Communicate Blog

Why you should job search even when you love your job

Bridget Maoko - Friday, February 24, 2017

office-home So you love your job, you’re happy! The pay is good and your co-workers are lovely. Leaving your current job and looking for a new one is most probable not in your foreseeable future. But maybe it should be. The only way to truly grow your career now is to think about where you want to be going in the future. Here are reasons why you should job search even when you love your job.

It helps you prepare
Loving your job is all good, feeling appreciated and valued is even better. But your profession is ever evolving and it’s important to know where your industry is headed or you risk being left behind. The skills you had when you were hired might not be as impactful 5 years from now and continuously searching of jobs online can give you an idea of what’s expected of you in the industry and what new skills you might have to learn. For example, you might have to learn how to use a certain software that will help you function better at work.

Backup plan
Anything can happen so it’s best to keep your options open. If you’ve been low-key searching for a job you can easily go back to a list of searches when your company hits a ruff spot or your lovely workplace deteriorate into drudgery. Moreover, when you are employed there is less pressure on you when you job hunt. You still have your current job that you love and it gives you the luxury of choosing to apply solely to jobs that you want and gives you the opportunity to negotiate benefits.

Keep the search discreet
Continue to love your current job, excel in it and keep the search for a new job to yourself. Don’t lose focus on your current job just because you are suddenly job hunting. Don’t post on social media either. You may not have your boss or other seniors online but that doesn't mean they aren't viewing your profile. It’s best not to post anything that indicates you are looking for a job, on the other hand, you might want to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. Recruiters are always looking for new talent online and it can just be the opportunity you are looking for.

Truth is, there’s nothing wrong with job searching while you are still employed and it does not mean you love your job less either. You just have to be strategic about it. What’s important is preparing yourself for the next move and knowing what other professionals in your field are getting up to and what your future employer will expect of you. If you do want to start looking at possible new opportunities, we can help. Communicate Personnel connects Great People with great job opportunities. We can help you plan your career journey that will ensure you realise your ambitions. Contact us today.

Valuing your employees and why it matters

Bridget Maoko - Friday, February 17, 2017

employees Imagine a work environment where what you do is not appreciated, your skills go unnoticed and you could be replaced in a blink of an eye.  Would you work there? Or would you go somewhere else where your hard work is appreciated? In today’s work environment, the notion of “just be grateful you have a job” is a fast ticket to low performance and high turnover. The 21st century employee wants more than benefits and higher salaries!

Zachary Watson, CEO at HoneyCo said: ‘If you're looking to keep an employee by giving them a raise, it's already too late.’  So what do employers do to make sure workers feel appreciated and valued other than the cliché monetary incentive? There are a few creative ways to consider to ensure job satisfaction and productivity. Here are some tips on how to make your employees feel appreciated.

Recognize them as Individuals
No matter how you look at it, it's individuals who make up a team. Managers should be able to recognise an individual within a team. Not all team members deserve a pat on the back for a  project that has been pulled off successfully. Thank everyone, yes! But single out an employee within a group who went the extra mile. Do this with everyone, reward them as a group for good work, but remember, they are individuals first and ought to be appreciated for their input. Do this with care as you don’t want other team members to feel ostracized.  

Help them grow
According to a survey by Glassdoor and Harris Interactive, more applicants—52%—wanted to hear about growth opportunities when interviewing for a job than about any other perk. When you help your employees grow, you empower them. A lot can be done to encourage growth in a dedicated employee, for example, you can:  help them build networks, assign mentors or create a development plan aimed at creating goals that are aligned with your employees skills  and strengths.

Positive work environment
Studies show that employees are 38% more likely to perform above average when they are highly engaged. In order to get the most out of your employees, you have to create a positive work environment for the entire team. This encourages teamwork and communication which in-turn, increases engagement while buffering stress and other negative issues. So basically happy employee equals happy work environment!

It takes two to tango
As much as it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that their employees are engage and enjoy their work on a daily basis, it’s also the responsibility of the employee to want to be engage. ‘’There has to be a deep-seated desire in your heart and mind to participate, to be involved, and to make a difference. If the desire isn’t there, no person or book can plant it within you.” –Tim Clark.

Good employees are the lifeblood of a great company. They understand their value and input in line with the greater picture of the organisation. Corporations whose employees are engaged perform better than companies whose employees are not by over 200%. Investing in your employees well-being is crucial to continue to be competitive in this challenging business environment.

