If someone asks you how much you get paid, you probably answer with a dollar amount (or politely ask them to mind their own business). But the real value of your compensation comprises more than just the numbers that appear in your direct deposit at regular intervals. Perks like health insurance, 401(k) match, bonuses, and so on, save you money or make you money and contribute directly to your bottom line. Now, a few companies are introducing what might be the ultimate money-saving perk: cash to repay student loans ahead of schedule, thus potentially saving employees thousands in interest.
Why make New Year's resolutions? In part, to make next year better than this one. The problem with formal resolutions is that they can become a stick to beat yourself with, when you turn out to be human after all and miss the mark. A better plan for 2016 might be to stop doing the things that are squandering your energy and making you less happy and productive, both at work and at home. In this week's roundup, find a reminder about the things you actually don't owe your colleagues, family, and friends; plus a few online personality tests that are worth the time, and the soft skills to develop, in order to succeed at work.
Call it Secret Santa, or White Elephant, or Yankee Swap: no matter how your office structures its annual holiday gift-giving ritual, it's a potential opportunity to make enemies among your soon-to-be erstwhile office friends and resentful co-workers. Think we're being overly negative? Consider these horrible office holiday gifts, culled from Facebook users who will never cheerfully draw a name from a Santa hat again.
It's one of the most common questions in the comments on any post related to working at home (and even some that aren't): "How can I find a real work-at-home job?" The key to the question is the word "real." While there are plenty of shady people out there on the internet willing to promise you thousands of dollars a month for stuffing envelopes or doing vague, unspecified work on your laptop, genuine work-at-home opportunities are a bit more scarce. The good news is that if you know what you're looking for, you can absolutely find good jobs that you can do entirely or mostly from home.
In a perfect world, we'd all have the month of December off – or at least, the tail end of it, when the holiday season starts really heating up. Let's face it: not much is getting done during the last half of the month anyway, unless you work in healthcare or event planning. Despite the futility of working at most white-collar jobs in the waning days of the year, the majority of workers will be expected to show up and do a good imitation of someone who's working hard. We all accept that this is so. But, what about when your boss, or your employer, is stingy about actual holidays? Answers to that question, plus advice on how to stop expecting the wrong things from yourself and others, and tips on getting the best job referrals, in this week's roundup.
Are you making New Year's resolutions this year? If you're still undecided, maybe this is the year to park those unrealistic fitness and nutrition goals, and concentrate on your career instead. After all, most of us spend the bulk of our waking hours at work, so we might as well be happy doing it. Plus, when it comes to your career, sometimes little things make a big difference. Here are five small changes that are easy to make and can make you happier and more successful in the coming year.
It's good to lend a hand, especially at work. No one likes that co-worker who never helps anyone out. However, if you're too accommodating, you might find yourself without enough time to get your own work done. Boundaries are important, even necessary. You can't be productive if you don't have any time in which to produce.
Does work-life balance even exist? Ask any working parent how they manage to hold down a job, take care of their family, and carve out time for themselves – at least enough to go to the dentist semi-regularly and maybe eat a vegetable now and then – and you're likely to get an earful. The upshot: balance is hard to achieve, hard enough to make many wonder if the whole thing is a myth.
It's Throwback Thursday, so take a ride through history as we learn what the workplace was like for lumberjacks, meter maids, and airline stewardesses 50-plus years ago. Spoiler alert: a lot has changed.