Ending your year on the right note

It’s coming up to the end of the year and if you, like 45% of Americans, made New Year’s resolutions last year, only 8% of you will achieve them. In fact, according to Statistic Brain.com  24% of us will never succeed and will fail on our resolution each year.   So, here’s a thought, instead of making New Year’s resolutions on the spur of the moment just before midnight (and, let’s be honest, they will probably be the same, or very similar to last year’s ones), how about taking the time to look back on your year to see what worked and what didn’t, what you achieved and what was unsuccessful, and with this concrete information, make a plan for 2016.   According to Laurie Gerber, Senior coach and Co-President of Handel Group Life Coaching, there are 5 Easy steps to ending your year with a bang. These include writing down your successes and failures, and your thoughts on them. Interestingly she also symbolically ‘burns’ the failures which can be a wiping clean of the slate, as well as an important lesson in not holding on to what you couldn’t or didn’t do, but instead what you can and will...Read More

Tips on organising the best Office Christmas Party

Have you been put in charge of organising the office Christmas party this year? Excellent! Let’s make it one that your colleagues will talk about for years to come. Here’s some tips to help you.   Plan, plan and plan some more It’s definitely not too late to start organising your Christmas party, but you definitely need to do a few things right away. And no. 1 is decide on and book a venue. The good ones are booked up quickly, so start calling and e-mailing your faves right away.   Decide on a date Probably best to start with a date that suits the boss, then group e-mailing the rest of your colleagues to see which (of the dates the boss gave) suits the majority. Make sure to include the time of day the event will be held as this may impact on the person’s decision.   Partners or not? Depending on your company (and your boss’ wishes), your event may include partners of staff, and even kids. This is a crucial piece of information when deciding on the venue, time of day the party will be held, menu, entertainment etc.   Send out invitations (asap) Once the date...Read More

6 Easy steps to motivate yourself right now

Jim Connolly is a marketing guru who has been extremely successful in business and in life. He believes that if you can master this one skill (self motivation), it will transform your entire life – very powerful stuff! Jim has developed the Motivation Master Class audio (you can purchase the full program here) and here are some of his tips to help you motivate yourself to do anything, right now! Firstly , let’s discover what we do, when we procrastinate, so that we can change our behaviour. Jim believes that there are 4 steps that we go through, when we put something off: 4 Steps of Procrastination You notice what needs to be done, for example: I need to sort out my in-box folders You say to yourself something like: I really should sort out my in-box folders You see a picture in your mind of yourself actually doing the thing that needs to be done Lastly, you feel bad about not doing it What usually happens next, is that you do nothing about it. What you have done, by going through the steps above in a split second, is made yourself feel bad about not doing the task –...Read More

Interview with Megan Monaghan Michaelides – Virtual Executive Assistant in the Commodities Industry

This month we talk exclusively to Megan Monaghan Michaelides, a Virtual Executive Assistant in the Commodities Industry. She discusses the challenges and advantages of working remotely and her unique relationship with a mostly absent boss. How long have you been in your current role?  7 years How did you get your job and did your boss require you to have specific skills? Was there a formal interview process?  The biggest thing they required was experience, because I needed to hit the ground running. I worked for corporate Directors for approx. 7 years, which gave me the experience of being an Executive/Personal Assistant in a corporate environment. In this role there were no specifications as to what my job was. Every day was something new. Basically the job I have now, evolved from a corporate environment into being a VP. I originally interviewed for an EA position, worked in their office environment for about 4.5 years. I then resigned to have my youngest child. It was at this point that I was offered a home position, as they did not want to lose me. Do you think this was due to the fact you had already proven yourself to them? Definitely....Read More

Member of PAnetwork.co.za? Enter and WIN!

To stand a chance of winning this stunning Carrol Boyes Notebook Set – point of view, all you have to do is become a member of PAnetwork.co.za if you are not one already, and answer the following question: How did Carrol Boyes celebrate Woman's Month with their staff? Clue: Read our fantastic interview with Michele Stuurman, PA / PR to Carrol Boyes. Email your MEMBERSHIP NUMBER along with your ANSWER to: info@panetwork.co.za Entries close: Midnight Friday, 25 September 2015 (The winner will be announced at the end of September) GOOD LUCK!    

