Nov 6, 2017 | Mike Stuart |
IKUSASA LAMI WORK READINESS GUIDEBOOK FOR TECHNICAL & VOCATIONAL EDUCATION & TRAINING COLLEGE STUDENTS Your future starts on page 9...First Edition IKUSASA LAMI Published 14 February 2017 Department of Higher Education & Training Private Bag X174 Pretoria 0001 SOUTH AFRICA Tel: +27 (12) 312 5911 Twitter: @DHET4 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.DHET.gov.za “Ikusasa Lami” is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. To understand more about the license visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ Credits: Cover photo: thanks to free word cloud creator www.wordle.net Back cover photo: Copyright Sasol, source Media Club South Africa, www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com “Our Stories” section photos and interviews: EOH Youth Job Creation Initiative Infographics created with free tools from www.Canva.com Citation format: Please cite this publication in the format provided below - Department of Higher Education & Training (2016), Ikusasa Lami. Pretoria, South Africa: Author ISBN 978-0-620-68376-0 Legal disclaimer: The information contained herein is compiled from a wide variety of primary sources. While every care has been taken in compiling this publication the publishers do not give warranty as to the completeness nor accuracy of its con- tent. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers, the Department of Higher Education & Training, nor its associates and the Department takes no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies and shall not be liable for any damages aris- ing whatsoever from works contributed by the publisher notwithstanding assignment of such works to the Department. Care is taken to make sure that the information presented is accurate at the time of going to print, however the publisher does not accept legal responsi- bility for damages arising from inaccuracies or errors contained in this publication. Please contact us at the email above should you note any inaccuracies or errors. FOREWORD The White Paper for Post-school Education and Training states that the priority of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is to ‘strengthen and expand the public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and turn them into attractive institutions of choice by increasing their responsiveness to local labour markets and improving student support services’. Research has identified Work Readiness as a key area of focus to increase access to employment for TVET college students and graduates. Even before the introduction of the National Certificate Vocational (NCV) qualification in 2007, and the extension of Report 191 (NATED) Programmes, students exiting the college system with the intention of finding formal employment, had found it difficult to compete for jobs in the South African labour market. The college system offers vocational subjects in critical skills but college graduates still struggle to find and keep jobs. It is against this background that the Department developed a Work Readiness guidebook with the aim of positioning TVET college students and graduates to compete favourably in the labour market. This guidebook is intended to assist college students and graduates to find work placement opportunities and employment. Work Readiness skills are critical to bridging the gap between TVET college graduates and their ability to access unemployment. Work Readiness skills prepare students for adaptive behaviors that enable them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of work and everyday life. Work Readiness skills are wide-ranging and may include among others: behaviors related to self-actualisation, conflict management, responsibility, study skills, teamwork, diversity, career planning, creative thinking, decision-making and leadership. The guide provides links for further research and development of more skills and related infographics that will extend well beyond the guide itself. The Department is keen to address gaps between employer expectations by ensuring that TVET colleges produce graduates who are employable and have the attributes, capabilities and dispositions to find work and be successful in the workplace. Research emphasises knowledge, competencies, values, practical skills, sector and industry understanding and personal attributes instead of just a list of generic skills. Employers value the conceptual foundation, knowledge and contextualised approach to tasks evidenced by work ready college graduates. There is a need for strong partnerships between TVET colleges and potential employers in order to increase student career options whilst they are still at college. These cover a multitude of issues from life skills to soft skills, from instilling a work ethic to developing personal initiative and responsibility. This work readiness guidebook is intended to assist TVET colleges to produce thinking, responsive and well-rounded individuals who are flexible and can readily adapt to workplace demands and challenges. This work readiness guidebook should be used by Life Orientation lecturers, Student Support Services staff, college students and college graduates as well as the whole college community. For TVET college students and graduates, there are practical exercises at the end of each topic to guide them through their work readiness journey. The exercises will guide them to complete their work readiness journals which can be shared with other TVET college students and graduates. The Department wishes to express its gratitude to the Danish government for the financial aid that enabled the research, development and production of this work readiness guidebook through the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA) Support to Education and Skills Development (SESD) III Programme. The guidebook serves as additional support to colleges by enabling them to develop new capabilities in equipping students and graduates for success in the labour market. It should be used in conjunction with other relevant college materials and resources to prepare TVET college students and graduates for the challenges of the workplace. It should also be integrated with initiatives such as Workplace-Based Exposure / Experience (WBE), Work Integrated Learning (WIL), Workplace-Based Learning (WPBL), programme specific work readiness preparations and in support of generic work readiness skills, job search, placement and tracking. IKUSASA LAMI FIRST EDITION 3 Mr GF Qonde Director-General: Department of Higher Education and Training 14 February 2017 THE WORK READINESS TOOLKIT NOTE TO READERS TO COLLEGE STAFF Including Lecturers, Student Support Unit staff, and Career Counsellors The content of this guidebook has been carefully selected to provide information that is key to the work readiness of college students. As a lecturer, student support practitioner or career guidance counsellor, you play a central role in preparing students on the journey to the workplace. Lecturers, specifically those who lecture Life Orientation, can use this guidebook as a reference and teaching activity book by making use of the content and activities to supplement or enrich teaching and learning. The student support practitioner or career guidance counsellor can implement the content in consultations or workshop sessions for individuals or groups. When making use of the guidebook in any of the above situations, activities should be concluded with the completion and discussion of the “Work Readiness Journal” lessons learnt, and workplace applications which appear at the end of each topic and are completed by the students. This will ensure that the lessons learnt and workplace applications are considered and thought through instead of remaining mere paper-based activities. Be willing to share experiences from your own personal journey into the workplace with students as this will enrich and add authenticity to the teaching or counselling and support you provide. TO STUDENTS What is the story of your life? Are you the one writing it or are you letting circumstances write the story for you? Or are your friends and parents writing the story of your life? Don’t wake up one day and realise you are not happy with your life, and someone else wrote your script. You are about to cross a river from your college life as a student to your work life as an employee. Remember the proverb, “one does not cross a river without getting wet.” So prepare well before you enter the water, then cross all the way to the other side and help those who come after you. This guidebook provides you with a toolkit which will equip you with the soft skills necessary to function effectively in the workplace. The five tools each address a specific group of skills, attitudes and values which are necessary in preparing to enter the workplace and also your employment. Share the knowledge inside the toolkit with others. Return to your college when you are successful and help the staff to write a new edition with more wisdom and more tips for those who follow you. You can make use of this guidebook in the following environments as a journey to the workplace: ▲ Formal teaching and learning process (e.g. Life Orientation); and ▲ Student support or career guidance counselling sessions. It is important that you engage with all of the “To Do” activities featured within each topic and complete the “Work Readiness Journal” for each topic. The “To Do” activities will expose you to skills, attitudes and values which are necessary for your effective performance and functioning in the workplace. The “Work Readiness Journal” will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on the skills, attitudes and values in the context of a workplace environment. The impact that the toolkit will have on your readiness for the workplace will ultimately be determined by the effort and commitment you put into your work readiness journey. Your “Work Readiness Journal”if maintained and duly completed will accompany you into the workplace as a reference journal which you can use as a guidebook once in the workplace. Space has been provided in this guidebook for you to keep your “Work Readiness Journal”. Keep it in a safe place as you will never know when you may need to consult the lessons learnt on your journey to the workplace. You are invited to share the story of your journey into the workplace once you are placed in employment so that your experience can be shared and encourage other college students. Submit your story to your college’s Student Support Services manager. The stories you will read at the end of this book are shared by many South African youth. They are not Hollywood stories nor stories of the American Dream, nor are they fairy tales. They are tough stories growing out of struggles and tears and hardship. They are our stories and no-one can take them away from us. No-one can live them for us and when we come to the end of our life on Earth, our story is what we take with us into the night sky, and it shines brightly like a star on those below... WORK READINESS GUIDE BOOK 4 PersonalMasteryJob SearchJob InterviewJobOrientationSkillsEntitlement & Expectations Employers complain that some graduates have unrealistic expectations of their first job and are not willing to put hard work in before expecting rewards. They call this “entitlement” and believe that such graduates are not good team players and fail to learn and absorb the many new skills and experiences the workplace has to offer. Employers value new entrants who are able to wait to be rewarded until they have settled in, learned from those more experienced than them, and contributed to the benefit of their team and organisation. WHY? “The dream is free, the hustle is sold separately” FAQs "What if I am patient and my boss never recognises me?" Some organisations and some managers will not have your interests in mind, and will be content to use your time and energy for their business without acknowledging or rewarding you. Learning to choose an employer who is responsible and ethical takes time, and many people go through at least one or two bad jobs before they can see the warning signs from afar. Some research has shown as little as 35% of managers are effective bosses. In situations like this don’t act immediately or emotionally. Take your time and get a second opinion of your situation, preferably from someone who does not work in the same company. It may be that you should resign and find a better place to work, but