Are you getting the recognition you deserve at work?

When Ian Brown penned the lyrics to the Stone Roses’ atmospheric anthem I Wanna Be Adored, he was writing about how some people crave recognition and attention for everything that they do. Although we don’t all have delusions of grandeur or expect to be have lashings of praise thrust upon us for the work that we do, it wouldn’t hurt if our bosses gave us the recognition that we deserve, would it? After all, how often do you stay late at work to ensure that a project is completed on time, never miss a deadline and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty to successfully finish even the worse jobs yet your boss barely gives any thought to saying “Well done” or “Thank you”?

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When the boss is on holiday: How to cope?

When Gordon Brown took his annual leave he left three senior Cabinet members to take of the country in his absence. It’s a scene oft repeated throughout the UK and none more so than at this time of year as our airports play centre stage for a mass exodus of millions of people escaping in earnest for their summer holiday. As the boss takes time off to recharge their batteries – soaking up the sun while holidaying at some exclusive resort, sipping a glass or two of Château Margaux or some other fine wine considered too valuable for their owners ever to uncork – their deputy steps up to the plate and assumes responsibility for the ensuing two weeks. But while the cat’s away, the mice won’t have too much time to play – especially in today’s ever-increasing no-room-for-error workplace.  Read more of this post

Career self-sabotage: it’s in your hands

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell said that “decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately”. Indeed, the job for life culture has long gone and today people are losing their jobs in banking, sales and the public sector service following re-structuring or budgetary cuts in public spending. In fact, more than half a million British workers will be ‘let go’ from their jobs every year. But, despite this air of uncertainty in the job market, many people are continuing to put their jobs in jeopardy without realising it. So, what are the things that you need to avoid in order to disaster-proof your career?

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Should you hold out or sell out?

So what do you do when you need a job but, the job you’ve just been offered isn’t your dream job? Should you take it or hold out until the ‘right’ one comes along? After all, it may be some time before another offer comes your way.

This is more than a simply a question of yes or no. If the bills are piling up and the mortgage company is knocking at your door then yes, you may have to accept the job on offer. But if you’re financially set and can afford to hold out for a while, then do so.

If you make the choice – forced or otherwise – to accept a position that is below your potential, you have to approach it in the right mindset. Instead of being resentful, look at it as an opportunity – albeit in the short term – to learn new skills or even try your hand at an entirely different industry, whilst at the same time never taking your eye of your overall objective to land the job you really want. Besides, if you are as good as you say you are then your ability to hit the ground running during this interim period combined with your penchant for short-term success could be a welcome boost to your self-confidence.

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The good side of a bad job

British workers are an unhappy bunch. According to a survey by YouGov more than 1 in 4 of us are dissatisfied with our current jobs and as many as one-third don’t like the line of work we are in. The biggest niggle that many of us have is our increased workload. Indeed, Britons have the longest working hours in Europe and 46 per cent of people claim that they have too much to do in too little time, whilst 42 per cent argue that their salary is falling behind rising costs. And almost 1 in 3 of us claim that others are paid more money to do the same job. Taking all of this into consideration you may think that there is little to shout about with your own job but, even the dullest and most uninspiring job has its plus points.

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Employees at risk of burn-out

Yesterday I was talking about how a growing number of employers are biding their time and waiting for the ideal candidate to show up at their door before making a hire. Today the findings of a new survey suggest that employees are working harder that they did pre-recession to help get their organisations through these testing times. But there are obvious consequences of this.

The survey conducted by the Hay Group management consultancy found that 65% of UK workers are working unpaid overtime while 30% of all workers report that their organisation is a worse place to work than it was a year ago. And a further 36% claim they are ‘unhappy’ in their work. What these figures illustrate is the perilous state in which we now find ourselves.

Let me explain what I mean.

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Official figures confirmed that the UK is experiencing its worst recession in over half a century. And with more job losses expected over the coming months the pain of recession will continue for many people. But employees can take matters into their own hands and safeguard their jobs from the threat of redundancy, says Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, one of the UK’s most well-known career advice and guidance experts.

He says: “This time last year the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warned that 2008 would be the worst year for jobs in a decade in the UK. It was. But it now seems that 2008 was simply a prelude to what has since become the worst year for jobs in two decades, 2009. With 600,000 jobs lost since the start of the recession and many more yet to come it is no wonder that many of us are concerned about our own future prospects.

So if your company is faced with the unenviable task of short-listing those people who are up for redundancy, how can you ensure that the red pen doesn’t strike through your name?

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