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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Internal Audit key to Managing Risk

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

risks magnifier definition shows risksOriginally developed as a means of assisting organisations with safeguarding corporate assets and enforcing corporate policies to preserve value, internal audit is expanding its traditional role with a new focus on value creation activities.

Accelerating change has characterised the business landscape for many years and this will continue. New competitors, technologies and financial instruments, changing cost structure and regulations, increasingly integrated global economies and other development are creating new risks and opportunities for organisations to consider.

As these developments progress, it opens a new door on opportunities for internal audit to regain its historic authority as an independent advisor to management by supporting top management goals, monitoring key risks and improving regulatory compliance efforts.

Internationally there has recently been a shift to focus more on supporting executive management in effective management of key risks.

The Committee on Internal Audit Guidance for Financial Services in the United Kingdom has after a year-long consultation issued its recommendations for effective internal audit in the financial service sector. Experts have predicted that similar recommendations will be applicable to South African firms in the near future.

The guidance presents an opportunity and a welcome push for internal audit functions to proactively move onto the front foot and increase their relevance to their respective organisations and the financial services industry as a whole. In the context of a financial services sector, which globally has been subject to intense criticism over recent years this is a welcome shift for the industry.

Internal audit are therefore starting to plays a critical role in helping companies successfully manage the change by providing assurances that with every new process, procedure and initiative, any significant new risks that emerge are identified, monitored and managed effectively. This is to ensure that the company is protected on an ongoing basis and to a level that satisfies management and the board.

 The responsibilities of internal audit are expanding and, consequently, the required skill sets are changing. Internal auditors must continue to enhance their skills and educate themselves on new technologies and competencies that will be required in the months and years to come.

The success of any internal auditor lies with that person’s commitment to ongoing learning and capabilities improvement, along with his or her deep understanding of the organization’s needs and how they can be met through the internal audit function.

Internal audit is starting to reassert its involvement in a range of risks that an organization is facing today creating exciting new challenges for all in this industry. If you are looking for greater success in your career, we can help you untangle the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel is a specialist finance recruitment agency, with the very best finance recruiters. We have various finance jobs including accounting, auditing, taxation, and financial manager jobs. Check out the latest vacancies and apply today!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

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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Strategies To Cut Procurement Cost

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Costs Sphere Definition Shows Financial Management Or Costs Redu If there was a time to take another look at procurement savings as a way to reduce costs, improve margins, increase flexibility, improve quality, take less time and use fewer resources, it is now.

According to the results of a recent survey by Ernst & Young South Africa, in which 267 Chief Procurement Officers and other procurement executives took part, 65% indicated more savings as their top priority. Other areas of concerns pointed out were high inflation in many emerging markets, and finding new ways to contain costs.

The global economic scenario is now forcing companies to reduce costs on a sustained basis to improve bottom-line profits. Although procurement costs are sometimes considered as “fixed” and much more inflexible than salaries and bonuses to manage, they are one of the few areas in an organisation that still provides ample opportunities to reduce costs and improve profits.

The key to a sustainable reduction in spend is to strike the right balance of focus between supply and demand activities in an organisation. Considering the opportunity below for both demand and supply will assist organisations in identifying significant savings in a structured way.

Unused value
Interestingly, even as many businesses have been through the cycle of analysing their spend, putting a category management structure in place and then implemented spend management tools to control it. There are many organizations who have barely touched on indirect spend. No one can argue against a focus on directs, but with a third of all spend on average on indirect products and services, it represents a significant source of untapped value.

Procure to pay
The roadmap to technology can be a challenging one with obstacles along the way. However, there is a definite sense now that procurement technology is becoming mainstream. Customers are aware of the key attributes to look for in a solution-going beyond a shopping list of efficient requirements for data of what has actually been delivered.

Explore alternative suppliers
If you’re working with a supplier that’s considered “high priced” within its industry, consider alternative sources of the products or materials. Pay attention to the factors like ease of order placement, on-time delivery, product quality, and even the condition of the packaging when it arrives at the dock door. And if you can get the same perfect order service from the new supplier, consider making the jump.

An effective supplier management framework that fittingly lines up risk, effort and reward is a key enabler of ongoing sustainable value creation. The framework needs to include sections i.e. strategic, operational and tactical performance management structure and a clear communication of organisational accountability and responsibility.

What are the challenges in your company and do you have the right individual to solve them? If you are looking to grow your company, we have the ideal candidates for you.

Or if you are in the market for any Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs we have opportunities in Sales, Road Freight, Courier, Warehousing, Logistics, Production and more. Check out our vacancy page and apply today.

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

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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Previous posts

  1. Starting anew in your career Sandra Olivier 9 hours 27 mins ago
  2. Internal Audit key to Managing Risk Sandra Olivier 27-Aug-2014
  3. Good Work Relationships Are Key To Your Success Mallisa Watson 25-Aug-2014
  4. Strategies To Cut Procurement Cost Mallisa Watson 20-Aug-2014
  5. Steering your career on the path of success Sandra Olivier 18-Aug-2014
  6. 3D Design changing Construction Industry Sandra Olivier 13-Aug-2014
  7. Frequent job change - good or bad for your career? Mallisa Watson 11-Aug-2014
  8. Women Taking The Lead Mallisa Watson 06-Aug-2014
  9. DevOps: Collaboration and Integration Mallisa Watson 04-Aug-2014
  10. What does it mean to be a Financial Analyst? Mallisa Watson 30-Jul-2014
  11. Using social media in your job hunt Sandra Olivier 28-Jul-2014
  12. Aerotropolis the future for Dube TradePort? Sandra Olivier 23-Jul-2014
  13. Who’s Keeping Time? Mallisa Watson 21-Jul-2014
  14. Green Building: Changing the Way the World is Built Mallisa Watson 16-Jul-2014
  15. Building a dream team Sandra Olivier 14-Jul-2014
  16. Fingerprint Technology is closer than you think Sandra Olivier 09-Jul-2014
  17. Sink or Swim? Mallisa Watson 07-Jul-2014
  18. Changes in education for Finance professionals Sandra Olivier 02-Jul-2014
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  20. Software the solution for Freight Forwarders? Mallisa Watson 25-Jun-2014
  21. The Challenges of Job hunting while you're employed Sandra Olivier 23-Jun-2014
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  24. Technology changes influencing the workplace Sandra Olivier 09-Jun-2014
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  26. Workplace: Pay It Forward Mallisa Watson 02-Jun-2014
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