you should put your interests first and wait until you have another job opening confirmed before resigning. Here are some tips for how to deal with a bad boss, and if you feel like reading a book about bad bosses and how to deal with them, you can download “A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses” here. Unknown "I learned all this stuff at college and my manager is not interested in trusting me with anything! What should I do?" Experienced employees can be suspicious of new knowledge that young employees bring to the workplace. After all they have worked in that environment for years and now you arrive and want to change everything. Be patient with your new ideas. Choose your time carefully to introduce them, and make sure you have researched the context (the actual situation) and have adapted your theories to the local setting. New graduates are in fact valued for their new approaches and knowledge but timing and the way you suggest the changes are important. Don’t get discouraged if an experienced coworker or manager cuts down your great ideas mercilessly. They are watching how you react and respond, and if you can pick yourself up, be willing to acknowledge weaknesses in your proposals, and then rework your ideas, they will respect you for your persistence. Here and here are some suggestions on how to pitch new ideas to your boss. Graduating from college can be an exciting time in your life. You’ve spent 12 years in school and another two or three at college, and now finally you will be seeking employment, earning your own money, contributing to society and have some freedom. This enthusiasm and optimism is a powerful source of strength that will help you get through some of the obstacles up ahead. It’s also fuel for ambition, which is an important attribute many employers are looking for. However some graduates get ahead of themselves and are so ambitious that they expect to go from “zero to hero” overnight. They get their first job, are disappointed that it doesn’t meet their expectations, and resign. They repeat the pattern over and over and don’t build up deep networks and work experience. Employers notice that their CV includes several short work stints and may interpret this as a lack of commitment and responsibility. IN A NUTSHELL Email WHY? "I assume everything I'm saying in an email or saying on the telephone is being looked at" FAQs "Can I “undo” an email after I have sent it?" Only some email programs allow you to do this. Microsoft Outlook for example can do this when the person you sent the email to also uses Microsoft Outlook, or a similar email program. Think carefully before you hit the SEND button. Save the email to your Drafts folder if you need more time before sending. Michael Moore Email is the most commonly used communication channel for business purposes. About 2,400,000 emails are sent every second around the world. Email offers a fast and reliable way to communicate with other business people. Be careful what you say because business emails can be used as evidence in a court of law and your employer is required to store emails for 3 years or longer. IN A NUTSHELL Attitude An older person might think your behaviour reflects a bad attitude, whereas they are actually just misunderstanding the intention of your actions. In the workplace, your supervisors and managers (i.e. your “bosses”) will almost always be older than you, since you have only recently graduated from college. Sociologists study the differences between generations which they call “social generations”. People born between the 1940’s and the 1960’s are called “Baby Boomers” (find out why). Your generation is referred to as “Millennials” (born between early 1980’s and early 2000’s). The next generation is referred to as “Generation Z”, (born between from the early 2000’s onwards). WHY? “Attitude”, in this context, refers to your emotional approach and commitment to your work. A “good” attitude is generally shown by sincerity, alertness, care, perseverance and a willingness to overcome obstacles. A “bad” attitude is shown by a lack of concern for work quality or quantity, rude communication or behaviour, sloppiness, and giving up at the first sign of difficulty in a task. WHAT IS ATTITUDE? “A bad attitude is like a flat tyre. If you don’t change it, you won’t go anywhere.” FAQs Anonymous Attitude is often top of the list of what employers are looking for in new entrants to the workforce. Does this mean that many students have a poor attitude to work? Probably not. “Attitude” means different things to different people. The older generation (bosses) may be misunderstanding actions and words by the younger generation. They may also not “get” the different approach to work which youth around the world have. Young people want to work “smarter”, whereas the older generation value those who “work hard”. Understanding how other people interpret “attitude”, and being sensitive to your actions and words, can help you avoid misunderstanding, and succeed at your first job. IN A NUTSHELL "How do I know if I have a bad attitude, or if it’s just my boss misunderstanding me?" Being aware of your emotional state at all times will help you tell the difference. If you are feeling positive about yourself, your day and your work, and your boss accuses you of a bad attitude, it’s likely that he or she has misunderstood you. However if you cannot be sure of your emotional state, then you won’t know for sure if their accusation is true or not. To become more aware of your emotional state, see the To Do List. Choosing Jobs to Search For If you limit yourself too much when job searching, you may exclude jobs that could benefit you in ways you do not yet see. You can limit yourself by being too “picky” and by being too narrow in your searching, by searching for example only for jobs in the same field that you studied. The Development Bank of South Africa did research to understand how a person’s first job helps them to stay employed later in life. They found that if young people are able to hold down a first job for at least a year, their chances of being employed the rest of their life was 85%. This suggests that it is better to keep your first job for at least a year, even if it’s not your dream