employer http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6363/all en-US What to Do If Your Paycheck Bounces http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-your-paycheck-bounces <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-if-your-paycheck-bounces" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/photo_of_a_young_woman_receive_bad_news.jpg" alt="Photo of a young woman receive bad news" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>British actor Noel Coward said it best: &quot;If you must have motivation, think of your paycheck on Friday.&quot; All the hard work that you put in day after day really pays off when that paycheck hits your bank account.</p> <p>But what happens when you get the &quot;insufficient funds&quot; memo from your employer, of all people? Here's your play-by-play on what do if your paycheck bounces.</p> <h2>1. Contact your employer right away</h2> <p>Go straight to the source and politely explain what happened. In the best case scenario, your employer or payroll administrator will apologize for the mistake and cut you a new check within a few days. If not, then you'll need to complete a few more steps to get your hard-earned dollars.</p> <p>Write down who you talked to, when you talked, and what you both agreed to. Remain calm at all times and ask if you can get a written confirmation that you'll receive a replacement check by a <em>specific date</em>. This is important.</p> <h2>2. Inform your bank</h2> <p>While you wait on your replacement check, call your bank's customer service line and explain the situation. You'll need to do this because depending on your type of account and balance at the time of deposit, your financial institution may hit you with an overdraft or insufficient funds fee. These fees can range from $27 to $35.</p> <p>Here's when that written confirmation from your employer will come in handy: Request a one-time waiver of that pesky fee for depositing a bad check. Your bank is legally entitled to deny your request, but it's worth a shot when you have a clean record or have been a customer for several years. Once again, write down who you talked to, when, and what was said (aka The 3W's).</p> <h2>3. Make sure that bills get paid</h2> <p>This is particularly important if you had any automatic payments that were timed with your paycheck. Immediately contact all people and organizations to which you were going to pay using your paycheck. If you set up automatic bill payments online, you may be able to cancel some or all of them through your customer portals as long as they haven't been processed already.</p> <p>If those payments have already been processed, then your best bet is to contact customer service right away over the phone. Explain the situation to your rep and ask for options to arrange alternate forms of payment, including paying at a physical location, providing a routing number and checking or savings account over the phone, or mailing a check (FYI, that mailing address may be available on your statement). Remember to track The 3W's for all of these calls.</p> <p>Don't forget to politely request to have any applicable penalty fees waived or reversed. Some companies are able to stop the fee from hitting your account at all and others will revert a fee generally within 48 hours. If you're still hit with a penalty, document it.</p> <h2>4. Gather proof that the check had insufficient funds</h2> <p>Just in case you may have to lawyer up, start a &quot;Bad Check&quot; folder. Include in this folder:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Notes from your initial talk with your employer.</p> </li> <li> <p>Notes from the visit or call with your bank.</p> </li> <li> <p>Notes from your talks with people and companies that were counting on that payment;</p> </li> <li> <p>Proof that the check bounced (printout of your bank statement, physical paycheck mailed back to you, or photo from check with insufficient funds stamp if available on your statement or online portal).</p> </li> <li> <p>List of fees applied from your bank (if any).</p> </li> <li> <p>List of fees applied from companies (if any).</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Check back with your employer on the promised date of payment</h2> <p>Hopefully, you don't have to wait until the very day of payment. But when you do, then you have every right to remind your employer about the deadline.</p> <p>Got your payment? Good.</p> <p>Is your employer &quot;ghosting&quot; you? Then, keep on reading.</p> <h2>6. Beware over 15- to 30-day late payments</h2> <p>If there's a major bill that you just can't cover, such as rent, car loan payment, or mortgage payment, be proactive and reach out to those companies.</p> <p>Why?</p> <p>For starters, these companies may have a higher amount due when you pay past a certain date. For example, most mortgage lenders make payments due by the first of the month, allow a grace period until the 15th of the month, and start charging a higher amount on the 16th of the month and on. Once your payment becomes 30 days past due, your creditor will report it to the credit bureaus.</p> <p>When there's potential for a 30-day late payment, inform your creditor in writing and request that your potential late payment not be reported due to a situation outside of your control. Send a letter explaining your situation via certified mail, keep a copy for your &quot;Bad Check&quot; folder, and expect a response within 30 days (also for your folder).</p> <h2>7. Notify your state's Department of Labor</h2> <p>Still waiting? Contact your employer again and inform them that you require payment or you will be forced to contact the U.S. Department of Labor. In case of no response, then report your employer to your state's <a href="https://www.dol.gov/dol/location.htm" target="_blank">Department of Labor office</a> backing up your statements with your &quot;Bad Check&quot; folder.</p> <p>Once your complaint has been filed, you're highly likely to get your paycheck &hellip; and possibly a bit extra. In Hawaii, for example, employers who fail to pay wages have to pay back a sum equal to the amount of unpaid wages and annual <a href="http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol07_Ch0346-0398/HRS0388/HRS_0388-0010.htm" target="_blank">interest rate of 6 percent</a> from the date that the wages were due. In addition, nonpaying Hawaii employers who can't provide a reasonable explanation are also subject to a fine ranging from $100 to $10,000 and imprisonment up to one year.</p> <p>The employer may also have to provide remedies to cover additional costs, such as late fees and reasonable attorney's fees. Labor laws and filing fees vary by state, but one thing is certain: You'll get paid.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-to-do-if-your-paycheck-bounces&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520to%2520Do%2520If%2520Your%2520Paycheck%2520Bounces.