Page 1

for administrative & office professionals

Volume 26 Issue 2

Your invite to Secretaries Day Women and the future workplace Your title: What should it be!

PLUS A-Z Motivational cards R23.88 (incl. VAT) Other Countries R37.50



T. 011 668 3000 F. 011 668 3060

Plot 69, Driefontein Rd, Muldersdrift

info@avianto.co.za www.avianto.co.za


T. 011 668 3000 F. 011 668 3060

Plot 69, Driefontein Rd, Muldersdrift

info@avianto.co.za www.avianto.co.za


Contributors to this Edition

Editorial Director Ana-Maria Valente anamaria@dictum.co.za Publication Co-ordinator Queenie Masiza-Sangweni queenie@dictum.co.za Admin/Advertising Director Ornella Trinco ornella@dictum.co.za

ANEL MARTIN is the PA of the Year 2011. She is passionate about the profession and the people working in it! She writes and presents on PA related matters country wide and she has been working for Telkom SA since 2006. Anel is also very interested in networking with other PA’s in the industry. To make contact with her you can e-mail Martina2@telkom.co.za

Teri wells has worked as an Executive PA for the Chairman and CEO of the JD Group for the past 20 years. As the PA of the Year 2012/13, Teri is the Head of the Academy of Excellence Committee of PAFSA

Advertising/Marketing 011 616 7401 careersuccess@dictum.co.za Head: Finance & HR Guida Morais finance@dictum.co.za Subscriptions & Client Liaison Thandi Mtshali subs@dictum.co.za Graphic Design Iviwe Masiza Dictum Design and Digital design@dictum.co.za Printing United Litho, Bert Groenewald, Tel: (011) 402 0571

The Company CareerSuccess is published by Dictum Publishers (Pty) Ltd Gauteng, South Africa Tel: (011) 616 7401 Fax: (011) 616 3244 E-mail: careersuccess@dictum.co.za www.dictum.co.za Opinions expressed in any article do not necessarily reflect on the publishers. All submissions to CareerSuccess are subject to editorial change to suit the style of the magazine. The right of reproduction of any article or other matter published in CareerSuccess is expressly reserved.© CareerSuccess is the official publication of PAFSA. www.pafsa.co.za


Michele Thwaits Personal Assistant, Public Speaker, Life Coach, Facilitator and Mentor Michele is currently PA to Chief Governance Officer at Eduloan and in 2010/2011 started working under her own umbrella Empowered4Success. She received her certification as a Life in 2010 and has been involved in public speaking engagements and facilitation of workshops and seminars throughout South Africa, the African continent and abroad.

Susan engelbrecht is the Executive Assistant to the CEO of Discovery Health. She joined Discovery in 2001. During her 32 years of working experience she broadened her knowledge and skill. Susan has written three articles for CareerSuccess Magazine and completed her FET certification in Business Administration through Siyanqoba Seminars. Susan was a finalist in the NOPOTY in 2005 and runner-up in 2009. She chairs the PAFSA Presidents Committee and form part of the Academy of Excellence. Natalie maroun leads a dream team of carefully selected consultants who are aligned and committed to the LRMG xperience. She assists in delivering management consulting xperiences that are creatively and strategically different, leaving an indelible mark on her clients’ organisations.

ColleEn Mansoor holds the position of Marketing Assistant/PA/Office Manager for PSG Asset Management Life, Illovo" in my article please to the following: Her mind, heart and soul have always been true to the PA profession and has been for over 35 years. Wouldn't do anything else, in this profession, one gets to experience anything and everything. Contact her on colleen.mansoor@jhi.co.za or cmansoor@mweb.co.za.


ED's MEMO Going for strong Consider this: When the seasons bring good weather, we do not have to work at keeping ourselves warm. But the Winter months require that we put in some effort to keep ourselves warm and able to function. What lesson does Nature give us with this? That there are ‘seasons’ in life where we need to put in extra effort. That life is not all an easy ride. That there are times when we need to do more, work more, put in that extra effort! There are also times in our life when we need to ‘shed’ things, and other times when we need create, innovate, move on…. Likewise every organisation has its ‘seasons’ too! There are times when all is going swimmingly well (like the Summer season); times when some “leaves” have to be shed, i.e products or services that are no longer relevant or profitable (the Autumn season); And also there are times, when whole departments or branches close down (like Winter) but there are times (like Spring) when there is exciting innovation! This is the normal pattern of things – and something that we have to accept and live with. In CareerSuccess, we always aim to give you the articles that will make you feel better, think better, get better, and live better! Enjoy all your seasons – and keep going for strong.



