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Your guide to a great career April 2012

6th Edition

8 WAYS TO

FAST-TRACK YOUR APPLICATION TO THE TOP OF A RECRUITER’S PILE

Fun things to do in London FOR UNDER £10 HOW TO DECIDE WHEN IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE

TASTEFULLY DARING

IN THE‘CAREER’ ZONE WITH JENNY MORRIS

YOUR OWN PERSONALISED VIDEO OF WHERE YOU COULD BE IN A FEW YEARS!


Featured Career

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Copyright Š1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.


Featured Career

6th Edition:

In Full Swing

Welcome While the year is in full swing, this edition of CareerSeek aims to let you take a closer look at yourself and your career and help you make the right career decisions as well as make the most of your strengths, abilities and passion.   And let’s not forget about a bit of inspiration and fun to keep you motivated! So grab your blanket and some hot chocolate and see what Graham Bentley, managing director of recruitment company Kelly has to say about making a career change.  Career Coach Kerry Dawkins says it how it is as she tackles this month’s questions from more young professionals in need of advice. What’s more, get some advice on writing your CV and go about the application and follow-up process; and finally have a laugh with renowned SA chef Jenny Morris, in her exclusive interview with us.

Happy reading! The CareerJunction Team

Here’s what you have to look forward to: CareerSeek 7th Edition “Hibernation”

email us with your suggestions or your story.

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

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CONTENTS Featured Career

featured articles

what’s inside...

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How To Take The Pain Out Of Public Speaking

8

10 Tips For Starting Your Own Business

9

Sharpen Your CV-Writing Skills

10

Do You Make The Best Of Your Abilities

12

Q&A With Career Coach Kerry Dawkins

20

The Myth Behind Meatless Mondays

22

Career Corner

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Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.


Featured Career Contact Us Click here to LIKE and Follow our FaceBook page.

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Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained within this online magazine is accurate and up to date, neither our online magazine nor its parent company Times Media Group is to be held liable for inaccuracies in information, prices and conditions products and services being advertised in this magazine.

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All information provided in our online magazine is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract between CareerJunction nor its parent company Times Media Group and any person or entity unless otherwise specified. Information, pricing and conditions in CareerSeek online magazine are subject to change without prior notice.

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Tel: +27 21 818 8600

A Must Read

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Tastefully Daring In The‘Career’ Zone with Jenny Morris

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

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Fun Things To Do In London For Under £10

4 1

How To Decide When It’s Time for a Change

8 Ways To Fast-Track Your Application to the Top of a Recruiter’s Pile

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Featured Career

8 WAYS TO fast-track your application to the top of a recruiter’s pile

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Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.


Featured Career

Applying for jobs is a challenging task, one made all the more difficult when you know your recruiter has dozens of other applicants to consider. Instead of getting lost in the crowd, here are some things you can do to fast-track your resume to the front of a long queue.

Contact them first

Make your resume catchy

Some recruiters and HR professionals appreciate you calling or emailing them before you submit your application. That way, they will be on the lookout for your application or, at the very least, your name will ring a bell when they see it. Be strategic with your timing, though; don’t call them at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday when they will be busy.

Have a catchy personal profile or summary at the top that makes you sound interesting and committed. Recruiters read hundreds of profiles, and the more you can make yours stand out, the better. Don’t use the usual generic spiel and buzzwords—aim to think outside the box while remaining professional.

Follow up You might not be able to get hold of them on the first attempt, or they might not respond to your first email. But it’s okay to follow up on your messages as long as you don’t do it too often. Waiting at least a week is usually recommended, but it depends on whom you are working for. Don’t think of following up as bothering the recruiter; think of it as showing how much of a gogetter you are.

Get the recruiter’s name right Your ultimate aim here is to make a good impression, which won’t happen if you get their name wrong. Even if you’re looking at several different opportunities, make sure you know who you’re contacting each time and address that person appropriately.

