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for administrative & office professionals

Volume 30 Issue 2

Managing a crazy work day

Be indispensable in the new office reality

PLUS Annual PA Summit and Secretaries Day

HOW best to stay in TOUCH

Office Bullies counter their sting with strategy


Contents 04 News and Reviews

Short and sweet - and good to know

08 Key Feature

Managing a crazy work day

12 Interview

Spotlight on Leanne De Lillie

14 Productivity Tips

How best to stay in touch with a 'frequent traveller' boss


Work Trends


Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body


Zippy Profiles


Coaching Class


EQ Feature


Last Page

34 careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

How to be indispensable in the new office reality

How to eat healthy at work

Of Paula Pereira, Diana Morais and Sumayya Brown

Getting people to respect boundaries

Office Bullies - counter their sting with strategy!

Test your wits. Have some fun


Ed’s memo We are a breath away from Secretaries Day – that day in the annual calendar to take a breath and celebrate the honour and privilege of being on the pulse of all that goes around in the workplace. There are debates surfacing here and there in the world as to whether one should still celebrate this day. It’s good that these debates occur, but it’s better when the realisation dawns that those fulfilling the contemporary (or traditional) secretarial role need to be recognised for the indispensable ‘behind-the-scenes’ support they provide. So at least, one day a year, the PA/EA/Secretary/Admin Assistant/Management Assistant gets to come from behind the scenes to the front of the stage to take a bow for the work done. CareerSuccess and PAFSA will continue the fine and meritorious tradition of celebrating this important day, and will continue to pay tribute to all who fulfil this indispensable role. More importantly, both CareerSuccess and PAFSA will continue mirroring the profession as it develops, and in many ways contribute actively to the development and growth of the profession. In this issue of CareerSuccess you will find a lot of TLC! WE care for you, and we care about you. Every article is a vitamin for the heart, mind and soul. Enjoy Ana-Maria


The Company


CareerSuccess is published by

Ana-Maria Valente

Lazuli Communications (Pty) Ltd


Gauteng, South Africa

Assistant Editor

Tel: (011) 616 7401

Carine Daniels

Fax: (011) 616 3244


Opinions expressed in any article do not necessarily reflect


on the publishers. All submissions to CareerSuccess are

Ornella Trinco ornella@lazulicommunications.co.za Advertising/Marketing 011 616 7401 careersuccess@lazulicommunications.co.za

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 mouthpiece for PAFSA, the Professional Association for Secretaries and Admin

Head: Finance & HR


Guida Morais

Website: www.pafsa.co.za


PAFSA is on Facebook

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news and views

The Harvard Business Review states that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. When you interview and your company hires how much getting it wrong affects performance and bottom line?

How much are bad hires costing you? When considering the costs associated with recruiting and on-boarding new employees, making the wrong decision will result in a massive impact for an organisation. The cost of hiring a new employee extends far beyond their monthly salary. Job advertisements, time associated with screening and shortlisting potential hires, administration and placement fees all rack up the Rands, and that’s before the new recruit even enters the company. Jason Davies, the Africa Head of Leadership, Learning, Talent and Resourcing at Barclay’s Africa Group believes that the impact to an organisation of making a bad hiring decision is 50% of an employee’s annual salary. Bad hires can create a domino effect within your organisation and according to Davies, eradicating

Engaging employees may be more challenging than ever before, for the first time in the history of the business world we have at least three generations that are all working together, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y (also known as Millennials), all of whom require different ways in which to be engaged with! We all need to understand that the way in which we communicate and get the most out of a Baby Boomer, is quite different to that of a Millennial. It is important to note that there is no right or wrong way of communicating, it’s about being able to adapt to what is most effective . Different communication strategies are vital to successfully integrate the multigenerational work force. Navigating through the different characteristics, values, and attitudes toward work, based on each generation’s life experiences can become a bit like walking through a mine field. Getting it right and aligning key messages to building a solid reputation. Employees play a vital role in the reputation of an

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inadequate employees is a timely, therefore costly, undertaking. Realising you’ve made a bad hire takes time, he says, and in the months that lead up to the employees last day, your corporate culture could be severely disrupted.

in recruitment technologies are reducing the chances of making a bad hire. Through science and technology, we can now make informed decisions when making new hires, based on both culture and skillset”.

Disengaged employees are likely to place strain on the rest of your workforce, while apathy and negativity may spread through your offices before the employee’s departure. This could result in the loss of more employees, creating a constant need to hire new people.

Juan Swartz, co-founder of Pivotal Talent says that by using next-gen technology, potential employees are scientifically profiled, screened, shortlisted and ranked against culture fit, attrition risk and performance requirements resulting in 95% accuracy in candidate recommendations.