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20If%20Your%20Paycheck%20Bounces"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20to%20Do%20If%20Your%20Paycheck%20Bounces.jpg" alt="What to Do If Your Paycheck Bounces" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-your-paycheck-bounces">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-liabilities-that-will-ruin-your-net-worth">7 Liabilities That Will Ruin Your Net Worth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-smart-things-you-can-do-with-your-finances-even-if-youre-broke">15 Smart Things You Can Do With Your Finances, Even if You&#039;re Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moments-that-are-awkward-for-everyone">10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career Building bills bounced check department of labor employer insufficient funds overdraft fees paycheck work Wed, 05 Jul 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Damian Davila 1974322 at http://www.wisebread.com The Absolute Worst Ways to Ask for a Raise http://www.wisebread.com/the-absolute-worst-ways-to-ask-for-a-raise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-absolute-worst-ways-to-ask-for-a-raise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/skeptical_interviewer_looking_at_interviewee.jpg" alt="Skeptical interviewer looking at interviewee" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Asking for a raise is not easy. You don't want to come across as greedy, or antagonize your employer. But at the same time, you've done your research, know what you deserve, and believe you are an asset that should be compensated accordingly.</p> <p>Before you talk to your boss, make sure you avoid the following traps. They could sink any chance of a bump in pay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?rerf=seealso" target="_blank">5 Times You Should Demand a Raise</a>)</p> <h2>1. Saying you're having trouble making ends meet</h2> <p>There are a few truths that you must accept, and one of them is this &mdash; your personal money problems are your problems. You took the job, and you accepted the salary. Scraping by or falling behind on your bills is a reason to ask for a raise, but it's not the reason your employer ever needs to hear.</p> <p>You need to justify your raise for reasons that a boss can comfortably take to the payroll department, and the people he or she reports to. Saying &quot;Well, Jane's rent was just raised and she also owes on her taxes&quot; won't cut it. Instead, present your case in a well-researched and thought-out manner, explaining why you deserve a pay bump based on merit and hard work.</p> <h2>2. Criticizing any of your coworkers</h2> <p>There is a time and a place for pointing out problems with the team, and it is not when you want to get more money. If your boss is any good, he or she will already know the big problems with underperforming staff. Other issues can be brought up during your usual one-on-one sessions, or team meetings. If you use your coworkers' poor performance as a reason to get more money, you will come across as mercenary.</p> <p>Sure, you may have been picking up the slack for lazy coworkers, or correcting mistakes, but there is a way to mention this without throwing anyone under the bus. By all means, say that you have been taking on more responsibility, working longer hours, and saving the company money by catching errors. But do it without saying, &quot;John sucks at his job, he's always late, and I have to do everything!&quot;</p> <h2>3. Asking when the boss, and everyone else, is insanely busy</h2> <p>Timing is everything, and perhaps the worst time to bring this up is when everyone is scrambling to meet a deadline and deliver the goods. Whether it's behind the counter of a fast-food restaurant, or during a huge pitch for new business, asking for more money at this time will hurt you in several ways.</p> <p>First, it makes you look selfish; everyone is rushing around, and you want the boss to stop and focus on you. Second, it makes you look inconsiderate; now is not the time, can you not see how busy everyone is? Third, it makes you look like you're trying to take advantage of the situation. The boss is not going to appreciate you trying to hurriedly negotiate a raise during a crisis. So, back off, and bide your time. Things will calm down, and then you can strike.</p> <h2>4. Catching the boss off-guard</h2> <p>When you are initiating the subject of a raise and/or promotion, you are making a request that has consequences. Your boss has to examine the numbers, look at performance and salary averages, and consider the budget for the department. And the boss usually has to get the approval from other people in the company. This is all very official.</p> <p>So, casually having a one-on-one in the elevator, out of nowhere, is a huge mistake. Your boss will be taken by surprise, and may even feel threatened or trapped. They won't be able to give you an answer anyway. Schedule a time for a meeting, at least 30 minutes, and warn the boss in advance that you want to talk about your future at the company. You don't have to outright say &quot;I want to talk about a raise&quot; &mdash; if the boss is intuitive he or she will know just what this meeting is about.</p> <h2>5. Beating around the bush</h2> <p>A little friendly banter before you bring up the subject of your raise is OK. In fact, it's courteous and expected, and sets a friendly tone. However, if you meander off for 15 minutes on topics that are completely unrelated, you're only going to frustrate your boss. He or she has a pretty good idea of why you're in the room, and wants to start the conversation.</p> <p>Most likely, after five minutes of talk about the weather, the ballgame, the family, and plans for the weekend, you'll be asked to spit it out. But by that time, you've already shown yourself to be less than efficient, and that puts you in a position of weakness.</p> <h2>6. Storming in with ultimatums</h2> <p>&quot;If I don't get a raise, I'm quitting. Simple as that.&quot; How many times have people told you they are going to say that to the boss? How many times have you thought it yourself? Sure, it's human nature to want fair compensation, and we all hope to be so valued that people will do anything not to lose us. Sadly, life isn't like that.</p> <p>Ultimatums are not the answer, because one of three things will happen. First, you will get your raise, but you will be tarnished as difficult, selfish, and egotistic. Second, you will be told no, and realize you can't quit after all. Your bluff will have been called, and now they know you aren't going to quit if you don't get what you want. Third, you are told no, and have to quit to save face. Are you ready for that?</p> <p>One way to get around the ultimatum is to come to the boss with a higher paying job offer from another firm. Then, it's a business negotiation. You can say that you would much rather stay, but this offer gives you more money, and you may have to take it. In this case, most employers, if they value you, will match the offer. They see you as in demand, and that puts you in a positive light.</p> <h2>7. Getting way too emotional</h2> <p>Anger. Tears. Jealousy. Disbelief. The emotions can run high when you believe you are getting the short end of the stick. However, it's unprofessional to unload your emotional state onto your employer. You may feel you are not being recognized for all you've done for the company. Or you may be behind on your bills, with new expenses coming up in the future.