CONTENTS Features 6

Special events

Key Feature: My incredible Malaysia experience


24 Career Matters: Women and the future workplace


14 Special Feature: The A-Z motivational cards

PA Summit: Your ver y own special invite to the Annual Summit. Secretaries Day Gala Lunch: Your ver y own special invite to secretaries day Lunch


Ed's Memo: Going Strong


News,Views and Reviews: Flu etiquette/Ideas to make life easier

10 Eyes on the World: What am I? What’s in a job title? 22 Q&A: Aligning priorties

Interview 20 Academy of Excellence: Michele Thwaits

27 FriendsCup: President’s message 28 Brain Fun: Test your wits




News, Views And Reviews

Etiquette                              Flu Season Etiquette

What you need to know about flu and the office Flu season is upon us and this means the workplace becomes a potential ‘danger zone’ for coughing, sneezing and germs. Why? Because confined spaces and limited fresh air turns the office into a breeding ground for germs and flu. Medical experts say that people with flu can spread it to others up to about six feet away, mainly by droplets made when they cough, sneeze or talk. Touching surfaces or objects then touching your own mouth also aids in the virus spreading.

adds. “By doing this you may avoid getting germs and spreading any you may have.” “Wash your coffee cup with hot soapy water, as just rinsing is not sufficient to remove contamination and try limit your visits to the office kitchen, as it is a breeding ground for the flu.” She recommends boosting your immune system. “It is the best way to take preemptive measures to ensure your immune system is in top form,” she says “When our

The flu virus is associated with about 36 000 deaths and half a million hospitalisations every year and is to blame for 40-million days of missed work and school world-wide annually and yet a recent online survey found that 84% of employees admit going to work while sick. You can be infected with flu 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick, explains PharmaChoice spokesperson, pharmacist, Liezl van Tonder. “Flu symptoms start 1 to four days after the virus enters the body, so you may pass on the flu to someone else before you realise you are sick therefore it is important to boost your immune system and protect yourself over the flu season to ensure risks are minimised.” “Wash your hands often! This is especially important before eating, after using the restroom, after meetings, after using shared equipment, shaking hands and after being outside,” she says. “Keep some waterless hand sanitiser at your desk or in your bag so you can avoid visiting the restroom hundreds of times a day. “Avoid common items, germy hotspots include sink faucets, door handles and your office keyboard, mouse and coffee machine, give objects you touch often a once a week wipe down to disinfect,” she


immune systems are robust and the viral exposure is relatively limited, we shrug off any attacks. But when the viral contact is repeated and quite heavy, or when our immune systems are compromised, for instance at the change of season, or in the cold of winter, we succumb, and get a cold, or flu.” She suggests a maintenance plan of ViralChoice capsules, two a day with food and at least half a glass of water for eight weeks. “Give it a break for a week and then start again,” she adds. “ViralChoice is a powerhouse of vitamins and antioxidants and contains some of the most highlyrated boosters provided by nature.” She says that it works in two ways by helping reduce the susceptibility to cold

and flu infection andaids in recovery by reducing the duration and severity of colds and flu. “It will go a long way in ensuring you maintain optimal health during the throws of cold and flu season.” According to van Tonder plenty of sleep is also key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the winter as well as eating a healthy, balanced diet, keeping hydrated and exercising. She warns that you should limit your interactions with co-workers, politely avoid handshakes and casual conversations. “If a co-worker shows signs of the flu, politely ask them to go home and if they don’t, try keep your distance. Ensure you limit the spread of germs, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and ensure you throw it away. One sneeze can spray up to 3,000 infectious droplets into the air.” “If you get sick stay at home at least for 24-hours after your fever is gone, don’t go to the office unless you absolutely have to,” advises van Tonder. “Ensure you follow your company protocol when calling in sick, if you do it in a timely fashion you wont be leaving the people you work with panicked, which will give you the time off to rest and recover.” “The journey to good health begins with the right choice so ensure your body gets the essential building blocks you need for healthy immune function,” says van Tonder. “In healthy adults, colds and flu bugs are often no more than simply an inconvenience. But they can make you vulnerable to more sinister things, especially respiratory tract infections. So take them seriously, and have a snifflefree winter!” For more information visit: http:// www.pharmachoice.co.za or facebook. com/PharmaChoiceZA or Twitter: @ PharmaChoiceZA


Ideas                              One of our readers sent these ideas to make your life easier.

