7 top tips to help you land your dream job

Career advice

80% of the time the people who land the job nevermind get the interview usually have a relationship somewhere, somehow with the person/ people they will be working with should they be successful. Reason being, teams hire yes for skill, but more importantly, for “fit” aka culture. All parties involved in the process need to be sure that you will fit into the culture, help make money, and stay.

Having said this, below are 7 really important fundamental tips/ things to consider to help on your journey in landing what you believe is your “dream job”:

  1. What are you bringing to the table?
    • How can adding you into the team be beneficial to the bottom line?
  2. What’s in your skills toolkit?
    • What can you do differently/ better than all the people around the office?
  3. Again!!!!! Culture fit– soooo NB. No one wants to be dealing with “situations”…
  4. Are you generally a hard worker?
    • I mean, its not just good for your image, you just feel less guilty as a resource when pay- day rolls around knowing that you have worked for your money and you’ve actually made a difference and added value. It might feel great skimping on hours and taking shortcuts, but don’t forget-  they may not say it but people are watching you…
  5. Can they take a chance on you?
    • Are you a promising candidate? you can measure this by analyzing then expressing how you being added into the equation of the team will result in some sort of value add- talk numbers if you can… but also, have someone/ people who can vouch for you somewhere somehow so that you look lucrative, as a resource. You must be wanted. People want what they can’t have right? So be wanted haha!
  6. Are you all familiar?
    • Remember, they can’t take a chance on you if they don’t know you/ about you. In South Africa we call this “udume ngani?” loosely translated means “what are you known for?” and it summates everything, from your reputation to your work ethic.
  7. Do you have grit?
    • Can you stand the test of time/ can you venture into territories others refuse to go/ are you resilient/ are you willing to take a chance/ is no the end of the conversation or the beginning of a new one for you? All these attributes that show your huger… so important!

So there you have it! a few things to keep in mind to help position yourself and give you the competitive edge to everyone else who aspires for all that your heart also aspires for 🙂

 

 

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Guest Post: My travel, my truth (tips for traveling with and without friends)

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Photo by STIL on Unsplash

I have been privileged enough to travel overseas twice on someone else’s budget. My first overseas trip was to the USA in 2014 and my second trip took me all the way to Portugal in Europe.

On my first trip, I had 9 other companions and we were all friends so there was no doubt that it was going to be fun. All of us were heavily involved and committed to making the process perfect. Upon arrival, we were mandated to be in Boston for 4 days for a Young Leader’s Summit, but hey! We were finally in ‘Merica and we absolutely could not let this opportunity pass us by without some kind of exploration.

We had a grand ol’ time in Boston but as fate and “the spirit of YOLO” would have it, we made a pit stop in NEW YORK, (yes NEW YORK CITY the big apple) and boy was it magical!

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Trip to ‘Merica with my friends

TRAVELLING WITH FRIENDS

There is something special in travelling with friends. A dynamic you can’t really attain when you travel with family or work acquaintances. Here are some of the elements I found most enjoyable when travelling with people who are your friends:

  • Flexible itinerary– having the freedom to change the itinerary depending on how everyone feels that day with no hard feelings.
  • Prior planning– we knew how much it would cost if we were to go to every tourist attraction in NY and Boston.
  • Work hard play harder– we made time for work and time for fun. We also made time for people to rest when they needed to.
  • Friends bring familiarity and some sort of security– traveling to a different country can be overwhelming but having people you can call “friends” brings a sense of calmness and adventure.
  • Shared interests– Prior conversations around the trip ensured that expectations were laid out. We all knew what each of us wanted out of the experience and it was so comforting when the boys made time for the girls to do some shopping ☺
  • Picture perfect– We all wanted to share every moment so we became each other’s professional photographers.

I do not believe that these benefits would have been as prominent had I travelled with individuals with whom I did not share a common interest. So this trip really set the bar high in terms of how I would like to experience traveling in the future.

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Musings in Portugal

My second travelling experience was pretty interesting… I had an opportunity to travel again, but this time it was to Europe for a work conference.  I was tasked with hosting 4 delegates who would also be attending the same conference I was going to and had little to no time to plan my itinerary. So here I was with 4 complete strangers and a colleague in Portugal. FUN. To make matters worse, unlike with the USA trip, I didn’t know much about Portugal except that Cristiano Ronaldo, the famous football star was born there. Despite all of this the extrovert in me remained optimistic and hoped for the experience to turn into another perfect opportunity to make lifelong friends (Boy could I have been more wrong…. haha).

