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With the expense level of living in Dublin at the moment, you'd be forgiven for feeling down in the dumps about wages right now.

Good news is needed, and thankfully some was released today regarding the average weekly earnings for Irish workers; it's actually…*deep breathing* … INCREASED.

Increased? We haven't heard that word in a long time. Too long.

According to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, the average weekly earnings in the fourth quarter of 2018 were €761.64, which is a four percent increase. We'll take what we can get, eh?

The preliminary estimates of the Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly release were published by the Central Statistics Office on Monday, and the increase is from the same period in 2017.

It's an increase of just under €20 per week from the figure taken from the third quarter of last year.

Average hourly earnings increased from €22.60 in the fourth quarter of 2017 to €23.46 in the fourth quarter of 2018. However, the figures represent gross amounts before deductions for PRSI, tax and other levies.

The average weekly earnings for Irish employees in the public sector increased to €966.40 in the fourth quarter of last year, while average weekly earnings increased in all 13 sectors of the economy in the same time frame. 

The Information and Communication sector saw the highest average weekly earnings in Ireland, with a weekly figure of €1,175.46, followed by the Financial, Insurance and Real Estate activities sector at €1,084.89. We're not jealous, though.

The lowest average weekly earnings were €360.73 in the Accommodation and Food Service activities sector and €493.12 in the Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and other service activities sector. (That's us…Oh sh*t…)

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Research from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has presented results on the graduates who are most likely to find a job after college.

Naturally, we were curious and had to check out the scores. Unsurprisingly, creative work seems fairly sparse *sighs*.

As it turns out, teachers are the most likely to find a job after they graduate, with over 93 percent of recent education grads finding employment within nine months of finishing their course.

The HEA's research found that graduates in areas such as health and welfare (87 percent), ICT (82 percent) and engineering (82 percent) had especially high employment outcomes.

Nearly 80 percent of third-level students secured work within nine months of graduating, which is good news.

The HEA found that students who studied subjects like philosophy and literature were the LEAST likely to be employed…sorry to all those deep thinkers and bookworms out there.

Anyone who completed their arts and humanities studies were actually among the highest percentages who embarked on further study, at 24 percent.

The study involved 29,000 participants who graduated back in 2017, and found that teaching grads are one of the best paid. Their starting salaries mostly came in at €30-€35,000.

The average salary of full-time graduates in employment was €33,574. The HEA's Valerie Harvey said that those who complete further study are the most employable.

She commented on the research, saying that; "The overwhelming majority of all graduates are working and as you move through the levels of educational attainment higher numbers are in employment."

She continued, "So we found that 75 percent of honours degree, 86 percent of post-graduate taught and 91 percent of postgraduate research graduates are in employment."

78 percent of those participants surveyed are working or due to begin a job, and 14 percent of those surveyed are in training or further education.

A further five percent are searching for work, and the remainder are in "further activities", like travelling the world or saving the turtles. Apparently, 90 percent of those who graduate find a job in Ireland. That one surprised us, alright.

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It's time to celebrate one of the biggest holidays in the employment calendar; National Sickie Day. *Tosses confetti*

We figured it's time to do some healthy digging and find out what gems people were using to call in sick to work, and we also desired to know the dumbest excuses too. Natural curiosity gets the better of us…

Employment Law Experts (ELAS) are saying that the estimated number of employees calling in sick in 2017 on National Sickie Day was… wait for it…350,000 WORKERS. Wow.

Why is the first week of February just too unbearable for everyone to face their jobs? A combination of factors are predicted, such as the first weekend after Dry January and the first post-Christmas pay-day.

mean girls wink GIF by T. Kyle

ELAS have also predicted that National Sickie Day will cost the British economy around £45 million (€51.3 million), due to hours lost, wages and overtime. Good God, that's a LOT of wasted labour.

According to a survey by AXA PPP, using the flu excuse seemed to be satisfactory for four out of 10 bosses. However, eight percent of managers weren't convinced by a single one of the nine 'best excuses' listed below…

The number one excuse for ringing in sick (according to the boss) was the flu, with back pain coming in second, and injury caused by accident in third place.

