Communicate Blog

Starting anew in your career

Sandra Olivier - Monday, September 01, 2014

roller coaster track silhouetteAt some point in your career, maybe you too have made the life-altering decision to start anew. We’ve all done it, moved from one company to the next. Let’s face it that first 60 to 90 days are always a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Changing jobs is ranked among the highest stressors in a person’s life. It’s like traveling alone to a foreign country, it's exciting to learn and see new things but also nerve-racking to navigate logistics and interpret an alien language.

You want to start on the right foot, making a positive impression on your new boss and colleagues. We provide you with some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Focus on your core skills
You’ve been hired for your experience and the competencies you bring to the table. So focus on that and you will be able to contribute much sooner, and provide you the needed time to figure out the landscape. 

Learning is part of the process
You might be all excited about your new position and the opportunities available but it’s better to rather spend some time listening and understanding the culture before you make any changes. Especially in the first couple of weeks, make it your goal to listen 90% of the time, and talk 10% of the time.

Finding ‘that person’
There is always one individual at a new job that understands the underbelly and inner workings of a company better than others. This person is well connected and can make miracles happen at the last hour and is most probable part of the back office. The quicker you can track down this ‘go-to’ person, the easier time you will have.

Quick wins help you early on
Leave the “big vision” on the back burner for a while and identify problems that can be tackled in a reasonable period of time and  have solutions that will result in tangible operational and financial improvements. Jumping in and showing progress will kick start your reputation with solid credibility; increasing confidence in your ability to execute and get things done.

Your initial impressions will set the tone for the relationships, culture, and environment for the future in this company and your role – so be sure you make them good ones!

What’s your best advice for starting a new job?

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. We specialise in the sourcing of top candidates in the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight industries, both for permanent and contracting placements throughout South Africa, and the African continent.

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Good Work Relationships Are Key To Your Success

Mallisa Watson - Monday, August 25, 2014

Cartoon Businessman With Right MarkI’ve been in the workforce for some time now and believe me when I tell you that we all have a different way of working and it’s likely that you’ve had strained relationships with your colleagues.  However this doesn’t mean that we are bad employees, it’s simply a fact that we couldn’t get along with every single person in the previous companies we use to work for. We all have to rely on each other to finish reports, close a deal, and there will certainly be cross wires and disagreements.

When arguments starts, many try to disengage- to avoid the person in the office or limit contact to them. That’s all right if your colleague plays a marginal role to your daily routines at work. But if it happens to be your manager or someone in your finance department, ignoring them is a losing strategy. Check out our 4 steps to help you mend a professional relationship that’s gone off track.

Step 1
Recognize that making an effort is worthwhile
Resolving tension will actually aid your own productivity at work. A core view of efficiency is closing open loops. Eliminating unresolved matters that nag at your mind. Just as you can’t rest easy until you respond to that scheduling request, you’ll have a much harder time focusing professionally if you’re constantly in the midst of conflict with your coworkers.

Step 2
Recognize your own faults

It’s easy to diminish your coworker. But you’re almost certainly contributing to the dynamic in some way, as well. Sometimes we tend to focus so much on the negative things we start behaving in ways that could make matters worse. If you think your colleague is too quiet, you may be filling up the airtime in meetings, which encourages them to become even quieter. To get anywhere, you have to understand your role in the situation.

Step 3
Time to press reset

If you independently decide you’re going to rescue your relationship with your colleague, you’re prone to be disappointed.  It has to come from both sides. The minute they fail to respond to a positive approach or yet again demonstrate an irritating behavior, you may end up with the sense that your effort was wasted. Instead, try to make them a partner in your effort. You may want to find a “reason” for the conversation such as the start of a new project which gives you the opportunity to mention the subject.

Step 4
Finally, you need to change the dynamic

Even the best of intentions - including an agreement with your colleague to turn over a new page, can quickly fall apart if you go back to your old ways. In the outcome of a conflict, you should find a tool or method to record what you guys disagreed on, we suggest writing down the transcript. So you can begin to see patterns where you were pushing and he was pulling. Sooner or later, it’s likely that you’ll be able to grasp the big picture of how you’re communicating to each other and areas where you can try something different.

Work relationships can't move forward when they stay stuck in the past. Don't dwell on what happened before or mention the problem again when attempting to repair a professional relationship. Be patient because it takes time. Staying focused on the future and understanding the dynamics of the relationship and making changes to what’s not working. This can lead to positive results in the workplace.

If you are in the market for a new job, let us start a professional relationship today!

We have various Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply chain jobs. Visit our vacancy page and apply here now!

