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Magnet Communications’ Annual Career Guide 2011

Showing you the way

Featuring 34 of South Africa’s top employer brands Useful tips and advice from career specialists from South Africa's universities

2011 Magnet Communications Research and Media (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. Distribution of material in this publication is prohibited without the approval of Magnet Communications Research and Media (Pty) Ltd. Publisher Peter Johansson | Production manager Malin Sundin | Writer & editor Madeline Lass | Design & layout Julie Taylor, Perception Design CPT | Printers ABC Press | Address Magnet Communications 1st Floor | Atterbury House | 20 Georgian Crescent | Hampton Office Park | Bryanston 2191 | Telephone 011 706 0670 | Email malin@magnetcomm.co.za | Website www.magnetcommunications.co.za


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Dear Reader Join the most influential leadership network in the world

Connecting with leaders We give you access to leaders of the most influential organisations in the world, and plenty of opportunities to build enduring relationships with them.

www.mckinsey.co.za

Students are often told that their university days are the best days of their lives — carefree, social, fun filled and without a thought about the future. If only! For most students it’s more a case of “all work and no play!” because they know that their future careers will be shaped by their results. They take their studies seriously because they are committed to landing a dream job when they graduate. It’s easier said than done, though, and that is why we here at Magnet Communications take great care in compiling CareerCompass for you. Our aim is to assist you to improve your career-management skills and to assist you in realising your ambitions. In this edition we focus on ways in which you can jumpstart your career by developing skills outside your academic programme. This aspect of career development has become increasingly important in recent years. Lerato Kekana, the winner of our Magnet Student Survey lucky draw, confirms this: “The only regret I have about my university days,” he says, “is that I didn’t do more extracurricular activities. Because this is what employers want when you go for interviews. They want to know that you did things beyond your studies, such as joining campus organisations and sports teams.” It is for this reason we asked career specialists from universities around the country to provide us with some hot tips on how to get ahead in the career stakes. We also feature some of the country’s top employers, giving you an insight into their offering as well as their recruitment needs. We look forward to interacting with you through the course of the year and wish you the best of luck in your endeavours.

Magnet Communications team

Magnet Communications will once again be running the South African Student Survey on campuses around the country in 2011. Please look out for the Magnet posters on your campus – or grab hold of one of our ambassadors – and be sure to complete the survey questionnaire. Remember: you stand to win fabulous prizes throughout the field period.

From left to right Front: Madeline Lass, Peter Johansson. Back: Bongiwe Kotta, Malin Sundin, Gavin Groenmeyer, Batandwa Ndovela

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Contents

E mployer bra nds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 036 A b sa Absa capital Accenture

About Magn e t Com m un ic a tio n s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 0 0 6

A frica n R a inbow Minera l s

Attit ude is e v e r yt hin g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 0 0 8

A l l a n G ray

Is your communica t i o n s t y l e

Auditor-General of SA

h olding you b a c k ?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p 0 0 9

BDO

M y dog at e my h om e w o rk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p010

CSIR

Be th e re on t h e dot! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p011

D ep a r tm ent of Inter na tiona l R el ations a nd Coop eration

I f y our body we re a Fe r ra ri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p012

D ep a r tm ent of R ura l D evel op m ent a nd La nd R efor m

M one y, mon e y, mo n e y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p013

D eutsche B a nk D im ension D a ta

Ju mpst ar t ing your c a re e r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p015

Er nst & Young

Yo ur deg ree doe s no t g u a r a nt e e a ca r e e r – No r t h - We s t Un ive r s it y

Exxa ro

Book shelf

F irst Na tiona l B a nk

Snif f ing o ut a c a r e e r i n t he a r t s – St e lle nb os ch Un ive r s it y

G rant Thor nton

Go al + Actio n = S u cce ss – Ce nt r a l Uni ve r si ty o f Te ch n o l o g y

Hatch

What makes y o u de si r a b le ? – Ca pe Pe ni nsul a Un ive r s it y o f Te ch n o l o g y

Hewl ett- Pa cka rd

Make y o ur CV a powe r f u l se lli ng t o o l – Uni ve r s it y o f P r e t o r ia

