Category Archives: Business

Performance Evaluation On Writing Tips

Self-assessments, also known as self-appraisals or self-evaluations, are popular tools used by management to learn how employees view their own performance. Theses assessments help close the gap between expectations and performance, and provide a channel to open communication about goals, opportunities and development.

While managers and supervisors share their opinions of employee performance and ability to meet expectations during evaluations, the self-assessment lets employees discuss what they see as important projects completed, share new skills and techniques acquired, and remind employers of all the great work they have done since the last performance review.

Writing a self-assessment

Writing a self-evaluation can be difficult for many employees. Despite knowing themselves and their work better than anyone, employees can struggle to summarize it in a way that comes off as objective, rather than conceited.

Here are a few tips to help you with your assessment.

1. Be proud

The main goal of the self-evaluation is to highlight your accomplishments. Employees need to point to specific tasks and projects that highlight their best work. When describing those accomplishments, employees should be sure to emphasize the impact each of those achievements had on the business as a whole, in order to show how valuable their work is to the company.

Julie Rieken, CEO of evaluation software company Trakstar, noted that employees should connect their actions with a manager’s goals.

“If your manager needs to hit a certain number, share how you played a role in hitting the number,” Rieken said in a blog post. “Accomplishments you list should connect with business objectives.”

2. Be honest

Honesty is another critical aspect of writing a self-review. It’s more than likely that the boss knows when a good job was done, so trying to highlight a project or task that was just OK, rather than great, won’t have much impact.

Being honest also means pointing out some areas that could be improved. Timothy Butler, a senior fellow and director of career-development programs at Harvard Business School, advised employees to use developmental language when critiquing the areas in which they need to improve.

“You don’t want to say, ‘Here’s where I really fall down,'” Butler told the Harvard Business Review. “Instead, say, ‘Here’s an area I want to work on. This is what I’ve learned. This is what we should do going forward.'”

3. Ask about career-development opportunities

Butler also encouraged employees to use their self-evaluations as a time to ask their bosses for career-development opportunities. This should occur even if the employer isn’t asking the employee for it, because if you don’t ask, it likely won’t happen, he said. By showing an interest, you put it in your manager’s mind that you are interested, and he or she is more likely to be on the lookout for tasks, assignments and training prospects for you.

4. Be professional

Finally, employees need to remember to always be professional when writing self-assessments. This means they should avoid using it as an opportunity to bash the boss for poor leadership skills or criticize co-workers for making the employees’ lives more difficult.

Being professional also means giving the appraisal its due attention, like any other important project that crosses your desk. Dominique Jones, chief people officer at Halogen Software, advised treating your self-appraisal like a work of art that builds over time. You’ll be much happier with the end result if you give yourself time to reflect and carefully support your self-assessment, she said.

“Use examples to support your assertions, and … make sure that you spell- and grammar-check your documents,” Jones wrote in a blog post. “These are all signs of how seriously you take the process and its importance to you.”

Job on Good Terms

When it’s time to move on from a job, you usually know. Sometimes quitting is the result of a toxic work environment, in other instances it’s for career advancement. Regardless of the motivation to exit your current job, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience.

“Be direct and honest about your unhappiness, but stay away from criticism,” Amy Klimek, vice president of human resources at ZipRecruiter told Business News Daily. “This change is ultimately about you, not them. Remain positive and move on.”

The way you leave a job is your decision alone, but it’s important to be smart about it and leave on a positive note. Business News Daily has created an infographic to help you quit your job in a way that won’t burn any bridges.

Timing is everything

It may be tough to decide when it’s the right time to approach your boss or manager about your raise, but timing truly makes a difference.

“If your company has a regular performance review schedule, try to have a conversation about your compensation a couple months in advance so that your boss has time to make a case and advocate for budget ahead of that process,” Lydia Frank, editorial and marketing director for PayScale, wrote in a blog post. “If you wait for the performance-review process, often the decisions about salary increases have already been made by the management team.”

Think about timing in terms of your company’s overall performance as well, said Brian McClusky, human resources director at InkHouse.

“If your firm had just had an unprofitable quarter, lost a major client, etc., the timing may not be right to request a raise, regardless of how strong your individual performance is,” McClusky said.

Determine your worth

Characterizing your worth is a combination of the work you’ve done and the national average for your position. Take stock of what you’ve done and research how much people in the same field are making before you present the numbers to your boss during your conversation.

“Be realistic when reviewing the data, considering experience, location, education, etc.,” said Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources atIndeed. “Once you’ve determined a comfortable range, develop a plan to broach the subject with your manager.”

“Being able to take inventory of your work demonstrates self-awareness and the readiness to have serious conversations about your career,” Ragini Parmar, vice president of talent operations at Credit Karma, said in another Business News Daily article. “For example, if you’re looking for a raise or promotion, it’s important to do your homework. You’ll always be more effective if you’re able to have a real data-driven conversation with your manager.”

