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Posted November 07, 2016 by

Creating a positive work culture

 

There is a lot of talk about the importance of organizational culture — and making sure you develop a positive one. Research by Deloitte earlier in 2016 shows it’s one of the major concerns of senior leaders across multiple industries. So, how do you create a positive work culture — especially for younger workers who will become the backbone of your talent acquisition strategy?

The first issue or concern that usually arises here is the word itself. “Culture” is fairly amorphous as a concept; it can mean different things to different people. Some want open communication from managers and a continuing sense of respect at all levels. Still others want kegerators and ping-pong tables available in lounge areas. All three of these perceptions are very different, but all could easily be called “culture” in the eyes of different employees.

Entire books have been written on this topic; heck, entire sections of bookstores have been written on this topic, in reality. It can’t be solved in one blog post, but here are some places to begin:

Care: You need to care about culture as a real strategic element in your business. If you only care about money and making as much of it as possible, fine. Good luck balancing that with staff retention. 

Bring culture outside of HR. Too often, culture discussions are housed in Human Resources. This makes sense on one level as they tend to own personnel matters, but your culture can’t be a series of HR-initiated documents. The sheer term “culture” refers to daily actions all over a company; this sense of culture needs to be be owned by different teams and levels, not just HR. A good example of mutual ownership with solid results is Dreamworks, where managers encourage increased responsibilities and often engage in spontaneous discussions with employees about what they think. Dreamworks’ feature films have grossed $13.48 billion worldwide, with an average of about $421.4 million per film. While there’s not a direct causation between internal management style and external results, the correlation is likely quite strong.

Core values: One way that can happen is by working together to set core values. By “working together” here, we mean cross-silos. We also mean that employees get to weigh in on core values as the company grows, as opposed to them just being set by the highest leadership levels. Netflix, which has become a highly-successful company financially, is a good example of a process around setting core values together. These core values, once set, can’t be a static document — they need to be lived (by as many people as possible) and adjusted annually, if not quarterly.

Perks determination: Part of a good work culture is perks, whether that’s a kegerator or every other Friday off or something else. Work from senior leadership to finance/accounting to HR to determine what perks are possible and fiscally viable. Create a list of potential perks and poll your employees. The top three vote-getters become a series of perks in the short-term. Revisit the idea in six months and see how it’s going. Scripps Health in San Diego is particularly good at this; for example, their bonus pool is filtered (relatively) equally throughout the organization, as opposed to just the higher ranks. They also offer tuition reimbursement, on-site massage, and pet insurance.

Priority alignment: In terms of the actual work that needs to be done, make sure there’s priority alignment around what needs to be done and in what order. Many companies, even very fiscally successful ones, are quite bad at this. Usually, poor priority alignment creates a lot of competing, urgent projects for employees. This ultimately burns them out, which increases turnover. High turnover runs directly counter to a good culture, because if people are constantly in and out, a culture can’t really emerge. You want to keep turnover down, and priority alignment is one major approach to doing so. So who does this well? Many companies, including ARM — which makes microprocessors for 95 percent of the world’s smart devices. (You’ve never heard of them, but they’re very important to your daily life.) ARM designs priority alignment around innovation, making sure everyone knows what to work on — and when — in the interest of potential collaborations and new project growth.

Managerial training: We’ve all heard the old adage — “People leave managers, not jobs.” That’s largely true. Here’s a not-so-good statistic: 82 percent of managerial hires end up being the wrong one. That’s an over 8 in 10 failure rate. Now consider this statistic: in North America, on average, a person becomes a manager for the first time at age 30. They get their first training on how to be a manager at age 42. That’s a gap of 12 years. There’s likely a correlation between that 12-year gap and the 82 percent failure rate in the first research. When you don’t train managers and leave them to figure out for themselves, they can operate poorly (or become micromanagers), and that’s dangerous to the establishment of a good culture. There are dozens of examples of good companies for managerial training, but one that regularly surfaces in case studies is Bridgespan (a consultancy for nonprofits), who uses a 70-20-10 career development model. Remember, too, that management preferences have changed over the years, as millennials bring their own managing styles and expectations.

Want to learn more about work culture, as well as recruitment and retention best practices? Stay connected with College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Posted May 14, 2016 by

10 reasons how becoming a personal assistant can benefit your career

 

With the standard paths to fame and fortune well-trodden, it is important to be on the lookout for new ways to make a buck and your mark. One surprising way to do so is to become a personal assistant.

Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Personal assistants learn how the best in the business do what they do

How many of us start off doing something and then six months or a year down the line say to ourselves, “I wish I’d known about that when I started out.” Well, had you been a personal assistant, you would have probably known, as you can look on over the shoulders of the best in the business. You can’t put a value on that.