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Steering your career on the path of success

Sandra Olivier - Monday, August 18, 2014

wood steering wheel No matter what your professional goals and visions are, we are all dreaming of success and wanting more. We all aspire to climb to the top of our respective professions but from time to time, we come up against a roadblock. Your climb to the top has little to do with luck, as there are key actions and behaviours that continually pave the way for greater success and expansion.

Stay in control of your own opportunities
The job marketplace has changed dramatically in the past decade. Don’t make the mistake of placing the fate of your career in the hands of your company or boss waiting dutifully for the opportunity to grow or advance your career. You can waste years being bored and frustrated; rather create your own path. While different career strategies work for different people at different times you shouldn’t give control over to anybody hoping they will help you succeed.

Think about what you want to achieve in your professional life and work out strategies to achieve it, whether that be by yourselves, with an open minded boss or a career coach.

Understand how much your time is worth–and don’t give away control of it too easily
At any stage of your career you have a value, a value that is predicated on your knowledge and your experience, your skills and your know-how. We’re in a skills economy, where what you can do for your employer is more important in many fields than what degree you have or how many years you logged in the workplace.

If your company expects you to work 12-hour days, make sure they are paying you for all 12. All work and no play can have a huge impact on your personal live and often times can lead to the divorce court or hospitalisation, fast! Remember – investing time in your family, relaxation, and social life is valuable too, and in the long-term, spending time with your family is worth far more than involving yourself in day-to-day detail at work.

Pay close attention to who is running the show
Great leaders will mentor you and will be a loyal source of employment long after you’ve left. People tend to make decisions on what companies to work for based on the amount of flexi time, unlimited meals, company massages, game rooms and team outings they will have. In the end however, it’s more important to look at the people you are going to work for as they will play a major role in your career during your time with the company. 

Also observe whether the big bosses have similar lifestyles to the one you want for yourself now–and in five or 10 years, if you stay that long.

If you want some assistance in steering your career on the path of success, we can help. Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!

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Frequent job change - good or bad for your career?

Mallisa Watson - Monday, August 11, 2014

Start New Job Calendar Displays Day One In Position Frequent job changing is becoming quite popular nowadays, due to the work environment that is constantly evolving. Companies are now more than ever, looking for employees who are project workers that can get the job done. Soon after workers completed the task, they move on to another job.

When it comes down to it, if you feel that it’s time for you to move on to another job, make a practical move. You don't want to completely deprive yourself from the opportunity to change jobs, however, take your time and consider the effect the change will have on your career. It is important to take a step back, re-evaluate your work patterns and to make sure your next move is the right one for you.

The purpose of this article is to make you alert of the advantages and disadvantages of changing your job too often.

Advantages

New skills and opportunities
If you are an expert in your current field, working in different environments and having had different jobs will certainly develop your knowledge and ability on how other companies work. Being a master of one trait and a jack of many will allow you to know a little of everything. Whether it is changing jobs in the same field or moving into a completely opposite turf, it will surely help you learn new work skills. The main reason individuals move around in between jobs, is because they are looking for better growth opportunities.

Change is good
Doing routine activities will eventually get you to that point where you’re stuck in a pile of boredom. So if you consider changing jobs, it can definitely serve as a good break and it will keep you excited. Not to mention growing your network in the different industries.

A chance to find the right fit
Many people have the tendency to change jobs because they have the desire to find their true position or area of expertise. Through working in different fields you will get exposure to various company cultures and how they do things. Later on you would find the field that is best for you. So when you are finally ready to settle down for several years, you know what you are looking for.

Disadvantages

No job security
If you shift from job-to-job more often, you are showing future employers that there is a high possibility that you will do the same to them. And this will also play against you because you may fall short on the experience factor in a specific skill. This counts a lot in making a long term successful career. Most companies admire loyalty and given that you have been with them for years, this might strengthen your job security with them.

You may damage work relationships
Reference checks are part of the process when you’re job hunting. In an environment where work relationships are more important than ever, gaining experience by frequently changing jobs seriously compromises one’s potential for developing deeper, more reliable contacts that can act as backup in the future.

In conclusion: There are many benefits and downsides to changing jobs - but if you do it for the right reasons and sustain healthy relationships with past employers, the pros should outweigh the cons and you will be seen as a flexible and capable candidate.

If you are looking for your new job adventure, let us help you start your journey!

We are a prominent recruitment company with various Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Visit our website and apply for any relevant opportunity today!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

Using social media in your job hunt

Sandra Olivier - Monday, July 28, 2014

social network backgroundSocial media is a key player in the job search process today. Are you benefiting from the popular social networking tools that have become a rage? Although not everybody agree on this, more and more employers are also using information on social media to evaluate their potential hires. These employers are looking to see your communication skills, professionalism, how well rounded you are and many other skills and assets you may possess.

