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How To Hand In Your Notice

How To Hand In Your Notice

You've just got the best news ever! You've been offered the job of your dreams. There's just one problem, you have to quit your current role and you have no idea how. You've had a good run in your current job but it's time for a change. How do you say goodbye without causing offence and ruining the good relationship you have with your boss. Below we’ve listed 5 steps to handing in your notice to help you resign from your job with ease. Know What You’re Going To Do After You Leave This is the number one step before you even dream of leaving. If you're leaving for another job, make sure you have accepted your new job offer and signed a contract. The reason you're leaving needs to be locked down before you resign from your current role. The last thing you want is to end up jobless. Act Professional Regardless of whether you have a good relationship with your boss or not, you need to be professional when you tell them you are leaving. Ask to speak to them privately at their earliest convenience. When you meet them, thank them for the time you have spent working for their company and explain that you have decided to pursue another opportunity. During this conversation you should ask them to give you a reference if ever you need one. It’s important to get this confirmed now rather than contact them again months/years later. After you have said what you needed to, it’s best to leave it there. Your boss may take this news as a shock and will probably have over a million thoughts running through their head. Chances are, they thought things were going well and didn't expect this new. Give them time to process and come back to you in few days. It’s also important to remind yourself that if you want this reference, you need to take your notice period seriously. It’s not an opportunity to slack off. Get things done and finalised before you leave and be sure to write a detailed handover document. You will also be asked to return all work items, laptop, phone, keys to company car etc. If you work to the best of your ability in the most professional manor in your last weeks, it will help you to get a glowing reference and also show your employer that you still care and have no bad feelings. Prepare For A Counter Offer When you hand in your notice your boss may approach you with a counter offer. It may be in the moment of giving your notice or it could be in the days you’re carrying out your notice. In a previous Sigmar blog, 3 Reasons Counter Offers Are A Bad Idea we explain the negative repercussions of accepting a counter offer. If your boss tries to persuade you to stay you need to remember the reasons you wanted to leave and stick with them. Never Bad Mouth No matter your reasons for leaving, you should never speak ill of your employer or the company you are leaving. No matter your feelings, you don't want to burn your bridges. You never know when you may have to work with that company again so bad mouthing them will only make things awkward for you in the future. You may also be asked to take part in an exit interview before you finish. This is a good time to engage in constructive feedback about your role and the company. It is not an opportunity to criticise and be negative. Try to be as positive as you can and if you need to say something negative be honest and polite. Your colleagues and future colleagues may also ask what your reasons are for leaving but you should keep things professional. Your negative opinion may reflect negatively on the company, but it’ll probably reflect worse on you. Say Thank You You’ve spent 40 hours a week with your colleagues for the last number of months/years so it’s definitely a good idea to say goodbye and thank you. You could do this in an email or ask your colleagues out to lunch/coffee on your last day. I always love seeing people writing goodbye posts on their LinkedIn to share their positive experience of a company. It’s always a nice touch to let people know they meant a lot to you. Handing in your notice can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you have spent a long time with the company. Once you remain respectful and carry out your notice with a positive attitude everything will be fine. It’ll also ensure you keep the door open for any future engagement with those colleagues of the company. Photo Credit: KatyRaeDesigns

What To Do If Your Leaving Cert Results Are Not What You Expected

What To Do If Your Leaving Cert Results Are Not What You Expected

Over 58,000 students sat their leaving certificate this year. Whilst many are happy with their results, there will also be many who aren’t so happy. If you’re feeling disappointed with your results, don’t worry we have some advice to get you through. 1. Don’t Panic! Give yourself time to come to terms with your results before you start thinking about the long-term implications. Remember, you are not the first person to be disappointed with your exam results. Some of the world most successful business men didn’t do well in school exams such as Bill Cullen, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson. via GIPHY 2. Research Possible Career Routes Think carefully about the career you would like to pursue and research thoroughly all of the possible routes to get there. Just because you think you’ve missed out on your ideal course, doesn’t mean there’s not another route to your end goal. Maybe you’re just shy of a few points, but you have enough for a similar course in a different college? If you don’t know what you want to do, look for a general course which will give you plenty of options. There are even careers out there that don’t have academic requirements that could be suited to you. via GIPHY 3. Consider Repeating While it’s a big decision to repeat 6th year, if you’re sure of the course you want and you’re confident you will get enough points second time around, then repeating could be the best thing for you. Before you consider repeating take the time to consider that while you had your heart set on a certain course, was it really for you? Really think about what your passion is and what you would really love to do. When you decide what it is you want exactly, you can then commit to another academic year in school. via GIPHY 4. Gain Work Experience (Get a job) This is an excellent opportunity for you experience the working world and develop new skills. Not everyone goes to college straight after their Leaving Cert. Many people take time out to work and save money for college. If you’re unsure of what to do, working for a few years could be perfect for you. It will give you valuable experience and it means you can go to college in a few years as a mature student. via GIPHY 5. Don’t Let Friends Influence You It’s important to discuss your options with people you trust, but only you know what you should do. Make your decision on self-assessment and not because of what others are telling you. It can be hard to not be swayed because of others. Especially when not going to a certain college means you don’t get to join your friends or repeating your leaving cert will result in being in back in school with a completely new group of people. Don’t let the thought of being separated from your pals stop you from pursuing the career you want. via GIPHY

