overworking or micromanagement, it is important to deal with it as soon as possible. Gather evidence of this workplace bullying so that it can eventually be taken to a superior. But it’s also worth talking to your boss first—it may be the case that they don’t realise that their behaviour is bullying. Talking to them about it can make them change their ways. Struggling with an overly demanding boss? Maybe it’s a sign you should quit your job right now. What do you think?
  • How to Start Networking? 15 Pick-up Lines That’ll Boost Your Confidence

    When you’re trying to start networking, it can feel a lot like first dates. You’re starting a conversation with a stranger and you need to get them to like you. And just like first dates, networking can sometimes be a little awkward. The trick is to be bold, go straight to the point and make yourself memorable. Regardless if you’re a fresh graduate or an experienced professional, good networking can boost your career and even help your business if you have one. We’ve put together our 15 favorite pickup lines to help make your networking less awkward and more efficient. Pick a few, and off you go. Good luck! ## Treat Networking as a process, not a one-off encounter. “I really enjoyed your presentation. Can I ask you about your recent project?” Be curious. If you have the chance, do some research about the person beforehand. Write down a few questions about their activities or projects. “I can’t remember the name of this one article. I think you’d enjoy it. Once I get home, I will send you the link.” You’ll be forever forgotten if you don’t stay in touch. Drop them a quick email such as: “It was nice to meet you, I had a lot of fun at the event. Here’s a link to the article I mentioned last night.” “We met recently at the conference, but I didn’t get the chance to talk to you.” Follow up on another event. You will already have something to talk about. ## “Omg, we have so much in common!” Doing your homework is important when it comes to networking. If you have access to the guest list, look up some information about those people and find an interest you share. This will provide you with an evening’s full of conversation topics. “I heard you studied in London. I went to LSE, class of 2010. What about you?” “Did I see you on the golf course last week? How did the game go?” ## Impress by being well informed. Before any networking event, make sure you are up to date with news relevant to your industry as well as current events overall. “Have you been following the BBC’s coverage on … What a crazy month it’s been.” “What do you think the next year will look like for the company? Will the crisis in South America affect us?” “What do you guys think about the recent predictions on … ? Do you think it will impact our customers as well?” ## Wine and good food are the key to friendship. “This wine is delicious. I’ll go get one more. Would you like to join me and chat a bit?” Offering someone a drink is an excellent way to start a casual conversation. “This chicken is a bit dry, what do you think?” Bond over food. If you really don’t know anything about the person and have no idea how to start a conversation, talk about thing we all have in common. ## If everything else fails, complain about weather and traffic. Admittedly, everyone’s favorite topics to rant and rave about. These conversation starters will never fail you. “I hope the sun will hold up until the weekend. We’ve planned a hiking trip with my kids.” “Oh, the traffic was horrible on my way here. I am just glad I made it on time.” “It’s impossible to park in this neighborhood. Did you guys ever think about selling your car and just using Uber instead?” ## Be bold and try something new. People get tired of cliché networking pick up lines very quickly. If you want to make yourself memorable, try one of these more creative conversation starters. “I hate networking.” If you see a fellow soul endlessly scrolling through their phone, approach them with a glass of wine and share your hate with them. Just make sure you switch to more pleasant topics after. Everybody hates the hater. “Have you ever wondered how many hours in life we waste by standing in the bathroom queue?” This is something especially ladies can relate to and proves that you can start networking anywhere. The only downside is that it can be extremely awkward so do this one at your own risk.
  • These 10 Unique Employee Benefits Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Current Job

    Yeah, salaries are cool but have you ever tried a unique employee benefit or unusual perk? Today, employees consider them to be a stable part of their jobs. And whether they take a job can often depend on how attractive the benefits are. Today, every decent company offers their employees a wide range of perks. A gym membership, yearly vacation bonus, or free meals in a canteen are things that can lift one’s spirits on a bleak day. But who wouldn’t like to get something extra? Check out the selection of unique employee benefits that are simply out of this world! **1. Surfing at midday** Patagonia is an eco-friendly outdoor clothing brand. It puts focus on active lifestyle, encouraging a healthy dose of sports during an ordinary workday. It’s only natural that Patagonia would offer unique employee benefits that have to do with this mission. The company encourages their employees to head out at lunchtime to go surfing. The reception staff even makes daily announcements about the weather conditions! **2. Breast milk shipping** Returning to work might be a real challenge, especially for breastfeeding mothers. But companies like Twitter, Accenture, IBM and Zillow decided to help them out. The companies pay for the lactating employees to ship their breast milk home to their babies. There’s no need to use formulas anymore! **3. Freeze your eggs** Behemoths Apple and Facebook have recently added a new employee benefit to their repertoire. They will contribute up to $20,000 towards egg freezing for their female employees. Although generous, this offer has stirred up some controversy among businesswomen. Egg freezing indirectly puts female staff under pressure that could be summed up as ‘Career first, children second.’ **4. Cryopreservation** Rumor has it that if you get yourself frozen within minutes after your death, you have a chance to be resurrected once the scientists figure out how to do it. The freezing process — also called cryopreservation — is a benefit offered by Numerai, an AI-driven hedge fund. It was announced in a tweet with a job posting containing a cute footnote saying that the company ‘cares about its employees beyond their legal deaths.’ **5. Pawternity leave** Some companies out there do pay special attention to pet lovers. However strange it may sound to you, some people would rather die than leave their loved ones at home during a working week. And I’m talking cats and dogs, of course. Imagine you adopted a dog. If working full-time, there’s simply no time you could dedicate to your new four-legged friend. And that’s the reason why Scottish brewery Brewdog has come up with a rather unusual employee benefit — one week’s paid leave for all employees that adopt a puppy or rescue a dog. **6. Beer cart Fridays** If you happen to work for Advanced Medical, Friday is your favourite day of the week. Each employee gets to sit back and crack open an ice-cold beer. Although alcohol in the workplace is a highly controversial issue for some people, the company calls it an ‘unorthodox corporate culture’. Whatever, but that’s the way it wants to show appreciation for their employees’ hard work. **7. Paid weddings** The cost of an average wedding these days is just nauseating. Anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000, the pompous celebration can eat up the lion’s share of your yearly salary. However, there’s nothing to fear for valued employees of Boxed Wholesale. They’re ready to help you cope with your expenses, uniquely contributing to the belief we’re all just one big family! **8. Divorce fees** Alright, the benefit of taking care of your wedding costs seem legit. But why on earth would your boss want to cover your divorce fees? The benefit of funding divorces is a recent trend. It was triggered by an unprecedented surge in the number of people who can no longer bear to live together. Some companies offer to pay just for initial advice sessions, but other consider go as far as footing the entire legal bill. **9. Like Adam and Eve** Nakedness is still a bit of a taboo in our society. Making it part of your business philosophy is a risky business that may end up as a bad joke. Or, according to some psychologists, boost your company’s team spirit. By stripping off your clothes, you may feel free to strip away your inhibitions and talk to your colleagues with disarming honesty. This strange benefit is an open invitation to come all the way back to the garden of Eden — just watch out for that evil serpent! **10. Garden of earthly delights** Would you say ‘no’ if your boss invited you to attend a prostitute-filled orgy? A German insurance giant Munich Re figured out that a night of earthly pleasures was the best way to keep staff motivated. As far as unique employee benefits are concerned, this is probably the most unique anyone can do. The bacchanalia took place in a Budapest spa and catered for all tastes of their particularly successful salesmen. In fact, the event was far from being a chaotic free-for-all. It was exceptionally well organized, with prostitutes wearing red and hostesses yellow armbands to separate the sheep from the goats. ## Unique employee benefits aren’t everything These 10 unique employee benefits are just a tip of the iceberg. In fact, there’s a lot more each company has to offer. You can easily fall in love with company’s attractive location, strong team spirit or flexible work schedule, you name it. However, there’s no better benefit than when you find your job truly enjoyable. Various perks can boost your motivation and make your daily life more entertaining, but the most rewarding bonus of all is to be able to revel in your job itself.
  • My Boss Is Stealing My Ideas. What Should I Do?