Davies says this is why quality recruitment methods are imperative. “We live in a world where technological revolutions are constantly changing the way we do business, and advances

The focus isn’t just on making good hires, it’s on retaining them too. For more information, visit www.pivotaltalent.co.za

Engaging a multigenerational workforce organisation. If the behaviour of employees does not live up to the expectations created through the organisation’s external communication campaigns, the organisation’s overall reputation will be damaged. The key is to effectively address and take advantage of the differences in values and expectations of each generation. With that said, it is important not to follow blanket stereotypes, it does, however, help to have a broad overview of each generation to help

with understanding and being tolerant of each other. It is important to facilitate mentoring between different aged employees to encourage more understanding and multigenerational engagement. Employees like to have a voice and to be heard; facilitate feedback opportunities through different forums. More ino on: Reputation Matters on 011 317 3861/ (021) 790 0208 or visit www. reputationmatters.co.za


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key feature

PAFSA’s unique

Annual PA Summit and

Secretaries Day lunch on Wednesday 6 Sept 2017 our summit SPEAKERS and lunch ENTERTAINERS will rock you!

The   

day’s events organised by PAFSA consist of: A full morning educational Summit A Festive and Funky Lunch The announcement of the PA of the Year®

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.


The speakers for 2017 are the Awesome Threesome! Craig Wing

Tlou Mathatho

Chris Voysey

Join us on Wednesday, 6 September at the stunning Capital Hotel Menlyn Maine and the adjacent glitzy Sun Time Square.

NB You have an option to attend the full day or the lunch only. More info on 011 616 7401

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


2017 PA Summit theme

SHINE like the SUN SPARKLE like a STAR Because inner confidence turns to brilliance JOIN US IN MENLYN MAINE THIS YEAR. CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW!!

Profile of events at Summit 08h00 to 13h00

3 Keynote speakers and peer to peer engagement.

Profile of Secretaries Day Lunch 13h00 to 14h25 The Funky Lunch, on a rooftop where you can see forever whilst savouring food from 6 restaurants representing 6 cuisines from different parts of the world. Entertainment by the Muses. 14h45 to 15h45 The PA of the Year announcement ceremony

The Lunch Entertainers

THE Muses

Benefits of the Summit Programme Our hand-picked keynote speakers provide educational and motivational content aimed at revitalising you whilst enriching your neurons. The take back value is being updated on trends and attributes required for enhanced performance. Our delegates also get to listen to their peer top performers but also engage in ‘peer-to-peer’ dialogue for maximum enrichment of expertise.

Attending a PAFSA event is tantamount to a unique experience. Don't miss out.

The Lunch MC


continued on next page careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

NB. Our theme is based on the SunStar sculpture. Stay tuned to PAFSA's facebook page for info.


key feature

Managing a crazy

Work Day


t is not uncommon that you will be managing projects and tasks delegated into your capable hands that go beyond assisting your direct executive. Some days will demand that you multi-task to almost breaking point. I would like to share with you some ideas that will make coping better.

Start your day right

I’ll start with the obvious. Eat breakfast. I start my day with an egg and toast and a cup of coffee. Upon arriving at the building where I work I always smile and say good morning to the security staff. Then, as I begin my stroll through the passages to my little cubicle in the world, I have

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a ready smile and quick hello to the people I cross paths along the way. My ready smile and brief interactions along the way starts my mornings off with positive momentum. Once I take my seat, I’m like a pilot doing his/her pre-flight check. I boot up my computer, get documents together that are my first priorities of the day, check for voice mail, print out my executive’s calendar, get a peek on how many emails have surfaced since the former day, I’m not a big morning person, functioning mentally anyway. That is why setting up routines is a part of my modus operandi. My morning cup of coffee is a big part of that. The taste and smell lift me up. Setting up my office makes me feel organised


The complex and often fast-paced job of an assistant can be dictated by inclusion of urgencies from managers and staff. So what can you do when the work starts piling on? Layne Tinsley advises. and manage the traffic that comes through your desk, but managing and diverting distractions are an acquired and necessary skill.

Smile and don’t take it personally and on top of what is to come.


Don’t expect anybody else to know what you do every day or every minute of the day. If you are working on a full plate when someone comes up to ask you for something, provide a simplified recap. It doesn’t have to be in great detail, essentially informing them if it is something that you can help them with that day or later in the day. What do they need, by when, and what is entailed of the request? This way you are able to make an informed determination of when you can attend to the request.


Focus on one thing at a time. As much as an assistant multitasks, it is still important to focus on the task at hand. For every time you are interrupted, it takes several minutes to get back the flow and concentration to an assignment. It is unavoidable to have to take phone calls, periodically check emails for prompt responses,

Sometimes we deal with people who are none too pleasant. It isn’t about you, it is about them. Don’t let them suck you into their world and project their issues onto you. Remain pleasant, objective, and listen. You may not need to say anything; maybe you are just along their path of where it is they are trying to go. Be pleasant and courteous and, you never know, maybe that is all they need to switch their own attitude. It’s amazing how we can let other people or circumstances turn a day upside down. Don’t take it personally. For example, I actually believe that I generally get “green” lights when driving through traffic, but every once in a while I seem to get a day where every light seems to turn red just as I approach it. It’s at those times that I remind myself that I will get to wherever it is I need to be at the right time for me; those lights are a sign that they are keeping me from what is up ahead that could pose further delays, crazy drivers, or an accident. I keep the attitude that everything is in its perfect time and, if I try to press it before its natural course, I could very well suffer the consequences.

continued on next page careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017


Walk away

Not from the job of course, but take a moment to step outside into the sunshine and fresh air, maybe a secluded spot to meditate for five minutes to do a “brain dump” and return to your desk refreshed and clear-headed.