</p> <p>It can be hard to mask these emotions when you are stressed. But it's important to get these under control before you ask for a raise. Get the emotions out first before coming to work. If you need to cry, do it. If you are angry, find a way to release the tension. You need to have a calm, clear head before you can talk money.</p> <h2>8. Acting entitled</h2> <p>Arms crossed. Eyebrows furrowed. Breathing hard through your nose. You're in the boss's office because enough is enough, and you should have had that raise months ago! From the moment you open your mouth, you are incredulous that you even had to call this meeting.</p> <p>Acting this way does you no favors. You'll come across as a spoiled brat, and unless you can back all of your claims up, you'll also look foolish. Don't go into the room feeling angry and cheated. Instead, calm down, and prepare. Write down all of the quantifiable reasons you deserve a raise, and give the boss the ammunition he or she needs to get that extra money for you. Be polite. Be yourself. And don't expect anything.</p> <h2>9. Making demands when the company is in trouble</h2> <p>There's an argument to be made that it's OK to ask for a raise if your company is facing some light financial difficulties (maybe they've laid a few people off), or if you know your specific department is still doing well. But that's about where you'll need to draw the line.</p> <p>If the business has fallen on <em>really</em> hard financial times, it's another story. Maybe executives have had to make significant cutbacks, or it's even possible that the company could be filing for bankruptcy. If you decide that this is the best time to ask for a raise, you are only showing upper management that you are utterly tone deaf. If you survived the cuts, you should probably be thankful you're still on the payroll at all.</p> <p>A company can encounter nonfinancial trouble, too &mdash; and you should also back away from any kind of salary negotiation until these stormy waters have calmed. A public relations scandal, for example, will have the company in a panic. No one will give your salary concerns a second thought when there are much bigger fish to fry. Or, maybe several key workers have left to form another company, or work for a rival. Again, the only thing management will be concerned about is keeping the ship afloat.</p> <p>You know when the company is not doing well. Do what you can to help, and do it with vigor. Then, when it's all worked out, you'll have more ammo for your salary discussion.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-absolute-worst-ways-to-ask-for-a-raise">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-job-worth-it">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-career-moves-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grown-up">8 Career Moves That Prove You&#039;re Finally a Grown-Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead">6 Skills That Helped Your Boss Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-fired">How to Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building asking for raise boss employer job manager promotions salary strategies working Fri, 02 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1957904 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Warning Signs Your New Boss May Be a Bad Boss http://www.wisebread.com/10-warning-signs-your-new-boss-may-be-a-bad-boss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-warning-signs-your-new-boss-may-be-a-bad-boss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-465251909.jpg" alt="Man learning his new boss is a bad boss" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A new boss can be a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, you could be in dire need of great leadership, and a new hire could turn everything around. But, this boss could also take you out of the frying pan and into the fire. Here are 10 clear warning signs that your new boss could be trouble. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-types-of-horrible-bosses-and-how-to-manage-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Types of Horrible Bosses</a>)</p> <h2>1. A resume filled with job hopping</h2> <p>Before the potential new boss even walks into the interview room, there can be a huge red flag glaring at you on their resume. Of course, if you're not involved in the interview process, you won't see it. But these days, LinkedIn can be a huge help.</p> <p>If you see a lot of jobs over the course of the last decade, lasting less than two years each, this is a potential bad sign. Sometimes this behavior is easy to explain away, such as bad luck from layoffs, headhunting, or ladder climbing. However, it can often be down to attitude and ability. Someone with five or six different companies on their resume in the space of a decade must explain why. If they say it was always due to poor working conditions, bad coworkers, or a toxic corporate environment, you could be in for a bumpy ride.</p> <h2>2. A bone-crushing handshake</h2> <p>Men are more likely to exhibit this behavior than women, but it applies across the board. A handshake should be firm, brief, and forgettable. If it's too limp, and clammy, that comes with its own issues. But the boss who shakes hands with a vice-like grip is telling you a lot without saying a word. This is meant to intimidate, showing dominance and superiority. In fact, some people say that this kind of handshake borders on physical assault. If the new boss shakes your hand and you need a painkiller afterward, you're dealing with someone who is way beyond alpha dog. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-body-language-mistakes-that-sabotage-most-interviews?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Body Language Mistakes That Sabotage Most Interviews</a>)</p> <h2>3. They constantly steer the conversation back to themselves</h2> <p>There's a word for this &mdash; narcissism. The new boss may do everything in their power to hide it, but this kind of vanity finds a way to ooze to the surface.</p> <p>At first, it's harmless, if not annoying. You mention your kids, and the next thing you know, you're listening to a half-hour diatribe on how awesome your new boss is as a parent. But, this behavior can soon deteriorate into stealing credit for work you have done. It's not that they think they are stealing anything, by the way. They simply believe that they are the center of attention, and everything good that happens in the company has to be because of them. Be warned &mdash; this kind of boss will suck your successes like a leech.</p> <h2>4. You can never get a definitive answer on anything</h2> <p>If you're faced with this kind of boss, you've got trouble. There are several reasons why they will avoid answering your questions, and none of them are good. First, they simply don't know the answers. There's nothing inherently wrong with that at first, this is a new environment and it takes time to learn. But a boss that will not admit to it has an ego problem. Second, they don't want to answer you honestly, and that means they're playing politics. Third, they are unsure of the parameters of the project, and want you to figure it out and potentially take the blame should it all go wrong. If you cannot get clear answers, you're being given a clear red flag.