How EQ could enhance your salary!

Why one particular year-old study could inspire you to work on your EQ! 

We recently saw a Guardian career piece pop up as a recommended read. The piece claimed that EQ (AKA ’emotional intelligence’ or ‘EI’) could be ‘the secret to a high salary’.

In order to reach this conclusion, the Amercian study explored students’ emotional intelligence and then tracked their career path over the coming decade. As you can gather from the above, the students with the greatest EI also had higher incomes.

How EQ increases earnings…

Essentially, the salary effect is achieved by understanding how others are feeling and then using this to ‘accurately motivate and influence their behaviour’. Although the idea of influencing others may sound sinister, it can also be highly positive.

The research showed that people with high emotional intelligence make many friends in their work, allowing them to tap into a wider knowledge base, which boosts their performance (and salary!).

It also proved positive from a people management/mentoring perspective, as high EQ workers are more attuned to the needs and feelings of others. Helping employees and mentees feel ‘heard’.

How is emotional intelligence actually defined?

You’ll find a full definition here. Really, it comes down to being self-aware and able to identify and help manage emotions – both your own and those of others.

Wondering how high your EQ is?

There’s no single specific EI test. However, Pyschology Today offers a fairly comprehensive free emotional intelligence test. They predict this takes around 45-minutes to complete. At the end of it, you then receive a percentage score and a brief overview; without so much as entering a name or email address. Anyone wanting to receive a full report with advice can then pay around $10 for it.

This isn’t to say everyone’s onboard with the EI-salary connection…

If you take another look at the original Guardian article, you’ll see it’s received over 90 comments. Many of which are highlighting the successes of people with questionable emotional intelligence levels!

There’s certainly truth in this, however, what’s the harm in working on your own EQ levels? Even if it doesn’t immediately (or ever directly!) increase your income, it offers many benefits.

Forbes discusses some of these.

Further reading for furthering your emotional intelligence!

  1. In a separate Forbes post, they share 5 ways to develop your EQ.
  2. Medium has an interesting question-filled article to help you to work towards a greater score.
  3. Balance also shared 9 useful steps.

One final EQ tip…read more and read differently!

Don’t only read the research and news articles that strike you as immediately relevant to your life. Get in the habit of seeing what’s happening in the world, and what other demographics are saying and feeling.

Recruitment news makes for a perfect example! There are so many studies which highlight what matters most to employees and employers, what professionals fear or strive for, the similarities and differences between different groups, and the steps we can all take to reach our goals. We publish many such stories on our News blog. Why not pick a post that you wouldn’t usually read and spend some time considering the emotions experienced by the news item/study subjects, how you feel throughout, and how you would express yourself in the given situation?

Get in the habit of doing this often and let it extend to the audio and social media that you also consume.



Graduate & millennial salary news

There is a wealth of discussion out there regarding graduates and millennials…and their salaries. Why has this topic become so newsworthy and what is it telling us?

A quick skim of the headlines might present a negative picture. However, read on for some useful links and the positives surrounding these discussions…

Grads fear they will lose jobs to unpaid interns

Source: People Management

More than 1/4 of graduates worry that unpaid interns will secure the best job opportunities. It is also popularly believed that internships offer a great route to that first graduate level role (55% of respondents).

Worryingly, some organisations may still be dangling the carrot of a ‘possible job’ in order to attract unpaid interns. Such strategies can also prove a major barrier to anyone who cannot afford to work for free. Which applies to many of us! Thought unpaid internships weren’t legal? Here are the current rights (via gov.uk).

Reminder: internships aren’t the only route into your first career role. We frequently share job opportunities of this nature. You can also use our job hunting guide to support your search.

Plenty of opportunities, yet frozen salaries

Source: HR News

Graduate demand is still high – no doubt offering a huge relief to this year’s university leavers. However, starting salaries have changed little over the past ten years.

Although this year did feature an increase in the threshold for paying back a student loan. Meaning anyone earning less than £24,000 per annum will not start paying back their loan as yet (providing as they entered university after September 2012).

Concerned that not having a degree will affect your income? These are the best-paying degree-free jobs.

