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Archives: July 2013

Good News! Average Pay Increases Surpass Inflation

Okay, we got excited when we first heard this news and then had to pause. Shouldn’t pay raise increases surpass the inflation rate anyway?  I suppose it’s all good but we needed to take a step back for a reality check. Yes, it should be an assumption but given the recession, it’s certainly a sign we’re getting back on track.

As per a survey conducted by WorldatWork (via Fortune), a human resources trade organization, the average salary increase this calendar year is 2.9 percent. The increase represents about 25 percent above the average 2.2 percent pay increase in 2009. Four years ago that number represented a rock bottom low since 1973, the first year WorldatWork launched their annual survey. Read more

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Four Tips to Survive & Actually Enjoy the Company Picnic

The Wall Street Journal outlines a few ways for employees to survive that annual company picnic. After all, it’s casual and has the potential to be a lot of fun but it’s most likely happening during a weekend.

As you relinquish your precious personal time to be with colleagues, you might as well make the most out of it. Here are four tips to not only survive the outing but enjoy it as well.

1. Your go get ‘em attitude! At a social event this like this you’re very visible so although you can still be yourself, your boss and your boss’ boss are watching. Your behavior will impact your reputation so if there’s a team sport like volleyball, why not participate? If you have an injury you can partake in the action by cheering on your team and/or taking photos. Read more

Is It Legal For Your Boss to Read Your Emails?

Ever wonder what your privacy rights are as an employee? Can your boss read your emails on your work computer but not your personal computer?

Our friends at AOL Jobs set the record straight. For starters, if you’re sending messages to and from your email address at work, then it’s not your property. That email address belongs to your employer. Read more

Join Our Webcast: Tax Guidelines for Freelancers & Small Business Owners

Are you considering quitting your full-time job to pursue your own business?

With the ever-changing tax laws for the self employed and small businesses, there are numerous factors to consider.  Should your company operate as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or S-Corporation? When do you need to file to be tax compliant?  What are the tax breaks so many freelancers and small businesses are not aware of? You need to know how to get it right, not only to save money, but to avoid government hassles by filing correctly and paying taxes properly.

Join Howard Samuels, CPA and Tax Partner at KDMS LLC (a certified public accounting firm) for a discussion about the ins and outs of running your own business. Understand the different types of companies to operate your business and decide if you need to incorporate. Learn how to file correctly based on your company status and know the difference between an employee and an independent contractor.

This 1 hour interactive webcast takes place on August 7 from 4-5pm ET. Sign up now to join!

Want to Boost Efficiency? Try Interval Training

When we read this piece on The New York Times about interval training we thought, “Hmmm, a piece about exercising.”

Little did we know it underscored the importance of becoming more efficient at work through the metaphor of exercising. And literally about exercising, too! Read more

Four Secrets About Human Resources Departments

Ever wonder what really goes on inside the hallowed halls of human resources? According to a piece by Alison Green on U.S. News & World Report, there are a few things employees and job seekers alike should keep in mind.

1. HR isn’t there to be your advocate. Their goal? Serve the business needs. The former chief of staff at a nonprofit writes, “Now, in some cases, that means advocate for employees against bad managers, because it’s in the best interests of employers to retain great employees, identify and address bad management and stop legal problems before they explode. But plenty of other times, what’s best for the employer will not be what’s best for the employee, and the best interests of the employer will always win out. That’s not cynicism; that’s simply what HR’s mission is.”

2. HR isn’t obligated to keep what you tell them confidential, even if you request their discretion. If you think what you’re disclosing is confidential such as mentioning your boss is harassing your team, that confidential information needs to be shared in order to address an issue. Actually, if human resources representatives had relevant information and ignored it, they would be negligent. Can you still talk to HR in confidence? Yes but keep in mind they may need to report certain findings and escalate it depending on the nature of the conversation. Read more

How to Handle a Bully Boss

If you’ve ever been bullied by a boss, you know the dreaded pit in the stomach feeling. After all, they’re an authority figure and it may not seem so easy to stand your ground. You should feel empowered though knowing you don’t have to put up with it!

According to a piece in today’s New York Post, there are a few ways to handle the situation.

For starters, columnist and human resources executive Gregory Giangrande explains, “First, you want to make sure your new boss really is a bully. Some people confuse bullying with hard-driving, high-performing execs who have little tolerance or patience for poor performance.” Read more

Daymon “Daym” Patterson: From Wal-Mart Manager to Travel Channel Host

Daymon PattersonIf you’re looking for ways to make the most out of your lunch break, just look to Daymon “Daym” Patterson‘s Daym Drops YouTube channel for inspiration (or drool-inducing entertainment).

By reviewing fast food during his own down time as a Wal-Mart assistant manager, Patterson amassed millions of views on YouTube, and is now the star of his own Travel Channel show, Best Daym Takeout, premiering July 31. For its latest feature, Mediabistro talked with the burgeoning star about how he used the video platform to take his career to a whole new level:

I started out filming my neighborhood, doing little news reports and uploading them. One day on my lunch break, I went to Burger King and had their French toast sticks, and I did a review of them in the car and put that on YouTube. It received like 134 views, whereas all the other videos were maybe like 30, 50 views. The following week, I went to Dunkin Donuts and I got their new frozen hot chocolate. That video caught over 300 views, and I thought, “OK, now I have something here.”

Read the full interview in Hey, How’d You Get a Travel Channel Show Reviewing Fast Food, Daymon “Daym” Patterson? 

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Three Ways Successful Leaders Create Work-Life Balance

Happy Friday one and all! As the weekend approaches we can’t help but think about work-life balance and how to strive for more of it during the week.

Thanks to this roundup compiled by BusinessInsider, there are a few lessons we can learn from successful executives.

1. As per LinkedIn, its CEO Jeff Weiner endorses scheduling empty time on your calendar. “If you were to see my calendar, you’d probably notice a host of time slots greyed out but with no indication of what’s going on. There is no problem with my Outlook or printer. The grey sections reflect ‘buffers,’ or time periods I’ve purposely kept clear of meetings.” Read more

Got Cliques? New CareerBuilder Survey Reveals They’re Omnipresent in the Workplace

Is this high school all over again? The nerd, the jock, the princess, oh wait we’re channeling The Breakfast Club

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, we’re not far off with our assumption. Employees who fit into a specific clique in high school are more likely to be in an office one, too. Survey participants were asked to describe their high school selves as one of the following groups: Athlete, honor society, cheerleader, drama club, geek, class clown, student government, teacher’s pet, band/choir.

Participants who didn’t self-identify as having fit into one of the high school personas are actually the least likely employees to be part of a workplace clique. On the contrary, former class clowns, athletes and geeks are most likely to channel their high school days and belong to an office clique. Read more

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