Communicate Blog

Negotiating Your Worth

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Salary ScaleNegotiating a salary increase can be a sensitive subject for many. We may want or even need more money, but I don’t know anyone who gets eager about having to ask for it. Not speaking up for yourself could cause regrets, so take that risk and ask for a raise, the worst thing that could happen is that you can get “no” as an answer.

Remember that you are negotiating a salary increase, not demanding one. So before you go in guns blazing, consider asking yourself “what value do I add to the company? Some companies may feel that it's easier and cheaper to replace you than to give you a pay raise. You need to point out exactly what value you add to the organization. A good time to start the discussion with your boss would be after a period that you have consistently delivered excellent results. Highlight any latest skills and experience to show you have grown in the role.

Use these two key points to guide you into your deal.

1. Think about future potential and not past performance
From a company’s perspective, the only reason to be paid more is because you will deliver more in the future. If you’re asking for a pay raise, don’t make it about how hard you’ve worked in the past, your personal situation (new house payment etc.) or comparing what others are getting paid in your position. Talk instead about what you can do, and what your plans are for the future that will benefit the company.

2. Be prepared for a “no”
As long as you ask in a non-offensive manner, and at a good time, the worst you can hear is “no.” Be prepared for it, and don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Remember that a “no” isn’t forever. Ask when would be a good time to re-examine the issue, and follow up. A “no” now can be a concrete “yes” later. And you will have laid an important foundation for future salary negations.

Mistakes to avoid when negotiating a raise

Don’t give an ultimatum
Never threaten your manager with another offer or a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ attitude. Don’t put your boss on the defensive, put her at ease. You may want a raise, but it’s also about the contribution you make to the company. Treat the negotiation as a conversation in which you are interested in hearing about her thoughts. Understanding the companies wants and needs will give you the edge in any negotiation.

Negations takes time
The most important to remember is to be patient in your negations. Discussions about a raise will not necessarily be concluded in one meeting. Be prepared that your company might not be in a positions right this minute, but by starting this conversation for the negations you are ensuring your boss what your value to the company is. Who knows, you might get to run the next big project for your company.
Don’t think about, hope for or plan on getting the raise. Focus instead on what you can control, like your behavior during the negotiation? If you are focused on getting your employer to say yes to your raise, then you are not focused on what she’s saying to you in that moment.

Being calm, staying in the moment, controlling your emotions, asking pointed questions and listening carefully to your boss’s responses will help you stay focused on what you can control in any negotiation your behavior and actions. The above tips will help you avoid the worst mistakes most amateur negotiators make, and you will be more likely to get the best possible deal in your next negotiation.

Is your current job not giving you room to grow? Do you feel that it is time you broaden your possibilities? Let us help! Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency with extraordinary consultants who will match your skills with the relevant job.  We have career opportunities which include Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply now!

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Bulletproof Your Career

Mallisa Watson - Monday, March 31, 2014

Police ShieldNot too long ago, climbing the corporate ladder assured management professionals of a bigger office, a couple of extra zero’s to their paycheck and a more secure future. However today, executives are being told not to get too comfortable in that corner office– because your job is just as at risk as everyone else’s. The higher up the ladder you go, the more unstable your position may become.

The world of business is reshuffling itself. Today most senior workers grow disengaged when companies don’t operate like they did 10 years ago.

The ultimate goal of change management is to engage employees and encourage their adoption of a new way of doing their jobs. Whether it is a process, system, job role or organizational structure change a project is only successful if individual employees adapt to the current job market. This is the essence of change management - mobilizing the individual change necessary for an initiative to be successful and to deliver value to the organization.

Bulletproof your job with these four simple strategies which may save you from your worst enemy at work, which just so happens to be you.

Be visible. Be easy. Be useful. Be ready!

Be visible
Familiarity is your powerful collaborator in building relationships. If you can't see your boss regularly due to travel or location, stay visible by phone and email. This is not the same as meeting in person but much better than fading from memory.

You also want to be on the radar of people outside your organization. Update your profile on LinkedIn on a regular basis. Connect with people who have the potential to hire you or recommend you to people who can hire you. You should also do this even when you’re not in the market for a new job opportunity.

Be easy
You can also be pro-actively easy. Being reliable, for example, is an old-school way to bulletproof yourself. Do what you say you're going to do every single time. No excuses, no dog ate your homework, no computer crashes. If your boss knows without a doubt that he can depend on you, day-to-day as well as in an emergency, you will get a pass on the pink slip.

