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for administrative & office professionals

Volume 29 Issue 2

6 Habits of highly effective PAs

It’s good to think but its better to chink

How to

Stay connected Being un-sick is not good enough!

PLUS Secretaries Day with PAFSA


Contents 04 News and Reviews Updating you

06 Key Feature

Its good to think but its better to chink

10 Interview

Spotlight on Alta McMaster

12 Tips

6 habits of highly effective PAs

16 Work Trends Knowlege Management

18 Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body The wizard of oz

20 Office Life

Stop the world - I'd like to get off for a little while

22 Focus Feature Secretaries Day Events

25 Coaching Class 26 Health at Work

Being un-sick is not good enough

30 International Gurus Meet Laura Schwartz

34 Meet a Member Welcoming Jacquie Fioramonti

36 Technology

You can always be techno-present

38 Last Page Test your wits

Contributors Lizelle Gilland is Executive PA to the CEO and General Manager at the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa. She has spent 5 years in the medical field, 5 in the advertising and media and 5 in the finance industry. Joanie Nel is the PA to the CEO of Samancor Chrome. Her career started in 1996 and in 2015 she won the OPSA / Rexel National Office Professional of the Year Award. For Joanie her brand is what defines her as an individual, and she aligns herself with likeminded professionals to take the profession forward. Chelene Venter is South Africa’s PA of the Year 2015/16. She is a frequent speaker at events, has experience as an MC and is a mentor to many. She is the international liaison officer for IYOTSA’s 2016 campaign and a member of the Academy of Excellence. She is currently the Personal Assistant to the Chief Information Officer of the South African Reserve Bank. DR Michael Mol is a medical doctor, an executive producer, presenter, international speaker, business consultant and a founding director of a multi-national company called Hello Doctor. His twitter profile sheds more light: “ A husband to one, father to three, friend to few, a stranger to many… but not to God.” He’s garnered accolades for scriptwriting, producing and presenting – most recently a People’s Award for the Best TV Presenter, most popular TV personality and three SAFTA nominations for The Dr Mol Show and Hello Doctor. His research assistant is Karen Heath, PhD.

Michele Thwaits has many years of experience as a PA and has been actively involved in training and speaking engagements since 2007. Michele is very active on many forums within the PA profession, and regularly contributes articles to various magazines and online publications. Anel Martin is an award winning Personal Assistant. Finalist in the National Office Professional of the Year 2009 and the Pitman’s Super Achiever PA of the Year 2013 and South African PA of the Year in 2011. Past President of PAFSA and also held office as the Head of the Academy of Excellence in South Africa. She is a Certified Master Office Professional. Shirwyn Weber is the Executive Assistant to the Senior Partner at PWC. He has been an Assistant for 10+ years and was a PA of the Year Finalist in 2015 and finalist in Pitman’s SuperAchievers PA of the Year in 2016. Shiwyn loves sharing knowledge and helping others achieve their goals! GAVIN SHARPLES is a highly sought after and experienced conference speaker working in the small, medium and multinational business areas, locally and internationally, at meetings, corporate events and functions. Gavin is different! He’s been called: a maverick, crazy, intense, outspoken & creative, nice guy, not normal, naughty and passionate. His foundation is based on Consistent Persistent Positive action (CPPA).

For contributor contact details please email anamaria@dictum.co.za careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


Ed’s memo This is our Winter issue of CareerSuccess and we look forward to it enriching you in every way! I am delighted to have the privilege of such talented contributors, some of them regular, like Michele Thwaits and Shirwyn Weber. And of course, honoured to have Susan Engelbrecht, as Assistant Editor, both for this magazine and the PAFSA Facebook page. The workplace is not an easy place in many ways today. We can all do with a little help for the mind and soul and a little TLC for the body. This is how we go about putting each edition together for you. We are careful in our selection to ensure that every single article will benefit you or your career. You will note, however, that this being a Winter issue, there is an enormous focus on your health and taking better care of yourself. We come to you every season, but every single day we boost your confidence and enhance your knowledge through our Facebook page PAFSA. Do go in and place your Like if you have not done so before. If you can’t access it from your work, you can do it from home. It’s the best way to ensure you are kept abreast of developments which are significant for you. Coming up is PAFSA’s annual PA Summit taking place on Wednesday 7 September, at Emperors Convention Centre. The theme is Be the Game Changer, and you will experience how it’s so easy to be one, and make life so much more innovative. At the Summit we will be announcing this year’s PA of the Year. Come meet the candidates in the running. Have you made your nomination? Hope to see you there on Secretaries Day! A big warm hug Ana-maria

This edition’s FOCUS feature

Editorial Editor-in-chief Ana-Maria Valente anamaria@dictum.co.za Assistant Editor Susan Engelbrecht

Admin/Advertising Director Ornella Trinco ornella@dictum.co.za Advertising/Marketing 011 616 7401 careersuccess@dictum.co.za Head: Finance & HR Guida Morais finance@dictum.co.za Subscriptions & Client Liaison subs@dictum.co.za Graphic Design design@dictum.co.za

The Company CareerSuccess is published by Lazuli Communications (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

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


news and reviews

Job Mail partners with Vodacom to deliver free-tobrowse site Online career portal Job Mail has joined forces with Vodacom to provide the mobile operator’s subscribers free-to-browse access to its website through vodacom.co.za. “Our aim is to connect job seekers and employers through an easy-to-use platform and it is wonderful that Vodacom is doing its bit to assist job seekers in a similar way,” says Angelique Robbertse, product and marketing manager for Job Mail. With over 9 000 jobs on offer and the ability to register their CV for free, job seekers will certainly benefit from creating an online profile on Job Mail and browsing the site. Seeking a job in the 21st century involves being online, not only to browse career portals, but to correspond with potential employers and recruitment agents, and to access social media where many positions are advertised. “We post over 50 available positions to our Twitter followers on a daily basis and are also active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+ where our community enthusiastically engages with our content. Job seekers are

also able to upload their CVs to their Job Mail profile with DropBox and Google Drive, so being online is a must when actively looking for job opportunities and being able to respond quickly when a position becomes available,” she says. Job seekers can create online profiles, upload their CVs, set up job alerts to notify them of the latest jobs in their particular field and apply for vacancies for free on Job Mail. “We’re the only career portal in South Africa offering free job advertising for recruitment agents and private advertisers,” says Robbertse. With unemployment rife, any cost, even if it is to search for a job online, is a concern for many job seekers. “Thanks to Vodacom’s initiative, subscribers don’t have to worry about the data cost associated with searching and applying for a job, allowing them to concentrate on that which matters submitting a professional CV and preparing for a job interview,” she says. For more information, visit www.vodacom.co.za, click on Services, then on NXT LVL Careers

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

Quick Parts for you Applies To: Outlook 2016 , Word 2013 , Outlook 2013 , Word 2010 , Outlook 2010 Use the Quick Parts Gallery to create, store, and find reusable pieces of content, including AutoText, document properties such as title and author, and fields. Open the Quick Parts gallery to use these items. In Word, click Insert > Quick Parts. Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery Select a phrase, sentence, or other portion of your document. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click Quick Parts, and then click Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. After you save a selection to the Quick Part Gallery, you can reuse the selection by clicking Quick Parts and choosing the selection from the gallery. See here: Adding a Quick Part Creating a Quick Part is really easy: 1. Type and then select the text that you want to add as a Quick Part. 2. On the Insert tab on the Ribbon press the “Quick Parts” button. 3. At the bottom of the menu that pops-up, select: “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery…”

The Quick Part feature can be found on the Insert tab. 4. In the new dialog that pops-up you can specify some details. •

In general you’ll only add a name for the Quick Part. I sometimes add a short description if the Quick Part is quite long and the name can’t describe it specific enough.

5 •

Categorising your Quick Parts is also a good idea when you have over 10 Quick Parts. Otherwise you’ll spent some time searching for it and the Quick Parts are not that quick anymore Unless you have a very specific need, you can leave the other options in their default value.

Deleting a Quick Part The delete function for Quick Parts is a bit hidden as well. 4. Press the Quick Parts button and right click any of the Quick Parts (it doesn’t matter which one, it doesn’t have to be the one that you want to delete) 5. From the context menu that pops-up select: “Organise and Delete…” 6. In the new dialog you’ll see all your so called “Building Blocks” which you can delete. Note: If the “Organise and Delete…” option is not available you’ll need to switch your message format to HTML format as mentioned in: Can’t delete Quick Parts.