The IQ B usiness G roup

I nterv iew jitter s – Uni ve r si t y o f t he We st e r n C a p e

JD G roup

Getting the bas i cs r i g ht – Ne lso n M a nde la M e t r o p o l it a n Un ive r s it y

KPMG

Yo u get o nly o ne sho t a t cr e a t i ng a g o o d f i r s t imp r e s s io n – Un ive r s it y o f Ve n d a

Lega l A id

Be bo l d! – Ts hw a ne Uni ve r si t y o f Te chno lo g y

Ma ssm a r t

O f f ice no - no s – Uni ve r i si t y o f Z u lu la nd

Ma za rs

The thief o f time – Uni ve r si t y o f Fo r t Ha r e What keeps y o u g o i ng ? – UN ISA

take action

Ned ba nk Procter & G a m b l e

Hel l o Career Sev i ce s – Uni ve r si t y o f J o ha nn e s b u rg

PwC

Pl ay to win – Vaa l Uni ve r si t y o f Te chno lo g y

R eckitt B enckiser The Shop rite G roup South A frican B reweries South A frican R evenue Services Sun Inter national Tota l SA Vol k swagen G roup SA Co mpa ny w eblist ing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p106

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About Magnet Communications About employer branding Employer branding has become increasingly important as employers battle to attract and retain the kind of talent they need to succeed in today’s highly competitive world. They understand that creating great products and customer experiences depends on the quality of their people. “It just is not possible to build a successful company without great people,” says Peter Johansson, MD of Magnet Communications. “To develop a great employer brand, an organisation must be perceived to be a great place to work in the minds of current employees; as well as key stakeholders in the external market, such as prospective employees, clients, customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders.”

Magnet Communications forms part of Universum, the global leader in the field of employer branding. Universum has operations in Europe, the US, Asia, Australia and Africa. Magnet Communications, in turn, is South Africa’s leading employer branding specialist. We have been helping top employers attract and retain the right talent with our research, strategy development and communications services for seven years.

Research Every year Magnet Communications and Research undertakes the biggest student and professionals’ survey on employer branding in the country. (In 2010 we elicited responses from 38 769 students; 13 445 professionals and 448 MBA students.) Among other things, we ask students about their ideal employers, career goals, expected salaries and working conditions, opinions on social media and much more. The information that we gather during our research assists employers to develop the kind of recruitment strategies that would help them attract and retain the brightest and best students from our South African campuses. Our research also gives you an opportunity to vote for your Ideal™ Employer. Last year the companies listed opposite were voted into the top ten positions in four categories.

Publications The knowledge that we gain from our research — particularly our Ideal™ Employer rankings — further helps us to shape our three annual employer branding publications aimed at university students and professionals: Companies of the Future, Destination: the Future and CareerCompass.

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South Africa’s only independent research-based employer branding specialists

Business / Commerce 1. KPMG 2. Absa 3. South African Reserve Bank (SARB) 4. Deloitte 5. PricewaterhouseCoopers 6. Coca-Cola South Africa 7. South African Revenue Service (Sars) 8. BMW South Africa 9. Eskom 10. South African Breweries (SAB)

Engineering / Technology 1. Eskom 2. Sasol 3. Anglo Platinum 4. BMW South Africa 5. De Beers 6. Transnet 7. Murray & Roberts 8. Telkom 9. Anglo American 10. CSIR

Humanities / Liberal Arts / Law 1. Department of Education 2. SABC 3. United Nations 4. Media24 5. Department of Health 6. Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO) 7. Absa 8. Deneys Reitz Attorneys 9. Department of Home Affairs 10. National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)

Health Care / Health Sciences / Sciences 1. Department of Health 2. CSIR 3. National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) 4. Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries 5. Sasol 6. Medi-Clinic Southern Africa 7. Anglo Platinum 8. South African Breweries (SAB) 9. Eskom 10. De Beers

Winner!