How to improve your relationship with your boss

Bridget Maoko - Friday, February 10, 2017

love Relationship are an important part of our lives. They require nurturing and now and then needs a new spark. Professional relationships are no different, especially with your boss. They take time to develop and can go amiss if not nurtured properly. This may affect your productivity at work if not your entire career.
In this month that’s all about love we focus on positive workplace relationships and offer a few guidelines to help soften your relationship with your boss if it’s between a rock and hard place!

Find a way to connect on a human level
Get to know them! Talk to them on a regular basis and find out what their interests are. This is key to building a strong relationship as it is critical for your success. Bear in mind that like everyone else, they too have bad days - it could be family related or financial. Use that as an opportunity to get closer, ask about the weekend or how the kids are doing without getting too comfortable. This will give you insight on what kind of individual your boss is and enhance relations between the two of you.

Make their goals your priority
After all, this is a professional relationship! And your goal as an employee is to make your boss’ life easier. Find out what’s on their schedule and ask how can you lighten the load.  Understand their overall objectives and align them with yours this ensures that your performance counts towards the success of the overall organization.
Bear in mind that making their goals your priority does not mean sucking up or being false. Keep it as simple as finding out what they are working on and being of assistance.

Understanding their communication style
Different people prefer different mediums of communication. Respect your boss’ preference. If he or she is an email person, adapt to that. If they prefer telephone calls and face-to-face meetings adjust accordingly. Take note if they are over elaborative or seldom get into detail. This includes their management style as well. Observe if they are authoritative, democratic or affiliative. This will help with your behaviour and knowing how to respond appropriately.

To help make it easier you can compile a list of what impresses your boss and what ticks them off, again this will help with how you should behave.  For example, if your boss appreciates you handing an assignment in on time, they probably appreciate everything else being done on time.

Exceed expectations
It’s a good feeling when you can answer your boss’s questions on the spot, without shuffling through piles of paper or telling them that you’ll have to get back to them. But if you really want to exceed expectations, pre-empt the question. Anticipate what they want you to stay on top of, and send them regular updates. By adopting a few simple habits you can show your boss that you are a consistent and dependable member of the team, and who doesn’t want someone like that by their side if the going gets tough?

It’s a two-way street and everyone has something to offer. The healthier the relationship the better satisfaction you will both get from work. Wherever you are in the corporate ladder, your boss is as important as you and it’s to your advantage to get along with them and vice versa.

Guide to successful onboarding

Bridget Maoko - Friday, February 03, 2017

woman holding white board So, you accepted the offer and you got the job. Now the company has to get things off on the right foot by giving you a structured onboarding process.
In a report compiled by SHRM  its stated that employees who goes through a structured onboarding process are 69% more likely to stay with the company for at least three years, in addition to other benefits.

Every new employee has to be boarded properly, be it an employee who is being promoted to a management position or a newly appointed candidate from outside the company. Most companies tend to neglect the former and it’s just as important.  
Here’s what to do on the first few days of bringing in a new employee.

Assign a peer
Select someone from the company who will share information as basic as: where the kitchen is, how to access the phone line, printing machine, lunch room, restrooms, employee mailboxes and even get them lunch. Alternatively, you can assign a mentor who will assist in building confidence, improving retention, encouraging learning and providing career development.

Arrange a staff meeting
Introduce the new hire to the rest of the team. The IT department, HR, finance and other departments they will deal with on a day to day basis. Social media can be incorporated; it will help develop professional relationships with new colleagues. Private one-on-one meetings with the individuals they will work with on a daily basis will also be helpful.

Get them up to speed with existing team dynamics
The biggest challenge for a new employee in any company is understanding the various dynamics of how people work together. Therefore, the new employee will need to have a full understanding of the individuals they’ll be working with or managing. Always remember that open communication is central to good team dynamics and it’s important to share the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the jobs of everyone who will be reporting to the manager.

Management handbook
Send it over on the first day! And anything else that the new employee might need to get an idea of ‘what things are like.’ This could include:
•    History of the company
•    Organization chart
•    Culture—how people work and relate to each other
•    Important policies and how they support the company culture

Meeting with your manager
It’s important that the employee meets with their supervisor early on the first day. This could be through Skype or other effective mediums. During the meeting, discuss day to day requirements and the job description.
it’s also important to discuss goals and sharing tasks for the week and what the next 30 to 90 days in this position will be like. This will make it clear to the employee what is expected of them, what they need to achieve and within what time frame.

