Trick or treat: Five things to consider before making moves for money

Moving for money job tricksTaking on a new job oftentimes involves making moves for money. A change in scenery can be nice and when a bigger paycheck is involved, well, that’s all the more reason to type up that letter of resignation on the fly and set a date with Two Men and a Truck. But before you do all of that, take a little time to consider these five things to be sure your job offer makes both sense and cents.

Two men and a truck. Did you know that in 2010, the average professional household move cost more than $12,000? That’s about enough to buy your teenager a car for their 16th birthday! When negotiating your salary, be sure to keep moving costs in mind when agreeing upon making a move. Oftentimes, along with your salary, you’ll be offered a relocation package. Crunch some numbers. Be sure you won’t end up losing money when you think you’re making more.

Rent or own? Do you rent or own your current home? If you’re renting, you have it easy. See what kind of costs might be associated with breaking your lease if needed, search online to find a new rental and that’s that. If you own your home and need to sell it in order to take on a new position, the cost of moving can really add up. When purchasing a new home, closing costs to sell a home are typically between two and five percent of the purchase price. If your new pad won’t be available to move into right away, there’s also a temporary housing that you may need to include into your cost of leasing or purchasing a new home.

State Income Tax Map 2016
Map by taxfoundation.org

Relaxation or taxation? After the interview comes the job offer. It’s easy to see the number behind the dollar sign and think you’re coming up in the world. And you might be doing just that. Before you see your new potential salary as a plus, just be sure to check out state income tax rates for the state you’re considering moving to in comparison to your current location using the map to the left.

 

Cost of Living. If you moved from New York, NY to Raleigh, NC, you could make about 39% less a year and still maintain the same standard of living. Between groceries, healthcare, housing, transportation and utilities, when moving there can be an enormous difference in the cost of living state-to-state. Sometimes receiving a job offer with a lower salary than you are making now, can actually mean more money in your pockets at the end of the day when making literal moves. If and when you have a job offer that means you’ll need to move to accept the position, take a look at one of our favorite cost of living calculators here.

Relationship status. Are you married with school-aged children or single and ready to mingle? We’re not asking to invade upon your privacy. We’re asking because if you’re thinking about making moves, family is the most important thing to consider. More often than not, it’s spouses and children who are the deciding factor on whether an offer is signed or not. And it’s important for your entire family to be in on your decision. Some of our previous recruits have taken their entire family on a trip to visit their new prospective home for the weekend to be sure everything checks out with Tommy, Jake and Sally before saying: yes! It’s a great idea. If you do have a family, take into consideration your spouse’s job and income. Search Google to see about public and private school options or take a look at areavibes.com to get an A-F grade on education and crime in the area. While higher rank and more money is a plus, you want to be sure everyone involved is happy with the decision before making the commitment above all else.

Thinking about making moves for money yourself? Take a look at our current job openings here and submit your resume to us if you think you’ve found a fit. We’ll be happy to help you find a new gig and once you receive an offer, talk you through the pits and/or perks of moving for money in the biotech or pharmaceutical world. Moving for a new job should be a treat, not a trick.

 

The pursuit of happiness: How to find your dream job

How to find your dream job

To say that most people are unhappy with their jobs is an understatement. According to an 2013 article by the New York Daily News, 70% of Americans are dissatisfied with their current careers. And many statistics show that number is, unfortunately, on the incline. Whether you’re underpaid, overworked, not loving what you’re doing or all of the aforementioned, there are ways to turn that frown upside down.

If you’re looking for the next door to open, first, you must prepare for what’s behind it. There’s a smart way to go about finding that perfect job. After all, there are bills to pay. So play it safe with these four ways to find your dream job.

1. Who are you? Aside from meeting basic monetary means, sense of purpose is the single most important factor in defining your job as one of your dreams or just another means to exist. Think way back to the good old days when your parents used to read you bedtime stories. In one of the classics by Lewis Carroll, the main character Alice is asked by a very fictional character, “Who are you?” Even today, as adults, this question has it’s value. The first place to start when on the pursuit of happiness, is within. Ask yourself what it is that you love most and what it is you are most qualified to do. If you’re not totally sure, ask your husband, wife or partner, ask your co-workers and peers. Oftentimes, an outside perspective helps us to understand who we really are. Know your aspirations as well as your qualifications. Now, think about what career might enable you to pair the two. Start here. When you follow your heart, finances oftentimes fall into place too.

2. Build yourself up. Your dreams may stay in the clouds if you don’t work for them. As our Motivation Monday quotes say, you can’t just dream. You must do. Your idea of ultimate success may be far-fetched for now, so do your research. Find out what it takes to get there and make a plan. Do you need another degree? Do you need to work a few years here and another few years there to qualify for your dream job? Once you know what will be required for you to reach your ultimate career heights, create an achievable timeline and make strides towards your first goal. Oftentimes, to get to our peak we must take the appropriate stepping stones to get where we need to go.