Magnet Student Survey lucky draw All students who sign up to take part in the Lucky Draw upon completing the Student Survey questionnaire stand a chance to win a big prize. Last year the top prize was an Apple MacBook Pro. And the lucky winner is Lerato Kekana, who was doing his Honours in Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg. Congratulations, Lerato!

Are you thinking about your future? Here’s your chance to fulfil your ambition! At Engen, we offer bursaries to deserving students who don’t have the means to further their education. Let us know if you are interested in building your future with us. FIELDS OF STUDY • BCom Accounting • BCom Information Systems • BSc Electrical Engineering • BSc Chemical Engineering • BSc Mechanical Engineering • BSc Electronics ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS • Good academic results with at least a 65% average (for applicants at 2nd year level) • High achievers • South African citizens • Preferably from previously disadvantaged backgrounds • Only students who are at 3rd year level in 2012 are invited to apply TO APPLY Forward a brief CV with a copy of all results and/or certificates, by no later than 31 May 2011, to: The Engen Bursary Department and quote Ref. No. BUR0003 Fax: 021 403 5921 or E-mail: bursaries@engenoil.com Should you not hear from us by 31 July 2011, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful. Kindly do not contact Engen directly. Engen reserves the right to award bursaries in line with its Employment Equity strategy.


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Attitude is everything t is almost universally accepted that you can’t build a great company without great people. Employers know that having good people in their businesses, means — at the very least — that the business will run efficiently, provide a great customer experience and act responsibly towards the environment and the communities in which it operates.

Peter Johansson, MD of Magnet Communications and Research, says, “We have adopted the ‘Hire for attitude, train for skill’ philosophy because in the pressured environment of business it is easier to teach employees new skills than new attitudes.”

When all these elements converge, there is a greater likelihood of a business providing owners, investors and shareholders with a satisfactory return on their investment.

Character, competence and commitment

Once we understand this, it becomes clear why organisations go to extraordinary lengths to hire the best talent they can find. But what is the “best talent”? Jim Collins, author of the highly regarded book, Good to Great, says, “People are not your most important asset. The right people are. Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” Hire for attitude, train for skill Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, takes this idea a little further with his phrase, “Hire for attitude, train for skill”. Attitude is what makes all the difference. It involves the willingness to make mistakes, to learn, to take risks, to work independently and in a team and to go the extra mile.

It means that who you are as a person counts for as much as what you know at any point in time.

For Johansson a winning attitude comes down to three core traits — character, competence and commitment. “Generally, we mean good character to include qualities such as integrity, courage, resilience, tenacity, honesty and loyalty,” he says. “But we also value qualities such as not blaming others when things go wrong, looking for workable solutions and doing the ‘right thing’.” While competence clearly refers to the knowledge required to manage the various functions of any business or organisation, Johansson sees it including qualities such as a passion for innovation, creativity and the desire for continual learning.

Is your communication style holding you back? The ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is vital for success in business. Yet many employers complain that the communication skills of job seekers are frequently inadequate. This is hardly surprising in a country that has 11 official languages and a schooling system that has historically been poor on so many levels. No matter what the reasons, though, poor business communication skills will hold you back. The challenge, therefore, is to discover what communication skills employers want and how to acquire them. The bad news The bad news is that the organisational

He defines commitment as “the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself”, but believes that commitment is also closely allied to integrity. “It’s about doing what you say you will do. Working at something even though it is difficult and no fun,” he says. “It is about finishing the job because the team depends on you to do it.”

Build your own attitude Johansson,

yes no maybe

however, points out that these characteristic can be acquired by graduates wishing to enter the economy. “Just because it is easier for employers to train for skill than for attitude, it does not mean that job seekers cannot work at developing the necessary character traits,” he says. “Start off by doing a thorough audit of your strengths and weakness. Ask friends to assist you and be sure to be open to criticism. Once you are clear about which areas to work on, everything will depend on your determination and desire for success.”

“Hire for attitude, train for skill” 008 .\\

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world is becoming increasingly complex day by day. This demands better language skills. People are working virtually – often for companies that span the globe – interacting in real time with colleagues on different continents. In addition, the rate at which we work, process and share information is escalating every day; and many of us are hard pressed to keep up. We can’t be blamed for feeling that it’s a big ask to become highly competent in our second, third or fourth language — especially if we are not communications or languages students. Unfortunately there is no way around it. For now English is the predominant language of business. (Don’t be surprised if you soon find yourself having to learn Mandarin though!)

