Stock Options. A Basic Introduction

Posted by | October 24, 2014 | Tips



stock options

If you are thinking about working at a startup, specially an early stage startup, you’ve probably heard about the risks and possibilities. You are right to weigh the negative against the positive but keep in mind, there are many tangible and intangible perks to working at a startup that you should consider. Stock options are a very popular one!

Stock options are the right to buy a share of the company stock at a certain time for a certain price (the so called “strike price”). So basically, if the startup you work for is sold (like Whatsapp was sold to Facebook) then you, as an employee, will have the right either keep or exercise your options.

I can sense this talk is getting pretty confusing and hard for me to explain… so we put together an infographic that will help better understand and shed light into the stock option world… Check it out!

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There’s no way I can justify my salary level, but I’m learning to live with it.  –Drew Carey

 

The stress of job searching ends the moment you receive that very expected “offer”. But what happens if the pay is not right up your alley? Well, life’s not over – it’s time to negotiate.

Negotiation is not a discussion, on the contrary, it’s a win-win situation. Regardless of whether you’re starting your first job or you’re already a veteran in your career, never be afraid to negotiate your salary and perks with your employer.

I know it’s not the easiest thing to do and sometimes it means stepping out of your comfort zone. For this reason, I thought I’d gather 7 rules to help you get started on your quest for a fairer salary. Check them out:

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Are You Satisfied With Your Job?

Posted by | October 9, 2014 | Tips



 

I think the person who takes a job in order to live –that is to say, for the money– has turned himself into a slave. –Joseph Campbell

 

Have you found your dream job? If your answer is yes, I have to congratulate you! But for the rest of you who responded negatively, you’re not alone. Sadly, according to many job satisfaction surveys, 1 out of 3 people would like to change their job.

During the last decades, psychologists have been trying to define what “job satisfaction” is, while attempting to find a way to measure it. Edwin A. Locke’s “Range of Affect Theory” stated that satisfaction is a matter of expectations determined by the range of discrepancy between what one wants and what one gets.

According to Locke, job satisfaction depends as much on external factors (your job) as on personal aspects (what you want).

If I asked you about your level of satisfaction with your job, you’ll probably think about many aspects including your daily tasks, your coworkers, your boss, the company, your salary, the time you dedicate to work, the work environment… However, each person will provide different value to each of those.

Thinking about that, we have gathered some indicators that can make you think about your current job and decide whether or not you’re one of the lucky ones. Let’s go through them!

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7 Techniques To Spark Creativity

Posted by | October 1, 2014 | Tips



Creativity is a mental process that consists in the generation of new ideas or the creation of new associations between old concepts. It is employed in many aspects of life including artistic creation, scientific thinking and even problem solving. Renowned South African writer William Plomer, said that “creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected”. What a great way to put it!

Creative individuals are believed to be introverted and kept to themselves. But also, unafraid of challenges and changes. It is important to know that creativity is not directly related with rational/logical intelligence and unfortunately not everyone is creative. According to psychologists, you can’t become creative overnight the same way you can’t raise your intelligence level. Bummer!

Luckily, we’re not all lost in the uncreative space. There are several tips and techniques that can help us enhance and develop those highly demanded creative traits. I’ve put together a list to get started. Let’s dive in!

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How To Quit Your Job Gracefully

Posted by | September 23, 2014 | Tips



 

I think a lot of times it’s not money that’s the primary motivation factor; it’s the passion for your job and the professional and personal satisfaction that you get out of doing what you do that motivates you.  –Martin Yan

 

Moving from one job to another is a natural progression in anyone’s career – so hopefully you’re always moving up, and not sideways or backwards. Whichever direction you find yourself heading in your working life, it’s best to do so gracefully, especially when it comes to quitting your job. No matter how unhappy you may be, hot-headed behavior will only land you in hot water; whether on the spot or further down the line.

The phrase “burning your bridges” has never been more apt than when it relates to your career. Don’t do it. You never know when you might come into contact with a previous employer, or need a positive reference from your old boss.

Here are a few pointers as to how to quit your job gracefully:

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The Social Media Scene Of Europe

Posted by | September 17, 2014 | Industry News, Tips



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Like it or not, during the last decade, social media has become part of our lives. It’s been ten years since Facebook was first launched (and 8 since Twitter’s birth) and we thought it may be a good moment to take a second and pay attention to some facts and figures about the importance of social networks on the current European society.

More than 3 out of 4 homes are connected to the Internet, 97% of which have a broadband connection (DSL or fiber-optic). According to this, it’s not a surprise that as much as 62% of European citizens between 16 and 74 years old use the Internet on a daily basis, and that percentage climbs up to 88% when we focus on the younger ones.

Let’s stop and wonder, how skilled are european internet users? In an attempt to shed some light on it, Eurostat made a list of 6 basic Internet skills and asked individuals how many of those activities they had done at least once during the past three months (used search engine; sent mail with attachment; posted messages to chatrooms/newsgroups or online discussion forum; made phone calls; done peer-to-peer file sharing or created a web page). People who had carried out 1 or 2 of these 6 Internet-related items, are consider to have low Internet basic skills; people who had done 3 or 4 of these activities, are considered as medium-skilled, and people who did 5 or 6 of them have high basic Internet skills.

What about social media? According to Eurostat Survey, 43% of all european (and 88% of the students) participate in social networks for private purposes –even when the penetration rate varies from one country to another.

With more than 194 million active users, Facebook is the most popular social network in the European Union, and it’s also the most popular in each and every country, when considered separately.

There’s no doubt Europeans love food and fashion –these are the top industries on Facebook considering the number of fans. Is it a surprise that travel is not among the top 8 industries?

Some of these figures may seem more or less obvious; others, can be revealing. What do you think about them?