Tailor your resume Not tailoring your resume is usually a game-killer. If your resume isn’t tailored for a specific position, it looks like you didn’t care enough to put the time in. Make your resume relevant for the job you want and know the extra effort will benefit you later.

Prioritize information Your resume can only be one or two pages, so the details you include need to be maximally relevant and advantageous. The information recruiters are looking for to bump you up the queue are your key skills and experience, so internships and job experience should be prominent. Emphasize the responsibilities and skills you acquired at each role by listing them under each title.

Be interesting Hobbies and interests may not seem like the most critical section on your resume, but they’re still important. This is where you can show what you’re like as a person and what makes you different and fun. Don’t write about your run-of-the-mill hobbies like “watching movies” or “listening to music”; instead, include interests that give you a sense of uniqueness, traits that will help the recruiter remember you.

Apply early It shows dedication, organization and awareness if you apply long before the deadline. It also means your resume will be one of the first the recruiter sees, and if it impresses them, it makes their job—and yours!—a lot easier. When you decide you want to apply somewhere, don’t stall; get that application out as soon as possible.

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON BRAZEN LIFE, A CAREERS BLOG FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS Author: Anna Pitts Source: Brazen Careerist Link: brazencareerist.com About the author: Anna Pitts is a Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves PR and outreach and writing informative, interesting advice-based articles for graduates and students.

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

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Featured Career

If the thought of speaking in public is terrifying, you are not alone. Unfortunately, despite the horror of it, there is a good chance you will need to stand up and speak at some point – and your career could depend on it.Monique Harrisberg, CEO of The Voice Clinic, says attention to detail is the key. She has the following advice:

HOW TO TAKE THE

PAIN OUT OF

PUBLIC SPEAKING Author: Unknown Source: BD Live Link: Junction

Before tackling anything else, you need to conquer your fear. Most people would rather be in the coffin at a funeral than out front giving the eulogy. Do not admit that you are nervous, because you will lose authority and your audience’s attention. Accept that you are anxious, but channel this energy into the presentation – and practise, practise, practise; Before you begin your speech, drink warm water. It will soothe your throat and relax your vocal cords. Then breathe deeply and remind yourself that public speaking is fun; Keep to the time you have been allocated. You are likely to waffle if you exceed your allotted time; Do not try to copy someone else’s style. You may have been blown away by the way Richard Branson speaks, but it works for him because he is Richard Branson. The best style for you is your own;

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Do not mumble. Speak clearly and confidently. Pause if you would like to avoid “ums” and “ahs”. Do this by breathing in; Keep your voice interesting through changes in tone and inflection; avoid speaking in a monotone; Body language is important. Don’t rock on your feet or sway from side to side – it is distracting for your audience. You also need to maintain eye contact with your listeners; Interact with the audience through questions, writing exercises and some humour to keep their interest; and To prevent your audience nodding off, make a change every 10 minutes or so. For example, you can change where you are speaking from, or change the tone of your voice.

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.


Featured Career

10 TIPS

for starting your own business

Starting your own business is a process. There are many things you will need to consider before even presenting your ideas to anyone. Here are ten tips that will help you begin Author: Unknown Source: All4Women Link: www.all4women.co.za

Know your niche This is extremely important. If you go into it without really knowing your market and target audience, you will run into serious problems before even getting off the ground. By knowing your niche, you can build a loyal customer base by giving them what they want, and what they can’t get from anyone else. A well-delivered product will go a long way toward customer conversion and obtaining repeat customers.

Nothing ever goes as planned, and you need to know you can cover the unexpected. Write a marketing plan You should do this for each year of the first five years that you will be in business. You can write a more extensive one for years beyond this later on. Your marketing plan will illustrate how you will promote and advertise your business. It should include your promotional ideas as well as the potential costs associated with them.

Write a business plan Anticipate the inevitable Even if you intend to operate your business primarily online, a business plan should still be in place. Include information about what your company will offer, who your target market will be, and how you plan to deliver the product. You’ll also need to know what your overhead costs will be as well as your projected costs and monetary intake for the first five years.