TRAVELLING WITH ACQUAINTANCES

The city was beautiful and there was so much to do and explore but because the sense of “shared interest” and of familiarity which I spoke about earlier was kinda missing, the trip was a complete dud. Looking back on my experience I would say there are definitely some key learnings and take outs. It is possible to have fun travelling with acquaintances and here is what you can look out for in order to ensure the greatest time:

  • Preparation is KING– but also leave some room for spontaneity. Have a plan in place but also allow yourself to be moved by adventure. The last thing you want to experience when traveling is the monster called frustration.
  • Understand the most optimal means of transportation in your destination AND ENSURE YOU ARE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE ABOUT THE DECISION- you know why? So you avoid that thing again, frustration :).
  • Have a budget and communicate this with others around you so you all can participate in things that will leave you breathless ☺.
  • Pre travel drinks– If you will be traveling with people who are not your friends, make some time for a quick hangout over drinks so you get familiar and understand expectations.
  • Have fun– try to make the most out of any situation; after all you’re stuck together in that country, truly be open-minded.

Traveling is priceless it enables you to take a pause from your normal life and experience how other people live. The benefit truly outweighs the cost. After all, “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” So it’s okay to go beyond how you regulate your life on a daily basis but travel with people who will make the experience unforgettable.

Girl traveling

                                                                                           Guest Post Author: Faith Tembe

Faith Tembe is a vibrant young professional with a passion for purpose driven work.

She holds an honours degree in Industrial Psychology and currently doing a Masters of Management in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation.

She draws her experience from the corporate environment with specific focus on Innovation and Transformation management.

Managing Millennials: Don’t ask us what we want because we actually don’t know

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Over this past weekend I spent some time reflecting on some of the millennial focus projects I have had the privilege to work on in my organization. During this reflectional period I thought about the impact I made with my suggestions and how much my opinion, as a millennial was depended on for strategic direction and influence on our certain workplace environments.

As much as I am proud of the effort and successful impact we made as a working group, although a little part of me can’t help but cringe when I think about how a dysfunctional, barely able to adult group was tasked with so much responsibility and freedom to experiment.

Two of the things we did really well (unintentionally); which I think contributed to our success were:

  • Having numerous, diverse initiatives (because in hindsight now that I think about it, no two 25 year olds are the same)
  • Seeking more guidance and partnerships with experienced senior sponsors (because although we belong to an incredibly special and unique generation, our behaviour and motivational drivers are not revolutionary, someone, somewhere has wanted the same thing before, whatever it is and to a varying degree)

Some of the questions I am asked now more than ever are ” How do you want me to manage you?”, “What makes millennials happy”, “What workplace dynamics will make you thrive” and each and every time, true to Simon Sinek’s video titled “The Millennial Question” I had a smart succinct answer that I was sure was correct, universal and would guarantee my loyalty. I believed I was giving away a formula that when used, would curb global millennial attrition in the workplace. Until it dawned on me one day. I had the environment I wanted, the resources and the leadership backing to implement the formula I had suggested but it was just not working. With my working group, I had sat down and created this magical Utopia that we thought incorporated elements that would make work life incredible but even so, there was something we had missed, a huge oversight.

The big thing we miss with the millennial generation, on both sides, as the manager and the millennial, is that we try to get a “1 size fits all” strategy that we try to paste to INDIVIDUALS. What my experience on these projects taught me was that strategies are great as long as they don’t involve implementing them directly on people. Although millennials are all born into the same generation, we aren’t all motivated by a bean bag and flexi-hour workplace some millennials thrive in traditional bureaucratic settings and others couldn’t care less for the mastery of unwritten office rules. At the end of the day, millennials, like the rest of the human race, are fickle and forever evolving. Today we might want complete autonomy and the next day we could be accusing you for being a distant leader who isn’t interested in growing their people.

Millennials are really great at having opinions which can sometimes be uninformed and rash when given the opportunity to have a voice.So next time (as a manager/ leader/ human capital business partner) you have an engagement with your millennial employee, instead of asking us what we want, try asking what we don’t want from an organization/ management perspective. As human beings, the things we dislike tend to stick because the decisions we make to rule them out usually stem from concrete and tangible past experiences unlike a future state, wish list  made from fantasies we have no experience in.

I hope this post helped to shed some light into the thought process of a millennial. But, then again, this opinion piece might just be coming from an “entitled, know-it-all millennial” perspective that could change in the next two blog posts haha! Who knows?

How to discover your purpose: 4 questions to ask as a guide

For so long I wandered…. wandered and wondered where exactly from the sky my purpose will fall. In 2017 I decided, I’m fucking picking something. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and if it does then great! I would have stopped wondering and starting working.

The minute I decided to focus my attention on myself as a brand and a product so much started making sense. The world is very much like a theme park, except without a theme, just rollercoaster everywhere and it’s very easy to find yourself being mesmerized by something because everyone else is staring or everyone else is queuing for the said experience. What I realized when I focused on myself was that my passions and strengths and somewhat of a purpose is already embedded within me and it shows itself very prominently everyday if I just decided to focus and think.