Take lunch

You deserve it! I must admit, I am really bad at this. I tend to bring my lunch to my desk thinking I will enjoy my lunch while doing some personal reading or going through some personal stuff that I brought with me. I rarely do. I end up eating and going through work email or other job-related stuff. Have your lunch away from your desk. It’s your time to do whatever you want and not account to anybody but yourself. Or make a list of what you want to accomplish during your lunch hour, whether going to the gym, meditation, walking through the shopping center, paying bills for that month, visiting and enjoying a restaurant with a friend, anything that brings the focus back to you.

End your day right

Take a few minutes to create the desk and environment you want to walk into the next morning. I realise that after a long day all you want to do is shut down your computer and go home. It is worth a couple of minutes to put things where they belong so you don’t come in the next morning facing an unorganised day the first thing walking into your office. It could very well help change how you view the rest of your day upon arriving to work. Do something you love once you are out of the office. I call it my time to decompress. Sometimes it is coming home and cooking because I already have something interesting planned to cook that evening. Going to the gym, I am able to expend and expel frustrations or that "wound up" feeling. Phone a friend who doesn’t work with you, both of you will want to talk about anything BUT work...

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Create what you want, and be the exceptional person you visualise in each moment.

Enjoy the moment

continued from previous page

Enjoy each moment of each day. It is easy to lose the days. It all becomes a blur. Life isn’t worth living like that. By enjoying the process of what you do each moment, you create exceptional experiences. You project a quality of yourself that others have a receptive awareness. It can be a feeling that they want to be a part of, it can make them feel comfortable and at ease, or they just find they feel good when they are around you. It is something that can’t be tangibly identified because it comes from within. Remember to feel, touch, taste, hear, and LIVE what is amazing in the moment. Create what you want and be the exceptional person you visualise in each moment. I believe what we do is significant. We attend to details that create ease for the executives we assist. We may not always be appreciated or valued for what appears to be simple details, but in reality makes someone else’s job easier. That is what we do, under the radar, with excellence. Layne Tinsley is an entrepreneur helping businesses with processes & procedures, increasing productivity, while focusing on alleviating and solving administrative struggles, and challenges. Layne’s career has comprised of administration, human resources, and office management with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management & Administration. Layne’s mission is to inspire and empower women to grow, lead, and embrace their unique talents. She lives in Georgia with her daughter and their two dogs, Honey and Lucy. You can connect with Layne on Facebook: Administrative Sparkle (www.facebook.com/Administrative.Sparkle/). www.mykta.com


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interview (schedule and control appointments); provide administrative support to the team. Depending on the day, travel arrangements need to be made; expense claims need to be submitted; coordinating and following up on certain projects; preparation of high level reports and just when we think we have a free moment, we do a bit of filing and sneak in a cup of peppermint tea.


What inspires and motivates you?

This quote inspires me: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t”. The PA profession is one of the most demanding and challenging although the extent of knowledge I have gained over the years has been my motivation to continue succeeding.


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

Carine Daniels interviews

Leanne De Lillie


and we get to know her better

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

I am a proud Capetonian, born and raised in Strandfontein. I’m the youngest of 3 children and will forever be my parents “baby”. I matriculated in 2000 from Muizenberg High School and graduated in 2005 with a National Diploma in Financial Information Systems at Cape Technikon.


How and why did you become a PA/EA/ Administrative professional?

By coincidence actually, after my in-service training at the City of Cape Town I decided to take the famous “gap” year and during that time I assisted our family business with administrative duties. Through the years I had different titles and worked in a diverse group of industries but the core function remained the same. As I progressed I came to enjoy the role and recognised the importance and the impact we, as PAs, have within an organisation. More than 10 years in the profession and I still love it!


Briefly, describe a typical day at your office?

No day is ever the same! But if I had to try and explain, it usually starts at about 6:30 with a coffee and then preparation for the day ahead; reply to incoming/outgoing correspondence (manage requests); managing the GM’s diary careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

Being recognized for your work and the role and value you add is always a highlight but my appointment at the CTICC is definitely one that sticks out – its diversity and international status which adds to my skill set.

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What industry are you in? Hospitality.

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

My parents. It is through their example that I understand that hard work and perseverance pays off. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some great leaders who have equipped and allowed me to grow into the PA I am today, and a shout out to all my PA friends who understand first-hand the challenges we face and are always there to offer support and whom have guided me on my journey thus far.

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How do you relax and de-tress?

I love a good day at the spa, but relaxing on the couch with a good movie is equally as good. Retail therapy never hurt anyone either.

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

Volunteering at my church and being in the presence of the Lord is the most rewarding. If I am surrounded by the people I love, I don’t need much else.

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

Moving to London in 2008, I was naïve to think that the grass would be greener on the other side. It was an experience that stretched me to my limit but also taught me so much about myself.