Be useful
Just do what is expected from you and more! The bigger the role you play in the key stuff and getting it done at work, the more fundamental value you will be to your company. There are countless ways to go above and beyond.

Be ready
Being ready is the biggest favor you can do for yourself during good times or bad. Having an up-to-the minute resume gives you confidence that you're prepared for any possibility. And that confidence makes you seem more capable, more valuable, more of a keeper when layoffs are in the air. I also advise people to go out of their way to help the people in their network. When you're known as someone who's always willing to help, when the time comes, others will be just as eager to help you.

You should also prepare for opportunities by improving your skills, strengthening your weaknesses and learning totally new things.

More good news: If you seek-out the right support and influence vital resources like those mentioned above, you may actually be thankful for the experience of going through transition – ultimately finding a career or landing a job that will be a much better ‘fit’ than those you’ve previously had.

Are you ready to take the next step up the ladder in your career?

We have Finance jobs in accounting, auditing, taxation, and corporate finance jobs. A variety of IT jobs ranging from developers to architects, consultants in CRM and ERP, through to project managers, systems engineers BI and BA. Engineering jobs in industries like civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, engineering sales, production and trade. Supply Chain jobs as well as Freight jobs in procurement, production, logistics, freight as well as warehousing and distribution.

Visit our vacancy page and apply today!

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Failure the road to career success

Sandra Olivier - Monday, March 24, 2014

falling over failure blocksWe’ve all been there, we are talking about those moments when live gives you lemons and there is no lemonade squeezer. You’re not alone, nor should you be afraid or despondent if you find yourself in the position of not landing the job you wanted or missing out on a career opportunity. Fear is the greatest paralyzer. It keeps many people from experimenting, taking risks, or even stretching a little further than their own comfort zones at work or even in making career transitions.

However, for many failure turned out to be the beginning of their stories, not the end. Failure redirected them to triumph in some vital part of their lives. They took the blow, felt awful, and then not only found a way to learn from the mess but ended up in a far better place.

Eduardo Zanatta takes a  look at how to take a different approach to failure and gives some insightful ways to use your failures to reach success.

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 vacancies which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

Career Advice: Everyday leadership

Sandra Olivier - Monday, March 10, 2014

time for leadership message Great leaders are often all around us. Very often, it is people closest to us who are doing great deeds with little means.

In the workplace leadership often gets confused with management but although they go hand in hand they are not the same thing. We can all be leaders in everyday situations and this experience can assist you in your career development. Drew Dudley gives an inspirational talk during a Ted event explaining how we've made leadership into something beyond us, about saving the world. But the seeds of greatness exist in any of us who strive to lead, even in the most modest undertakings.

Did Drew give you some inspiration to lead your everyday life into a purpose-filled life? We all have powerful leadership abilities, it’s all about changing your perspective on leadership. The instant you realize that your simplest actions can have far-reaching effects you understand that you can influence others.

So, are you an everyday leader that is ready to take the next step up the ladder in your career? We have Finance jobs in accounting, auditing, taxation, and corporate finance jobs. A variety of IT jobs ranging from developers to architects, consultants in CRM and ERP, through to project managers, systems engineers BI and BA. Engineering jobs in industries like civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, engineering sales, production and trade. Supply Chain jobs as well as Freight jobs in procurement, production, logistics, freight as well as warehousing and distribution. Contact us today to apply!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

Unleash your employees’ super powers

Mallisa Watson - Monday, March 03, 2014

super heroOver the years, I've had the opportunity to work under several managers and I observed the different styles of leadership each of them brought to the position. Some of them demonstrated to be textbook examples of how not to lead a team while others were just average. But nonetheless competent in the managerial role. Then there were those rare few who were helpful in teaching you how one should approach the role of leadership.

Unfortunately, a good number of leaders manage their teams by focusing on their employees' weaknesses, instead of looking more at those areas that their employees need to work on or improve, in order to better their job performance.

Employees can't shoot spider webs from their wrists or leap tall buildings in a single bound. What they do have, though, are exclusive talent and skills that can prove to be vital to your company's future growth and stability. Aren’t you a little curious as to which leadership category you fall into? Put yourself to the test!

Write a list of your eight go-getter employees. Not the superstars and not the foot-draggers, but people who come in everyday, do what they are suppose to do, meeting deadlines and constantly gives you great results. Now take a look at that list, and take a minute to think about each of those eight people. What percent of their potential do you think they are delivering at work? Can you imagine them taking their performance up a notch or two?  What would that mean for your organization’s end results?

It would mean a lot! So why not rethink retaining your employee’s talent that shows up every day? Let us give you a hand in that!

