How a mentor can fast track your career

Bridget Maoko - Friday, January 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday Season Challenges in the office

Sandra Olivier - Monday, December 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Mission: How to be successful in finding a new job

Sandra Olivier - Friday, December 09, 2016

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

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

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

Practice makes perfect

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

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

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

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


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!



Previous posts

  1. How a mentor can fast track your career Bridget Maoko 13-Jan-2017
  2. Holiday Season Challenges in the office Sandra Olivier 19-Dec-2016
  3. Mission: How to be successful in finding a new job Sandra Olivier 09-Dec-2016
  4. How to make the most of your money this holiday season Bridget Maoko 25-Nov-2016
  5. Maximizing your LinkedIn profile Bridget Maoko 18-Nov-2016
  6. Social Media: Be aware employers are watching Bridget Maoko 11-Nov-2016
  7. Should You Be Job Hopping or Not? Bridget Maoko 04-Nov-2016
  8. The challenges of job hunting while you're employed Sandra Olivier 28-Oct-2016
  9. Personal Branding, how important is that for your career? Sandra Olivier 21-Oct-2016
  10. Safeguard Your Career Sandra Olivier 14-Oct-2016
  11. What qualities are employers looking for? Sandra Olivier 07-Oct-2016
  12. 4 Tips for writing a CV when job hunting in the digital age Sandra Olivier 30-Sep-2016
  13. Job Hunting? How to get noticed by recruiters online Sandra Olivier 23-Sep-2016
  14. How to get the most from your recruiter relationship during job search Sandra Olivier 16-Sep-2016
  15. Why use a recruitment agency for hiring? Sandra Olivier 09-Sep-2016
  16. Think twice before you accept a counter offer Sandra Olivier 02-Sep-2016
  17. Skills Developers Should Invest In Sandra Olivier 26-Aug-2016
  18. Accountants: Do you have the right skills for the future? Sandra Olivier 19-Aug-2016
  19. Managing Your Talent In The Workplace Sandra Olivier 12-Aug-2016
  20. Women to Women Sandra Olivier 02-Aug-2016
  21. Soft Skills: The Key to Landing your next job Sandra Olivier 29-Jul-2016
  22. Hiring mistakes can be costly Sandra Olivier 22-Jul-2016
  23. Career Cycle: Starting A New Job Sandra Olivier 15-Jul-2016
  24. 5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career Sandra Olivier 08-Jul-2016
  25. Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Your Search for Developer Skills Sandra Olivier 05-Jul-2016
  26. Career cycles, where do you find yourself? Sandra Olivier 01-Jul-2016
  27. Generations and the pay gap in the workplace Sandra Olivier 24-Jun-2016
  28. Benefits of Using A Freight Forwarder Sandra Olivier 21-Jun-2016
  29. Managing Different Generations in the Workplace Sandra Olivier 15-Jun-2016
  30. Challenges Different Generations of Job Seekers Face Sandra Olivier 10-Jun-2016