There are various saving options for a Quick Part. Modifying a Quick Part Modifying a Quick Part is not that straight forward as there is no direct editing option. You basically need to insert, edit and then resave the Quick Part: 1. Insert the Quick Part. 2. Make the modifications you want. 3. Add the Quick Part to the Quick Part gallery by the method described above. When you save it with the same name you’ll be prompted with: “Do you want to redefine the building block entry?” Of course you need to press “Yes” here and you’ve successfully modified your Quick Part. The method to modify a Quick Part is a bit unconventional.

Right click on any Quick Part to find the “Organise and Delete” dialog. For your mails: 1. If you regularly write the same text, you can save it as a Quick Part for easy insertion into your emails. Simply highlight the text in the composer window, then switch to the Insert tab>Quick Parts>Save selection to Quick Parts gallery. In future, when you start typing the phrase, you’ll see it pop up as a suggestion – hit return to insert it in full.

Quick parts are an essential productivity tool!

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


key feature

It’s good to THINK

But it’s better to CHINK! Catch the wave and start chinking, says Gavin Sharples

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


People fear change. “It’s okay to talk about it, just keep it to yourself and it’s all good as long as it doesn’t affect me”. So what do we do when challenges arise, or what happens when the results of doing the same thing every day, comes home to roost?


or the past 23 years one of my key messages to corporates and individuals around the world has been simple: There is a common denominator to success in business and happiness in life, a golden thread to health, wealth, wisdom, love, joy and abundance. I ask delegates what they think it is. Typical replies are: •

“Service”, to which I reply: “How do you explain banks and the post office?”

“Attitude and passion”, and I ask: “How do you explain people with money and power that are miserable?” We call them management or business owners. My research has shown that the higher you go in a company the more miserable you become.

We have a load of fun in this process, but hardly anyone gets the answer! Any conference you attend, book you read or course you take, only really has one topic. They might ‘theme’ it something lofty like: Us Together Mission Possible No “I” in “Team” but there is a “ME”. No matter what the courses name or subject, someone is asking you to do ONE thing, the same thing, the universal success thing Change, innovate and be creative, or as I like to ‘word’ it: Chinking! Change, Innovation and Creativity will solve all the problems that face the world today. What are you doing and going to do differently? Someone once said, “The only thing that will change the world is an idea. A new and different idea. A new and different way of thinking, doing, and being.

When times get tough instead of changing and creating new markets and strategies, instead of opening dialogues with our people and customers we do the exact opposite. We shut down and stop all dialogue! When people are having any form of conflict, that’s the time when we should talk and engage even more - not shut down and sulk. So what do we do when communication is shut down? We stew in our own versions of the event – imagining the worst possible outcomes and projecting all sorts of evil plots and motives driving the other party. We decide to communicate with each other through a third party, and end up destroying the relationship and making lawyers rich. Managers and leaders shut down, keep to themselves and join in with the doomers and gloomers. The grapevine explodes, spending and initiatives are cancelled and people and companies almost go into hiding, waiting for something to happen or for someone to make things happen.

CHANGE AND DO THIS! We as change agents and leaders of our companies, organisations and families have to get people excited about change and doing things differently. Not only about doing different things but understanding that being different is our greatest gift.

The only thing that will change the world is an idea As soon as South Africans can embrace our differences and use them as tools to sculpt the future we will become unstoppable. We’ve done this once before, I think the year was 1994! If we, as a nation, have a challenge (we have a few) and we were able to sit around a table with every ethnic group who stepped up and offered solutions. If we then looked at all the solutions, all different and unique, and were able to combine and use the best ones in our solution, can you imagine the power of that?

THE BAD NEWS The bad news is that people are afraid of change. Mostly because change has been thrust upon them, and with change comes a certain discomfort: People have to move away from a comfort zone to experience, in most cases, the unknown.

continued on next page careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

8 continued from previous page

juices flowing: •

Get organised - drawer-by-drawer and cupboard-bycupboard.

But first we have to change our fixation with the pas. We have to change our self-interest prejudice, our ego’s need to change, and if our idea is not used we need to grow up and accept it and not sulk. We all need to be equally accountable and responsible; that would be a change. So the change really starts with us, as individuals.

Get It done - that one thing that you have been putting off.

Do something different - change your slides, wake up earlier, have lunch in a different place, say something, say nothing.

Change - your mind about someone, your opinion of someone.


Change - your hairstyle, your look, clothing, image.

Let’s face it there are only two basic types of people in this country. Givers and Takers. This applies to your workplace too!

Change - your attitude, your mind. Learn something new, discover something old, see it from another point of view, and enrol yourself in a new programme.

Be someone’s hero/ine - “Be the change you wish to see” in your company.

Let’s focus on your workplace You can spot the takers a mile away. These are the people who always want, but never want to contribute. Nothing is good enough and the more they get the more they want. They are always the first to bitch, whinge, moan and complain. Whenever anyone has a solution or idea their brains are hardwired to respond “let me tell you why that will not work”. The Takers: The takers do just that. They take and they keep taking. When they meet someone for the first time the first thing their brains ask: “Why don’t I like this person?” The brain is a funny thing. Ask it why something won’t work, why you don’t like someone and it will do what it is told and find a reason. The Givers: These are exactly the opposite. Givers always want to contribute, give, grow, build, help, and make a difference. They hear an idea and ask: “How can that work” or “How can I make that work?” They meet someone for the first time and immediately ask: “Why do I like this person?” As I said the brain will do what it is told and find a reason. The real question is, are you a giver or a taker? When you put your head on your pillow every night can you positively say that today you gave more than you took? Now I can hear you thinking: “That’s all well and good but the more I give the more they take” (I’m a mind reader!). I know that sometimes people with a giving nature stand to get exploited. I understand that when a predator sees prey, that’s all they see. So be aware - but instead of stopping to ‘give’, just change your focus and go and give elsewhere …move on. You really can’t change Takers. You just have to avoid them, keep being you and maybe they’ll be inspired to change or move away because they feel uncomfortable. Here’s an idea for all you givers. Start now at the office. “Feed” and “nourish” your team with support and caring.

I hope you, as the PA, catch the chinking fever and pass it on…!


People, now more than ever need to hear a positive, different, inspirational message from the leaders, managers and the business community.

Companies, have to now more than ever market, promote, sell, tell, demonstrate, see, present, knock, phone, meet, expand, try, walk, run, crawl, ask, beg, schmooze and basically do whatever it takes.

More importantly, companies and people need to do the exact opposite of what traditional, frightened behaviour dictates.

Call in all the positive people that you know and get them to address your people immediately and continuously. Churchill spoke to the British nation every night during the Blitz.

Cleverly and carefully assess all projects, streamline them and action them immediately.

Walk the talk. Do what others don’t expect. Pitch at places they would never think of seeing you. Spend, invest, and be positive when all around you speak of doom and gloom

The Big South African idea: The time for Chinking is upon us. The time for rethinking our thinking is here and it's the only way forward.

START THE CHANGE Here are a few changes that I hope will get those creative careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

For more information on Gavin Sharples see contributors page.




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e heard that you are the CEO of the Epic Foundation. Tell us more...how did this come about? I never imagined when I started with charity projects from my home in October 2010 that I would have my own non-profit organisation today. I am a survivor of a rape which happened 16 years ago – my full story is available on my website www. epicfoundation.org.za . I did not speak about my ordeal to anyone, until the day that I realised that not speaking about it had a negative effect on my life. The day I spoke out, changed my life around and I managed to turn my negative into a positive by helping other survivors. I emptied out one of my rooms in my home and was going to prepare Comfort Packs on a small scale. I e-mailed family and friends and told them what I was planning, and what I would need, as I had no budget to buy items. What happened next was quite unexpected and the start of a new journey in my life - my “one” e-mail went everywhere! I had people contact me offering support – dropping off car loads of donations to the point where I ran out of space in my home.

Spotlight on the

remarkable In this issue we meet Alta McMaster

I realised that this was a sign that I needed to take the project further. I approached a shopping mall owner and asked if I could use space in the mall, which they gladly sponsored. I moved into the Lemon Tree shopping Mall in Alberton and from there the projects just kept growing, as well as the support from the community. I registered the Epic Foundation in April 2013 and in June 2013 received the Lead SA Hero of the month award for the work done in the Gauteng area. I managed to tell my story on 702 and 94.7 and to various newspapers. This exposure helped the Epic Foundation tremendously. Today we are running several projects and initiatives to support survivors of rape, abuse and human trafficking. Our projects have also expanded to the whole of South Africa through Netcare and also several other smaller victim empowerment centers in other regions. Our main focus is still the centres in Gauteng. Our projects and initiatives include: Comfort Pack Project (bags with essential toiletry items to be used during the initial reporting phases of rape and abuse); counselling, support groups, referrals for legal advice, court preparations, selfprotection classes, motivational talks, education and awareness campaigns as well skills development for shelter women. How did you feel when you started it? I had a deep desire to start up something to help others, and was extremely pleased that I found something which could have impact and which had not been done in the Gauteng province much, so I knew it was something there would be a great need for. Through all of this I have discovered my purpose in life.