    Have you just seen your boss taking credit for a presentation that cost you a couple of sleepless nights? Ouch. That hurts. Of course, there are many upsetting things bosses sometimes do. But according to a survey by human resources company BambooHR, taking credit for what someone else did is the worst offense, making us feel powerless and unappreciated. So what can you do about it? Should you stand up for yourself and reclaim the authorship of your original ideas? But what if it backfires? ## Why does it happen so often? The problem with boss stealing his employees’ ideas usually appears early in people’s careers when they don’t have the means to resist. Once an employee gains a certain status, they usually find ways to work around their boss and talk about it. In addition, most companies don’t actively address this type of behavior by not having clear guidelines and value statements that would highlight the importance of recognising employees’ contributions and original ideas. Bosses take credit for their employees’ work and can actively try to undermine them for all kinds of reasons: - They may feel threatened by those subordinates who are more creative or smarter than they are. This makes them believe they must protect their role at all costs. The very idea of praising their employees for great ideas and valuable work makes them uncomfortable. - Some bosses believe they are entitled to own everything their team produces. Since many of them face many challenges — from poor earnings to upset customers and delayed projects — they’ll naturally want to present something positive as their own, even if they weren’t the originators of the idea. - Other bosses may also genuinely believe others will receive concepts better with their name attached to them. By taking ownership of an idea, they want to improve the chances that it will be taken seriously by decision-makers. - The best-case scenario — it may as well be just an unintended mistake or a pure misunderstanding. Regardless of the motivation, an intentional theft of credit is something that no one should tolerate. It fosters a culture of backstabbing, undermines employees’ trust in their colleagues as well as their own sense of self. You may have come here to learn how to rebuild your relationship with your boss or make the company take corrective action before resentment forces you to quit. Here are the key strategies that might help you navigate some of the most hazardous terrain in office politics. **1. Step back to evaluate the situation** When you see your manager taking credit for your work, try to resist the urge to get carried away. Having a desire to avenge or right this wrong is completely natural. But an inappropriate impulsive reaction or sudden emotional outburst can seriously harm your reputation — or even cost you the job. Show that you’re a professional and maintain your composure. Stay calm, bite your tongue. Take a step back. Try to get some perspective and evaluate the situation. Ask yourself these questions: - Is the boss stealing your ideas or just aggregating and presenting the work for the team that reports to him or her? Even if your boss doesn’t give you credit at that particular moment, the might stil be eager to appreciate your ideas in a different setting, such as during a team building event or casual chat. - Are you the only originator of the idea and is your manager aware of that? Ideas often go through many phases and iterations, which can make it impractical to give credit to a single person. - Are you absolutely sure you haven’t received any credit for your work? Just because you didn’t receive an instant applause for your ideas, it does not mean your efforts went unnoticed. Without your knowing, your boss might be planning to give you a pay rise in the next billing period or promote you anytime soon. **2. Get a second opinion** But what if you’re absolutely certain that your boss is stealing your ideas and purposefully taking credit for your work? The next step is to get a second opinion on the matter. You want to confirm that your opinion is not purely subjective. Without a good witness and irrefutable evidence, it’s just your word vs. your manager’s. Try to find a credible and reliable person that has some clout in the workplace. Looking at your situation from distance may help you understand different nuances at play and possibly also better understand your manager’s behaviour. **3. Document your case** Making bold assertions which you’re unable to prove can be a very frustrating experience. If you want to support your claim with irrefutable evidence, you’ll need a solid paper trail. Collect all feasible evidence that documents the theft — everything from notes to emails and shared documents that prove the ideas were yours. The more specific you are, the better you’ll be able to substantiate your claim. **4. Talk to your boss** Finally, it’s time to take up the issue with your manager. Don’t just jump right at it. Try to frame your case in the context of a broader discussion about your career goals. Start and end the conversation on a positive note and talk about various projects you’ve been working on. Make sure to lead the conversation in a calm, non-accusatory way. Leave out bitter emotions and don’t let your resentment cloud your mind. The best method for avoiding direct confrontation is to work your way around and get the timing right. For example, suggest that you might benefit from more visibility. Model the behavior you’d like to see, giving credit to colleagues with valuable ideas. Say you’d like to present some of your ideas as your own. Don’t forget to prepare an example or two that will help you be more specific: “I worked for several months on [a specific project] and not getting any credit for it during last week’s presentation was quite discouraging. Maybe you had a particular reason for doing that, but I felt the need to discuss it with you.” Recognising your needs and taking your perspective on these situations, your manager may be willing to acknowledge the mistake and make some reasonable amends. Don’t worry, reaching a satisfying conclusion is possible. But there are a few conditions that all need to be met: - Your boss must be reasonable enough to deal with - You need to stay professional at all times and show respect for your manager - Your approach must be free from hostility - You should be open to reasonable and equitable compromise ## When everything fails If you witness any kind of unfair behavior, it’s always important to find a smart way to speak up. Remember that it’s not a matter of increasing your confidence, it’s simply the right thing to do. But what if nothing happens? The answer is quite simple — quit. Nobody feels comfortable working under the leadership of a boss who is stealing ideas from others. If you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s intentional and malicious — and your boss doesn’t seem to be willing to drop the habit anytime soon — there’s really no better solution than to get out as fast as you can. Leaving a job feeling resentful and disappointed is not uncommon. But if you get asked about the reason for leaving the job, don’t forget to point out the importance of values like fairness and cooperation and emphasise the fact that the situation has reaffirmed your positive sense of ethics and personal integrity. In this way, you’ll be leaving your job holding your head up and feeling ready to take up new opportunities that will come your way.
  • How to Get Along With Coworkers

    Developing comfortable professional relationships with your coworkers is an important part of working as a team and creating a positive workplace culture. Conflicts may arise in the workplace, sometimes between people whose personalities are incompatible, but there are ways to overcome difficulties and encourage productive interactions with your coworkers. This article shares several useful tips on how to get along with coworkers in any workplace. ## Why is it important to get along with coworkers? Workplace performance can immensely improve when employees have good working relationships and feel comfortable with one another. Whether you interact with your colleagues every day in the office or through remote communications, you should make an effort to build positive relationships with others. Your behavior in the workplace can help set an example for others and encourage everyone on your team to get along. ## How to get along with coworkers Here are several tips for getting along with your coworkers to improve your experience at your job: **Be a good listener** One of the most effective ways to get along with a coworker is to listen to their ideas. When your coworkers are sharing their opinions and thoughts, active listening can demonstrate respect and support. People who feel respected and understood will often be respectful and kind in return. If a coworker shares a set a boundary about how they prefer to be treated, do your best to remember their requests and act accordingly. **Respect others’ personal space** Especially when sharing an office space with others, it is important to respect your coworkers’ personal space and property. Ask before borrowing any supplies from a coworker or moving any items on their desks. You should also keep a respectful distance of a few feet when having conversations in the office. Some cultures have different expectations on how to interact in the workplace, but in the United States, the only appropriate physical contact in the workplace is the occasional handshake. **Avoid taking sides** When coworkers have interpersonal conflicts with one another, try not to take sides. You can express your concerns without isolating a coworker or increasing tension in a group. By staying neutral and refusing to take part in gossip, you can earn the respect of those around you. Your coworkers will likely appreciate that they can trust you not to participate in any office rumors. **Concentrate on your work** A great way to get along with your coworkers is to focus on doing your job well. People often respect those who work hard and are dedicated to producing quality work. If you work closely with a team, the quality of your work can direct the work of others. Your coworkers will likely appreciate when you are committed to each of your tasks and do not rely on others to complete or correct your work. **Model good behavior** You can encourage positive relationships with your coworkers by modeling the behavior you would like to see in the workplace. If you want your coworkers to keep a tidy environment, first make sure that you regularly display organizational skills and cleanliness. Modeling good behavior can also teach your coworkers valuable teamwork skills. **Set expectations** Setting expectations with your coworkers can be an important part of working well with your team. In order to avoid feelings of disappointment or resentment, you can encourage your coworkers to assign fair and equal workloads to each team member. If you need to have regular check-ins with your coworkers to learn about the status of a project, set a clear timeline or a regular meeting schedule that everyone can agree on. **Communicate openly** Communicating regularly and directly with your coworkers shows them that you are both committed to your work and mindful of how it affects others. Provide updates before you are asked, and follow up on important topics that your coworkers mention. Part of communicating openly involves responding promptly to messages and giving honest and constructive feedback. **Show appreciation** Another way to get along with your coworkers is to regularly show appreciation for their work and time. When your coworker completes a project successfully or demonstrates your company’s core values, congratulate them. Many people appreciate getting praise from a coworker and will be more willing to listen to your opinions and consider your ideas. Frequently, a coworker you regularly compliment and uplift will have a better attitude when interacting with you and others. **Offer help** If you have extra time in your workday, offer to help your coworkers with basic tasks. While they are the most qualified person to perform their main tasks, they might appreciate help on administrative work or paperwork. You can have a better chance of getting along with coworkers by being a team player and supporting their work. **Assume positive intent** Coworker relationships often have a more serious tone than friendships, so it can sometimes be difficult to interpret a coworker’s tone. Because people are trying to be professional at work, always assume that your coworkers have positive intentions. Your coworkers may have their own stress factors at work that influence how they interact with others. Giving your coworkers the benefit of the doubt whenever possible also allows them the opportunity to get to know you better. **Maintain boundaries** If you have a coworker who is particularly difficult to get along with, you can always set boundaries about when and how you will interact. If you feel that a coworker’s behavior has been unprofessional, you can explain your boundaries and politely ask for a change in behavior. You can limit interactions with difficult coworkers in order to get more enjoyment out of the rest of your workday. **Ask for mediation** If you are unable to get along with a coworker in a way that seriously influences your work, consider asking someone at your company to help mediate. Your manager can be an excellent resource for mediating conflicts with coworkers or reassigning people who do not work well together to different projects.
  • Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