job, and even if it’s tough and doesn’t pay well. Your record of employment at the job can go on your CV and you can put your boss as a reference for other potential employers to contact. The experience you learn in this first job can make a big difference in keeping the more attractive jobs you land in future. A job candidate who has a year’s experience with good references at a single company is sometimes more attractive to an employer than a candidate who has had several jobs over the year, and left all of them after a few months. WHY? “Look before you leap” FAQs "What else should I be looking for in a job, other than a good salary?" Salary (remuneration) is very important. However you should be open-minded about the jobs you are searching for as young people can restrict their career development by seeking only the best paid jobs available. To make a good job selection you need to consider many things: (1) meeting minimum requirements for the job (2) costs involved in doing the job (e.g. transport, accommodation, clothing) (3) how this job helps you get a future, better job (4) opportunities for training, education or experience (5) opportunities for promotion (6) the quality of the work environment (7) benefits not related to salary, and of course (8) the salary offered Anonymous Job scams These are jobs advertised with huge salaries or other “too good to be true” offers which turn out to be illegal. Job Scams advertise huge salaries for what seems like little or no work. Some scams require you to pay a “registration” fee after which the scammer disappears or you find out the job is actually less attractive than was advertised. Other scams get personal information from you, and then use that to commit fraud in your name, making you responsible. Report a Crime - http://www.reportacrime.co.za - offers a service where you can report such scams, and also search to see if a suspected scam is listed there. See Job Mail (http://www.jobmail.co.za/avoidscams) for a list of common job scams and tips to avoid them. Watch out for... ! Good job research is the first step in getting yourself good employment. Its also part of building a valuable skill for yourself - Job Searching - which can help you many times ahead in your future. The objective of job search is to get a job interview with an employer. Job search consists of many different steps, but this article focuses on the groups of jobs (occupations) you are considering. Many first time work seekers have a narrow set of jobs in mind, and this excludes them from opportunities that other kinds of work could offer them. Remember that your first job does not need to be your last job, so don’t be too fussy. At the same time you will be spending about 40 hours every week at your job, so it must be something that you connect to on a personal level. IN A NUTSHELL Job scams Job Interview Research Would you score with a boy or girl if you didn’t know their name, or anything about them? Not likely. In the same way, to build a relationship with your employer, you will need to know what makes them tick, what they are trying to achieve, what they value and how they prefer to work. Job interview research will give you an edge in your job interview, over people who may have a better CV than you. Your employer will be impressed that you are interested in working in their organisation not just for the salary, but because you see an overlap between the employer’s mission and your own life mission. WHY? Job interview research is not just a tool you use to land your first job, then forget it for the rest of your life. The average number of years young people hold a job for is about 4 - 5 years, with people born after 1980 likely to have more than five jobs in their life-time. Job interview research is a skill you can use again and again to research new potential employers. Keep in mind however that holding a first job for 12 months or longer will increase your likelihood of being employed the rest of your life to 85%. By the way… “One important key to success is confidence and an important key to self-confidence is preparation” FAQs "What kind of information do I need to research about my potential employer?" What is important to you? How the organisation works? Why the organisation exists? The future plans of the organisation? Who the top management of the organisation are? Past successes or failures of the organisation? It is up to you really? What matters is not so much that you know everything there is to know about the employer, but that you know things that are meaningful to you about the employer. In your interview you will likely be asked, “Why are you interested in working at *this* organisation?” You can then mention the information you researched about it and link that back to your own interests and motivations. A sincere answer is better than an answer where you fake an interest in the employer that is not true. Arthur Ashe Job interview research is an essential part of preparing for your job interview. It involves learning as much as you can about your potential employer, and then thinking about how this links to your own personal interests and abilities. It’s not only about knowing facts about your employer, it’s also about seeing the relationship between your values and ambitions, and your employer’s vision and mission. The fact that you have taken the time to research your employer shows that you are “interviewing” your potential employer as much as your prospective employer is interviewing you. This signals to the employer that you are proactive, not reactive, and that you check the facts before leaping to a decision. IN A NUTSHELL Your First Day We all know about stereotyping and its not cool when it happens to you. What will your employer and your coworkers think about you after your first day and the first week? Its easier to maintain a good impression that you make during the first week of work, than it is to change a negative impression that you made on the first day. By setting the bar high on day one you show your employer that you are not afraid of excellence, and you also give yourself a benchmark for the rest of your days there. WHY? “All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence” Martin Luther King Jnr Your