Famous People Who Failed Before Succeeding

Famous People Who Failed Before Succeeding

Not happy with your leaving cert results? Don’t worry, have a look at these famous people who received some painful rejections before they accomplished some amazing things. Walt Disney The man whose cartoon characters have given so much to generations of students and are still a huge part of peoples’ lives today. Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”, according to his editor. And his bad luck didn’t end there, when he finally managed to get his own production company he had to file for bankruptcy because he couldn’t manage his money correctly. Luckily, he didn’t give up, moved to Hollywood and went on to become one of the greatest animators in the world. His creations have gone on to touch the lives of many and as well as being a successful production company, Disney also operates theme parks, a streaming service and stores worldwide. JK Rowling People know JK Rowling as one of the most successful female authors in the world. What people aren’t aware of, is the tremendous struggles she faced before Harry Potter was published. In 1990, Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter but that same year her mother passed away and writing was put on hold. In 1992 she moved to Portugal to teach English where she met her husband and had a daughter. Sadly, in 1993 her marriage ended and she moved to Scotland to be close to her sister. At this time Rowling saw herself as a failure, she was divorced, jobless and broke. Rowling then began to focus her attention on Harry Potter. When her manuscript was completed, she sent it to 12 publishers and was rejected by all 12 before it was accepted by a small publishing company, Bloomsbury and the rest as they say is history. Photo: Daniel Ogren Flickr Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey had an extremely difficult start in life, she was raised in rough conditions and was the victim of sexual abuse from the age of 9. When she was 14 however, she was given the opportunity to live with her father who encouraged her to pursue her education and later she went on to university to study communications. Her difficulty didn’t stop there, as after gaining a job as an evening news reporter, she was fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories. Her boss told her she was “unfit for television news”. Oprah laughs about this now and even admits she wasn’t cut out for news reporting because she became too emotionally invested in the people and the stories. She was then given a talk show slot on the same television network and the rest is history. Photo: Ian Evenstar Flickr Katy Perry Most people know the name Katy Perry but few know of the struggle she went through to be the success she is today. In 2001, Katy Perry who was then Katy Hudson released an unsuccessful Christian album that only sold 200 copies and was subsequently dropped from her label. She then went on to sign with Island Def Jam in 2003 where she was also dropped. Then she was set to be the front woman of a band called The Matrix and that contract was also terminated before they released any music. It wasn’t until she signed with Capitol Music Group and released, I Kissed a Girl that her music career really took off. Photo: Joella Marano Stephen King One of the world’s most famous authors, Stephen King has written over 50 novels and has had many of his novels produced as films. However, King didn’t always have it easy. In fact, before his first novel Carrie was published, he threw it in the bin. It had been rejected 30 times and King decided he’d had enough. It was his wife that retrieved it from the trash and told him to keep trying, which is a good thing considering how successful that book became and his other books to follow. Photo: Rogelio A. Galaviz C.​