    Emotional intelligence is a competency that varies from one person to the next including differences of opinion and how different people react in similar situations. Every person who has been part of a team has experienced these various interactions between colleagues. Learn more about emotional intelligence, its components and how you can increase your emotional intelligence to improve your working environment. ## What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is a compilation of soft skills that allows you to form the ability to recognize, understand and control your emotions. The skills that compile emotional intelligence include self-motivation, empathy, self-management, communication and self-awareness. Emotional intelligence in the workplace can be extremely beneficial in terms of allowing for a more harmonious working environment, enhanced collaboration, higher productivity and better quality of work. ## Why is emotional intelligence important? Continuous development of emotional intelligence is important to succeed in terms of job satisfaction and performance, personal relationships and the ability to manage the stress of everyday events. With a heightened emotional intelligence, you can learn to make better decisions, resolve conflicts more constructively (or avoid them altogether), be more receptive to constructive criticism meant to help you to improve and be a better problem-solver. Each of the basic skills that facilitate emotional intelligence can add nuance to how you handle everyday situations. ## Common skills related to emotional intelligence Here are some of the most common skills related to emotional intelligence: **Self-motivation** Often stemming from a genuine passion for your work, the ability to motivate one’s self is linked to optimism, a desire for continuous improvement and accomplishing tasks for the simple satisfaction of accomplishment. **Self-awareness** Self-awareness centers around understanding your own strengths, weaknesses, values, reasoning and reactions as they affect yourself and those around you. **Empathy** Understanding and relating to how others feel, think and react are keystone traits of an empathetic person. Someone with a strong sense of empathy can visualize a situation from another perspective and relate to their response to the circumstances. **Communication skills** Communication and social skills involve having the ability to relate to other people and build rapport and trust with them. People who are good at influencing others typically have strong social and communication skills. **Self-management** Once you have become more self-aware, self-management becomes the next logical skill to master. Self-management involves remaining in control of your impulses and redirect your urge to react emotionally to a set of circumstances. Rather than stifling your genuine human emotions, self-management is more about funneling those emotions into a constructive action or reaction, leveraging them to turn a negative experience into a positive, productive one. ## How to improve your emotional intelligence at work Here are some steps to improve your emotional intelligence at work: **1. First, hone your communication skills** Communicating effectively involves learning how to assertively yet respectfully speak to colleagues, whether they’re positioned above, below or level with you, to earn their respect and trust. A large component of communicating is actively listening when other people speak. Active listening is the act of focusing completely on the person speaking without interruption and without tuning them out while you wait to respond. Being an active listener helps you to gain clarity and understanding of other peoples’ points of view and help you learn to pause and process before reacting. Listening to understand also teaches you to pick up nonverbal cues, which can add an extra layer of comprehension to the interaction and allow you to respond thoughtfully and intelligently. **2. Next, heighten your self-awareness** As one of the key factors of emotional intelligence, self-awareness can be practiced consciously until it becomes intuitive. One of the best ways to practice self-awareness is to pay attention to the emotions you feel in certain situations and how those emotions tend to affect the way you react. If you find your emotions are more on the negative side, take the time to consider alternative reactions and how differently a situation can end depending on your reaction. Doing this regularly will eventually become innate to your everyday activities and soon you’ll find that you’re self-correcting before someone else feels the need to provide the critique. **3. Then, learn to respond rather than react** If any sort of conflict does occur, it’s important that you self-manage to avoid making situations worse with emotional outbursts or defensiveness. Practice remaining calm during stressful situations and refrain from making impulsive decisions. Your response should come after a period of internal reflection and should contribute toward finding a resolution. This style of responding to conflict tends to create trust and rapport between colleagues, facilitating a more peaceful, convivial working environment. **4. After that, find out what motivates you** Focus on the things that bring you joy. What you find the greatest satisfaction in may not involve money, status or reward but simply the satisfaction of accomplishment. Look for the high points of your day and you’ll soon discover a pattern of things that you love about your job. This will help you set meaningful goals and maintain optimism while you work towards them. **5. Finally, be empathetic** Empathizing with others is key to becoming more emotionally intelligent. Make it a habit to consider situations from another perspective in order to gain more understanding about why they feel the way they do, see the merit of their opinions and bring you closer to finding a mutually beneficial solution. ## Tips for becoming more emotionally intelligent Consider the following tips for increasing your emotional intelligence: - Work on finding healthy outlets and constructive techniques for mitigating stress. Many people have hobbies that are unrelated to their job to help them create a healthy work-life balance so that they can be more effective at both. - Allow yourself time to calmly reflect before making important decisions. Consider the ramifications of your decision before making it. - Remain attentive when others are speaking. If you urgently wish to address a point, quickly jot down a note and continue listening actively to the speaker. - Every time you find something you dislike, make it a point to find an aspect that you like. - Share your journey with your colleagues. At the very least, they’ll appreciate the effort you’re putting into improving your interactions with them and at most, they’ll be inspired to embark on a similar journey. You can carry your newfound emotional intelligence into your personal life, applying the techniques you’ve learned for improving the environment at work to enhance the quality of the interactions between you and your family or friends.
  • The Importance of Decision Making in the Workplace

    Being able to effectively make decisions in the workplace can make you a better leader and have a number of positive benefits for both yourself and your organization as a whole. Most people make numerous decisions every day, so knowing why decision making is important and how to improve your decision-making process may improve your overall work productivity and satisfaction. This article explains why it’s important to know how to make good choices, key factors that are influenced by decision making and tips on how to improve your decision-making skills. ## Why is decision making important at work? Decision making is often an integral part of a leader’s role in the workplace. Even if you aren’t in a leadership position, your ability to make decisions can still have a positive or negative impact on your work-life as well as your company as a whole. Being able to effectively make good decisions can provide a number of benefits. **Examples of the benefits of making good decisions:** - Save time and resources - Cultivate and maintain the respect of others in the workplace - Improve productivity - Prevent mistakes and risks The better you are at making decisions, the more success you can experience in your position. Demonstrating your decision-making skills at work can be beneficial when seeking higher leadership positions as well as contributing to the achievement of objectives and goals in your department or company. ## Key factors that are influenced by how decisions are made Here are some of the common factors that are directly influenced by how decisions are made in the workplace: **How resources are utilized** There are several ways in which a person, team or company as a whole can use the resources available to them. With proper decision-making skills, resources can be used in the most efficient and profitable way possible. However, with poor decision making, resources can be wasted and may result in higher costs being incurred for a project. **Employee job satisfaction and motivation** The overall job satisfaction, motivation and engagement of employees can be directly impacted by the leadership’s ability to make decisions. Employees who work for management that make poor decisions often feel as if they cannot trust their leaders. They may also feel as if the directions they receive from management may not be the most effective way to go about things. As a result, employees can lose motivation to perform within the workplace which can ultimately lead to decreased job satisfaction may even negatively impact employee retention. By committing to making good decisions, you are giving your employees the opportunity to trust in their leaders and know that the work they do is valuable. **Accomplishment of goals** Making good decisions in the workplace can positively contribute to the accomplishment of personal, team and organizational goals and objectives. While poor decisions can result in mistakes, misunderstandings and inadequate use of resources and time, good decisions can lead to increased productivity and enhanced time and resource management. This can ultimately lead to quicker and more effective achievement of goals. **Company culture** When leadership gains the reputation of poor decision-making, the culture of a company can suffer. Employees may not trust their management or feel like they cannot rely on management to make decisions that positively impact their work-life. However, effective decision making in the workplace can allow employees to feel secure in their positions, feel a better sense of commitment to the company and increase overall employee engagement. **Growth of an organization** The decision-making skills of management and other stakeholders can directly affect the growth potential of an organization. Making ill-informed business decisions or not weighing the pros and cons of a decision can result in detrimental challenges that can stunt the growth of a company. However, well-thought-out and smart business decisions can support a company as it grows and foster more growth opportunities. ## How to improve decision-making skills Here are some steps you can take to improve your decision-making skills in the workplace: **1. First, narrow down your options** The fewer options you have available to you, the less overwhelmed you will feel when making a choice. For example, choosing between two different ideas to implement is much easier than trying to choose between 10. When possible, eliminate unrealistic or impractical options so that you only have to select from those with the most potential. **2. Second, determine how important a decision is and how much time it deserves** Before you exert too much time on any one decision, rate each decision on its importance and choose exactly how much time you will spend on it. For example, decisions that hold little importance, such as the brand of ink you should order for your office printers, should not take up a full day of your time. However, more important decisions should receive ample time. Choosing how much time you give each decision before you begin the decision-making process can help ensure you spend your time wisely and give priority to the decisions that really matter. **3. Then, be as informed as possible** The more research you do and information you have, the better able you are to be able to make an informed decision. Know what factors are involved in the decision and any other information you need to feel comfortable and knowledgeable when choosing. For example, if you are trying to decide between hiring one of two employees, take the time to learn all you can about each. How much experience do they have? Where did they go to school and what was their major? What have their references said about their work? You could also consider asking them to give you a sample of their work so that you can compare the samples to each other for a further understanding of their potential. **4. Next, avoid making decisions based on emotions** Making decisions based on your emotions can lead to impulsiveness and poor choices. If you are emotionally attached to an issue or decision that must be made, refrain from making it until you can be objective about the matter at hand. Look at the facts surrounding the decision rather than how you feel about it and don’t be afraid to ask for additional time (if possible) to ensure you are as clear-headed as possible. **5. Finally, consider the pros and cons** Understanding both the benefits and the costs that can arise from a decision can help you feel more secure and prepared when you make one. Every decision has at least one pro and one con. For example, if you are trying to decide whether to implement daily catered lunches for your office, a con would likely be the cost of these lunches, while a pro would be that it could boost company morale and employee appreciation. If many is an issue for your organization, you may choose not to make this decision or to alter the decision (e.g. only offer catered lunches once a week versus every day). However, if your organization is in need of improved employee appreciation and you are financially fit, this may be a good choice to make.
  • Scared of Your First Day at Work? 9 Easy Tips to Help You Not Blow It