The good news As fast and complex as the world of work may be, communication is not rocket science. All it requires is determination and a long, steady slog. The aim is to learn to express your ideas clearly in writing and speech. If you know what you are talking about, it is much easier to write in a way that is easily understood by your readers: clear and direct, free of cliché and unnecessary jargon.

Know your audience An important starting point is to understand who will read your report, email, request,

story or memo. Treat your reader with respect. Don’t be sloppy, leave out information, make mistakes; provide the information your reader needs in language that he or she can read quickly, understand effortlessly and remember easily.

Rules As long ago as 1946 George Orwell (of Animal Farm fame) wrote the following six rules in his essay, “Politics and the English Language”. They remain indispensible:  Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.  Never use a long word where a short one will do.  If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.  Never use the passive where you can use the active.  Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.  Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. You may be thinking, “That’s easier said than done! My grammar is not good, I often get my tenses wrong, and I don’t know the difference between passive and active voice. Also, I often find it difficult to say what I want to.” It is a challenge that many of us have faced and there are ways to tackle it. Here are a few ideas:  Find a mentor.  Never ever be tempted to use texting language in business documents — not even in business texting.  Take an English course — either on-line or locally.  Start by reading comics, newspaper and magazine articles and progress to books.  Learn a new word every day.  Listen to an English language radio programme once a day.  Follow an English programme — even if it is a soap opera — on television.  Watch an English film at least once a month. Improving your communication skills takes time and definitely won’t happen without effort from you. But the rewards are worth it!

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k r o w e m o h y m te a g o d y M Here’s a story: Little Thabo’s teacher asks him to share his essay with the class. Thabo says, “Ma’am, I don’t have my essay here because my dog ate it.” The class sniggers. “Thabo, how did that happen?” Miss Ndovela asks, giving the class a sharp look. “Well, Ma’am, I had just finished my essay when my mom called me to take out the dirt bin,” says Thabo. “I jumped up and ran out to do as she asked, and while I was outside, the dog ate my essay. He’s very naughty.” We all know where this is going, don’t we? Rover is being blamed for Thabo’s missing essay and Thabo fully expects to get off scot free. But Miss Ndovela isn’t buying his story. She’s heard too many similar ones. I didn’t do my homework because: I had to cook supper; I was tired; we had no electricity; my mother made me go to my auntie with her; my father tore up my book; my baby sister was crying; I was feeling sick. Somebody or something else is always to blame for what is going wrong in life. But what if we were to accept that we are completely, 100 percent, responsible for how our lives turn out?

2.

You can be counted on: People who are punctual can be counted on. They build a reputation around being reliable, dependable and trustworthy. Generally, employers are hesitant to trust those who are habitually late with important assignments.

3.

On which side of the line do you play? It’s time for a reality check. Ask yourself whether you ever do any of the following:

lecturer is boring.

 I’m always late for class because the buses/trains

don’t stick to the time table.

 I don’t have money for that book because I just had to

have a new pair of shoes.

 I’m really just not good at maths.

Blame and complain  I don’t know why the university makes classes start so

early when they know we have transport problems.

Play the right game Let’s draw an imaginary line and say

 Our lecturers are so strict. It just isn’t fair that they

that playing below the line involves shifting the focus away from the real issue by blaming others. When we play below the line, we blame, make excuses and deny responsibility.

don’t accept assignments after the deadline. We have so much work to do! I’m so tired. I don’t know how they expect me to do everything. I just couldn’t study because my boyfriend and I had an argument.

Make commitments and then break them  I promised her that I would go to the clinic with her,

but now I am too tired. She can go alone.

 I’m not going to work tomorrow because I have just

been working too hard.

 I don’t feel like going to visit my family. I’ll just phone

and say I have a headache.

 I said I would look after my baby sister, but now I have

been invited to a party. I’ll just tell my mother I have work to do.