Unleashing career potential matters
Great leaders inspire people and find ways to unleash their hidden power. And from that success, satisfaction, energy, innovation follows not forgetting profits and a better workplace culture.

The key to unleashing their potential is to reach people on an emotional level. To find their passion, what they love, what excites them, what turns work into something closer to having fun.

Discover ‘employee power’
Select one of those eight employees on your list. Schedule a talk with this individual.  It should be more of a casual chat than a formal thing but keep it professional of course.  Find out what this person likes about their job and what they like least. Some people, for example, love social media and are able to use it as an amazing work tool. Other people consider it a task or a disruption from the work they enjoy and would prefer spending more time on.

Knotting in skills and strengths 
After the meeting, if at all possible tweak the job so that the focus is firmly on what your employees loves and where their passions lay. Cut out anything irrelevant. Make it clear that your employees own this new job description. This means if they fail maybe they are not truly cut out for this particular role choice. Just try it.

Surely, no job can be all exciting and fun all the time, and all employees’ even stars that walks into work with the biggest smile on their faces every day - have to spend at least some time on stuff that’s a drag or boring. We’re not going to create a perfect world of work.  But we can get a whole lot closer. This is about unleashing that extra percentage that will cause employee and your company’s happiness and performance to go through the ceiling.

Seeing power takeoff
Watch what happens with that first employee. I’ll bet you anything you will see this person reach new heights of performance, and quickly also. Why? Because you have made this person a partner in their own work life. You tapped into what they like to do. And you’ve made solid changes to a job that shows your respect and commitment to your employee’s business success and career future.

One more thing is that you’ve unleashed some of your own untapped power as a leader.

We understand how difficult it can be to find ideal individuals with top skills that will grow your organization. But we are masters at sourcing that person and matching them to your company culture. Get in contact with one of our consultants for more information.

We also specialize in Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Visit our vacancy page and apply today!


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Credit: by Jeroen van Oostrom

Time to get S.M.A.R.T. in your career

Mallisa Watson - Monday, February 17, 2014

goals puzzle showing aspiration targetsToday’s workplace demands multitasking, managing an overloaded work schedule and producing high quantity results. Somewhere along the way the goal of you having to enjoy your work environment and delivering those great results, seems to be lost at sea.

As a result, you probably feel more pressure than ever before. But do not let anxiety get the best of you, we have got some tips to help regain motivation, build self-confidence and help reduce work related stress in your career.

It’s great to set goals, but you won’t get very far in achieving them if they aren’t realistic and detailed. Thankfully, we have found a simple framework to help you to set your goals called the S.M.A.R.T. plan!

Let me break it down for you:
The more defined and specific a goal is the the easier that you will have a good idea of the progress you are making.

Ask yourself the six W questions: Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why? Instead of setting the goal of learning how to use Microsoft Excel, which is too vague, turn it into something like “I want to learn how to use formulas and pivot tables.”

There has to be a measurable element to each goal one sets so that you can track progress towards this goal. This will give you more of an idea how much time and effort you need to put in to accomplish your goal.

Is it safe to assume that you can actually achieve the end result you are looking for?
Sure, it’s easy to learn how to draw tables on Microsoft Excel, but it would be much less realistic to assume you’ll learn fifty other things and remember them.

It is important to ask yourself the question of whether or not you are willing and able to achieve whatever goal you have set for yourself. Set a goal that will challenge and force you to reach and draws upon more motivational power that is easy.

Give yourself a reasonable deadline to stay on track. Make sure you assign every goal a specific completion date “I want to start a new job by March.”

Setting your SMART goals
Setting goals is more than deciding what you want to do. That’s only the first step, like picking a destination on a map. To be more successful, you need map out how you will reach your destination and figure out how long it will take you to get there. Now you have the fundamentals of successful goal setting. Keep the SMART acronym in mind to help you remember the basics. The next step is translating this process to fit your needs.

So, I’ll ask again: What do you want to get out of your career? Do you now have a better idea after using the smart method to set your goals?

Let us know what your goals are in the comment box below.

If your goal is to find a new job, we can help!

We have Finance jobs in accounting, auditing, taxation, and corporate finance jobs. A variety of IT jobs ranging from developers to architects, consultants in CRM and ERP, through to project managers, systems engineers BI and BA. Engineering jobs in industries like civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, engineering sales, production and trade. Supply Chain jobs as well as Freight jobs in procurement, production, logistics, freight as well as warehousing and distribution.