Find your brand
Professional branding is important for anyone who is job searching or building their career. It's important to create a personal brand that portrays you in a professional light and which provides employers and contacts with a strong positive impression of you as a high-calibre individual who would be an asset to their organization. Keep in mind that what you post online on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are out there for the world to see.

Avoiding social networks all together is not the answer either. The appropriate use of social networks demonstrates an understanding of how business and society interact now, which is particularly important to prove that you are not out-of-touch. It also offers opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, skills and a level of "with-it-ness" necessary in business today.

Search for Information about Hiring Managers
These days almost every large employer is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The internet offers you a wealth of information, use this to your advantage to research companies you would want to work for. Many companies make use of social media to announce job openings and will provide you with useful information about the employers you have targeted.

LinkedIn profile is essential
Many recruiters now use LinkedIn as their primary tool for sourcing candidates, so having a well-written and keyword-rich LinkedIn profile is essential. Make sure your profile reflects your area of expertise and accomplishments. From within LinkedIn you can also join a wide range of professional groups. Apart from linking with professionals in your own field, there are often job opportunities available through these groups, and recruiters join the groups searching for suitable candidates.

Importance of networking
You can’t expect to benefit from social media unless you start to spend time with your contacts genuinely. After all, the contacts that you have are real people. You should be ready to talk to them, discuss important topics with them, respond to their comments etc. Only setting up social media accounts doesn’t bring the benefits you may be looking for.

Online social networking can help to position you for the next phase in your career by enhancing your personal brand and exposing you to opportunities that you might not have come across otherwise. If you do need a hand to get in contact with some of the sought-after companies in the country, we can assist. Communicate Personnel want to assist you in finding a new job. So, make that move and browse through our available vacancies, which include Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs.

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Who’s Keeping Time?

Mallisa Watson - Monday, July 21, 2014

Time Concept What is everyone doing? This is a question you’ll ask once in a blue moon in a traditional work environment.  Technically, it's assumed that everyone is hard at work doing...well, something.  If you show up at 8:00am and stay until 5:00pm, you have met the expectations, or have you?

Most companies still believe the more time you spend at your desk, the more productive you will be. And this method does work for some employees. While other organizations started adapting more flexible working hours. Time management and the balance between your personal and work time could be a challenge. We provide you with some ideas to help you manage it.

Time Management
The hardest part about executing a plan is being disciplined enough that you can actually meet your goals. Every week, your plans & priorities will likely be challenged by something happening at the office.

You need to identify areas of your life where you are wasting time and try to reduce these. A good way to do this is to log everything you do for a week in detail and then examine your record to see how you use (or misuse) your time.

Develop a regular work routine. Keep your work space tidy so that you can work efficiently - it's hard to do this if things you need to find are buried under a pile of paper! Work to schedule so that you meet deadlines in good time - don't leave everything until the last minute. If you have a difficult report to write, start by drafting out the structure first- this will break the ice.

Finding That Balance
Knowing when it is your personal and work time is important. Juggling the demands of each can be difficult. By thinking differently, you can perhaps find ways to have a better balance between work time and personal time.

As your career grows your priorities changes and you need to set them according to your family status, job responsibilities living standard and ambition. The lifestyle of a junior employee is different from a manager and therefore your planning and time management will differ.

Here's the fact of the matter: Until you own your own time and have complete control over how you spend it, goal-setting will always be an important part of showing your worth to your employer.

Our bet is that most of you have great goal-setting tools at your companies, but people aren't actually using them correctly. Goal-setting is not supposed to be just a paper exercise. If you need help in setting up goals, our article “Fresh ideas for career goals” will help you create a career vision statement that inspires and energizes you.

So, are you ready to step up the ladder of success? Well, you’ve come to the right place.  We have Finance jobs in Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, and Corporate Finance jobs. A variety of IT jobs ranging from Developers to CRM and ERP Consultants, through to Project Managers, BI and BA. Engineering jobs in Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and more. Supply Chain jobs as well as Freight jobs in Procurement, Production, Logistics, Warehousing and Distribution just to name a few. Contact us today to apply!


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Mindset of a Champion: Life lessons from Desmond Tutu

Mallisa Watson - Monday, June 30, 2014

Men Lifting We Are The ChampionsThe moment one hears Desmond Mpilo Tutu’s name, the word champion comes to mind. The name resonates strongly with people all around the world. His strong anti-apartheid activism here in South Africa first propelled him into international news media.