2. The pay is surprisingly good

That’s not to say the pay is bad; it isn’t. A mid-range PA can make about $60,000 a year. Are you even better? Well, then it can go up to between $80,000-120,000. Now, you won’t be buying any yachts for that money, but you won’t be going hungry either.

3. You get to say, “You know who I work for?”

And besides, you’re going to get quite a few of the perks of being rich without being rich anyway, provided you know how to name drop. Want to have dinner in a Michele star restaurant but don’t have reservations? Come right this way, sir. Want to buy that new Chanel bag? I just happen to have one behind the counter. The benefits can be truly tremendous.

4. Personal assistants go to interesting and exciting places

For example, if your boss travels, often you’ll get to go along. And that can take you to some pretty amazing places (and have you staying at some nice hotels). Don’t like to travel? Select a boss who stays in one place! You get to choose who you’ll work for.

Also read: 5 reasons why recent college grads should consider work and travel jobs

5. You can qualify with any educational background

Now in many different occupations, you can’t get in the door without the right degree. Quite often, job seekers absolutely need a college education. That does not necessarily have to be the case in PAing, however. Just as long as you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you can get far.

Search for entry-level personal assistant jobs now!

6. You can use it to jump start your career into another line of work

You can even use being a personal assistant to pass some of the lower rungs of the career ladder, as you demonstrate what you’re capable of to somebody who can actually make the hiring decisions.

7. Personal assistants rub shoulders with the movers and shakers

Even if your boss doesn’t hire you, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to impress people. After all, you’re going to be meeting other important people and taking their calls. If you know how to impress people, you’ll be able to leverage that into a better position somewhere down the line.

Also read Networking: A Definitive Guide for Students and Grads to Succeed in the Job Search

8. Your days will vary immensely

Also, your days as a personal assistant will rarely be boring. You’ll get a huge amount of different activities thrown on your plate and be left to tackle them as best you can. Of course, you’ll have to adjust your day to fit the schedule of your boss, but if you can live with that, the world is your oyster.

9. You’re a gatekeeper

There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that people have to get past you to speak to your boss. The smart ones will know that and make certain to go out of their way and be nice to you. And the others? Oh I’m sorry, I don’t know how we just got disconnected for the third time in a row! There must be something wrong with the telephone system!

10. You get to learn from other people’s mistakes

Most importantly, a personal assistant gets to see what other people do wrong in high power situations and make certain you don’t do the same. That can be incredibly valuable down the line when you’re trying to do your own thing – or when you sell the book rights, of course.

Now being a PA isn’t for everybody. You’ve got to tolerate negative attitudes from others when they’re having their bad days, and some of us weren’t made to get coffee. For those of us willing to take a humility pill and play second fiddle for a few years, however, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn and get a glimpse in a different world.

Ready to find a personal assistant job today? Search on College Recruiter!

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Luisa Brenton, guest writer

Luisa Brenton, guest writer

Luisa Brenton is a lifestyle blogger. You can find more of her posts at TrustMyPaper. She was born in Italy, graduated from The St. Louis School of Milan, and went to Chicago to pursue higher education at the Chicago’s Public Research University. Luisa is interested in modern literature. She is fond of journalism as well.

Posted April 23, 2016 by

Financial aid secrets for college students

Financial aid web browser sign concept courtesy of Shutterstock.com

alexmillos/Shutterstock.com

With graduation season looming, high school seniors throughout the country are receiving their college acceptance letters and celebrating their impending sense of freedom. At the same time, parents are studying financial aid options and scratching their heads trying to figure out how to pay for the upcoming four (or more) years.

As the costs of attending college rise, it’s important to consider scholarships, grants, and student loans to assist with the hefty fees. There are also some innovative tricks that can help reduce this cost. Here are some insights gleaned from real university financial aid employees, parents, and former college students all high school seniors and their families should know.

Use your FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important financial aid document college students shouldn’t skip. Even if they don’t think they’ll qualify for any money, it’s important to fill this form out annually. This is how the federal government and schools determine what type of aid to give students. There are many subtle things that can impact the grants offered, many of which are unknown to the average person, and may change the amount a family qualifies for.

Attend class

Many universities have strict attendance and truancy policies to prevent abuse of the grants offered. If a student withdraws from a class due to non-attendance in the first few classes or consistent unexplained absences, their course load may drop below the mandatory credits needed to qualify for certain grants. If you have a scholarship or grant already, make sure you know the terms and what’s expected from your end.

Become a Resident Advisor (RA)

Aside from tuition, room and board are the most expensive costs incurred during college. With the average college student paying $8,535 a year just for a place to stay, it makes sense to try to skimp on this fee. Students who work as a Resident Advisor often wind up with free or significantly reduced room and board in exchange for their services, making this one of the most lucrative student jobs available.