Future Jobs For Irish Youths

Future Jobs For Irish Youths

While the future is uncertain, what is certain is that by 2025, Irish workers and enterprises will be operating in a completely changed economy. Technology continues to herald new ways of doing business and new economic opportunities. This will present us with challenges, but also new possibilities. Lots of job roles will disappear or be redefined and emerging job roles will require new and different skillsets. In this blog we look at the sectors that hold the best chances for economic and job growth in the near future. Broadly the global economic performance and Ireland’s position are positive for the foreseeable future. With unemployment now at 4.8% and decreasing quarterly, all signals point towards continued, sustainable improvement. ICT Sector Ireland has become the global technology hub of choice when it comes to attracting the strategic business activities of ICT companies. This has earned Ireland the reputation for being the heart of ICT in Europe. The industry employs over 37,000 people and generates €35 billion in exports annually. With Ireland being the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. With a highly creative and talented workforce, an open economy and a competitive corporate tax environment, Ireland has successfully attracted eight of the top 10 global information technology companies to establish a significant presence here. Some facts about the ICT sector: Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. Global leaders such as Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Apple have long-established operations in Ireland. They have been joined by newer leading-edge giants such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and Twitter. Dublin is Europe's leading hub of innovative games companies with Big Fish, EA, Havok, DemonWare, PopCap, Zynga, Riot Games and Jolt all having a significant presence here. Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry “Ireland is now operating in the same ballpark as major science-funding countries around the world” - Professor Mark Ferguson, SFI Director Already one of Ireland’s best performing industries, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry is set to grow even further in the future. With a growing and ageing population worldwide, the number and degree of health-related issues is continuously on the rise. People will always need medical care ensuring a continued demand for research, development and production of new drugs. There are now over 30,000 people employed in the industry. This trend looks set to continue into 2020 with major expansions of many of the big pharma players across the country. The IDA reports the biopharmaceutical industry has made a capital investment of approximately €10 billion in new facilities in Ireland, in the last 10 years. This represents one of the largest investments in new biotech facilities anywhere in the world. As a result of the growth in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device industries in Ireland, it is very likely that a student about to graduate with a third level qualification in science will find interesting employment in one of the following areas; research, manufacturing, regulation or sales and marketing. Some relevant facts about pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector: No. 10 of the top 10 world's pharmaceutical companies 7th largest exporter of medical and pharmaceutical products in the world in 2014 €39 billion in annual exports of pharma, bio and chemistry produce 75 pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland 40 FDA approved pharma and biopharma plants Financial Sector The financial services jobs market for accountancy and finance professionals continued its upwards growth trend last year. Even without the added benefit of companies relocating to Ireland post Brexit, the confidence of both employer and employee alike has produced a healthy landscape with more opportunity for those who wish to change jobs. There is no doubt Brexit has been a major contributor to the growth in the financial services jobs market. We have seen major international companies relocate operations to Dublin and others who already have a presence here have laid out plans to significantly increase their headcount. This is all positive news for students studying in this area. Not only does this create opportunities that would not have existed without Brexit, it also increases churn in the market involving more established financial services companies in Ireland who subsequently end up with more vacancies themselves. Particularly for accountants, regulatory reporting accountants and in funds if you specialised in fund accounting, risk & control, depository, compliance and AML you will find interesting and worthwhile employment when you graduate. 42,000 people employed in the Financial Services Sector in Ireland 4th Largest Exporter of Financial Services in EU No. 1 location worldwide for Alternative Investment Funds All stats referneced from Future Jobs Ireland2019 Goverenment Doc and IDA.ie

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7 Ways to Increase Engagement in Your Company

7 Ways to Increase Engagement in Your Company

Changing the way that employees understand and interact with culture can significantly increase engagement in the workplace. We’ve listed 7 ways to increase engagement among employees through cultural realignment: 1. Talk About Culture Management need to communicate the culture of the company to all stakeholders in order for everyone else to understand what the company believes in. Buy-in from management is essential. 2. Energise Existing Jobs Offer job rotation, job sharing and combine tasks so that staff are not doing the same thing every day. Introducing a new task which will improve abilities or push employees to learn new skills will motivate staff to improve in their role. Forming self-directed teams can help employees feel like they are in control of their jobs and have a say in the company. 3. Hire for Fit When hiring for new staff it is important that companies don’t just hire people with the right skills, without judging if they will fit in with the company culture. An introverted project manager can be detrimental to an IT project so knowing your culture and the culture of the job role you are advertising is paramount. If outsourcing the hiring process to a recruitment company, it is important that the company understands the culture that you are portraying. In a climate where new recruits are hard to keep and are constantly changing jobs for a better company fit, knowing both the culture of the company and the role can save a company time and money 4. Leverage Manager/Employee Relationship Employee satisfaction relies quite closely on the affiliation they have with their manager. Frequent praise and recognition will empower employees to keep up the good work but if managers are too busy to take notice of their team or to spend time talking with them this bond will turn stale, leading to eroded trust and confidence on both sides of the relationship. Taking the time to schedule meetings with team members and keeping note of the work that your team is doing will leverage this relationship allowing a confiding and open connection. 5. Upward Mentoring Mentoring does not always have to be downward. For employees that have been in the company for a longer period of time and understand the inner working of the company they can provide valuable insight that managers may not have thought of before. Fresh eyes can alert companies to newer technologies and more efficient ways of doing jobs so do not discount something until you have tried it 6. Job Referral Bounties Offering rewards for employees finding and placing workers in your company that suit your culture can prove a successful recruitment strategy. Presenting long-term bounties are even better as employees are motivated to help others progress through impromptu coaching and team working. 7. Measure Improvements Send out surveys every two to three months to measure key performance indicators to see if the culture is changing for the better and if people are becoming more engaged. Measuring the profit and productivity levels in the company overtime can also highlight how successful the project is. Conducting six monthly reviews where employee satisfaction rates are measured and bench-marked can show if some employees are lacking culture fit. Having a programme in place to help these employees find their feet can further increase engagement in the company as you are showing staff that you value them.