    To drastically misquote Bob Dylan—How many times must a person experience a first day at work before it becomes less awkward? Nowadays, people change their jobs and careers as often as they change their underwear. You too are likely to go through many first days at work in your lifetime. The good news is, you can easily make it exciting instead of terrifying by following a few simple guidelines. We present to you 9 Awesome Tips to Help You Not Screw Up on Your First Day at Work. Intentionally or not, people are quick to judge others. According to Willis and Todorov, it only takes 1/10th of a second to make a first impression. Luckily, our experience says that you have at least the entirety of your first week to correct (or cement) that impression. Unless you’re a police puppy that is, in which case you’ve already mastered the art of impressing everyone your first day at work. If you’re a planning freak like me, you might find this hour-by-hour survival guide handy. If you’re not as easily stressed, 9 quick tips will more than suffice. Good luck! **1. Show on time and dress appropriately** Don’t be late on your first day at work. If you arrive late, you’ve already left a bad first impression before you even had a chance to enter the room. To avoid this simple mistake, plan your commute ahead. Add extra time in case anything goes wrong. And trust me, it’s exactly on days like these that things are predestined to go south from the beginning. Know your company’s dress code. If you’re required to wear a uniform, keep in mind that restrictions apply to all accessories, hair, and makeup. If you’re in doubt, contact your HR. **2. Show diligence and avoid distractions** A foolproof recipe on how to screw up your first day at work is to slack off. Don’t be that person. Stay professional and keep your phone away to avoid any distractions. Make sure to stick to your break times and limit the chit-chat. **3. Learn and listen before you speak** Familiarize yourself with the job and the company. According to Robert Sofia’s advice, “before you try to change the game, you must first learn how to play it.” Take the first days to listen and learn about the company and their practices. Once you’ve built trust and proven yourself useful, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be more bold and critical. For now, keep an open mind and observe your new work environment. Additionally, when starting a new job, be ready to take on a variety of tasks. You’ll show your commitment and willingness to learn. Stay flexible and you’ll soon get a complex grasp of the company. **4. Ask questions** At every company, first days at work look different. Either you spend them in training or they throw you right into the deep. Whatever the case, your first week at work is the time to listen and take in as much as you can. At the same time, if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Or even better, prepare a few questions beforehand. This will show your interest in the company, its strategies, and plans. **5. Get to know the team** Approach your line manager and learn about the company’s structure. This is also a good time to clarify any uncertainties about your job description. Chuck Cohn highlights that “it’s critical to understand how you fit into the larger organization and what each part of the company actually does.” Take the time to learn people’s position and specialization. You’ll benefit down the line when you start collaborating on larger projects. **6. Earn respect** To establish your position on a new team is no less challenging task than handling your new job itself. We have one simple, yet effective piece of advice for you. If you want to earn respect, be good at your job. If you prove to be useful in the first week, you’ll gain trust from your colleagues and management at the same time. **7. Build relationships** Good teamwork is crucial for a successful company. First days in a new job are an ideal opportunity to build relationships with your coworkers. You can either craft a group email or take a walk around the office and introduce yourself. Take some time to get to know your colleagues. Ask them where are they from, how long they have been with the company, and what their role is. By showing interest, you’ll break the ice and start building new relationships. Your new colleagues will also be curious about you. Quick tip: Prepare an elevator pitch about yourself. **8. Be yourself from day one** Lynn Taylor, a workplace expert emphasized the importance of staying yourself in a new job. “It’s stressful to try to be someone else, so why bother? You want some consistency in who you are on day one and day 31.” You’ll soon have to engage with your co-workers on various tasks in a number of different environments. Staying honest about yourself will show that you are responsible and trustworthy. **9. Set your personal boundaries** On the one hand, you want to be close with your new coworkers, but when it comes to your personal life, be careful. Your first day isn’t an appropriate time to share intimate information at work, even if you think it would help you bond with others. People love to gossip, especially when it concerns you as a new colleague, so make sure you stay professional. Regardless of whether your first day is a success or not try to stay positive. Remind yourself of what made you to get into that job in the first place. ## Get out there and shine on your first day at work! Now that you’re already getting used to your new job, sit back and take a look at those who never made the cut.
  • Home Office? These 13 Tips Will Help You Stay Productive and Sane

    Our office has been empty since last Thursday. Everyone at Kickresume was told to stay home. And we are not alone in this. Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, many companies have asked their employees to stay in their homes. Even corporate giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Facebook have already cancelled their meetings and business trips and told their staff to work remotely. Social distancing is the least we can do to prevent the virus from spreading. Whether you’re used to working from home or this is your first time, this seems to be the new normal. That is, at least for a while. Anyway, to make your life a bit easier in this time of crisis, we’ve put together a number of productivity hacks that will help you stay organized (and sane). ## 1. Find a good workspace Many people prefer to have a separate office space. It can be a library or a guest room transformed into a temporary office. Setting up a work place that mimics an actual office may help to keep your brain in the “it’s time to work” mode. It also helps you get away from the usual distractions of your home. And, of course, there are some jobs that require equipment and a proper work station. But what to do if you don’t have a separate room? Try to work from your kitchen table. Or create a temporary work desk. Believe it or not, some people work best in their living room. Some work best from their kitchen table. Some prefer to work from the couch. Find whatever place works best for you. If you’re using a laptop, you can also try to move around the house as much as possible. It may sound stupid but there’s extensive research showing that changing your scene can increase productivity. You can also associate certain places with certain work tasks. This is called “task association”. Your brain knows that when you’re in a certain place, you’re taking a certain action. This tactic can help you improve your working flow. **One way or another, these are some must-haves for your workspace:** - Choose a room with a lot of natural light. It decreases depression and improves mood, energy alertness and productivity. - If possible, surround yourself with some plants. It may sound funny, but a little greenery can improve both your mood and productivity. - Use comfortable heat/cooling in the room. The ideal working room temperature should be around 20 to 22 degrees. - Don’t forget to regularly open windows to get some fresh air. You can also use air fresheners. ## 2. Act like you’re at work What’s the best way to put yourself in a work mode? Stick to your usual routine. If you usually get up early for work, get up early also when working from home. If you prefer to work during the afternoon, do so. The same applies to your pre-work routine. What is especially important for you before starting to work? To have a cup of coffee? To eat some breakfast? Do the same at home. It will help you get started each day. Some home-office veterans also recommend to dress the same as you would for work. However, this differs from person to person. For me, being in pyjamas doesn’t have any impact on how I do my job. ## 3. Set working hours and manage your time You may be afraid that you won’t work much at home. But in fact, remote employees tend to work overtime. Why? Because there’s no separation between work and home. Because of that, it’s very important to set boundaries. Determine your work hours and stick to them. You should also schedule your work effectively. Try to organise your day by energy flow. According to scientific research, our brains are at their peak performance 2-4 hours after we wake up. You should do important meetings and tasks in the morning and keep simple tasks for the afternoon. This schedule might help you: - 8am to 11am — focus on most important tasks - 11am to 12pm — get small tasks done - 12pm to 1pm — have a lunch break - 1pm to 3pm — get small tasks done - 3pm to 4pm — empty your mailbox, prepare a to-do list for the following day Of course, you can adjust this schedule to whatever works the best for you. Try to find your prime time. And, as mentioned earlier, remember to log off at the end of the work day. It’s very easy to work overtime if you’re stuck at home. After work, just “go home” (even if you’re already at home). ## 4. Create to-do lists This goes hand in hand with the previous point. If you already know how to schedule your work effectively, make a list of tasks you need to complete each day. Prioritize it. And then do it. Simple as that. For instance, if you’re a writer, set specific deadlines for your articles. Check them off as you complete them. Celebrate small victories and motivate yourself towards next ones. And each time you deviate from your schedule, just correct it and adapt to it. For these purposes, you can use online task managers like Todoist, Asana, or Evernote. But you can also stick to old school methods and use a pen and a notebook. Tip: Some of you may work from home for the first time. To make this transition as smooth as possible, establish some rules with your boss. Check for regular updates and ask what exactly is expected from you. ## 5. Find the right tools In addition to task management tools, there are many other great apps that allow us to work from anywhere in the world. Here are just a few that will make your (and your team’s) life easier and organized: - Communication tools: Slack, Zoom, Skype for Business, HeySpace, MS Teams, Google Hangouts - Project managements tools: Trello, Asana, Notion, Microsoft Project - Task managers, calendars and planners: Todoist, Wunderlist, Evernote - Time tracking and productivity monitoring softwares: Hubstaff, TSheets, TimeCamp - Sharing files: Google Drive, Dropbox ## 6. Take breaks The most effective way for remote workers to stay productive is to take breaks, according to the Airtasker study. Give yourself 15-20 minutes breaks as you would normally at work. It keeps your mind fresh and saves you from burning out after a few days. For example, after finishing a few tasks, or when starting to feel like you’re losing focus, take a break and make yourself a coffee, have a snack, do laundry, or walk the dog. But be careful about this one – spend some time doing things other than work, but don’t let them eat your time. It helps if you set a specific time when your break ends. In addition to this, give your eyes a short break too. A simple 20-20-20 rule can reduce your eye strain and prevent you from fatigue. Every twenty minutes, stop looking at your screen. Then look at something twenty yards away from you and hold it for twenty seconds. Needless to say that both of these methods are also good for your health as you’re working sitting down and staring into computer screen for eight hours. ## 7. Stay in touch with your colleagues Working in isolation can feel lonely. If you lock yourself up at home for a few days, cabin fever will surely set in. It’s important to go beyond email and use also other digital tools to stay connected with your colleagues frequently. You can use chat apps for workspaces like Slack or video conferencing apps like Zoom or Skype. Also, try to get as many specifics as you can. When should you be online? How will you communicate within a team? How often will you have online meetings? Will you also have one-on-one meetings with your boss? Besides work-related stuff, don’t forget to also engage in chit-chat. You can text your colleague in the morning, just as you would talk to him during coffee break in your office kitchen. Chat with them. Ask how they’re doing. Socialise. ## 8. Book some time for online learning Home office presents also a good opportunity for online self-learning. Finally, you can find some spare time for watching online tutorials or doing online courses. There’s a plenty of great information out there on YouTube, blogs, or various online learning platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, EdX, LinkedIn Learning, Google Digital Garage, or Khan Academy. Try to discuss with your boss whether you can sacrifice a few hours per week for self-study. To help you get started, here’s a list of most valuable online courses that will boost your career. ## 9. No distractions If you live in a household with other people, make sure everyone knows you’re working and respects it. Sometimes, it’s especially complicated to explain to your family that working from home means working. Family will be the first to say “since you’re home, can you…” The answer is “no”. It’s completely fine to tell them that you’re working and once you’re done, you’ll take care of it. And in case you’re not able to dedicate a whole room for your office, it’s even easier to get distracted. You can try two things: - Music. It sounds simple but good music is an essential for concentration. Play low volume instrumental music or whatever music you enjoy listening to. You can also try Spotify’s playlists like Chill hits or The Perfect Work playlist. - Headphones. They’re great for listening to music if you’re into that. But they’re also the perfect tool for noise cancellation. Also, say “no” to other big distractions. Never watch television or Netflix during office hours. Not even during eating your lunch. We all know the scenario of watching “just one episode”. When it comes to cooking, stick to quick recipes. Even better, try to cook your lunch the night before or use a meal delivery service. ## 10. Make your home office cleaner and safer Did you know that workspaces are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria? And did you know that viruses can survive on surfaces of different materials for hours or even days? Ugh. That’s why you should keep it as clean as possible. Firstly, declutter your workspace. Get rid of the trash, organize your cables and free your desk from needless papers, books, or coffee cups. Secondly, disinfect your whole work area at the end of every work day. Clean your computer, keyboard, computer mouse, literally everything what’s in your workplace area. Even your smartphone. Also, don’t forget to air your home properly. ## 11. Practice self-care Productivity begins with a state of mind. If you’re stressed, it’s nearly impossible to stay focused. There are three key elements to keep your mind (and body) sharp – exercising, eating healthy and a decent amount of sleep. Start the day with meditation, do some stretches, practice yoga, or try home office exercises. In the end, it’s much easier to do this at your home than to in an open office full of your co-workers. Also, remember to eat well. You may spend the whole day researching where’s the right place for you to work, but may not even notice that eating a big lunch can kill your ability to work. Rather than having junk food, include vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, cheese or raw fruits in your lunch. Moreover, don’t stay up late watching Netflix just because you don’t have to be in the office at 8am. Bad habits are easier to form than to break. ## 12. Spend enough time outside Cabin fever will set in, so make it a daily ritual to step outside for a while. Of course, we don’t mean crowded public spaces. Go to your garden, a park, or a forest. Not only are sunlight and fresh air important for your health, it will also clear your head. If you have a balcony or a terrace, you can even work from there for a few hours. Or enjoy your coffee breaks there. This way, you’ll not exhaust your creativity and inspiration, and even come up with fresh ideas. ## Find what works best for you There are several things that you can do to be more productive when working from home. However, everyone has a different work at home method. It depends on what type of work you’re doing and even then it seems to vary from person to person. Don’t get too fixated on anyone else’s advice, including mine. Try these tips to find what works the best for you. Good luck!
  • Have a Truly Terrible Boss? Here’s the 5 Best Ways to Deal With Them