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Photo: jeffsmallwood (CC)

 

“Personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”  –Jeff Bezos

Whether you like it or not, you already have an online personal brand. Most of what you do online (and also many things you do offline) is on the world wide web–and traceable. So, in order to build up your online personal brand, the first step is to Google yourself and learn what people can find out about you. Is that the image you want the whole world to know?

If not, follow the steps to make sure you build a great personal brand:

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Are You A Team Player?

Posted by | September 3, 2014 | Tips



 

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Vince Lombardi

In Catalonia, we have a very special tradition called “castells” (“castles” in English) in which a group of people attempt to build a human pyramid with their bodies to create pre-designed structure that may reach up to 10 floors.

“Castells” are a wonderful example of team working.They rely on their “colles” (group) which consists of people from different cities and backgrounds. The collas must have people with different body types: from strong men in charge of holding the “pinya” (base) to the “enxaneta”, a small girl or boy who crowns the tower and salutes the crowd. As you can imagine and see on the picture, the effort of each and every component of these groups is essential. If someone fails, the whole structure comes down.

Like “castells”, startups are a “colla” a group of people working together to “fer pinya” and achieve common goals — The success of the individuals lies directly on the success of the company and working as a team is the only option.

But not everybody is capable to be a good team player –some people feel more comfortable working on their own. Are you a team player?  What are the main skills needed to be part of a team? I’ve gathered a short list of qualities every good team player should have:

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10 Benefits of Working From Home

Posted by | August 27, 2014 | Tips



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Photo: Cameron and his officemate by Sean Dreilinger (CC)

Some people would jump at the chance of working in the comfort of their own home and others would simply detest it. Back in February 2013, Yahoo put a controversial halt to that option. Yahoo’s president and CEO Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting for employees and rocked the business world in the process. What was her argument? The memo read that in order to “become the absolute best place to work”  there had to be a focus on communication and collaboration hence why they had to work “side-by-side”.

More than one year after, Mayer’s decision is still discussed in business blogs and magazines such as Money, Forbes and the like. The main point seems to be that in a globalized world, where most people have broadband internet connections at home and where so many communication tools are available at the reach of a click, it is reasonable to discuss if the traditional office is still the best possibility.

On the other hand, those against remote working use to argue that physical interaction promotes creativity and productivity. I wonder, is this true for the so-called Facebook Generation?

Of course there are pros and cons to working from home and Marissa Mayer had her reasons to defend on site working, but at Jobfluent, we are proponents of the benefits of merging your home and work environments.

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How To Ease Back Into Work After Vacation

Posted by | August 20, 2014 | Tips



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Photo by Anna Loverus

 

Vacations are the best thing ever. Oh dear! Sun, piña coladas, beach waves or exploring a new city – there’s no question having free time from work is simply delightful. But, as with everything in life it always comes to an end.

As Elbert Hubbard said: “No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.” I know going back to work after your free time is stressful but I am here today to give you hope. It’s not that bad. Cheer up! It’s time to shake off the sand and get over the holiday blues.

Follow these steps and you’ll find it feels good to be back on track!

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Why Should I Join a Startup?

Posted by | August 13, 2014 | Tips



Startup companies come in all shapes and sizes, from the abundance of social networks; Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon etc. to the Swedish music service Spotify. It seems hard to believe that all of these globally recognised companies were once a startup, but  if their small teams could make it happen, what’s to say the startup you’re employed by won’t too?

A startup company is designed to grow very rapidly and although the idea of working for an already established large company is appealing, being a part of a startup organization is so much more rewarding and opens up many doors for opportunities.

Are you in two minds about what career path to take and find yourself asking why should I join a startup? At JobFluent, we’ve come up with 16 reasons to answer that ever so common question.

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What is the absolute worst thing about celebrations? For me it’s gift shopping. I just never know what to get and many doubts blur my judgement: too expensive, too cheap, too childish — well you get the point.

I think we’ve all felt the same at some point. Wouldn’t you just love to know exactly what to get and even have it ready to be gifted with a super nice design? Well, with Giftry you can!

Want to know more? I was able to meet Brandon Wright, founder of Giftry and he was super kind to tell me what’s cooking on this awesome new Barcelona based startup. Let’s find out!

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Dress code sign at the entrance of the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand. Autor: Sodacan. CC

The increase in the number of startups and online businesses has given rise to a new dress code with regards to business attire. Some refer to it as “startup casual”, others don’t give it a second thought – it’s simply wearing what you feel most comfortable in. You’re putting in some serious hours to launch the startup to stardom, so you might as well not feel restricted in any way. Right?

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project manager

image: Vancouver Film School (cc)

 

Project management is not an easy task. According to Gartner Survey, 70% of organisations implementing PMOs report that project success rates have improved significantly as a result.

As a project manager, you’ll be in the middle of a triangle formed by the company’s management, the staff and the clients. Your responsibilities will include costs, schedules, workflow and customer experience –and you’ll have to make the right decisions to make sure everything runs smoothly.

To tackle a project management position, you will need technical knowledge (depending on each particular project), a business-oriented mind and great social and communication skills.

Knowing that, expect the hiring manager to focus the interview not only in general topics, but also mainly on behavioral questions –the type of questions you have to answer using your own previous experience i.e. asking about your reactions to specific real life scenarios.

In order to prepare for this interview, it would be good to start recalling your experiences and creating your own story. Ask yourself: which projects have you worked on and what problems you encountered? How did you face those problems? What decisions did you make and what were the results?

Aside from that mental exercise, you will have to really research your prospective employer and wonder about the kinds of questions you will be asked for this specific role.

To get you started, we have prepared a list of 10 questions you may get asked in an interview for a Project Manager position. Let’s go through them.

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