Costs you didn’t even know exist will be presented to you. If you are prepared for them they will be easier to manage. If you aren’t you may lose money you really need to keep your business afloat. Surround yourself with invaluable resources

Start small and grow from there It’s okay to think big, but in reality you probably won’t have the financial resources to begin that way. Start small and use your money wisely. This will enable you to grow over time, which will mean fewer struggles for your business. Build a local customer base Finding customers online is a great idea, but by building a local customer base you will be reaching out to those in your community. They, in turn, can help promote your business in a variety of ways. As you grow, your online customer base will follow. Always remain customer orientated A successful business is one that pleases the customer. If you have what people want and provide good service, first-time customers will become returning ones. Keep up with your industry

Come up with a budget This is extremely important. Without it, you’ll stand a good chance of going broke. Your budget should include both known and unforeseen expenses.

These include both information and people. There are always other professionals who would be eager to help you out when needed, so network and get to know them.

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

Know the trends and follow them. Subscribe to industry newsletters, follow your competitors on their social media platforms and read the blogs of similar businesses. This is what will keep you on the cutting edge of what you do.

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Featured Career

SHARPEN YOUR

CV-WRITING SKILLS

Author: Brendan Peacock Source: BD Live Link: Junction

Finding a job in the digital age is becoming more and more like speed-dating: companies are cutting down on the amount of time they spend sitting job candidates down in front of them because they can do a lot of research beforehand. This means that when you send through your CV or application, it is important to tighten up your act as much as possible to even get a look-in. 10

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Featured Career Mark Holgate, MD of The Recruiters, said the first person a job-seeker needed to impress is their potential recruitment agent. “The best way to do this is in the initial approach, which is usually via e-mail. The e-mail needs to be short, to the point and with no grammar errors or typos. Sadly, we find even middle-management-level candidates making basic errors here without triple-checking this most important communiqué.” Outline the role you are applying for, as well as the benefits you think you would bring to a potential employer, like this: “I’d like to apply for the role of financial manager as advertised. I’ve fulfilled this role for the past five years with several achievements, including saving my previous company R12-million in unnecessary costs, system changes and unclaimed rebates.”

holgate’s top tips for a good cv 1. Get your chronology right. Your CV should start with your most recent role and work backwards. You don’t want your student waiter job in 1995 being the first thing they see. 2. Don’t leave unexplained gaps in your employment history. If you were

Holgate said: “By doing that, you immediately pique the recruiter or employer’s interest and draw them into reading your CV in more detail. Ending off with lines such as ‘It would be greatly appreciated if you could review my CV and give me an opportunity to interview with you in person’ may run the risk of being formal, but by showing that you’re polite, professional and respectful you’ll gain more ground than sending out bulk mails to multiple agents with casual approaches or with typos and grammar errors.”

travelling on a sabbatical, say so.

He said although a person’s CV was possibly the most important document of their career, the impression many candidates give is that they have rushed to put it together and without giving much thought to showcasing themselves in the best and most efficient light.

objective is to get the interview so that you can sell

“Covering letters do have their place, but most agents don’t have time for lengthy letters, so rather invest more time in your CV before spending time on a covering letter that may not be read. “Also, imagine the reader has a countdown timer in their head that is counting back from 30 seconds when they’re reviewing your CV. Don’t waste those 30 seconds by headlining incidental information that they can always come back to later. Get your benefits – what you’ve been able to do for other companies – your qualifications and your experience across quickly and clearly. They can always come back to the parts about how you believe you’re more ambitious than other applicants, or how you’re hardworking,” he said.

3. State your reasons for leaving previous jobs. Turn them into a positive to show a trend in your career; 4. Triple-check your spelling and grammar. 5. Avoid old fonts such as Times New Roman and clip art is a no-no. If you think a photo will help, use it. Your primary yourself from there.

advice for the boss 1. Be forthright with your recruiter about the top tasks employees will need to undertake or attributes they will need to have. 2. Be clear about what is and is not negotiable. 3. Provide your recruiter with specific and relevant questions in the job specification, such as “How would you create pivot tables in Excel?”, “How would you build a client portfolio in sales?” and “What is an exchange-traded fund?” 4. Give feedback one way or another and respect the risks, costs and inconvenience that candidates sometimes go through in order to come for an interview.