Apply directly online or contact one of our branches today!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

6 Ways to Manage Up

Mallisa Watson - Monday, January 27, 2014

leader with idea light bulb headManaging up’ is the best approach for getting more exciting projects, more responsibility and new opportunities. Some people think ‘managing up’ is being a people pleaser, but in fact, a lot of it is about advancing the team performance.

It is about you caring for your team, the goals you want to accomplish and improving the work environment. Here are six ways to make that happen:

Know what matters to your boss
If your manager is a numbers person then calculate all your results. Know which numbers matter most. If your manger is a ‘customer-comes-first’ kind of guy, frame all your results in terms of benefits to the customers. Make sure you understand the goals you and your team have set and matter to your boss.

Say no
Say yes to the things that matter most to your manager. Say no to everything else and your manager will appreciate that you are focused on the team’s objectives. Bear in mind that your boss doesn’t always know everything you’ve got on your plate. If you do get roped into other projects, make sure you prioritize your teams work.

Discuss upfront with you manager the best way to communicate. The generation gap in many organizations means it’s necessary to establish a communication platform that everybody is comfortable with. Manager baby boomers might prefer more face to face communication, while Gen -Y leans more toward digital communication.  Make sure everybody agrees on the best way to ensure good communication within the team.

Highlight the team accomplishments
Each time you do something that impacts the company, let your manager know. Send a congratulation e-mail to your team and copy the management team if big projects went through. This not only draws attention to your team success but also to your leadership skills and will reflect positively on your manager.

Look for new responsibilities
Find important gaps in your department before your manager notice them. Take responsibility for filling those cracks and your manager will appreciate not only your foresight, but also your ability to do more than your job. Make sure your official job duties don’t lack while taking on more.

Be interested
Remember to make time to read and listen to the latest news in your industry. Then ask relevant questions. You will make yourself more knowledgeable to be around, and you will bring forth fresh ideas to projects. Your manager will feel like having you on the team improves everyone’s work, even his own.

If you feel like your current job isn’t allowing you to ‘manage up’ and develop your skills, let us help you climb your career ladder.

Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding an exciting new job, whether it’s  Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Effective job hunting tips for the new year

Mallisa Watson - Monday, January 20, 2014

jobs on laptop shows online application or hiringJob hunting can be time consuming. Sure you’ve got all the necessary skills and have been applying for a number of months and keep getting rejected or you can’t even seem to get an interview. Let us help you!

Some of the below may seem obvious but those joint with the things you haven’t thought of could be the key difference to landing your next ideal job!

7 Check points to effective job hunting:

1. Update your CV
Think of your CV as your own personal brand. Would any advertiser release a product without having it checked, double checked and triple checked for perfection and to ensure it was a sparkling representation of who they are? Of course not! This is your chance to shine. Ensure the formatting, clarity of qualifications and relevant experience, spelling and grammar are in check (as a very minimum).

2. Find a good recruitment partner
The right recruitment partner can make all the difference in finding your next job. Do your research; find a recruitment partner who specialises in your field of work for example Communicate Personnel. We are well connected in your industry and will be able to go out to the market on your behalf. Contact us!

3. Listen and ask
One of the most important things in job hunting  is taking all the useful feedback you can get. Listen more than you speak. Ask honest questions about your CV, role expectations, interview performance advice for next time.

4. Follow up, find out, check in
You have been recording each role you apply for and know who you gave a copy of your CV to. Your next move is to follow up. Contact your recruiter one to two weeks after your application has been submitted to follow up on where your CV sits. Should you be unsuccessful for this role, there are bound to be others coming up.

5. Go over your career path
Sometimes, after further discussion, candidates realise that the roles they have been applying for are not actually those which will lead to job fulfillment and keep them passionate throughout their career. Construct your ideal role based on your skills, passions and desired career path. This exercise may change your direction all together.

6. Network
Have a professional profile online like
LinkedIn. Recruiters are using LinkedIn more and more to conduct headhunting drives and if your profile doesn’t catch the eye you could miss out big time. Also, think back to those you’ve worked with and previous managers. Now might be a good time to reconnect and see where they are working and whether they have anything which might be of interest to you.

7. Research industry trends
Often individuals fall behind with regards to industry trends, new versions of technology or practical experience. Keep up with these trends through following relevant blogs, social media, or through speaking with others in the industry. Something which makes you particularly interesting to a future employer is your knowledge around relevant trends, or breaking edge information.

Should you wish to discuss your career opportunities, give us a call today!

