Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #22
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Last updateThu, 01 Dec 2022 3pm

I am looking for a way to make a little extra money. I work part time and I’m saving for a new car. I was thinking about applying for one of those work-from-home jobs that I keep seeing on the Internet. Some seem too good to be true, though, and I’m worri

Dear Working Wise:

I am looking for a way to make a little extra money. I work part time and I’m saving for a new car. I was thinking about applying for one of those work-from-home jobs that I keep seeing on the Internet. Some seem too good to be true, though, and I’m worried they are a scam. How can I tell which are safe and which are not? Signed, Cautious

 

Dear Cautious:

You are right to be wary. The Internet is filled with work-from-home scams masquerading as real jobs and business opportunities.

 

Top 10 Red flags to watch for:

1.      They want money up front;

2.      You don’t have a good feeling about it;

3.      The job title, duties and compensation are vague;

4.      The job offer is a spam e-mail or a web-banner advertisement;

5.      You are required to repackage items sent to you and ship them abroad;

6.      The company is hard to identify, locate, or contact via telephone and e-mail;

7.      Unprofessional: poor grammar, spelling, web design, webmail e-mail address;

8.      You are required to transfer or wire money out of your personal bank account;

9.      They want your Social Insurance Number or banking/credit information right away;

10.  Seems too good to be true: guaranteed big money, no risk, no skill/experience needed.

 

Don’t buy yourself a job—Beware if they ask for money up front for things like application fees and mailing lists or to purchase instructions, materials or equipment.

 

Research the company—Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints. Try to talk to someone who used to work for the company and find out what it’s really like. Perform an Internet search for the company’s name or your recruiter’s name to see what pops up.

 

Avoid common job scams—Avoid becoming a statistic by checking out the Council of Better Business Bureaus web page on the most common online work-from-home scams at http://www.bbb.org/us/article/work-at-home-schemes-408.

 

One common scam is the secret/mystery shopper. Legitimate mystery-shopper companies exist, but some fraudsters use this type of employment to steal your identity or your cash. Check out the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association’s web site at

http://bit.ly/A1Lcbx for more information on secret shopper and work from home scams. 

 

Create your own work from home job—Technological advances, and potential cost savings, are making more companies open to the idea of employees working from home. If you really want a second job where you can work from home, you might want to try applying for traditional jobs that you can do from home and then pitch the idea of telecommuting.

 

For more tips on preventing fraud, check out the Central and Northern Alberta Better Business Bureau’s 10 Red Flags You Are Being Scammed at http://edmonton.bbb.org/article/10-red-flags-you-are-being-scammed-16627.

 

March is Fraud Prevention Month. For tips and information on Fraud Prevention Month, visit the Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association at www.accpa.org and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.phonebusters.com.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.


I just found out that I am making less than other people in the same position. I love my job and the company I work for—I don’t want to leave, but I also want to be treated fairly.

Dear Working Wise:

I just found out that I am making less than other people in the same position. I love my job and the company I work for—I don’t want to leave, but I also want to be treated fairly. How do I ask for a raise? Signed, Fair Wage Wanted

 

Dear Fair Wage Wanted:

 

Everyone wants to be treated fairly. You could ask for a raise based only on the fact that others are making more than you, but you are more likely to be successful if you build a business case. Here are some tips to help you strengthen your case.

 

1. Research wages—Talk to other people who work in similar positions and/or similar companies and check with professional associations that conduct salary surveys. You can also check the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, which covers more than 400 occupations, at www.alis.alberta.ca/Wageinfo.

 

2. Build a business case—Raises are given to top performers, not those who “meet expectations”. How have you lowered costs, increased profits, quality, and customer satisfaction or contributed more than other staff? More importantly, how will you contribute to the organization in the future? Building a strong business case will help convince your boss that you deserve a raise.

 

3. Determine how much you want—Use your research to decide how much you want and be prepared with alternatives. If your boss says she can not afford to give you a raise, ask for a smaller raise, more vacation time, health or retirement benefits, parking, training, flex time, a company car, stock options, a better job title, etc.