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productivity tips Advancing technology and globalization with networking and business transitioning has made the world a smaller place over generations. Successful organisations are differentiated through developing corporate relationships with on the ground market insights. So says Lara Milton.

How best to stay in touch with a 'frequent traveller' boss

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y boss, the MD of one of the largest successful pharmaceutical wholesalers and distributors in the country is more out there in the market with key stakeholders exploring and driving continuous business opportunities through partnerships than in the office. As an Executive PA in a fast paced business I have to

remain multi steps ahead of the curve. When your boss is on the move you have to plan for the best but prepare for every contingency that may arise. Some things that we take for granted, if not well planned and executed may cause disruptions in business plans with knock on effects to the overall business objectives and strategic intents.



Plan for the best but, and prepare for the worst. Much like for a camping trip, the factors to consider would be around disruptions and associated risks.


Your boss may have certain health/ diet/ ethnic restrictions and may be prone to allergies or chronic conditions.


Understand the intent and objective of each trip in order to connect with him/her in the same time zone and local relevance.

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Have duplicates of important information and electronic copies in case of emergencies is critical to avoid delays and mitigate incidents arising. Send reminders to your boss to ensure he/ she has the appropriate documents at hand. A simple thing like the driver’s license being in the bag or the trunk of the vehicle at a security entrance can be avoided.


Ensure he/she has emergency numbers on hand for unexpected events like items stolen/ lost.


Manage distractions at the office until your boss returns from his trip or alternatively direct the query to the next line manager responsible

The success of a great play, is dependent on a great choreographer

8 9

Communicate through Wi-Fi based methods like WhatsApp or emails. This is an economical way of communicating at lower costs, which is super-fast and efficient. Also know when a sms will just suffice. Keep track of flight times or delays to ensure your boss is kept up to date in case his flight changes.


Keep in contact with the associated parties to ensure that ad-hoc requests and matters arising are well co-ordinated and efficient response to maintain a seamless process.


Ensure there are reminders to notify ground crew (shuttle service etc.) on changes in scheduling arrivals and departures.

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Pre-empt possible changes in itinerary should delays or disruptions to the plans arise. This can make the recovery unnoticeable and seamless. On his/her return, a well-articulated succinct information pack is always useful to bring your boss up to speed.

xxxxxx Lara Milton is a young independent woman with 8 years corporate experience as an Executive PA. She has worked in the retail and pharmaceutical sector. She has a great sense of humour and enjoys the little things in life”

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work trends

How to be indispensable

in the new office reality As bosses become keyboard savvy, and technology is ever-more intrusive; and as millennials demand new work cultures, The PA has to adapt to a new connected world and find a new niche (relationship skills; influence and ‘authority’ skills; connectedness skills; new multitasking skills etc.) in order to remain indispensable! So says Wendy Wyngaard.

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Change is inevitable, so being open and agile to adapt with current times is necessary. Keeping yourself relevant has also become crucial for success. Creating a reputable brand of yourself and keeping your brand relevant and marketable is key to being an enabler in any organisation. The most impactful change in any organisation is technology and how far have we come from being able to type up a document on a typewriter. Technology has impacted in such a way that many tend to think that not being “connected” makes one null and void, but this is not necessarily so. As much as bosses are now keyboard savvy and technologically empowered, PAs remain indispensable by aligning themselves to industry best practice. These global trends not only keep you in the loop of what’s happening out in the world but also keeps you relevant to the “new office reality”.

ADAPTABILITY One has to be able to adapt to changes in the operational environment and the organisation as a whole. When the organisation changes strategic direction and your boss has to be part of that change, make sure you are prepared in order to be successful in your role, and to offer the right and best support. Get inside his/her head, understand the thinking in order to pre-empt actions to be taken.

TECHNOLOGY Technology has changed how we do business and definitely changed how

When the organisation changes strategic direction and your boss has to be part of that change, make sure you are prepared in order to be successful in your role, and to offer the right and best support.


eflecting back to when I started my career in 1990, working only during school vacations, it is tremendous to witness how not only office administration has evolved over time, but also how the tools and trends to perform the role as PA have changed.


PAs fulfil their roles. Having access to proper systems, applications, processes and resources are necessary to keep up with the growing office demands as the landscape of the business world regularly evolves, and so do communication platforms. A very good example is how we moved from a pure paper based environment to a more digital environment.

what is out there in the world - and this includes your boss. So be in the know, and keep yourself informed on what is relevant and happening out there, especially if it has any sort of influence or impact to the organisation you work for. NEVER use you own social media platforms to talk about your work or organisation!


This is a trend that has fast become the next best thing for both employer and employee as it instils a work/ home/life balance. This creates an environment of productive workers. A PA is able to access company systems virtually, and makes it possible for one to interact readily with people all over the world, and able to connect with your boss wherever you are (or wherever he/she is) definitely instils a sense of being reliable to others in the sense of not being inhibited from “getting things done”.

A PA’s role today is not defined as per the job specification. You are actually a “jack of all trades”. The skill set a PA posesses can only be acquired by the experience gained on the job. As the role has developed over the years the type of learning and development offered has been tailored to assist PAs to utilise their training as coping mechanisms to fulfil their roles. Online education and training is trending to be more popular in the work environment.