Our specialist recruitment consultants will assist you in finding an exciting new job, whether it’s  Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

Fresh ideas for career goals

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Plan A or Plan B Choice Signpost It’s a brand-new year and what I like most about the start of a new year is that you can consider it a blank page .Nothing is written on it yet and you can decide how you want to write the story, where you want the journey to lead, and how many adventures you will have along the way. Rather than making a big resolution with no concrete plan on how to make it happen, take a quick pause to consider what you want to accomplish with the next 300 or so days in your career. Here are some quick tips to help you on your way.

Keep it simple:
Instead of trying to change the world in one day and having an endless string of goals for the year. Keep it simple. Decide on one main thing you want to achieve in the next year and create a detailed picture of the result you would want to accomplish.

Stop procrastinating:
They best way to accomplish tasks are to have a change in perspective. Therefore, stop thinking tomorrow is another day and rather change your outlook to one that focus on the fact that we only have today. Often our biggest obstacle in achieving what we set out to do is our own thinking process. So don’t wait till tomorrow, start today, start now.

Don’t be afraid to try:
Often times fear of failure is keeping us from trying new things, working in a different way or approaching a problem with an unusual solution. It’s important to realise it’s better to have tried and failed than to have never even tried in the first place. Every failure offers an opportunity to learn something new and that failure might just help you to discover the answer to move forward.

Be adaptable:
If there is one thing, you can know for certain it’s that life is filled with uncertainty. The sooner you learn to be flexible and adaptable to situation, the easier it will be for you to stay focused on your goals. Embrace the changes and adjust your own course accordingly along the way, you never know you might just end up achieving more than you ever imagined.

Know your own strengths
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Take a personal inventory. If you want to recognize your strengths, you need other people to hold up a mirror. When you see your reflection through the eyes of those who know you well, you can begin to identify your unique talents. As you discover your strengths, you can structure your goals to play to those strengths.

So this new year don’t think small, shoot for the moon and you might just reach the stars.

If one of your goals this year is to get a new job or a better job than we can assist you in your journey. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

Take a risk in your career

Mallisa Watson - Monday, January 13, 2014

Which wayLooking back on your career and life to date, where do you wish you had been a little daring, trusted in yourself more or have been less doubtful in the chances you took?

Anything come to mind? When I speak to people who have spent years in their current jobs, many tell me that if they could start their career all over again, they would have taken more risks, try new things and spoken up more. In short, they wished they’d been more courageous in the risks they’d taken.  Perhaps you relate.

Often we know what it is we want to do, but we still don’t do it. Why? Because we are naturally risk reluctant and afraid of putting our vulnerability on the line. The status quo, while not particularly satisfying, can seem like an easier, softer, less scary, option. We find it much easier to settle with the status quo, keep our ideas to ourselves and our heads down rather than make a change, take a chance, speak up or engage in “courageous conversations.”

When measuring up whether to take an action that could leave us vulnerable we have an instinctive tendency to underestimate three core elements in assessing risk.

1. We over-estimate the probability of something going wrong
We tend to focus more on what might go wrong – what we might lose or sacrifice – than what might go right.  The reality is that the risk of something not working out is often not near as high as we estimate and the odds of it working out well, are often far better.

2. We underestimate our ability to handle the cost of risk
This goes hand in hand with the above, but is more focused on our capability over all. Too often we let our misgivings about whether we have what it takes to succeed get the better of us. The result is that we often avoid taking on new challenges and pursuing new opportunities. Because we don’t trust adequately in our ability to rise to the challenges they involve.

3. We discount or deny the cost of inaction and sticking with the status quo
We tell ourselves “It’s not that bad” and mislead ourselves with the hope that our circumstances will somehow just get better over time and things will just ‘sort themselves out. We come up with excuses why the “status quo” is safe and sensible. In reality, things that aren’t working out well for us now only tend to get worse over time, not better, and issues remain unaddressed in our careers and tend to grow larger, not smaller.

These three different elements working together helps to explain why so many supposedly smart people find themselves living in such a restricted circle of their potential. Feeling dissatisfied in their careers and living lives they would never have chosen, much less have aspired to.

So how do we overcome our instinct to play it safe in our career and identify which risks are worth taking?  Start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. What would I do if I were being more courageous?
  2. How will inaction cost me one year from now if I do nothing?
  3. Where is my fear of failure causing me to over-estimate the size of risk, under-estimate myself and holding me back from taking a career risk that would serve me?

Whatever answers comes into your mind, take note! They are pointing you to a brighter future that you can only create when you commit to taking bolder, more decisive and courageous actions.

“You are capable of more than you think.” Lao Tsu

How about you take a risk in your career and start your new job search today! We have great Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Contact one of our specialist consultants today to discuss your career opportunities.

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