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

11 What kind of message do you think this sends out? The message is twofold: Firstly for survivors of rape and abuse need to speak out about what has happened to them and to get the help they need to heal. If you want to change your situation around, it is important to face reality – this is the first step to recovery. Having gone through something like this is not the end of life!

New Release for PAs!

The second part of my message is to encourage people to take up challenges in their lives, not to be scared of the unknown – if you do not take the plunge and “just do it” you will never know where you could have ended up. Now let’s focus on you: Tell us the most interesting thing about you. Besides running the Epic Foundation, I also still work at PricewaterhouseCoopers as their Global Mobility Manager. My “normal” day consist of getting up at 4am. Working for PwC from 6am to 12/1pm and then off to do Epic work in the afternoons. When I get home I do the balance of my PwC work to make up my 8 hour day. It’s a long day, but then they say to have a fulfilling life you should split your day in 8 hours work to earn your salary (PwC), 8 hours doing what you enjoy (Epic) and 8 hours sleep (not sure if I always get 8 ). My weekends normally consist of Saturday mornings at the Epic Foundation office where we bring in volunteers to help with comfort pack packing, sorting of donation, and helping students on fitting days. We are normally finished by 1pm when I can start my weekend. What do you want out of life? I am very passionate about giving back to the community and helping those in need. It is my vision that the projects and initiatives of the Epic Foundation will grow to the point where I can run the organisation on a full time basis and where we can expand into all regions of South Africa to reach as many survivors as possible. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Definitely some of my personality traits. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I’m working on it daily... What do you do for fun? I think it is important to make time to unwind and to recharge your batteries… slowing down now and then, and taking “me time” is very important. I have an arts and crafts room with lots of electrical tools, cupboards full of items for mosaic work, painting, candle making, soap making, lead glass work, woodwork, and…. space in one cupboard the biltong and the wine! In closing: WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE “I believe that with God all things are possible and without God life can become impossible. I have learnt that He will never give me more than I can handle. With Him by my side I am able to overcome all obstacles”. - Alta McMaster

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careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016





habits of

highly effective PAs

PA of the Year®, Chelene Venter, interviews top PAs to get their views on this topic.


My own tip is:

Lizzie Mudzingwa’s tip:

Begin your task

Serve to Enrich

with the end in mind

the World

If I think of one habit a highly effective PA must have, the following quote comes to mind: “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means you need to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now, so that the steps you take are always in the right direction” – Stephen Covey Define “habits” - It is the connection of your DNA (Drive, Needs and Abilities). We all have good and bad habits, but effective PAs zoom in and focus on the good ones. To begin your tasks with the end in mind means that: • You are focused •

You are structured

You understand your task

You know what is expected of you

You will always reach your deadlines


You have a happy boss

Remember that PAs with good habits are PAs with determination. They are determined to become the best and conquer the world! Because PAs are brilliant and they are bright they will adopt the “Begin with the end in mind” habit and smile at the 5 Ps (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance).


careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement” Woodrow Wilson Have a “BIG” heart, the Profession and the world at large needs individuals who have a greater vision; with a finer spirit of hope and achievement, people who are not afraid to give what they have to change the world no matter how small. No one can ever take what is inside you; the more you pour yourself out the more you make room for more. Don’t be stale and contaminate the profession; you can never “Exhaust Creativity”, you are indispensable. If you think that you are too small to make a difference in your time “spend a night with a Mosquito”. Everyone and everything is born with and for a purpose. Never desire to be Big before you can be your Best. Be your best before the title comes, because titles come and go but your true values remain forever. Don’t compromise your profession, because out of it comes the success of Businesses and Economy Globally. Focus on the impact you make rather than the title you have (Robin Sharma).



Susan Engelbrecht’s tip: EAs/PAs have a strong desire to help


people succeed. Be open to learning

PAs do have a strong desire to help people succeed and in my mind that is part of the challenge and enjoyment of my role. Being the right hand of a top executive or executives… Striving to help others succeed… Organising,planning, trouble shooting and achieving results.. This make PA/EAs enjoy getting up in the morning and is a perfect skill set for any manager who wants to get ahead.

Many executives lean on their PAs for events. PAs are astute observers and excellent at building a team of volunteers. I echo the comments I have heard from successful PAs when organising events and finding the right people: always look for a good communicator who has time management skills, is detail orientated, flexible and resourceful. (S)he must have the passion to succeed! Listen closely – not only to instructions but to conversations between others. You can gain valuable insight into issues, working relationships, projects, etc. Be open to learning – treat each challenge as an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skill set. You may find it leads to an opportunity you love! This approach will result in: • Being focused • Being structured • Understanding the task at hand • Knowing what is expected of us • Reach our deadlines • Having a happier manager We all have good and bad habits, but effective PAs zoom in and focus on the good ones.


Feroza Sader’s tip: Honesty is the Best Policy Where has honesty in the workplace gone?

Being an Executive Personal Assistant in a very large corporate organisation, I have learnt that my credibility is at the centre of my ability to influence others and provide a strong support structure to my bosses and colleagues. Honesty and integrity are key ingredients in developing trust. I recently made an error with an online flight booking. Without spending too much time on panic, I pointed out the error to all those relevant and much to my relief, the outcome was positive.We all encounter issues with honesty in the workplace from time to time. However, it’s how we handle these situations that make the true difference in how our co-workers and employers view and trust us. Here are some tried and true rules to workplace honesty to keep in mind: • Address mistakes as soon as possible. • Think before you speak. • Say what you mean and mean what you say. • Bend over backward to communicate in an open and honest fashion. • Simplify your statements so that everyone clearly understands your message. • Tell people the rationale behind your decisions so that your intent is understood. • If you are always honest with people you don’t have to remember the lie you told them. • Being straightforward makes you a better peoples’ person. • Being authentic makes you accountable. Honesty expresses both self-respect and respect for others. Dishonesty seeks concealment and causes stress, panic, sickness and eventual collapse. Yep, if truth be told, death count by stress is higher than an epidemic. Being honest will give you mental peace. Speak with Honesty, Think with Sincerity and Act with Integrity.



careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016




habits of

highly effective PAs continued from previous page

Sonja Bohlander’s tip: Clear Communication between the PA and


the Manager is essential It is vital to the success of your dealings with your manager(s) that instructions both given and received are clear.

We all know that we often operate on tight deadlines and therefore the clearer the instruction the quicker the action. Discussions should ideally take place daily between a PA and her manager(s) in order to avoid undue pressure. Use abbreviations to save time when taking notes. Ask questions; ensure all information is clearly understood. It is vital that you understand the priority of any request. Deadlines, correct attendees, location of venues, etc. is important in the success of your day to day activities, such as arranging meetings and making calls.


Shirwyn Weber’s tip: Manage your Outlook! It helps productivity!

Many of you may think that managing your emails simply cannot lead to productivity, as you still need to read the email. That may be correct but think about it, how many times have you been busy with something and then stopped to check what is on the email that just arrived. This practice is so common, we want to be on top of everything, so we check every email as it comes in. My tip is simple: Make special times during your day to check and respond to emails. I normally spend 30 mins in the morning, 30 mins after lunch and 45 mins before the end of my day to work on emails. I know you all might say what if something important comes through that needs to be done;well the answer is simple: If it's urgent the person will call you within 15-20 after he/she sent the mail to ask if you can or cannot do their request. If it is for your boss, then the two of you need to work out a system whereby he will talk to you directly for things he needs done, this is actually the best way to communicate as there is less room for interpretation and more can be explained.

Miscommunication can cause an ‘office tsunami’ of note!



So there you have it! Six very different tips to enrich your life

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


work trends

OUR CHALLENGE: Knowledge Management and Sharing

Don’t we all at some stage wish we knew everything and that we could be a Human Wikipedia? It is never too late to obtain knowledge. You become a library of information and an asset to your company, so says Lizelle Gilliland.


nowledge management is becoming increasingly important to organisations. Having an effective knowledge management system is likely to improve retention, increase productivity, and promote innovation. It can promote a culture conducive to learning and sharing.