Stress, elective surgery, depression, anxiety, common cold and migraine finished up the top nine, with 'none of the above' in 10th place, meaning there were some other crackers outside of the top 10 that we just NEED to hear.

According to ELAS, the absolute WORST excuses in 2016 for missing work were:

“My only pair of work trousers is in the wash”, “It’s my dog’s birthday and I need to arrange a party for him”, “The dog ate my shoes”, “I got arrested”, “I lost my PPE”, and of course; “I stayed out partying last night and haven’t had any sleep”.

Classic. Other contenders were; “My friend is on annual leave so I can’t get a lift”, “I have no way to get to work” and “My wife earns more than me so I have to look after the kids”

Ah lads, you've got to do better than that. A bit of creativity would go a long way with that lot…

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Some Irish workers can look forward to a slight increase in their hourly pay as Ireland’s living wage has increased by 20 cents.

Workers will now be paid at least €11.90 an hour so they can enjoy a decent standard of living.

It is understood that the boost is down to Ireland’s housing crisis. People are struggling more than ever to afford housing in Ireland, which means the price of living has increased.

The news was confirmed by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice: “Rising rents push Living Wage to €11.90 per hour in 2018, a €0.20 increase from 2017. The #LivingWage represents the minimum average gross salary of a single full-time worker without dependents, needs to afford an acceptable minimum standard of living.”

There has been a drop in the cost of health insurance, transport and food in 2018, but the growing rent prices are swallowing up nearly half of the average person’s wages.

Dr Bernadette McMahon of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice stated:  “We try and reflect a figure which actually reflects the cost of living and what people have to spend for a reasonable standard of living.”

Employers do not have to pay their workers the living wage, but many companies support the idea.

There is no plan to increase the minimum wage yet. The minimum wage currently stands at €9.55 in Ireland.

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Whether you want to find your first job, or just need a change from your current one, we all know it can be hard to keep motivated when looking for employment.

Between the hours that go into searching, to the nerve-wrecking interviews, getting a job is no easy feat, and sometimes it can feel like it's going nowhere.

But if you have a LinkedIn profile, this one thing might be holding you back from getting a job.

And that one thing? Your selfie.

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Yep, a recent survey by Envirofone revealed that having a selfie as your profile picture on LinkedIn could seriously harm your potential to be hired.

In fact, a massive 88 per cent of hiring managers surveyed said they felt having a selfie on your profile is very "unprofessional."

To further that, out of the 2,186 people interviewed, 58 per cent said that they would not hire a person solely based on them having a selfie on the professional networking site.

Richard Mavers, the online strategist for Envirofone said: "First impressions count, and it’s easy to assume that showcasing your best self(ie) on LinkedIn will impress potential bosses.

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"However, recent research revealed that job candidates who use selfies on professional networking sites don’t go down well with employers."

However, Richard noted that there may be one exception (because we can't all afford professional headshots).

"While a professional head shot is always advisable where possible, a selfie where you are dressed professionally is a good alternative, with 66 per cent of respondents rating this as an acceptable option for a LinkedIn profile."

So there you have it, stay profesh ladies.

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Whether you are still in college, just starting off on your career or you’re looking for a leg up in the industry, having a mentor is totally invaluable.

Finding someone who works in your desired field will stand to you in your future.

Also, having a person to show you the tricks of the trade is so much better than trying to figure something out from a textbook.

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So, if you feel like having a mentor will benefit you and your career, here are a few tips on how to find the right person for you.

Research your field and the people who are in it

Research various companies, freelancers and professionals who you look up to.

Then, create a list of who you feel would be a good fit. This regards both personality and their line of work.

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Make ALL the contacts

Start emailing your desired mentors with a polite message. Explain why you are contacting them, and what you wish to gain from a mentor.

Be straight from the outset with them and make sure you clearly describe what kind of mentor you’re looking for – whether it’s someone to email and ask questions or someone you want to work alongside with on a weekly basis.

Woman in Gray Shirt Seating in Between Woman in Blue Black and White Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt and Man in Blue White and Black Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt Having Conversation

Social media is a great intro

Follow people who you look up to on social media. Like their posts and interact with them. Don’t be scared; this is showing your interest in them and their career.

