How much work do you really do?

While networking and interviewing I’ve noticed lots of people like to explain “when we really get work done.” It implies the regular work day is filled with periods of time where work isn’t or can’t be done. Studies are showing that this is the case for most employees, because there is a more than 50 percent chance employees are at work but not getting real work done.

According to a survey of 2,000 office workers conducted by management software developer AtTask and market research firm Harris Interactive, employees say that they only spend 45 percent of their time at work actually completing their primary job duties.

Basically half of the time employees spend at work is spent doing things other than work. The lost productivity is the result of taming outrageous email inboxes, handling administrative tasks, going to meetings, and dealing with miscellaneous interruptions. There are so many little interuptions and things that you must do besides your regular job duties that it some days you have to question, How much work do I really do?

This inforgraphic shared on Yahoo Finance, shows some of these issues and other workplace conflicts that stop work from being done.

State of Work Infographic_Final

Interesting things to note about workers and how they spend their time at work.

Workers spend their time:

  • 45% performing primary job duties
  • 14% email
  • 12% admin tasks
  • 9% useful meetings
  • 8% interruptions
  • 7% wasteful meetings
  • 6% everything else

What stops workers from getting things done:

  • wasteful meetings (59%)
  • lack of process (36%)
  • excessive oversight (35%)
  • excessive emails (43%)
  • poor prioritization (35%)

That is similar to my experience at work for sure! Email and long meetings were always the 2 biggest things that stopped me from being super productive. Meetings can be a great asset but more often than not they take up more time than they should and cause workers to lose valuable work time during their day.

Do these hold true for you? How much work do you really do in a day?

Lowball Job Offers

Personally, I hate job hunting. It’s a demoralizing process where you question your skills and your worth. Even if you do all the right things when you lose your job, you question whether or not you are worth what you thought.

Then you go through the process of multiple interviews, preparation, wow the employer you want to work for… and get a lowball offer. At least that is what just happened to me. I made it through multiple rounds of interviews for a position only to be offered less than I was making at my last full time job. It was an incredible lowball offer that actually shocked me into silence when I got the phone call.

Apparently companies engage in this awesome low-ball salary offer because they can. It’s never happened to me before so I didn’t really even consider it happening. I’ve always worked for small businesses where the employers wanted to take care of their employees. This salary offer left me completely flabbergasted!

From the company’s position I see there side. They might offer less to start but treat employees well and eventually offer them more and room for growth. It’s sort of a proving ground where new employees have to prove their worth within the company. And if they are a smaller company and they’ve been burned by employees before, then it definitely makes sense that they would start new employees this way.

However, I tried to stay calm when I received the offer. I said I’d think about it. I was also told by two different employees that this offer was firm and that shocked me more than anything. A lowball offer and being told it was firm? That didn’t sound very promising. Ultimately I countered with a smaller number than I originally wanted but that was on par with what I made before. While it’s not thrilling to me, it is a number I can and did live with and the job also offers additional benefits. I’m waiting to see what they say to that number.

I wanted to immediately dismiss this company for even offering such a low number, but I did not dismiss it immediately. I will not do that when they counter back either. It’s always best to take a day or two to consider the offer, or at least to let the company think you are doing so.

While I haven’t had a low salary offer before, I know that there are a few things to consider. Right now I’m asking myself the following questions:

  • Is this a career opportunity so great that it’s worth taking a step backward in the beginning to go forward later?
  • Will there be any effect on my professional brand on taking a salary cut?
  • Am I allowed to say no to an offer while on unemployment?
  • Will there be room for raises and bonuses later once I’ve “proven” myself on the job?
  • Are there other, better career opportunities developing in the job search that may come to fruition?
  • Will I be able to work there without feelings of resentment?

There are a lot of things to consider but unfortunately I don’t have answers to all of those questions. I don’t know what the employer plans for the future or how things will shake out. I’ll have to think about these questions over the weekend and come up with an informed decision about the job offer. While it’s tempting to make rash decisions, I need to spend the time to consider all the sides of this opportunity.

While I do need to find a position, I also know I need to find the right position! I also need to review my career aspirations and decide what I want to do for the next 20-30 years. Or at least for the next 5. ;)

Have you received lowball job offers before? What did you do? Did your negotiations work in your favor?

Or have you ever taken a job below your desired salary range? Was the move worth it? 

Christmas Gifts List Time

Currently the question I’m getting the most often is “What do you want for Christmas?”

The first few times I heard the question my answer was nothing or I don’t know. I hadn’t really thought about Christmas gifts because I usually don’t receive many and I’m not in a mindset for spending right now. I’m on a spending freeze because of my unemployment status and I’ve reevaluated my wants and needs so that I know what I need to spend money on and what I don’t. I’m focused on enjoying cheap weekends and doing fun things instead of spending money. Because of this I’ve been avoiding stores and not thinking about things I want to buy.

However, after being asked for a list of things I wanted multiple times, I started to make my Christmas wish list this week.

It was all too easy to start making a list for myself of things I wanted. 

At first I struggled to come up with a few items. Then I realized I wasn’t hurting my own budget or anyone else’s to add items to a Christmas list. They could choose to purchase whatever they wanted based on their own budget. I realized that adding stuff to a list of wants made me feel better and gave me a similar thrill to shopping anyway. It became fun and made me realize why so many people like window shopping and online shopping.

Making Christmas gift list is fun!

I’ve made a list for myself and I’ve made a list of gifts I want to buy other people. It turns out that the window shopping for myself bled into making lists for other people as well. While those lists are more realistic and based on my Christmas gift spending budget, it was just as fun to find items I think my loved ones would enjoy.

Now that the lists are all made it’s time to start scouting for deals. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both coming up so there might be a bit of a frenzy on my part during those times to get the best deals possible on items requested. Hopefully you are getting a jump on your Christmas gift list making and buying too!