The recruitment process has become so modernised that brief video introductions are now being used to put a face to a CV before a company commits to interviews. It is another avenue to consider. According to Holgate, a 30-second video transmits much more information about a person’s energy, intelligence and potential than a CV alone can. “It adds value to the process for the potential employer – they will know who they’re about to invest an hour in an interview with. It brings the CV alive.” Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

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DO YOU MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES? Author: Judy Mills Source: Thought For The Weekend Link: All4Women.co.za

What are you able to do that brings forth that spring of ingenuity, creativity, motivation, capability? What do you do well? What is it that you are passionate about, love doing?

Ability: a natural tendency to do something successfully or well, a particular gift for doing something well. A talent.

To admit you are wrong, apologise and fix the relationship. To fall down and get back up again time after time. To lose everything and everybody important to you and make a new start. To encourage others. To go the extra mile to get the job done. To see a piano and play beautiful music. To mix ingredients and make delicious meals. If we all have ability within, can we lose it?

There are so many talented people in our midst and I’m sure that if you have a quick think you will be able to name at least five. What if I were to tell you that there are many more, in fact we are all talented at something? Where do we find it, and how do we know it when we see it? Ah, here is crux of the matter! It stares us all in the face and even though we keep looking for it, we seem to never find it. Why? It is because it is not found outside one’s self, it is within! We are looking in the wrong place!

For sure! We lose it if we don’t use it! The biggest enemy is indifference or apathy as it stifles and suppresses our abilities or talents. If we never try to do something new how will we know if we can? If we refuse to grow and expand life can pass us by. If we are lazy and refuse to bend a little more, try a little harder, score a little higher, pick up the pieces and do it again, our lives will only become retarded. Let’s make a point this weekend to look inside ourselves and find those things we are good at

Ability is: To kick or bat a ball well. To jump, spin and dance to entertain. To look at a blank page and write a poem. To believe when everyone else’s faith is wavering. To teach another because you have learned. To run with a project from start to finish. To face your fear and come up victorious. To enter a room full of strangers and come out with a friend. To be smart at school or university. To find a way of learning that works best for you.

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Make the effort to perhaps refine your golf game, to conquer that recipe, to work a little harder at studies or do something you are afraid to do. When we tap into our abilities we enlighten our lives! We are enriched when we do things we love and are good at. I love playing the piano, yes I get frustrated when I cannot perfect a piece and I have to practise over and over again, but when I finally get it right... what a feeling! Wow, YES I CAN is the phrase that comes to mind!

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.


Featured Career

Do you find that you have so much creativity but not enough time? Do you make the best of what you do best?...


Featured Career

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Featured Career

HOW TO

DECIDE WHEN IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE change can be scary and many of us are reluctant to take that big step into the unknown, but there comes a time when you need to move on...

Author: Unknown Source: BD Live Link: Junction

Change can be scary and many of us are reluctant to take that big step into the unknown, but there comes a time when you need to move on. “A fresh environment, change of team and some new responsibilities can often make you feel energised and enthusiastic about work, but if it is a new job, career or company you are looking for, make sure you are seeking it for the right reason,” says Graham Bentley, the managing director of recruitment company Kelly. Bentley has the following advice on finding a new job: Determine why you want a change – whether it’s a small or major change you’re seeking, make sure you understand what is driving the need for change, and what you want to change; Sometimes what you really need is a break from the office. A holiday will give you the time to think about your decision before making any drastic changes;

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

You need to take some time to do your homework because the job market is challenging, so before throwing in the towel with your current company, make sure you have secured another job; Personal relationships play an important role in our business environment and sometimes a personal situation can make you want to leave your job. You may need to explore ways of reconciling with someone you have fallen out with or moving to a different team or department within the company to see if things improve; and Before making any big decisions, find someone you can talk to. Sometimes an outsider’s perspective can help you make a decision. By talking to a professional, friend or family member, you may discover something that you hadn’t considered before.