</p> <h2>5. They are way too nice</h2> <p>There's nice. There's &quot;I'm new here, I'm trying&quot; nice. And then there's &quot;I'm way too friendly all the time and I'm hiding something&quot; nice. The first two, no problem; especially the second, when the boss laughs at a bad joke you tell, or chipperly asks if anyone needs coffee. Those niceties fade after the first few weeks. It's the over-friendly boss you have to worry about.</p> <p>These are the bosses who will smile, praise you constantly to your face, and act like your best friend. Meanwhile, they're berating you to upper management, and are sharpening the knives before they stab you in the back. An example of this comes from the Kevin Spacey movie &quot;Swimming With Sharks.&quot; When he is first introduced to the new employee, he's the model of awesomeness. It doesn't take long for him to turn into the boss from hell.</p> <h2>6. Way too stressed, way too soon</h2> <p>Stress is common in the average workplace, and that can understandably escalate when first starting a new position. However, there is a big difference between anxiety brought on by obviously stressful situations, and falling to pieces over the smallest dilemmas. If your new boss is calling emergency meetings every hour, or pacing the floors biting his or her nails, you've got a worrywart on your hands. They will escalate every situation way beyond the usual level of importance, and will in turn make your life a living hell. You'll be jumping to attention for the most pedestrian of tasks, and will have to talk your new boss off the ledge (hopefully just a metaphorical one) on a weekly basis. Good luck with this one.</p> <h2>7. They are micromanaging from the get-go</h2> <p>A good boss knows when to step in, and when to let the employees do their jobs. When a new boss starts, they will want to get to know what you do, and how you do it. But they should be relying on you to do your job without their assistance.</p> <p>If the new boss wants to be hands-on, and asks for daily (or even hourly) updates, you're dealing with a potential micromanager. These bosses create a bottleneck, with everything in the department having to go through them before it can proceed. It makes for a slow, painful workday, and they usually don't do the job as well as the individual employees. Autonomy is essential for a business to function efficiently, and micromanaging kills that process.</p> <h2>8. They berate their old company and the staff</h2> <p>When someone starts talking trash about his or her current job in an interview, be afraid. Be very afraid. While it is OK to have issues with the company, the issues should be discussed professionally, and with respect; and only if the subject is raised by the interviewer. If the trash-talking session comes without being prompted, and turns into a blame game, you've got a problem. This kind of boss will not be one to take responsibility for their actions, and is looking everywhere else for the cause of problems. And remember &mdash; if it's so easy for them to rebuke their current employer, how quickly will you become the subject of scorn?</p> <h2>9. They are inappropriate</h2> <p>After a month or two on the job, when the new boss is comfortable with the crew, you can expect a little relaxation and occasional off-color comment. But during the interview, and the first few weeks of employment, the new boss should be a model of professionalism. If they are spouting foul language and telling offensive jokes, imagine how bad things are going to get when they settle in? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-say-to-your-boss?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss</a>)</p> <h2>10. You just know it the second you meet</h2> <p>You can't quite put your finger on it, but the new boss just doesn't seem like a good fit. Maybe it's the way they conduct themselves, or walk around the office. Perhaps it's a turn of phrase they use, or an unusual glance in your direction. It could simply be that you cannot put your finger on it, but your gut is telling you this will not work.</p> <p>Do not ignore these feelings. Your lizard brain is there for a reason, and it's telling you there is something wrong. Hopefully, it's a gut reaction that turns out to be incorrect. However, most of the time, people know in the first few minutes that this will be toxic. It's now up to you to do the best you can to deal with it, and hope that the new boss is not your manager for very long.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-warning-signs-your-new-boss-may-be-a-bad-boss">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-house-hunting-red-flags-you-cant-ignore">12 House-Hunting Red Flags You Can&#039;t Ignore</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-its-time-to-quit-freelancing">7 Signs It&#039;s Time to Quit Freelancing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-absolute-worst-ways-to-ask-for-a-raise">The Absolute Worst Ways to Ask for a Raise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surefire-signs-you-have-too-much-debt">5 Surefire Signs You Have Too Much Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-types-of-bad-bosses-and-how-to-survive-them">The 8 Types of Bad Bosses — And How to Survive Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income bad bosses employer manager new hires personalities red flags warning signs Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1914543 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-your-boss-wishes-you-knew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-your-boss-wishes-you-knew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000068400791_Large.jpg" alt="your boss wishes you knew these things" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us have a boss. It would be great to know what was really going on inside his or her head, but sadly, the technology doesn't yet exist. However, after talking to bosses from my past jobs, I have discovered 10 commonalities that they would like you to know. Follow this advice, and you could give a well-earned boost to your career.</p> <h2>1. A Positive Attitude Is Really Important</h2> <p>Bosses don't expect their employees to be perfect shining rays of light, and happy every second of every day. In fact, that may actually get very irritating, or give the impression that you just don't care. However, being difficult, constantly complaining, nay-saying, gossiping, and generally being a grumpy curmudgeon is not going to be tolerated for long, regardless of the skills you have. Some people may say &quot;His attitude stinks, but his work is incredible,&quot; and while that may be true, it won't keep that guy employed forever.</p> <p>What's at stake here is greater than one person. Team morale suffers, the boss has to give more grease to the squeaky wheel, and it becomes more of a hassle than the employee is worth. Less talented, but more positive, individuals will outlast highly skilled killjoys.