How do I start to manage knowledge? If you are part of a team managing the knowledge of a business unit or team, you need to start to think about introducing processes. Arrange training in some of the tools and techniques, so that they can become embedded in your business processes. You will need to think about what your knowledge assets are, and how they can be managed. On a broader level, you will certainly want to consider your knowledge management and incorporate it in your organisation’s strategy, mission and objectives. You can identify knowledge sharing networks of business practitioners across your organisation, and give them the crucial careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

resources they need to share and apply their knowledge.

Benefits of Management


Information is easily shared amongst staff members, and knowledge isn’t lost if someone goes on vacation, gets sick, or leaves the company.This can result in substantial savings to an organisation’s bottom line. People are easily brought up to speed and valuable knowledge assets are never lost (which means that you don’t lose time and money when people have to learn new information quickly) and can be leveraged. Because ideas can be shared easily, knowledge management may also increase innovation and help create better customer relationships. If the company has a global team, knowledge management can create a more powerful workforce when all of those different cultures are brought together to share assets. It gives staff members the knowledge they need to do their jobs better and make them more productive.

Tips for Implementing Knowledge Management Identify tacit knowledge first – Many organisations find that identifying their team’s tacit knowledge is the biggest hurdle. If you implement a knowledge management system in your department or company, start with a brainstorming session with your team to get their ideas flowing. Start with a small team – It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge that could be shared. Start with a small group, in one department, and grow from there. This will help you figure out what information you’d like to keep, and how you’d like to organise it. Help staff feel comfortable about sharing knowledge – It might be hard to “sell” knowledge management to your team. After all, you’re asking them to share their hard-won knowledge and experience, the very things that make them valuable to the company. Make knowledge sharing part of the company culture, and something that everyone does. This will help make

17 team members feel more comfortable about getting involved. Consider bringing knowledge sharing into your formal approach to performance management, so that people are rewarded for sharing information freely. Make it as easy as possible for your team to share information – Everyone is busy. If being part of a knowledge management program is difficult or timeconsuming, people may not want to be involved. The easier it is for people to participate, the more likely you are to succeed. Plan for retiring team members – Retirement is a major reason why so many organisations are trying to quickly implement knowledge management systems right now. If you’re facing a baby-boomer generation that’s about to walk out of the door, it makes sense to start collecting their experience first.

Implementing Management


Technology-based systems, where everyone can add and edit information. Or, it can include programs or databases on the company’s intranet, with information organised so that everyone can access them. Any technology-based system will have challenges. For instance, • •

Who will manage the project? Who will keep the information up to date? • How will people access the information? There’s no “one size fits all” approach . Every company and culture is different. Softer systems. These are things like specific actions or meetings that take place to share knowledge and help people connect with one another. Consider the following methods as part of your soft knowledge management systems: •

Job shadowing and mentoring


Instant messaging forums



Specific actions, like reviews after significant events, and postimplementation reviews after a project has been completed.

How can we incentivise knowledge sharing? Nothing happens without incentives. We have limited time and energy, and people in most companies are already working at their limit. How can we incentivise people to save time in the future? We need to give the following; Expectations. As part of the governance system, management need to set the clear expectations for staff on what constitutes a minimum acceptable level. Example. Management needs to lead by example. This is not staff-driven only. Recognition. Knowledge management needs to be given status as an important part of the job, through the creation of posts, through the provision of training and through active encouragement by management. Payback. By accessing the knowledge of others, they find that it makes their

Elbard Hubbard “Many people fail in life, not for the lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal”

own job much easier. Reward. Although any attempt to ‘bribe’ people into managing knowledge is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term, the reward systems of the company need to be compatible with knowledge management. We need to identify and reward the team players rather than the lone heroes, the knowledge sharers rather than the power hoarders, the reusers rather than the re-inventors. If the reward system is misaligned, then people will not take you seriously.

Summary The most effective way to create a knowledge sharing culture is: Firstly to start to practice it at your level and be the first to make the suggestion, take the step and make the move. The higher up the organisation the more effective you will be in changing the culture but even if you are low down the hierarchy – you have an influence. Secondly, put in place the knowledge sharing technology and train and educate people in its effective use. The two together – people with the appropriate knowledge sharing mindset and the appropriate knowledge sharing technology to support them will rapidly bring about a sharing culture that helps you better meet your business objectives. That shift from “I know” to “we know” – from “Knowledge is mine” to “Knowledge is ours” is a huge one, and counter-cultural to many of us. People can find it scary, but once it has been achieved, it is like living in a different, and far better, world. “If you want to see changes work towards CHANGE” Heather Montgomery For more information on Lizelle Gilliland see contributors page.

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


healthy mind in a healthy body


n THE WIZARD OF OZ Glinda the Good Witch said to Dorothy; “Home is a place we all must find, child. It’s not just

a place where you eat or sleep. Home is KNOWING - Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere”.

KNOWING Imagine your life with all the many rooms that make it what it is and more importantly what it can be. Each room (or part) is as important as the other and each room is vital to form a unity. But like most rooms there are some that we visit more often and

know – after all that’s why they are called

My version of

experts. Rather save your money and buy

The Wizard

the right outcome to be achieved with the

of OZ “As I announced in Part 1 (Autumn issue of

the right supplements instead of hoping for wrong supplements. Your body will ‘tell’ you when you are on the right track. Give it a few months and experience the difference and if there is none – make a change. The same can be said for exercising. There are so many articles written for the ‘perfect’ work-out but do they consider your unique self? I think not. In my opinion start with what was given to you by your Creator, use your legs and do some brisk walking. After all, it is only putting one foot

some we barely know are there. It does not

CareerSuccess) my intention

take away from the fact that it is a home but

in this story is to ensure that

it does take away from the optimal function

Dorothy arrives ‘home’. I think

in the Wizard of Oz “if we walk far enough

that can come from those rooms.

it would be beneficial to read

we shall sometime come to someplace”

The happiness, joy and possibility that each

part 1 again if you can, as it

room contains cannot be explored unless

will make more sense before

one is brave enough to look inside! Now consider if we’re brave enough to truly know all the parts or rooms that make us

too scared to walk in our own house to

Joanie Nel remains the constant. With the changing

The more I delve into the characters and

lifestyles and environment we live, in we all

the storyline of The Wizard of Oz, the more

need exercise, healthier food choices and

I find similarities and life lessons to apply in

good supplementation. One can argue if I

our modern day.

eat healthily why do I need supplements?

by Dorothy facing the YELLOW BRICK ROAD and interacting with the interesting characters along the way. Each person has met or will meet their SCARECROW, TIN MAN, COWARDLY LION and WIZARDS.

remember this and stop a little further from make a personal visit instead of a phone

I wish you a blessed life.”

can be characterised by traits displayed

Next time you have no time for exercise,

hope you enjoy participating

can be. Are we not now like a child that’s

I am of the opinion that each human being

and someplace is perhaps the right place.

the entrance of your favourite store or

in this important journey and

ourselves the pleasure within?

places you can discover. To quote Dorothy

you plunge into Part 2. I truly

who we are and more importantly who we

explore its possibilities and thereby denying

in front of the other – imagine all the new

call. It will become easier and your body will thank you for it.

FROM DIET TO LIFESTYLE With healthy eating there is so much to say and so many articles have been written about it. But I believe the most important thing to do is to listen to your own body. Stay away from DIETS and start making LIFESTYLE Changes.

Did you ever consider the difference in

Be courageous and brave enough to climb

produce now from a few years back? Did

that scale and face that mirror on the wall.

you ever compare the nutritional value of

An extract from the Wizard of Oz sums it

all the products that claim that they are

up perfectly - “You have plenty of courage,

indeed nutritional? Simply said – YOU do

I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is

need additional supplementation no matter

confidence in yourself. There is no living

how healthy you think your diet is.

thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when

But each story will be different. Each

Because we are all different I cannot

person will have to find the truth as stated

subscribe that by taking X or Y supplements

by the Wizard of Oz “you’ve always had the

you will be better off. I do not know the

power my dear, you just had to learn it for

circumstance of your health. I can however

Sometimes the danger is not always what

yourself”. And in that lies the most important

advise you to stop charging into each store

comes from others but what we fear within

lesson, I believe – learning it for ourselves.

you find and purchasing product X or Y


NO RECIPE IS PERFECT There is no perfect recipe that one can

because all you are doing is increasing the value of your body’s waste.

follow for optimal health. What works for


my body might be similar to what works for

Take some time to listen to good advice,

you but not the same. One thing however

seek the advice of those that are in the

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

Be courageous, take your Dorothy home and make sure she has fun exploring ALL the rooms along the way.

More information on Joanie Nel on the contributors page.


