Pay

With the new year upon us, many people around the UK will begin making their resolutions for the year ahead. For those with professional aspirations, top of that list will often be securing a pay rise.

Although talking money can be an awkward and uncomfortable process at times, it can be an extremely important and vital part of professional life - particularly when it comes being paid what you're worth.

That being said, identifying exactly how much you are worth isn't always a straightforward process. It's not unusual for employers to want to pay you as little as possible to maximise profits, so they aren't always going to be forthcoming if you are in fact being underpaid.

As such, it's important to be able to recognise this fact for yourself. Luckily, this blog aims to help you do exactly that.

 

Look Around

Perhaps the easiest way of determining whether or not you are being underpaid what you or your position are worth is to simply have a scope around the jobs market and note the typical salaries on offer.

If you search for roles similar to your own, you'll soon be able to gain insight into what the going rate is for a position of your skill level and responsibility. However, it's worth remembering that this method isn't an exact science.

Chances are, there will likely be some form of a discrepancy between your duties and the standard roles listed on job boards and recruitment sites, particularly if you have been in your role for some time and have taken on additional responsibilities along the way.

If this is indeed the case, knowing whether or not you are being paid what you are worth isn't always straight-forward. Luckily, there's an easy way to help identify your eligibility and determine once and for all if you are due a raise…

 

Look Inside

Perhaps the most effective way to gauge whether or not you deserve a pay rise is to take a good hard look at yourself… by placing your own professional skills and personality under the microscope!

An honest and candid approach to appraising the man in the mirror is a fantastic way to uncovering the truth about where you stand in the company pecking order and whether or not you are being paid what's due.

To help you formulate your introspective self-assessment, here are four fundamental questions you may want to ask yourself before you head into your boss's office with an axe to grind and a cross to bear.

 

Are your skills indispensable?

Any worker that is a vital part of the overall machine and a key ingredient in the processes that make the company work can count themselves lucky.

If you hold a skill set that is unlike anyone else's, you have yourself a fundamental USP that is totally individual and specific to you as a person.

Whether you're a salesman with ironclad client relationships established through years of rapport or a creative with your own quirky style that cannot be easily replicated, such skills can be essential to company operations.

However, you don't need to be the best in your field to be seen as indispensable. As is often the case in the working world, experience is seen as a big plus point and tenure can also translate to indispensability.

As the old saying goes, you can't teach experience and anyone that has a storied history with the company and the insider knowledge that goes with it has themselves a solid argument. Long-standing tenure can provide abilities that cannot be taught.

 

Have your contributions made a difference?

Tangible contributions can be one of the strongest arguments in the arsenal of anyone looking to make a valid claim for a pay rise - particularly if they are backed by corresponding facts and figures.

If you have brought in substantial business and were the primary reason for such a deal getting finalised, you will likely have a large bargaining chip to play with.

For example, a salesman with a salary of £25k/annum that brings in £75k of sales will have theoretically paid for his salary three times over, which makes for a solid statistic when it comes to requesting a pay rise.

That being said, contributions don't always need to be measured in pounds and pennies. Your contributions could simply be your continued hard work and ability to help a project reach completion on time and above expectations.

Providing a consistently high level of output and performance can be the best contribution of all and is applicable to virtually any job and department.

 

Are you a positive influence on the company?

In addition to making positive contributions to the bottom line and the business as a whole, being a positive influence on others within the office environment can also be a big contributing factor to your company worth.

Office morale can have a big influence on overall performance and its widely believed that, as a rule, a happy worker is a productive worker. If you are in a position of managerial responsibility and maintain a positive work ethic and upbeat environment within your team, such an influence should be recognised.

While it may not be the overriding factor that swings it in your favour, being a positive influence on the team and those around you can be a great supplementary quality to reinforce your argument and support your case for a pay rise.

 

Are you a key part in the company's future plans?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, determining whether or not you are a fundamental part of the machine going forward could be your most valid reason of all.

If your presence within the company is vital for the business to achieve its goals in the future, your value within the organisation should be rewarded with the appropriate remuneration.

For example, if the primary project of the year is to be spearheaded, managed or set up by you, it's fair to say that you are a pretty big part of the company's future plans. Highlight this importance to hammer home your worth and underline your standing in the company.

For more details on salaries and pay rises, why not check out our How to Ask for a Raise blog?

Similarly, you might also be interested in reading our blog on How to Get Promoted.

Life in the 21st century is very much a world of instant gratification, from online shopping to on-demand TV. If you want something, it's never been easier or quicker to get it post-haste.

However, one thing that is very much immune from such immediacy is careers and achieving your professional goals is a habitually lengthy process.

Worse still, simply being good at your job won't always translate to upward momentum and your professional fate is often frustratingly out of your own hands.