SOCIAL MEDIA This trend is one of the largest techno trends that have impacted all industries. Many organisations use social media as a way to keep their business current and informed with


So in contributing to making yourself indispensable in your role as a PA in a tech savvy world, take heed of these points: continued on next page careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

18 continued from previous page

44 Improve a unique skill that is beneficial to the business and make sure you are the one who knows how to do it.

44 Ensure that you adapt yourself and your thinking when faced with changes in your environment. Get to know what is happening in other departments as well as the dynamics of the business.

44 Always be willing to go the extra mile without compromising your ethics. This makes a huge impact on your boss getting his job done.

44 Always keep up to date with new technology to ensure you can remain relevant and also the speed in which you can tackle tasks.

Up your game and know exactly what bosses do and how they do it. When the boss is not around the PA should automatically be seen to be the one to contact in the

44 “You’re never too old to learn something new”. Ensure that you ‘profile’ yourself regularly and ensure you identify potential learning and development areas. 44 Keep up to date with trends using social media. Join working groups and information groups relevant to your environment. 44 Do work that matters, not work that’s easy. Tackle the projects that really bring about the success of the business.

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Wendy Arendse-Wyngaard, Personal Assistant to the General Manager: Facilities & Operations joined Cape Town International Convention Centre in February 2017 from Nedbank Private Wealth with 10 years’ of working as a Team Secretary. As part of her career focus, Wendy obtained her Project Management Certificate.



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healthy mind in a healthy body

How to eat


You spend most of your waking hours at work, so it’s no surprise that your workplace nutrition habits have a major impact on your health! But did you know that proper workplace nutrition can help you get ahead? So says the team at Exos, a human performance company. They advise that according to studies people who ‘binge eat’ are less productive at work! We share with you their tips on how to stay energised, productive and fuelled at the office.

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healthy mind in a healthy body walk away from your desk and eat a healthy meal. You’ll come back refreshed.

5 Easy Ways to Start Eating Healthier at Work


1. Ditch the junk. Get rid of biscuits, chips, crackers, and other unhealthy snacks stashed in your desk drawer. Temptation has to be eliminated. 2. Make time for meals. It’s easy to forget to eat when you’re on deadline. Block off 30 minutes each day to

3. Bring leftovers. Make an extra portion when you’re cooking (a healthy) dinner and you’ll have a healthy lunch to take to the office the next day. 4. Plan your meals. If you know you’re going to eat two in-between lunch snacks at the office, plan ahead and come prepared for those snacks with fruit, dried fruit, or healthy nibbles such as suggested below. 5. Bring in a water bottle. Start each day with a full bottle of water at your desk, and make an effort to drink water often. You’ll stay hydrated and energised.

Below are some suggestions for healthy snacks for the office 1. Walnuts – Walnuts are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Pair a handful of walnuts with a piece of low-fat cheese, your favorite fruit, or a bowl of oatmeal for a fiber-rich morning snack that will help you feel full longer. 2. Apples – Apples are loaded with pectin, which helps suppress your appetite. Eating an apple mid-day helps control blood sugar and may aid in weight loss. 3. Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Plus, it contains healthy bacteria, known as probiotics, to keep your digestive tract healthy. Top 6 to 8 ounces of Greek Yogurt with ¾ cup of berries for a mid-day snack. 4. Green Tea – Research has shown that green tea helps lower cholesterol and decreases the risk of diabetes and stroke. What’s more, it boosts metabolism to help you burn fat. 5. Spinach Salad – Mix up a fresh salad with 2 cups of spinach (rich in energy-boosting magnesium), 1 cup of antioxidant-packed strawberries, and 1/2 cup of black beans and one large hard-boiled egg for extra protein. 6. Oranges and Almonds – In addition to drinking water throughout the day, eat fruits like oranges,

which are 90 percent water. Pair one large orange with an ounce of raw almonds, which are loaded with fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fat. 7. Carrots and Hummus –This low-calorie combo is packed with beta-carotene, fiber, and healthy fat to help you feel full throughout the afternoon. 8. Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and Pineapple – Half a cup of low-fat cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium, while 3/4 cup of fresh pineapple offers a sweet topping that can decrease inflammation in the body and improve digestion. 9. Yogurt, Granola, and Cherries – Yogurt contains probiotics, which are known as the good bacteria needed for a healthy digestive tract. Add some crunch to 1 cup of yogurt by mixing in 1 cup of lowfat, fiber-rich granola and 1/2 cup of dark cherries for a punch of antioxidants and phytonutrients. 10. Granola Bars – Stock your desk drawer with granola bars to bail you out when you're crunched for time. 11. Pear and Cheese – This simple snack is low in calories and perfect for portion control. A pear and a fat-free mozzarella cheese stick are rich in calcium, vitamin C, potassium and fibre. Source: http://www.coreperformance.com

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Zippy profile


1o swift answers

fast questions Paula Pereira Her current position: PA to Chief Operating Officer, at Cell C


What is the most challenging task you have ever tackled as a PA?