</p> <h2>2. Take the Initiative More Often</h2> <p>A good employee will do what is asked of him or her in a timely manner, and they'll do it well. A great employee won't wait to be asked, and will instead initiate the projects or create new ways to drive business. A boss has a lot of work to do, and when an employee steps up with a solution to a problem, rather than being asked to look into it, it's an absolute delight to a boss. It shows you care about the job, and the company, and are thinking about ways to improve it on your own time.</p> <p>If you have ideas that you think would improve business, do not be afraid to take 10 minutes out of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead">boss's schedule</a> to discuss them. Even if the idea isn't feasible, you will get props for the effort.</p> <h2>3. The Boss Is Not the Enemy</h2> <p>It's something regularly portrayed on TV and in the movies. The boss is the one everyone else can't stand. It's the boss who stops the fun, who demands you work late, or come in early, and it's the boss who has to deliver bad news. Well, the boss doesn't relish doing any of those things. There is so much going on behind the scenes that employees don't, and shouldn't, know about. From revenue issues, to staffing, and even stock prices &mdash; the boss has much more to deal with than you'd think, and it's hard work.</p> <p>But at the end of the day, the boss wants the company to do well, and therefore, wants you to do well. You won't always agree with the decisions, but that doesn't mean they were made to annoy you, or keep you from succeeding. And remember, many times your boss has a boss, who also has a boss. This all trickles down.</p> <h2>4. Asking for Help Is Not a Sign of Weakness</h2> <p>There's a great <em>Seinfeld</em> episode called &quot;The Bottle Deposit&quot; which features George being given a very important task to do. The boss thinks George has followed him into the bathroom, and briefs him there. When George comes in at the end, he's missed the entire briefing, but his boss thinks he's heard it all. The simple solution is to approach the boss and say, &quot;I actually didn't hear that. Could you please brief me on it again?&quot; But that wouldn't be funny in a sitcom.</p> <p>In real life, however, asking for help, or clarification, is a perfectly normal and accepted part of the job. In fact, by asking for help, you're showing that you care enough about the project to make sure it gets done correctly. Now, if you ask for help constantly, and cannot grasp the notion of the project after three or four explanations, that's not so good. You also don't want to be seen as offloading all your projects onto other people. But in general, if you have a question, ask it. Your boss will be happy to give you the best answer they can.</p> <h2>5. Promotions Have to Be Earned</h2> <p>You may have been at the company five years, and never had a promotion. And yet, someone down the hall has had two promotions in just four years. This isn't fair, right? Well, most of the time, it is. True, sometimes there is favoritism involved, and in those cases, there is very little you can do about it. Bosses promote their friends, it's a fact of life.</p> <p>However, most of the time, those promotions were earned by a go-getter who showed initiative and really went the extra mile. In fact, a promotion is usually given to someone who has been doing that job for months, or even years. Show that you can do it, and you'll get it&hellip; and the raise.</p> <h2>6. You Can't Expect Special Treatment</h2> <p>You may make the boss laugh more than anyone else. You may go golfing with him or her on a weekend. You may even be related. But you cannot expect that to have an impact on your job. You shouldn't expect a raise because you bring the boss homemade cookies every week. You shouldn't expect to work special hours, or telecommute, just because you're charming. Remember, if the boss lets you have something, then pretty soon everyone on the staff will hear about it, and want the same. Now, if you do something that earns you special treatment, like working overtime for three weeks without pay, then that's different. In that instance, it's fine to ask for some free time off to recuperate.</p> <h2>7. Don't Bring Problems Without Solutions</h2> <p>The boss has to know about problems. However, simply telling the boss something is wrong, without offering any kind of assistance or solution, is just lazy. If you don't have the expertise to address the problem, talk to someone who does, and find out what can be done to address that problem. Do it in a timely manner, and then bring both the problem and possible solutions to the boss. Now, you have not made his or her day worse by being the bearer of bad news. Instead, you have flagged a problem, but offered a fix. This is more appreciated by a boss than you could know, and it will be reflected in your next review. You are proactive, and that's something worth rewarding; either with more responsibility, and/or a promotion.</p> <h2>8. Criticism Is Not Personal</h2> <p>It seems that as the years go by, employees get more and more sensitive to criticism of any kind. Perhaps the entitlement culture is to blame, and parents who shelter their children all the way to adulthood. But whatever the reason, a boss should be able to critique your work and your ideas without you feeling attacked or hurt.</p> <p>Constructive criticism is how we all learn to grow in our roles, and advance in our careers. Some industries, such as advertising and marketing, cannot survive without tough feedback. Creative people have to learn to grow a thick skin, as they are told all 10 concepts for a pitch are awful. But the same should apply across the board. Whatever industry you're in, a critique of your work is not an attack on you as a person, and you should not take it personally. Brush it off, and learn from it.</p> <h2>9. Think Beyond Your Own Role</h2> <p>It's very easy to work in a silo, and focus on your own tasks and responsibilities. But a great employee will consider the whole business, not just one department or project. For instance, asking for an injection of capital to fund a project can have all kinds of implications. It's possible that money is tied up in another project or initiative, and that would have to be cut to fund your project. Is your project best for the company as a whole? Are you using funds in the best possible way? Some people treat the company's money like Monopoly money, spending because it's easy. However, if you spend the company's money as if it were your own, you'd find ways to save, or make better deals.</p> <h2>10. You Don't Have to Agree With Everything</h2> <p>Good bosses hire people who are ready to challenge the status quo &mdash; <em>if</em> they bring better ideas to the table, and go about it in a respectful way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having the dissenting opinion, and your boss will actually think more of you for bringing up the topic. Someone who says yes to every single idea their boss has is not only seen as irritating, but also lazy. It takes work, and bravery, to speak up about an idea that's different. But it also shows you're thinking, and most importantly, that you care. While a boss has every right to shoot down those ideas, or overrule you, they are not going to think negatively of you if you show genuine passion for a different idea. Of course, saying no to every idea, that's a whole different story.