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Author: Rebecca Dodd Source: Time Out London Link: All4Women.co.za

Fun things to do in London

Visit the museums

FOR UNDER £10

Lots of the art galleries and museums are free to visit or entry is under £10. My personal favourite is the Natural History Museum. Entry is free, although there may be a charge if you wish to view temporary exhibitions they sometimes have on display. Permanent displays include the popular Dinosaurs gallery, featuring four moving animatronic dinosaurs (one of which is the fearsome T.Rex). If you’re interested in the history of medicine, or simply enjoy all things gruesome and gory, check out the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons (free entry). Displays include icky specimens, terrifying historical surgical instruments, weird, distorted skeletons and before/after images of early plastic surgeries. A must for lovers of biology and medicine!

skating arenas and four fully licensed bars, and is an absolute blast whether you’re a seasoned skater or newbie. The brave can dress up in lurid ‘80s neon for additional laughs. Trawl the markets London has so many interesting markets to browse, and you don’t need to buy things to have a fun day out. Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill is a popular choice, and offers lots of street food if you want to pick up an inexpensive snack while you’re out. Columbia Road Flower Market on Sundays in east London (near Hoxton Overground station) is a delight to visit for all kinds of interesting and exotic flowers, while Spitalfields Market (near Liverpool Street) is great for clothing, homeware and other bits and pieces.

Enjoy an English country garden Take a cupcake tour of London London has many Royal Parks which are free for all to enjoy. The Regent’s Park (close to Great Portland Street and Baker Street Undergound stations) includes the Avenue Gardens, with beautiful fountains and potted flowers, while the boating lake offers boat and pedalo hire for £4 for 30 minutes if you go before 12 noon. A little further from central London, Richmond Park (near Kew Bridge or Kew Gardens stations) offers nature lovers something to enjoy all year round in the Isabella Plantation, an ornamental woodland garden full of exotic plants, designed to have something interesting to look at, no matter what time of year you visit. Hit the roller disco Roller Disco at the Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall is just £10 on Thursday nights (including skate hire). The venue has two

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Cupcakes are still the baked good du jour in London, and there are loads of places to enjoy a creative and delicious take on this popular treat. The Hummingbird Bakery (with branches in Notting Hill, Angel, Soho, South Kensington and Spitalfields) is popular for its American-style baking. Daily specials include a delectable Eton Mess cupcake, Grasshopper Pie cupcake, Salted Caramel cupcake and more. Prices range between £2 and £3. LOLA’s Cupcakes are available in Selfridges, Harrods, Topshop in Oxford Circus, Brent Cross and Bluewater. Take a break from your shopping and enjoy a Black Bottom cupcake or Rocky Road cupcake (around £3).

For more ideas of cool things to do in London for free or on the cheap, check out Time Out London

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.


Copyright Š1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

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Featured Career

IN THE‘CAREER’ ZONE WITH JENNY MORRIS

Sou

rce: C

aree

rJun

ctio

n L ink: Junc

tion

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TASTEFULLY DARING Jenny Morris is a mother, wife, food network host and chef extraordinaire. Mix in with that a great sense of humour and you’ve got one of the most successful and extraordinary chef personalities in South Africa. We ask her about her life and career. Let’s get cooking.


Q: City you live in (or call home). A: Cape Town.

A: Patience and stamina and never cut corner.

Q: Your official Job Title. A: Chef, Author and Food Network Host.

Q: What did you dream of doing when you were a kid? A: Becoming a Feeder… (Chef).

Q: Describe what your job is all about. A: Developing Recipes, writing cookbooks, filming, teaching people to cook and running corporate team-building exercises using food. I MC events and do motivational talks. Taking people on Food Tours to China, Morocco and the like.

Q: Well that you have certainly become. If you could make a career change right now, what would it be, if any? A: I wouldn’t want to change what I do. I only regret was not getting started earlier.

