Tag Archive | "Jobs"

The Secret to Successful Job Shadowing

chemistry student

By Joanne Wood

The concept of job shadowing has been around for ages and is a great way to explore what it would be like to work in a specific industry. From 15-year-old learners to 40 year olds in search of a career change, job shadowing can be useful career decision-making tool – provided it’s done right!

Try these strategies to get the most out of your next job shadowing experience:

  1. 1.       Use your contacts

Networking is one of the most effective ways of securing a job – and the same applies to job shadowing! Ask friends, lecturers, colleagues, relatives – anyone you can think of who may know someone working in the industry in which you’re interested.  But, if you’re still not getting anywhere, call the HR Department of the company you’re interested in or a company in the field you want to explore; be specific and tell them the position you’d like to shadow so they can connect you to the relevant person or department. You may be transferred several times, or even need to try a few companies, but you’ll eventually find someone willing to help.

  1. 2.       Be professional

Remember, the person you’re approaching to shadow is a professional whose time is valuable. Ultimately, you are asking them to invest their time in you. Show you’re taking the opportunity seriously by providing them with a CV and motivation letter explaining what you hope to gain from the experience – and ways in which you’ll be positively contribute to the working environment.

  1. 3.       Send a reminder

Phone the person you’re planning to shadow three days before you’re due to start. This will ensure they are expecting you and are prepared for your arrival.

  1. 4.       Dress appropriately

Find out the company’s dress code by researching their website or phoning their HR department. If in doubt, always go for a more rather than less formal look.

  1. 5.       Take notes

You’re likely to be exposed to many new things during your job shadow experience. Note down your reflections and key lessons so you have something concrete to refer back to afterwards.

Read the full story

Posted in CareersComments (0)

How to make yourself more employable

Feel like you’ve tried everything to find a job, but don’t seem to be getting anywhere? It may be time to review your game plan to make things happen. “Even with a tough economic climate and high rates of youth unemployment, there are ways to make yourself more employable,” says career psychologist Zakiyya Essa. “And enhancing your employability does not need to be complicated or expensive.”

Essa suggests these steps for young career-seekers and recent grads to gain an edge in today’s competitive job market: “Remember, it’s your responsibility to take ownership of the job-seeking process – nobody can do it for you.”

Learn new things

Learning new and diverse skills will enable you to adapt to competitive situations and environments. Employers want to see you have a capacity to grow, but they’re also looking for well-rounded candidates who can get the job done. For example, as an employee you may have to travel. Invest in getting your licence – even if you don’t own a car – so you can use a company or hired vehicle for external meetings or business trips. Or teach yourself how to make questionnaires on Google apps to ‘wow’ your boss the next time he/she needs to conduct a last-minute survey with staff but doesn’t know how.

Manage your expectations

The job may not meet your specific requirements or qualifications, but could allow you to get a foot in the door and access new opportunities. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to arise, create it. Take on more than is expected of you to show your manager or company what you’ve got to offer; and don’t be afraid to highlight your achievements. These days hard work is not enough – you need to make sure your boss knows you’re working hard, so speak up for yourself. And remember the basics – arrive on time, don’t watch the clock, only take leave when necessary and speak confidently and assertively whatever your position in the organisation.

Get social savvy

Many companies now sport an online image, making networking easier. Post your CV on Read the full story

Posted in CareersComments (1)

Tips for Online Job-hunting

online job-hunting

It can be hard work looking for jobs online. Try these smart-search strategies to make the internet work for you – not the other way around.

It’s Monday. Job-hunt day! You’re up at 8am. Ready to go by 9am. Coffee in hand, you think about where to start…tick…tock…tick…tock

Where to start?

The key to any job search is knowing what you are looking for. You need to decide where you want to work, what you want to do, and how much you’re willing to get paid for the job.

It often helps to start with an exercise, which I like to call “Brainstorm Myself.” Be honest and list what you’re good at, as well as any achievements you’ve accomplished (at school, church or volunteering).

Write down answers to the following:

  • Your ideal first job (Top 5 but, BE REALISTIC!) – what kind of job you are looking for
  • Where you would like to work (the company/individual)
  • What skills and characteristics do you have, so you can get a better picture of what you have to offer
  • Why you want to do that job
  • Your short and long-term goals

What’s next?

Job-hunting used to be about getting the newspaper and trawling through the jobs section or classifieds. Whilst newspapers are still a good place to look for opportunities, particularly your community paper, the internet is another great place to look – at home, school, your local library or internet café. Online job-hunting takes practice, however. And be prepared, some internet cafés may charge by the minute.

What do I search for?

If you do a Google search (www.google.co.za) for “job opportunities in South Africa”, approximately 441,000,000 results come up…EEK! That’s not a good place to start! Use the answers from your brainstorm exercise above and start by typing these keywords into the search field. Use these keywords to search for jobs with specific skill requirements rather than searching for jobs in general. Find out which job portals are most popular for the type of work you are looking for. You can ask your teacher/lecturers, friends, past employers, relatives or mentor. Many career sites advertise opportunities for “first jobs”, “graduates”, “Matriculants”, “Part-time” or “No experience needed”. Add these keywords in your searches. You may need to use the advanced search option. There are a number of websites listed at the end of this article to help get you started.