Idea 1 : Bread tags make the perfect cord labels. Source: unplggd.com

Idea 6: Store sheets inside their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match. Source: marthastewart.com


Idea 2: Store sheets inside their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match. Source: savvyhousekeeping.com

Idea 3: Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose Source: instructables.com

Idea 4 : Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookiedough over the top and you have cookie bowls for fruit or ice-cream. Recipe available on: http://www.wilton.com/ recipe/Sugar-Cookie-Bowls

Idea 7: Store sheets inside their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Idea 5: A tip for travel packing. Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty soles rubbing on your clothes. And you can find them in just about every hotel!

Idea 8: Gutter garden: Create a window-box veggie patch using guttering.

Source: wilton.com

Source: realsimple.com

Source: stephmodo.com


Source: lifehacker.com.au




Key Feature

On the 12th of May I set off on a grand adventure! I was departing OR Tambo and travelling to Malaysia to present at the World of Executive PA 2013, reports Anel Martin PA of the Year® 2011.



My incredible Malaysia experience!


his annual event is attended by delegates from across the globe and in past years the organisers have managed to line up some of the best and brightest PA trainers in the world. What a huge and intimidating opportunity! I had previously presented nationally but never abroad before. I was nervous and excited as I boarded the plane that Sunday afternoon, not knowing what to expect or how the delegates would respond to me. Would there be a language or cultural barrier? Would there be enough shared context for my presentation to make sense? After two flights spanning fifteen hours and ten thousand kilometers later I had finally arrived at Kuala Lumpur Airport (or as the experienced travelers call it, KL). What a


confusing labyrinth of an airport. I was met by a VIP receptionist at International arrivals and from the airport I took a high speed train to KL Central where a driver was waiting to take me to the hotel. The event was hosted at the incredible JW Marriot in Kuala Lumpur. Driving in peak hour traffic in KL I was so impressed with the friendliness of my driver and all the other people I had come in contact with since my arrival (they even did my check-in in my room). The Malaysian people are very serious about service and were amazing to deal with. A sensible person would have taken a nap, but I took a quick shower and went to explore The Pavilion Mall. I have never seen so many premium international brands in such close proximity

It was an amazing privilege to wave the South African flag at this event and to represent PAFSA abroad.

7 to one another. But this is not really what impressed me the most, as a foodie I was blown away by the Food Court and it took me hours to decide what to eat. It was completely overwhelming to the senses; there were food vendors selling anything you can think of (and some things beyond your imagination!) The day of the event finally rolled around, I was thrilled to be presenting but even more excited to be the chairperson for day one (something I had never done before). The keynote speaker for the day was Donna Coulling (a celebrity PA) who works for Helena Bonham Carter, Rachel Weisz and Sir Derek Jacobi. She is a glamorous and bubbly personality. It was a real joy to meet her in person as we had been connected via social media for a while. The only down side was that I would have to present directly after her, and boy was she a tough act to follow! Taking a deep breath I gathered all my courage and took to the stage. I presented on “The Power of PA Networking” and I am happy to say that my presentation was very well received . The highlight for me was that I got to meet and share the day with a panel of very distinguished speakers from across the globe (France, Germany and London). It was without a doubt the best PA workshop that I had ever been a part of and it is really one of the highlights of my career. The interaction with the delegates was excellent, we shared experiences over lunch and I was deeply touched by their sincerity and openness. I also felt very proud to live in a country where we have women who hold high positions in business and government and where I am able to speak my mind freely. This is not the experience of all women worldwide and the presentation by Faridah Hameed put this into very sharp focus for us. I also walked away with the amazing realization that PAs are PAs no matter where they live or work in the world. We have the same concerns and stresses. We are more similar than we are different. I am very glad that I embraced the opportunity to present in Malaysia. It has made me realize that we as South African PAs can stand among the best in the business and hold our own. I am looking forward to doing it all again in September 2013, when I will be travelling to the UK and presenting at the Annual PA Conference hosted by Hays. It was an amazing privilege to wave the South African flag at this event and to represent PAFSA abroad. As a past PA of the Year ® Award, I know that this opportunity would not have come my way if it were not for the PA of the Year® Award, which has opened this door and many others for me.