The worst thing that can happen is to hire someone and not give them the ‘tools to be successful.’ Studies show that successful companies recognize the importance of onboarding and deem it worthy as it can keep staff engaged and improve long term retention rates. Apply these guidelines and see if they can help.

Road map to hiring Millennials

Bridget Maoko - Friday, January 27, 2017

technology, smartphone By 2020, millennials across the world will make up 75% of the workforce so companies need to position themselves in a way that this generation approves of. In a survey, PwC found that 52% of millennials are willing to choose a position with a company that offers opportunities for growth, and contrary to popular believe this generation values ethics, work-life balance, profitability, diversity and reputation as did their predecessors. So notions like: ‘voluntary turnover is higher among millennials’ are quickly falling away.
If you are hiring millennials there are a number of key issues you need to be cognizance of, like:

Having an online presence
Technology is one of the biggest things that have influenced millennials behavior. This generation is online centric and your company must position itself in a way that will appeal to them.  From interactive websites to active social network pages and even having dedicated platforms for recruiting or engaging with them in topics of their interest.

Offering job flexibility
Studies show that 88 percent of millennials consider their work-life balance when choosing a job. They want to integrate their personal and professional work life together.  They are seeking an overall life balance therefore companies will have to provide more flexibility in their work life. The good news is, this may lead to higher productivity as people tend to be happier if they choose the hours they are comfortable with.

Hiring leaders and not managers
Goodbye micromanagement! According to research done by Deloitte it is said that millennials are looking for leaders who place the most emphasis on employees well-being, growth, and development, instead of controlling the work experience of each employee. A manager who focuses on control, delegation and profits in no longer needed but a leader who focuses on vision, engagement, big ideas, empowerment, innovation, and transformation is much needed.

Instant feedback
Millennials are used to feedback, and lots of it. Consider the fact that they are digital natives and having grown up with computers and the internet they are accustomed to instant feedback, so instructing them on what to do is not enough. They want to know why you want them to do it and how it serves the bigger picture.

This being the start of a new year, most companies will be bringing in new talent in the first quarter, graduates being on the list.  It’s important that the work place must be compatible to the needs of these modern-technology driven individuals in order to do a better job of retaining them.

Recognizing what motivates them, what doesn’t, and the subtle balance between the two will go a long way for organization in keeping millennials from frequently searching for the next job.  

The importance of setting Career Goals

Bridget Maoko - Friday, January 20, 2017

goals People tend to shrug their shoulders when you tell them about setting career goals but little do they know that setting these goals, be it long term or short term, professional or personal can give one the necessary motivation to achieve these goal.  Psychologists and neurologists, say that our brains treat failure to achieve our goals the same way it treats the loss of a valued possession, up until that goal is archived. So setting up your goal will drive you to work towards accomplishing it.

A Harvard Business study discovered noteworthy statistics relating to goal setting and success. It indicated that:

•    83% of the population does not have goals
•    14% have a plan in mind, but are unwritten goals
•    3% have goals written down

The study found that the 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. The 3% with written goals are 3 times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals.

Ten years later, they interviewed the members of the class once again.
•    The 14% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 83% who had no goals at all
•    More shocking, the 3% with clear, written goals were making ten times as much as the other 97% put together!

Assuming that we all set goals, here’s the key to setting clear achievable career goals.

Write it down
Writing a goal down forces you to be clear and specific about what you want. A study found that, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing it down. Written goals are easy to measure and pushes you to openly define what your goals are, they become concrete and real. With the busy lives we lead it can be difficult to remember everything so writing it down will actually come in handy.

Plan of action
Turning a theoretical goal into reality requires an action plan. An action plan allows you to break each goal down into sub-goals which you can then put into a timeframe. The timeframe then allows you to measure your progress to the bone this will also help you define the resources, time and money you'll need to invest in order to achieve your goal. So break down your plan into steps and attach a realistic deadline to each step.

Measuring progress
Setting goals enables you to measure their progress, and to determine the level of success. The idea that you know you are making good progress will give you the drive needed to see the goal through. Being able to measure progress encourages you to stick with your goal. And if you are making good progress, your confidence is bound to grow along with your motivation.