</p> <p><em>Are you a boss? What do you wish your employees knew? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-your-boss-wishes-you-knew">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-say-to-your-boss">10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-2">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer">5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-jobs-people-quit-the-most">The 4 Jobs People Quit the Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income boss career building employer job etiquette jobs office politics wishes you knew Wed, 01 Jun 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 1721380 at http://www.wisebread.com What's an employee to do? Part 2 http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-2 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-2" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Il_Condottiere.jpg" alt="Condottiere by Leonardo da Vinci" title="Condottiere by Leonardo da Vinci" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="346" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The trend toward replacing traditional employees with varying combinations of temps, contractors, outsourcing, and off-shoring is old news now.&nbsp; That gives us a bit of perspective to look at the situation and come up with some strategies for employees (and, increasingly, ex-employees) to deal with the situation.</p> <p>I talked a bit about how these trends played out in the 1990s in <a href="/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-1">part 1</a>.&nbsp; Now let's look a bit at the underlying forces--and at what an employee needs to do.</p> <p>I first became aware of these shifts in about 1990, when I read the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553292153?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0553292153"><cite>Powershift</cite></a> by Alvin Toffler.&nbsp; It talks about how changes in technology were empowering the individual, both as consumer and employee.</p> <p>It's worth observing that these forces were (and are) having just as much impact on employers as they are on employees.</p> <h2>The company</h2> <p>Economies of scale were becoming less important, meaning that power was shifting away from big corporations and big banks; much smaller companies (with much smaller need for credit) could compete effectively.&nbsp; That meant that niche products could flourish, and it meant that entrepreneurs could set up small companies to make those products--and that workers could choose to work for one of those small companies, or even set up their own.</p> <p>By the mid-1990s, everyone was talking about &quot;virtual companies.&quot;&nbsp; The model of business was going to be like that of the film industry:&nbsp; A few people who brought money and management expertise (producers) would join forces with some creative types who had a vision (the director and screenwriter).&nbsp; They'd hire some &quot;talent&quot; (actors, cinematographers, composers, etc.) to create the product--perhaps outsourcing some of the work to specialty companies (special visual effects, perhaps), and definitely outsourcing things like shipping, receiving, catering, etc.</p> <p>The virtual company of the future would simply be a handful of people with a vision for how to make some money.&nbsp; They'd come together, hire outside firms to do the mundane work, use their own unique talents and vision to create whatever it was they were creating, sell it (probably outsourcing the marketing, almost certainly outsourcing the sales), and then go their separate ways to their next venture.</p> <h2>The employee</h2> <p>Toffler presented a pretty balanced view that included the downsides of these shifts along with the upsides.&nbsp; Another book written about the same time, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0380704374?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0380704374">Megatrends 2000</a> by John Naisbitt, presented a much cheerier vision, at least for employees--a world where the tools that employers used to control employees would have simply melted away:</p> <blockquote><p>Considering the complex tasks of the information era and its elite labor force, the business leader&rsquo;s job is quite a challenge.</p> <p>He or she possesses no authority over people whatsoever. The military puts deserters in jail. In business, when you are deserted, you get two weeks&rsquo; notice. Maybe. Disobey a military order and you face a court-martial. In a seller&rsquo;s market, if your first lieutenant disagrees with your approach to the client, he or she can go out tomorrow and get another job that probably pays better anyhow.</p> </blockquote> <p>(For an even more radical version of this vision, see <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684810077?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0684810077"><cite>The Sovereign Individual</cite></a> by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg, a book which proposed that these same changes would empower the individual to the point that they would not only be out from under the thumb of companies and managers, but also largely free of the control of nations and states.)</p> <p>An important cheerleader of this vision of future business was the magazine <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/">Fast Company</a>.&nbsp; I first ran into the magazine in 1996, when I visited a relative who worked in human resources and had a copy on his coffee table. &nbsp;</p> <p>I have an old piece of email where I described the magazine this way:</p> <blockquote><p>It's an odd, stressful magazine--targeted at employees and employers of the modern economy. &nbsp;The compositing of the articles is frenetic, with so many sidebars and related articles all mixed together that you just about can't read it linearly.</p> <p>The whole focus of the magazine is on the employer/employee relationship and how the increasingly rapid change in the skills employers need renders employees obsolete in short order unless they constantly renew their training, education, and experience.&nbsp; It's a notion that I think is true, but not one that I'm really happy about.</p> <p>The editorial stance of Fast Company seems to be that workers (the &quot;better&quot; workers) will come out way ahead as the economy shifts. &nbsp;That may turn out to be true, at least in periods when the economy is booming, but I'm not sure the advantages that top-notch talent will be able to wring out of the new economy during a boom will match their losses when the economy is slack. &nbsp;But, as the early 1990s showed, those losses are already being suffered, so it isn't like they have a choice.