Guardian Careers

Will Finland introduce a four-day week? Is it the secret of happiness? | Money

Finland’s new prime minister, 34-year-old Sanna Marin, once floated the idea of a four-day week. It sounds quite glorious, doesn’t it? However, critics of reduced working hours, such as the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, think the idea is bonkers. He believes we could all work four-day weeks, but we just don’t want to. Is he right? The evidence says not. Reducing the length of the working week boosts productivity. When, in August, Microsoft Japan tested a four-day week, productivity work…

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Universities fail sexual violence survivors. Will new rules change the culture? | Education

Universities have been warned by the higher education watchdog for England that they could lose their status and public funding if they fail to improve how they tackle harassment and sexual misconduct. But do the proposals go far enough if they are to tackle the “epidemic” of sexual harassment in UK universities? ‘Universities need to change their cultures’ Tiffany Page is co-founder of the 1752 Group, which lobbies to end sexual misconduct in universities, and a lecturer in sociology at…

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Work it! Can you learn to love the job you have? | Money

What would it take to make our working lives better? Steve Jobs once said about work that it was our life’s mission to “do what you love”, but for most of us it is the compromise of “finding what you can put up with”. So, if most of us are never exactly going to love work, what can we do to make it a little less awful? For starters, let’s be honest about what work is like. According to the…

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Staff warn of ‘intimidatory’ tactics at Liverpool University after strike | Education

The University of Liverpool has told staff who went on strike over pay and pensions this week that they must catch up on missed work or risk penalties, despite already having their pay deducted over the eight-day industrial action. In an email sent by pro vice-chancellor Gavin Brown, members of the University and College Union were told that failure to reschedule teaching missed during the strike period would represent partial performance of their contracts, which “the university does not accept”.…

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‘The Netflixisation of academia’: is this the end for university lectures? | Education

Before this month’s strikes over low pay and pensions cuts, staff were warned to pause their lecture recordings while they told students that they would be taking part. The University and College Union (UCU), which organised the strike, worried that university management would search recordings to identify who would be engaging in industrial action, and introduce measures to lessen its impact. The union had good reason to be concerned: during last year’s strikes, the head of Edinburgh University’s law school…

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I’m striking because insecure academic contracts are ruining my mental health | Sarah Darley | Education

This week, staff in 60 universities across the UK have been on an eight-day strike over pensions, pay and employment conditions. This has included growing casualisation in universities – which, as a researcher employed on a fixed-term contract, is my life. I’m not alone. A recent University and College Union (UCU) survey reported that 70% of the 49,000 researchers in higher education are currently employed on fixed-term contracts, as are 37,000 teaching staff (the majority of whom are paid hourly).…

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Students protest against Liverpool university’s claim that support for strike is ‘unlawful’ | Education

Students at the University of Liverpool blocked senior managers from entering their offices this morning in protest at an email sent by the university warning students that it is “unlawful” for them to join pickets in support of striking lecturers. The blockade took place on the fifth day of strikes over pay and pensions involving 60,000 members of the University and College Union. The students erected barriers in front of doors and put up banners voicing students’ solidarity. The blockade…

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Could job sharing solve universities’ big gender pay gap problem? | Emma Watton and Sarah Stables | Education

This year’s Equal Pay Day falls on 14 November. It’s the day women in the UK effectively start working the remainder of the year for free because of the gender pay gap. There are differences between sectors and industries but education is among the worst, with a pay gap of 25.9% as opposed to the national average of 17.9%. This means that a woman employed in education works, on average, 95 days a year without being paid. This is a…

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‘It’s in complete crisis’ – architects form trade union amid fury and despair over exploitation | Art and design

Unpaid overtime, precarious contracts, working hours so antisocial your only friends are people who do the same job … after a minimum of seven years’ education and professional training, the reality of working as an architect can be a bleak prospect. It’s not hard to see why so many of them wear black, as if in permanent mourning for the lives they once had. “Spending almost 10 years at uni to be paid £20,000 doesn’t seem right,” says Joseph, a…

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Fancy a career change? Six tips for finding a new job | Guardian Careers

Work out why your current job makes you unhappy If returning to work after the Christmas break has left you feeling unmotivated, rather than raring to go, then it could be time to move on. But first it is important to identify whether your dissatisfaction is temporary or seasonal. “January can certainly feel a bit flat after the holidays, but if you’ve been thinking for a while that you need to make positive changes in your career, then it’s unlikely…

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Back to work: reviving your career after a sabbatical | Guardian Careers

Who doesn’t dream of taking off for months on end and spending their days island hopping across Greece or hiking in the Amazon rainforest? While not all career breaks might be so adventurous, taking time off from work can be a great way to recharge or reflect on a new career direction. And don’t worry about employers frowning on a career break. “It’s absolutely acceptable to take time out and travel,” says HR and resourcing specialist Lydia Fairman. “It’s a…

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What are your biggest career regrets? Share your stories | Guardian Careers

Hindsight is a wonderful thing – but it can also shine an unflattering light on the decisions we’ve made. Ask yourself the “what if” question and there’s always a risk of opening up an endless pit of regrets. But every choice – be it a good or bad one – is a lesson, right? And we’ve all had a few regrets we can learn from. As many as nine out of 10 people in the UK regret rushing their choice…

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The secret to a high salary? Emotional intelligence | Guardian Careers

While IQ remains a very strong predictor of career success, our research suggests that people with high emotional intelligence are more likely to have higher wages. The study, published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour in August 2017, tested US university students for emotional intelligence, or EI, during their studies – and then looked at their career trajectory over the course of 10 years. The results showed us that students who scored highly for EI went on to have better…

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Teaching is ruining my life, but I don’t know what to do instead | Guardian Careers

We asked readers to get in touch with work-related problems they need guidance on. An anonymous teacher, 41, from West Yorkshire, wrote: I’m desperate to get out of teaching. It’s exhausting, stressful and is ruining my life. I’m not a senior leader so can’t go on to be a consultant or inspector. I’ve been teaching for over a decade and most of the jobs I’ve seen that suit my skills and experience could mean taking over a 50% pay cut.…

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‘What exactly do you hate about teaching?’ – our work expert responds | Guardian Careers

Teaching is ruining my life. I have other skills, so how do I find my niche? I’m desperate to get out of teaching. It’s exhausting, stressful and is ruining my life. I’m not a senior leader so can’t go on to be a consultant or inspector. I’ve been teaching for over a decade and most of the jobs I’ve seen that suit my skills and experience could mean taking more than a 50% pay cut. I feel trapped. I have…

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As an Iranian academic, I’m fed up of being asked to focus on poverty and oppression | Sadaf Javdani | Education

“If you decide to stay in Europe and enjoy your freedom here instead of going back, nothing will change. So why don’t you consider going back to your country?” These weren’t the racist remarks of a stranger or acquaintance, but an anthropology programme director at a German university whom I was meeting to discuss my postdoctoral proposal. I wanted to research material and sensory perceptions of home, in a way that was unrelated to immigration or asylum. “Instead of working…

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