Research has proven than 50% of people who actually write down their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who don’t and further states that goals 'held' in the mind are more likely to be mixed-up with the other 1500 thoughts per minute that the average human being experiences, making writing goals even more vital!
Without goals, you subject yourself to default set of actions that keep you feeling safe and comfortable every day but this default stands in the way of your growth goal setting is critical.  So go ahead, set your career goals now! Take some time out and see how meaningful they can be.

If your career goal for this year is to look for other job opportunities, we can assist.


How a mentor can fast track your career

Bridget Maoko - Friday, January 13, 2017

mentor Throughout your career, you will meet plenty of people you would like to turn to for advice and that’s a natural progression of growth. Athletes, for example have coaches that guide them every step of the way and by being strategic in developing your career you can identifying a good coach or mentor who can help you nurture your career path.

Great mentors or career coaches if you like, can provide intangible resources that mentees do not have due to their lack of experience. They also challenge you to think in way you never imaged before. Studies have shown that most successful people have had a mentor and are more likely to succeed. Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs as his mentor, and Oprah Winfrey had Maya Angelo. If you allow mentors to strengthen their experience with yours, you’ll be able to operate astutely than you would on your own.
Here are reasons why you should get a mentor.

Mentors can be an important foundation of your career. A great coach will assist you with your success, aligned with your best interest and focused on helping you be the best you can be. As a mentee you need to cultivate a good relationship between you and your mentor, let the relationship grow organically. Share your goals and major careers decisions with your coach.

Wealth of knowledge
Tapping into a mentor’s wealth of knowledge can speed up your growth process and broaden your spectrum. Assuming you’ll choose someone who has been in the industry munch longer that you have and of course more affluent than you. You can avoid pitfalls and solve problems in a sophisticated manner. Draw from their knowledge and use it to your benefit, after all that’s the purpose of having a mentor.

Constructive criticism  
Take it like a champion. Remember the benefits of getting feedback. Allow them to be honest with you as this is the only way to grow. Express appreciation even if you don’t agree with your coach. Rather ask questions to deconstruct the feedback but always remember  that mentors have been there, right where you are, and have made numerous mistakes that they can now use as a basis for helping you to skip the devastating effects of not knowing.

Stimulate growth
The primary goal of having a mentor is to grow in a sense that you wouldn’t on your own. According to a recent survey 88% of business owners with a mentor say that having one is invaluable. Confirming the importance of mentor. This can have a positive impact on your career as you will not only grow faster but you will also be interested in learning new skills that can lend you a promotion or help you land a new client.

The beauty about having someone as a guide or coach for your career is that most of them are driven by the satisfaction of helping others (you) and expect no monetary rewards from the engagement. Forging a relationship of this magnitude is solely to the benefit of your growth and career development.

A mentor will give you personalized advice which is much better than general career advice you can get on the internet. Consider getting one and observe how they can impact your career in 2017.

Holiday Season Challenges in the office

Sandra Olivier - Monday, December 19, 2016

needle in a haystackWe all know that in South Africa the December holiday season is typically a time when the whole country slows down this is also true in terms of hiring. But, it does offer you the opportunity to take advantage of less competition for available jobs and to spend time on career planning. However if you are only focusing on  surviving the holiday season, navigating holiday office etiquette, or dealing with the stress the holidays can bring, we’ve put together some advice for you:

Reasonable Holiday Gift giving
In some companies people can get so excited about the holiday season that everyone exchanges gifts. In the current economy, this can get way out of hand and cause unnecessary financial burdens. The best way to deal with this is to start a secret Santa or secret gift exchange, where you only have to buy one gift. That way everybody receives a gift without having to break the bank. It will also help to set a specific reasonable price range for the gifts and to stick with it.

What to do with all that food?
This is probable one of the biggest challenges during the holiday season, as it feels like there is just food everywhere. It’s hard not to constantly indulge in these wonderful treats and stick to a balanced diet. It’s a good idea to try and arrange a schedule with co-workers to allow everybody to bring treats but also make sure that it’s on different days. We all know that January can be a very long month so be sure to stick those non-perishable client gifts in the cupboard for next year, everybody will enjoy it so much more!

Avoid those office party blunders
Office parties offer a great opportunity to network with co-workers and get to know people you don’t necessarily see every day. Unfortunately, people also manage to ruin their professional reputation. Parties should be fun but remember that you still have to work with these people afterwards.