first day at work can be confusing, frustrating and messed-up. Especially if this is your first job and especially if your employer is not used to induction (introducing new employees to the workforce). If you are lucky your employer will make time for you to experience induction or orientation. If not you will have to “sink or swim” in the deep end of the organisation. This infographic will try to prepare you for what you can expect so that your first day is a fantastic memory. IN A NUTSHELL Don’t be late for work Employers expect you to start highly motivated and organised. Getting to work late on your first day will trigger all the wrong switches in your boss’ brain. Just like with your interview, make sure you know where you are starting work (if it’s not the same place as your interview) and make every effort to get to work early. This means have a plan B for your transport if plan A fails, and make sure your watch or phone is working and accurate. Ask your mom or someone you live with to doublecheck that you are awake at the same time. Arriving late will mean starting work on the back foot, and you will have to fight to change negative perceptions that you triggered on day one. Watch out for... ! Don’t be late for work Planning & Prioritising Planning and prioritising skills have been identified by employers as an essential capability that young people must bring to the workplace. With the rapid advances in technology in the twenty first century, workers have opportunities and requirements to multi-task more than ever before, and can be more productive than ever before, but not without learning to plan their days and prioritise their tasks. WHY? “In the modern workplace, distraction is destruction” FAQs Mike Stuart "Help! I know what tasks I need to do but I always end up wasting time with less important stuff" You may be a procrastinator (someone who delays unpleasant tasks in favour of something unimportant). There are many techniques you can use to break this habit. Find one that works for you. Each person’s psychology is different, so you may need to try a few of these techniques before you find one that works for you. Deadlines, targets, interruptions, stress and distractions. All the ingredients you need for a large explosion. Fortunately with good planning and prioritising skills you can navigate these things without losing track of what needs to be done each day, and you can make sure you don’t forget important things that can’t be tackled just yet. Your ability to plan and prioritise is essential for your success in the workplace no matter what industry sector or occupation you work in. IN A NUTSHELL Overplaning If you try to plan and control your day too much you can end up wasting time and frustrating yourself. Every day there will be unplanned and unplannable incidents that you have to squeeze into your schedule without time to think much about it. Too much planning can stress you out, make you grumpy with coworkers and customers, and make you skip tasks that are actually important. Watch out for... ! Overplaning (Proverb) Creativity & Innovation The world is changing very quickly and this makes it important for businesses and their employees to be more creative and innovative than ever before. The internet was invented in 1984 and it took 15 years for it to get 50 million users. 17 years after that the internet has 2,700 million users, or 39% of the world’s population. 90% of the data in the world was created in the last two years. It is not only technology that is changing rapidly, but society, the economy and the environment. The increase in divorce rates and the effect of HIV/AIDS means that only one in every three children in South Africa now lives with both parents. The economy and environment are also changing rapidly. Rapid change causes stress on people who have to deal with unexpected situations that their parents did not experience. It also causes stress on businesses. Businesses find that they have to create new products and services more quickly than ever before. Customers are more demanding now than they were before and can complain via social media channels in ways that are more effective than ever before. WHY? Creativity and innovation in a work context means your ability to find new solutions and improvements to challenges in your job. For example, if you worked in a clothing shop and noticed that the babies and toddlers clothes were far away from the mother’s clothes, you might suggest putting them next to each other, because mothers are often the ones shopping for babies and toddlers. That way your shop will sell more clothes and your customers will find what they want more quickly. WHAT IS CREATIVITY? “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes” Marcel Proust Many employers ask you to describe something creative you have done, when they interview you for a job. They say they need employees who can work creatively and innovate (improve) current business practices. Young people are often the best employees to do this because they understand the new forces shaping business, such as technological breakthroughs, social media and environmental and social responsibility. Young people are also the majority of the population in South Africa, and therefore the majority of the customers for many businesses. But creativity is not something that is always taught at schools or colleges. IN A NUTSHELL Building a CV Why don’t employers just use your National Senior Certificate or your NC(V) statement of results for hiring purposes? Because employers are not just looking for clever employees, they are looking for smart employees, and smart employees don’t just have qualifications, they have personalities, character, visions and dreams. Smart employees are socially active, civically engaged, proactive, agile and persistent. These are some of the qualities employers are looking for in a CV that do not necessarily reflect in a college certificate alone. WHY? CV stands for Curriculum Vitae. A “curriculum” is a course of study (like your TVET college programme) and “vitae” means life, so a CV is a document describing your lifelong learning, including classroom study and real work experience. A CV is also called a “resume”. WHAT IS A CV? “Find a job you