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Having changed jobs every couple of years, Marika Kivilehto now works as HR development manager at the engineering company RD Velho.Statistics compiled by the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, Etla, show that around a quarter of the workforce move in or out of a company every year. The figure includes both people retiring and those just entering working life.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy studied career changes between 2003 and 2006 and found that around a third of the employees go straight from one job to another, while for almost 40 per cent of people the change involved a period of unemployment. Around 25 per cent of people took a break from working life for some other reason.

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At their best, appraisals offer a perfect opportunity for discussing past projects and planning ahead.Although much depends on the boss when it comes to performance appraisals, you can benefit from the process by preparing for it and taking initiative when necessary.

1. Make the most of it

In some companies, not much thought is given to what the goals of performance appraisals really are. Some bosses may have doubts over whether performance reviews really are fit for purpose and employees wonder whether the boss is actually listening to them and giving the discussion their full attention.

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Does an open office create a more productive workspace?We work in an open-plan office, where some of the employees find the noise level distracting. Carrying out routine duties is not a problem but tasks that require more concentration and thinking often prove difficult. There are people in the office who do not see why they should restrict their conversation or control the sound level. One of the culprits is the boss. Any request to turn down the volume is interpreted as nagging. How to resolve this conflict?

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According to statistics Finland, young people are most often employed as salespersons.Helsinki Times gets four experienced professionals from different fields to share their story on how they entered the labour market.

Whether related to our academic background or not, first jobs always provide us with a sense of how ‘real life’ works. One of the most difficult challenges is learning how to tolerate others, and of course making ourselves tolerable to them.

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Overworked employees are increasingly relying on prescription drugs to keep their jobs.Many employees drag themselves to work even though they are feeling under the weather, suffer from insomnia and have aches and pains everywhere. They turn to medication for temporary relief.

Occupational health doctor and father to small children, Jani, 37, has suffered from depression, concentration problems and insomnia for several years. He has been to see a psychiatrist and tried depression medicines in various combinations to help him get through the day.

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Few Finns are unaffected by holiday issues despite vacations being part of the development of the labour movement.Why are we paid holiday bonuses? Why do Saturdays take up vacation days? The origins of the annual holidays act date back to the 1930s.

Vacation is mentioned in the fourth clause of the first section of the annual holidays act. Law, labour market policies and social policy – these are what our yearly break is built upon.

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It’s important to take breaks, as 24/7 connectivity has consequences for the well-being, productivity and mood.Innovations and challenges brought about by technology.

TECHNOLOGY has brought about numerous changes in the way people seek and share information, communicate and work. However, some experts have warned about the negative effects of technology on the quality of both professional and private life.

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Work can feel like a prison of restrictions for some employees.Last autumn, when Anna, 33, a team leader in the communications field, started showing signs of burn-out, her boss encouraged her to contact the occupational doctor, which Anna did. "The doctor said that the problem was that our whole work community was over-worked. I wasn't the first one at our workplace to suffer from burn-out."

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Professor of Communications at the University of Helsinki Leif Åberg will get to keep his office even after retirement.This spring, on 31 May at 16:00, Leif Åberg, Professor of Communications at the University of Helsinki, will end his 41-year-long academic working career. Officially, at least. This is when Åberg retires at the age of 66.

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Professor Arto Lahti proposes that unemployment benefits for youth act as travel benefits, to encourage internationalisation.A good knowledge of local customs works as a launching pad for international business.

Young people out of work should be offered an opportunity to live abroad for a while to gain knowledge of the local language and culture, claims Arto Lahti, Professor of Entrepreneurship from Aalto University. Lahti proposes that the unemployed could receive travel grants in exchange for getting to know a foreign country and writing a report on their stay.

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The first question is: is there something like a Finnish working culture? And with increasing numbers of foreigners employed in Finland, what are the effects on the so-called Finnish working culture?

With the help of Helsinki times, itim International has conducted a study of Finnish organisational cultures and to which extent these assist Finnish organisations to work with foreigners (in Finland) and/or to compete globally. A total of 21 organisations participated in the research, spread out over six business areas:

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According to the Institute of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Helsinki, stress has been misunderstood.Recent studies reveal that perception of stress plays an important role in its effect.

TIME pressure, tight schedules and the increase of pace at work might not be the only causes of stress-related diseases. New research suggests that stress can also have a negative effect just because people believe it does.

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Pauliina Tenhunen was the only female lawyer at Castrén & Snellman when she started working there.Researcher: Tempting men into taking up careers in traditionally female occupations has proved a forlorn hope.

AT THE beginning of the 1990s, when Pauliina Tenhunen started working as a lawyer in Castrén & Snellman, she was the only female lawyer at the oldest law firm in Finland. Now nearly half of the firm’s more than hundred lawyers are women.

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Employees are often baffled by how unsuitable people can rise to top positions and manage to hold on to their jobs.An incompetent boss thinks the whole organisation revolves around him and can also get away with his behaviour as the top management is not aware of it, or only cares about the company's performance figures.

After taking up a managerial position in an expert organisation, Kai soon realised the firm was led by an incompetent boss, whose behaviour and management style were unpredictable and whimsical.

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How relevant is the amount of time spent on your education to the wages you will receive?

A long training period should result in a good salary, at least if you are training to be a doctor. Still, a blue-collar worker may earn more than a woman with a university degree. That is worth thinking about when making decisions about your future career.

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Colleagues going for an after-work drink is a common sight in the UK and Ireland.Spending free time with work buddies can help you bond.

IN MANY countries, it is common for colleagues to hang out over after-work beers, go on group holidays or attend cultural events together. In the UK and Ireland, for example, going to the pub round the corner for a pint with your workmates is a normal way to end a hard working day.

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