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Keeping your Career Intact During Maternity Leave Since, for the most part, maternity leave in this country is not paid, the reality of returning to work after having a baby comes much sooner than it does in most countries. No one wants to return to absolute chaos after they have the baby. Cut down on the stress of going back to work by being prepared. The length of your maternity leave can determine the amount of stress you return to. If you are willing and able it is a good idea to work as long as possible. Of course, everyone is not willing and able. For those that need a longer leave, they should put some plans in place to make the transition back to work smoother. How long you are on maternity leave varies. However, if you plan on returning after you have the baby, you do not want to return to a totally chaotic situation. That means that you want to have the needs of your career in tact before you take your maternity leave. Nothing should interfere with your new addition to the family. While you are bonding and spending time with your newborn you do not want the stress of the office hanging over your head. Lay the ground work so that you do not have to worry about the office while you are away. If you are the boss, you have a lot more stress to manage. It is important that you leave a responsible and capable person in charge of things in your absence. Start training that person to deal with the aspects of your job that they will have to handle as soon as you know you are pregnant. Nothing is more annoying than getting “How do I…” phone calls when you are on maternity leave. If your job is massive, split the responsibilities between two employees. You do not want to split up the tasks among too many people because this can lead to confusion. Two should be the maximum. Be sure to leave things in order. If you are not the most organized person, get that way when you find out you are pregnant. While you are on maternity leave anyone should be able to walk into your office and find what they are looking for in a very short amount of time. If things are messy there is more of a chance for things to go wrong. If you are one of those women that needs to have an extended maternity leave because of pregnancy complications, don’t fret. Enjoy your time offer and relax but also, if you can, try to stay on top of what is happening in your career field. Take an online class and brush up on skills. If you are not sure you want to return to your 9-5, research a new career. The Internet has made working from home a very real and popular option. Search for a job that will allow you to stay at home but also bring in some income. Some jobs, such as Computer Programming, can fetch a pretty penny. Do some research and find out what will suit you best. Work part time until you are ready to have the baby. While some women are eager to take their maternity leave, others are not so excited about it. If that is the case, talk to your employer about working part time until you are due. Some women work until they go into labor. There is no need to do that if you are uncomfortable but if you are having an uneventful pregnancy and love your job, why not?

Can Job Sharing Boost your Employee Profile? Job sharing is one of the newer occurring work arrangements on the job market. It means that two or more people share one full time position. Most often it is two people that work part time on the same position. This kind of work sharing is a great invention for all parents that want to spend more time with their children or for people that are just not made for a full time job. Job sharing is a flexible job option that shares one person’s responsibilities between two people. So, can job sharing boost your employee profile? Yes, of course is the answer to that. The reasons why job sharing boosts your employee profile are widely spread. Job sharing can bring benefits not only to employees but also to employers and companies. Start by looking at the aspect of sharing your work. If you are sharing a full time position load with another person, pressure is less on you. You still have the same deadline, but the pressure is shared and you can work more efficiently on your work assignments. Less stress makes for a happier more relaxed employee that can tackle the work given to him or her easily. This makes the employee a more balanced person. The possibility to stay at home while still having a chance to be part of a company can further your career and keep your skills up to date and this makes for a well balanced worker. Another reason why job sharing might boost your employee profile is that two people working part time actually can get more work done as one full time employee. Why is that? Well, that is very easy. While the full time employee is very tired in the mid afternoon from his already long day, the person coming in for the second half of the day has had time to relax all morning long and therefore can start with new end fresh energy and thoughts on the shared work. Should the position not be shared in half days, but in each taking a few full days, then the people sharing the position are still more relaxed and motivated. They are able to be with their family, able to rest and regenerate or have fun with some of their favorite hobbies. Psychologists and researchers have long praised the effect that a fun family filled time and enough time to be you and relax can boost your employees’ work input as well as their efficiency. In countries where employees have fewer hours per week and more vacation days a year, the work output per person is in general higher and employees are happy and motivated and stay with their company for long periods of time, if not all the way up to retirement. Additionally, if you have a good amount of time off from work, you are most likely a very motivated and happy employee and your boss and fellow employees will see you as a positive person to be around at the work place. Being a leader and motivator is all that a boss can hope for and therefore, sharing the position can immensely boost your profile. For employers, there is also the consideration of your benefits. Some companies might not pay benefits to part time employees and two part time positions will save you money. In this case, your profile is simply boosted by the fact that your employer saves money. Although in some companies, there are benefits for part-time employees and those can be based on different facts, such as hours worked, full-time benefits and more. Before considering sharing your job and entering the world of part-time employment, make sure that this is exactly what you are looking for in a job. Once you are sharing your position, there might not be a way back to full time, at least not within your own company.

Freebie Etiquette (Yes, There is Such a Thing!) When you are on the hunt for free stuff, it can be easy to be so blinded by the offers that your manners go flying out the window completely. You may also just not realize that when it comes to taking advantage of freebies there is a general code of conduct that it pays to follow. While you are racking up the free stuff, keep these common courtesy rules in mind so that you are doing your part to keep the hunt for freebies fun and enjoyable. Freebie etiquette rule number one is to remember that there is a face behind every freebie, no matter how distant it may seem. Since so many freebies come from websites and you don’t actually have interaction with a human being while you are getting them, it can be very easy to forget that someone (or very likely, a lot of someones) worked hard to bring you that website and that free deal. If you have a problem with a website or a form while trying to get some free stuff, deal with it as respectfully as you would if you had to approach a customer service rep in person. Leaving foul-mouthed posts on a message board or unloading a barrage of outrage on a customer reply form isn’t the way forward. Someone – a real person – will have to help you, and you’ll get a lot further by treating them with respect. Respect is also the name of the game when it comes to rules attached for freebie offers. There are often restrictions in place for taking advantage of free offers, such as the age you have to be to cash in on the offer or how many offers per household can be taken. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get around these rules and “trick” a company into giving you an offer for which you are not really eligible. However, when you try to simply bleed out as many free offers as you can, you’re only making it hard on companies to be able to keep bringing these offers to you. If this freebie isn’t for you, take a back seat and make room for the folks who can take advantage of it. Your time will come. Related to this last rule is the idea of not being too greedy when gobbling up the free stuff. Just because something is free doesn’t mean you should use a “smash and grab” approach and go for as much as you can get of anything you can get. Remember that there are a lot of other people out there who like to get in on the freebies, too, and think about how you would feel if you lost out on something you really wanted because someone came along and took them all. Don’t take more than your share of any free offer, and don’t take things you don’t want or need just because they’re free. Everyone loses when you do that. Last but not least, if you have an opportunity to say thanks for a freebie, grab it. Of course, this can be hard to do when the free offers you are taking advantage of are found on the Internet, but there are still ways. Look for the customer comment field in the request forms you fill out to get your free stuff and leave a quick thank you there. You can also write a thank you on message boards and chat rooms that are associated with the freebie websites. The good will generated by your gratitude will only help convince companies that freebie offers are useful tools for reeling in the customers.