Now, tell yourself, honestly: do you play above the line or below the line? 010 .\\

Showing respect for your employer and colleagues: Being on time for a meeting or an event shows that you respect the person who arranged the event as well as all the other people attending the event. Respect for the effort he or she went to; respect for their time; and respect for yourself. It shows that you realise/are aware that the other attendees may have better things to do with their time than wait for you.

If he was playing above the line, he would say, “I do not have my homework with me.” If pushed for a reason he might add that he neglected to put his book out of reach of his dog and that he failed to re-do his essay when the dog destroyed it. In such a case he would be taking responsibility for what happened as well as the result.

This idea is fine when everything is going well in our lives. But it’s really difficult when things aren’t so good. Then we’re so quick to point fingers at other people and place the blame on them.

1.

When we play above the line, we accept responsibility for our actions and behaviour — no matter what the consequences. Let’s look at the example of Thabo and his dog. Let’s say Thabo’s dog did really eat his homework. Playing below the line, Thabo would explain that it was not his fault that his naughty dog ate his homework. He would use it as justification for not having his essay with him.

Make excuses  The reason I am doing so badly is because the

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Be there on the dot! he dictionary definition of “punctuality” is “arriving or taking place at an arranged time; prompt; and (of a person) having the characteristic of always keeping to arranged times, as for appointments, meetings, etc”. Essentially, it means turning up when you said you would; and doing something by when you said you would. It means that you have integrity. Being punctual in your day-to-day life has no doubt earned you the respect of your friends and family; and at university it will have earned you a reputation for somebody with respect for others. The world of work, however, will take the importance of being punctual to a whole new level. Here it is not just a nice-to-have characteristic — it is absolutely vital. Once you enter the world of work the course of your career will be shaped to some extent by your level of punctuality. Why is punctuality so important and why is a lack of punctuality considered a serious shortcoming by employers? Let’s look at a few reasons:

Punctual people are good team players: When you are punctual it tells others that you know how to be a team player. A good team player shares responsibility for the task at hand and never lets his or her colleagues down.

4.

You don’t waste company resources: You are paid to work for a certain amount of time every day. When you habitually turn up late, you are not earning your full pay. Your boss will not be pleased about this because it is a waste of money that could be allocated to other resources.

5.

You are disorganised: Being late is also an indication that you are disorganised. It could also mean that your mind is disorganised.

6.

You are not a good planner: Being late shows that you are not prepared to plan your life so that you can get to work on time. Think about all the times that you have depended on the punctuality of others, such as trains, buses, aeroplanes arriving and departing on time; your bursary money being paid in on time; your parents turning up on time for your graduation; shops opening on time; and so on. If you think about it, our society has an unspoken agreement that certain things will happen at certain times. And when they don’t, we get pretty upset. Imagine the bank opening when its employees feel like turning up for work; or nurses and doctors seeing their hospital shift times as vague guidelines only. The world would quickly descend into chaos. You play an important part in making sure that our world works effectively and efficiently. Why would you not take it seriously?

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If your body were a Ferrari Imagine being given, completely free of charge, a beautiful red Ferrari. There is no doubt that you would be in awe of its effortless style and its precision engineering. It is difficult to believe that something so complex and sensitive can be so beautiful. Driving a car like a Ferrari is an experience because it responds to your every whim.

When it needed fuel, would you pull up to the nearest garage and fill it up with whatever happens to be available? No, of course not. You would make sure that it gets the fuel that is specially made for it. Would you lubricate it with any old lubricant? No way! You would use the best that your money can buy because you know it won’t perform or last very long if you neglect to take care of it. Now, think of this: on the day that you were born, you were given a brand new body. Your parents were in awe of its beauty and the sheer miracle of its existence. The complex systems all somehow knew exactly how to work together. What did they feed you? Not a cola drink and a hamburger! Fast forward to the present moment. You still have the amazing body you were born with. How have you been treating it? What kind of condition is it in at the moment? How many cigarettes do you smoke a day? How many glasses of alcohol do you drink? What is your Body Mass Index?