I always thought that being a PA to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) would be similar to any other job within the secretarial field. That was until I accepted the role as PA to a CEO! The position was challenging as I was tasked with various roles which required strong organisational skills, commitment and dedication. In addition to the typical duties, I also managed many of the CEO‘s personal matters because of his gruelling work schedule. The position also required me to fulfil a leadership role as I was assigned a secretary to assist with the workload, and often had to guide and mentor her


What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Early on in my career I learnt that building strong relationships within the organisation is key. No one person knows everything. The job can cause high levels of stress and I have learned throughout the years that in order to be your best, you need to remain calm and put things into perspective. When you are faced with a new challenge that seems impossible to handle, follow the one-bite at a time approach.


Which world figure (sports person/author/entertainer/politician/celebrity) would you like to be a PA to? Why? Throughout my career I have been very blessed to have been given the opportunity to work for some of the brightest and most influential business people in SA. I give full credit to them for the growth and development of my career. If I had to choose one person I would have liked to have worked for, it would be the late President Nelson Mandela. I always wondered what it would have been like to walk in Zelda La Grange’s shoes.


What kind of music/song invigorates you? Which relaxes you?

I enjoy 80’s music. It is not only nostalgic but it takes me back to my youth and many precious memories. I often sing along, relax, laugh and sometimes cry – this is life.


Where would you choose to go for a week’s sponsored vacation? Why?

ula Pereira a P

Definitely the seaside! This is the place where I can be myself. The sea is mysterious, majestic and relaxing. It gives me inner peace and allows me to think and be appreciative of life!



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

What is your favourite fragrance? Where does it take your mind?

The most daring thing I have faced was when my family emigrated to South Africa and none of us could speak English. This marked the beginning of many challenges but also truly showed that you can make your

Any of the Clarins fragrances. They are made of plants and take my imagination to tranquil places in nature!


dreams come true.


When the day gets rough, what do you do? Pray? Scream? Hide in the WC? Have endless cups of coffee? Cry? Write on Facebook? I take a deep breath and collect my thoughts in order to remain focused. When you have a rough day, chances are that your boss is experiencing a rough day too. Two characteristics a successful PA must possess are sympathy and empathy. careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

If you could have any company perk, what would it be?

As previously said, I have been so blessed throughout my career that I could not ask for more.


In one sentence, why would the world collapse if there were no PAs?

If a PA is passionate about her job and she approaches it seriously and with enthusiasm, she will take charge, think ahead and make things happen.




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careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017


Zippy profile


fast questions Diana Morais Her current position: Personal Assistant to Advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Benny Makola


The profession is constantly buzzing and never sleeps so that in itself is a challenge! What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

It depends on what the task is, but usually I research and make lists (I have lists about everything!) and if there is someone I know who might have an answer I will phone them or pop them a message.


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

Waking up one morning in grade 9, I turned to my mum and said “I’m auditioning for the choir” (with no musical background at all). That day happened to be the last day for auditions and even though I hadn’t put my name down at the start, they made an exception and I got in!


Which world figure (sports person/author/ entertainer/politician/celebrity) would you like to be a PA to? Why?

What is the most challenging task you have ever tackled as a PA?

I cannot single out a “most challenging task” that I have had to handle as they come in all shapes and sizes, especially when working in the legal profession.


1o swift answers It would be an honour to work with J. K. Rowling. I grew up reading her books which became an obsession. I think she is a very intelligent woman and I have enormous respect for what she stands for considering everything she has been through in her life. Being her PA would also open up the opportunity to participate in her charity, Lumos. In 2008 her commencement address given at Harvard University (The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination) is still one of my favourite pick-me-ups. I even bought the book.


What kind of music/song invigorates you? Which relaxes you?

Boss by Fifth Harmony is invigorating – it is a real Girl Power song! I find the Jazz era very relaxing – especially Nina Simone or the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.).


Where would you choose to go for a week’s sponsored vacation? Why?

Morai a na s Di

Ireland and Paris; it has always been my dream to go to the UK and France.


This turned out to be the best decision that I had ever made. I went on to sing in the World Choir Games in Austria, became Head of Choir and had a lead role in the school musical in my final year of high school.


When the day gets rough, what do you do? Pray? Scream? Hide in the WC? Have endless cups of coffee? Cry? Write on Facebook? I take a deep breath and leave my workstation. Separating yourself from the situation is important for perspective. And then I grab some lipstick; lipstick is magic!

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

What is your favourite fragrance? Where does it take your mind? La Vie est Belle by Lancôme. It is exquisitely feminine. It reminds me that I am powerful and I can handle anything.


If you could have any company perk, what would it be?

Flexi time – but I am very lucky to already have this!


In one sentence, why would the world collapse if there were no PAs?

PAs are the spine in the body of the corporate world; with no spine, there is no support structure.


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careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017


Zippy profile


career feature

1o swift answers

fast questions Sumayya Brown Her current position: PA to CEO SA & Chief Strategy Officer, at Multichoice


What is the most challenging task you have ever tackled as a PA?

Having to organise a teambuilding weekend for a department of 100 staff, which included determining activities that were based on our goals for that year, free time activities, evening dinners and a themed function, and other tasks such as organising accommodation, travel logistics etc. Thinking about it now makes me wonder how I managed four consecutive years. Oh yes I was younger!


