The Different Shape Of The Modern Career Ladder

The Different Shape Of The Modern Career Ladder

In the past people could expect a predictable climb up the career ladder. Things are a little different now.

When It’s Time To Negotiate

When It’s Time To Negotiate

If you’re applying to a minimum wage job then how much you’re paid isn’t really an issue, but if it’s a salaried job then there’s an opportunity for negotiation.

When to negotiate

You need to have salary expectations in mind going into the interview but the time to negotiate isn’t around: Hi my name is Jim and I’m expecting to make $50K does that work for you?

 

The first interview probably isn’t the time for salary negotiations to start. They should wait until it’s clear that you are a choice candidate. If the company likes you and has chosen to make you an offer then they are likely prepared to negotiate. That negotiation is actually part of the hiring process.

 

Know your number

Salary negotiation isn’t something you start thinking about when you’re in the interview or discussing the job offer. It’s something you’ve prepared for well in advance. You’ve already done your homework and have a salary range in mind before you came into the interview.

 

That doesn’t necessarily mean a specific number, I expect to be making $52,342 a year. Better to have a range, I’m expecting to make in the $50 – $55K range.

 

If you don’t have an answer for the salary question, then that can actually drop you in the ranks, if not discount you from the race altogether. It indicates to potential employers that you either don’t value yourself, know your worth, or have done your research. If you couldn’t even prepare yourself for an inevitable job-related question what kind of drive and motivation do you have?

 

Don’t forget about the benefits – they’re part of the negotiation. Holidays, insurance, pension are all topics that need to be addressed. Job perks can make a significant contribution to your salary.  So, like you did your homework on salary expectations, you should know what you’re looking for in terms of medical, dental etc. The other thing you should remember to ask about is the company’s policy on future raises.

 

Don’t act like a thirsty wanderer in the desert

If you go in with the attitude of a thirsty wanderer in the desert of the job market willing to take whatever drops are offered you, you will probably end up with only a few drops. A confident attitude, surety in yourself and an ability to stand up for yourself speaks volumes about what you will bring to the job.

 

Don’t be greedy

If however you’ve been offered what you were expecting or more, then that’s not the time to start asking for more. Asking for more than you’re worth simply demonstrates a lack of judgment.

 

 

Do back up your expectations

Have reasons for your expectations. Why are you worth what you say you’re worth? Be prepared with examples from your resume and your personal experiences. Just because experiences didn’t come out of a job environment, doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the package you are presenting.

 

Thanks but no thanks

Be willing to walk away. If the job isn’t right for you don’t just take it out of desperation. You’ll end up looking again sooner rather than later. Better to get the right job with the right salary in the first place.

 

Take time to be sure

Don’t feel like you have to make your decision on the spot. It’s perfectly okay to take a day to consider your options.

 

Negotiations can be hard. The employer is going to try and get the best deal for the company while you’re trying to get the best deal for yourself. That doesn’t mean negotiations are negative. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase your value. How you handle yourself during negotiations is indicative of how you handle yourself in general.

Ready to Quit Your Job?

Ready to Quit Your Job?

At some point, there may come a time when you want to quit your job. Maybe you want to quit your job every Monday morning, that’s not quite what we’re talking about. Sometimes you outgrow your current position and sometimes the fit isn’t quite right. There are many good reasons why you might want to quit your job. If that’s your decision here’s how to do it well.

Be Sure You Want to Quit Your Job

You don’t want to quit and then a couple weeks later realize you never should have left. If the issue making you want to leave is a coworker you don’t get along with, it’s worth remembering that there may be someone exactly like them at your next job. As we said, there are lots of good reasons why it’s time to move on, just make sure this is really what you want to do.

Give Two Weeks Notice

Two weeks notice is the standard across all businesses. Your employee contract may outline more or less time and if that’s the case, that’s what you should follow. Even if your work situation is stressful and negative, you should attempt to stick it out for two weeks. This gives you the opportunity to leave on the best possible note.

 

When giving your notice, if at all possible, do it in person. Don’t tell all your coworkers first or post anything about it to LinkedIn or Facebook before telling your boss. Sit down with your supervisor and let them know you’re leaving. No matter how you tell them, in person, over the phone or through an email, include a formal resignation letter.

Resignation Letter

Your letter of resignation should be positive and thankful. Thank your boss and the company. Even if you’re parting ways on a poor note, it doesn’t help you to rant and rave in the letter. You can include reasons for your departure if you’d like, but it’s not a requirement.

Check out some great examples of resignation letters here and here.

Depart Professionally

No matter what kind of job you are leaving or where you’re headed to next, it never helps to burn your bridges. Trash talking and gossiping with your coworker before you leave should be avoided. You can share with them that you’re leaving and why, but going further isn’t helpful. When you leave, make sure your projects are completed and you’ve left your desk clean and orderly.

 

Leaving on the best possible note will serve you well when asking for a recommendation or letter of reference later on. The business world is small and you want people to remember you as well as possible.

Avoid Criticism. Do Nothing, Say Nothing, Be Nothing

Avoid Criticism. Do Nothing, Say Nothing, Be Nothing

Some people think jumping out of an airplane is one of the greatest thrills life can offer. Others are positive people who jump out of airplanes are completely out of their minds. There are some who thrill at the thought of opening up their own business. Behind them are a chorus of naysayers shouting predictions of poverty and failure. Those examples are on the more extreme ends of what people will choose to do, but regardless of what you choose to do or believe, you cannot avoid criticism from one direction or the other.