</p> </blockquote> <p>I wrote that in August, 1998, ten years almost to the day before I lost my job in the winding down of a company that couldn't keep up with changes technology or changes in customer tastes.</p> <p>For the cheerleaders, the key notion was that individuals (who used to be called employees) needed to take charge of their own careers.&nbsp; I read one good article that suggested the Condottieri (a kind of mercenary in Renaissance Italy) as the model that the people formerly called employees should follow.&nbsp; As individuals or small groups they should market themselves to companies, not as &quot;labor&quot; but as &quot;solutions.&quot;&nbsp; Instead of just taking a &quot;job,&quot; they should sign contracts that spelled out the work they'd do and what they'd get paid.</p> <h2>What happened?</h2> <p>For companies, things have gone rather according to the script.&nbsp; You don't hear about &quot;virtual companies&quot; any more, because the concept has gone mainstream.&nbsp; Just as Toffler observed, changes in technology have given small companies many advantages over big companies.&nbsp; If a couple of guys with a good idea want to produce a product or provide a service, it's not just <strong>possible</strong> to outsource whatever parts of the work the creators don't want to do, it's the ordinary thing to do.</p> <p>For employees, the changes have been much more complex and uneven.&nbsp; We have certainly not come to the end of traditional employees.&nbsp; In fact, there are as many traditional employee-type jobs as there have ever been.&nbsp; (According to <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CE16OV?cid=12">Civilian Employment</a> data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics via the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, there are currently 145.9 million jobs, down a statistically insignificant (except to the newly unemployed people and their families) smidgen from November's highest-ever level of 146.6 million.)</p> <p>There was even a period (the peak of the dotcom boom) where demand for employees was so high that all sorts of people who had previously been considered unemployable entered the workforce.</p> <p>Even at the peak, though, it was obvious that these forces worked against the traditional employee.&nbsp; For example, raises for existing employees were held down, in order to free up cash to pay signing bonuses for incoming workers.</p> <h2>The downside</h2> <p>As I said, though, the gains were unevenly distributed.&nbsp; Many employees, instead of finding themselves holding all the cards, have seen their jobs get steadily crappier.</p> <p>Companies, squeezed between customers who demand the lowest possible price and investors who demand the highest possible return on their investment, have no choice but the grind out the most possible work for the lowest possible pay.&nbsp; They cut costs at every opportunity--wages, benefits, facilities, etc. &nbsp;</p> <p>Well, at <strong>almost</strong> every opportunity--those top managers in a position to do so make sure that <strong>they</strong> are very well compensated indeed.&nbsp; In fact, for a modest number of elite performers--senior managers, key technical people, superstars in just about any area--the advantages that Naisbitt and others saw within the grasp of individuals have actually materialized.&nbsp; Many people out there can always find another job that pays better than the one they've got, giving them considerable control over their situation.</p> <p>Although there are many individuals in that situation, as a fraction of the workforce they're insignificant.&nbsp; There are very few people that management doesn't view as easily replaceable--either locally, or at much lower cost in some low-wage country.&nbsp; With investors demanding it, managers are forced to behave this way, or else be driven out of business.&nbsp; (This is a principle theme of <a href="/book-review-supercapitalism">Robert Reich's latest book</a>.)</p> <p>So, where does this leave the employee?&nbsp; I'm afraid it leaves them just where Fast Company wanted to put them:&nbsp; in charge of their own fate, needing to take responsibility for maintaining their skills, constantly searching for the best opportunities, making whatever deals best advance their career.</p> <p>The cheerleaders notwithstanding, for most people, it's a poorer situation than their parents had as employees of large corporations.&nbsp; Even so, it's worth listening to the cheerleaders, as a way to find the advantages--they're real, even if they don't overcome the downside.</p> <p>The key insight is to realize that your career has almost nothing to do with your job.&nbsp; Whether you're an employee, a temp, a contractor, or an entrepreneur, you need to take charge of your career.</p> <p>In the old days, careers and jobs were interlinked by the concepts of loyalty, job security, and seniority.&nbsp; Those&nbsp; concepts no longer apply to business situations.&nbsp; That's the downside--and you're stuck with it, whether you take advantage of the upside or not.&nbsp; So, how can you win some of the upside?</p> <h2>The upside</h2> <p>The big winners are those who can actually take full advantage of the new situation--the sort who have the temperament and the skills to create companies.</p> <p>Even if you're not that entrepreneurial, you can be one of the people who works at them.&nbsp; That means having a useful skill, and it means having the contacts to find those positions.</p> <p>You need to grab opportunities when they turn up. &nbsp;</p> <p>In the old economy, it often paid to stick with your employer, even when other opportunities showed up.&nbsp; You might miss out on a signing bonus, your raise might not match what another company was offering, but there was some value in your pension, your seniority, a position that matched your skills, a boss who knew what you could do.&nbsp; In the days when a company would carry its employees through a recession, those things might well be worth more than the (possibly very short-term) gain of jumping ship.</p> <p>Nowadays, there just about aren't any pensions any more, and younger folks don't even know what &quot;seniority&quot; used to mean.</p> <p>Taking charge of your career isn't easy.&nbsp; It's not so simple as chasing the biggest salary--you need to find jobs that expand your skills, that expand your network of contacts, and that produce products that showcase your talents.&nbsp; But the days are long past when you can rely on your employer to manage those things.</p> <p>You need to adjust your spending to account for the fact that no one else is going to carry you through a recession.&nbsp; (As a rough approximation, put aside any signing bonus, any raise you got for changing jobs, and any options that you get to carry you over periods when you're between jobs.&nbsp; If you <strong>don't</strong> change jobs, estimate what you could have made and put that amount aside--because you're stuck dealing with the downside, even if you aren't grabbing the upside.)</p> <p>Managing your career might involve doing unpaid work (free software, volunteer for community organizations, etc.) when you're between jobs.