What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

My values and principles play a big role when making decisions - whether these are personal or work related. I have different tools for different situations. If work related, (depending how big or small the task at the time), I’ll step away from my desk for a while, grab a cup of coffee and go pick the brain of a colleague or two. If it’s personal, I seek the counsel of a friend or family member, weigh up my options or go with my intuition.


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

As I had never travelled abroad before, in July 2000 I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I just woke up one morning, brochure in hand and walked into the travel office at work and booked at two-and-a-half-week tour to Europe (visiting 8 cities). On my 33rd birthday I found myself standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I felt free, and it was the most exhilarating feeling.

Which world figure (sports person/author/ entertainer/politician/celebrity) would you like to be a PA to? Why? I would have to say Oprah. When I watched her shows at times I would feel how certain topics would touch me to the depths of my soul. Also, the fact that she is a selfmade woman who had learned from a young age to be independent and had in many selfless ways changed so many people’s lives!


What kind of music/song invigorates you? Which relaxes you?


Where would you choose to go for a week’s sponsored vacation? Why?

I am an old-school girl, anything that touches my soul. Some of my favourites are Luther Vandros, O’jays, light jazz, R&B.

Bali. I was inspired by the book Eat, Pray, Love. It just feels like a place where you can just go to do a lot of introspection.


yya Brow ma n u S


When the day gets rough, what do you do? Pray? Scream? Hide in the WC? Have endless cups of coffee? Cry? Write on Facebook? The many years in the job have taught me that losing control is not going to solve the problem. I will leave what I am doing, find some non-related simple task to do to clear my head. When I feel less overwhelmed I go back and look at things with fresh eyes and a clearer mind. careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017


What is your favourite fragrance? Where does it take your mind?

I’m not much of a perfume person. I have only two bottles of perfume which I received as gifts, Amarige and JLo. On the occasions that I do use them, it does make me feel somewhat mysterious, like the girls in the perfume ads.


If you could have any company perk, what would it be?

An annually paid family vacation abroad as we spend many late hours at work.


In one sentence, why would the world collapse if there were no PAs?

Mine is more of a question than a sentence. If all PAs at any company, went on strike for one week what would happen? Something to think about.



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Coaching by Brett Blumenthal



I need advice on how to better handle the way I work when I am on deadlines! I become obsessive with trying to finish the task so I skip lunch. I sit working till I virtually collapse and even struggle to drive myself home. I want to discipline myself. Please help.

Answer: Take many short breaks


hen you spend too much time doing the same task or working on the same problem, your mind becomes “numb.” You start to lose focus and miss important details, contributing to slower speed, decreased accuracy, and, if your job entails physical work, increased risk of accidents. Taking short, regular breaks allows your mind to refresh and get the rest it needs to feel reenergized to refocus when returning to a task. Essentially, a short break can act like a vacation for your brain. Giving your mind a break to think about nothing or something other than work gives you a chance to return with a new and refreshed perspective.

Many of us get caught up in what we are doing and forget to take a break or feel guilty for taking one.

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

How to Build Short Breaks Into Your Busy Day 1. Find Your Frequency. Everyone is a bit different, but many people feel better taking a break every hour or so, for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Experiment with different frequencies and lengths to find out how they can help you be most productive. 2. Get it Scheduled. Many of us get caught up in what we are doing and either forget to take a break or feel guilty for taking one. As a result, even when we need to get away from our work for a few minutes, we don’t. Schedule in breaks so you can ensure you take them at optimal intervals. 3. Change Focus. When taking a break, it can be tempting to try to think about other things you need to do or details about the task you were working on. Instead, focus on something positive, inspirational, or funny. Keep your break light and enjoyable. 4. Get Active. Studies have shown that active breaks have greater impact on productivity and focus than restful breaks. A little activity will increase heart rate, which in turn will increase oxygen flow to your brain and throughout your body. Try taking a walk, stretching, using a bathroom on a different floor, or talking to a colleague, if possible. 5. Unwind. If you’re having a stressful day and a resting break is what you need, try meditating, reading a few pages in a book, listening to music, or calling someone close to you. Taking a short break during a busy day may seem like a luxury, but it may be the only thing that keeps you focused and, ultimately, successful. Brett Blumenthal , is bestselling author of 52 Small Changes for the Mind. More info on www.sheerbalance.com


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EQ Feature

Victims of bullying should not resign themselves to their fate, as there are several steps they can take to put an end to the bully’s reign of terror, so says, an expert Dr

OFFICE BULLIES COUNTER Their sting Gillian Mooney.


with strategy!

hile many young South Africans are victims to bullying at school, the phenomenon is not limited to the playground, with many lives and careers damaged annually by bullies in the workplace

Psychologically, bullying causes heightened stress levels and often leads to depression, breakdowns, poor concentration, compromised memory, insecurity, irritability, and even posttraumatic stress syndrome.

Workplace bullying is the consistent and repeated mistreatment of one employee by another, and international estimates suggest that at least 1 in 6 people will at some stage fall victim to an office bully.