In order to go from the outhouse to the penthouse, you'll need to be patient and bide your time, navigating through the murky waters of office politics along the way.

Here are a few helpful tips to help you secure that promotion without selling your soul.

 

how to get promoted

 

Asking for a Promotion

When it comes to asking for a promotion, simply knowing how to ask for a promotion can make a huge difference. It's a lot more complex than simply putting in a request and getting the thumbs up.

Self-evaluation is a key part of the process. Gaining an honest assessment of your own skills will help you to gauge what you're realistically capable of, as well as what you feel you deserve.

Timing is often a pivotal factor too and simply catching your boss at the right time can play into your favour massively. Similarly, asking for a promotion during a downswing in business is also an unwise move.

 

"How Do I Get Promoted?"

While the phrase "you don't ask, you don't get" is often applicable in life, in the workplace, simply asking for a promotion isn't always the best course of action.

Preparation is the best provision for opportunity and will stand you in good stead when it comes to demonstrating just why you deserve a bump up the pecking order.

Put the groundwork in beforehand by following these five steps to success and make your dreams of promotion a realistic, achievable goal.

 

Go Above and Beyond

As cliché as it may sound, going the extra mile can go a long way (considerably further than the aforementioned mile), particularly if that additional effort involves working at a level above your pay grade.

The best way to prove you're the right person for a role is to audition for it first. If you're already doing the duties of the role you want, it'll make it a whole lot easier to plead your case when the opportunity arises.

While this could backfire and lead to management letting you continue to perform at a higher level for less pay, any company worth their salt will recognise your worth and channel that potential accordingly.

 

Take Action

Assertiveness shows confidence and, as the old saying goes, it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission. If you see an opportunity to better the company, don't be afraid to grab that opportunity with both hands, even if it falls outside your remit.

While it can sometimes be a bit of a gamble, it's always worth weighing up the risk/reward ratio. Actions speak louder than words and a keen eye for opportunity, along with the hunger to act on it, is a valuable asset to any manager.

For example, if you work in a gym tasked with manning the front desk, it's highly unlikely that the manager would reprimand you for securing an annual membership from a new arrival.

 

Make a Difference

When you talk about ammunition for a promotion, validation doesn't come any stronger than cold hard facts.

If your contributions have a direct effect on the organisation as a whole, there's no denying the impact your presence has had on the company. Take note of any stats that reflect your performance, such as revenue or conversions.

Similarly, making yourself an invaluable member of your team can also make you a indispensable commodity in your immediate working environment and, more importantly, to your manager.

Don't be shy when it comes to helping your colleagues and those around you to help establish yourself as a critical cog in the working machine.

 

Dress to Impress

You've probably heard the old adage "dress for the job you want, not the one you have". While it might not be as applicable if you dream of becoming a pro wrestler or a rock star, it can work wonders when it comes to getting a promotion.

Take a look at what your boss is wearing… and what their boss is wearing… and what their boss's boss is wearing. If they are suited and booted and decked out in shirts and ties, an un-ironed polo and jean shorts probably won't get you a seat at the head table.

Think smart, dress smarter and look the part to get the part. Looking sharp will also get you noticed and help you stand out from the crowd, which brings us nicely to our next point…

 

Break Away from the Pack

If you want your superiors to see you as someone special and, more importantly, someone with a higher purpose, you'll need to stand out from the crowd.

Make yourself known to those that make the decisions, whether that's via a personal introduction or a more cerebral approach.

Get involved with projects and make an effort when it comes to social occasions and team exercises. An outgoing approach will help raise your profile and prove to management that you're more than just a nameless face at the coffee machine.

 

Earn It the Right Way

In your pursuit of that elusive promotion, never lose sight of the golden rule: nobody likes a brown-noser.

While playing the game is often a necessary part of the process, doing so at the expense of your teammates to get ahead is highly unethical, not to mention unpopular and inflammatory.

What's more, it won't win you any friends and can make your working life somewhat miserable. After all, a promotion can lose its appeal if your team universally dislikes you.

Follow the steps above to gain your promotion the right way – on the basis of your worth, not your ability to suck up and laugh at unfunny jokes.

 

For more workplace advice and job tips, why not speak to one of our expert advisors? Call now on 0203 225 5120 or click the button below to get in touch online today.

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Switching jobs can be an exciting prospect, full of potential, opportunity and financial reward; however, it can also be a stressful proposition.

Change can be scary and venturing out of your comfort zone can be daunting. Fear of the unknown is a natural anxiety for many, making the offer of a new job a tricky decision.

To help you through the misty landscape of professional uncertainty, here are our top five tips for handling potential job opportunities.

 

should i accept a job offer

 

“How Do I Know If I Should Accept a Job Offer?”

If you’ve been in the same company or a similar role for an extended period of time, your daily routine can become just that – routine.