    Just like a good school teacher will bring out the best in their students, a good boss can inspire their staff to achieve and perform at their best. On the flipside, constant negativity and obstructive behaviour at work has a corrosive effect that leads to a toxic atmosphere in the office, and very often — a frustration to the organisation. If you’re unlucky enough to have a line manager or director who is a really terrible boss, you need some **strategies to deal with the situation.** We’re not talking about executives involved in any illegal activities here, just some people who, for whatever reason, have the effect of making your working life a total misery. Of course, you could always leave (and often that’s the most realistic solution) – but why should you? Here are 5 unfortunate scenarios that you may encounter at work, and how to deal with them. ## 1. Your terrible boss lacks management experience If your manager clearly doesn’t seem to know how to do their job, or how to lead their own team, this can be frustrating all round. The good news is that even they will learn, given time. In additional to everyday on-the-job training and experience, there are effective management and leadership courses that they could attend, so lack of management experience or leadership skills may only be a transitional problem. In the meantime, if you’re able to be generously spirited and support your boss without causing them embarrassment, you may sow the seed for a long and loyal professional relationship. Make it clear that you understand that they isn’t incompetent, merely inexperienced, and offer your help discreetly and selflessly. ## 2. Your terrible boss always takes the credit A selfish and deceitful person is never going to be a good manager to be working for. But rather than exposing your boss’ overinflated claims for what they are, you may be better off biding your time until a more senior person sees through the pretence. But what do you do while you’re waiting for your boss’ ceiling to cave in? A two-pronged approach is best. First, make the best out of the situation and prove your worth, so that your value to the department is never in question – who knows, maybe you’ll be recommended as the next manager? Secondly, plan your next career move on the side, perhaps by gaining experience in other departments where the line management is more to your liking and your efforts may be rewarded more easily. ## 3. Your terrible boss only sees the negative Some people seem to be wired in such a way that they only ever comment on the negative and never give praise. While it’s a normal instinct to focus on the negative, some people take it to extremes. It’s a mind set that can be intensely frustrating to be around and can zap the energy of everyone in the vicinity. What can you do? First of all, find out whether there are grounds for your boss’ negativity. Are they truly unhappy with your performance at work? If so, this needs addressing in a professional HR context as a matter of urgency. However, if they are continually grumpy for no apparent reason, your best tactic is to counter your boss’ negativity with positivity. Don’t let the continuous nitpicking bring you or the other team members down and inject enough positive energy to reassure yourself (and others) that things are a lot better than they are making out. ## 4. Your terrible boss is never available Whether your manager never seems to be in the office, is always on the phone, in meetings or their door is always shut, they are essentially absent and can offer nothing much in the way of management. While this is disheartening, it also critically leaves the team with no-one to give direction. If your boss is routinely uninvolved in the goings-on of their department, they leave a power vacuum that someone, sooner or later, officially or unofficially, will fill. It could be you. Obviously, you need to be careful not to step on anyone’s toes but if you’re ambitious and have natural leadership skills, now is perhaps a good opportunity to let them shine. ## 5. Your terrible boss is micromanaging The micromanaging boss is at the opposite end of the behavioural spectrum. They will want to know every detail of what you’re doing every minute of the day, watching you like a hawk and correcting every tiny mistake you make. There are clearly trust issues at play here, and a deep discomfort of delegating even small tasks. ‘If you want the job done properly, do it yourself’ could be their mantra. The trick here is to learn to tune into the way this person ticks and work with them, not against them. Anticipate what they are going to ask and be prepared. If they stress about deadlines, make sure you’re ready in good time. If it’s typos that drive them mad, double-check every document. If you can read them to such an extent that you can answer their questions before they even ask and solve their problems before they have a chance to point them out, you will slowly gain their trust and loyalty, and most likely for the long term.
  • 6 Tips for Salary Negotiation as a Fresh Graduate

    Salary negotiation can be difficult for anyone, regardless of age. Still, recent graduates seem to be more anxious about it than the previous generation. After several years of un(der)paid internships, any kind of money may seem like a lot. This results in a situation when graduates are happy for having received any kind of offer. Yet, well-handled salary negotiations lead to satisfaction on both sides. ## Salary negotiation is almost always at least partially successful. Don’t be anxious about it. According to a survey done by the online financial service NerdWallet and the job service Looksharp, fresh graduates tend to be quite shy when negotiating their first salaries. *“84% of employers are willing to increase their initial offer by as much as 10%.”* Even an entry-level candidate is expected to negotiate. And to be successful at that. ## The success rate is high. - Only 38% recent graduates negotiate their salaries. - 84% of employers are willing to increase their initial offers by as much as 10%. - Only 10% of employers ever withdrew an offer because a candidate tried to negotiate. - 76% of employers consider candidates, who attempt to negotiate, confident for doing so. - Female candidates are less likely to negotiate than their male counterparts. When they attempt to do so, their success rate is similar—about 80%. I cannot stress this enough—do negotiate. The numbers show you can only gain. As a fresh graduate, you cannot use your experience as leverage. Keep in mind good companies are always on a lookout for people who show potential. ## 6 Tips for Negotiating Salary Salary negotiations are not risky. Still, it is not enough to simply ask for a salary increase—you have to do it right. 1. Postpone salary negotiation until you’re offered the job. First, let your potential employer decide whether you’re the right candidate. People are always slightly reluctant to change their previous decisions. Use this to your advantage. 2. Be enthusiastic. Even if the offer is lower than you expected, do not show disappointment. After all, an offer is an offer. Remain positive and always express excitement before you begin to negotiate. 3. Don’t rush it. Unless it’s your dream job, don’t feel the need to accept right away. If you feel pressured, ask to review the offer in writing. You want to make sure you’re making the right decision. Don’t wait too long, though. They want to fill the position as soon as possible. 4. Do your research. Making unreasonable requests does not show you in a favourable light. It’s vital that you know at least an approximate salary range for your position. When in doubt, ask for a 10 percent increase from their initial offer. 5. Be prepared to explain what do you want and why you want it. If possible, explain how it will benefit the company. Do not assume that simply asking for an increase is going to be enough. Always assume the employer is on your side but everyone has their limits. Defend your case but remain thoughtful in doing it. 6. Make your decision. In the end, you will have to decide. If you decide to accept the offer, communicate positive enthusiasm. If not, express gratitude. In either case, you don’t want to close off an opportunity for them to come back with another offer. NB: In some situations, negotiations would be inappropriate or unlikely to succeed. First, jobs in a very structured environment; e.g. government or military jobs. Second, where there’s a large amount of supply, such as an entry-level barista.
  • These Are 10 Good Reasons to Change Careers in Your 20s