Learn to cook

While Top Ramen may be students best friend those first few months, anything prepared at home is bound to be more affordable than college meal plans and eating out at restaurants. Even if a student’s cooking skills need some brushing up, this is one of the easiest ways to save money. Don’t be afraid of the kitchen.

Find freebies

So much of an average college student’s budget is spent on personal expenses, which often includes entertainment. Seek free options available through the university instead. Campuses are loaded with free amenities, from swimming pools and libraries to dorm dinners, guest lecture speakers, and student clubs.

Join a credit union

Since credit unions are run as cooperatives, they can afford giving customers extra perks that wind up saving them a lot of money. They typically feature lower credit card interest rates, higher interest rates paid out on savings accounts, and reduced-fee ATMs and online banking services.

While the term “starving student” has origins in truth, it doesn’t need to be a reality for all. Instead, research financial aid opportunities and spend wisely to save money and stick to a good budget throughout your academic career.

If you’re interested in more information on financial aid, please visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan, guest writer

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information on first time budgeting, see what a Bountiful Utah Credit Union might recommend. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Posted December 17, 2015 by

6 tips for making the most of your college career center

a sign at cambridge university marking the location of the careers advice centre in cambridge

A sign at Cambridge University marking the location of the Careers Advice Centre in Cambridge. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Have you ever set foot in your college career center? Were you even aware that your college has a career center? You may have walked by its door a few times, but like most students you’ve probably never gone in – and that’s a terrible waste of a very valuable resource. The experienced staff is there to guide and help students towards the careers of their dreams. Make use of their expertise – that’s what they’re paid for!

It’s never too early to call the career center for help and advice. Here are six tips to make the most of your career center. (more…)

Posted September 04, 2015 by

Losing A Dream Job- Learn How You Can Handle The Situation With 6 Easy Tips

office, the head of a woman worker's release

Office, the head of a woman worker’s release. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Losing your dream job seems like a nightmare as it rips your self-esteem to shreds. Not only such a situation leaves you with a very limited lifestyle but sometimes, it also pushes you into deep depression and stress. However, below you will learn some wonderful tips that will help you cope after losing your dream job and start working towards a new career: (more…)

Posted March 27, 2015 by

Some Education But No Experience: Entry Level Jobs

Laura O. Tolentino

Laura O. Tolentino

Most of us work retail at some point in our lives. It’s a job you might not want to work at forever, but there are ways to leverage some great perks working on the retail floor. It is also possible to advance into the corporate realm in some retail situations, making this a real career path. Whether you are treating it as the former or the latter, there are ways to make the most of your retail job. Here are a few strategies. (more…)

Posted March 10, 2015 by

Perks of completing your college education

Portrait of happy students holding diplomas on graduation day

Portrait of happy students holding diplomas on graduation day. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

No matter how much talented you are or how much knowledge you have, it will not be equal to the college degree. If you think you have enough understanding and you do not need to acquire any college degree, then you should think again. We will present you some very interesting and true facts that will help you realize that how much it is important to complete your college education. (more…)

Posted November 26, 2014 by

Job Offer on the Table? 5 Things to Think about Before Saying Yes

Retro red round rubber stamp "Job Offer"

Retro red round rubber stamp “Job Offer”. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Congratulations, new job seeker!  After all of your hard work in your job search, you have finally landed an offer.  Even though you are happy about that, there are some things you may want to consider before accepting a new position.

People – Who will you be working with?  In order to be productive in the workplace, it is essential to get along with your boss and your colleagues.  Understand that everyone on the job does not have to be your best friend.  Just be professional by treating everyone the way you want to be treated. (more…)

Posted November 17, 2014 by

6 Perks of Part-Time Job While Studying

Portrait of a teenage girl working part time in a stationery shop

Portrait of a teenage girl working part time in a stationery shop. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Getting on the road of becoming adults is the most exciting phase for the children. But to their surprise, the age of adolescence is not only about having fun and chill, but it also brings many responsibilities to own. This is the time when you start taking the responsibilities at a more mature and productive level.

According to some stats, it is recorded that around 80% of the students are involved in part time job activities. But it is a fact that getting hands on a part time job during academic years is often difficult for the students to get. But in order to get a job, a student must also understand the benefits and the perks of getting to work as a part timer during the educational years. (more…)

Posted October 09, 2014 by

The 8 Most Common Salary Negotiation Tactics

Jim Hopkinson

Jim Hopkinson, Salary.com contributing writer

Within the language of every culture exists a sub-language – a collection of words, phrases, acronyms, slang, and jargon unique to that area of life, which must be deciphered in order to truly gain an understanding. The language of negotiation is no different.

Wikipedia has a great list of negotiation terms and tactics, so let’s highlight some of them and frame them in terms of salary negotiation. (more…)