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7 Things You’ll Never Take For Granted After Working For A Horrible Boss

Metrosmag,SA

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I can easily remember my most horrible boss, and how much he negatively impacted my life. As I’m sure you can imagine, even if you don’t have first-hand experience, it’s extremely hard to work for someone you hate, even if you love what you’re doing.

Well, I survived, and I’m happy to report that I learned some valuable lessons from the experience. Not only did I learn not to take things personally, that it’s OK to question authority, and that asking for what I want is worth a shot, I also learned to appreciate plenty of other things you might be tempted to take for granted.

In my old job, the culture dictated that you ate at your desk (just like the boss!), and if I forgot my lunch, well, that’s when I survived on a sleeve of crackers sitting in my drawer. I couldn’t risk leaving to grab food, for fear of returning to an overflowing inbox, and possibly a few missed calls (not to mention my supervisor’s glares).

But that was then. Now, I have every reason to be grateful for many regular lunch breaks, taken away from my desk. Instead of griping about a last-minute meeting with someone during the time I typically eat, I remember the days when I was afraid to duck out for even a 15-minute break and remind myself to appreciate the time I usually have.

2. Permission To Make Appointments During The Day

Scheduling a doctor appointment mid-morning and being absent from work for an hour or more is not something I’d have considered attempting with my old clock-watching boss. Even some decent managers make it hard for people to take care of personal matters during stated business hours.

My current organization, however, understands that sometimes you’ll have to deal with these things during the week when you’re otherwise expected to be in the office. The fact that I’ve got the supervisor’s green light to attend these appointments without being forced to use a vacation day is cause for applause.

3. Happy Co-workers

Obvious but true: A bad boss affects the whole team. When I work for a good leader, I’m surrounded by productive, content co-workers, and I can focus on the job in front of me rather than waste time commiserating about how much I hate my boss. Venting can be cathartic, but if it’s all I ever do, it can take a toll.

Even neutral colleagues make a better work environment than ones who just complain—so while I may not be BFFs with my whole team, I’ve got to admit it’s nice being surrounded by people who aren’t living in fear of upper management.

4. Appreciation

The first week after starting a new job, my boss thanked me for my work at the end of the day. I laughed in spite of myself. I thought he was kidding—all I’d accomplished was routine report writing and manning the phone. I was more used to criticism than praise in my old position. My new manager believed in expressing gratitude for his employees’ hard work, and I quickly learned to be grateful for it.

I may not be thanked each and every time that I check an item off my to-do list, but I don’t forget to embrace it when it happens. It keeps me motivated.

5. Work-Life Balance

Back when I worked for that horrible boss, I found myself constantly checking for missed calls or emails hours after I’d left the office. My situation was so bad that I had dreams where I woke up groping for my phone, convinced that I’d forgotten to answer an important email that would give my boss reason to chew me out—again.

My current job—dream gig or not—affords me the luxury of not being attached to my inbox and voicemail at all hours of the day, and that’s a valuable perk. My out-of-office time is respected—it’s wonderful.

6. Room To Be Wrong

Working in a healthy environment means room to grow—by experimenting and making mistakes. When I was walking on a tightrope over the fire of my boss’ wrath, I was afraid to take chances, which rules out exercising my creative side more often than not.

How can I possibly think outside the box when my supervisor’s breathing down my neck on rewriting the report so that it follows the exact template he laid out for me. Talk about stunted growth.

Now that I’m at ease tossing around ideas and trying different methods of executing old processes, it’s great! I’m empowered by my boss to brainstorm new ideas, and I’ve got some autonomy—something definitely worth celebrating.

7. Trust

Driving to work one morning (early, might I add), I hit a bad patch of traffic due to an accident in front of me. I was so terrified that my boss would think I was lying about my (impending) tardiness that I whipped out my phone to take a picture so that he would know I was telling the truth.

After working in an environment where all my decisions were questioned, and maybe even my integrity itself, reporting to someone who trusts me is nothing to sneeze at.

So, while my manager may not trust me with his most senior account just yet, at least now I can send an email without looking over my shoulder to see if he’s watching me type it.

Memories do fade over time, even ones that involve horrible bosses. So, if I find myself annoyed because of an assignment that doesn’t thrill me, a co-worker who slacks off or a CEO who’s never around, I take a second to remind myself of the many things I have to be grateful for. Silly as it may sound, I for one, don’t take lunch for granted.