10 Ways To Reduce Workplace Stress

10 Ways To Reduce Workplace Stress

We’ve all got responsibilities such as working and building a career, running a household and/or raising children which can all be very overwhelming and lead to lots of stress. Here are 10 things you can do to start feeling better and minimising stress: 1. Identify causes of stress What triggers your stressful feelings? Are they related to your workplace, children and family, friendships, finances or something else? Once you’ve identified the trigger, you can get down to the root of your stress and find the best ways to handle it. 2. Recognize how you deal with stress Are you using unhealthy behaviours to cope with work or life stress? For example are you using sleep deprivation, smoking, consumption of alcohol or junk food as a means of coping? 3. Get a good night’s sleep A lack of sleep can result in an increase in stress as a person will not be able to stay focused at work. Sleep deprivation also impairs our decision making ability as we are unable to think clearly. Getting 8 hours sleep a night will help improve a person’s health as you will be able to stay alert throughout the day. 4. Eat a balanced diet Hectic work schedules leave us short on time to prepare healthy meals for ourselves and people then have a tendency to grab fast foods. However eating a balanced nutritional diet will help you stay healthy and keep your brain alert. Deficiency in food nutrients such as lack of vitamin B in the body can result in depression and irritability. Also when a person is under stress, vitamins C and E may be lost. 5. Exercise When you exercise, your brain produces “feel good” transmitters called endorphins. Producing these endorphins will help you deal with stress healthily as people who exercise regularly have more energy. 6. Stay organized It is an overwhelming feeling to think that there are not enough hours in the day. Therefore it is imperative that you manage your time. Come up with a daily plan and keep a diary to keep yourself on track. 7. Do not procrastinate Work piles up when you keep on delaying tasks. There is no use putting off for tomorrow what can be done today. 8. Don’t take on more than you can handle at work Avoid creating your own stress by over-scheduling and failing to say no when too much is asked. Don’t overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help/delegate if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you. 9. Ask for support Accepting a hand from supportive friends and family can help you persevere during stressful times. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist who can help you manage stress. 10. Finally, treat yourself When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a project, do something nice for yourself. Go out for a round of golf with friends or take a weekend break with your family. Treating yourself between tasks can help take the edge off and prepare you for the next challenge.

Salary Guide 2019

Salary Guide 2019

Ireland’s unemployment rate of 5.3% has certainly dramatically improved from near 16% in 2012. More people are working in Ireland than ever, which is very positive. The drive to get more business into the regions and outside the main cities is on-going and working. Pressure on housing relative to other major cities, may be overstated but it is in everyone’s interest to balance employment in regional areas. Salary inflation has been increasing in specific areas (IT, legal/compliance, data security, life sciences, banking) and in many cases experienced double digit percentage increases. Ireland is still relatively attractive to mobile European talent, but there has been pressure on salaries because of unprecedented demand. Benefits are increasingly a consideration for applicants, particularly in the technology world where flexible working is becoming the expected norm rather than a differentiating factor. There is no question that the employers who are winning “talent battles” are really looking at their employee experience and also their applicant experience more closely than ever. Effective employer branding was a novelty a few years ago, but now essential in attracting top talent. The good news is that successful employer branding works and ensures salary inflation is not excessive and hiring new talent is controllable Overall, 2019 looks likely to be an interesting year, but as long as we stay competitive and offer some flexibility, Ireland has every reason to believe we can continue to outperform other countries in the war for talent! ​ 2019 Salary Guides for each discipline:​ Accountancy & Finance Banking & Financial Services Construction & Property Services HR Insurance IT Legal & Compliance Manufacturing & Engineering Marketing Multilingual Office Support Sales Software Sales Science & Pharma Supply Chain ​