So whatever you get up to this holiday season, we hope it’s a stress free time!

Mission: How to be successful in finding a new job

Sandra Olivier - Friday, December 09, 2016

fighter jet“I feel the need – the need for speed” the now famous words of Tom Cruise in my all-time favourite movie Top Gun. It is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again. This film which came out in 1986 really captures the essence of the 80s and who can ever forget leading man Tom Cruise and the ever gorgeous Kelly McGillis. All of a sudden everybody wanted to be a fighter pilot when they grow up. I’ve seen the movie more than a dozen times but only recently realised that, as in the movie, finding a new job requires a sound strategy and level head to ensure you grab the opportunities presented as you navigate your way to the top of the corporate ladder.

Let go of the past
For days after the death of Goose, Maverick was in a mental wasteland. He refused to engage, even though he knew his life and others depended on it. Without letting go of the past, we cannot forge ahead into the future.

The same strategy applies when you are looking for a new job. Hopes are raised and expectations accelerated when we go through several rounds of interviews with a potential employer only to be brought right back to earth when we are told that we have not been selected. The blow is doubly hard if it’s a position that we really fancy. But the best advice is to let go of the past and just move on to the next. You will find your fit.

Practice makes perfect

If there is one thing that Goose and Maverick learn early on, it’s no matter how good they think they will do, the only way to really test their skills and make sure they are prepared for the real thing is to practice.

The biggest oversight in interviewing is not being fully prepared. Understand that interviewing is a skill and preparation can make the difference between getting an offer and getting rejected. It is important to clearly identify your competencies, interests, values, and accomplishments;  these are sure to be topics that will be discussed. When you are trying to work out the suitable answers to the interviewer’s questions, you will also want to practice getting your nerves under control.

Before every mission the Top Gun pilots gather for a briefing. During this time the strategy is outlined for how the mission will be approached in order to ensure they are successful. When going for an interview using the same approach can be useful.

In order to reduce unnecessary stress on the day of your interview decide on a strategy beforehand. It’s important to know how long the interview will last; will it be a panel interview or not? What time will the interview take place, do you need to account for traffic? Most important of all make sure you have a solid reason for being out of the office. The worst thing ever is to be called into an unplanned meeting right before you are due to leave for your interview.


Maximizing your LinkedIn profile

Bridget Maoko - Friday, November 18, 2016

linkedin logo The rise of social media has made it easy for individuals to connect with professionals around the globe. LinkedIn is no exception. They have 450 million users around the world and 100 million of those access the site on a monthly basis.  If you want to maximize your presence on this platform here are 4 guidelines: 

Make your profile count
It’s the first thing people look at when they visit your profile therefore it’s important to have a well written and compelling LinkedIn summary coupled with a good profile photo.  The easier your profile reads and highlights your accomplishments the better it reflects on you and your capabilities.

You can also export your profile to Word or PDF to use for your career marketing activities. Best of all, you can create your own website from your LinkedIn account. Platforms like allows you to import and customize your profile to boost your digital visibility.

Custom URL
LinkedIn is not only an excellent way of being found, it is also an excellent way for recruiters or people you may have met before to look you up. LinkedIn has good ranking on Google so customize your URL. Share it on your email signature, business card and websites. Use it as an opportunity to advertise your skills and professional self.

Active profile
Keep an active profile, this will help you create brand presence and present yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field of interest. Let every post be a reminder that you are keeping abreast with industry news.  You can include your awards, presentations and projects that you are currently working on - not to mention photos, videos, links and shared content.

Call to Action
People need to know the next steps in connecting with you, and your LinkedIn profile should offer at least one such next step. Make it simple. Make it impossible to miss. Make it easy to take. Spell out to your network or visitors what you’re looking to accomplish, and what you’d like for them to do next. If you don’t give people a clear call to action, they won’t know what to do with the information, insights or intelligence you have provided or hinted at.

LinkedIn is the ultimate personal branding tool, if used well it can serve more than just as a social networking site, it can boost your career.  So go ahead and improve on your profile, position yourself as an expert and enjoy the opportunities this platform brings.

Ready to take your career to the next level? Then look no further! Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency and we would love to be part of your career development. We have Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Follow this direct link to our vacancy page and apply now!