    Hi! I think I know you a bit. You finished college a few years ago, were busy travelling for a while, had a job or two, but feel like your career hasn’t quite taken off yet. What’s wrong? If you are still in your late 20s, you’ve no reason to despair. At this age, you already have a decent perspective on your life and it’s just natural that you want to take control. So, if the job or career you picked right out of college is not satisfying, you better do something about it. And the best time to do so is now. Obviously it takes courage to quit a steady, well-paying, full-time job to start a new career. While some will always deem this type of behavior irresponsible and risky, it may as well turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Here are 10 good reasons to change careers in your 20s. They will help you decide whether it’s high time to follow your calling and find your desired career ASAP: ## 1. You don’t feel any fulfilment or satisfaction You may like the salary that lands in your bank account every month, but what if you lack satisfaction from what you do? Well, there’s no substitution for a fulfilling and meaningful career. If you know that the job is not something you see yourself doing long-term, starting to look for a new position is the only next logical step to do. ## 2. You want to gain new skills Staying in the same job might be a safe option. But if you’re looking for opportunities to grow and gain new experience, starting afresh at a different company is the best thing to do. In your late 20s, some aspect of your personality might not have had a chance to develop. Think about your strengths and weaknesses and focus on the skills you’d like to gain. Changing careers at a right time will also help you get a better perspective of complex tasks and improve your problem-solving skills. ## 3. You want to move closer to your goals There is no harm in changing jobs if it can help you move one step closer towards true career fulfilment. It might seem like an elusive goal, but who ever had everything figured out in their late 20s? As long as each of your decisions is purposeful and strategic, it’s good to take risks to unleash your true potential and carve your own path. Similarly to a part-time job or college internship, each position will help you see what makes you tick and what you despise. ## 4. The current work environment is not your cup of tea The environment can make as much of an impact on your career satisfaction as the type of work you’re a part of. Let’s say that your first job is working for a large corporation where you’re a small fish in a big pond. You may find yourself having the itch to work with a smaller team in a more dynamic environment and take on more responsibility. When still in your late 20s, you need to expose yourself to different teams and company cultures. It’s important to find a place which resonates with your values and will support your ideas instead of discarding them. ## 5. You’ve stopped learning and growing Do you feel that the last time you actually learnt something was college? If your tasks start to feel routine and you feel apathy creeping in because you no longer have any opportunities to grow, then you’d do better to look for a new challenge. From time to time, we all need a dramatic change to stimulate our brains and get ourselves onto that steeper learning curve again. Invest in yourself by starting a new career that will make you thrive and feel strong again. ## 6. The positives no longer outweigh the negatives OK, let’s do the math. Does your salary no more make up for the stress and overtime? Do interesting projects no longer compensate for the dull tasks? Do fun times become less and less frequent? If your answer to all of these questions is ‘NO’, you may want to look for a job where the balance is more in your favor. Putting down all the positives and negatives will help you see your present situation. No job is pure joy, but it’s only up to you to decide what you’re willing to put up with. ## 7. You’re just drifting Jour job’s just fine, your salary is good, there’s nothing special going on. Sort of average, right? Sometimes you seem to be drifting through life, having no ambitions, no real sense of direction. That is frustrating. So if you’re dreaming of awakening your inner genius and breathing in some passion and excitement to your career, you need to take control. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while to prevent yourself from settling for mediocrity. Change your career path before it’s too late. ## 8. You’re living for the weekends Do jokes about horrible Mondays and fantastic Fridays resonate with you? Are TGIF the four letters that describe your working week? If you keep counting off the days to the weekend, it has gone too far. Besides being demanding and challenging, your work is also supposed to be rewarding and fun! If you can’t help but feel frustrated in your current job, then no amount of “life” after work is going to make up for that. ## 9. You’re getting dangerously close to burnout Tight deadlines make us stay late, checking emails on holiday has become normal, and we’ll all go that extra mile to deliver a perfect presentation. There’s nothing wrong about working hard. But if you can’t sleep properly, if you need to work 7 days a week, if your body is suffering from the heavy workload… it’s high time to take a break or find a more balanced lifestyle. ## 10. You have a burning desire to do something else Unless you want to spend your whole life on autopilot, it’s important to learn to listen to your gut and trust your intuition. Maybe you have a passion that you’ve been dreaming of following for years. Maybe you have a great business idea that is alive and kicking. Or you simply feel you need to get immersed in completely different projects. If these ideas have been stealing your sleep, if you instinctively feel it’s time to move on, then now is the best time to make it a reality. ## Decided to change careers in your 20s? Good. What to do next? You’re lucky. As a 20-something, you still have the opportunity to strategically pivot your career path, leveraging your skills and network to get where you want to go. If you’re unsure about making the career change, ask your close friends and trusted colleagues what they think. Those who know you best will be willing to provide you with a useful insight into your situation. Also, it’s certainly quite uncomfortable to face longer absence of your regular income. If this is the case, sit down first and take a proper look at your finances. Your savings may be something to rely on during the transition. So appreciate the time you have in your late 20s to get your feet wet with different tasks and absorb everything you can while you’re still young. And if you’re still hesitant, there are just four letters for you: YOLO! So why stay in the same role forever when you can leave your past behind and invest in expanding your horizons instead?
  • How to Tell Your Boss You’re Quitting? 9 Tips to Leave Without Drama

