How to make the most of your money this holiday season

Bridget Maoko - Friday, November 25, 2016

hourglass-money Dire economic times requires sustainable budget plans and with South Africa’s slow economic growth, rising debt and high interest rates there’s no better time to tighten your monetary belt than now. Finance Minister - Pravin Gordan said: ‘We cannot spend money we do not have and we cannot borrow beyond our ability to repay.’ With the festive season approaching everyone will want to spent a little extra but before you do, here are a few pointers you need to keep in mind:

Decide upfront how much you have to spend
Once you have decided how much you really have to spend, stick to it. Take miscellaneous costs into account. There are different ways to draw up a budget, you can decide on a general spending limit or allocate a specific amount to each product or service. Just remember to keep it within the set budget and never to deviate.

Beware of sales
Be a responsible consumer, always compare prices before you make a purchase during a sale. You can use apps like PriceCheck to see which store offers the best deal, some may be genuinely discounted but most of them may have hidden costs. Stay away from the ‘buy now and pay later deals’ as not all deals are created to save you money. If you can pay for it in cash, pay for it. Avoid high interests that comes with monthly instalments.

Sentimental gifts
Always remember to spend wisely and that there’s a new year ahead, and to some degree it’s the thought that counts. Not only is this economical but it carries a lot of value. You don’t always have to go to the shops and buy something pricey as a gift, people appreciate you offering your time. Some good ideas include, baking cookies, help a friend who’s got a lot on their plate, cook for the entire family or even offer to take your friends kids on a play date.

Pay off debt
You can use part of your bonus to pay for annual expenses like school fees, this will help reduce expenses in the new year and free up some much needed cash. Think of the year ahead and how you want to spend your hard-earned bonus. Bear in mind that there are 12 long months ahead and you have the opportunity to use money wisely.

The South African Savings Institute (SASI) has 7 Tips to survive the festive season

1. Resist SALE, think SAVE! Clearly distinguish between needs and wants.

2. Make your own Christmas gifts and only take holidays you can afford.

3. Have a clear budget for your requirements in the New Year.

4. Use free online tools to track your spending and debt and know where every cent of your income goes.

5. Pay cash for all purposes and don’t be trapped by easy credit – in fact, cut up those store credit cards!

6. Visualise what you want to save for and start saving more. Save your bonus and make it multiply.

7. Service your debt and stick to the payment terms. If you cannot service your monthly debts discuss your situation with your credit providers before it is too late.

You don’t want to start the year on a financial deficit keep an open mind and not open wallet.  Be cautious and enjoy the holiday season!

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!

Social Media: Be aware employers are watching

Bridget Maoko - Friday, November 11, 2016

social media reputationThese days, recruiters view potential candidate’s social media and online profile before inviting them for an interview. They want to see if their online presence is credible and resonates with that of a professional in that field.

According to the 2014 Social Media Recruiting Survey on, 93% of employers will check your social media presence before making a hiring decision. As much as 73% of employers admitted that they have hired people that they found because of social media.

This is important because it has a direct impact on your career. On the other hand, if you are not active or do not have a social media profiles at all, it sends a red flag to recruiters that you might not be as digitally savvy as expected from an average professional. They must be able to Google and find you on at least one or two profiles.

Here are three things to steer away from when you post:

Badmouthing your current or previous employer.
What you say online does not necessarily stay online, for example: if you are having a conversation on WhatsApp with your friend, and you say something inappropriate about your boss, your friend then decides to screenshot the conversation and share it online, you will face repercussions irrespective of the conversation being ‘private’.

The trick is to keep your outburst about your boss or company to yourself! If it’s not worth being put on a billboard on a highway, then don’t post it on social media. Find other means of escalating your queries with your boss other than ranting online.

Don't announce everything on social media
People post about, almost everything! But certain things should be kept off your social profiles like: interviews, raises and new jobs. Recruiters may see this as a red flag and it may imply that you are unprofessional. Only share those plans with people you completely trust.

Always keep in mind how you want to be viewed when publishing online and how it will reflect on your overall image. Position yourself as a knowledgeable person in your field or field of interest. Balance your posts and keep the ratio to 50/50 between professional and personal posts.

Delete old posts
Make it a habit to regularly review your content. This will enable you to get rid of any information that you feel could reflect negatively on you. Change your privacy settings to share content for a particular audience such as family and friends only.

Always remember that potential employers Google candidates and if they find tasteless content about you, you may not get the job or that deserving promotion.

Rule of thumb
Assume that everything you post might be seen by potential employers. You need not completely stay offline but like any other tool, social media has to be used cautiously.

Need help in showcasing your worth to your next potential employer? Our consultants will help you achieve your career goals and manage the entire recruitment process, from interview to offer stage. Connect with us today for top talent and great careers.

Should You Be Job Hopping or Not?

Bridget Maoko - Friday, November 04, 2016

frog on vacationIt’s safe to say that most millennials are job hoppers, but what does that really mean? It means younger workers are likely to change jobs every few years rather than stay in one company for longer periods. 