Millennials earn ‘significantly less’ than they thought they would 

Source: Independent

The Office of National Statistics has revealed some fascinating findings. Back in 2011-2012, a number of 16 to 21-year-olds were invited to share their ‘salary and career aspirations’. The difference between expectation and reality has now been reviewed…

  • 1/2 of the youngest respondents (then aged 16-17) predicted that they would earn £35,000 by the time they turned 30 as graduates, or £25,000 per annum as non-graduates. Yet the average 30-year-old currently earns £23,700.
  • Only 7% believed they would they would earn under £20,000. 37% of 22 to 29-year-olds do, however, earn under this threshold.
  • Whereas 5% thought they would earn above £80,000, only 2% of respondents have done so.

For some realistic earning insights: take a good look at the latest jobs listings. Be sure to research both your industry and target locations. You can also keep on top of the latest salary news – including the items recently shared here!

Almost 1/4 of millennials don’t think they’ll be able to afford to retire

Source: HR News

Some millennial workers are concerned that they may never be able to retire, as they cannot afford to ‘invest in their pensions’. Additionally, 1/5 don’t believe a state pension will exist by this time.

1 in 3 workers from this age group currently resides at home with their parents due to their financial constraints.

Younger employees are facing ‘spiralling debts’ 

Source: HR Magazine

Financial stress is rising among younger workers:

  • 70% of under 34-year-olds have to borrow money on a regular basis just to cover daily living expenses and/or settle their monthly bills.
  • 20% of 25 to 34-year-olds say they’re ‘only just coping’.
  • 33% of 25 to 34-year-olds are forced to use credit cards to cover their general costs, while average unsecured debts have reached £14,794.35 for people aged 25 to 44.
  • 45% of under 34-year-olds are suffering performance issues as a result of their financial anxieties, and 40% are experiencing problems with their workplace relationships.

What do these millennial salary news items tell us?

While the news may look negative at first glance, the insights can be used positively – for graduates, millennials, and their employers.

Clearly, financial anxieties greatly affect a large number of younger workers. The more that these issues are discussed, the better we’re able to address them. We instantly think back to our recent exploration of ‘Gen Z’ news, in which employers were advised to incorporate financial schemes into their staff attraction and retention tools.

Alongside this, have another look at the stats above. Many workers from these age groups are not feeling the same level of anxiety. 80% of employees are more than ‘only just coping’, while 3/4 of grads don’t fear that they’ll miss out on job opportunities due to unpaid interns.

We welcome applications from working adults of all age groups. Register your CV today!



Career priorities: what matters most?

What are your career priorities? The Oxford Open Learning Trust has researched the factors deemed most important when looking for a new job…

The top five considerations currently include:

  1. Salary/pay (64%)
  2. Working hours (55%)
  3. Working location / Personal interest or enjoyment (tied at 50%)
  4. Job security (40%)
  5. Working environment (37%)

You can find the full top 10 over at HR News.

Career priorities: working hours

The second place spot particularly caught our attention. Not only because it was discussed by more than half of respondents, yet also the way it chimes with other research on this topic.

Over on the Independent, we hear how more than 1/2 of British workers would prefer to move away from the standard ‘9 to 5’ job. Instead, they would welcome the opportunity to either:

  • Start work before 9am, enabling them to finish before 5pm (57%)
  • Work longer hours in order to shorten the length of the working week (48%)

As HR News suggests, professionals would clearly like to carve out some extra time for themselves in a bid to achieve an improved work-life balance.

Looking outside the UK

Have other countries managed to achieve this balance? The stats would suggest so, with countries offering the most flexible working opportunities also scoring higher on employee happiness and engagement ratings.

Identifying your own career priorities

This is an aspect we highly recommend spending some time thinking about. Especially if you’re ready to search for a new job, or think you may be ready to do so soon.

Knowing your priorities really helps you refine your job search; especially if you’re considering one of a few possible career paths.

You’ll see this topic is discussed further in our 7 Days of Job Hunting Tips…an essential guide for anyone wanting to stand out from the (candidate) crowd!



Only for the money?

Do you only go to work for the money? UK workers are more motivated by pay rates than any other European country surveyed. What does this tell us about our culture of work; how could this affect your search for the perfect job or employee?

For the money: the research reveals…

  • For 62% of UK employees, pay is the primary driver to work.
  • This is the highest rate in Europe, where the average is just 49%.
  • UK workers are also the least likely to say they work because ‘they love what they do.’ (Accounting for 13%. This is half the number of respondents that proclaimed this in the Netherlands).
  • Additionally, UK employees remain the most likely to ‘feel like quitting’ their job, with almost 10% of those surveyed considering this ‘most days!’

What does this tell us about the UK work culture?