PA E v e n t


Let PAFSA host you on Wednesday 4 September 2013

our very own special invite to Secretaries Day events!

The 2013 Annual PA Summit The Summit Theme for 2013 is

Get the X–Factor! This special event is designed to give you an • X–tra boost to your energy • X–tra level of commitment and confidence • X–tra vigour to cope with everyday challenges

VENUE: Emperors Convention Centre You have the option of attending the full day or just the gala lunch.

Option A: full day R2100.00 VAT incl.

Attendance of morning Summit, Secretaries Day Gala Lunch and the afternoon PA of the Year announcement.

There are two keynotes; six educationals presented by the finalists in the PA of the Year Award. The Summit programme starts at 8h30 and ends at 13h00.

The Secretaries day gala lunch

Option B: 13h00 to 15h45

Pa of the year announcement

Attendance of Secretaries Day Gala Lunch and the afternoon PA of the Year announcement. Keep up to date on www.pafsa.co.za (Tel) 011 616 7401 (Fax) 086 639 0218

Secretaries Day lunch from 13h00 to 14h15

The ceremony of the announcement of the titlebearer for 2013 takes place from 14h30 to 15h45

The booking form Send your booking form to thandi@pafsa.co.za Email :

R495.00 VAT incl.

Name : Organisation : Designation : Special dietary requirements: Telephone Number : Cellphone Number : Postal Address : Boss' Designation : Attendance fee (amount indicates option A or B) : Company Vat No. :


et there by car, plane or Gautrain! If you have never taken the Gautrain before, here is your chance!


Eyes on the World

What am i?


in a job title? Teri Wells, PA of the Year 2012, as abuse of the people in this profession. How do we solve this problem? trend-spots for us.


ersonal Assistant, Executive Assist ant, Administrative Assistant, Executive Secretary, the list is endless. What are we? What are the criteria or deciding factors that determine our job titles and ultimately our responsibilities and remuneration?

Varying levels of qualification specific to different countries.

“Jay” from the USA recently brought this issue to light and what followed was a flood of opinion from around the world from PAs, EAs, Business Manager – Office of the CEO, and every conceivable title in between. This sparked a debate across the globe focussed on standardising the level of qualification and / or experience that determines the job titles assigned to “secretaries”. The current diversity which is worlds apart makes for interesting reading and is well worth further investigation.

Academic qualifications vs. experience.

As duties increased, responsibilities grew and expectations expanded the word Secretary evolved into a myriad of job titles. The resultant inequality of expectations in relation to remuneration for these job titles has, in some cases, lead to what can only be described careersuccess

In order to reach any global consensus, there are numerous factors that need to be considered, some of them being: In America you can study for a college degree but how does that compare to the diploma qualification on offer in South Africa? The terminology used needs to be unpacked to ascertain what differences there are in the qualifications available.

Is someone with a college degree more qualified than someone with 10 or 15 years on the job experience? There is, and always will be, a strong case for “The University of Life”. Size and complexity of the organisation. If you are a PA to the CEO of a small to medium enterprise are you any less worthy of the same title as the PA to the CEO of a large corporation? The definition of SME’s and large corporations is not even standardised across the globe. It may seem too simplistic but perhaps the way to approach this is to look at the actual tasks assigned to the contemporary secretary, group them in categories and then assign the job titles accordingly with a scale for promotion of level 1 to 4.


If for example your tasks are telephony, typing, filing, diary management and guest liaison then your job title could be Office Assistant 1. As your experience and capability grow in this category, you advance from level 1 to 4 and remuneration is adjusted accordingly. Should your tasks be all of the above plus event management, travel co-ordination and project administration then your job title could be Executive Office Assistant 1 and so on. This methodology will naturally also lead to further debate around which category a task falls in to; if you do all tasks in one category and only one from the next category, what happens to your job title? but these may be comparatively easy to resolve internally as opposed to measuring degrees against diplomas or altering the classifications of small and large organisations to a global standard. Once the levels are set, advertising for a new “secretary” will also be standardised. Employers will know what they are looking for and applicants will no longer be lured by the call for an Executive Assistant only to find out