You should also read about the companies you would like to work for and learn about what they do; understand their vision and see if you truly want to work for them. Do they have positions available at your level? Do they have jobs for school-leavers, graduates or offer internships or apprenticeships? Check out their websites for employment or other opportunities they may promoting, including internship or graduate programmes, under the Vacancies, Careers or Jobs section.


Be creative. For example, when looking for jobs in Sales or Retail, type in retail assistant, sales consultant, customer service agent, shop assistant, etc. By doing this, you are searching for the same kind of job in many different ways.

So, when typing in search terms or filling in entry fields on job websites, the trick is to include as much detail as possible to narrow your hunt and get closer to the job that’s right for you.

  • Include the industry you want to work in Job type and title
  • Location: City or area you’d like to work in. Most career sites today give you the option, use it!
  • Level (junior/mid/management): keep it real! Look for jobs within your experience level to maximise your chances of getting an interview
  • Full-time/ Part-time/ Contract/ Permanent: in these hard times, explore what’s out there. You never know if a part-time position will turn into something more permanent. It’ll also count as experience to add to your CV, which most employers look for. Good luck!

By: Liat Beinart (Graduate Development Consultant) at S-Connect (http://s-connect.blogspot.com/)


Posted in CareersComments (1)

Is it too late to go to University?


You’ve achieved a Matric pass that now entitles you to go to university – but you forgot to register or you never thought about studying further, until now! Most public universities, including universities of technology, close their admissions between August and October the year before study, so now what do you do?

Many private tertiary institutions are still open for registration to obtain certificates, diplomas as well as Bachelor Degrees. Vega, for example, offers Bachelor of Arts in Communications Management and Bachelor of Arts: Brand Building and Management (closing date: 31 January 2012); and Varsity College offers a Bachelor Of Accounting Science (BCompt), Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Health Sciences and Social Services)(Psychological Counselling) (BAHSSS), Bachelor of Education (BEd ECD: Foundation Phase), Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Bachelor of Business Administration Marketing Management, Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication (BA(CC), and Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) – with application open until 23 January 2012.

The last day for late applications will differ from institution to institution – some even accept applications all year-round – so check the accredited list on www.careerplanet.co.za for more details. Also, bear in mind that private institutions do charge more than public institutions. Always ask about hidden costs such as registration fees and late application penalties to work out your budget or extra financing needs in advance.

If for any reason you do not get in or cannot afford tuition at a private training institution, there are still ways in which to make your year ahead useful. The facility called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and all institutions can assess whether education or work you do in 2012 can count towards one’s qualifications in 2013. In other words, when you to a university of your choice for 2013 (apply in June/July 2012 to make the application deadlines!) they can assess whether what you’ve done in 2012 can allow for some exemptions. For example:


  • Choose a one-year certificate Higher Certificate course (NQF Level 5 with some relationship to the ultimate course you aim to study) – for example, accounting if you intend studying for a BCom; or computer skills, which can be a valuable skills-set to add to your CV irrespective of the course you intend to study or if you decide to look for work without full-time study.
  • If you passed but your marks could be improved (say Maths), you could go to an FET college, and do a vocational courses which will also count towards a RPL assessment. You could also consider doing a Bridging Year to prepare for the various challenges you will encounter at the tertiary level.
  • Many people (especially those who have not chosen a direction) find that a gap year or a working year contributes to their maturity and that they are more committed at the end of it. Explore internship opportunities, part-time jobs, volunteer placements and learnership opportunities to gain experience as well as practical knowledge. For trainee, intern and bursary opportunities still accepting applications in 2012, visit the Career Planet website.

For more study and career information, visit www.careerplanet.co.za


Posted in CareersComments (0)

What do you do for a living?

This can be a daunting question, a question that can determine the prospect of most relationships. If you answered, “I’m a nurse,” you might not make it into my circle of friends. If you answered, “I’m a Radio Content Producer,” you automatically qualify.

It’s a sad reality that in our society job titles have come to define who a person is. Conversation starters are becoming less about the weather or news headlines, but more about our job titles.

I once made small talk with a beautiful lady in a cramped taxi after a few minutes of gathering the confidence to utter my first word.  We talked about her destination and the reckless taxi driver. The moment I asked what she did for a living, everything turned sour. The smile that had brightened the whole taxi was no longer there, I was immediately given the newsreader face.


Puzzled, I asked, “Is it something I said?” She responded, “If I said I was a cleaner in some madam’s house, would it change what you think of me?” She then got off the taxi.

We meet people every day. Whether we talk to them or not, we live with an assumption of who they are – yes, we judge each other!

My plea is this, define others by who they are rather than what they do. Don’t lose touch with who you are because of your fancy or your not-so-fancy job title. You’re not your job!