3. You gotta catch them all. Pokemon Go is all the craze. 2016 is as close as it gets to The Jetsons. We are literally and virtually everywhere. If there isn’t someone physically, in front of us, we tend to look down directly into the depths of the cyber space found in our handheld devices. And we can’t pretend that those who are looking for their next hire, aren’t looking there too, because they are. Go ahead, Google yourself. What pops up? How you appear virtually could factor in greatly as to whether or not you get that next job or not. Revisit your LinkedIn profile and tailor it to fit your skill set with keywords that may help you fall into the hands of someone hiring for your desired position. (Need help? Find out how to build a better LinkedIn profile here.) Filter through each place you find yourself and be sure all content associated with your name is appropriate for your higher ups to see you as a credible individual they’d want to hire as a part of their team.

4. Needle in a haystack. Good jobs can be nearly impossible to find, that is, if you aren’t sure where to look. So stop asking Craig. Do you know Craig (from Craig’s List)? Yeah, chances are, he doesn’t know you either. Personal connection is the easiest way to get your foot in the door. Do you know someone who already works in the facility you want to be a part of? Take them out for lunch. Ask them how they got their job and if they have any advice or ins for you. If you don’t personally know of someone with an in, find one! Recruiters like Phil Ellis Associates are here to help you find your dream jobs. We already have the much-important connection you’re looking for. Check out our current job openings here and let us know how we can help you find and land your dream job.

How to plan for (and actually take) your paid vacation

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Everyone could use a break from the daily grind from time to time. That’s why we have paid vacations, right?

But according to Project: Time Off (a coalition founded to educate Americans about the benefits of time off), 55% or 658 million days of paid vacation actually go unused each year in the U.S. because we can’t seem to free ourselves from the workplace.

Feeling tethered to our careers seems like a good thing on the surface, as far as career stability goes, but a recent study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 77% of managers poled stated that employees who take vacations are more productive than employees who don’t and 78% of them agreed that vacation time aided in job satisfaction. The reality is, the more vacation time we actually take, the more likely we will stay happy with our jobs and the longer we’ll stay with our employer.

So how can we best detach, physically get away, clear our minds?

Incentivize yourself. When your dog does his tricks, he gets a treat. So why not think of your scenario in the same way. Dangle your own carrot so to speak. When you close your eyes, what first comes to mind? An umbrellaed margarita waiting for you on the beach? A luxurious spa decked to the nines? An outdoor trek under canopies of lush, green trees? Pick a place. Any place. And commit to getting things done in the office or lab or wherever it is you call work so that you can treat yourself when the time comes.

Plan in advance. Is there a time of year that seems a tad less busy than another month? Choosing to go on a vacation during a time of year that’s easier on you also makes things easier on your team when you’re gone. When you get back, you’ll have less catching up to do too. Plan your trip at least two months out. This will give you time to get anything accomplished you’ll need to have done prior to leaving.

Set it in stone. We all say we want to go here and adventure there but how often do we really pack our bags and board a flight? Once you’ve picked out your destination, selected a date and secured the time off with your boss, make the move! Lock down your vacation by booking your flight and accommodations. With money already out of your pocket, you’ll really lose out if you don’t take the trip.

Make a list. It’s 2016 and we all have these things we call smart phones. Thanks to these devices small enough to travel with us, we have internet no matter where we go and that means we have access to Netflix (and chill) or work all the time. So how can we really take a break? Whether you’re super techie and set your dates on your Apple Watch or you’re old school and like to hand-write your deadlines and appointments out on paper, get out your calendar. Think of everything that you need to do before you leave that you and only you can do and assign yourself a date and a time to get it all done before you leave. Ask a coworker to step-in for tasks or questions they can handle while you’re gone. Set goals. Prioritize the list by finishing the things that will make you feel the greatest relief first. Fulfill them. Once you’re on your way to the tropical islands be smart and put your smart phone away for a bit. Just like our phones, we need a little time to recharge.

Let the world know. Before you say your sayonaras to your coworkers, check in with your boss with a plan. Before your higher-ups sign off on the plan, be sure to agree on your accessibility. It would do us all good to have a legitimate time off the grid with no ifs, ands or buts, however, the reality is that someone might just need you. Set your boundaries. Limit the time you agree to be on the phone in the case of emergency and try not to check your inbox. Checking your email on day five may make you feel like you’re climbing Mount Everest so be sure to let all of your close contacts know you’ll be hitting the high road soon and set up an out-of-office auto-reply email message so that your inbox doesn’t get inundated while you’re out. In general, most people within your place of work and outside of it will be respectful of your well-deserved time off and won’t flood your inbox while you’re away.

Not getting enough paid vacation? Check out our job openings here.

7 steps to success: How to impress your boss on day 1

Businessmen shaking hands and greeting each other cheerfully

So you got the job and today is the big day. It’s your first day in your new position and maybe the butterflies are floating around in that anxious stomach of yours and you’re thinking, “How do I impress my boss and coworkers?” Let’s break it down.

Follow the seven simple steps below and you’ll be sure to make a great impression on your first day.

Timing is everything. This is the simplest step you can take to make a good impression on the first day (and the last day, for that matter) of your new job. Arrive early. (About 10 minutes early shows you’re willing to go above and beyond. More than that might be too much.) Leave late. It’s that easy.