    There are many ways you can tell your boss you’re quitting your current job. You may be thinking about dancing your way out of the door, baking a resignation cake, or even shutting down Trump’s twitter account. However, going out with a bang rarely pays off. What about leaving with grace and professionalism instead? It’s just too easy to cut off the branch you’re sitting on. But if you quit the right way, you have a great chance to end up with a strong network that will support you in your future. There’s no doubt everyone wants this process to be as painless and smooth as possible. You must be well prepared to react in a suitable way to anything that the conversation might bring. ## 1. Prepare the scene First of all, set up a meeting to deliver the news in person. Rather than talking to your boss at an inconvenient moment, you want to talk one-on-one and without distractions. As far as the meeting goes, you have a lot of control over the situation. It’s you who should lead the conversation, not your boss. Also, remind yourself that quitting is a natural part of the working world. You’re not the first and not the last guy who’s ever quit. And no matter how irreplaceable you think you are — your boss is sure to find a replacement soon. Keeping these things in mind will help you create some distance between you and your job, making the conversation just a little easier. ## 2. Express gratitude Even if you’re really angry and unhappy, there’s always something good you can say about your job. Think about things you’re grateful for. There might not be many, but each of them counts. So always remember to keep things positive and pepper the conversation with expressions of gratitude: - Start out by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to learn new skills and grow in your current position. - Say how grateful you are for the inspiration and support you’ve got from your employer. Emphasize how much you’ve learned from his expertise. Your boss will appreciate your recognition of how he’s influenced your life and career in a meaningful way. - Express thanks for the chance to work with your colleagues. Make sure to give credit to specific members of your team you’ve enjoyed working with. ## 3. Remember the reasons why you’re leaving Now that you filled your conversation with appreciation, it’s time to change the tone and say that you need to move on. Once you’ve already made up your mind, stop thinking about all the reasons to stay. Before entering the manager’s office, remind yourself of your motivation for looking for a new job in the first place. Why made you make this move? Was it a higher-level position, more meaningful work, shorter commute, higher salary or better work-life balance? Make it clear that your quitting is a result of your dreams and aspirations. Naturally, you want your boss to see you are quitting to chase your goals rather than running away out of frustration. Regardless of the motivation you had for making a change, you’re going to feel great once the conversation is over. Keeping this feeling in mind will help you stay calm, positive and energized rather than losing control over the situation. ## 4. Don’t disclose too much There’s one advice for talking about your future prospects — be honest, but brief. Your employer is not entitled to know where or why you’re moving on. There’s no reason to leak details of your new company’s awesome perks or how much more you’ll be making. Whichever way the conversation goes, it’s particularly important that you don’t feel guilty about moving on or feel like you need to over-explain. In this way, you won’t feel under pressure to reveal everything about your next move. You can also speak in general terms and allude to your new job in a general way: - “I have several possible options, and I’m taking a few weeks off to recharge before I make the final decision.” - “I can’t be public about it just yet, but it’s a managing position at a startup where I’ll be responsible for creative social media campaigns.” ## 5. Avoid burning bridges and venting Although you may have complained about a thousand different things while working at your company, you need to leave these things behind. Keep any negative feelings to yourself. Building bridges takes time, but you can burn them in a flick of a moment. Don’t destroy your connections and valuable friendships. It would be the dumbest thing to do when quitting. Remember that nobody fired you. It was your call to leave for a better opportunity. So even if it’s your boss that is the reason why you’re leaving, don’t make it personal. Maintain your composure and keep emotions in check. This will help you remember your final day as the day of firm handshakes and perhaps even a few hugs. Similarly to your first interview, the last conversation with your employer should leave him with a good impression rather than embarrassing memories. You never know when your paths cross again, especially if you intend to stay in the same industry or city. And also the more professional your farewell turns out to be, the easier it will be to get a decent reference from your former boss later on. If you feel your boss is open to criticism and you’d like to give some feedback, do so face-to-face and in a constructive manner. Instead of bringing up any negative reasons, focus on the positive aspects of your new position: - “Working more independently and supervising others is the next logical step in my career advancement.” ## 6. Show that you’re willing to help with the transition It’s best to quit in a way that will ensure a smooth transition and minimise disruption to your employer. Still, you may unintentionally leave the company in dire straits and your employer’s business can suffer due to a void in expertise and experience. There are many things you can do to ease the situation. Prepare clear documentation of your work, complete your ongoing projects and tell your boss that you’ll keep your eyes peeled for potential candidates. It’s very likely that the company will need your guidance and expertise to train your successor. Your boss may also ask you whether they can reach out to you in the future with questions. So if you happen to be leaving on amicable terms, consider making yourself available in the weeks or months to come. On the other hand, you need to set some boundaries up front. That way you will save yourself from being continually bombarded with endless phone calls and emails as you’re trying to move on to the next thing. ## 7. Determine the date of your last day The traditional amount of notice is 2 weeks. But this can also depend on the type of contract, your position or the current projects you’re responsible for. Alternatively, a situation may arise when you may be unable to provide the required notice. If that happens, ask your employer politely if there is any way you could end employment sooner. All in all, you and your boss should agree on an official termination date that will be your last day of employment. Any accrued compensation or benefits will be calculated as of that date. ## 8. Don’t breach any confidentiality and non-compete agreements Look at your contract carefully. It may contain a confidentiality (non-disclosure) agreement with your employer. The document serves to protect any type of information that the employer deems valuable. And the violation of its terms by sharing your employer’s confidential and proprietary information could easily put you in legal hot water. Last but not least, make sure you’re not under the obligation of a non-compete agreement that could prevent you from breaking free from your current employer and starting your own business. However, if that’s the case, review the terms and conditions carefully and consult an attorney to determine your next steps. ## 9. Be prepared for every scenario After you’ve said your piece, it’s time to wait for your boss to respond. However, there are about a million different ways how he can react. He can ask you to leave immediately, stay a bit longer than you expected or make you reconsider your decision by offering a considerable pay rise. The best way to deal with this uncertainty is to prepare for every possibility. Consider the following outcomes: 1. “Leaving now” scenario. Chances are your employer will ask you to pack up your things right away and cut off electronic access to any documents you worked with. Be also prepared to say farewell to your company-owned equipment and turn in things like a company car, phone, laptop, pager or tablet immediately after expressing your intentions. 2. “Staying longer” scenario. Even if you’re already thinking of your next job, it might still be feasible for you to stay a couple of weeks longer than you originally intended. Be smart and consider asking your employer for a positive reference or recommendation letter in return. 3. “No quitting” scenario. What to do when your boss wants you to stay? If you’re still undecided, ask for some time so that you can sleep on it. Stay rational and weigh all the pros and cons. If it makes sense to stay, do so. But bear in mind that even if you decide to stay on board, your attempt to quit is very likely to affect your relationship with your boss in the future. ## Don’t be afraid to tell your boss you’re quitting Talking to your boss can often be quite difficult, especially when it comes to quitting. But believe me — once it’s done, you’ll feel a huge surge of relief and happiness. It will mean that you once again reclaimed control over your career and decided to carve your own path. And that’s what people call freedom, I suppose!
  • Want a Higher Salary? Look Here!

    Most employees will feel the need to request a raise at some point during their professional careers. Knowing when and how to ask for a raise may significantly increase your chances of actually obtaining one and ensure you present yourself as professionally as possible to your supervisor. Learn more about when you should request a salary increase and the steps to take when writing a salary increase request. ## When should you request a salary increase? You will need to determine the right time to ask for a pay raise. To choose the appropriate time, you should consider when your company carries out certain events during the course of the year, such as budget planning, performance reviews and funds distribution to departments. Asking for a raise at a time that suits your company’s financial schedule can increase your chances of getting a positive response, even if it means waiting an additional month or two. The following are times when asking for a salary increase makes sense: - **When your supervisor is especially pleased with you.** If you have just helped your company retain an important client and your supervisor is particularly happy with you, it is a good time to make your request. - **When your supervisor is in a good mood.** Avoid talking to your supervisor about your salary when they are having a bad day or seem especially stressed. - **If you have been delivering excellent work for a year since your last pay increase.** Many companies reevaluate their employees’ salaries once a year. If your company does not do this, it is reasonable to ask for a pay raise if it has been a long time since your last salary increase. - **A month or two before your company’s budget process.** It is common for companies to assess salaries when planning budgets. Find out when your company carries out this process and discuss your salary with your supervisor one or two months in advance. - **During a performance review.** If you receive positive feedback from your supervisor during your performance review, take advantage of the situation to request a pay increase. Asking for a raise at the appropriate time can play a large part in getting the salary increase you are requesting. ## How to write a request for a salary increase? The following are steps you can take when writing a request for a salary increase: **1. First, be sure that the date your letter is sent is clearly noted** Before you compose and send your letter, make sure that the date the letter is being sent is clearly noted for your reference and your manager’s records. **2. Second, address the letter to your supervisor** You should address your request for a raise letter directly to your manager. You can use either their first and last name, Mr./Ms. [Last Name] or their first name if that is appropriate. **3. Third, introduce the reason you are writing and the raise you are requesting** The first paragraph of your letter should include the reason why you are writing the letter (to request a raise) as well as the percentage of salary increase you are requesting. You can also include your reasons as to why you are asking for a raise. For example, if it has been more than a year since your last raise, you recently received a promotion or took on additional responsibility, etc. **4. Fourth, include market research to support your request** You should include market research related to your position and salary if it is relevant to your request. For example, you may include the average salary of individuals with similar experience who are in a job similar to yours in your location if the average salary is more than what you are currently making. **5. Fifth, note your accomplishments since your last salary increase** In your letter, you should include a bulleted list of four or five accomplishments, contributions and responsibilities that support your request for a raise. This gives your manager a clear idea of how you have contributed to the company and why you are deserving of a salary increase. **6. Then, conclude your letter by reiterating your request** Once you have listed your accomplishments as well as any relevant market research, you can conclude your letter with a brief summary of the request you are making and why. **7. Next, thank the recipient for their time and consideration** Be sure to end your letter by thanking your manager for reading your letter and taking your request into consideration. **8. Finally, end the letter with a simple closing** To complete your letter, include a simple closing such as ‘Sincerely,’ as well as your full name and signature. ## Things to avoid when requesting a salary increase Here are some are things that you should not include when writing a letter for a salary increase: - Complaints - Reference to other employees’ salaries - Asking for a raise without first doing your research - Ultimatums if a raise is not given - Too much personal information
  • Top 20 Rules of Work You Should Never Ignore