According to Hannah Morgan, the career expert behind Career Sherpa, a great way to keep your current boss up to date is by sending him or her a weekly or monthly email update. State what you accomplished in objective, measurable terms. And always try to tie your achievements back to organizational goals or how those accomplishments benefit the bottom line, she said in a Career Sherpa blog post.

Jobs Career strategies tips

Layoffs and terminated contracts can happen to anyone, at any time. Sometimes it’s expected; other times, you’re completely blindsided. Regardless of the circumstances, you now have the difficult task of finding your next source of income.

Although you’re not working for someone at the moment, you still have a job to do, said Kimberly Schneiderman, a practice development manager at RiseSmart, a company that provides outplacement and career transition services.That job is to represent yourself and continually build your expertise to stay relevant in the marketplace.

1. Work on your personal brand

When you’re looking for jobs, your application materials — your resume, portfolio and online profiles — are essential to creating a good impression on employers. David Gilcher, lead resource manager at Kavaliro staffing firm, said one of the first things you should do during your “in between” phase is update your resume.

“Your resume is your brand statement,” Gilcher told Business News Daily. “Employers want to know what you’ve been up to [and] are interested in learning about the technologies and tools you’ve used lately. Be sure to list your recent accomplishments. Make sure those items are very clear to see on your resume. Once your resume is good to go, make sure it’s online as soon as possible.”

Gilcher also advised polishing your social media presence and showing off your latest work and skills.

“Social media is a great way to show what you’re all about and what you know,” he said. “You can use … blogs [or LinkedIn] to post about topics relevant to the work you do. Providing your insight in a public forum can help potential employers see your perspectives and depth of knowledge.”

“Let the world know about what value you can bring to their business,” added Fred Mouawad, CEO of Taskworld. “There are many tools available, like Wix, where you can build a website/portfolio with zero coding skills. However, web presence is not just limited to having an online portfolio. Follow influencers in your industry on social media, [and] write articles showcasing your expertise.”

2. Find relevant volunteer opportunities

Volunteering in your area of interest is a great activity to pursue between jobs, said Marian Valia, another practice development manager at RiseSmart. This could entail working an event hosted by a prominent industry player, or even offering pro-bono consulting.

“Volunteering in an industry [you] would like to land a job in works in two ways,” Valia said. “First, it allows the job seeker to network with their area of interest and tap into the ‘hidden’ job market (jobs that haven’t been posted yet). Second, this is a great way for job seekers to better understand if the industry is right for them.”

Gilcher agreed, adding that it can also be personally rewarding to volunteer.

“Having those ‘feel-good’ moments when you’re in between jobs can be a morale booster even if times [are] tough,” he said.

3. Learn a new skill

On an average, it takes about one to three months to find a new job, according to Money. However, it can take up to six months to find a job that you really like, Mouawad said.

“That’s long enough to learn a new skill,” he said. “Learning a new language, doing short-term professional courses or even pursuing a hobby can make your resume stronger and justify breaks in work experience.”

“A mastery of [industry] skills will set you apart from your competition time and time again,” Gilcher added. “If you’re concerned about having the money to pay for the courses, it is worth noting that many courses are free. There are thousands of resources either online or out in the real world that are within grasp to use for your education.”

Freelancing by Choice

More and more freelancers are choosing to work independently because they want to, not because they have to, new research finds.

The study from Upwork and theFreelancers Union revealed that 63 percent of independent workers started freelancing by choice, as opposed to necessity. That’s up 10 percentage points since 2014.

Workers may be choosing to freelance in order to improve their income security, the study found. Having a diversified portfolio of clients makes freelancers feel more secure than having just one employer, the research showed. Specifically, nearly 80 percent of the independent workers surveyed said they view freelancing as better than working a traditional job. In addition, half of those surveyed said they wouldn’t go back to a traditional job, no matter how much money they were offered.

Overall, freelancers now represent 35 percent of the total U.S. workforce. The freelance workforce grew to 55 million this year, up 1.3 million from 2015.

“The freelance workforce is the fastest-growing component of the economy,” Louis Hyman, an associate professor and director of the Institute for Workplace Studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, said in a statement. “Figuring out where it is going is the most pressing question of our digital age.”

Freedom and flexibility are driving the growth of freelancing. The full-time freelancers surveyed said the top three reasons they work independently are to be their own bosses, to have flexibility in when they work and to have flexibility in where they work. [See Related Story: 6 Essential Tools for Your Freelance Business ]

Despite 54 percent of respondents making more than they did in their full-time jobs, income predictability is still a concern for freelancers. Struggling to be paid a fair rate, having irregular income and dealing with debt issues were the top three concerns of full-time freelancers.