&nbsp; Anything that helps you make contacts or that produces something you can point at as a good example of your work is worth doing when you're otherwise unemployed--it's probably worth doing some of that even when you are.</p> <p>Right now (the beginning of a recession) is the hardest time to put these ideas into practice.&nbsp; It'll probably turn out to be a good time to see that the old model for employees is well and truly dead, though.&nbsp; For folks old enough to still imagine that there's such a thing as loyalty in business, that'll be worth quite a bit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-2">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie">How to get a job--learn the secret from a bad movie</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-passion-into-a-living">Turn Your Passion Into A Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deciding-when-to-follow-instructions">Deciding when to follow instructions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income career condottiere employee employer job jobs Fri, 18 Apr 2008 15:29:34 +0000 Philip Brewer 2023 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Simple Rules that Your Work-at-Home Employer Should Follow http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/work_at_home.jpg" alt="desk with computer and papers" title="desk with computer and papers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Working from home, as a contractor or full-time employee for a legitimate business, seems to be a great way of making money while keeping a flexible schedule with plenty of time for family, friends, fun, and sleep. Or is it? </p> <p>Last year, I investigated contract writing as a way to give myself what I thought might be a more me-friendly schedule. So I sent some samples in response to an ad in a professional-association newsletter, completed a do-it-our-way training session, and started accepting project assignments. </p> <p>The good news is that the company paid on time, precisely what it promised. But hardly anything else matched what a reasonable person (me) would have presumed based on communications with the company owner and its designated trainer / tyrant. </p> <p>The pay, though advertised as excellent, was below even my fairly priced rates. But, according to the owner, each of a nearly full stable of happy, qualified, and loyal writers could complete 2 assignments per day (sometimes 3) so that, according to my math, an assignment should take 4 hours for completion. Given the speed and volume with which I could complete the projects, I could supplement my income very nicely. </p> <p>I was assigned to a trainer who would teach me the company’s way. Perhaps I should have been concerned that she shared the name of a former Caribbean-Basin dictator but I pressed on. </p> <p>According to the agreement, I would confirm my availability to complete each project upon its receipt. In practice, however, I was asked to give a number of weekly assignments that I could handle, which I did, calculated on the 4-hour average. Straying below that number, I later learned, had to be approved by the owner. </p> <p>The assignments involved reviewing client-supplied documents (2 – 20+ pages, occasionally with conflicting information); preparing a 2-5 page, well-written, and completely proofed draft within 48 hours; and responding promptly to any client concerns that included dissatisfaction with the prescribed and unchangeable format.</p> <p>Let me admit that I am a steady but sometimes slow processor of information. I like to review, reflect, analyze, synthesize, and then recast words into a what I hope will be a compelling, though corporate-like, story. Sometimes, I can assemble, knead, bake, and deliver a project within 24 or 48 hours but oftentimes I cannot. Bottom line, it took me a minimum of 4 hours and an average of 8 hours to complete the assignments. </p> <p>Trying to fit it all in (the assignments and the ever-increasing workload from my own business) took nearly every waking hour. I did ask my trainer-turned-manager for tips on speeding up the process. I received silence in response. Questions on how to handle certain scenarios according to the company way were met with what I now deem the Management-by-Magic-8-Ball method: “do what you think is right,” “all signs point to yes,” etc. If I asked the wrong question, misunderstood a requirement, or made a mistake, I would receive the digital equivalent of being yelled at: an email with words written in a very large font. </p> <p>I never dreamed that a virtual work environment could be run like a sweat shop. </p> <p>Less than 7 weeks into my tenure as a contract writer, I quit. </p> <p>My choice was simple, but for others who are breadwinners with little time to search for another position, quitting is not so easy. For example, the husband of a friend has been telecommuting for a large, publicly-held, seemingly well-run company. His job is to provide technical services 24/7 to a designated customer. As the customer grew over the years, so did his workload. His pay and his support from the company (none, ever, it seems) did not change. To maintain service levels, he became chained to his computer, sleeping erratically to view system performance throughout the day and night, and unable to take a few days off in a wireless location. Sure, he could have quit (before a mild illness turned bad and put him in the hospital, etc.) but there should be accountability on the part of the employer, who seemed to have to dangled the promise of a change in schedule or staffing without ever making one. </p> <p>Here are 7 simple rules for companies who engage work-at-home employees or contractors: </p> <p>1. Deliver what you promise when recruiting new employees or contractors. </p> <p>2. Set policies for time off / days off that are easy to understand and easy to follow.</p> <p>3. Require your employees to visit a physician at least once a year.</p> <p>4. Make sure that compensation is competitive for hourly workers as well as salaried employees or pay-per-project contractors.</p> <p>5. Limit hours on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.</p> <p>6. Encourage employees to take a vacation and provide back-up support for the vacation.</p> <p>7. Evaluate virtual workplace arrangements on an annual basis, identify changes needed, set a deadline for making them, and stick to it.</p> <p>If you are a work-at-home employee or contractor, it&#39;s your job to make sure your work-at-home employer plays by the rules. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-2">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 2</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Three paths to being a digital nomad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-warning-signs-your-new-boss-may-be-a-bad-boss">10 Warning Signs Your New Boss May Be a Bad Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-to-make-working-from-home-a-success">10 Tips to Make Working From Home a Success</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income contractor employee employer telecommuting work at home Thu, 21 Jun 2007 01:23:47 +0000 Julie Rains 763 at http://www.wisebread.com