    Once you land up on a job, you are handed a small booklet giving details of the rules and regulations that has to be followed in that place. Wondering, why are they handed and what has that got to do with you? Well if you don’t abide by it, you are surely going to forego your job. You need to be aware that every workplace has its own rules according to the type of business. Based on the business needs, the rules are highlighted. ## Workplace Rules – Why Do We Have Them? Each work environment has certain rules that is necessary to be followed and for this purpose, company spends time and money on training the candidate before starting on new job. **Let’s see the impacts of rules** - Rules are required to bring all the employees together and bring in equality amongst all. - It promotes co-operation and discipline. - It would have negative impact on the workflow, if even one or two of its employees do not follow. - It pushes everyone in the team working towards a common goal. - It strengthens the growth of the company. - It does not allow any work to be incomplete. - It is required to follow the laws of the state and bring in compliance for legal matters. - Another aspect is to show compliance to safety rules that is mandatory to protect the workers while they are working. - It is to bring in positive image and create a better perception about the company. - It is required to keep the business running smoothly - It impacts the development of business indirectly through its streamlined operations. - It helps in making proper decisions making the process simpler. - It helps in allowing employees to know what they have to do, thus preventing chaos. - In the event of changes to business, rules will need to be amended to bring in change. - It has to be updated and comprehensive to accommodate all the situations as much as possible for making proper and correct decisions. ## Learning the Rules by Observation: From the content, it is obvious that these are mostly learnt by observing your counterparts. Let us see what are those rules **1. Leaving for the day:** You might experience your team mates waiting to leave even after working time. It’s just because the boss has not left and no one leaves till he /she gets up from the seat. If such is the case, then you need to consult with your boss and decide what you can do. Make your boss aware that, you will complete your work and leave. **2. Open door:** You might be aware that every workplace always tell that,’ the door is always open to share views’. In actual situation, it’s not always standing true. The CEO is not always ready to accept or most of the times not available. Make sure if anyone has done before you make a move. **3. Flexi-timing:** Few jobs indicate flexibility of work timings which makes employees happy. But if you are been advised of considering a flexi-timing for your role, you would need to reconsider before you start. It may be in paper but not in reality, as other might not be following such a system. So get to know how the work and timings are interrelated at your company. **4. Dress code:** You need to decide what dress you should wear at workplace. It needs to be decent and neat. Moreover, by following a formal dress code, it is better as it gives respect and maintains dignity. **5. Importance of participation:** Being a part of team does not mean that you need to attend every meeting or gathering announced or respond to mails. But there could be instances when you need to. Just make sure you know where to put your limits and when do you need to. **6. Work-life balancing:** Get to know the period you can take breaks to spend time for vacations as part of providing work-life balance to its employees. Some companies give short breaks at frequent intervals and some give longer vacations once in a year. ## 20 Rules of Work to Never Ignore: As said earlier, rules are required to protect business from litigation and maintain work-life balance. Through proper execution and implementation of rules, employees are protected and made aware of their responsibilities. It indirectly leads to growth of the business. The 20 rules that you as an employee must observe are, **1. Maintain punctuality:** Whether it’s opening the shop for business or reaching your desk at corporate company, maintaining punctuality is critical for the growth of the business. Always ensure that you reach at the time specified. **2. Follow rules:** Like said earlier in the article, rules are laid down for employees to abide by. It is for the benefit of them as well as the company. You have a problem with certain aspect, talk it out with your supervisor to know how to handle it. **3. Know Operating Procedures:** You may be assigned to work on a process or on certain equipment, then make sure you have gone through the operating procedures. By doing so, you make others aware about it as well. **4. Know dress code:** You need to wear your attire base on your profession. Don’t overdo or make a clown of yourself. Dressing to the type of work is best as it creates an impression about you. Most of the time formal dress code is always welcome. **5. Observing sentiment:** This is a scenario observed when hiring or giving promotion. It is better to not bring in family issues between works or else it would harm the image of the company or the business. **6. Being objective:** It may seem difficult to be objective at all instances, but if you need to see growth then try allocating jobs with certain timelines to keep track. This will help in the growth of the company or business. **7. Keep emotion at check:** As this is workplace, it is advisable to keep your emotion at check. Don’t cry over petty issues or joke too frequently at your desk. You would lose your credibility in the long run. **8. Maintain confidentiality:** Any workplace has its secrecy and you being a part of the work culture should know where and how to maintain confidentiality. There would be instances when your boss would share a moment that is required to be kept as a secret. You need to understand its importance and depth. **9. Be smart in work:** Handling your daily tasks is your priority and you need to know which task is to be prioritized. Besides, work hard and you are sure to be rewarded. Don’t try to shy away and be lazy. Be attentive and smart in your work always. **10. Don’t misuse:** Any company would provide resources to get their work done with ease. You should ensure that you do not misuse those resources for your personal benefits. Even if you are in charge for office equipment’s, do not consider to flick out a piece or two as the numbers may be unnoticeable. **11. Follow ethics:** Being assigned to a specific job means you are to execute the task without glitches. There are certain ethics to be followed at workplace and you must take care to abide by them. **12. Clean your workplace:** Maintain your workplace by cleaning your area of work. Try to implement the 5S scheme and abide by it. Having a clean space around you gives you more inspiration to work and impacts you with positivity. **13. Limit visitors:** While at workplace, do not entertain visitors coming to your company frequently. You have to refrain from allowing frequent visits of your friends or family members. Inform them about it and this helps to increase your productivity. **14. Adhere to break schedule:** Every workplace defines a specific time or schedule for having lunch or coffee breaks. It’s always good to abide by those time schedules. Do not take liberty of breaking rules for such activities. **15. Maintain hygiene:** As restrooms are provided at each work place, it is our duty to ensure that the rest rooms are maintained with hygiene. Take due care of the hygiene of rest room as you take care of other work space that you are assigned to. **16. Maintain relationship:** Your workplace is like another family, so try to maintain proper relations with everyone. Keeping a healthy relationship with everyone helps you to grow and learn the work process. **17. Avoid long hours:** Prioritizing your work and knowing its importance could complete your work on time. Moreover, by managing your time for the task, you need to complete the work during specified working hours. By staying back, extending your working time will affect your work-life balance and bring in stress. So avoid working long hours at home. **18. Read before you sign:** There are many documents that you may have to sign for each assignment or project. It’s better to read through, before signing any documents as you could get committed to something you don’t intend to. **19. Use of email:** You would be assigned email ID for official purpose and you need to follow protocols. Refrain from using your email for personal purpose. Many a times people get to use them and get tempted to misuse. But it’s your duty not to allow personal matters to be sent via official ID. **20. Maintain equipment:** Every workplace provides equipment to be used for executing the task efficiently. Whatever be the equipment, it is advisable to see that the equipment is maintained and in case of any breakdown, call in the service engineers to repair on time.
  • What to Do If You Got Fired

    Being fired from a job is not a pleasant experience, but it is possible to take action immediately following termination and take steps to minimize the impact your termination has on your future employment. You can apply for unemployment benefits right away as well as discuss with the employer their reasons for firing you. You can use the information in this guide to help you move forward if you were just fired from your job. ## What are the reasons for being fired Typically, employers will terminate an employee for a valid reason. A valid reason for termination could be due to misconduct, poor work ethic (like consistent tardiness) or another cause that may include a negative behavior or action on the employee’s part. However, if you were fired because of something you did, you might find it beneficial to ask your employer directly for their reasons for terminating you. Additionally, there are several approaches you might take to get back on track in your career after being fired. ## What to do if you were fired from your job These approaches may help you move past your termination as smoothly as possible: **Determine the cause of your termination** After being fired, you might request a meeting with your employer to find out their reasons for firing you. For instance, you might find out what specific actions or behaviors you demonstrated that led to your termination. Typically, an employer will review the causes of termination with you so you can take steps to improve the skill or behavior for future roles. **Negotiate your severance pay** In some cases, terminated employees still receive severance pay, no matter the cause of termination. If you are in the process of negotiating your severance pay, you might consider waiting to sign any documents until you reach a compromise on the amount you will receive. **Apply for unemployment benefits** You can also apply for unemployment benefits even if you don’t think you will need it. Depending on the reason you were fired, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation that compares with your previous salary. At the very least, unemployment benefits can help as a buffer while you are looking for another job. **Budget your current finances** It’s also important to reevaluate your current finances to create a budget while you are in between jobs. Assessing your finances can also help by giving you an idea of what your expenses will be and how much money you may need to set aside to pay for your living expenses. For instance, you might make a list of your fixed expenses such as utilities and phone bills and try to set aside the exact amount you will need. **Request a letter of recommendation** Getting fired from a job doesn’t mean you can’t request a letter of recommendation from your employer. Even if you failed to meet your job expectations, you can still ask your employer to write a recommendation or at the very least, to write a letter of impact, which can still benefit your future job search. **Appeal your termination if it was wrongful** You may also choose to appeal your termination if you feel it’s warranted. If you do choose to appeal your termination, there may be specific time frames you need to adhere to, so it can be important to find out what the specific deadlines are for submitting an appeal. **Reach out to your professional networks** Another important step to take after being fired is to reach out to your professional networks. For instance, you might reach out to former colleagues or past employers and explain your situation. You may be able to find a new position when taking this approach, and you can also use your network to ask for advice or reach out to a mentor during your transition. **Prepare to explain your termination in future job interviews** It’s also important that you get prepared for future job interviews by practicing how you will explain your termination. Typically, interviewers may ask about past terminations or your reasons for leaving past jobs, especially if your resume reflects it in your work history. The important thing to remember is to be honest in your discussion. **Accept accountability for your actions** Before you leave your job completely, you might think about offering an apology and accepting responsibility for your actions. Sometimes an apology can lead to a further discussion of the event and how you might improve in the future. Being accountable for your actions can also show employers that you are capable of conducting yourself professionally, and it can also increase the chances of receiving a letter of recommendation or an employee referral. **Make time to work on your professional development** As you process the events surrounding your termination, it can be a good idea to get focused on your professional and personal development. Taking some time to make a new career plan can help you focus on moving forward rather than focusing on how you lost your job. For instance, you might go ahead and pursue your interests or perform in a volunteering role as a way to focus on developing additional skills. **Accept a job to fill in time gaps between employment** You might also think about accepting a part-time or temporary position to avoid employment gaps on your resume. If you choose to transition to another career field altogether, a temporary job in the industry you’re thinking of switching to can help you develop the skills you’ll need for a future position. ## What to avoid after being fired from a job Avoiding taking certain actions after being fired can be just as important as the steps you take to move forward, such as: **Losing control of your emotions** It’s never good news to hear your employer tell you you’re fired, however, you should avoid letting your emotions get in the way of your professionalism. Losing your temper can make matters worse, and it can lead to a poor review should the employer ever be called upon as a reference. **Speaking negatively about your employer** You should also avoid saying anything derogatory about the employer within your networks. For instance, avoid sarcasm or cynical remarks on social media and in professional settings. Maintaining your professionalism and avoiding retaliatory actions can help you quickly move beyond your termination. **Lying about your termination in an interview** It’s important that you remain open and honest in future job interviews regarding your termination. If the interviewer asks why you left your last job, be honest and explain how you were terminated. You might explain that although you made past mistakes, you have taken steps to improve and develop in your career.