Posted in Kasi DiariesComments (2)

I Wish You a Job

As we witness yet another year dawn, we are still struggling with harsh realities of unemployment. Poverty is still in our homes and our degrees and qualifications are not saving the situation. They say South Africa’s general rate of unemployment is 26%, a round number of about 6 million. Among the youth, that rate is double.

Looking at our situation, it’s plain to see that these are the times that call for one to examine the shoes one’s been walking in. Our traditional ways of seeking jobs are in crisis and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we stop depending on the classifieds and job seeking agencies. Career experts estimate that at least 75% of job openings are never advertised. We have to believe there are jobs out there, even when the world screams “another job bloodbath.” When I woke up to reality in my tertiary years, I had to apply these tools:

Mind Shift: While I was doing my final year, I read a quote that says “getting a job is a job itself.” Then, I wanted to work in advertising. I spent hours researching the industry, top agencies, top personalities, CEOs, founders, success industry stories and successful campaigns. In order to get a job, I had to know and understand what I was looking for. Within two months of leaving school, I got my internship at one of the top advertising agencies, TBWA Hunt Lascaris. This was not an advertised job and I did not come from an advertising school. It was an unpaid post. I realized earlier that to move up in life, I had to take different steps. I had to do some things others do not find exciting.

Volunteering: It’s hard to suggest or recommend volunteering to a hungry man and it’s harder to suggest it to an “educated” man who believes the world owes him something. I was told that volunteering will not only give me the experience I need, but it will put be in a better position to be hired; that one has a better chance of being hired if one’s doing something than doing nothing at all. Volunteering might not sound appealing to some people but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I volunteered for about six months before I was offered a job as a Breakfast Producer at Metro FM.

Ideas: When I decided to leave everything and focus on my passion – radio – I spent time listening and studying DJ Fresh. I studied every link, every feature, his approach, his personality. I studied his ideas. I approached him with my ideas. When he allowed me to contribute ideas on his show, it gave me such confidence that if I could keep up, I could produce for anyone. Later, I approached Glen Lewis. I asked to be his intern and offered him my ideas. He told me that good ideas should never be ignored. In his words, “If your ideas are good, an arrangement can always be made.” Glen made the arrangement. I got hired. Sharing ideas does not necessarily mean they will be used as they might not be suitable for various reasons, but they put you at a better chance of showing what you can do given a chance. Sometimes we have to sell our passion and skills more than our qualifications. And if you come up with one idea, you can come up with many. The bottom line is we should never be scared or too educated to share ideas.

Curiosity! It allows us to go beyond what we see and seek answers to those questions that may seem mysterious to a lazy eye. Curiosity has allowed me to do so many things I was never trained for because I wanted to know “how do they do that?” Curiosity allows you to jump out of your environment, see possibilities and test your limits. Curious people are interesting people. Sometimes being “interesting” is the plus factor you need when selling yourself. I don’t know what makes you interesting, but for me it is information. I read a lot. Being informed is never to show off but to build myself, to follow, to understand the world, to formulate ideas, hold conversations, build relationships and be a confident person.

I wish you a job. I wish you success.

By Chuma Kave
Founder – Rebels of Poverty
Radio Producer, Radio Lecturer, Blogger and an aspiring Social Entrepreneur

Posted in CareersComments (1)

Job Searching Tips

Don’t know where to start looking for a job?

Being jobless can leave you feeling helpless and frustrated. When looking for a job, it’s easy to feel discouraged when you keep applying but still do not manage to get a job. With bills to pay and a family to support, your own disappointment can leave you unmotivated and desperate.

Although finding a job is not an easy process, nowadays we are faced with several job searching options. It’s important to make use of as many options as possible so you can increase your chances of finding work. Read the full story

Posted in Kasi DiariesComments (0)

Deciding on a Career Path

With thousands of careers out there, where do you start? After so many years of schooling, passing Matric is a huge milestone. So what happens after that?

Knowing what you want to do is not always easy. It is not uncommon to keep changing your mind about your career choice. There are no simple answers and no general template. Read the full story

Posted in Kasi DiariesComments (0)

CV Do’s and Don’ts

CV Do’s and Don’ts


  • Read job adverts carefully, think about what you can offer the new job and adjust your CV to fit the specific job you are applying for. Demonstrate that you understand the nature of the job being advertised and explain why you want to work in that area
  • Research the company before you compile your CV
  • Keep your CV short and easy to read
  • Check for typing, spelling and grammatical errors
  • Include a career objective
  • Include a cover letter
  • Highlight briefly how your skills and abilities fit the job
  • Use only standard fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial and Verdana.
  • Save your CV in the standard Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Include as much contact information as possible – any information that would enable you to be reachable during business hours Read the full story

Posted in CareersComments (2)

Latest Digital Edition Copy


Some get medals. Some get applause. Some get idolised, and some get glorified. For others – juice and a biscuit is enough


Support Kagiso Trust’s Bold Step Campaign

On Twitter