Q & A. Now is the best time to learn. More than likely, there is already a plan in place for training with particular members of your new team who have reserved time out of their day just for you. So do your part. Ask when things might not seem so clear. While you want to demonstrate efficiency in the workplace, everyone knows that the new guy (or lady) will need a little assistance the first few days in their new role. Showing that you’re eager to learn is imperative as a new hire.

Take notes. Bring a notepad and pen with you on your first day. Jot down the answers to those questions you asked as well as other tidbits of information you think you may not remember on down the road. It can be a challenge to retain all of the information you’re given in the first week of work. Use your notes to refresh your memory each morning before heading in.

Let’s break the ice! Finally! It’s lunch break. This is the time when you really get to know your peers. Although first days are often exhausting, it’s the perfect time to put your Girl Scout or Cub Scout days to the test and make new friends. Ask about your team member’s roles in the company. Taking the time to find out more about your co-worker’s positions as well as about their personal lives shows that you care and helps you understand how you fit in the puzzle. Make sure your peers know you’re a team player.

Show your pearly whites. It’s a universal greeting. So share a smile with your new co-workers and higher-ups. It shows you’re excited to be where you are and your excitement to be a part of the company.

Bring something to the table. When a company decides to hire you it’s because you have something to offer. If you see something that could use a little TLC or a procedure that could be simplified, offer your ideas. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes is just what the hiring manager was looking for.

Please and thank you. Always offer gratitude to those who put in a little extra time to get you trained. A thank you email is a nice way to give thanks so before you leave for the day put in a little extra time to say thanks.

Are you looking for a new job? View our current openings here.

5 interview questions every employer should ask & every applicant should be prepared for

Interview
Remember ABC’s “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Well, there really are million dollar questions that could make or break your future outside of television game shows. If you’re an applicant for a job opening, the good news is this is your cheat sheet. And if you’re in human resources, the same goes for you. Below are five questions both employers and applicants should take the time to consider. The way in which these million dollar questions are answered may just make a big difference in your career no matter which side you’re on.


Q: Why are you here?
A: If you’re an interviewee, don’t panic when you’re asked this question. The interviewer knows you had an appointment with he or she. The goal of asking you why you’re there isn’t intended to throw you off. The intention is to find out a few things about you. Think about it. Why are you there? What has you in the market for a new job? Are you unhappy with your current position? If so, how can you word yourself so that you don’t necessarily talk down about the company which currently employs you. If you were laid off, think about how you can discuss this with the most positive outlook without downplaying your skill level and expertise and without placing blame. If you’re looking for more money, how can you phrase the need for compensation in a way that doesn’t make you look like you’re only in it for the money. Talk about your dreams and aspirations without sounding cheesy but by giving solid qualifying facts that speak loudly of you as a future employee and why the job is right for you.


Q: What would you do in your first 100 days on the job if you were hired for this position?
A: The goal of this question is to see where a job candidate’s mind is in the grand scheme of things–how the interviewee would work on a day-to-day basis, how they plan, how they would apply themselves to the role. If someone stumbles when they answer this question, chances are they haven’t even put much thought into how they could be of benefit to the company. And that should be the goal, right? Although a candidate doesn’t necessarily know the ins and outs of the job until they’re hired, the answer an employer should be looking for has less to do with the answer and more to do with how what is said illustrates one’s work ethic, self-motivation and ability to lead the team.


Q: From everything you know about this company and this role, how do you think you’d make a contribution?
A: It happens more often than you’d think. But if someone walks into an interview without doing much research on the company or position they’re interviewing for, they are hands-down not the right candidate for the job. If they have no interest in learning about the higher ups, the tasks and goals for the position they’re seeking or the company itself prior to the interview, they certainly won’t have any interest a couple years into the job. Those who come prepared with more than a generic knowledge of the company show work-ethic and passion for the job at-hand. Those who don’t do their research, well, they simply look slack from the get-go. If you find out about the job through a biotech or pharmaceutical recruiter like Phil Ellis Associates, use your recruiter to your advantage. Field basic questions to your recruiter so that when it comes time to interview, you are well-versed on the company, role and goals of the HR department.


Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A:  Passion about the future is important. Many can talk a big game, but talk won’t go far in the long run. Those who have goals for the future tend to show it–their faces light up when they talk about career possibilities. Generic answers don’t do much for those doing the hiring. Yes, everyone wants a considerable raise. And, yes, everyone wants a promotion, a bigger house and more vacation. If you’re being interviewed, think about what there is to gain. Why did you get into the biotech or pharmaceutical world in the first place? Is it because you were passionate about finding a cure for a particular disease? Is it because you want your name to go down in the history books like Alexander Fleming’s? Be honest. Tell your unique story. Truth sells.


Q: Do you have any questions for me?
A: If the answer is “no,” an employer’s answer back to the candidate should be the same. Even those on the shy end of the spectrum should come to the interview with a list of questions they have for the HR department. Questions about compensation, moving packages, bonus structure and hours are a place to start. But this is another place where a candidate can really shine by doing a bit of research. When the tables are turned, the questions the interviewee asks when he or she has a chance to do the interviewing could be a make or break.


Looking for a new biotech or pharmaceutical career? Submit your resume to us here.