All posts by Lynne Vergers

The Sad Demise of a Diva

The Sad Demise of a Diva

Some things you probably didn’t learn at school ……

There’s more to it than numbers

I once worked with a sales team alongside one of the country’s top achievers. Within 3 years of her arrival, the branch had rocketed from nowhere to number 4 nationally. This wunderkind was credited for single-handedly producing over half of the turnover and profits. Understandably, management were under her spell.

And then she left. In a fit of rage.

Our resident Diva tossed her resignation letter and company car keys onto the general manager’s desk as she made her way to the door. Her reason? She had returned from a regional sales conference and discovered that she was being paid substantially less than her peers. She was livid.

The atmosphere was tense to say the least. We lesser mortals were all holding our breath to see the alpha males leap into rescue mode. With a sense of urgency: to grovel and make enticing promises of better things to come. To confess that they were greedy and guilty of unfair exploitation and to beg for forgiveness. She no doubt expected that to happen. So did we.

But they did nothing. They sat back and allowed her to leave.

It just didn’t make sense. How could they allow their cash-cow, their magic golden goose, to just disappear into the sunset without even putting up a fight? Being the queen of gossip, I saw it as my duty to do some digging for the back-story and was confidentially told that despite her contribution, her behaviour was getting out of hand. Her assertiveness and glowing track record resulted in her demanding and consistently getting her own way. Amongst other things, she often expected deals to be given to her when someone else had done all the spade work. If she had previously handled business for the same client she felt that any future deals were rightfully hers, despite having done nothing to earn them.  And the rest of the team were unwilling to back down and swallow their disappointment any longer. So sadly for her, her voluntary departure actually presented a golden opportunity for an overhaul and a fresh start.

It was a brave and rather illogical management decision and it came as no surprise that sales volume and profits did decrease after she left, but the vibe improved and the team consolidated and eventually bounced back.

If ever I needed convincing any business is bigger than any one individual, here was proof.

For what it’s worth, there are better ways of negotiating a pay increase. Backing your employers into a corner can only end in tears. Therefore if you feel you deserve better, firstly calm down and take a deep breath. Then go and ask for what you want. Remember to be humble and considerate. Always treat your colleagues with respect. In other words, avoid becoming a grudge purchase. There’s no future in that.

And if that fails get out of there and go grab what you’re worth elsewhere.

Till our next chat at the coffee station, whilst minding everyone else’s business,

I remain

Yours,

Scintilla xxx

Tips for Choosing a Career Path

Tips for Choosing a Career Path

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Almost every single child gets asked this question and the answer is invariably something exciting like a princess or superman, perhaps even an astronaut. The answer seemed to come so much easier back then, than it does now. Deciding what you want to do for a living is no walk in the park, especially when you are young and in high school or just starting out at university.

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It can be overwhelming to try to think about what you want to do for the rest of your life. But here’s the thing, your career choice may change a lot throughout your life so take it easy and figure it out as you go along. The aim of this article is to get you started on some kind of path and possibly even get you headed in the right direction. We have put together 5 hot tips to get you started on your career journey.

5 hot tips for finding your best career path

  1. Choose something that is in line with your interests:
    What are you interested in? What do you enjoy reading? What do you love talking about? What are your favourite things to do? Your interests are a great starting point. To find fulfilment, you must venture into a career that you will enjoy.  Also, you have a greater chance of doing really well at your job if you find something that you love.
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  2. Consider your skills, talents and strengths:
    If you are great at reading music and have a beautiful singing voice, perhaps you should consider a career in music. But if you have great leadership and organisational skills, maybe a career in management is ideal for you. If you have a knack for numbers and an analytical mind, accountancy could be calling your name. Consider what you are good at, combine it with what you’re passionate about and let that be your guide.
  3. Do your research:
    Take your time and research different careers and see which ones appeal to you the most. Most universities have online prospectuses that can be downloaded. A prospectus is a document that lists different university courses and what they entail. There is a variety of courses you can take and they all lead to different careers. Don’t just jump into something you’re only half sure of, only to have regrets later. Take it easy and go slow.
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  4. Find a mentor:
    If you have an idea of what you would like to do, find a mentor in that field and ask them a whole lot of questions, and remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to your career. This will give you an idea of what your career of interest entails and you can decide whether you want to consider something else or stick to what you have chosen. A mentor can help make or break your decision.
  5. Do a bit of job shadowing during the school holidays:
    Find a company that does what you are interested in and spend a few days at their offices. Seeing people in action will help you decide whether your career of interest is actually for you, not to mention it looks great on your CV.

sales-and-marketing

Trying to decide what you want to do with forever and beyond can be quite daunting as there are so many career options out there, and some you probably didn’t even know existed. The trick is to be guided by your interests, talents and skills, and to find a mentor who will guide you. Remember to take your time and do as much research as possible so that you can go into a career that you will love. When you do what you love, you will surely thrive!

4 Different Types of IT Jobs

The IT industry is an ever-changing industry that advances quicker than we could ever keep up. With this rapid advancement comes the demand for rare IT skills. The most sought after skills in South Africa are in the field of IT. There is a high demand for IT skills but low supply. Many companies in South Africa require skilled IT professionals to fill vacant positions. Since IT professionals are highly sought after, the salary is quite good.

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5 Tips For Putting Together The Perfect Cover Letter

So you’ve put in the hours, working on perfecting your CV so that companies can know all about you? But is that really enough? Your CV will not let people know why you are an ideal candidate for the job. You need to write a cover letter. Cover letters are important because they tell companies more about you; a cover letter is an opportunity to sell yourself, and sell yourself well.

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