I’m not saying I’m an expert at discovering purpose but I definitely can say I’ve discovered a method of questioning myself that has made a lot of sense for the first time in a long time of searching and I want to share them with you (and it doesn’t involve what you loved doing as a child cause quite frankly when I was 3 I wanted to be a singer and a dancer and I cannot do either to save my life right now)!

If you have ever wondered or asked yourself what your purpose is/ what you should be doing with your life/ how you can spend your time on earth more meaningfully, ask yourself the following 4 questions that will reveal to you, your natural abilities and competitive advantage which you can then apply in a work or personal environment:

1. What do I like?

2. What do I spend my spare time doing? (watch out for this one and compare your answers with question 3, when I reflected on this question it became quite evident that although a specific thing came naturally to me, if I had all the money in the world, I wouldn’t do it- this thing for me was being a DIY hairdresser for myself and my family. I will not be opening a hair salon anytime soon thank you so much haha)

3. If money wasn’t a factor, what are the things I do for the rest of my life?

4. What do people naturally come to me for advice on?

Let me know how it goes and whether this method helped you as much as it’s helped me so far!

Unboxing my MacBook Pro (Review and 5 things to consider)

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So I just wanted to share a quick review of my experience this weekend when I purchased MY VERY FIRST MacBook!!!! The purchase of a personal laptop has been something that has been waaaay overdue and having been an apple product user for over 10 years now, I think the brand has proven its worthiness to me :).

I must say though, venturing into the Apple space for a laptop has been an incredibly daunting experience… almost as daunting as switching back to a manual car after you have been driving your automatic for a while. There are so many specs and so much to consider when you switch. As much as I am a millennial, I cannot say I am the most tech savvy individual, however, I do make it a point to research the shit out of any big purchase because a. I work hard for my money, and b. because I loathe the idea of being told why, how and what and I should spend my money on by salespeople who are looking to hit their targets- there is power in being an informed consumer.

Cool! Now that that is off my chest let’s get to some of the areas of focus I paid attention to (thanks to other bloggers, YouTubers and tech forums)that guaranteed zero buyers remorse after my purchase.

PURCHASING PURPOSE:

So the first question I would say a user must clarify in their mind is the reason for switching from Windows to MacOs. It is a significant shift and personally, I think fortifying the ecosystem (with your phone, I pad etc) just makes the transition so much easier. And of course it looks cool!

COLOUR:

Honestly, one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, it took me visiting the iStore twice to make my final decision, and I must say, it was worth it! Silver> Space Grey any day. Its more practical, doesn’t show fingerprint/ scratches and its just classy.

AIR vs PRO:

I am a firm believer of contingency plans and as a result I overthink and over plan absolutely everything that I possibly can, as a result I “settled for the Pro” because its an over purchase that I am proud of if I underuse it but it is just perfect if I decide, and have the capacity, to use it for every possible thing I can think of/ imagine. With that said, for me it boiled down to two things that I found useful:

  • Do I just need something personal for emails and the internet- Get the Air/ MacBook
  • Do I need a powerful laptop that can multitask? (edit videos, blog, email, build models)- Get the Pro
  • If I am traveling with it, will the weight bother me?
    • If yes, get the Air
    • If no, get the Pro

STORAGE:

Seems like a no brainer right? wrong. By default the 13 inch MacBook Pro (non touch bar) is configured with 128GB and 256GB; with an approximate price increase of R2 000/ R6 000 for 100GB more memory depending on whether you will forsake speed for storage. My opinion… external hard drives offer more space than a Mac will ever give you for a smaller fee.

SIZE:

For the price you pay for one of these bad boys, I really do not think the 15inch is worth it, I went to see the size difference in store and that extra 2 inches (5 centimeters) is not worth the extra R20 000 (and yes I am probably oversimplifying the tradeoff but then again, I am an accountant before I am a techie haha- LOGIC guys).

So yeah, I think if you are looking for high level black and white comparisons to make your decision and don’t really need to go into technicalities, I would say the above points will put you I good stead to make the correct decision for next purchase.

If you have any more additions to this list please feel free to comment below. Let’s empower each other to make wiser and smarter purchasing decisions!

The 9 highest paying jobs for millennials (you’ll be surprised)

This week, as I was browsing the World Wide Web for some blog post inspo, I stumbled upon the most interesting post titled The 9 Highest-Paying Jobs for Millennials“. I thought it would be interesting to have a look because immediately I had made an assumption around what the jobs would be and secondly, you know, just for control haha, “am I positioning myself and my career in the right way?”.