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careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


office life

Stop the world! I’d like to get out for a little while Current work trends co-joined to the PA personality are impacting on our well-being, so says Anel Martin.

Our world is hyper connected. Many modern assistants have their office with them 24/7 on their smartphones. This means that we never switch off!


he modern working world is really not good for our health, this much we know! We experience an unnatural amount of stress and in most cases this is usually acute and ongoing.

of medical issues you really shouldn’t! It is costly, painful and in some cases you never recover from the damage that has been done. In most cases this damage could have been avoided if you had paid attention to the signposts along the way!

We don’t exercise or eat well and many of us don’t sleep as many hours as our bodies need or suffer with sleep related conditions. I learnt the hard way that we avoid the signposts at our peril.

Your body is your instrument; it is how you earn a living. Keeping it in peak physical condition “should” be a priority, but for most of us it isn’t.

The Signposts along the way… What do most assistants do when they are not well? They postpone going to the doctor, self-medicate or simply try to ignore the problem. Our justification is that we simply do not have time to seek medical assistance; we cannot afford to be booked off. People need us! Assistants generally are the kind of people who put the needs of others before their own but I am here today to say that in the case

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

So what is going on in our environments and in our heads that keeps us from the required maintenance to keep ourselves functioning at an optimal level?

Here are my thoughts: The PA Personality As assistants we want others to view us as competent and reliable. We are perfectionists and rarely admit any weakness to others. These are good traits but can influence our decision making when it comes to our health and other priorities outside of work. 1


“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival” Audre Lorde

it needs to perform at its best. As the saying goes “when your jug is empty, you cannot fill another person’s cup”. 4


PAs around the world have absorbed some of the tasks traditionally done by middle management when they were downscaled during the recession and many assistants now support multiple executives. For many of us it is embarrassing to admit that we are not well or even to ask for time to visit a doctor. 2

Viewing self-care, relaxation and putting yourself first as a luxury

Office professionals are generally very busy indeed (especially those with children or doing additional studies). We start viewing any time off or taking care of ourselves as a waste of time or something that we cannot afford to do. Often many illnesses can be avoided with a bit of self-care, adequate rest and a bit of well-timed relaxation.


Being FAR too focused on the care of others

Our worlds tend to revolve around others. We are taking care of executives, teams and our family to the exclusion of all else. Again, functioning unselfishly in service to others is not a bad thing but it can be detrimental when we forget about our "instrument" and the fine tuning that

In very rare cases have the workloads of these assistants been reviewed to see if it is actually sustainable; and in even fewer cases PAs have spoken up if it is not. Increased workload which is extreme can lead to burnout and deteriorating relationships, missed deadlines, decrease in accuracy or performance and a feeling that you are unable to cope and a belief that you are no longer competent. 5

Information overload and tech stress

Our world is hyper-connected. Many modern assistants have their office with them 24/7 on their smartphones. This means that we never switch off! We are checking and responding to email at intervals during the traditional “off time” when we should be focused on our family, studies, rest and relaxation. Many assistants around the world are working between 11 and 13 hours every day, receiving between 400 and 600

emails that they need to read and respond to. Often even considering taking time off will stress you out because of the amount of email you will need to process when you return, and because you will check email and respond even when you are on sick leave or on vacation.


Lack of job security

In the modern world the message is drummed into our heads that there are tons of people waiting in line for our positions. So many of us, especially those who are in companies who are currently retrenching, see it as a risk to go to a doctor or dentist during these periods, never mind being booked off with health- related issues. So what can we do? The situation seems bleak. The simple question you need to ask yourself is: If I cannot afford 2 hours to see a doctor can I afford 6 weeks to recover from surgery? If I destroy my health what will it cost in time, money and relationships to get it back (if at all possible)? Can I risk being permanently ill at home if I don’t look after myself now? In essence these are the decisions you face if you don’t look after things that need to be attended to. For more information on Anel Martin see contributors page.

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

Your invitation to PAFSA's Annual PA Summit and Secretaries Day Events!

Be The

Game Changer is our theme for 2016!

Because of Today you can EXPECT greater things tomorrow Information on PAFSA's Secretaries Day 2016 events at Emperor's Convention Centre in Gauteng The Secretaries Day events organised by PAFSA consist of a morning Summit, followed by a Gala Lunch and the announcement of the PA of the YearÂŽ. PAFSA's educationals, combined with glitz and glamour, make for the perfect day out on Secretaries Day! Delegates network, learn, share, observe, get inspired and updated all in one go! Bosses get more than ROI on their sponsorship of this day spent with PAFSA: Their PAs feel spoilt yet they are in a learning and enriching environment.

Make an appointment with yourself! It’s your time to be the Game Changer. More info on 011 616 7401

Visit our website www.pafsa.co.za and for daily information like our facebook page here.

I am Ryan Stramrood: South African, Small Business Owner, Family Man and Average Joe. However my hobby is Ultra Extreme Open Water and Ice swimming, and for deeply personal reasons, I have undertaken some of the world’s most extreme challenges. Pushing my limits and human boundaries in our planet’s most inhospitable places. This has allowed me the opportunity to stand in front of thousands of people, as an Inspirational Speaker, to share my story. With a humble hope that I may be able to change people’s lives, I take my audiences on a journey with me, through story telling and strong visuals. I illustrate just how limited and governed we all are, in every aspect of our lives, by believing in our own limitations. I WOULD LIKE TO MEET YOU ON SECRETARIES DAY. MY KEY-NOTE WILL INSPIRE YOU BE A GAME CHANGER.

our annual summit and gala lunch will rock you!

Sequence of events on Secretaries Day 7 September 2016 08h00to 13h00

The PA Summit

13h00 to 14h45 The Gala Lunch 14h45 to 15h45 The PA of the Year announcement ceremony

Preview of the Summit Programme Two Plenary keynote addresses by professional speakers. Our plenaries offer the best in motivational content and take-back value. A Group Discussion Session on career and current job focus areas. Delegates engage in meaningful ‘peer-to-peer’ dialogue for maximum enrichment of expertise DELEGATE COMMENTS "What a beautiful and encouraging day, to let our lights shine!" "Continue with the well thought out and executed event which aligns to themes impacting all our lives" "The group discussions were excellent especially to get ideas from others"

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by Michele Thwaits


Just as the clothes we wear form part of our image, I’ve been told that a person’s voice can be interpreted as a reflection of character. What does the manner in which I use my voice say about my character! And how does this contribute to my reputation or my personal brand as a PA?

as well). If it is not pertaining to your brand or your business, stay clear of it (i.e. politics, religion, gossip, etc). Always remember your reputation is at stake.

What is the difference between voice and tone? Voice and tone work together. I’ll refer to Gather Content for the difference between the two: Voice - Your brand personality described in an adjective. For instance, brands can be lively, positive, cynical or professional.


Your voice, what you talk about and how you say it is one of the most important parts of your brand. Clothes can say a lot, but when you “speak” your voice and tone are incredibly important to your brand. Your voice communicates your ‘value’. When you speak to people, or behind a lectern, or on a social media platform, you can prepare to stand out with amazing content (awesome visuals or powersuit), your specific format, etc – but what you may overlook is your voice! Your voice is not something you can track or design or something that you can tweak. It is something you need to plan and practice.

Tone - A subset of your brand’s voice. Tone adds specific flavour to your voice based on factors like audience, situation and channel. In a nutshell, there is one voice for your brand and many tones that refine that voice. Voice is your mission statement application of that mission.

continued on page 28

Character/Person Playful Authoritative Professional

LANGUAGE Complex Savvy Insider Serious

Simple Jargon-filled Fun Whimisical

tone is the

Stephanie Schwab wrote for Social Media Explorer and she addressed the topic of voice by unpacking it into four parts: character, tone, language and purpose. Below is a graphic where she used adjectives to define each different area.

Also do be careful of the topics and types of conversations you get involved with (on social media

Friendly Warm Inspiring


Tone Personal Humble Clinical


Honest Direct Scientific


Engage Educate Inform Enable

Entertain Delight Sell Amplify

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


health at work

Being Un-sick

is not good enough Based on the article under Office Life in this edition, CareerSuccess decides to interview Dr Michael Mol. He pulls no punches as to how we, as PAs, need to look at our health and lifestyle - NOW! As winter season is upon us, it is a good time to take a good look at our health. If we were to start this interview by asking you to encapsulate your advice into three key points to improve our health, what would these be? Quite simply: • Move more because your jobs see you sitting a lot. • Eat healthily. • Get a good night’s sleep…

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

So if I think I’m “un-sick” it’s not good enough!! Being healthy (and that’s not just unsick) is completely within your reach. By incorporating the three steps in the introduction into your lifestyle today (not tomorrow, not next week Thursday) but today, you automatically make today healthier than yesterday and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow, too You how

need to “un-sick”

figure out you really

just are!