that what is required is a Girl Friday or vice versa. It can be suggested that your job title should be attached to your tasks, ability and experience and not just be a mirror of your manager’s title. Simply working for an Executive does not mean that you are an Executive Assistant, you are an assistant to an Executive and there is a difference. What is abundantly clear is that if we don’t know what we are, or what we are worth, how can the rest of the working world know! If we don’t clarify our positions, who will? We need to continue to collaborate and do what we do best: find the answers. There will be debates and disagreement, collusion and compromise as we move towards the final solution but the issue is out there for discussion and together we can achieve the ultimate job title classification method. The good news is that PAFSA’s Career Committee has the task of researching this issue and come up with some recommendations which will be published in the Blueprint in 2014.

What is abundantly clear is that if we don’t know what we are or what we are worth, how can the rest of the working world know! issue



Special Feature

The A-Z motivational cards

for office professionals ABC Minions for office professionals by Abie Davis. Being, and staying, motivated has never been this easy!

"You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you"






Special Feature









PAFSA Presidents Committee

Discover the

passion for your


As part of our effort to promote the Secretarial profession, I decided to do a survey during the Administrative Professional Week celebration in April. I received over a hundred responses! Below are the winning responses – and just a few of my other favourites to the survey titled:

"Are you ready to do some creative thinking about your life as a PA?" Question 1: If you were granted one superpower to help you do your job better on a day-to-day basis, what would it be, and why?

Runners-up My superpower would be to have POWERFUL PINK PA PROACTIVE POWDER in my handbag which would help me see into the future so I could be SUPER proactive and plan down to the last detail. Isn’t that what every fabulous PA needs to do? ~ Stacey McFarlane, FNB ~ Mind reading! Just think how wonderful (and scary) that would be! For some reason people think a PA knows exactly what to do at all times without being told. It will be nice to careersuccess

“tap into someone's brain” and know what to do with the documentation that lands on your desk without any instruction! Or know exactly what was said in a meeting you did not attend… And then also “read someone’s thoughts” and understand why some people react the way they do and to be able to assist in any possible way you can to make it better. I hope the mind reading superpower will have a delete button as well … ~ Christa Booth, Sasol Mining.

And the winner is… To have a magic wand that I will use to show both management and staff how much we do, and how hard we try to ensure that everybody’s requests are met urgently. I will also use that wand to extend time so that we are able to have enough “me-time” and be able to do other activities that makes us HAPPY; have


more hours to accomplish more in the day; and be able to spend more time with our families and those who means the most to us! ~ Avril Swartz, Discovery ~ Question 2: If you were offered a 25% raise, but only on the condition that you would never again be thanked for any of the little things you do to help during the workday, would you take it? Why or why not?

Runners-up I wouldn’t take the raise. Although I don’t go over and beyond my job to be thanked for every task, I think it means so much when someone recognises my hard work and can see the fruits of my labour. It is so rewarding when someone notices that ‘extra mile’ you went for them. Money does not have a direct correlation to job satisfaction (contrary to what most people think). Even the small little things we do, can mean so much to people we work with, as we spend more time at work than with our own families sometimes so to be appreciated and valued is a much greater asset than a 25% raise. ~ Stacey McFarlane, FNB ~ No, at this point and time I will not take the raise. For me it is the little things in life that makes life worth living. I don’t want people to praise me from dusk till dawn, but when I receive a simple thank you, it feels as if the day was worth it. It makes you feel valuable and not being taken for granted. Money is important (especially in today’s global economic situation), but my job is more than a job to me – it is a reflection of the person I

am and I would like to be and my job gives me the platform to do this. It makes me feel as if I am making a difference in the lives of others, being it in the workplace (I would like to leave a legacy) or wherever I am. Christa Booth, Sasol Mining

And the winner is… No. Being appreciated is much more valuable than money for me. We agree to our salary and annual increases when we are employed. No value can be placed on being able to ensure that someone else can better fulfil their role, and being able to add to others’ experience at work being as enjoyable as my own, and being appreciated for it. Money is not the only way to feel appreciated. ~ Avril Swartz, Discovery ~ Question 3: You've just received word that you're being inducted into the Administrative Assistants' Hall of Fame! Who is the first person you'll thank during your acceptance speech, and why?

