- Flat White
- Mayday 😮💨
Grad salary survey, sit up and giveaway comp
It didn't last long. After a quiet April, this month's chatter has been all about PwC's tumultuous tax scandal and an emerging battleground around WFH.
(GIVEAWAY ALERT!) On a more positive note, after our recent stories about the dire shortage of coffee pods at HSF Melbourne, the heroes at Aussie start-up Brimful are giving away supplement-infused coffee pods to 300 of the speediest Flat White readers. All you have to do is use the link below to refer/convince/coerce THREE people to join our Flat White family and we'll send you a code to use on their website!
💡 Brain’s Trust - conversations in Auscorp
I. Culture shift
It's interesting that every so often (almost like clockwork), we get hit with a firm scandal that rocks an industry. Whilst judgement is important, we think firm culture also plays a huge role in the lead-up to these disasters. Whilst it's hard to pin down what "culture" actually is (every man and his dog has their own definition), its obvious that it comes from the top-down.
If you can indulge us with dishing out poor metaphors, culture is like a second-hand car - when its good, its great. But a shoddy one means underlying problems, which if not fixed, could lead to the whole thing breaking down.
Why is it interesting?
It's obvious that culture is becoming ever so more important in AusCorp. Both from a company perspective (so that bad things don't happen) and an employee perspective (looking for great places to work). It's clear now that many of us are waking up to the consequences.
PwC recently launched a culture review and EY will be publishing the results of their own in July. We've also heard that recently, the Ashurst CEO has been setting up one-one-ones with the troops and other company leaders are following suit to seek out issues.
Now all this stuff is great, but actions speak louder than words. Since time immemorial, companies have been slow to implement changes, with exceptions. Shout out to Dexus COO, Melanie Bourke for unlinking bonuses to engagement surveys (which in itself was always a ridiculous concept) after seeing the outcry on our IG page. We all know how impatient the Millennials and Zoomers are these days, so the ones that move the fastest on this kind of stuff will be the winners.
Check out this Reddit thread for bloody obvious examples of how firms could improve their culture. The hard part is taking action.
Deloitte recently released its “Human Capital Trend Report” which has stated that 2023 is all about “making work better for humans and humans better at work". Doing the former well will naturally lead to improvements in the latter.
II. 2023 Grad salaries
For our beloved readers, here is an exclusive first look at the 2023 Grad Salary Survey results. We received over 600+ submissions for Grad Salaries this year and have results from over 180 companies and firms across corporate Australia.
It goes without saying, but please take these with a grain of salt given they are unverified. And if there are any mistakes, we'd appreciate if you could let us know (link on the page)!
In terms of the chart toppers for this year...
Macquarie Capital beat everyone else with a $180,000 base salary (incl. super, but excluding a small bonus) for the newly graduated. Credit Suisse also matched this but given its recent takeover, who knows whether they'll be able to keep up next year.
The highest payer in law was Ashurst (incl. super) at $108,000.
A surprise entrant, Altman & Solon paid its grads $105,000 (ex. super) above all other consulting firms.
Amongst Big 4, the highest graduate salaries floated around the $70,000 mark assuming you ticked other boxes (e.g. previous experience, a second degree).
The median salary from our results was $75,000.
📮 Postbox - DM highlight
Work best practices hacks
It has come to our attention that some of us are slightly clueless when it comes to operating Microsoft Office. From painting white our grids in Excel to using "Enter" instead page breaks, we received a tonne of best practices / icks from the more talented MS Office operators living amongst us.
Here are some hot tips that didn't make it to our stories (yes, there are a lot!):
Excel - "Use F4 to lock cells instead of typing individual $ sign after typing the whole formulae"
Excel - "Use conditional formatting instead of manually colouring cells based on criteria"
Excel - "When someone hardcodes a number instead of linking it to a cell or tab"
Excel - "Senior managers, stop typing static numbers over our formulas!"
Excel - "Ctrl-D to copy formulas down / Ctrl-R to copy across"
Word - "[Don't] CAPS on and off to write capital letter - I've seen it happen"
Word - "Use comment boxes instead of making comments within the document... stuffs up the formatting and x10 the work"
Word - "Oxford commas and people who don't double space after a full stop"
Word - "When people manually indent paragraphs in Word, resulting in them being like 0.02cm off"
Word - "Don't type numbers or letters for lists and please actually use the lists function"
Word - "When counsel provides comments in screenshots but won't actually provide a page number or anything"
Powerpoint - "When ppl don't group their boxes upon boxes upon boxes in PPT"
Powerpoint - "Refusing to use Master Slide function to ensure slide consistency - to the people that add a 'draft' textbox manually on every slide 🤬"
Outlook - "When older partners send an email where you can tell they entered to fit their minimised screen so that each sentence is cut halfway through"
🙊 Community Bantz - DMs that didn't make the feed
Look don't hold us to that statistic, but that kinda explains things? Interestingly, the common traits of a psychopath don't sound too dissimilar to someone who is a total flog...
boredom and a need for stimulation;
a history of shady conduct;
a riddle of contradictions.
