Communicate Blog

Balancing Personal and Work Life

Mallisa Watson - Monday, October 27, 2014

Life Balance Harmony Meter There is nothing more important than you. Above everything and everyone else around you, you need to make yourself a priority in your own life. Yes, your family, work colleagues and boss rely on you emotionally, financially and professionally and that is why it’s important that you have a balanced personal and work life.

Our bodies and mind can only handle so much work and pressure. Though you enjoy and love what you do, if your work becomes your life you will eventually burn our mentally. And this can lead to you burning professional and personal bridges with the people in your circle. So if you want to prevent this from happening, we have just a few of many ways you can balance out your personal and work life so you can be more effective in both areas in the long run.

First things first
Figure out why you are procrastinating on getting your life balanced out. Once you’ve recognized the reason behind all of it is, you can start by drawing up your blue print and see which areas needs more attention in your life.

Identify the conflicting convictions
It is important that you understand there is a problem when work life and personal life are not balanced. Unless you recognize that the imbalance is a problem, it will not be possible for you to seek equal measures. These are some questions that you could ask yourself if you need a guide.

1. Do you find that you carry more and more work at home, making it a leeway of your office?

2. Can you split your job and home responsibilities?

3. Do you have anytime to pursue your hobbies?

4. Is your work bringing you joy?

5. Are you having a definite career growth plan which is practical in accordance with the path you are presently walking on?

After taking this test, you will have a clear view on where you stand with your personal life. Now we will have a look your work life and what you can do to find that balance.

Understanding your job
Develop a broad perspective. Consider growing yourself by upgrading your skill. Doing that will help you decide if you want to stay in your current field.

1. Know the goals. Knowing why something must be done can be very helpful. Having too much on your plate can be a relieve if you understand the project goals. It is also easier to discuss how to balance tasks if you have the whole picture.

2. Understand expectations. Make sure you understand your job description and what management expects from you. One example of this is after-hours communications. Are employees expected to check e-mail in the evenings or on weekends? Do you have to carry a cell phone just in case they need to contact you? What are the policies covering off-hours? If you take responsibility for meeting communications expectations, you should be able to take time off without feeling guilty afterwards.

Our profession is full of people who have found ways to achieve a balance that works for them, providing career satisfaction and personal fulfillment. It can be done. However finding that balance is key!

So if you are have come to a point where you have your personal life in check but the only thing missing is the ideal job to balance out your life, we can help you with that.

Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobsSupply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

Discovering your Personal Brand

Sandra Olivier - Monday, October 20, 2014

time to discoverLet’s face it we might love the internet, social media and the era of selfie or we might hate it. One thing is for sure that the world is changing and at the heart of the change is technology. You can pretend it’s not happening or you can embrace the change and use it to your advantage especially in building the ultimate career.

In my previous post I looked at the importance of having a personal brand for you career. Because of the internet today, you have a personal brand whether you like it or not. So what does your brand say about you? What do you want it to say? Think about how you show up, how others perceive you, what you know, and what your online profile says about you. The most important job that you have today is to be the President of your own brand.

Here are some easy steps to help you start building your personal brand to further your career:

Find the real you
You need to develop your personal brand in light of who you actually are. Start by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your peers. When you strip away the mask, who are you really, and how can you show up in a way that allows your true authentic self to show through?

Others perception about you
Think about other people and the impressions you are making on colleagues and business associates. Take the time to speak with many different people to understand how they perceive your strengths and then use this information as you create your personal brand. This will help you to get to know yourself through the eyes of others, understand your differentiation, and discern what makes you compelling.

Be known for something
Every good brand involves the notion of expertise. Volkswagen are known as the People’s cars. Apple is the most innovative. Durban is the ‘Surf City’. What do you do better than anyone else? What’s your superpower? To find out, think about what’s innate:  what are you naturally good at? Find what your role is, what you do best or that no one else is doing, and find ways to be innovative in your area of expertise.

Live it
This is probably the hardest part, but will pay off the most in the long term. Act in a manner that consistently and constantly promotes the brand you’ve chosen for yourself. Every time you are in a meeting, at a conference, networking reception or other event, you should be mindful of what others are experiencing about you and what you want others to experience about you. Each of these engagements is similar to a job interview – except in these cases you are being evaluated by your peers. Those who know how to live and manage their personal brand will earn the respect and brand recognition in any situation.