Runners-up I am one of the lucky few who gets to work with my mentor / coach / role model on a daily basis - MM. I learn something new from her every day. She inspires me personally and professionally. She is so dedicated to making a difference at FNB and her enthusiasm rubs off on those around her. She is very open minded and listens when I talk to her. She offers great advice and does not ''tell'' me what to do but rather empowers me to be the best PA possible. Stacey McFarlane, FNB I cannot thank only one person as my family is a unit and count as one to me and therefore it will be my husband, my

daughter and my domestic worker. If I did not have them, I would not have been able to do my job effectively. My husband and daughter for their understanding, love, support and for always being there (during long hours, the bad, sad and the good times) and my helper at home for taking care of the household. “They are the wind beneath my wings” – But above all, all the glory and honour be to God! ~ Christa Booth, Sasol Mining

And the winner is… My mother. I grew up in a poverty stricken area in Cape Town, and my first job was working with my mom in a factory. My parents were separated when I was at a very tender age. My dad moved to Johannesburg when I turned 16, and asked if I wanted to move with him for better career opportunities. My mom’s words to me were ‘I’m leaving the decision to you, because I don’t want to hold you back, and have you look back on your life and regret that I chose for you. Choose, what will make you happy, and I will support you.” I received a learnership to study basic administration, computer skills and advanced typing, and that’s when my career took off as an administrator and PA. ~ Avril Swartz, Discovery ~ Thank you to each and everyone that responded to my survey. It was fun! PAFSA Greetings, Susan Engelbrecht Chairperson - PAFSA Presidents Committee 2012-2014 issue




AMeet a member of the academy of excellence In this edition the member of PAFSA's Academy interviewed is Michele Thwaits.

Believe in yourself; trust your instincts; exercise patience; never settle for second best in whatever you do; give it your best at all times.

AoE: What is your current position?

Michele: I don’t have anyone in particular who is a role model to me. A role model for me is anyone who applies themselves and reaches their goals no matter what obstacles fall in their path. They get up with a smile and look at that obstacle as a learning curve and an opportunity – not a failure. They remain positive no matter the circumstance.

Michele: PA to the Chief Governance Officer

AoE: What do you do for fun?

AoE: What in your opinion is your personal area of excellence or specialization?

Michele: I love walking and hiking at every chance I get and of course, I have become a keen bird watcher! Just being outdoors and taking in the beauty around us outside of the concrete jungle, is relaxing and calming.

AoE: In which of the national competitions did you reach the finals or win and in what year? Michele: Finalist in the Office Professional of the year 2006

Michele: From a PA perspective, organisation, and setting up of processes and procedures. It is instinctive for me to be proactive and make suggestions where I think change to a process or procedure is required enabling everyone to work with a more, streamlined and smoother process. Give me something to organise, be it meeting, seminar, travel – give me the information I need, the rest I take care of. I take pride in both my work and myself and whatever I do is a reflection on me. AoE: Who is your role model and why?


AoE: Tell us something interesting about yourself? Michele: Not many people know this but I was a soprano in the Rhema choir for 10 years and also one of the lead conductors during that period. We cut 6 CDs which went international and I also had the privilege of working with Malie Kelly (voice coach for SA idols) on 2 Easter productions where I was a voice group leader for the sopranos.


AoE: What does it mean to you to be a member of the Academy of Excellence? Michele: Being a member of the Academy of Excellence means I am part of a special group of PAs who share and encourage all PAs, Secretaries, Office administrators out there, assuring them that we are all part of a very special profession. We are more than just “servers” in our industry, we are “leaders” in every aspect of our jobs and we definitely add value. AoE: What do you think is the biggest benefit of the national competitions for PAs and Office Professionals? Michele: Exposure, opportunity and recognition. A true test of your capabilities, your strengths and your weaknesses. An opportunity to meet more PAs out there and get involved with the different organisations, committees, etc who work towards growth in the PA industry. AoE: What career advice would you give your younger self? Michele: Believe in yourself trust your instincts; exercise patience; never settle for second best in whatever you do; give it your best at all times.