So I clicked on the article on Entrepreneur.com which can be found here  and to my surprise… all of the jobs which were listed were incredibly traditional. What I mean by traditional is that they were not at all a representation of the future world of work. If you are curious but too lazy (read: too invested in my article) to leave and go read the other article in the link, the jobs listed can be read below:

  • Accountant
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Actuary
  • Financial Advisor

So as you can see from this list… very traditional and “normal”. Granted, the rules used to develop the list looked at the most high paying jobs first and then whether they were occupied by millennials, which essentially skewed the outcome however, this discovery beckoned some question in my mind….

Are millennials as a market/commodity being undervalued?

With so many millennials entering the economy, by virtue of their volume, this grouping will influence service delivery, shape product features and drive organizations to re-evaluate how employees are engaged, motivated and remunerated. But with all of this being said, South Africa (which possesses a much younger aged population) seems to only be pondering about the possibility of this new age in a way that can make one think that it’s only a future reality. I fully understand that the rise of each generation brings about exponential change and an environment that has never been experienced before. Millennials have brought about a digital age along with big data and they’re begging for engagement and interplay in this environment. Because I don’t see this happening my question then becomes: “are millennials as a market/commodity being undervalued? Do corporates/ businesses/ the economy not see the value of focusing on them and investing in the mastery of millennials as a micro- sector of sorts?”

Are millennials being used as SMEs in the workplace to build and shape rules of engagement/ products and services for other millennials?

Because we know the roles of the “new age” (Google top 10 roles that exist/will exist in that future that have never existed before) have been identified and are being staffed in different industries, is the collective value of these roles being overlooked by attaching lower salary tags to them? and secondly I wonder whether millennials occupy these roles or is millennial employee confidence so low that millennials cannot be trusted to launch new business units/ operations before they wave their employees goodbye (to run off into the sunset with a round trip ticket… or to start their own companies and run wild in a space free of bureaucracy or something else millennially haha). Either way, whatever is happening in this situation is a loss on all fronts because corporations are sleeping on innate industry experts internally who can help master a market of consumers that plug into almost any industry; and the millennial workforce is disengaged and attriting in traditional workplace settings.

However you choose to look at it though, there is 1 major thing that this article highlights and that is “money goes where there is perceived value- money attracts money” and maybe (just maybe) as a generation, we just haven’t proven ourselves enough. Hell even till today Bitcoin still has its skeptics!

11 valuable career tips going into 2018

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Once in a while a group of my trusted advisers spew out some pearls of wisdom and generosity becomes us as we share some of our greatest lessons. Considering that we are all about to all about to enter into a new year, groups of millennials around the world have also decided to take the plunge into the workplace environment. If you are new or seasoned in the workplace I believe that some of the tips below could stand you in good stead for carving out a successful 2017 (and hopefully career) and ensuring that you cross over with your sanity into 2018!

1. Stanbic IBTC CareerTip: Follow-up on all applications, phone conversations and interviews. Employers seek candidates who distinguish themselves by showing they are truly interested in the opportunity.

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Be like Oprah, make that paper….

2. Negotiate your salary, know your worth (click to follow link to salary negotiations article).

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Image source: Picjumbo

3. Read. statistics show that readers make better contributors to society ok? Don’t look for a link, just go buy a book.

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4. Don’t do a 5 year plan. It limits the universe to opening up opportunities/ you seeing opportunities because you have now confined yourself to a 5 year plan cast in stone. High level have 2/3 objectives for each year that tie into your lifetime goals but always be on the hunt for an opportunity. Instead write down what you want to achieve.

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Keeping up with the Joneses

5. Guard against societal pressure. Don’t allow peer pressure influence your spending and investing habits.

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6. Focus. Don’t let minor problems distract you from your overall goal.

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Image source: Picjumbo

7. Find a place where you can grow with your tasks and where you are in an environment that supports your development.

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Image source: Shutterstock

8. From the get go, be vocal about your expectations in your role, this way no one is surprised or disappointed in the long run.

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9. It’s very important to be deliberate about creating and managing your perception… yes be true to who you are, yes bring your whole self to work BUT, don’t forget that people understand other people from their frame of reference. So if you don’t think it is worth your time understanding how the people who matter in your career receive you, also be prepared to face the consequences thereof. People be petty AF yo!

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Image source: Meetup

10. Network, Network, Network! The value of your network is your net- worth. The success of your career moves comes from the quality of your network.

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11. Since you are solely in control/ in charge of your career and its success thereof, be sure to always prioritize your happiness, your goals and your sanity (also considering karma, the circle of life, the universe, your conscience) because this isn’t a relationship, nothing has your back and nobody is actively looking out for your best interests 🙂

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Image source: Getty Images

Lastly just to wrap it all up, something so profound that my mentor shared with me yesterday, during our telephonic conversation, that I feel is vital to share, is the importance of having open and honest career conversations. It is so important to always speak to what you want to be doing and where you see yourself, as opposed to fighting for a job. A job you already have, but your ideal career is a much more important discussion, this speaks to your desired state.