Personal branding is no longer an option; it’s a powerful leadership enabler. In order to reach success you need to know exactly what you stand for in the world, and how to stand apart from others, and communicate that competitive difference with confidence and clarity.

If you are looking to move ahead in your career and need help with getting your personal brand out there to prospective new employers, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will help you connect with new career opportunities, 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: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

Personal Branding, how important is that for your career?

Sandra Olivier - Monday, October 13, 2014

branding written chalckboard In the past few years, personal branding has become more and more important. The difference between today and ten years ago, is the rise of social technologies, the instant access to the internet and the blurring of boundaries between work and personal lives. Personal branding has stepped up to be a key consideration within your career and it is essential to invest time and effort in how you choose to present yourself. It could make the difference between you being very successful or not.

You might not think that you have a personal brand but everyone has one. It’s just that most people don’t really know what their personal brand is saying about them, and few invest any time in building it, enhancing it or leveraging it to support their careers.

How do I identify my personal brand?
There are several steps you can take to identify your personal brand. It all starts with self-assessment, what do you want your reputation to be? It’s about bringing together who you are, what you do and how you do it. It’s about making your mark by being yourself—your best self. Think of your personal brand as your unique promise of value. It's what you're known for and how people experience you.

I am not a celebrity, why do I need a brand?
Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Taylor Swift, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Social media tools have levelled the playing ground and have enabled us to reach incredible heights, at the cost of our time. Employers will Google you before they even invite you to an interview and the reality is your current employer is probably keeping an eye on what you’re doing, too. When you interact with people, both online and offline, they’ll build up an image of who you are over time. You want to be in control of all of those impressions.

What Makes You Unique, Makes You Successful
Personal Branding is about identifying and then communicating what makes you unique and relevant for your employers, so that you can reach your career goals. If you understand your strengths, skills, passions, and values, you can use this information to separate yourself from your competitors and really stand out.

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.

In the next post, I will discuss tips on how to discover and identify your personal brand. So start thinking differently about yourself. You are not defined by you job title or confined for that matter by your job description. If you want to reach your career goals you need to start think about your brand, the Me.Inc brand.

If you need assistance in getting your brand out there to secure you next career opportunity we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding individuals 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: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by KROMKRATHOG

It’s Time For a Brand New You

Mallisa Watson - Monday, October 06, 2014

Under ConstructionDo you find that by the time spring comes around; you have entirely forgotten the goals you have set for yourself at the beginning of the year? If you have lost steam before you’ve made any real progress on your goals, let’s help you do something about it!

You can start by making a list. Revisit the goals you set for this year and figure out which ones mirrors your greatest aspirations. Then, prioritize it and select no more than four goals from your list. If you work toward more than that, you’ll probably accomplish none.

So now with your goal(s) in mind, apply the three actions that are important to developing a brand new you.

Get rid of the clutter
Decide what you need to get rid of. What would get in the way of achieving these goals? This could include an outdated way of thinking that got you where you are today but won’t take you to the next level. Some other examples include:

Toxic people: To achieve your goals, you need the support of inspiring people who easily express gratitude and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Your circle can’t include negative people who take advantage of your time and talent.

Avoid distractions: Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you enjoy doing it. If you find yourself mired in tasks that are easy but not rewarding, you’re not being efficient. In fact, those tasks are draining your energy, distracting you from the talents that energize you.

Time wasters: Are there activities in your day that consume your time without you getting much value out of it? How can you eliminate or do them differently?

Cleaning out the clutter is a hard job. It takes willingness and dedication. It requires a daily conscious effort. We spend way too much of our lives with clutter weighing us down in life and we don't even realize it. Start right now!

Forget your comfort zone, take risks!

In today’s workplace, being safe is risky. But taking risks just for the sake of being an adventurer, can lead to disaster. Taking the right risks is significant. Make a list of the fears that gets in the way of your ability to succeed.

Risks and chances are just opportunities in disguise. To enhance your career and to meet your career goals, you should make sure that you show your dedication and commitment to the people who really matter.