like and you add five days to the week” FAQs H. Jackson Brown, Jr "What should a good CV not consist of?" Here are some humorous quotes from actual CVs to show you how careless people can be when drafting such an important document. See if you can spot the mistakes and think how you would correct them : * "My hobbies including cooking dogs and interesting people" * "My role was to pervert unauthorised people coming on the site" * "I was responsible for dissatisfied customers" * "Duties involved processing clams" * "I am in charge of ensuring dew diligence" Clean up your social media posts Recruiters are increasingly using social media to build a picture of candidates that they are considering hiring. This is something to be aware of whenever you post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter or make any other kind of public comments. Check your privacy settings on these apps to make sure you post appropriate content for different audiences. Also remember that no matter how private your settings are, anything on the internet can be hacked and exposed. (How to delete online history). Watch out for... ! The purpose of a CV is to impress an employer so much that they want to shortlist you and interview you for a job opening. Some employers consider the CV as more important than your exam results. Your CV is not something you write once and then forget about. It expresses your continuing learning and experience throughout the course of your life and so it just gets better and better with time. Considering how important your CV is shouldn’t you spend a few days or even a week creating it and improving it? And whenever you complete an important course, or gain valuable experience, make a note of it in your CV so that you can always send out the latest version to a potential employer. IN A NUTSHELL Social Media Preparing for the Interview The difference between a prepared interview and an unprepared interview is like the difference between getting dressed smartly for a date or going in your pyjamas. Compared to the amount of exam preparation and study you have done, during 12 years or more of schooling and college, the preparation for your job interviews is a small task with a potentially life-changing reward if you get hired. Unlike your exams, you can’t write supps, or appeal the decision. There is no moderation of your job interview, and no “undo” button. And for each job opening there is only one person selected, unlike exams, where a percentage of everyone who writes will pass. WHY? “Job interviews are like first dates: good impressions count, awkwardness can occur, outcomes are unpredictable” FAQs "I have just got an opportunity for a job interview tomorrow and I don’t have time to prepare - what do I do?" It’s wonderful to have this opportunity and if it is not possible to postpone the interview, then you should do as much preparation as you can, without getting too hard on yourself if you still feel you are not ready. Part of being “work ready” is being able to handle situations that you are thrown into without preparation, so look at it as an opportunity to practise your agility and adaptability. Even if the interview is not successful it will be part of your own learning experience and growth because the more interviews you attend, the more experienced you get at being interviewed. Unknown Preparing properly for your interview will give you a boost of confidence and may make the difference between being selected or not. You have done so much work to get the interview opportunity that you owe it to yourself to be prepared for it as best you can. Don’t leave your preparation to the last minute. Make sure you have finished all your preparations the day before. This is part of the work of proving that you are ready to be offered the job and are responsible enough to make a success of it. Your interviewers will almost always be able to feel whether you are prepared or not, and will be reluctant to approve a person for the job who appears at the interview not fully prepared. IN A NUTSHELL Attendance & Leave To understand why attendance is such a sore point with employers, put yourself in their shoes: they are paying you to *not be at work* every time you are late, leave early or don’t pitch up. Many organisations are already working with as few people as possible, to keep salary costs down. This means each person is usually doing the job of more than one person, and so when you miss work it has a bigger impact than just one person not being there. Your absence means your co workers have to carry your load as well as their own. These days many companies also have legal agreements to deliver a product or service in a specific quantity, at a specific quality, by specific dates and times. If even one person messes up their job this could result in the company failing to meet its delivery agreements, and losing business, or failing to reach a service delivery target. WHY? “I want to hire employees who arrive late” - said no boss ever FAQs Unknown "What are the maximum working hours?" 45 normal hours per week, 10 overtime hours per week and 5 days per week. However you can agree to work up to 12 hours a day so long as you don’t exceed the weekly limit on normal hours, overtime hours or days. Also if you work more than 5 days a week then you should not work more than 8 hours a day, and if you work 1 - 5 days a week you should not work more than 9 hours a day. See the Department of Labour Basic Guide to Working Hours for more detail. Many employers state that new employees are frequently absent or late for work, so this is one area where you can quickly stand out from the crowd and show your value to your employer. In modern organisations salaries are often the biggest input cost, yet many people are simply not at work for significant periods of time during the day, costing South African companies more than R10 billion a year. There are many reasons why people cannot always be at work on time, all the time, and this infographic will help you keep to a minimum your work interruptions. One of the most important things you can do is warn your employer in advance that you are not going to be at work, or will be late. It’s not always possible to know in advance, but the simple