If you're interested in this topic, go check out The Psychopath Test, an enthralling but easy read about the who, what, when, where, how and why of psychopathy.
🩺 Health Check - health tip/reminder
Sitting is the new smoking
Are you starting to feel like a prawn? Your back giving up on you? We're starting to become increasingly aware of the health impacts of sitting down for long periods of time. Research suggests that those who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.
In this day and age, if you still don't have a standing desk, it's probably time to invest in one. And if you want to go the next level, you can even combine this with an under desk walking mat to get your steps in every day. The general rule is that for every 30 minutes of sitting, you should be standing for 5 minutes.
If you can't afford a standing desk or don't like the idea of alternating between sit/stand, then you might have to be more intentional about being active. Our top tips are to make you:
intentionally take breaks to stretch / move around at regular 30 min / 1 hour intervals;
make it a rule to stand when taking calls;
carve out time at lunch to go for a brisk walk around the block;
drink lots and lots of water (it's good for you and you'll be forced to walk to the toilet often); and
set up a stretching routine (heres a good one).
It's a lot, so if you honestly can't be arsed, we get it. But if you could stomach just doing one thing, we'd say it's this hip flexor stretch.
👴🏻 Old is Cool - meme throwback (18 May 2022)
Back when world leaders took down school kids
👍 The Nook - AusCorp recommendations
💡 Vivid Sydney (event) - Held between 26 May - 17 June, Vivid is back in Sydney for the 13th time, with a free Light Walk spanning 8.5km and 60 light attractions/installations.
📕 Love and Virtue (book) | Goodreads 3.96/5 | "A storyline that is authentic and relatable, and a deep dive into friendships and love set at the University of Sydney. An easy read after a long day at work / for the morning comm ute."
📺 Jury Duty (TV show, Amazon Prime) | IMdB 8.4/10 | - "Actually a novel format, and a textbook example of gaslighting, an essential skill for all Aussie Corporate aspiring leaders."
🗣 Behind the Grind (Podcast) - "For the aspiring law clerks. A useful podcast from 2021 that was run by law students interviewing law firms in a fun and approachable way. Really useful for anyone applying for clerkships"
🍺 Burrow Bar (Bar, Sydney) - "An amazing little speakeasy bar in Sydney that does great cocktails and the staff are very knowledgeable and friendly"
☕️ Barista v.s Chef (Cafe, Sydney) | "Casual spot but the food is high quality, fancy weekly specials, half way meet up point between Martin Place and Barangaroo"
☕️ Lunar by Hikari (Cafe, Melbourne) | "Japanese-inspired cafe, restaurant and bar. New cool"
🧥 Absolutely Altered and Tailored (Tailor, Melbourne) | "Super good tailor/alterations in Melbourne CBD. They've repaired/altered/totally remade a bunch of my formal and/or designer garments and the work is bulletproof. Plus, she's the sweetest lady out there"
🐭 Ikea Lånespelare 90cm gaming mousepad (Product) | "It's a big, plush, super wide mouse pad. Don't know that I'd actually use it for gaming, but for 29 bucks, it's an easy way to spruce up the home office setup!"
SUBMIT anything else interesting and we'll feature it in next edition's Flat White! (e.g. food, wine, cafe, restaurants, bars, podcasts, tv shows, movies, books, blogs)
💻 Made in Australia - showcasing Aussie tech
In the world of fast fashion, there are some stark and shocking realities when it comes to sustainability. For example, of the 800,000 tonnes of clothing and textiles we throw out each year, 90% of it goes to landfill. Here's where Samsara Eco (Series A in 2022 - A$54m) comes in.
What is it?
Born out of the Australian National University in 2021, Samsara has developed enzymes that can break down plastic to its foundational molecular structure, thereby making it possible to recycle plastics "infinitely". This has wider implications than for just the fashion industry, but it seems like their recent partnership with Lululemon will be a good test case to see whether this is could be the future of recycling.
The question now is whether Samsara can scale and provide this solution on a commercial level. It is planning on constructing its first full-scale recycling facility in Melbourne in 2023, so all eyes on this next milestone!
If you know (or are creating) a great Aussie product, we'd love to hear from you!
🚗 Under the Hood - what we're working on
We're having a think about organising an inaugural in-person event... unfortunately, this one is for the Sydneysiders (but we may have more in other cities in the future). Stay tuned!
We are gearing up to update our parental policy survey, and might lump this together with an annual leave survey as well. Details TBC!
We are currently looking for long-term partners at The Aussie Corporate. If you are interested, hit us up at [email protected]
✍️ Feedback Loop - share your thoughts
What did you think of this month's Flat White?
If you have want to provide more detailed feedback or have any topics that you want to hear more about, you can let us know HERE.