Measure your fears against your goals. Which risks have the greatest payoff, earning you a much better chance of achieving your dream? Achieving a meaningful goal almost always requires that you embrace risk.

Time to take action
Identify which tasks go hand in hand with reaching your goals, and make those activities your priority. Too often, we have too many un-prioritized goals that it’s impossible to know if we’re spending our time wisely. Maybe you didn’t even notice that advancing your career always ends up at the bottom of your to-do list, and as a result never gets done.

Ask yourself this, what are my goals for the upcoming 1 year, 3 years, 5, 10 years?

If you take some time out to set your goals now, I can guarantee you that you will definitely experience more growth as a person and in your career. By just spending a few minutes to clear some aspirations that have been on your mind, you will experience more progress in your life a year from now than compared to if you don’t.

So make the most of this year and start attracting the right kind of career opportunities.

Wishing you a revitalizing and successful spring!

If you are looking for new Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Visit our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Salvatore Vuono

Motivating employees

Sandra Olivier - Thursday, September 25, 2014

positive thinkingIt's a tough time of year for employers who are struggling to motivate their employees. Unfortunately, motivating people is far from an exact science. There's no secret formula, no set calculation, no work sheet to fill out. In fact, motivation can be as individual as the employees who work for you.

Motivation is about moving people to act in a way that achieves a specific and immediate goal. Although each employee is different, I've done some research and have found a few useful ideas.

Processes are important
Setting clear expectations and processes to reach a specific goal is a great way to motivate employees and keep them on track. It’s important that employees understand the bigger picture and how their tasks fit into the overall results. Sometimes teams procrastinate because they don’t think it would affect others in putting off certain tasks. Little do they know that what seems irrelevant to them is actually a cornerstone for your next steps and that a project might not be able to move forward until they finish that step. You might need to explain the chain of events that are necessary to accomplish the big goals. No step is unimportant.

Give employees time to socialise
During crunch times we are often reluctant to take time out for socialising as we don’t want to break the team moment or think we don’t have the time to waste on this. However, often times this is exactly what your employees need to get re-energized. Create mandatory social events where employees may get to know one another, especially if teamwork is vital for the business. The key is to do something fun, no matter how small, on a regular basis.

Make Employees Part Of The Solution
Employees need to be involved. Empowering employees to make decisions about their work and to solve day-to-day problems demonstrates your confidence in them and motivates them to live up to your expectations. International bestselling author Paul McGee also has some interesting ideas around the motivation of staff.

If you are in need of some assistance with your recruitment efforts, we can help. Communicate Personnel represents a range of exclusive, skilled candidates across all levels of the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight sectors. Contact us today.

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by KROMKRATHOG

Management: Decision Making

Mallisa Watson - Monday, September 22, 2014

Time To Decide Indicates Indecisive Uncertain And UndecidedEach day we are faced with situations in life that require us to make choices.  Some of these choices are easy, and at times, some of them can be difficult. The ‘responsibility list’ for managers seems to get longer and more difficult, day by day.

There are some pretty understandable reasons why decision making is not always easy, management often struggle with this process and takes the most strain. They are afraid of being wrong. There are costs with being wrong like getting fired or not getting a promotion. They might put one of their employee’s jobs on the line

But decisions still need to be made. Dragging this process out will have a negative impact on your team. On top of that, the slow pace of finding the middle ground exposes us to the rapid speed of today’s business environment. 

So how can you as a manager get out of the slow paced environment in which you are now?  It’s actually pretty easy.

Identify the decision and the goal
One of the most effective decision making strategies is to keep an eye on your goal.  This simply means identifying the purpose of your decision by asking yourself what exactly is the problem that needs to be solved? And why does this problem need to be solved?

Figuring out what’s most important to you will help you make good decisions.  When you know the reason why you have been making a particular decision; it will better serve you in staying with it, and defending it.

Calculate the risks…then take them
Every decision has risks. Unfortunately you need to gather as much information as possible and reduce every risk that you can think of. That information gathering takes time and effort.  All too often one doesn’t calculate the cost of getting it because many times the value of it is less than the cost of obtaining it. You need to weigh the balance between risk and facts and when you have enough data to be reasonably comfortable, make the call and take the risk.

Measure and adjust
Once you’ve taken the risk and implemented your decision, your next step would be to measure and monitor the results of your choice.  It’s important to know that many times you can go back and change your decision.  Often that is the right choice to make but you rarely do so.  Why?  Because that requires you to admit that you made the wrong decision the first time around.  Pride will destroy your organization. If you made a bad call but now know what the right call is, make the right call and move forward. Understand why you made the wrong decision the first time and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again.  Don’t let your ego and pride lead you to follow a path you know is wrong just so you don’t have to admit you messed up.

Of course, it’s easy to see the carelessness of management at times, and no one can make the right decision all the time.  But maybe it's necessary for each individual who has the “power” of making important calls for the company to approach decisions with a little more curiosity, a little more open-mindedness, and a little less certainty about the rightness of their position.

If you feel that you are the ideal manager but your current job is not allowing you to shine, maybe it’s time for a new one. We have Finance jobs in Accounting, Auditing, Taxation and Corporate finance jobs. A variety of IT jobs ranging from Developers to Architects and BI or BA. Engineering jobs in industries like Civil, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic. Supply Chain jobs as well as Freight jobs in Procurement, Production, Logistics, Freight as well as Warehousing and Distribution. Contact us and apply today.

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Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles

Revamping your resume can help your career search

Mallisa Watson - Monday, September 15, 2014

Cartoon Happy Businessman With Thumb Up Spring is here at last! One gets the urge to clean out closets, wash windows and tidy up the yard. It’s also a great time to apply the same concepts to your job search, more particularly focusing on cleaning up your resume.

Your resume is the first and most important impression of who you are. Take pride in that and use it to portray why you’re the best candidate for the job. If your resume is confusing and overloaded with information, people will assume that you aren’t entirely sure what you do or what you want to do. Don’t make that mistake. Use your resume like a targeted arrow by clearly pinpointing what makes you suitable. Here are some tips:

  • Ensure your resume communicates your career objectives with a descriptive headline. If you’re moving from one department to another within the same industry, be sure to clearly define this.

  • Avoid the fancy layout, font and other special effects. Stick to traditional font of Times New Roman, 9 to 12 point size and keep it black and white. You might try a different type size for your name and the companies you have worked for, perhaps your title. But try to be consistent. Go easy on using bold type, italics, and underlining.

  • This is also a good time to consider the usefulness of early experience. For job seekers with 10 years or more of experience, this may mean creating an ‘early career’ section that briefly summarizes previous experience.

  • If your resume is more than two pages long, tighten it up. Today’s trends in our world of Twitter and shortness state no more than two pages for even the most senior-level professional.

  • Start a brag file. Gather testimonials, letters of recommendations, project highlights and so forth. Think about how they might be included into your resume.

  • Every employer out there values accuracy and attention to detail. So before you save your resume (or even worse, send it) check it over again. And again. Then get someone else to check it for you. Make sure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes, it's written in a consistent tone and tense, and above all, the information is correct.

A great resume will go a long way towards getting your ideal job. A poor one is a sure way to miss out on it. There's no doubt that you will do everything possible to be the best candidate you can be. Make sure that your resume is the best it can be too.

Freshen up your image
Now might be the time to do an overhaul on your personal and professional image as well. You’ve refreshed your resume. Now, how do others see you?

  • Everyone has their own dress style that they are comfortable in. However, trying a new fashion item maybe a new color blouse, will give you a new sense of confidence. You may also want to consider having an outfit reserved for interviews or important meetings. Keep the overall look professional.

  • Now that you dress the part, make sure that your personal image compliments your look. Maybe try a new hair style? Don’t forget to smile that’s the best image assurance you can ever have!

So, there you have it! Spring is indeed a time of renewal. Wouldn’t it feel good to know that along with your clean windows and tidied-up garage, your resume is in order and your job search can start! Good luck!

Step up and make that move in your career today! Our recruitment consultants specialises in finding you  IT jobs, Finance jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our vacancy page and apply directly online or contact us and we will assist you as best as we can.

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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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