Right now, you need to take stock of your health and get a handle of whether there are any potential issues lurking somewhere in your body. I suggest you visit your local pharmacy or make an appointment with your doctor and start by having your blood pressure and blood glucose checked. These are secret enemies lurking in many of us - If you’re in the clear with these then you are already off to a good start. Make it your goal to keep them under control.

27 If you are not happy with your body size and weight, your goal should be to put out ‘this fire’ as early and as quickly as you can.

You’ve touched a raw nerve with many of us. But there’s so much going on about “diets” and the carb debate. What are the basics for us as hard-working professionals? For me, healthy eating is not about strict diets, or depriving yourself of tasty food. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy and staying well. Wading your way through the piles of info on diet is confusing, so keep it simple by following these golden rules: • Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember the more colour they have the better they are for you. •

Eat real food. Highly processed foods are packed with unhealthy fats, salt and sugar all of which harm your health. Eat a wide variety of food. Different foods make different nutritional contributions (plus, eating only carrot sticks isn’t fun for anyone!).

ALSO • Avoid processed food. • Cut back on salt and sugar and • Savour your meals. These are the key principles – Stick to them. Don’t fall into “ I’ll try-this-out-fora-few-weeks” mindset. The way you eat today should be the way you eat every day. Obsessing over food and how many calories this or that has, causes you unwanted, and unwarranted stress. It also takes away much of the enjoyment of eating... Of course, that’s not to say you can go out and enjoy anything you like, but keep it simple and remember this: “if it’s from a plant, its ok, if it’s made in a plant, stay away.” And very importantly - The way you eat your meals is just as important as what you eat! Inhaling your food is a sure way to overeat, while eating slowly, enjoying

the flavours as well as the company of those who are with you is really conducive to better health.

What about the Move and Sleep Well that you mentioned earlier! Firstly, we are PAs, we do a lot of sitting! Do you remember the movie nine-tofive? Did you see the PAs walking with takkies to work and then changing into shoes! Borrow the idea – keep takkies in your cupboard at work, and at lunch hour put them on and go for a walk (alone or with colleagues) around your work premises. You’ll be amazed at what a regular 20 minute walk can do! Try it! Other ideas – choose the stairs instead of escalators and lifts. Stand up occasionally and stretch! Choose to move more! I know that sitting for very long periods day in and day out might help you meet your deadlines but it isn’t doing your heart any favours. And what’s worse is that the risks of sitting for 8-12 hours a day outweighs the benefits we get from exercise.

Just how bad is sitting Dr Mol? Well, the most recent study found that prolonged sitting was associated with an 18% increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease and a 17% increased risk of dying from cancer. Sitting for too long was also tied to a 91% increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, and to increases of about 13 and 14% in the risk of being diagnosed with cancer or heart problems, respectively. The message here is simple. Stand up. Yes, right now! Aim to get up at least every 30 minutes. And if you’re worried about this impacting your productivity, think again - you’d be surprised how much you can do while you’re standing up! Like reading this article! Also - don’t always park as close to entrances as you can!!! Walk more.

Does this also help with sleeping better? It can. We need to invest in ways that help us a get a good night’s sleep. Taking electronic devices to bed should be a big No-no. A book or anything that could lead you to get you to relax and disconnect from any stress is the way to go. The truth is that sleep is crucial to your health - good quality shut eye has the power to ward off weight gain, diabetes and heart disease as well as helping to boost your immune function As PAs, never underestimate the importance of sleep. It provides cells and tissues with the opportunity to recover from the wear and tear of daily life. The exact amount of sleep you need each night differs from person to person, but generally anything between 7 to 9 hours each night is sufficient to keep you healthy.

You know, we work hard and are mostly meeting stressful deadlines. Today’s workplaces are not helping with trying to have a healthy lifestyle… I know! But the way you choose to live your life has a much bigger impact on your health than you might think. Two big studies have shown that healthy lifestyle habits are associated with an 80% reduction in heart disease risk for men, and 75% for women. The evidence is very clear: cardiovascular health is due primarily to lifestyle factors and healthy behaviour first, and to genetics second. in most cases our lifestyle choices can play a very important role in which genes are switched on or off. For example, one study found that simply walking for around an hour each day can reduce the genetic influence towards obesity, by 50%!

continued on next page

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

28 continued from previous page On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle increased the genetic influence by 50%. In other words: it’s entirely possible to outrun your genes. Sorry!

You haven’t mentioned smoking! I was coming round to that ….there really are no ‘butts’ about it, you simply have to stop. There is no such thing as moderate smoking either – either you smoke or you don’t. Smoking isn’t only bad for your lungs, it’s bad for every single other part of you too. Let me put this into perspective for you: A study done in Australia found that up to two in every three Australians who smoke can be expected to die from their habit if they don’t quit. Not a very nice thought. Roughly 1 out of 5 deaths from heart disease is directly related to smoking. Yet within 1 year of quitting smoking your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke drops by 50%. Not much else can offer that! So be a QUITTER! Yes, I did just say that. It’s not often that someone encourages you to ‘give up’! This is the one case where persistence is about giving up not sticking to.

Coaching by Michele Thwaits class continued from page 25 Character/persona - Who does your brand ‘sound’ like? If you picture your social brand as a person (character) then this is where you can flesh out this identity with specific attributes. Tone - This is the general ‘vibe’ of your brand. What do you think yours could be? Language - What kind of words do you tend to use in your conversations? Purpose - Ask yourself why you are in that conversation or presentation Also applies to social media. This is a good exercise to do to help you see into each area and what you want to ‘brand’ yourself as.

Why does voice and tone matter to your social media? Voice and tone matters because they humanise your brand and allow you to participate in conversations naturally. According to Jay Baer of Convince and Convert – A ‘marketing voice’ can lead to others doing your ‘marketing’ for you. Why: 1. You cultivate a voice that delights people 2. Delighted customers talk positively about ‘your brand’.

And what about that famous glass of red wine…

Jay Baer says quite simply, “Don’t just give your customers something to talk about, give them somebody to talk about”.

Well, moderate alcohol consumption, which means drinking no more than a single drink a day, has been shown to have some health benefits, which include reducing the risk of heart disease.

Let your real personality shine through your voice. People want a connection, not information. So be true to yourself – don’t pretend to be someone or something you are not, it will come through.

HOWEVER, alcohol is one of those ‘fine line’ substances! Start to get out of balance and we know serious trouble awaits. If you don’t drink, there is no need to start, and if you do, moderate drinking should be considered as only a small part of a healthy lifestyle, and not a keystone of it! The last word from you… A smile is one of your best vitamins for health and happiness! More info on Dr Michael Moll on contributors page

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

Everything I have mentioned above, can be a rule for you to live by as a PA, Secretary, EA, etc in your workplace, daily. The way you talk to people, your correspondence (email, etc) all project your voice and tone. Make sure your voice and tone come through in such a way that you are the one they look for. Make an impression, make your mark, make your voice heard in the right tone and you will win people over.



At Avis, we’re not just about renting cars; we’re about giving customers the freedom to unlock unforgettable experiences. That’s because to us, renting a vehicle means more than simply reaching a destination - it’s about the journey itself and the car you choose to enjoy it in. Whether you want to visit main attractions or discover hidden gems only accessible by car, the memories you make along the way with Avis mean you truly can unlock the world.

Visit avis.co.za or contact your nearest travel agent.

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

international gurus


Meet Laura Schwartz Speaker  Author  Commentator Laura Schwartz travels extensively both domestically and internationally to work with Fortune 500 companies, independent businesses, industry associations, universities and nonprofit organisations, motivating people from all over the world to reach their fullest potential! Whether addressing an intimate gathering of 30 or a crowd of 30,000, Laura captivates audiences with her positive energy, expertise and enthusiasm.


aura is a world-reknowned professional speaker and

Administration. As the White House Director of Events, Laura

also appears regularly as an international television

created and executed more than 1,000 White House events

commentator speaking about leadership, networking

including State arrival ceremonies and dinners, America’s

and world events. She covered the 2008 presidential campaign

Millennium Celebration and NATO’s 50th Anniversary. While

for the CBS Early Show, was the on-air political contributor for

producing the President’s events on the world stage, Laura

Fox News Channel from 2004 to 2007, a regular on Sir David

demonstrated the ability to inspire a nation and the world.