Shaking up your working regime with a new role can be just the impetus needed to reignite the spark in your professional life. On the other hand, accepting a new role without forethought can be a regrettable decision.

Ensure your career trajectory remains in a positive direction by considering these key points before you make a decision.

 

Why Did You Apply?

First things first, getting well-acquainted with your motivations is extremely important in evaluating whether or not you should accept a job offer.

If you applied for the job, ask yourself “Why did I apply for the role?” Simply revisiting your reasons for throwing your name into the hat can help you to rediscover just why you wanted the job in the first place and/or why you wanted to leave your current role.

If you applied for the position because you really wanted the job and everything that comes with it, take it as a green light to move forward. You invited opportunity to your front door and it’s knocking with zeal!

Conversely, if you were head-hunted or you put your name forward for reasons other than your own, it may be worth mulling over. Entering a new job with reluctance is not a great way to start.

 

Quality of Life

One of the biggest factors that affect our daily lives in the 21st century is the balance between work and homelife. If one outweighs the other, it can cause upset and make one or both sides of that equation extremely taxing.

Money doesn’t buy happiness but it can make life easier and a lot more enjoyable. That being said, if there’s no time to reap the rewards of your hard work, what good is money anyway?

While living to work may be ideal for some, most of us prefer to work to live. If your new role presents a better quality of life for your circumstances, be it financially or in terms of time management, it could be a smarter choice than staying put.

 

Revisit the Man in the Mirror

Self-doubt and insecurity are common feelings to have when faced with a potential new role. After all, it’s unknown territory – who knows what they will expect from you, right?

“Am I the right person?”; “Do I have what it takes?”; “Can I get the job done?”; are all perfectly natural questions, but it’s important to remember one key fact: they chose YOU above everyone else for this role.

Your potential new employer believes you fit the bill, so why dispute it? Go back to the original job ad and re-read the person specification for peace of mind. If you tick all the boxes, consider your reservations cancelled.

               

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Richard Branson famously once quipped: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

If this is the job you’ve always wanted or the opportunity of a lifetime, letting it pass you by out of self-doubt can be an irreversible mistake you may come to regret for the rest of your life.

It’s long been said that fortune favours the brave, so be bold enough to step up and be prepared to grow into the role, if necessary. Remember, fear is temporary – regret is eternal.

 

Stuck in a Rut

If you’ve been in the same company or a similar role for an extended period of time, your daily routine can become just that – routine.

Clocking in for the sole purpose of clocking out can be soul destroying, yet many of us are happy to do so for the simple fact of familiarity. Better the devil you know…

However, a trip outside your comfort zone can be just the ticket to reignite your professional passion and reinvigorate your working life.

Best of all, a change of scenery can do wonders for your mental health, providing new goals, new experiences and new challenges to keep you emotionally invested in your career.

 

For more advice on job applications and life in the working world, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0203 225 5120 or get in touch online using the button below.

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While conventional methods of job application are the widely accepted norm for job hunters nationwide, neglecting the alternatives could be hindering your job search dramatically.

Outside of the standard application route, there are myriad of unconventional ways to find a job, ranging from the weird and wonderful to the risky and daring.

Straddling that dark horse somewhere in the middle, we’ve created this unique list of creative ways to find a job to help you stand out from the crowd.

 

creative ways to get a job, creative ways to find a job , unconventional ways to find a job

 

Creative Ways to Get a Job

When it comes to the bland world of job applications, variety is very much the spice of life. So, brush those of bland CVs, dull cover letters and generic applications aside and take heed of these quirky and unconventional ways to find a job.

 

Start Over

One of the best ways to ensure your new CV and cover letter are as relevant and up-to-date as possible is to rip up your old version and start over.

While your professional history may not have changed since you last applied for a job, employment trends likely have, including layout and look as well as content.

As the old saying goes, you can’t move forward while your looking back, so let go of the pre-existing resume and march on with the new and improved version of you.

 

Be Creative

Speaking of cover letters, put yourself in the shoes of the employer when it comes to penning your application.

Reams of candidates listing their professional experiences in dry, matter of fact, business-speak is enough to put a glass eye to sleep. While it’s important to include key achievements, there’s no law preventing you from injecting a bit of life into your writing.

If you’re claiming to be an “outside-the-box thinker”, throw an anecdote or a witty quip in there to prove it. Originality is engaging and memorable, two attributes that could well secure you a place at interview.

 

Go Old-School

The world has never been as digitally-focused as it is today, with more focus on online activity than ever before.

For many businesses, the hiring process takes place exclusively online, whether it’s through recruitment sites, email or online application forms. What better way to stand out than to take the road less travelled?

A printed CV accompanied by a hand-written cover letter is the perfect way to break away from the pack, stand up and be counted. Simply post your hard copy application to the relevant person/department.