Q: Describe a day in the life of Jenny Morris! A: Up really early around about 4am every day, it always starts with a tweet, and then I either make my way to my computer or the stove. Q: Wow Jenny, talk about passion for the job! What characteristics should you possess in your line of work?

Q: What has been the funniest / scariest / most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you in your line of work? A: Baking a carrot cake in front of 100 women and leaving out the flour. Q: Oh gosh! *giggle* What’s your most favourite dish to make for family and friends? A: I have so many, but they just love my curries. Q: If you were a concoction of spices and herbs, what would it be? A: Ras al Hanout

Featured Q: Who/what inspires you to get up every morning and go to work? A: My family.

Career

Q: Do you love social media or not? A: Adore it. Q: What is your favourite social media addiction? A: Twitter. Q: If there were one thing you could change in SA today, what would that be? A: People’s minds about the past and get them to move on so we can be a happy and live in peace together. Q: Any words of wisdom for people out there that would like to do what you do? A: Never give up, it takes hard work. Rome was not built in a day and every secure house needs a firm foundation, so build the foundation and the rest will fall into place. Q: Give us a link to your Blog, Company website, Facebook page, Twitter handle etc. A: @jennymorrischef

Thank you Jenny! You are certainly a great inspiration.

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

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Q& WIT How do I make the most of my time? We’re exceptionally busy at work, and I’m really trying my best but I just never seem to be able to get things done! There’s no time to go on a time management course: I need your help now, please! You’re not alone in feeling that there’s never enough time! Many people struggle to get through the things that they have to do, let alone things that they’d like to do. Here are some suggestions to get you back on track. 1. Prioritise your ‘to-do’ list Spend 10 minutes creating a list of all things that you have to do (do this first thing in the morning or last thing at night). Write it all down: wade through your inbox, return calls, attend a meeting, defrost the fridge, take the dog to the vet, and help your son make a chicken coop for a project. Now prioritise – mark those things that absolutely have to be done today. These are the only things that you should focus. End of story. The rest you will schedule for tomorrow, or the next day, depending on their urgency and importance. Bear Covey’s third habit in mind here: First things first. In other words, focus on the tasks that are going to help you achieve your goals. 2. Decide when you will do each task Managing your time is also about managing yourself. Get to know your own energy flows and schedule tasks accordingly. When you’re feeling energetic, tackle the most difficult or most important tasks, or those that require careful thought. Then do the routine, less demanding tasks when you’re feeling a little tired: this also gives your brain a breather.

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HK ERR Y DA WKI NS

At the same time, keep track of how much time you’re spending on each task. It’s easy to get engrossed, but it’s just as easy to get side-tracked. Being busy is not the same as being effective. Learn when enough is good enough and when to stop. 3. Assign some tasks to someone else Some people hate delegating! They haven’t got time to tell someone else what to do; they think they’ll have to do it themselves in any case because the other person will get it wrong; and it’s nice to feel indispensable! But delegating to the right person in the right way actually does give you more time to focus on the tasks that really require your expertise.

Is this enough? Put these guidelines into practice and see what happens. Keep doing what works, and try something else when it doesn’t (e.g. learn to say ‘no’ and practice till you can do this without annoying someone or feeling guilty). Over time, you’ll develop a system that really works for you. Then you’ll be working on the right stuff, will come to be known as someone who gets things done, but who is also prepared to help others grow by delegating appropriately.

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.


Q&A with Kerry Dawkins

Kerry is the founder of Potential At Work, a consultancy specialising in engagement and development solutions. As part of her role in the business, she has created and implemented a mentoring system that, on an ongoing basis, provides support and guidance to young South Africans. Current mentees include graduates as they enter the workforce in large South African corporates, key talent as they move upwards in a corporate, employment equity candidates and the benefactors of Foundations including the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and Shanduka Foundation.

Am I a technophobe?

You can follow her on Junction, Facebook – Kerry DawkinsPatwork and on Twitter @KerryDawkins.

