Category Archives: Employment

With Uber Comes Less Day-Job Stress

Think for a moment about what brings you the most stress in your life. Odds are, it’s related to work or money. Well, driving for Uber allows you to stress out less about those two things (and right now, you can get a $150 bonus just for signing up!).

I’ve always stressed having multiple streams of income and how side businesses are so crucial, whether they earn $100 per month, $500 per month, or match your day job income. With Uber, you get to choose how much you want to make and how many hours you want to put in. You’re not at the mercy of a boss, and what you put in determine what you get out of it. That being said, the benefit of earning some extra money per month is just one of the side benefits. The biggest benefit from driving for Uber comes from having a viable backup plan that should lead to less stress on a daily basis.

Imagine never being worried about being fired or laid off. Imagine if your day job was nice to have, but you never had to get worked up about it and can leave the stress in the office. Your worst-case scenario just got a lot less terrible. I’m not pretending that losing your job would be a fun experience, but in the past, losing your source of income has meant a terrible pang of fear of what is to come. Now, it could mean turning to a viable backup and being able to earn money the same day. It might not be as fun and it doesn’t come with health insurance, but it should help bridge the gap as you look for your dream job.

And it’s not limited to just ride-sharing services. That’s just what’s been on my mind lately. It’s not difficult to make a couple hundred dollars freelancing, it just takes a bit of creativity to find what you’re good at and the people who will pay for it.

Your full-time job is less important now that there are so many alternatives to making money, whether online or off. Uber/lyft give an awesome backup job so you don’t have to stress out quite as much.

Should Employees Feel Guilty About Taking Vacation Days?

Should Employees Feel Guilty About Taking Vacation Days?In the past few weeks, I’ve heard a couple stories from friends who wanted to use some of their accrued vacation time, but ran into approval issues when it came to actually requesting the time off.

Two Vacation Requests

In one case, my friend wanted a single day off to attend to some personal business and was given a hard time about it. There was no specific reason given as to why the company didn’t want him to take off, but it was made clear to him that approving his vacation request was a favor.

Another friend requested time off to take a two week vacation with her husband. She had saved up her vacation for this big trip and had more than enough time to take off the two weeks, but was getting some resistance from her supervisor. A week would have been doable, but two weeks was too much. There was obviously nothing in the company rules prohibiting vacations longer than a week, it was simply inconvenient for the team to have to pick up the slack for that long.

When Rejecting Vacation Requests Is OK

There are certain situations where it’s reasonable for an employer to deny a vacation request. If there is not enough notice, it can cause short-term issues. If others have requested off at the same time, there are staffing issues to consider. There have to be the right number of people to handle the workload, and if everyone takes off Christmas week, there might not be enough people left to handle the customer inquiries.

Why Most Vacation Requests Should Be Approved

Other than some specific situations, I think it’s ridiculous not to allow employees to use their vacation time. Whether they want to use one day each month or take 2 weeks off at once should be the employee’s decision to make. Especially if it’s done with enough lead time, people can make adjustments. Having an employee out of work is not going to make it easier, but just like employees need to make changes based on employer needs, companies need to adjust to their employee’s commitments. The employee made an adjustment and didn’t take any time off for an extended period of time, the employee has the right to take his accrued vacation time in a way that fits his schedule.

If you can’t take a vacation day without feeling guilty, where’s the trade-off? Employees work for their employers, and return get certain benefits, including vacation days. There shouldn’t be much negotiation about when they’re allowed to be taken or for how long. The way I think about it is if you’re the employer, if you request time off, maybe the employee will simply leave the company? In that case, the employer is usually responsible for paying the employee for the time off, and in the end, they’ll be left without a full trained employee, so it’s a very big risk to reject these types of requests

The Unintended Consequence of Denying Vacation Time

Not allowing employees to use vacation time they’ve accrued probably has an unintended consequence: more sick days. If an employer isn’t allowing employees to take vacation time, they’re probably more likely to have an unannounced day off. Think about it: if you ask for time off and they deny you, you have no other options. But if you don’t ask and are “sick” that day, you can’t really get in trouble, right? I’m glad I’m not in that position, but I wonder if it happens.

Have you ever had a hard time taking vacation time you accrued fairly?

Would You Pay For An Interview?

My younger brother is graduating from college in December, and after we gave him tips on getting an internship last summer, he recently was put into an interesting situation that is just asking for a discussion.

The Situation

He’s been applying to jobs the past few months and recently he’s gotten some call backs and some initial phone interviews. One company was very interested, but said they could not bring him from Maryland to Boston to be interviewed. While some companies are able to pay for travel and hotel expenses for all interviewees, some have policies that they can’t do that. It can be expensive to fly someone roundtrip and put them in a hotel for at least one night and pay for their meals.

The company said that since he is from Boston, if he comes to the area, let them know and they could set up some interviews for him. The only problem was that he had no plans of going home to visit yet and he did not want this opportunity to slip away.

The Options

He could have waiting until Thanksgiving, come home a day or two early or stay a day or two late and try to schedule an interview. But would the position still be available by then?

Alternatively, he could have told them he’d be there in a week or two, pay for his own ticket, and find out far sooner if he was the fit they were looking for. Everything was lining up and he thought he had a good chance at the job, but if it didn’t work out, he’d be out the money for those flights, which definitely aren’t cheap!

What Would You Do?

While this situation is unique, we can envision situations where we’re between jobs and are looking for a new position. If you have to fly to headquarters to meet with a few members of the team. Would you pay the costs out of your own pocket or just move on to the next job?

What He Did

My brother decided that he would pay the costs himself. He really liked the company and knew they had a lot of interest in him. And he did not want the opportunity to pass him by, so he let the company know he’d be coming home the following week and could interview then. They set up the appropriate interviews and all he had to do from there is wait for an answer.

He Got The Job!

He interviewed and within a week got a job offer! He’s really happy and he still has a few things to figure out, but clearly paying his own way for this interview worked well for him.

Would you pay for your own interview? How much would you pay for an interview (which would lead to a whole lot more money than the costs of transportation)?