As to e-mail on weekends? An absolute no-no! Volkswagen isn’t the only corporation that subscribes to this philosophy; other major German organizations have implemented variations of this approach, all designed to ensure that their employees completely disengage from the workplace when the workday is done.
Germans have a reputation for a strong work ethic and their intense focus on getting things done, one they come by honestly. But their legendary productivity exists exactly because they understand the value of taking time off for self-care; to turn off and return renewed and refreshed after a distinct gap. So they do.
In Germany, vacation time isn’t considered a job-related perk or a luxury. It’s a federally mandated right, a necessary and fundamental aspect of life, required if people are to function at peak performance and productivity. Germans get a minimum of four weeks of paid vacation a year starting after six months of employment, and employers regularly grant more than the minimum required. And with very few exceptions, vacation time must be taken during the year and cannot be carried forward or paid out.
One, you can’t be productive if you don’t feel well. And two, your so-called sacrifice could actually make someone else sick, for which they definitely won’t thank you. Again, this belief makes its way into the country’s laws. Employers in Germany are legally obliged to pay employees full pay for sick leave and, should their illness continue longer, for up to six weeks.
If you’re not seen by those who control your fate, your chances of getting the job you want and launching a successful career are limited.
2. Determine 3 things you will do/deliver that will address the highest-priority requirements of your target. Don’t try to boil the ocean. You can’t be all things to all people. Selecting a few things that really matter is critical.
5. Create your statement of uniqueness that governs everything you do and defines how you are different than the competition you face for opportunities.
6. Keep your eye on your competition; they will likely be watching you, if you are being seen, and will try to copy your approach. When confronted by a copycat, you must create a new persona to deal with the desires of your target. Nothing lasts forever, so be prepared to change your approach on the run.