According to today’s source, HR Magazine, these stats reflect a low level of national employee engagement. Those most motivated by non-financial rewards consistently revealed greater ongoing engagement and job satisfaction.

Conversely, those driven to work for the ability to cover the costs of those things they want/need are actually likelier to experience frustration or disappointment on receipt of their pay.

There are some really interesting comments in the HR Magazine piece. It certainly provides food for thought, whether you’re a job-seeker or employer…

1) How this might affect your job search

If you truly want to find job satisfaction, it might be time to think beyond the money mindset. This is by no means to suggest you work for less than you deserve. Rather, you can really consider the ‘full package’ of a role.

What would it take for you to wake up and actually look forward to a Monday? What would inspire you to say ‘I love what I do’ and to get through a working week without considering moving on?!

This is such an individual consideration. It might include…

  • Entering a certain industry
  • Progressing to or taking on a particular role
  • Achieving your ideal work-life balance
  • Working with like-minded people
  • Being a part of a particular work culture/environment
  • Contributing to a greater purpose or joining a company with a shared ethos
  • Even just joining a business of a particular size or working closer to home

Naturally, these are just thinking points. You need to work out what really matters to you. Consider these factors as you peruse the latest vacancies and chat with your recruitment consultant.

To begin your job search, check out our current jobs listings and/or register your CV. We also have some excellent job hunting tips here.

2) How this might affect your search for a new employee

The savviest businesses can benefit from these insights. Firstly, understanding how many UK employees work for the money alone is an excellent driver to ensure you have a competitive salary offering. Perhaps you may also consider other financial incentives such as reward/bonus schemes.

However, you also want to be thinking beyond the money mindset! How can you communicate the additional benefits of working for your business?

Is there additional groundwork to do to ensure your team is actually on-board with a shared mission, that you have an enjoyable working environment, and that you demonstrate how much you value your staff?

Do you ask your team for (anonymous!) feedback on why they choose to work, what their experience of your company is, and what else would improve their workplace engagement, job satisfaction and similar?

Further reading:

For expert advice on attracting and recruiting the right team members for your needs, please call the office on 01225 313130.



Graduate salary expectations

How do graduate salary expectations vary by job sector? And how realistic are they? These questions underpin Unidays’ recent research (published by Recruiting Times)…

Graduate salary expectations: the top 10 roles

The top ten roles or industry sectors perceived to offer the highest starting salary currently include:

  1. YouTube personality: £55,000 per annum
  2. Chemicals/pharmaceuticals: £32,183
  3. Oil & energy: £29,000
  4. Other digital influencers: £28,700
  5. Marketing & PR: £27,650
  6. Engineering: £26,600
  7. Legal: £26,550
  8. Banking: £26,500
  9. Investment banking: £26,400
  10. Medicine: £25,900

Job predictions ranking from positions 11 to 24 are additionally available here.

As you can see, the findings cover job vacancies ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. Currently, ‘influencer’ and ‘online personality’ type roles are estimated to exceed the earnings of other longstanding graduate jobs.

How do graduate salary expectations compare to real-life earnings?

This is where things become all the more interesting. The above figures are, after-all, based solely on predictions.

However, on the whole, graduates overestimate their potential earnings by £3,150 to £6,150 per annum. Putting this in salary terms, the average graduate salary expectation sits at £25,150. Yet the average real-life earning falls between £19,000 to £22,000 per year.

How can people form more realistic graduate salary expectations?

Make sure that you’re looking at local data. Many graduate job guides will be based on national averages, which don’t take into account regional nuances.

Your best bet is, therefore, to research local vacancies within your target sector. Read job specs closely to see who they’re targeted at (i.e. whether it’s an entry-level or graduate role, or whether you’d need further sector experience. It’s helpful to remember that graduate jobs aren’t always advertised specifically as graduate openings). Then take a look at the salary level.

The more often you do this, the more realistic your predictions are likely to be. This is important for your initial career decisions. You don’t want to overlook excellent opportunities because you’ve built an unrealistic expectation. Equally, you don’t want to undersell yourself against your competition.

You’ll often be asked about your salary expectations during interviews; this is yet another opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve put some groundwork into your interview preps.

For further guidance…

  • New grads should have a good read of our Job Hunting Tips guide. This contains seven days of expert tips to help you tailor your recruitment processes and stand out from the competition.
  • Anyone looking to attract this year’s graduates will want to take a look at this post on what graduates most want to know about their first career opportunities – and what local employers can do to draw their attention.