Whose life is it anyway?

Whether you want to follow your passion and study architecture instead of joining your father’s fabulously successful retail chain, or you prefer to take notes rather than give a presentation in front of a big group, remember the person you ultimately need to answer to is you. It is your life not anyone elses.

You cannot sway everyone

You might think if you could only help others see things from your perspective they will come around and everyone will be happy. Your passion and enthusiasm might sway some to your way of thinking but it won’t sway everyone. We can’t even all agree on how to pronounce potato!

If you waste your time and energy worrying about what other people will say or think about what you do you will never manage to do anything.

Time travel

You are passionate about what you want to do and believe you can be successful at it. Or maybe you aren’t sure if you can be successful, but you certainly want to give it a try. But you keep hearing reasons why you need to reign it in and take another direction. So that’s what you do.

Now travel forward five years, ten years, forty years. How do you feel about not even trying? Criticism is impossible to avoid. That doesn’t mean you need to avoid living your life.

Has Anyone Ever Called You Too Nice?

Has Anyone Ever Called You Too Nice?

If someone asks you to help out with their project, do you automatically say yes? Even if it’s a small thing they should be able to handle on their own and it’s really kind of out of your way, you can’t help but agree? Do you find yourself over worked, helping others and still feeling bad if you’re unable to help out? You probably have a too nice problem.

 

From an early age we’re taught that we should be nice, considerate and kind to one another. This is true, but there comes a time when being overly kind can actually hinder your career progress. We’ve put together a couple questions you should ask yourself if you’re worried you might be too nice at work.

Can You Say No?

As we mentioned above, your very nice tendencies can lead to you feeling like you have to agree anytime a coworker asks anything of you. Next thing you know, you’re handling your own work, and everyone else’s. Not only does this add extra work to your plate, but it also sets a dangerous precedent and pretty soon people will think of you as the person who can be taken advantage of. Being able to say no also shows that you have a good understanding of your role and its responsibilities.

 

Can You be Honest?

Honesty is the best policy, especially at work. If you can’t tell a coworker or an employee that they need to shape up, your group’s work will suffer. Eventually people will notice you don’t have what it takes to be in a leadership role. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if someone needs to shape up, then another person is going to have to tell them. Let it be you. Even if it doesn’t feel nice. Tell them gently, and help them work on what they are lacking.

Can you Speak Up?

This is the one where the most excuses are made. Whether you’re a little intimidated by your boss or don’t want to overstep boundaries with your coworker, you can constantly convince yourself that the more polite course of action is to say nothing. The truth is, sometimes you’re gonna have to pipe up and speak your mind. People are going to have differing opinions, and sometimes they’ll be wrong.

 

Being nice and being able to get along with others are essential to making friends and networking. However if you’re too nice, you risk not being able to stand up to those who might take advantage of you. You can also hurt yourself by using politeness as an excuse for not getting your ideas out there. There is a time and place for niceness, and also a time and place to put your foot down.

Moving From School to The Job Market

Moving From School to The Job Market

 

As you transition from college or university to the workforce, you no doubt have been given lots of advice. Don’t text at work. Keep your feet off your desk. Don’t wear t-shirts with swear words on them are a couple common suggestions given to graduates by well-meaning career advisors. While practical, those bits of job advice are things you probably already knew. We’ve got a couple more useful suggestions that may be a little less obvious.

Start Networking Now

Whether you’re still in school or you’ve recently left, making connections that can help you find work and further your career starts with classmates, teachers and even guest speakers. Teachers and guest speakers are your first chance to connect with people in your field who also have workplace connections. Asking questions and constantly seeking out assistance will speak to your enthusiasm and set you apart.

Larissa Faw, writing for Forbes has another interesting avenue you can try for networking.

Join the nicest health club you can afford in your area, and become a regular in the early mornings. High-level executives exercise at the crack of dawn, and this is a great way to personally connect with those who can advance your career. It takes time to build relationships — you can’t form a friendship in a week — but showing up that early demonstrates dedication and the right priorities.

Focus on Key Areas of Strength

When looking for work, focusing on a key area of strength that matches the job posting is essential. Tailoring your resume and cover letter for each job is something many job seekers forget to do. In an article for The Globe and Mail Danielle Bragge, a partner at The Headhunters, a nation-wide recruitment firm says, “If a company says it is looking for someone to work in a fast-paced environment, use that as a chance to emphasize your experiences in that capacity, be it within a volunteer program or a past project.”

Know What You Look Like Online

One of the very first times I Googled myself–this was a number of years ago–the only thing that came up was a medal I had won in a high school science fair. Those days are long gone. You’ve probably heard it from friends, parents and teachers that you shouldn’t post partying pictures online. Again, this is practical advice you’ve heard before. Our advice isn’t so much what you make sure your interviewer doesn’t see, so much as what they do see.

Are you actively on twitter tweeting about the industry you’re looking to enter? Do you have a blog where you write? Is the writing there spellchecked and grammar checked? Are there any volunteer groups where you may be featured? Your online presence is much more than what you feature in a resume. It can offer a glimpse into who you are and can give you that essential bump in the interviewers’ mind.

Take Breaks

They call it the rat race, and taking a break can feel like you’re letting everyone else pass you by. But break you should.  If you never take a break, your productivity will actually suffer, you’re coworkers might begin to resent it and your boss may take you for granted. Take a look at this article in the The Atlantic. Ensure you don’t get burned out, and take time within your day–and days within your year–to refresh.