Interview with Michelé Stuurman, PA / PR to Carrol Boyes

Working for Carrol Boyes, Michelé Stuurman has an exciting and challenging job. She sat down with us to tell us how she got the role and what it's like working for a South African icon, how she made it as a woman in a tough environment and what Woman's month means to their organisation. 1.     How long have you been in your current position? 8 years with Carrol Boyes. 2.     How did you get your job? What did you build upon to get to where you are? I was head-hunted. I have always worked with very strong, demanding, tough and powerful men. I had to fight for what I wanted and prove myself, but I believe that sculpted me to the person I am today. It was not always pleasant, but I am grateful for it and I would not change it for anything. 3.     What was the interview process like? I was not looking for another position, but I wanted to meet Carrol so I decided to go for the interview. I was intrigued by this ‘famous’ person known as “Carrol Boyes’’. There wasn’t much written about Carrol in the media, although the product was so prevalent. There was...Read More

8 things bosses suggest you do to get promoted

It's a dog-eat-dog world out there right? Well to most it is, but it need not be if you take heed of these career moves that will not only make your work-life more pleasant but also help you get that promotion! BE NICE It is always such a pleasure working with colleagues who smile regularly and leave their drama at home. The next time you catch yourself dishing your latest personal scandal out at the coffee machine, stop yourself and instead think of something positive that you can tell your colleagues. If you tend to like the sound of your own voice, try instead to listen, to genuinely take an interest in what they have to say. ATTEND COMPANY DO'S Now we're not saying that you should go to every office party in order to get horribly drunk and throw your name away! Attending company functions could be a fantastic career boost provided you know how to maintain decorum. The fact that you show up and are enjoyable to be around tells your boss that you like the people you work with and you consider the company you work for to be more than just the place you do your...Read More

Travelling with boss – Do’s and Don’ts

Before taking a business trip with your boss, read this list of what you should and shouldn't be doing. DO DON’T Remember at all times, this is a business trip and you are representing your company. Be professional at all times - as you are at the office. This is not a holiday, be discrete and respectful.   Dress neatly and conservatively (in business attire), pack light and always be prepared. Have all your travel documents at hand. Know your itinerary and have a copy with you in case you, or your boss, need to refer to it. Never show up to the airport in a tracksuit, no matter how long your flight is. Always dress smartly (who knows it may even get you an upgrade on the aircraft!). Be early and organised.   Before the trip, discuss what your boss expects from you e.g. who books what, who you’re meeting (and any special protocol you need to adhere to) and what you’re responsible for. Don’t assume your boss will organise the entire trip, ask what you can do.   Eat and drink in moderation. If your boss is not having a starter, you should not order one. Never, ever...Read More

8 questions to ask a new boss

What questions should you be asking your boss in the first few days of your new job? You are working in a new environment, with new people and, more than likely, within a new work culture. Asking your new manager the following questions, will enable you to manage expectations, make a good impression and know where to find answers as early as possible, so that your new job begins as seamlessly as possible.   What is your boss' management style? This is one of Forbes.com’s top 10 questions and it’s probably one of the most important ones. Are you going to be micromanaged or will you largely be left alone to your own devices.   What is most important thing to your boss when it comes to their employees? Knowing what is important to your boss, will help you understand what they expect from you. So, for example, if they are a stickler for time-keeping, NEVER, EVER keep them waiting and your deadlines are exactly that – stick to them.   How does your new manager prefer to receive information? Some people HATE communicating via e-mail, and will only want to be updated during a face-to-face or telephonic interaction. It...Read More

Overwhelmed? Use these 5 tips to simplify your life and combat stress… PART 3

... Continued from PART 2 TIP 4 Unplug At the end of every day, during family dinner or once the kids are in bed, turn off all devices (yes your TV is a device) and take time to unwind before going to bed. It has been proven that watching TV, working on your computer, even reading off of an iPad, before you go to bed may disrupt your sleeping patterns as they stimulate brain activity. Even if you switch devices off an hour before bed, it will give your mind enough time to ready itself for sleep. Reading is a wonderful way to calm the busy mind, as is meditation or even a nice long bath. And remember this, you absolutely DESERVE this time out for yourself every day. We give of ourselves so much throughout the day; we often forget how important some me-time is. TIP 5 Stop multi-tasking Oh, and every women that ever lived is saying "what do you mean stop multi-tasking?!" I mean exactly that! Stop talking on the phone or texting or checking Facebook while you are driving (with your kids in the car)! Stop trying to be the perfect mom / career women /...Read More