The Talent Isle

The Talent Isle

There can be no denying that the Irish economy has benefited hugely from foreign direct investment, particularly from the US. The statistics speak for themselves; today there are 700 US companies with Irish operations directly employing 165,000 people. But, the historical economical and political US-Irish relationship works both ways. With Murphys, Kennedys and O’Neills making their presence known in boardrooms the length and breadth of the 50 States, Ireland is well represented in the highest echelons on US soil. Likewise, the statistics on that side of the Atlantic speak for themselves; there are also 700 Irish companies with operations in the US who employ 100,000 US citizens. Recent changes to the political environment in the form of US protectionism has undoubtedly threatened our status as the location of choice for US companies, making up 12.1% of US FDI investment into Europe despite accounting for just 1% of the entire European economy. At a time of green shoots growth in the aftermath of one of the worst recessions the State has known, this hard won reputation in now in jeopardy. Speaking at the Boston College Ireland Business Council symposium, John Harthorne, CEO MassChallenge described protectionism as grabbing the largest slice of the pie. The responsibility of leadership should be to increase the size, not of the slice, but of the pie itself. So, what can business leaders do? Well, of course we can leave it to the Government and State agencies to do their job, or else we can get out there ourselves and deliver the message that Ireland is still a great place to do business. That is exactly what Ireland Gateway to Europe did on Wednesday April 11, 2018, when a delegation of more than 40 Irish business leaders arrived in Washington to deliver the message that Ireland’s trade partnership with the US is stronger than ever, is truly bilateral and that Ireland remains the location of choice for FDI in Europe. Ireland Gateway to Europe met with their US counterparts and political representatives on Capitol Hill with the purpose of strengthening existing business relationships and create new ones. This initiative is a not-for-profit annual trade mission made up of professional advisory firms who travel the US annually to provide a secure resource network for business expansion to help US investment succeed in setting up operations in Ireland. Founded in 2012 as a response to the economic challenges at that time of global recession, Ireland Gateway to Europe is now in its seventh year of US, UK and global trade missions. Ireland has traditionally enjoyed a particularly strong business, cultural and political relationship with the US. However, in light of the recent announcements of trade tariffs, data privacy, immigration and other protectionist policies, our concern is that there may be a perception that Irish-US trade linkages may have subsequently diminished. The fact of the matter is that the transatlantic economy grew stronger, not weaker over the past year, as did Irish -US trade with US exports to Ireland up 9% and imports to Ireland up 6%. While the Washington mission was the focal point of the 2018 trade mission, the second leg of the trip saw the group travel to Boston to engage directly with the US business community at the stateside launch of the transatlantic Boston College Ireland Business Council (BCIBC). Having launched this side of the Atlantic in Dublin last October, the US BCIBC launch took the form of a Global Leadership Symposium where US CEOs met with their Irish counterparts. The event looked at Global Leadership, where a panel of global CEOs discussed how they, as a transatlantic leadership community, can create opportunities against the backdrop of economic challenges. The purpose of the BCIBC is to establish new, and strengthen existing, transatlantic business ties between the two countries, and it is designed to enhance transatlantic business between the US and Ireland through creating connections that allow for entrepreneurial ventures to grow and prosper. The Global Leadership Symposium is one of a series of planned BCIBC CEO Exchange events that will take place twice annually over the coming years, both in Ireland and in the US. The nest event is scheduled for Dublin this coming October. Founded by the Global Leadership Institute, Boston College, and Ireland, Gateway to Europe, and Chaired by Neil Naughton of GlenDimplex, the main aim of the BCIBC is to bring influential business leaders from both communities together once a year in Dublin and in Boston to create one deeply connected transatlantic trade artery. By establishing the BCICB, the tight commercial and social bonds we share with the US can be strengthened and build upon bilaterally, business to business, in spite of any potential external or internal protectionist political policies. It’s widely known that cultural ties between Massachusetts and Ireland are deep but possibly lesser known are the strength of economic ties with 11,000 people employed by Irish companies there and Ireland being the 6th largest exporter from MA. With threats from the uncertainty of the Brexit situation ringing in our ears from the East and murmurings of protectionism coming from the West, Ireland is again in a unique position to act as the economic transatlantic hub. What will the future hold? As it stands nobody knows for certain, but the community of transatlantic business leaders has a collective, critical role to play to ensure the future foundation of business relations is maintained for generations to come. Those business relationships benefit both Ireland and the US. Let’s both grow our slices of the pie by growing the pie itself. Article featured on The Business Post