Health benefits are also an issue for many freelancers. The study shows that 20 percent of full-time freelancers don’t have health insurance and 54 percent who purchased it on their own paid more this year than last year.

Knowing that their numbers are growing, freelancers would appreciate political leaders paying more attention to their interests and concerns. Seventy percent of those surveyed said there needs be more discussion of how to empower the independent workforce, a response that is up 7 percentage points from 2015.

“Now’s the time for business leaders, policy makers and candidates alike to stand up and take notice of [freelancers] potential influence and to start developing ways to help them overcome the most pressing issues impacting their lives,” said Sara Horowitz, the founder and executive director of the Freelancers Union.

Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel said freelancers want to know that America supports them.

How to find The Job That Makes You Happy

If you find yourself unhappy at your corporate job, try looking for work at a smaller company.

The happiest employees work for businesses with fewer than 10 workers, according to a study from the staffing firm Robert Half and happiness and well-being expert Nic Marks. Specifically, on a scale of 0 to 100, workers in businesses with fewer than 10 employees have a happiness rating of 76, while those working for businesses with between 10 and 50 employees have a rating of 72.

Employees at larger organizations are the unhappiest. Workers at companies with 5,000 or more employees have a happiness rating of just 67, the lowest of all the groups studied. The average happiness score for all professionals surveyed was 71.

“This research shows a high level of happiness at work among professionals overall, but also demonstrates unique challenge areas by occupation and company size,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half, said in a statement.

When broken down by industry, the results show that those in education and training, as well as marketing and design have the highest levels of on-the-job satisfaction, while finance workers have the lowest. [See Related Story:Want Happy Employees? Make Hiring Harder]

Nothing drives being happy at work more than having pride in your employer. The study found that employees who feel proud of their organizations are three times more likely to be happy than workers who are not. Feeling appreciated and being treated with fairness and respect are the other top influencers of workplace happiness, the research showed.

“Work can be difficult and demanding, but if employees feel proud of what their organization does, respected as a person and appreciated for what they do, then they tend to be happy and do better work as a result,” Marks said.

Why your happiness matters

Being happy at work provides a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Past research from Horizons Workforce Consulting found that nearly two-thirds of happy employees report consistently putting in extra effort at work, while a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology discovered that those with high levels of on-the-job satisfaction also volunteer for optional tasks, help others and are more cooperative compared to unhappy workers.

“Happier people tend to care more about their work, so they put in greater effort,” Marks said. “This also means they are quicker to notice when things are not going right and take action to prevent negative outcomes.”

The Robert Half report also found that happy workers tend to be more innovative, create and healthy. Additionally, employees with high levels of job satisfaction are less likely to look for new job opportunities.

McDonald said organizations should not take lightly the effort to make sure employees are happy.

“Happiness is not a nice-to-have, but a necessity for a productive and successful business,” he said.

“[It’s] a genuine win-win — great for employees and great for employers,” Marks added.

How to Boosts Your Career

For many employees, the workday doesn’t end when they’re done with their 9 to 5. A new study fromCareerBuilder revealed that nearly 30 percent of employees are working side jobs.

Whether it’s because they want to make some extra money or pursue another field, moonlighting is common, especially among younger workers. Specifically, 44 percent of workers ages 25 to 34, and 39 percent of those ages 18 to 24, have side jobs. That compares to 29 percent of workers ages 35 to 44, 22 percent of workers ages 45 to 54, and 19 percent of workers ages 55 and older.

The study found that professionals at all income levels are working side jobs. Nearly 20 percent of employees who earn more than $75,000 per year, and 12 percent of those making more than $100,000 per year, are working a job outside their full-time position. In comparison, 34 percent of workers who make less than $50,000 per year, and 34 percent of those who earn less than $35,000 per year, also have side jobs.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said having a side job not only provides employees with a little extra money but also makes them more attractive to potential future employers. [See Related Story:Interviewing for a Job? 4 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd]

“When you’re applying to jobs, especially when you’re at the start of your career, other applicants could have more experience in your particular field,” Haefner said in a statement. “If you bring more skill sets to the table and have a unique perspective on how things can be done, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd and be seen as a valuable potential hire.”

The research found that employees working in the leisure and hospitality, retail, and transportation industries are the most likely to moonlight. Some of the most common side jobs include the following:

  1. Survey taker
  2. Child care worker
  3. Consultant
  4. Freelance writer
  5. House sitter
  6. Blogger
  7. Bartender
  8. Photographer/videographer
  9. Website designer
  10. Tutor

Most workers don’t plan to turn their side job into a full-time gig: More than 70 percent of those with a side job said they have no intention of making it their full-time position. In addition, many workers surveyed said they are more passionate about their day jobs than their side jobs.

The study was based on surveys of more than 3,200 workers in the private sector across a variety of industries and company sizes.