Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #32
09192020Sat
Last updateFri, 18 Sep 2020 8am

Some employment ads and websites ask for salary expectations, but I’m not really sure what to say or include. What should I do when this happens?

 

 

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Dear Working Wise:

Some employment ads and websites ask for salary expectations, but I’m not really sure what to say or include. What should I do when this happens? Signed, Wondering about Wages

 

Dear Wondering:

 

It can be unnerving to name a salary figure for yourself. You don’t want to appear greedy and screen yourself out of the competition over a few dollars, but at the same time, you don’t want to sell yourself short either.

 

That’s why it’s so important to do your research.

 

Salary can depend on many factors, including location, industry, occupation, your experience level, and any special skills you have to offer.

 

Local market conditions often impact salary. You may be able to ask for more money if the position has been difficult to fill, if there has been a lot of turnover, if the local cost of living is higher than in other regions or if the occupation is in short supply.

 

If there are a large number of people competing for the same job, the employer might have an advantage and hire the best qualified person who asks for the lowest salary.

 

Do your research:

o  Look at the salary range of similar advertised positions;

o  Talk to people in similar positions and get their opinions;

o  Research the current labour market conditions (e.g., unemployment rate, turnover, etc.) to gauge demand by visiting http://employment.alberta.ca/lmi;

o  Check professional associations or union websites for salary grids and salary survey results;

o  Check the Alberta Wage and Salary Survey available at: www.alis.alberta.ca/wageinfo. This comprehensive survey of almost 6,300 employers contains salary information for more than 400 occupations. 

 

Confidence in your salary expectations will come from your research. You may also impress the employer if you can explain where you got your number from.

 

Remember, compensation is more than just salary. It includes other benefits like: health benefits, insurance, pension plans, annual vacation, and professional development.

 

Although the employer is likely only asking for salary, you should keep these other items in mind in case you’re asked during the interview.

 

When you include that salary information in your application or cover letter, try to use it in a neutral statement. Emphasize the job opportunity as the most important part in your decision and that you would consider a reasonable offer.

 

Don’t bring up salary during the job interview—let the employer do that. In your discussion try to give a range and not a specific amount and let them know that you understand that compensation extends beyond salary.

 

Don't be too concerned if salary is not discussed. It is likely to come later and it’s best left until after the employer has decided to offer you the job. That way, you are on a more even playing field with the employer—you want the job and they want to hire you.

 

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 regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 

 

 

 

 

 


I have a big mortgage and my company is struggling to remain profitable, which is making me worry about my job. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for how I can keep my job?

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Dear Working Wise:

I have a big mortgage and my company is struggling to remain profitable, which is making me worry about my job. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for how I can keep my job? Signed, Nervous

 

Dear Nervous:

 

The pace of layoffs has slowed significantly over the past year and there are lots of signs that the economic recovery—at least in Canada—is taking hold. In fact, some employers are starting to experience skills shortages and Alberta may be short as many as 77,000 skilled workers within the decade.   

 

Top-performing employees are valued and rewarded during both booms and busts and so an improving economy is no reason to stop striving for improvement.

 

Here are some tips for people who want to turn themselves into that employee that employers don’t want to lose—in good economic times or bad.

 

Be a model employee by being:

- positive and enthusiastic with a can-do attitude;

- productive: meet your deadlines, quotas, etc.;

- a friendly, respectful, and helpful team mate;

- engaged in your work and full of new ideas;

- reliable: maintain a good attendance record;

- accountable, dependable, and responsible;

- punctual for work, breaks, and meetings;

- a safe worker who follows directions;

- professional in dress and conduct;

- a self-starter who takes initiative;

- flexible and accommodating;

- open to learning new skills;

- the best at what you do;

- honest and trustworthy;

 

Increase your contributions:

- increase sales;

- improve quality;

- take on new roles;

- improve customer service;

- improve staff morale and motivation;

- learn new skills your employer needs

- increase your knowledge and expertise;

- increase efficiency: save time and money;

- solve problems and make helpful suggestions;

- become a “go-to” person that everyone relies on;

- identify new business opportunities or customers;

- learn the responsibilities and skills of your co-workers;

- offer to help your co-workers with their projects/deadlines.

 

Build a good relationship with your boss:

- ask your supervisor if they need help with any difficult projects or tasks;

- ensure your supervisor and others know what you do and how you add value;

- keep records of what you have accomplished, contributed and learned and keep your boss up to date. Your supervisor might even appreciate the good news, because your success reflects on your superiors.

 

For more ideas on how to become an invaluable employee, check out the following tip sheets on the Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS) web site http://alis.alberta.ca/tips:

- 13 Ways to Be a Valued Employee

- 5 Ways to Shine at Work

- Adding Value: Giving Back to Your Employer

- How to Succeed at Work

- New Job? Here's How To Make a Good First Impression

- Work Relationships: Learn to Manage Your Manager

 

Be prepared for transition

If your best efforts to increase your value to your employer don’t work, you will at least be prepared to transition to another employer. All your hard work will not be in vain.

 

Your current employer will have good things to say about you as an employee and your list of recent accomplishments, acquired skills, and experience will give you a leg up on the other job hunters.

 

Good luck!

 

This article is for general information only. Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration.

Everyone is talking about social media tools like Facebook and Twitter right now. How can I use social media to help me get a job?

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Dear Working Wise:

Everyone is talking about social media tools like Facebook and Twitter right now. How can I use social media to help me get a job? Signed, “Like” Working

 

Dear Like Working:

 

A growing number of people around the world are using social media tools to connect with friends, family, and potential employers. Facebook, for example, has nearly 700 million users world wide including over 16 million here in Canada.

 

Social media tools include professional networking websites like LinkedIn, blogs and mini-blogs like Twitter, video-sharing websites like YouTube, and online discussion forums.

 

What you should really be interested in, though, is that employers are using social media to learn more about you: both the good and the bad.

 

An employer can check out your LinkedIn profile—which is similar to a resumé—and then search Facebook and find any embarrassing photos or comments you or your friends might have posted.

 

Even if you do not use social media, there is a good chance you know people who do. That means they can take a photo of you at a party, post it online and link your name with the photo for an employer to find.

 

Don’t let a poor social-media profile cost you your next job opportunity. Use these tips to take control of your online identity and start using social media to your advantage:  

·        Assume employers will see what you post online;

·        Choose your social media friends with care—what they say and do reflects on you;

·        Avoid blogs and forums about controversial topics like politics or religion. Use an alias if you can not resist participating;

·        Learn how to use the privacy settings so you can keep unauthorized users out of your personal information;

·        Develop boundaries between your work and personal life—use different accounts or social media tools for each;

·        Have a trusted friend proofread your professional profile(s);

·        Keep your professional profile(s) up to date and consistent with your resumé;

·        Search the Internet for your name and clean up any undesirable content;

·        Become more active in social media to create more positive information about yourself;

·        Link your social media profile to the web pages of groups, teams or projects you are involved in;

·        Follow and comment on professional and volunteer related blogs; and

·        Use websites like YouTube to promote projects related to your work or volunteer activities and include your name in the postings if it is appropriate.

 

You can also use social media tools to find your next job. Alberta Employment & Immigration is piloting three social media tools that you can use to find jobs and find out about upcoming job fairs.

·  Fort McMurray Jobs www.facebook.com/fortmcmurrayjobs

·  Central Alberta Jobs www.facebook.com/CentralAlbertaJobs

·        Calgary Job Feed on Twitter http://twitter.com/CalgaryJobFeed or search for #YYCJobs.

 

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 regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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