And when you do email them, your name will be familiar from popping up on their social media channels.

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Meet up

When you find someone happy to be your mentor, make sure you both meet for a coffee as soon as possible.

Meeting them face to face will set the tone of your relationship and give you an inkling into whether it’s the right fit.

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Stay in touch

Whether you meet up one a week or once a month, always stay in touch. The closer you get, the more they will trust you and recommend you to other people in the industry.

Show them your strengths and your work ethic and always have their back. Trust is a major element of climbing the career ladder.

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Network, network, network

Networking is one of the most important things when it comes to your career. Whether you’re in business, fashion or food, knowing people and having good connections in your field will stand to you for years to come.

Ask your mentor if you can go along to events with them. Meet the who’s who of the industry and make sure you introduce yourself to everyone.

Follow anyone you met on social media the next day, so the connections you made won’t be lost.

People Surrounding Brown Wooden Rectangular Table While Seating

Finding a mentor and networking will always stand to you. Be your best self in front of these people and show what you can bring to the table.

This will be one step in your career that you won’t regret.

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College is the gateway to a great career, they said. Getting an education is like winning the lottery, they said.

They were wrong…

 

If you’re a science/tech/maths head, good grades may be enough to land you a cosy number . In humanities, experience is everything. Once you’ve finished crying into your Masters degree, I recommend you pay attention.

Now…let’s begin. Expect to experience the following:

1. Desperation

 

Once you’ve realised you’ve no hope of getting a job and life as an ‘unpaid slave’ begins to look appealing, congratulations you have reached ‘Phase Desperation’. You are now ready to begin the hunt.

2. The Hunt

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Companies are getting better at  disguising exploitation in their quest for interns. Ask questions. Do your research. Linkedin-stalk the company and its employees. Find out how past interns progressed. Any respectable internship should offer wages or at least a stipend to get you by.

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3. The interview

 

If you don’t have much experience, don’t sweat it, that’s why you’re here. Showcase your grades, projects,involvement in clubs and socs, dalliances with menial work , blogging, projects, the works. Tell them what your goals are, what you can bring to the internship and what you’d like to improve on.

4. Your first day

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While inside you have no idea what to expect. Your first day is a free pass to ask all the questions and soak it all in. You can get away with pretty much anything on day 1. On day 2 however you’re screwed…because that’s when the real work begins. Be friendly, first impressions are important.

5. Adapting (Feeling Overqualified)

this jen is the internet

You build up trust and humility by doing well at the little things. Show you’re capable and hardworking and soon you’ll get more responsibility. If you don’t, ask for it. If you’re not learning anything, consult your boss/coworkers immediately. This is your training time, remind them of that if you need to.

6. Productivity

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The windows of opportunity to doss around may be endless but remember college is over and you need to get paid work fast. Everyone loves intuition. It’s great if you can take it upon yourself to generate ideas/projects you can be working on . If you’re end goal is nabbing a job at your place of internship, the more achievements you have under your belt, the better.

7. Making mistakes

We’ve all been there, sometimes you just get  thrown straight into the deep end. If this happens don’t have a meltdown.You’re there to learn and part of learning is making mistakes.

8.Perseverance 

Some days will be better than others…

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For bad days at least there’s coffee. *Sing it with me* Things can only get better.

9. Employment/Unemployment

Lets face it, it’ll  go either of the following ways:

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or…

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 via our content partners CT

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Have that all important job interview coming up? Here are some great tips to ensure that it goes well:

  • Even though nerves can often get the best of us, make sure you stay on topic and answer the questions asked.
  • Maintain eye contact – it may feel a little strange, but it shows that you are focused as well as confident.
  • Don’t let your nerves take complete hold of you. Instead of thinking of the interview as a whole or zooming in on the interviewer’s reactions to your answers, just focus on each question asked and the time will fly.
  • Interviewers will often ask if you have any questions towards the end of your interview. Even though many of us prefer to say no, so we can get out of the interview as soon as possible, it is a good opportunity to show that you’ve researched the company and the role.
  • Most importantly, make sure that you are dressed appropriately for an interview. An interview only allows you a limited amount of time to make a great impression and the right outfit can show how serious you are about this position.
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