Frost’s Frost Over the World, and the special correspondent to Larry King Live and CNN for the 2008 presidential primaries. Today, Laura appears on the BBC World News, China’s CCTV, and BBC Wales. Laura’s nonpartisan commentary is well respected both domestically and internationally. She was named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Chicago” by Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine and named one of Chicago’s “Most Bold and Beautiful” by Chicago Magazine for her community involvement. Laura started her career when she arrived at the White House at 19 years old and with no political connections, volunteered, answering phones in the press office. Immediately proving her value, Laura climbed her way up the ranks to Staff Assistant, the Midwest Press Secretary, the Director of Television, and ultimately, the White House Director of Events for the Clinton careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

In 2010 Laura published Eat, Drink & Succeed! in which she shares the secrets to building powerful, effective partnerships in companies, communities and beyond, adding colour with personal anecdotes from her life and White House years.

We Ask her: What is the real importance of a great PA to any business, big or small? I believe that a PA is central to the success of any organisation or individual. These powerhouses are often referred to as ‘Personal Assistants’, ‘Executive Assistants’, ‘Administrative Assistants’….no task is too small or too big for a PA to step up to the challenge of making the boss look effective. A successful PA will keep the “trains moving” with all the right information, logistics, coordination and execution. PA

31 responsibilities will vary from job-to-job, need-to-need, responsibility-to-responsibility and even day to day! But smart PAs can handle anything that comes their way.

What are the required skills to be a top PA? I would say the following: A keen knowledge of the workplace she or he is working for. A code of confidentiality, especially when it comes to dealing with corporate earnings, programs and investments that they see, for example, on a memorandum they are composing or collecting. On a personal level, not discuss the executive’s family, or difficult personal times - gossip has no place in the office. A thick skin because let’s face it. some days are hard days and they may have no reflection on you or your work. Realise there is a meaning to the phrase “don’t take it personally” instead… “take it professionally” and if there is a disagreement - stand tall to your work and facts or own up to and learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something… I would study the President and First Lady’s briefings, anticipate questions and gather the answers before the briefing ever started. If they asked a question I had an answer for, I could respond confidently. If they asked a question I didn’t have an accurate answer for…. I wouldn’t fake it or make something up – I would say “I do not know but I can find out for you in just one call”. I’d make that call. That showed responsibility and resourcefulness – a necessary skill in any job. Be ready to mentor! You may “mentor up” “mentor down” “mentor side to side” but regardless of who, be ready as mentoring is important as when we empower others with information we empower ourselves. When we teach, we learn.

Is being a PA a role only for women? Have you come across male PAs? I have met many male PAs in my travels, and work. I have had male PAs in my office and in my experience they are as exceptional. I would like to see more gender neutrality in this very important and meaningful career – and women can lead the way as mentors to get them involved.

From the White House to Your House: Lessons from the East Room


ver eight years behind the scenes at the White House I learned many lessons from President Clinton himself as well as the house in which we all worked and treasured. As the White House Director of Events I spent more time in the East Room then any other. It’s a popular venue for everything from bill signings, press conferences and state dinners to weddings, birthday parties and Christmas celebrations. The East Room, once called the public audience room, is the largest in the house listing at 2960 square feet. With its mahogany doors, gilded cornice work, federal style furniture and paintings of our country’s First President and First Lady, George and Martha Washington, it is easily identified with the White House and I identify with it my most valuable lessons in life and work. Here are my top 4 lessons from the East Room.

#1 NOTHING IS BENEATH ANY TITLE The 1st First Lady to live in the White House was Abigail Adams, the wife of our second President John Adams. Since the East Room was the largest and warmest room in the house at the time Mrs. Adams used it to hang laundry. Here we had our 1st First lady in residence and she hung laundry, which teaches us all that no matter your title – you do what needs to be done even if that’s hanging the laundry.

Share with us what you learned at the white house. continued on next page

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

32 continued from previous page

#2 YOUR JOB MAY BE 9-5 BUT YOUR CAREER IS 24/7 The White House by definition is the ultimate home office. But so was the East Room for President Thomas Jefferson’s secretaries. President Jefferson was served by his private secretaries Meriwether Lewis and Lewis Harvie whose offices were in the East Room. They were working so much that President Jefferson ordered sailcloth to be delivered to divide the East Room in half so the northern half could be used as offices and the southern half as a bedroom! When you look at Meriwether’s subsequent leadership of the Lewis and Clark Expedition you can easily realise how when you approach your “job” not as 9-5 but your “career” as 24/7 it pays off.

#3 SOME DAYS YOU HAVE TO FIGHT President “T.R.” Theodore Roosevelt was known to us as a burley, cowboy of a man, a rough rider - but in actuality when he was a child suffered from asthma and poor health. His father, to help young Teddy overcome physical weakness, hired a boxing coach to strengthen him physically and emotionally following which Teddy became a life-long boxing enthusiast. President Roosevelt was known to have held boxing matches in the East Room and that taught me that even though some days are tough – you just have to fight and get through. That’s what he did and that’s what we can all do everyday no matter the opponent.

#4 YOU HAVE TO HAVE FOCUS UNDER FIRE First Lady Dolly Madison was at home preparing dinner with her servants when her husband, President James Madison alerted the White House that the British had advanced in their invasion of Washington, and that they would be soon on their way to burn down the White House. Instead of Dolly running for her clothes or other personal items she took off for the East Room with what has been recounted as a servant and gardner to save the portrait of our founding Father George Washington. When they couldn’t pry it off the wall due to it being screwed into the plaster, she instructed them to break the frame, roll up the canvas and carry it out to safety. The British did arrive, (ate the dinner that had been prepared) and burned down the house. That painting of George Washington, a copy of the original Lansdowne portrait with great historical significance, is the only original item remaining in the White House today. Dolly shows us that we must remain focused in our every day, both personally and professionally, and no matter what the “fires” are that burn around us, threaten our business, come up on our path…we must remain focused and we will prevail. Whether 200 years old or just a few, buildings and their rich histories can teach us more then the lessons of present day and still apply in our daily lives. What is the East Room in your life and the lessons it’s taught you? Let Laura know @lauraschwartz and laura@lauraschwartzlive.com.

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

Managing Priorities Are you truly doing your highest priority actions each day? By Dr John Demartini – human behaviourist, author,consultant


t is how you use your time that determines the degree of meaning or fulfillment you have and the money you make. Your time is your life and your money! There is no such thing as true time management. You have the same amount of time as anyone else – 24 hours in a day to work in. Getting more done is not about managing your time; it is about how you choose to focus your attention and intention. If you fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, your day won’t fill up with low priority distractions that don’t! Since you can have more than one kind of high priority action it is wise to define them accordingly. High priority items or actions can fall under one or more of the following categories. Those needing; • • • • • • •

To be done in relation to your executive To be done in relation to yourself To be done in relation to your team To be done in relation to your clients, customers, patients… To be done that are creative (new divisions, services, products, markets…) To be delegated outside your company (outsourced) To be delegated inside your company (insourced)

In order to fill your day with your highest priorities it is essential to master the art of saying no to anything less important. Pause for a moment. Take a deep breath. Then practice responding to requests and offers. Gracefully, respectfully and reasonably saying no, may temporarily disappoint the person, but eventually it will lead them to respecting and appreciating you even more. You cannot please everyone so don’t waste your time trying. Your time is finite. So ask yourself every morning what exactly is the highest priority action step I can take today to help me fulfill my most purposeful, meaningful, productive and profitable dream tomorrow. www.drdemartini.com


Tell : 011 885 1072 Cell : 082 511 6264/0745843526

To qualify for a discount of up to 50% Please quote promotion code voy/001

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


meet a pafsa member


Can we start with a little background information? Where are you from?

I was born in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa when I was 18 years old. My first job was selling paintings. It was cold-calling and I only ever sold one painting and that was to my dad! I then got a receptionist job at a small tax consultancy in Rissik St, Johannesburg. One of their clients offered me a job at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways where I worked for a few years before going to the UK. On my return I worked in the optical industry. I traveled quite a bit for a while until I ended up at Discovery in 2002.

We welcome Jacquie Fioramonti To PAFSA and we get to know her better


How and why did you become Administrative professional?



I was temping in the Discovery HR department from December 2002, during which time a PA position came up and one of the recruiters encouraged me to apply. I got the job and haven’t looked back.


Briefly, describe a typical day at your office?

My day depends very much on my manager’s diary and is often difficult to plan precisely because it is governed by his demands and the urgent queries that come through from doctors and their staff, which take priority. In between I manage his diary, local and international travel, budgets, coordinate weekly meetings where I take minutes. Participating in these meetings keeps me close to what is happening in our space and this helps me prioritise both for my manager and myself. I liaise with internal departments on various issues and organise special events for doctors.