I’m very aware of the role of technology in the modern world. I have subscribed to several tech-related sites, blogs and newsletters in the hope of becoming one of these 21st century workers that they talk about. But now I have an inbox jammed with stuff that I just don’t get to. How am I supposed to get my work done and still keep up? You pose an interesting question, and even though I don’t think you’re a technophobe (you’re using a computer after all), I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to anxiety about technology. While this may seem crazy to Gen Y’s or to Millenials, for many other people in the workplace, advances in technology have been just too rapid. Things are certainly faster, but many are beginning to wonder whether they are simpler and better. Because I’m far from expert myself, I thought I’d go to the technophiles, the nerds and geeks who just love technology, for some answers. They admit to being hooked into purchasing shiny new tools that come with a promise that you’ll get done more with less effort.

Copyright ©1997-2013 CareerJunction, all rights reserved.

They’ve been around the block when it comes to trying, tweaking and hacking the ever-increasing number of apps that should get you more organised, and then quickly moving on to something else because that tool no longer seems good enough. But here’s the real point: a tool doesn’t “make” you more organised or productive. You do. Tools can either work for or against you, so your real challenge in terms of trying to keep up while doing your job, is to find a personal strategy that works for you. These ideas will get you started:

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Featured Q&A withCareer Kerry Dawkins

1. Switch to paper (or a nice Moleskine Notebook) and grab a pencil or a pen. That’s all you really need to get back to the basics of managing your life. 2. Stop reading articles on how to be more productive for a while. Don’t obsessively check productivity sites for a good week. Concentrate on your own system and make it work for you. Bear two questions in mind as you re-focus: • What are the real skills and knowledge that you need right now to perform your job? • Are you focusing on the right things i.e. projects that are in line with organisational goals or that contribute in a positive way to the most pressing business issues?

4. Do weekly reviews of your inbox and delete the items that do not seem relevant or helpful. This stops them from becoming “cruft” – stuff that just sits around in your system, stagnating and playing on your negative feelings. 5. If you already subscribe to a certain productivity system (they give examples like GTD, Master Your Workday Now!, ZTD, GSD, Getting Results the Agile Way) , revisit the literature and make sure that you’re making the most of what it can do for you. Finally, remember that there’s no shortcut to success. Solid hard work, and loads of practice so that you really hone your skills (even your soft ones), is what really makes you successful.

3. Create a personal project plan for trying out tools, but only those that support your answers to the points above. Pick one or two, try them out for a limited time, and keep notes on what works and doesn’t work.

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Author: Sue Blaine Source: BD Live Link: Junction

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THE MYTH BEHIND MEATLESS MONDAYS Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.

Let me start with a confession,” says animal scientist Jude Capper, who travels the world explaining why Meatless Mondays are misguided. “When I was 15, I was a vegan. I was going to save the planet. Actually, I think it was more about irritating my parents. You know, ‘Hey Mom’, try catering for this!’, but I was always passionate about consumer choice. I have my own ethics, I won’t push them on to others.” Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.

footprint for every kilogram of milk down 63% in 2007 from 1944, and the beef industry’s dipping 16% since 1977, according to calculations by Capper and her postdoctoral supervisor at Cornell University.

“Why is it that technology is seen as good elsewhere, but bad when it comes to food?” Capper has a PhD in animal science from the UK’s Harper Adams University College, and has done postdoctoral work at Cornell, where she is an adjunct professor, and Montana State University, where she is an affiliate professor.

“Meatless Mondays has become huge, and the overall message becomes, ‘Yes, you can drive your Hummer if you don’t eat that burger. I do not say that we should do nothing about climate change, but there are 330-million people in the US. If they all go meatless on Monday, it would cut the US’s total emissions by less than a third of a percent. We need to understand how eating a burger compares with the other things we do.”

She lives in Montana and is no longer a vegan: “That all came to an end when I met the dairy farmer who became my exhusband, but the truth is, I would really miss meat and dairy if I gave it up again.” Capper grew up in the UK, just outside Oxford, where her father was a professor. He started horse riding when she was nine, and involved the whole family in his new passion.

