New employees are often expected to be energetic and motivated at the beginning of their careers. However, from the newbies' perspective, a guarantee of time off and a reasonable work-life balance might be more important.
At a job fair at Huazhong University of Science and Technology last week, staff from Gree Electric Appliances Inc. were surprised to hear that overtime payments and the number of days off, instead of salary, had become the top concerns of applicants.
Zhang Jingyi, a 23-year-old graduate from Beijing Foreign Studies University, also prioritized work-life balance when she looked for a full-time job.
She used to intern at a private PR company. Her boss assigned tasks regardless of her study load or work-rest schedule. Once, her boss messaged her at 0:30 AM to inform her of new work.
"Now I don't care whether I can get a high salary or top work performance. I'll be satisfied if I can go back home on time most days," said Zhang.
Release the pressure
Many people would prefer an "easygoing" job to a well-paid but stressful one.
In a MyCOS survey this May, 55 percent of 150,000 college student respondents wanted a job at state-owned enterprises and institutional units. Foreign companies usually offer higher salaries, but only won the hearts of 28 percent of respondents.
But during interviews, Zhang was not as bold as the students at the Gree campus recruitment who asked directly about days off and overtime payments.
"I dare not give the impression of not being motivated or hardworking enough," Zhang said.
"In order to blend into the workplace as soon as possible, newbies need to enrich their knowledge and skills in both professional work and interpersonal communication," said Xia. "And that comes from practice."
However, applicants won't be discriminated against for pursuing a work-life balance.
"Concerns over days off doesn't indicate that the jobseeker is lazy or unmotivated, as long as the issue is raised in a skillful way," said Xia.
It's unwise to directly ask "Do I need to work overtime?", said Xia. You may sound as if you are more concerned about your social life rather than the job itself.
Xia suggests a more skillful way to raise the question: "I believe that your company, as one with standardized operation, must have well-developed rules about overtime work and corresponding payments. I'd like to have some knowledge about the rules."
Also, when HRs raise such questions and probe your attitude, you’d better not say "No" directly, suggests Xia.
"Wise jobseekers will first make it clear that they are willing to sacrifice their spare time for work if necessary," said Xia. "But they will be smart and imply that they would like to finish work 'on time within the office hours'. The HR can read between the lines."
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blend into 融入
institutional unit 事业单位