At the age of twelve his family moved to Johannesburg. His first jobs were selling peanuts at railroad stations and caddying on a golf course. Desmond Tutu wanted to be a doctor, but lacked the funds to pursue this goal. Instead, he studied to be a school teacher like his father. Despite the difficulty he went through, today he is respected as one of the "moral voices" to end poverty and human rights abuse. Now this is what we call a champion, a big dreamer and an inspiration to the nation.

Each and every one of you are champions, but you got to make that decision. There are 4 truths to having a mindset of a champion. Whether it be like the late Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, people who are champions in their field or profession. These are four truths that each and every one of them have. And today, we are going to talk about them helping you to develop that championship mindset!

1. Commitment 
The first truth, to every champion. Every champion has something called commitment. Staying loyal
 to what you're going to do, long after you've said it. 

2. Discipline

Every champion has a little something called discipline. Tattooing. That's permanent. Tattoo your purpose on your heart, so your actions are in line with your purpose. Every champion gets good at saying no to the things that don't get them their yes. 

3. Consistency

Every champion is consistent. We anchor our actions in greatness, so daily we produce nothing less than our very best. When you are consistent, you become reliable. And when you're reliable, you become trustworthy. And there is nothing better in this world than a trustworthy person, because when you are trustworthy, you are dependable. 

4. Execution
This is the repetition element, building the technique and rehearsing it until it becomes second nature; a task that your subconscious can perform without thought. We have all experienced moments of being “in the zone”. That’s proof enough that through difficult practice our brains naturally understand what to do when presented with certain ‘ups-and-downs’ or circumstances.

So there it is, be a champion, be a success, chase your dreams

If you feel that its time you start making choices that will lead you to greater and better opportunities in your career, this is the place and time to start with your new job search!

We are a prominent recruitment company with various Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs.

Visit our vacancy page and apply for any of our stunning job openings.

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The Challenges of Job hunting while you're employed

Sandra Olivier - Monday, June 23, 2014

overcome challenge difficulty Let’s face it, most of us will be job hunting while we are currently still working. Looking for a job requires a lot of time and effort on your part and it isn't something you should enter into lightly. When you consider that no job is forever, and the fact that the average employee will have between 10 and 15 jobs in a career, it's wise to take action to positively influence your chances to land a new job, even if you don't think you need one right now. That said, job hunting while you’re still working can present its own set of prickly problems.

So what do you do when you've decided it's time to move on? Most of us have been there at some point in our careers. Do you tell your boss or not? How do you handle interviews and references? We offer some advice:

Need to Know Basis
If you don’t want your boss to know that you’re looking for a new job, don’t talk about it to anyone in the office. Talk about it to your spouse, your best friend or your dog. Don’t talk about it to the receptionist or anybody at work.

Don’t use Company Resources or Time
Conducting your job search on company hours is never a good idea. When you are at your current job, it should be your primary focus. Under performing is surely something that will tip off your boss that something is going on with you. It's unethical and not likely something that will get you a great recommendation from your present boss when the time comes.

Schedule Interviews Strategically
Be honest with potential employers about the need for an interview before or after regular business hours. They’ll appreciate the integrity you show by continuing to take your present employment seriously. If they must interview you mid-day, suggest your lunch hour. If that will not work, take a personal or vacation day.

If Time is Limited, Get Help
Because you have a job, your time is limited, so you must be organized and focused. By contacting recruiters who specialize in your field, you can save time and increase contacts. Working with a specialist recruitment agency will provide you with the added benefit that you will have consultants assist with your career search that understand your industry, the unique trends and have experience and a relationship with potential employers.

Job searching while employed full time can be tough. But it’s not all bad. It offers you the opportunity to negotiate salary and time to consider all option without being tempted to take the first offer that comes along just to make the mortgage payment. Job search ethically and you’ll even be able to turn your current manager into a positive future reference.

Looking for success in your career? We can help you untangle the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!

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Workplace: Pay It Forward

Mallisa Watson - Monday, June 02, 2014

Teamwork To SuccessThe initiative is quite easy: When you are the receiver of a good deed, and you can’t exactly pay back the kindness to that same person. You can, however try and pay it forward by doing good deeds to others, preferably strangers, random acts of kindness.

I personally think that the world today is a less human place than it was a few years ago. I felt that it is necessary for me to write about this, just as a good reminder of what the workplace can be if we all have the right point of view towards one another.

Given that paying it forward is normally to be done to strangers, it doesn’t mean that we can’t demonstrate this in the workplace. We’ve come up with a few ideas:

Mentor
If you are more experienced than others around you, help them get up to pace, even if your boss hasn’t asked you to.  A number of experienced people think that the junior staff in the company is some sort of threat to them. But don’t you think that if you help them be better at their job that it may actually increase your value to the company?