The Academy of Excellence is the home of award winning PAs and Office Professionals. Membership is exclusive to PAs who reached the upper echelons of the national awards for the profession in South Africa. Being invited to join the Academy is a sign that you have achieved a level of excellence in your profession and it is a great honour to form part of this elite group. The ethos of this group is one of humility, professionalism and a sincere dedication to skills development in the profession and within the companies. For more information on the Academy visit www.pafsa.co.za and click on the Academy button.

i si sssuuee 2


Question & Answer By The Academy of Excellence

The question for this edition comes from Bernadette Loretz from Johannesburg.


I want to know how I can put pressure on my boss to complete a task that is of high priority to me, but not to him?


This requires some “managing up” skills. You will find that others will put pressure on you for results that are a priority to them. You need to understand their priorities in relation to your boss’s. You also need to monitor your boss’s frame of mind as you will be wasting his time, as well as your own, if he is distracted by looming deadlines, a current crises, poor health etc. Instead of leaving things on his desk to get to when time allows, consider keeping the documents with you and then at least once a day mention that you need 5 or 10 minutes with him. Monitor the diary and pick your time accordingly – for example if a meeting finishes early, or the first 10 minutes of lunch time, or the last 10 minutes before you leave for the day. By asking for a little time instead of a chunk out of his day, your boss will be more inclined to make time to see you. Make sure that you are prepared with only your most important issues that need your boss’s attention so that you use the allotted time efficiently. Prioritise what needs to be done and leave what can wait until your next 10 minute slot. If any individual task requires longer than 10 minutes, break it down into smaller tasks and deal with one or two at a time. If you are disciplined in this approach, you will teach your boss that when you say you need 10 minutes you will not waste time, and that it is important. Once you have established the pattern of behaviour for one 10 minute session per day (it should take about a week), you can increase it but always be mindful not to abuse the “system” that you have put in place. Career Success Issue 4 / 2012 has valuable information on Managing Up


If your boss gives you at least 10 minutes a day to go through priority items on your desk, this will go a long way in keeping both of you on the same page

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Career Matters

Women and the future Workplace We're seeing the end of combative feminism, and a onedimensional identity. The feminine language and concepts today are reinvention and renewal; inspiration and elevation; connection and nurturance and transparency and honesty. The real challenge for business leaders right now is finding a way to best leverage this exciting female energy, says Natalie Maroun


eminism in the workplace has certainly come a long way since the radical bra burning days of the sixties. The feminist energy we're embracing today is an emotional state and a consciousness, previously absent from the work environment. Not only does it embrace the value of female energy in the workplace but


it also acknowledges the strength of the highly popularized SHE economy. Drawing on research from Faith Popcorn's writings on "2012 What's Popping" and Meister and Willyerd's "2020 Workplace", these are some of the changes business can look forward to in the coming decade:

Very young women are leading the way. By the end of 2020 there will be more businesses started up by women. We will also see a major increase of women in professional positions. As women enter 'higher' positions we see the focus on business success shift from monetary gain to more meaningful measures - including social responsibility and employee growth. Business leaders need to start preparing the workplace for this. They need to factor women into their succession planning and ensure that they are enticed through incentive schemes that suit their needs. Culture also needs to be adjusted.

25 The traditional family is changing. Being a single mom is no longer seen as a life-sentence and 'disability of sorts.' This has become a conscious life choice for women who are opting to raise children on their own. In addition, women are choosing to stay single for longer - or not to get married at all. Stay-at-home dads are becoming a norm, rather than a frowned-upon segment of society. Popcorn predicts that over the next decade, the traditional nuclear family will decrease in prevalence drastically. Socially we will see a rise in services that provides flexibility to every kind of family structure. Day and night care will become a very lucrative business. We will also see co-parenting sites which link single parents to assist them in raising their children. Companies will need to adapt to the environment to serve these changing needs, with more flexibility for both men and women.

The chivalry shift. Women are no longer the 'weaker sex' as women's strengths are becoming more valuable in the changing world, while men struggle with changing societal expectations. It is predicted that women will in future assist their male counterparts by helping them protect themselves in the coming order that will highlight feminine characteristics more. In the workplace, educators and employers will need to deal with the sociological problems that men are facing by offering supportive counseling and guidance. Candidates with a high level of emotional intelligence should preferably be recruited. Personality tests that indicate EQ, will become the first step of the recruitment process - before competency checking and reference checks.