The right stuff Is your body getting the right stuff? The human body is designed to use fuel derived from the food we eat to support our activities. The best fuel for our bodies is derived from a balanced combination of food. Because we are so often rushed and stressed out, we tend to grab food that is conveniently available — mainly fast foods. The problem with most fast foods is that they tend to be high in fat and carbohydrates, which not only leads to weight problems, but also makes us sluggish. And then, when we feel sluggish, we tend to have some caffeine (coffee and cola drinks) to perk up. But come time to sleep, we are so tanked up on caffeine that we lie awake in frustration. In the morning, we wake up feeling groggy and immediately grab a cup of coffee and head off to lectures. And so the cycle continues.... The problem is that you never actually feel on top of your game. You never have enough mental or physical energy to go the extra mile.

Money, money, money Most South Africans have a little twitch of worry the day before the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, presents his budget to Parliament. This is because we worry about the extra taxes he may levy if he has not managed to balance his budget. The parents of many students often experience this same twitchiness when they hear that their offspring have not managed to make their allocated funds stretch as far as they would have liked. Why budget Balancing one’s budget is really difficult, especially when it’s a shoestring budget. But it is the best way to control your finances, stick to a savings plan and long-term financial goals.

There is a better way Fuelling your body with high octane food, specially designed by nature, is more likely to provide the kind of sustained energy that you need to be a top student. For your brain to work well you need a good supply of energy and oxygen. You get this by eating a balanced diet (plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, potatoes, pasta, fish, lean meat, etc) and regular meals. To oxygenate your brain you need to exercise at least once a day. This way you are also more likely to get sufficient sleep. Eating healthily does not need to be more time consuming or an effort. Think of some of nature’s really great snacks, like nuts, bananas, apples, pears, oranges and dried fruit like raisins, peaches, mangoes, etc. How about a glass of milk instead of a cola drink or coffee?

Some healthy tips to start with:  Eat lots of fruit and vegetables  Eat more fish – including a portion of oily     

fish each week Cut down on saturated fat and sugar Try to eat less salt – no more than 6g a day Get active and try to be a healthy weight Drink plenty of water Don’t skip breakfast

So, if your body were a Ferrari, would you be treating it like an old rust bucket?

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On its simplest level, budgeting involves three main steps: listing the money coming into your account; adding up all the expenses you are committed to (rent, electricity, food, transport, etc); and subtracting the second amount from the first to give you your disposable income with which you can do as you please.

Write it down The best way to prepare a budget is by committing it to paper or your computer screen. Done properly, this exercise will tell you a lot about your financial situation. If you are like most people, you will find that your expenses exceed your income. This is when you have to think very carefully about “cutting your coat according to your cloth”. You may very well consider wearing Prada or Gucci as “essential” but if your income does not stretch that far, you may have to revise your definition of “essential”.

everything they spend. (It may not stop you from spending unnecessarily, but it certainly will be an eye opener when you look at what you have spent during a month.) All this does not mean that you need to be a boring stick in the mud. Of course you can decide to have sushi one day, but then you are going to have to eat bread and peanut butter the next. Be extreme, but make sure it all balances out in the end.

Planning ahead Budgeting has the added advantage of helping you buy those big-ticket items that you may otherwise never afford. Say you decide to go overseas on holiday after graduating and that you need to save for it. Your budget will tell you how much disposable income you have, and then you can decide how much of that you are prepared to commit to your holiday savings plan. All you require after that is commitment and a real desire to go on that holiday.

No stress When you live without a budget, you tend to Track your expenses Once you have established what your budget can afford, the next step is to start tracking your daily expenses. If you have a global sum for, say, snacks and lunches, you may find that you run through that sum long before the end of the month. The trick here is to keep track of what you spend every day and to stick to the amount allocated. Some people find it helpful to write down

spend until your money runs out — and it sometimes runs out sooner than you hoped it would. Budgeting means not just hoping that things will turn out all right: it means that you have planned for expected expenses and also put something away for unexpected expenses. It means that you have more control, which also means that you have less stress.

“Cut your coat according to your cloth” //. 013


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