The US has the world’s highest per-capita emissions and its second-highest output of greenhouse gas emissions, at 5,461,014 tons or 18.27% of the global total, as estimated by the United Nations. Meat, however, will not disappear from plates, says Capper.

“The horses led to an interest in animal science. I did a horseback safari here, near George. We went through the fynbos and saw rhinos, zebra, giraffe, elephant and warthogs — they are so cool, warthogs, there is something about them,” she says of her recent speaking tour of SA.

“There are 7-billion people on the planet now, and there will be 9.5-billion in 40 years time. Also, consumers in the developing world will have more income, and when that happens people want more meat, eggs and dairy in their diet. We will want 70% more food than we are producing now.” Put simply, there is not enough land to produce all that food unless production is made more efficient, and that, says Capper, is where technology comes in. Technology has, in one way or another, made milk and beef production more efficient and environmentally friendly, with the dairy industry’s carbon

Capper’s first postdoctoral stop was Cornell, where her supervisor had recently done work on the use of growth hormones in dairy cows.

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“We knew it increased the milk yield per cow, and that meant less land was needed, and fewer cows, to produce the same amount of milk, but no-one had really quantified it. We wrote two papers. Then some beef guys asked me to do that for them.” And so, the Bovine Diva was born.

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It’s true - Google it - although Capper is at pains to point out Bovine Diva is a name she did not give herself. She uses her Bovine Diva website to blog entertainingly on beefy matters, such as whether you can assume the 250g freerange sirloin on your plate died as humanely as it lived. (You can’t, by the way.) How about this one: a 220g steak from an animal given a hormone implant contains 42% more estrogen than a steak from a non-implanted animal — 5.1 nanograms to be exact. Capper explains that one nanogram is one-billionth of a gram. By contrast, one birth-control pill, taken daily by more than 100-million women worldwide, contains 35,000 nanograms of oestrogen. “I really enjoy myth-busting some of the common perceptions about beef. I love to see the light-bulb moments in people’s brains. What’s most worthwhile is when I talk to a farmer who’s used my research to make his operation more efficient.

“Every beef producer can be sustainable. There is no good or bad one. You need three things in place: economic viability, environmental responsibility and social consciousness.” Eradicating the beef industry would have other economic consequences as cattle products are used in the manufacture of things such as matches, dynamite, plastic and candles. While Capper is adamant there is space for all, she is vehement about proper labelling. “What really irritates me is mismarketing,” she says, pointing to the fear-mongering that lies within slogans such as “so grassfed a caveman would eat it”, which she says makes it appear the conventional beef industry“ take hormones and pumps baby calves full of them”. The conventional beef industry in the US involves cattle that are “born on grass”, weaned at about seven months and generally put back on grass until they are about a year old. From there, they are moved to a feed lot and injected with ionophores — drugs classed as antibiotics but which are not used to treat disease, meaning their use cannot contribute to antibiotic resistance — growth hormones and beta-agonists, another growth-promoter. Grass-fed cattle — a production method used in the US, but not widely used in South Africa — are never taken off pasture, and are not given growth-promoters. But here’s the rub: 11.8-billion kilograms of beef are produced in the US every year, with the conventional method producing a 340kg carcass in 444 days, and the grass-fed method a 279kg carcass in 679 days.

“We would need 14.4-billion more animals if the conventional method wasn’t used.” These animals would need another 52-million hectares to live on (75% of Texas), and the industry’s water consumption would increase by 17.4-trillion litres. The carbon footprint would go up by 134.5-million tons. Also, this would boost the conventional beef industry in places such as Brazil, meaning about 7-million hectares of rainforest would be gone in a decade. According to Wikipedia, since 1970, more than 60-million hectares of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed and between May 2000 and August 2006, Brazil lost nearly 15-million hectares of forest, an area larger than Greece. Losing more is not quite what the Meatless Monday brigade would want, then, is it?

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