Women are closing the gap in the economy. Companies that show a lack of women on executive boards and in senior positions will be red flagged by investors. John Hagel said: "The future belongs to those of us, male or female, who can adopt and embrace the feminine archetype." The prediction is that traditionally female behaviour will become the preferred way of being and culture in organisations. Companies will expect both genders to demonstrate

conscientiousness rather than testosteronefuelled decision making. The work-life blend, based on feminine characteristics is replacing the idea of balance. With changes in the nuclear family, we will see a rising prevalence of the single-parent home and a millennial generation that values personal time and flexibility, coupled with the benefits of technological advancements. In future people will structure their work lives the way they want to. They will no longer be expected to work a traditional week but will shape their work around their lives focusing on delivery rather on hours of work completed. The workplace of the future needs to be shaped accordingly with policies which allow for a work blend rather than on a standard contract for all employees. Systems must be put in place to support remote work and effective connectivity between teams. Scorecards must support delivery and the feminists' workplace, rather than hours worked and sales targets reached. Finally, the skills shortage will be acute globally and women will be key in filling this gap. How and where they work will be a differentiating factor. Now that people are able to work remotely, we will see employees working for international companies in the comfort of their homes in their chosen place of residence. The knowledge worker will be of high value and they will have the ability to choose their office space, office hours and other working conditions. In summary, the feminisation of the workplace is encouraging us to look after our people better as the focus moves from profit to people. It means utilizing technology to develop our people and allow them to work according to their own blend and flexible schedule we need to retain them, no matter what. It means looking towards building, growing, collaborating and developing. Natalie Maroun, Lead Strategist at LRMG. More information on Tel: (087) 941 5764ď‚°

The skills shortage will be acute globally and women will be key in filling this gap. How and where they work will be a differentiating factor. issue




Colleen Mansoor, president of FriendsCup, PAFSA's social club for secretaries and PAs in Gauteng, gives an update.

Hello dear friends


ope you are looking forward to, as much as I, the next FriendsCup get together on Saturday, 6th July 2013 at Emerald Casino. – just awaiting confirmation of venue and time and an invite with all relevant details will be sent to you soonest. Friends, don’t forget to save the date for yet another annual event, yes you are correct, Secretaries Day, Wednesday, 4th September 2013. Details to follow. Once again I ask that you to please submit any relevant and/or interesting information you wish to share with us and I will include this in the next issue of the CareerSuccess Magazine.

AND NOW LADIES – DO WHAT YOU DO BEST As you know getting sponsorships are not like it used to be. I have been experiencing this; companies have tightened up budgets, and are not so able to assist. As Charmain and I

cannot keep approaching the same sponsors for giveaways and prizes etc, I would like to ask that, should you have any contacts that would be willing to come in for our upcoming events, this would be most welcome and appreciated, more prizes the better to add excitement for all. Well this is all from me, take care, enjoy and see you soon. PS: To all whom I am normally in regular contact with I need to apologise for my recent silence this is due to the fact that I was retrenched at the end of March 2013. It was quite an experience – but as I said in a previous article, “stay positive in whatever you do”. This is exactly what I did and was privileged to accept a contract position in Randburg, not sure of the duration, but from where I now once again am able to communicate with you. Should you wish to make contact my email address is now: colleen.mansoor@ jh i . co .za o r cma n so o r@mwe b .co .za . I really look forward to hearing from you!



Lunch Hour

Test your

Wits and have Fun

Try these brain teasers… brainfun Puzzle 1 What has a neck but no head? Puzzle 2 Where is the Ocean the deepest? Puzzle 3 What did zero say to eight?

brainbasher In the alphabet...which is the most self-centered letter of the alphabet?

"I can't stop long dear, George has installed a timing device on the telephone!"

gotcha puzzle What do tigers have that no other animals have?

brainteaser What is as big as a horse but doesn't weigh anything?

"PS ­– if you're looking for the file, it's in the candle!" Source: www.brainbashers.com


Puzzle A A bottle• Puzzle 2 On the bottom • Puzzle 3 Nice belt• Brainbasher "I" • Gotcha Puzzle Baby Tigers • Brainteaser The horse's shadow


Profile for Lazuli Communications

CareerSuccess Magazine Issue 2 2013  

A magazine for PAs and Office Managers

CareerSuccess Magazine Issue 2 2013  

A magazine for PAs and Office Managers