fact of communicating as soon as you know you will be delayed tells your employer that you take the situation seriously and care about how it impacts them. IN A NUTSHELL There are a lot of laws dealing with attendance, leave and pay, covered by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, plus special agreements for certain occupations, for learner workers and certain economic sectors. For this reason there are some exceptions to the answers below. See the Department of Labour website for detailed information, and check with your union representative or HR department if you are not sure. Teamwork In recent years, teams have emerged as the basic building blocks of effective organisations. Teams reduce inefficient hierarchies, speed decision making, and discover improvements to customer problems more quickly. In the 1960’s, a typical business unit would focus on one part of a business process (say assembly) have a manager, a supervisor and a team leader, plus ten regular employees. Nowadays it’s common for a business unit to have five employees and a team leader, and to cover several parts of a business process (say assembly, manufacturing, purchasing and sales). Through technological advances and process improvements, this team does the work of five teams from a typical 1960’s factory. WHY? “None of us is as smart as all of us” FAQs Ken Blanchard Teams are more effective at solving their own problems and more robust because of the different skills sets and personalities they contain. However teamwork requires more advanced interpersonal skills and a willingness to drop some of your personal boundaries to advance the team’s progress. Arguments, jealousy, rivalry, and bullying are just some of the challenges a team can face, and unless these are resolved quickly, everyone in the team can suffer. Teamwork requires a paradox (seemingly conflicting ideas): the individual’s well-being is as important as the team’s well-being. Teams that neglect individuals fall apart, but individuals within a team who neglect the team end up falling behind. Perhaps this is a modern rediscovery of the saying, “All for one and one for all?” IN A NUTSHELL "There are some people in our team who are wrecking it by their behaviour. What can I do about it?" Naming the negative behaviour can help to make everyone aware of it. The kinds of destructive behaviour that teams often get into include conflict, withdrawal, monopolising and scape-goating. Conflict is an issue we have looked at already (page 91). Withdrawal is a common behaviour where a person just refuses to participate in the team. A good team will be a safe environment for introverted (shy) people to open up more, and will not force people to participate. Some personality types contribute less than others, but their contributions are very powerful when they happen. A good team respects the individuality of each contribution. Monopolising is a destructive behaviour where one or two team members are so active that other team members can’t make a contribution, or are forced to contribute in limited ways only. Scapegoating is where the group blames an individual member for its failure to achieve something, instead of recognising that the failure is the group’s responsibility. You can read up more about these behaviours and how to respond to them here. Personal B FOREWORD 3 NOTE TO READERS 4 TO COLLEGE STAFF 4 TO STUDENTS 4 THE JOB SEARCH JOURNEY 8 THE WORK READINESS TOOLKIT 9 PERSONAL MASTERY 10 ATTITUDE 10 CREATIVITY & INNOVATION 15 PERSONAL BRAND 20 JOB SEARCH 25 CHOOSING JOBS TO SEARCH FOR 25 BUILDING YOUR CV 27 WHERE TO SEARCH 32 JOB INTERVIEW 36 JOB INTERVIEW RESEARCH 36 PREPARING FOR THE INTERVIEW 41 AFTER THE INTERVIEW 46 WORK READINESS GUIDE BOOK 6 JOB ORIENTATION 51 YOUR FIRST DAY 51 ATTENDANCE & LEAVE 57 PERFORMANCE 63 ENTITLEMENT AND EXPECTATIONS 68 SKILLS 72 ENGLISH FOR THE WORKPLACE 72 CAREER 78 COMMUNICATION 84 CONFLICT 91 PLANNING & PRIORITISING 97 TEAM WORK 104 TECHNOLOGY 110 EMAIL 116 OUR STORIES 120 CONTACT DETAILS 127 IKUSASA LAMI FIRST EDITION 7 TABLE OF CONTENTS The Job Search Journey Personal Mastery Skills Job Search Job Interview Job Orient- ation (fitting in) (being your own boss) Have a look below at the cycle of five steps involved in searching for your desired job. Note that Personal Mastery is the starting point for your job search journey, and the foundation of all other skills you will need. Also note that you may have to make more than one cycle through the job search journey as you learn more about what is required in the workplace, and build additional skills in your profile. WORK READINESS GUIDE BOOK 8 TABLE OF CONTENTS Personal Mastery Job Search Job Interview Job Orientation Skills English for the Workplace - page 72 Career - page 78 Communication - page 84 Conflict - page 91 Planning & Prioritising - page 97 Team Work - page 104 Technology - page 110 Email - page 116 Entitlement and Expectations - page 68 Performance - page 63 Attendance & Leave - page 57 Your First Day - page 51 Job Interview Research - page 36 Preparing for the Interview - page 41 After the Interview - page 46 Choosing Jobs to Search For - page 25 Building Your CV - page 27 Where to Search - page 32 Attitude - page 10 Creativity & Innovation - page 15 Personal Brand - page 20 The Work Readiness Toolkit Personal Mastery Job Orientation Skills Job Search Job Interview “ One does not cross a river without getting wet Zulu Proverb ” 9 Attitude An older person might think your behaviour reflects a bad attitude, whereas they are actually just misunderstanding the intention of your actions. In the workplace, your supervisors and managers (i.e. your “bosses”) will almost always be older than you, since you have only recently graduated from college. Sociologists study the differences between generations which they call “social generations”. People born between the 1940’s and the 1960’s are called “Baby Boomers” (find out why). Your generation is referred to as “Millennials” (born between early 1980’s and early 2000’s). The next generation is referred to as “Generation Z”, (born between from the early 2000’s onwards). WHY? “Attitude”, in this context, refers to your emotional approach and commitment to your work. A “good” attitude is generally shown