What inspires and motivates you?

I am inspired by innovation and am constantly fascinated by out-of-the box thinking and advancements in technology. I am motivated by the opportunity

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

35 is possible to navigate your way through the corporate world without compromising your beliefs and principles.

to learn new things, even small things and to find solutions for everyday challenges that come up at work. I am also motivated by knowing that I am making a difference, that I have touched someone’s life and made their day a little easier or brighter.


What have been the highlights of your career so far and why?

Definitely working at Discovery. It is not a specific moment or event but rather the fact that every day I get to work with leaders who have incredible vision and who are unafraid to take strides in new directions for the benefit of the business, those to whom they provide services and the wider community. I also have the privilege of working with some of the country’s leading healthcare professionals and academics who inspire me with their passion for their profession and their commitment to creating a better healthcare system for all South Africans. Perseverance and integrity always pays off.


Who has had the most influence in your life? Mentor?

On a professional level, my manager has had a huge influence on my life over the past 13 years. His strong ethical and family values taught my more skeptical self that it

Observing how he has to balance the interests of the various stakeholders which means that, sometimes, doing the right thing is hard. It has taught me that you suck it up, deal with it and move on; that you can tackle any problem as long as you confront it. He has also taught me about fairness and supported me tremendously in my endeavor to get a degree through UNISA over the past three years.


How do you relax and de-tress?

I read, listen to audio books, journal and watch my favourite series. I also love spending time with close friends. We always have a good laugh and that is so good for the soul.


What gives ‘light ‘to your life? To your being?

My close relationships. My family and friends. I am also involved in a volunteer project that provides PC skills to those who cannot afford to go to colleges. This project is my baby and my passion. It gives me so much pride and pleasure to be able to give these skills to people.


What is the most challenging or daring thing you have ever done? Why?

I gave up everything once to go to the States. I didn’t have much money and no job on the other side. I just packed up and went. I gained invaluable lessons from having to survive on almost nothing. I learnt humility. I learnt how to speak like an American - and the value of waterproof shoes.

For more info visit www.pafsa.co.za and please like our facebook page for daily tips careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016



You can always be


How to be accessible at all times without being around – let technology help you with your job, by Shirwyn Weber


e know that as Executive/Personal Assistants our boss needs us more and more. Whether (s)he is travelling, at clients, in meetings or anywhere for that matter, most of all when we have taken some time off for whatever reason, (s)he like the tracker app, WILL try to find you. And as fate will have it, S we could be subject to being stuck using our iPhone, laptop, an unreliable VPN connection to access things on our company server or team network drive. Often the connection is great but it can be hair-raising if the connection drops, the VPN cuts connection, emails not coming through, basically everything we need NOT happen, happens! How do we as assistants combat and overcome this? I have scoured the internet looking for great ways to “stay connected” and truth be told, most companies will not allow you to use external applications to access company information, so what we need to do as assistants is to drive the change, have the conversation of going digital, in the true sense of the word. The tech world has been really busy with trying to get and keep everyone connected, a prime example of this, is the way Google has gone virtual with their offerings. From Gmail, to Google Drive, all these offerings are available in the business format, with the correct security formats, and is adaptable to any requirement. In this article I will unpack the various offerings from Google to help you stay connected

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

.Get yourself a Gmail This email application is available 24/7, no down time due to VPN or connection issues, simply find a Wi-Fi hotspot, or use your cellular data and you can access your mail. It gives you a huge 30 gigabyte mailbox capable of holding much more than you allotted space on your computer or work server. Best of all you can integrate this mailbox with all of Googles other offerings. Enjoy a consistent experience no matter what device you are using to access your mail. When acquiring this business product, you are able to customise the email addresses (@yourcompany.com). Compatible with Microsoft Outlook and other email clients.

Join Google Hangouts The new way of doing online meetings, dial a coworker from your computer, call a client and have a full HD video conversation. This allows you to cut on costs of travel and still have the face to face conversations that are needed. The application also allows for chat options, voice chat or text. You all know the issues with getting everyone in the office for a video conference, or setting up and external facility to accommodate the meeting, now forget that, and use Google Hangouts, add up to 25 people to a single video meeting, with the screen automatically picking up and displaying who is speaking during the conversation. It also features intelligent background noise reduction. Best of all you can join the hangout from any device android or iOS. Another feature is the built in screen sharing, show the meeting your slide for a presentation while continuing your conversation.

37 file, not to worry, Google Drive comes with over 40 popular file formats including video, images, Microsoft Office, spreadsheets and PDFs. Other features include Google-powered search, Stop the frantic hunt for crucial documents buried in folders. Simply enter some keywords to pull up the right file in seconds, even if it’s an image or PDF of handwritten notes. Easyto-manage sharing controls, keep all your files private until you are ready to share, simply select the persons with whom you want to share and grant permission. You are also able to all work on the same document at the same time; no more renaming versions of documents, emailing, and waiting for a response. Check tracked changes and reply with your own changes.

Use Google Calendar An integrated calendar application that allows you to input meetings directly from emails, sharing of calendars. Fully integrated with Google Drive, Site and Hangouts. Smart scheduling for meetings allows you to quickly check a coworker’s availability or allows you to layer various calendars to see the free time in their diaries.

Collaborate on Google+ Basically almost similar to having a version of Facebook for your office / employees. Collaborate on work using this application, sharing thoughts and ideas. Google+ has the perfect audience for every question or idea. Share your thoughts with a specific Community or share a question with your entire organisation.

Like a tracker app your boss will try to find you! Store on Google Drive Store, Share, Sync with ease. This application allows you to keep all your files and documents securely in the cloud. This cloud technology allows you to access all the information you need without having to log in via a VPN. Each user is allowed 30 gigabytes of cloud storage and if that not enough for a nominal fee each moth you can upgrade to an unlimited account. Special concessions have been made for users with fewer than 5 users who get 1TB of data storage. An advantage of using this is that you can automatically sync all documents on your device to the cloud, and all changes that are made on any documents are mirrored on the ones stored in the cloud automatically on update, and vice versa. If you are worried about not having the right programmer to open up a specific

Other applications that can be used in conjunction with the Google Drive include 100’s of integrated apps that allow you to do a myriad of things like auto signatures, charts, mockups, and spreadsheets to name a few. Google has also launched “Microsoft-like” applications to use, including Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides and Sites. These applications for work make your everyday work life so much simpler, more accessible, more collaborative, and at the end of the day, more flexible. If you are wondering about security issues with an online offering, don’t, it comes with customisable security settings and admin controls. Pricing starts at as little as $5 (R72) per user/per month, this is for the limited storage options to $10 (R143) per user/per month for the unlimited storage option. When comparing this to other online offerings, like cloud storage, online collaboration, all-in-one systems, nothing really compares to Googles offerings, as we venture into the world of digital presence and marketing these tools will become more, and handier. Go out and speak to the head of IT, speak to your bosses and find out what they are doing to make your company tech savvy and mobile. The more people move around and speak to prospective clients without having to worry about missing a meeting in the office, catch your meeting in a cab, train or bus. Work while in transit, and make the difference. For more information on Google’s offerings in the digital space, log onto http://apps.google.com/faq Until next time, keep on keeping on! Only you can make the difference! For more information on Shirwyn Weber see contributors page .For more information on Shirwyn Weber see contributors page. careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


last page

Test your

Wits and have Fun Can you find something which has keys that opens no locks, with space but no room, and allows you to enter but not to go in?



Rearrange these letters to make a single word: DRAGON LEWIS


Half of zero is still zero. What other number can be halved to make zero?


Which of these is correct: Six and six IS eleven or six and six ARE eleven?

Can you stand behind your best friend, whilst at the same time, stands behind you? Yes? No?


If a red house is made from red bricks and a yellow house is made from yellow bricks, what is a greenhouse made from?


Answers Puzzle 1 A keyboard. Puzzle 2: A SINGLE WORD. Puzzle 3: Eight. When written as a digit, 8, the top half is 0, and the bottom half is also 0.. Puzzle 4:Neither! The answer is twelve. Puzzle 5: “y�Yes. Stand back-to-back, Puzzle 6: Glass!. Source: www.brainbashers.com careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016


careersuccess magazine issue 2 2016

Profile for Lazuli Communications

Careersuccess issue 2 2016  

CareerSuccess Magazine - a magazine for PA, Secretaries, admin assistants and office managers

Careersuccess issue 2 2016  

CareerSuccess Magazine - a magazine for PA, Secretaries, admin assistants and office managers