Job hopping can enhance your career if done right, according to CareerBuilder it actually depends on the industry you are in - some industries have a higher ‘’frequency of job hopping than others’’ For example:

Information Technology – 42% were likely to leave within 1 to 2 years.
Manufacturing – 32% were likely to leave within 1 to 2 years.
Transportation – 37% were likely to leave within 1 to 2 years.
People hop for different reasons; it could be because of a desire for a career change or simply because there are better opportunities elsewhere. 

How Job Hopping Translates in The Eyes of an Employer

According to research, results show that most companies are still skeptical about hiring job hoppers, they fear that they might not get the return on investment in hiring you simply because they value longevity. The longer you stay at your current job the more loyalty you are deemed to be showing to the company. 

On the other hand, (some) employers and recruiters appreciate the wide range of skill and experience that the job hopper is exposed to. ‘You might have the right mix of skills’ 

What You Need to Know About Job Hopping:
•Pay rise
Job hopping might be the quickest way to increase your earnings. You might find a job that offers a better salary or more interesting benefits than your current position. According to Payscale an average  increase one can get is up to 3% per year whereas alternating between jobs can get you 10% – 20% per year. 

•Skills Development 
Learning new skills in a new role can broaden your knowledge and expertise which will in turn make you more employable in the future. Your skills will be accentuated as you will be exposed to new challenges, different companies/industries and dealing with different clients. This can give you a professional advantage. 

 •Powerful Network 

It can be tricky to grow your network when you work with the same people year after year. The more companies you work in, the larger your network of professionals will become. Networks are important in today’s competitive industry. They can yield better career opportunities. 

• You may seem unreliable 
It may suggest that you are not good at your job or are a quitter? Hiring companies could assume that you get bored easily. If the employer is looking for a loyal employee, they may think twice before offering you a job if you’ve job hopped quite a lot. 

•First in the cutoff line
Job security is an important factor to take into consideration especially in today’s economy. Based on your job record, when a company has to lay off employees you may be the first to get retrenched. Employees who have been serving the company for many years may have an advantage over you. 

Employees are important in any running business therefore companies can be reluctant in hiring someone who has a pattern of changing jobs frequently. Employee turnover is generally expensive and companies would like to keep it as low as possible. It makes sense to invest money and training in someone who will stay rather than someone who will leave after a few months or years. 

‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ Confucius

So, To Hop or Not?
Always remember your career goals if you are considering another job and ask yourself, what long term impact this will have on your career. 

If you need some advice, Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency with the very best recruiters. Our committed consultants dedicate hours of work to each candidate to understand your value, strengths and skills. We would love to work with you, apply now!

 Apply Here

The challenges of job hunting while you're employed

Sandra Olivier - Friday, October 28, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by:



Previous posts

  1. How to make the most of your money this holiday season Bridget Maoko 25-Nov-2016
  2. Maximizing your LinkedIn profile Bridget Maoko 18-Nov-2016
  3. Social Media: Be aware employers are watching Bridget Maoko 11-Nov-2016
  4. Should You Be Job Hopping or Not? Bridget Maoko 04-Nov-2016
  5. The challenges of job hunting while you're employed Sandra Olivier 28-Oct-2016
  6. Personal Branding, how important is that for your career? Sandra Olivier 21-Oct-2016
  7. Safeguard Your Career Sandra Olivier 14-Oct-2016
  8. What qualities are employers looking for? Sandra Olivier 07-Oct-2016
  9. 4 Tips for writing a CV when job hunting in the digital age Sandra Olivier 30-Sep-2016
  10. Job Hunting? How to get noticed by recruiters online Sandra Olivier 23-Sep-2016
  11. How to get the most from your recruiter relationship during job search Sandra Olivier 16-Sep-2016
  12. Why use a recruitment agency for hiring? Sandra Olivier 09-Sep-2016
  13. Think twice before you accept a counter offer Sandra Olivier 02-Sep-2016
  14. Skills Developers Should Invest In Sandra Olivier 26-Aug-2016
  15. Accountants: Do you have the right skills for the future? Sandra Olivier 19-Aug-2016
  16. Managing Your Talent In The Workplace Sandra Olivier 12-Aug-2016
  17. Women to Women Sandra Olivier 02-Aug-2016
  18. Soft Skills: The Key to Landing your next job Sandra Olivier 29-Jul-2016
  19. Hiring mistakes can be costly Sandra Olivier 22-Jul-2016
  20. Career Cycle: Starting A New Job Sandra Olivier 15-Jul-2016
  21. 5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career Sandra Olivier 08-Jul-2016
  22. Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Your Search for Developer Skills Sandra Olivier 05-Jul-2016
  23. Career cycles, where do you find yourself? Sandra Olivier 01-Jul-2016
  24. Generations and the pay gap in the workplace Sandra Olivier 24-Jun-2016
  25. Benefits of Using A Freight Forwarder Sandra Olivier 21-Jun-2016
  26. Managing Different Generations in the Workplace Sandra Olivier 15-Jun-2016
  27. Challenges Different Generations of Job Seekers Face Sandra Olivier 10-Jun-2016
  28. Water-shedding: Is it draught or lack of water management? Sandra Olivier 07-Jun-2016
  29. Different Generations working Together Sandra Olivier 03-Jun-2016
  30. How Business Analysts Benefits Your Software Implementation Projects Sandra Olivier 31-May-2016