by sincerity, alertness, care, perseverance and a willingness to overcome obstacles. A “bad” attitude is shown by a lack of concern for work quality or quantity, rude communication or behaviour, sloppiness, and giving up at the first sign of difficulty in a task. WHAT IS ATTITUDE? “A bad attitude is like a flat tyre. If you don’t change it, you won’t go anywhere.” FAQs Anonymous Attitude is often top of the list of what employers are looking for in new entrants to the workforce. Does this mean that many students have a poor attitude to work? Probably not. “Attitude” means different things to different people. The older generation (bosses) may be misunderstanding actions and words by the younger generation. They may also not “get” the different approach to work which youth around the world have. Young people want to work “smarter”, whereas the older generation value those who “work hard”. Understanding how other people interpret “attitude”, and being sensitive to your actions and words, can help you avoid misunderstanding, and succeed at your first job. IN A NUTSHELL "How do I know if I have a bad attitude, or if it’s just my boss misunderstanding me?" Being aware of your emotional state at all times will help you tell the difference. If you are feeling positive about yourself, your day and your work, and your boss accuses you of a bad attitude, it’s likely that he or she has misunderstood you. However if you cannot be sure of your emotional state, then you won’t know for sure if their accusation is true or not. To become more aware of your emotional state, see the To Do List. 10 FAQs "I have a lousy attitude all day, but it’s not my job causing it" You may have had some bad experiences in the past, or be worrying about bad experiences in the future, and this could be causing you to have a negative attitude at work. Try to deal with this challenge because it may negatively impact your work. Sometimes just talking to a close friend about your experiences can help you move on. Other times talking to an older person you trust, a pastor, counsellor or psychologist will be necessary. If you find your attitude is upsetting people at work it's ok to say something like this: “I am aware of my problem and I am getting counselling to help me. Please be patient with me.” Saying nothing may just make your work situation worse, because people will not understand your attitude. TO DO LISTS Understand generational differences Read the Wikipedia articles on Millennials and Baby Boomers. Make a list of the differences between your parent’s generation and your generation. In the columns include headings like “Speech, Body language, Dress, Diet, Technology, Emotions”. Fill in the list to see how these generations are different. Share the list with a person from your parent’s generation, and a friend, and see if they agree with your list of differences. "I do have a bad attitude because I hate my job!" There are few employees who never experience hating their job :D This may be especially true if you have just started working, or if you have just moved to a new part of the company, or been given a new boss or co-workers. In that case your feelings may change as you settle-in. If you find yourself still hating your job consistently for more than a month then there is probably something wrong. Here are some steps you can follow: (1) Try to work out what is causing you to hate your job. (2) If a person or task is making you hate your job it can sometimes help to talk to co-workers first and see how they are able to manage the same task or person without getting upset (3) If co-workers can’t help you it’s time to talk to your team-leader, supervisor or manager (4) Phrase your request for help something like this, “Please can you help me with [this person or this task]. I am struggling to enjoy my work because of [him or her or it], and I really want to do my best at this job. Is there anything you can suggest to help me?” (5) Don’t expect an immediate solution. It may take time to get the help you need and your boss may expect you to swallow your attitude and try harder for a while. However good bosses know that they don’t get the best performance from people who are not enjoying a specific task or work environment, and they will try to change your situation as a result The Development Bank of South Africa did research to understand how a person’s first job helps them to stay employed later in life. They found that if young people are able to hold down a first job for at least a year, their chances of being employed the rest of their life was 85%. This suggests that you should put special effort into holding down a job for at least a year, even if it’s not your dream job, and even if it’s tough and doesn’t pay well. Your record of employment at the job can go on your CV and you can put your boss as a reference for other potential employers to contact. 11 Links This is a detailed guide on emotional intelligence and how to develop it Stress management is an important part of keeping a good work attitude. Check out these apps that help you de-stress. If you don’t have a smart- phone, try using a stress ball or breathing exercises to reduce your stress levels. Exercise is another great way to reduce stress and promote your health at the same time. Walking (infographic) is a great way to de-stress. Humans are not meant to sit for long periods of time as many of us do in our workplaces. Use your lunch-hour or tea-breaks to move around. Get into the habit of inspiring yourself on a daily basis. A personal journal can help you to see how y
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I am a communications veteran in the field of the South African skills development landscape with an interest in workplace learning and how this can be simplified and upscaled to reduce poverty through job creation. Communication, linkages and advocacy in the workplace learning field are my primary skills. I am interested in finding and supporting more sustainable ways of wealth creation through distributed network technologies.
Specialties: Networking and research skills in the training and education industry - with special reference to Skills Development and the NQF.
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