Support
Some days are just too much for people in the workplace. If you know that one of your co-workers is struggling with the workload, or seems grumpy, ask what you can do to help. Sometimes sitting quietly and listening to someone voice their feelings can cheer them up. Maintain an awareness of appropriate boundaries.  You are probably closer to some coworkers than others, so if your gut tells you it isn’t appropriate to discuss something, you are probably right. But for those where you can be close, it is an incredible gift to help someone who is emotionally low. You might make their day.

Acknowledge
We take so much for granted at work, including when people are just doing their jobs.  Thank people for little things.  Catch people doing things right, especially if you are in a position to provide feedback when they do something wrong. 

Volunteer
Does a coworker need help on a project, and you have time to help?  Do it. Both of you will feel great and you might pick up a new skill in the process.

Let Go
How many times do we come home and complain to a spouse or a friend about petty things that have gone on during the work day.  When you walk in the next day, do you still hold a grudge, or resent the other person?  Ask yourself if it will matter in a month; in a year; and if not, how long you want to carry it around? The expression “letting go” sounds too much like giving something up to many people, but in fact it is the most empowering thing we can do, it immediately makes room for joy and other positive experiences. And it is always a gift to the other person to. So make that shift, and let go ASAP!

Inclusion
In every single company, you will find the ‘cliques’ and some people who always seem like outsiders?  Take them with you to lunch.  You have no idea what a simple invite can do for a lonely person.

These are everyday things that we should do on a daily basis. If you are lucky, you are in a workplace where people are considerate, and acts of kindness, random or thoughtful, occur on a regular basis. But in many places, we need to think about it just a little to make it happen frequently.

And remember, what goes around, comes around.  People who pay it forward are the recipient of more abundance and joy in their lives, directly and indirectly.

Are you in the market for a new job? We have various Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Visit our website and apply today!

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The Good The Bad and The Ugly Truth about Criticism

Mallisa Watson - Monday, May 26, 2014

Feedback Post-it Note Means Judgement Review And Critics"The trouble with most of us is that we'd rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”
Norman Vincent Peale

I have picked up that most people attach a negative connotation to the word "criticism" because it brings to mind something negative. We all remember being taunted or disapproved of, as children for no plain reason. And those memories often lurk into adulthood. Constructive criticism, given in a considerate manner, can open your eyes and mind to ways you might improve in your workplace - of which can only be beneficial.

Next time you have to give or be on the receiving end of criticism, particularly in the workplace, bear the following in mind:

Environment
No one wants to be told they've done something wrong in public. That leads to embarrassment and humiliation, which are the exact emotions you're trying to avoid by being constructive. Plan ahead and find a private place to talk. Make sure you have plenty of time for a full conversation so it doesn't get cut short.

In terms of the workplace, finding a private spot to evaluate an employee’s job performance is extremely important. By creating a secure environment for the employee, it will make it easier and comfortable for both parties to be open and honest. This shows mutual respect, which in turn will make for a happier and more productive workforce. During the assessment, if any critical points do come up, handle it in such a manner which does not translate to tension. Sharing your own experiences regarding assessments may ease a potentially tense situation, and will build understanding and respect.

Self-assessment
It is all too easy to show aggression if you are not happy with your employee’s performances. Verbally attacking will never have a positive result, and will only cause hostility, resulting in unsolved issues. It is always wise to ask questions which will allow the employee to come to their own conclusions regarding their faults and provides you as a manager a greater understanding of how an employee’s thinking process works. Thus self-examination will then allow you to make decisions based on the employees own assessment, which will create a win-win situation.

Remember as a manager you need to put yourself in the shoes of the employee. But that is easier said than done because we all like to be validated. Some people like it more than others, but everyone wants to be respected and appreciated to some degree. I certainly do! I know that whenever I choose to take a risk and share my work with the world, I wonder about what my friends will think, what my family will think, and how the people around me will see me because of that choice. Will this help my reputation? Will this hurt my reputation? Should I even be worrying about my reputation?

Managing staff with different personalities is difficult. Assessing them is part of the process, but you as the manager need to ensure that the feedback will allow your team to grow.

If you are looking for great staff to add to your team, let us help you! We have Finance jobs in Accounting, Financial Management which are just some of our vacancies. Engineering jobs for Civil Engineers, Water Engineers, Structural Engineers and more. Our IT jobs range from Business Intelligence Specialists, Senior Java Developers, Business Analysts and the list goes on. Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs such as Supply Chain Management, Road Freight Managers, Senior Buyers and so much more.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity, apply now!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles