When the going gets tough, dig deep

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

dawn It’s that time of year, where we know the end is in sight but it seems like we are stuck in quick sand, not moving forward at all. If you had to listen to all the negative news in the media, it feels like life is beating us up left and right. But if there is one thing as South Africans we all have in common, it’s the fact that we don’t give up. There is a saying that tough times don't last but tough people do.

If you need some tips to find your inner strength for the last stretch of this year, here are some suggestions:

Focus on what you can control
Whether you like it or not, some things are within your control, while other things are not. Learn to recognize the difference. Refuse to worry about circumstances beyond your control. Don't allow yourself to become so emotionally entangled that it paralyzes your progress. Things may not always work out perfectly, but the sooner you get over them, the quicker you move on to your next victory.

Smile the pain away
Our smiles tell our minds how to feel. When things get difficult, it’s easy to be negative. Research however, has shown that even the most forced of smiles genuinely reduces stress and makes you happier.

Find the next step
Often times when we have a big task ahead of us it seems daunting and difficult to motivate yourself to start. The best way to approach this is to break that difficult task into smaller more manageable tasks. It is easier to accomplish one small task and will allow you to see where the obstacles are so you can be prepared to overcome them.

Surround yourself with the right people
Nobody can function as an island. In order to pursue your goals with everything you have, it's helpful to be around other people who are working just as hard. Knowing there is someone else going through your problem helps psychologically. It is incredibly difficult to remain motivated when you keep hearing about the negatives of the workplace. There is good and bad in every office. Focus on the positive, surround yourself with like-minded people that enjoy their work and are there for a reason.

There will be many obstacles in the way of your career goals, and several moments where tasks seem overwhelming and you’ll even question why you’re taking such a risk. But, if you keep things interesting, constantly making your journey fun and rewarding, you’ll persevere through anything. December is in sight, just a couple of months and it will be all worth it at the end.

If you are thinking of making a move in your career or looking for a new opportunity, Communicate Personnel can assist. We are a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters that have placed hundreds of top level executives at sought after companies across the country. We specialise in the sourcing of top candidates in the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight industries, both for permanent and contracting placements. Contact us today.

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The Secret to Maintaining a Work/Life Balance

Sandra Olivier - Friday, November 27, 2015

calender time deadlines At some point in your career, you may find that you’re spending more daylight hours at the office and when you get home, you’re still attached to work via a technological umbilical cord – checking emails and completing tasks on your laptop or smart device. In our “always-on” work culture, the occasional late night at the office or 18-hour work day can risk becoming a habit. Work might have a way of creeping into your evenings and spilling into family time over weekends. This needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand – so here are some crucial tips to help you maintain a healthy work/life balance.

1. Know your priorities
When you’re young and starting out in your career, you’re likely to dive head-first into your new job and give it 150% of your time, focus, and effort, because you’re passionate about your work and your position in the industry and you want to get ahead. However, maintaining this momentum in later years could prove to be tricky, especially when there are other priorities in your life – be it your spouse and children, community commitments, or developing hobbies with friends. As you get older and gain more experience, your priorities will change, so it’s important for you to recognise this and to manage your time to reflect what’s important in your life.

2. Communicate your priorities with your manager and/or colleagues
If it’s important for you to sit down to dinner with your family at 18:00 (or collect your children from school, or attend orchestral practice, or go to soccer training), then you need to leave work at consistent times every day to meet those commitments. Don’t just assume that your colleagues know why you’re out the door at 17:00 sharp every day – tell them that your family time/non-work commitment is your priority at that time of day. If your manager requires you to put in some extra hours for a once-off project, negotiate to fulfil that responsibility before work instead of in the evenings.

3. Stick to your guns
Once you’ve put a firm line between your work time and your family time, you need to respect that boundary and commit to drawing the line when you said you would. If you have committed to leaving the office at 17:00 and your colleagues and clients can see that you’re still checking emails at 17:48, how can you expect them to respect your boundaries when you don’t? In the beginning it will be difficult to switch off, especially if you love your job and enjoy the work that you do, but these habits need to be built if you want to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

4. Focus on being productive at work
On your list of tasks to do at work, everything may appear to be the top priority, so it’s up to you to prioritise your tasks and then to get them done in order of most important to least important. This is a great strategy to increase your productivity. How it works is like this: once you’ve got the most important, most difficult tasks out of the way early in the day, doing the subsequent tasks will feel a lot easier. If, however, you do the least important tasks first and work up to the priority tasks, your day will feel as though it’s getting gradually more difficult, which could lead to procrastination and a waste of time. Also make sure that the tasks and goals you’re spending your time on are having a positive impact on the business – if they’re not, should you really be doing them? Being productive is key during your work hours so that when you switch off from work, you really are finished for the day – there are no loose ends nagging in the back of your mind and detracting from the after-hours activities and people you should be focused on.

Every job in every industry will have high demands of the people in those positions, so it’s up to you to set your own precedent early to build and maintain your work/life balance. What’s your approach?

Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding the right new job to accommodate all your responsibilities. Our consultants specialise in placing suitable candidates at top employers in the  Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain or Freight industries.  Check out our vacancy page and apply now!   


Supply Chain: Are you relevant to the current job market?

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

figures The skills needed to work in the supply chain industry keeps changing. What you learned in the class room years ago is still relevant, but with today’s challenges in the job market, you need to keep yourself up-skilled at all times.

According to the Chief Supply Chain Officer Report, 26% out of the 1 068 executive level respondents said that finding supply chain talent is extremely challenging. And to add onto it, a study showed that by 2017, there will be approximately 360, 000 supply chain vacancies available globally.

The battle for top supply chain talent is focused on acquiring people with process expertise. To select the right people to oversee the increasingly essential supply chain responsibility, hiring managers make sure they know the blueprint for the “ideal” supply chain candidate. Being productive and organized is two of the best characteristics to have. To help you stand out from the crowd, here are a few qualities you can develop to make you relevant in today’s job market.

Integrated business planning
Being able to deal with cross-functional issues is a large part of supply chain. This includes integrating a company's operational side with its demand side, and embracing demand and supply integration concepts, such as sales and operations planning.

As a supply chain professional, you deal with collaboration initiatives between suppliers and customers. You must master the challenge of planning the end-to-end supply chain. Having this trait is imperative.

Be tech savvy
Supply chains are global, and they have become more integrated. Data, networks and high-powered computing are helping make supply chains more agile, streamlined and robust.

A recent article in IT Web said that South African companies are adopting voice technology in the supply chain. Technology is helping organisations drive efficiencies and productivity across their business.

You don’t have to be the next coding prodigy, but you must be able to manage technology and work closely with technology teams to understand a company's IT capabilities and identify opportunities to improve supply chain processes.

Effective communication skills
Communication is one of the most important parts of your job. As a supply chain professional, like in most professions, you will spend a sufficient amount of time communicating with employees, colleagues, managers, and clients.  Hence, having good and effective communication skills is vital to your professional success.

In today’s competitive job market, having these valued qualities will make you stand out from your peers.  Having these important characteristics will open up new career opportunities for you.

Find your next Supply Chain or Freight position with Communicate Personnel. We have hundreds of vacancies in Johannesburg, Durban and in Cape Town.

Visit our website for more information.

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The Executives Blueprint to Career Success

Mallisa Watson - Friday, November 20, 2015

dart-board Having a career plan in place will guide you when it comes to making decisions. Your career plan requires you to have a vision and mission in place. It can determine and shape your career process. Setting and having a clear understanding of what your objectives are is critical.

In most cases one must become a life-long learner, gaining knowledge and developing skills is essential to becoming a true value adder. Creating a personal growth plan and executing that plan is of utmost importance.

1. Outline and Manage Your Personal Brand
How you choose to manage your personal brand will influence your daily leadership decisions and career management plans.  How others perceive you doesn’t always match up with how you perceive yourself. And if you want to stand out in the crowd, you must take control of the branding process. Personal brand management is about making sure that your leadership talent aligns with the marketplace. If they don’t go hand in hand with one another, then you have some work to do.

Some of the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What makes you different?
  • Do you add value?
  • How are you reinventing yourself?
  • How are you improving your skills?
  • Are you taking any steps to position yourself as a visible brand?

2. Prioritize Relationships
Your life, career, and business is all about building relationships with others. Go out and meet people in your business circle who can show you the ropes and open doors for you. Make building a strong, diverse, and lasting network of relationships a priority in your work and personal life.

3. Update Your Skills
Mastering a new skill will make you more viable and open up diverse opportunities from different industries for you. Even if you are in a management position, the ladder of success doesn’t end there.

Regardless of age, background or gender, never pass up chances to learn and grow more as a person and as a worker; part of career planning is continuously going above and beyond acceptance of training opportunities to finding new ones that will help boost or further your career. Keep learning!

4. Ask and Share Feedback
Without feedback, we wouldn’t know what our faults are. So by getting feedback, you can improve and get better. If you're not getting feedback, ask for it. If you're getting feedback, use it to change and improve for the better.

Take the time to think what it is that you want to achieve in your career, but don’t wait too long. Planning your career can be very beneficial to you, you will have a more clear vision what it is you need to do to get you to where you want to be and it can also help you prepare for what lies ahead in your career.

Communicate Personnel is a specialised recruitment company and we aim to help candidates find the ideal job that matches their skills.

So if you are in the job market, let us assist you. We have Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Contact us today!


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Wind Energy gaining ground in sector

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

wind turbineThe South African Wind Energy Association recently reported that currently wind energy makes up around half of all renewable energy produced in South Africa. As South Africans are getting to grips with crippling power shortages across the country, this news offers a flicker of hope for the future.

Over the past three years, the wind energy industry has made immense achievements in the country. SA has gone from having just eight wind turbines in 2012 to 294 – just three years later. Wind energy guaranteed that 117 hours of load shedding were avoided in 2014.

A new report from the European Commission has concluded that wind power is the renewable energy technology with the largest and most successful deployment over the last 20 years.

Across South Africa, five wind farms are in full production, 15 large-scale wind farms are under construction and another seven are approaching financial close. Once all of them are up and running and their proposed 700 turbines installed, they will generate 1 983 MW of power.


  • Wind provides clean energy and does not produce carbon dioxide emissions
  • Wind farms are land-friendly and agricultural and industrial activity can continue and co-exist around them.
  • Wind energy is much cheaper, only one eighth of the price of the peaking plants that Eskom currently calls upon during times when electricity supply is tight.
  • The renewable energy from South Africa’s first wind and solar projects last year delivered R800-million more in financial benefits for the country than it cost.
  • 8000 jobs have been created because of the REIPPP and a further 18228 people are said to be permanently employed once other projects are underway.


  • Wind energy is dependent on the weather, which can be unreliable.
  • Environmentalists contend that wind farms kill birds, especially raptors like hawks and eagles.
  • Wind turbines generally produce allot less electricity than the average fossil fuelled power station, requiring multiple wind turbines to be built in order to make an impact.
  • Logistical issues in transporting wind towers and blades in the construction phase
  • Specialised mobile cranes are also required to install wind turbines due to the large masses and heights the turbines will reach. Only a handful of these cranes exist in South Africa but the country will require a fleet to meet the demand of the project wind industry.
  • Turbines may cause noise and aesthetic pollution. Although wind power plants have relatively little impact on the environment compared to other conventional power plants, there is some concern over the noise produced by the rotor blades, aesthetic (visual) impacts.

If you speak to any South African sustainable energy expert, it is guaranteed that a vast amount of them will advise that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages when it comes to utilising wind turbines. In a country that is continually struggling to keep the lights on the emergence of this energy resource might just be the answer to some of these problems.

Looking for a new Engineering job? Communicate Personnel is an Engineering recruitment company with consultants that specialize in civil engineering, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering. Check out our vacancy page and apply today. 

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Previous posts

  1. When the going gets tough, dig deep Sandra Olivier 10 hours 54 mins ago
  2. The Secret to Maintaining a Work/Life Balance Sandra Olivier 27-Nov-2015
  3. Supply Chain: Are you relevant to the current job market? Mallisa Watson 24-Nov-2015
  4. The Executives Blueprint to Career Success Mallisa Watson 20-Nov-2015
  5. Wind Energy gaining ground in sector Sandra Olivier 17-Nov-2015
  6. Wanted: Have You Seen This Recent Graduate? Mallisa Watson 13-Nov-2015
  7. Is there an App for that? Mallisa Watson 10-Nov-2015
  8. How to be prepared for the new era of video interviews Sandra Olivier 06-Nov-2015
  9. Transport infrastructure key for South Africa’s future Sandra Olivier 03-Nov-2015
  10. How to build credibility in the office at your new job Sandra Olivier 30-Oct-2015
  11. Quenching South Africa’s thirst Mallisa Watson 27-Oct-2015
  12. What to Consider before Accepting a New Job Sandra Olivier 23-Oct-2015
  13. Cyber Security in South Africa Mallisa Watson 20-Oct-2015
  14. Innovative Ways to Support Working Moms Sandra Olivier 16-Oct-2015
  15. Communicate Personnel attends NAPS in Boston, USA Sandra Olivier 13-Oct-2015
  16. Should You Accept All LinkedIn Connection Requests? Mallisa Watson 09-Oct-2015
  17. Are You Asking the Interviewer the Right Questions? Mallisa Watson 06-Oct-2015
  18. Job Interviews: How to ensure success Sandra Olivier 02-Oct-2015
  19. Millennials and Baby Boomers: Building a Strong Inter-Generational Finance Team Mallisa Watson 29-Sep-2015
  20. How to explain gaps in your work experience on your CV Sandra Olivier 23-Sep-2015
  21. Nervous about your job interview? Here’s some advice on how to deal with that anxiety Sandra Olivier 18-Sep-2015
  22. Smart ports transforming South African coastline Sandra Olivier 15-Sep-2015
  23. Networking Important for your Career Sandra Olivier 11-Sep-2015
  24. First Green Commercial Building for Baywest City Mallisa Watson 08-Sep-2015
  25. Permanent vs Contracting employees: What is best for your business? Mallisa Watson 04-Sep-2015
  26. The Importance of Data Centres for Business Sandra Olivier 01-Sep-2015
  27. Do #ilooklikeanengineer? The biggest names inspiring female engineers today Sandra Olivier 28-Aug-2015
  28. Changes In The Internal Auditing Function Mallisa Watson 25-Aug-2015
  29. Three of the Most Influential Women in IT Sandra Olivier 21-Aug-2015
  30. Road Freight Challenges in South Africa Mallisa Watson 18-Aug-2015