Archive for the ‘career’ Category

Job Satisfaction

Job Satisfaction Factors:
  • Culture — work environment, office space, coworkers, company values
  • Salary — amount, paycheck every week/bi-weekly/monthly, direct deposit
  • Benefits — flex spending accounts, health, dental, vision, vacation days, reimbursements, perks
  • Location — commutes, cost-of-living, distance to/from home or friends
  • Position — title, daily work, career goals, status
The perfect job would have all five things tailored to your preferences, but in the real world, you usually have to sacrifice one for another. For example, an individual may have a large salary with excellent benefits, but stationed far away from family and friends. Or a large salary but little vacation days and an oppressive management. Or a small salary with little benefits in a fun, friendly environment doing rewarding work. Or decent salary and work environment in a field that may not give passion. The possibilities are endless.

I’m no psychologist or human resources professional, but it’s only logical that if a person looks for another job, one or more job factors in their current position aren’t met. I think there’s a natural evolution with this because the things you felt when you first started a job may no longer be the same after time and experience.

Anyway, all this to say, I’m really curious to hear what others think regarding this topic:
  • Has anyone ever taken a pay decrease through changing jobs?
    If yes, what did the lower-paying job have that the other one didn’t?
  • Of the five “job satisfaction factors” which are most important to your current position? If you were to switch jobs right now, what factor would you look for in a new job?
  • Is your salary worth the amount or is it higher/lower based on other job factors?
I sound like an interviewer or something. :) I’ll share a little more of my personal experience later, but would really appreciate any insight from others!!

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Employee Review & Goals

On January 21st I had my annual employee review at my company. To preface, I love my job. I won’t disclose what I do or where I work, but I love the company, my coworkers, and the variety of the projects. I work underneath two supervisors who I admire greatly. I have been with this company for 19 months now and in that time have received three raises¬†totaling¬†$8,000. Pretty good for a first out-of-college job, eh?

During my review, we pretty much discussed my job performance, including areas of strength, improvements from last review, and areas for improvement for 2010. Oh, and I got a $1,000 raise as well (one of my 2010 goals achieved!).

Here are the things they put for my Areas of Improvement for 2010:

  • Continue to be proactive and learn
  • Speak up in client meetings when you’re informed
  • Speak up in staff meetings
  • Trust your instincts
  • Share your spirit, information, and enthusiasm with others

It was encouraging that the list was very short and I love that they couldn’t think of really bad things about my performance… but I don’t really like vague goals such as “trust your instincts.”

So here is my own personal list for work:

  • Read one industry-related non-fiction book this year
  • Meet with supervisors once a week to discuss projects and opportunities for more responsibility
  • Speak up more in staff meetings (that was a good one up there)
  • Initiate and lead client-meetings
  • Eventually manage my own account

Has anyone else recently had an employee review? What are some of your work-related goals for yourself?

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Health Benefits

The other day at our staff meeting our boss stood up and said that there were going to be some changes with our healthcare plan. Naturally, I assumed it would be a decrease on services or that the changes would only apply to those with spouses or children.

Not the case.

Apparently my company set up an account to allow each employee to have a debit card with $1,200 to use towards co-pays, prescriptions, and even over-the-counter medications for an entire year. How generous! Our healthcare insurance already is amazing–free dental, vision, medical–but with this card, I probably won’t have to spend a dime on health-related purchases while I am with this company.

It’s a good feeling working for a business that cares about the employees… it almost feels like I got a another raise. :)

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This will be a short post because I’m actually at work (gasp!) but I just HAD to share the good news to my faithful readers: I got a raise!!!

My coworker is leaving and thus I’ll be adding some of his work to my plate. My boss took me into her office, sang my praises and said I will be getting a $3,000 raise for the additional responsibilities.

I’ll write more after I crunch some numbers. :) Yipeee!

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Post Grad

I went to the movies the other night and saw this poster:

post grad

Immediately the title and that confused, adorable look of Alexis Bledel struck a cord with me. What do I do after graduation?! I felt the exact same way this time last year. I still feel that way sometimes.

What is it about our generation that is so lost after college?¬† I know so many friends that are in the same boat–confused about what they want and dissatisfied with their beginning career. Or on the flipside, apathetic and avoiding the real world by traveling and figuring who they are overseas. Perhaps we were so spoiled growing up always knowing the “next step.” You know, graduate high school, get into a good college, pick the right major, keep up good grades, get involved, receive the diploma, and… then what? Go on to grad school? Land the perfect dream job?

This “next step” is a little fuzzy. I didn’t land the perfect job. I don’t know if what I am doing is even the career or industry that I want to be in for the rest of my life. Is it because we entered the job market at a shaky point? Did our parents have the same problem with this, or is our generation just more vocal about it?

I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make, except to say that I completely resonate and empathize with the character in this trailer.

Anyone else feel the same way?

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Friday Fun

I work in advertising and thought I’d share a video to give you a sneak peak into the types of clients I work with… sort of. ;)

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My Greatest Ally

In the game of saving money, dumping debt, and managing your cash flow, income is your greatest ally. You have to have money to manage it.

My sister recently lost her job. She lives in expensive New York City and is struggling right now to find work and keep her head above water. I’ve been helping her with the process, but it got me thinking about my own life and job. There’s no such thing as job security, especially in this economy, but I put together a list of things to help ensure that my income continues.

1. Actually Work at Work
I know that this may sound a bit hypocritical, but I try to avoid blogging at work. I am an early-riser, so I always write blog posts first thing in the morning after I’ve worked out (not today!) and am drinking my first cup of coffee. I do publish the posts at work, but only because I like to review them once more. (It’s 7:15am right now as I type.)

The same goes for Twitter. And chatting with friends on IM. And browsing Facebook all day. And watching YouTube videos. Now, I do make updates on Twitter, occasionally comment on other blogs, and get distracted by the overwhelming amount of information that the internet offers, but it’s important to remember to do what I’m being paid to do.

2. Keep an Updated Resume & Portfolio
This was one of my April goals and it’s amazing to me how often I forget about the projects I worked on last month, or even last week. I keep a document filled with all of the possible things I have done (in college, in my career, extracurricular), and then come time for job searching, I can pick and choose different skills or job responsibilities that I’ve handled tailored to whatever I am applying for.

3. Develop & Maintain Relationships
I hate the word “networking” but it’s brought up so much for a reason. If I was going to hire someone to work underneath me, I would really prefer someone that I’ve met and can get a feel for their character, rather than sorting through a stack of well-qualified resumes. I have a list of all kinds of professional and non-professional contact information for just this reason (well that and because I genuinely care about most of them). When the time comes to change or move jobs, I hope that the people I’ve met in this job and former jobs will be a huge help in offering advice, networking, and even serving as a reference.

4. Learn New Things
When things are slow at work, I usually ask my other slammed co-workers what kinds of things I can do to help. I ended up learning HTML coding that way, something that is not at all in my job description. I also sign up for Webinars whenever there is one related to my field because the more I learn, the better marketable I become.

5. Remember to Follow My Dreams
(I know, so cheesy.) Sometimes my dreams are fuzzy and I lose focus on what exactly I want to become, but I need to remember that at the end of the day, a job is just a job. I never want to feel trapped with my position and want to have the freedom to explore new opportunities.

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