 

4. Wait for the right time—The best times to ask for a raise are after you have received a great performance review, after you have just completed a large successful project, or at the beginning of a new fiscal year. Many employers have scheduled pay increments and will not consider any pay adjustments outside these schedules. If your timing is off, you might want to meet with your boss to talk about what you need to do to earn the highest possible raise or bonus.

 

5. Schedule a meeting—Schedule a meeting with your boss and be sure he understands that you are asking for a raise. Your boss will need to find out if he can fit your raise into the budget and what paperwork is required. If you surprise your boss, you will might be told “no” or “we’ll see”.  

 

6. How to ask—Don’t ask for a raise because you need it—ask for it because you deserve it. Bring your research on wages, past accomplishments and future contributions with you. Don’t threaten to quit or say you have another job offer. Keep the conversation friendly, positive and constructive. You are a valuable member of the team with big ideas for the future and your compensation has fallen behind your contributions.

 

7. Handling “Yes”—Thank your boss and show that you appreciate the raise, but don’t go overboard. You were not begging for a raise, you deserved it. Don’t tell your co-workers that you got a raise. Your boss will not welcome a long line of staff at her door asking for a raise for the sole reason that you got one.

 

8. Handling “No”—If your boss says “No”, continue to be friendly and positive. Tell her that you understand and offer your alternatives. Ask how you can earn a raise in the future and ask for specific achievements so you can bring these up at your next review. Ask if you can meet again in six months for another salary review and keep your performance level high so you can continue to justify your worth.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services.  This column is provided for general information.

 

I have been looking for a job for a month now. I attended a job fair recently and I didn’t get any call backs for interviews. Is there something I am doing wrong?

 

Dear Working Wise:

I have been looking for a job for a month now. I attended a job fair recently and I didn’t get any call backs for interviews. Is there something I am doing wrong? Signed Confused

 

Dear Confused:

 

It is hard to say why no one called you back, but some job hunters do not use job fairs to their full advantage. I have attended a number of job fairs and used the opportunity to ask employers what tips they would give job seekers.

 

Here are some great job fair tips plus a few pointers from real employers.

 

Before the fair:

·         Find out which employers will be there and learn a little about what they do and what positions they are trying to fill.

·         Update your resumé, have someone proofread it for errors, and print at least 20 copies on good-quality paper. Use a folder to protect your resumés from creases and stains.

·         Prepare an “elevator speech”—a 15-second introduction that tells the employer about your key skills/experience and the kind of job you are looking for. Practice your elevator speech before you go and be ready to sell yourself.

·         Dress like you are going to a job interview—the people you talk to make be making the hiring decision or might want to interview you on the spot.

 

At the fair:

·         Arrive early so you can visit the employers you are most interested in first. Visit the remaining employers afterward and keep an open mind—you might discover an exciting new career direction.

·         Use your time well. If you are waiting in line to talk to an employer, try to listen to what the employer is saying to other job seekers. 

·         Always behave as though your future boss is watching you. Be polite to other job seekers, considerate of each employer's time, and don't talk on your mobile phone while waiting in line for an employer.

·         Greet the recruiter with a smile and a firm handshake. Be friendly, enthusiastic and ready to ask questions and answer their questions.

·         Do not just hand in your resumé—you can do that via the Internet—this is your chance to put a face and personality to your resumé and start building a relationship.

·         Do not call in sick to your current job and show up at a job fair where your current employer is recruiting.

·         Do not show up at the job fair in your current employer’s uniform—most employers assume you will treat them the same way you treat your current employer.

·         Ask what the next step is in the hiring process to show your interest and enthusiasm.

·         Collect business cards and send a “thank you” email or note re-stating your interest in the position and your qualifications.

 

You can find out about upcoming job fairs at: http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs and by following your local Alberta Works Facebook page:

 

Good luck at your next job fair!

 

This is provided for general information. Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services.

 


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