Physically, those on the receiving end of bullying may suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, lowered resistance to colds and flu, high blood pressure, migraines, hormonal disturbances, thyroid problems, skin irritations, stomach ulcers and substance abuse.”

Workplace bullying takes a huge toll not only on the person on the receiving end, but also on teams, divisions and even the company as a whole. It affects the target both mentally and physically, and will almost certainly impact on motivation and productivity.

Toxic team members cause a drop in productivity and organisational health, due to increased absenteeism and staff turnover, more accidents, bad customer service, higher costs for employee assistance programmes, and decreased motivation and morale.

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

31 A researcher in the United Kingdom, Dr Charlotte Rayner, found that almost a quarter of people who witness workplace bullying will search for new employment.

Constructive criticism vs. bullying While legitimate and constructive criticism should be considered as positive and par for the course in the workplace, companies and individuals should not allow bullies to continue down their path of destruction. Legitimate criticism occurs in a positive, non-threatening manner, and typically includes helpful methods for you to improve your work. In contrast, bullying occurs in a negative manner and is abusive - either overtly or subtly. A workplace bully may make unreasonable demands, use techniques such as verbal abuse which includes cursing, shouting, gossiping and constant undermining of the target, or tactics such as intimidation, degradation, isolation and humiliation,” says Mooney. Both employees and employers can and should take steps to address bullying in the workplace.

Steps for bullied individuals include: 44 Determining whether criticism is warranted If you cannot distinguish between criticism and bullying, ask a trusted co-worker. 44 Speaking to others about the problem Ask for help from a colleague who has been with the company for a long time, who may have greater insight into the company’s policies, procedures and any precedent. 44 Logging and escalating behaviour Bullies are often guilty of ‘gaslighting’, which means that you may start to doubt yourself and your observations. Therefore, you should keep a log of all incidents, including dates, times and context. Then approach your direct manager or HR department with your concerns and evidence. 44 Moving on Unfortunately, victims of bullying often seek friendlier pastures elsewhere. If you are in the position to find work elsewhere, and if your attempts to address the bullying behaviour were not successful, ditching the toxic environment is a legitimate course of action and should not be seen as running away. However, before you resign be sure to consult with a lawyer regarding your rights.

Steps for employers include: 44 Being pro-active There is a lot that employers can do to prevent bullying from happening in the first place. It is in the best interest of the company to make it very clear from the outset that bullying will not be tolerated, by establishing codes of conduct and ensuring all employees understand what is expected of them. Regular staff assessments are also helpful, particularly 360-degree reviews, as they are likely to reveal patterns of bullying. 44 Keeping accurate records Employers should ensure that all complaints are made in writing, which ultimately protects the rights of all parties. The target is not likely to put exaggerations into writing and management will have a written record of exactly what the complaint is, while being able to spot developing patterns sooner rather than later. 44 Responding effectively and promptly All complaints should be taken seriously, and investigated without delay. The alleged perpetrators should be given the opportunity to respond to the accusations, and once a determination is made, disciplinary action, where warranted, should follow in line with company procedures. In addition to punitive steps, professional help should also be provided for victims and teams in general, to create a more harmonious and positive work environment. If a bully at work is causing someone to feel miserable about going to the office every day of their life, victims should address the matter as a priority. The problem will not go away on its own, and you can’t spend your days, months and years tolerating the intolerable. Ultimately, it is not only your career that will suffer, but also your health, your wellbeing and even your family.

Dr Gillian Mooney, Teaching and Learning Manager at The Independent Institute of Education, South Africa’s largest private higher education provider. More info on www.theworldofwork. co.za or www.iie.ac.za

careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017


last page

Test your

Wits and have Fun 1

What famous website is also the world's 2nd longest river?

Japanese for 'picture character' is (What?) reportedly the fastest growing language ever?


'Sky peer-to-peer' is the origin of what famous revolutionary Estonian/ Danish development?


Named after its designer, a Satoshi is 0.00000001 (a hundred-millionth) of a: US Dollar; Japanese Yen; Euro; or Bitcoin?


When an employer instructs a departing employee to serve his/her paid notice period not working this is called "(What?) Leave": Leisuring, Hiatus, Gardening; non-Engaging


Solutions below

Answers 1. Amazon. 2. Memo (from Memorandum). 3 Emoji (e + moji = picture + character, and not derived from 'emotion' at all). 4 Skype. 5 Bitcoin. 6. Gardening (or Garden Leave - typically to minimise risks of the employee using sensitive information by working for a competitor - the practice/terminology also applies to a period of suspension from work due to such things as investigation or publicity or other crisis management where the employee's presence at work is considered threatening). Source: www.brainbashers.com careersuccess magazine issue 2 2017

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Profile for Lazuli Communications

Careersuccess issue 2 2017  

CareerSuccess is the ultimate magazine for PAs, secretaries, admin assistants and office managers Essential articles for you. Enjoy fabulous...

Careersuccess issue 2 2017  

CareerSuccess is the ultimate magazine for PAs, secretaries, admin assistants and office managers Essential articles for you. Enjoy fabulous...