 

Show Personality

Much like creative engagement in a cover letter is a great way of allowing your personality to shine through a piece of A4, showing that same personality at interview can be the difference between a fleeting farewell and a hiring handshake.

By the time you reach the interview stage, the talent pool will have been whittled down from the many to the few with little separating the field of competition in terms of skills.

A sure-fire way to distinguish yourself from Candidate A, B and C is to drop the interview façade and be yourself. After all, if you are successful, it’s only a matter of time before they find out the real you anyway.

Likeable, funny and genuine candidates that pass the personality test are far more likely to be deemed a good fit for the team than an uptight and reserved applicant who plays the cards close to the chest.

 

For more unconventional ways to find a job, why not call HRS today and speak with one of our trained advisors? Call now on 0203 225 5120 or alternatively get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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University graduate

Despite what parents, teachers and the internet may have you believe, a six-figure job rarely awaits the moment you are handed your graduation scroll.

While some university leavers may have employment already lined up by the time they throw their mortarboard in the air on graduation day, it's fair to say that those people are in the minority.

As a result, it's not uncommon for graduates to find themselves with no job after graduation. In fact, a large number of graduates find leaving university to be a bit of culture shock.

If you’re struggling to find a job after university, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a whole host of tips on how to get a job after university.

 

How to Get a Job After University

Job hunting can be difficult at the best of times, let alone when you’re fresh out of university with a bare CV that’s lacking in the work experience department.

While the process can be laborious and disheartening, finding a job is far from an impossibility.

Keep these points in mind during your post-uni quest for employment to help you through the rough terrain and get you to the promised land in one piece.

 

Means to an End

Anyone that’s ever been on the hunt for their ideal job will be able to tell you that it’s a lot easier to get a job when you have job.

A jobless job search can translate to desperation, which can add pressure and stress that can hinder your performance at interview.

Conversely, the safety net of having a job already while you look for something more suitable can be invaluable in terms of mentally and financially.

Don’t be afraid to take a stop-gap role to help stabilise your finances while you search for your ideal job.

 

Be Social-Savvy

Social media rules the world in the 21st century. From pregnancy announcements to mealtime photoshoots, very few aspects of life go by undetected and uncelebrated online. Unsurprisingly, this trend can also relate to job hunting.

Platforms like LinkedIn are the perfect shop window for your online CV, presenting yourself in a professional manner to potential employers. Meanwhile, it’s also a great way of networking and getting your name out there within your chosen industry.

According to a 2018 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social networking sites to pre-screen candidates during the hiring process. While this can be encouraging from a LinkedIn standpoint, it’s worth noting that this also extends to other platforms as well.

Ensure your social media profiles are presentable and the relevant privacy settings have been set to help maintain the integrity of your personal brand. If your FB profile shows you downing a yard of ale in Magaluf, it may be time to switch it up.

 

Is a Masters All That Masterful?

Those that are unsure what to do with their lives post-uni may find themselves pursuing a master’s degree out of indecision and uncertainty.

However, while it may seem easier to go with the flow and top-up your existing degree with a relevant post-grad qualification, attaining a master’s degree often does little to boost your chances of employment.

From an employer’s perspective, a standard uni graduate with a year of work under their belt is typically a more attractive proposition than an MA graduate with no real-world experience.

A typical master’s degree in the UK takes a year of full-time study to complete. That year could be put to better use gaining industry experience or learning additional skills in pursuit of employability.

 

Work Experience

A common stumbling block for graduates is that, while they may be a proven commodity in the world of academia, the practical application of their skills in a real-life working setting is often unproven.

This poses quite the paradoxical quandary for candidates fresh out of university: you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job. Or can you?

Graduates that suffer from a lack of experience can gain valuable on-the-job training through unpaid work placement and volunteering.

While this will naturally be financially unrewarding by their very definition, the gamble can pay off massively, resulting in relevant, first-hand job experience.

Meanwhile, there’s always the possibility that your work ethic and effort may be recognised during your unpaid stint, potentially leading to a paid role at the end of it.

 

Stay Positive

While the average time to get a job after graduation can vary wildly between industries as well as location, it’s worth remembering that if you are struggling to find a job after university, you’re not alone.

In fact, according to TotalJobs.com, nearly 40% of graduates are still hunting for jobs six months after leaving university.

Competition and financial climate can play a big hand in your fate as well, which can also change dramatically from one year to the next.

Try to stay positive and channel your energy into your job search and applications. You could even make the most of the free time by gaining additional transferable skills.

While rejections and unresponsive employers are undeniably frustrating, persistence will pay off in time. Remember, good things come to those who wait…

 

For more job-seeking advice and tips for recent graduates looking for employment, why not speak to one of our advisors directly? Call 0203 225 5120 now or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

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