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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Business

Direct selling providing more opportunities for more women

Metrosmag,SA

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Johannesburg, 16 August 2017 – Figures just released indicate that unlike many other sectors in the economy direct selling is growing, providing more micro-entrepreneurial and income generating opportunities for women.
Currently some 1 333 223 South Africans benefit from direct selling and have the opportunity to build their own small business, of which 72% are women.
Despite the flagging economy, direct sales in 2016 were 18 percent up on 2015, totalling nearly R12.9 billion
According to Cornelle van Graan, chairperson of South Africa’s Direct Selling Association (DSASA), direct selling attracts female entrepreneurs because it offers opportunity, flexible working hours, training and the ability to work from home.
The number of women who make a full-time living from direct selling has grown by almost 30% with the majority operating in the health and wellness, personal care or household good sectors.
Van Graan says that the sector also provides opportunities for women who have an existing full-time job, but want to supplement their income.
“Direct selling is also a good way for stay-at-home mothers to make a living, while being actively involved in the lives of their children. Getting started is generally easy, low cost and low risk.”
“Mothers usually have an existing network of other moms, giving them excellent access to a market with similar needs and interests. Their personal relationships and endorsement gives buyers confidence, so these women can be very effective sales people.”
About three-quarters of all direct sales people in South Africa are involved part-time.
Besides flexibility and access, part of the appeal of direct selling may be that money can be earned immediately the sale is made. There’s no waiting until the end of the month or the next payment cycle.
Van Graan says while motivation can vary from paying for a child’s education to saving for a dream holiday, most women get involved in direct sales to provide for their families.
There are 34 direct selling companies who are members of the DSASA. There are more than a million independent business owners associated with DSASA member companies. They make sales totalling nearly R13 billion a year. Everything from financial services to beauty products and skin care, from fragrances and fashion accessories to nutrition and health supplements, from dinner services and a host of other tableware and kitchenware to household cleaning supplies are sold.
What you need to know about direct selling:
If you are thinking of becoming a direct seller here’s what you need to consider to help decide what direction you want to pursue.
1. Product selection
The direct selling industry offers a range of products within sectors such as health, beauty, homeware, financial and investment products, nutritional supplements and weight-loss management. Although it is preferable to choose products which you are familiar with or interested in, you will receive training on all products being offered by the DSA member company that you choose to join. Believing in your product is vital to effectively market and sell your product, as well as personal fulfilment.
2. Choosing which company
Visit www.dsasa.co.za for a full list of member companies and scroll down and identify the companies offering the type of product or service of interest to you or the business opportunity that appeals to you. Attend a demonstration or visit the website of the company to help decide which company you feel best suits your needs and ideals.
3. Research appealing companies
Read through all their marketing collateral and agreements to get a good understanding of the stability and history of business and of your responsibilities.
4. Investigate the start-up costs
All DSASA member companies are obliged to keep start-up costs low. Your initial investment will typically cover a sales kit with all company information, product samples and training materials. Avoid companies expecting a large investment or who push overzealous inventories, you should be allowed to grow at your own pace and affordability.
5. Study the return policy
All DSASA member companies are obligated to buy back any unsold, re-saleable product inventory, promotional materials, sales aids and kits purchased within the previous 12 months at the selling price less an administration fee of up to 10% of the selling price.
6. Fully understand the compensation
Check the member companies’ compensation plans as they all differ. Make sure you understand details of earnings and the overall business model.
Ends.

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Veolia signs landmark B-BBEE deal with Ceracue

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“Veolia was looking for a local development partner with strong project experience in the water treatment markets,” explains Gunter Rencken, Managing Director, Veolia Water Technologies South Africa. “In Ceracure, with whom we’ve had a less formalised working partnership for about four years, Veolia has a hands-on, active B-BBEE partner with a thorough understanding of our core business and the water treatment market.”

This close alignment in corporate vision lays the basis for a synergistic approach to increased business development in both South Africa and Africa. “With this partnership in place, Veolia can confidently amplify business development avenues and enhance our project reach in the municipal and industrial markets,” Rencken continues.

“In addition to demonstrating Veolia’s seriousness to transformation and social development, it also means we’ll be able to supply water treatment solutions encompassing a broader scope of works,” explains Langa Nxumalo, Managing Director, Ceracure. “Together, we can advance our technical and business capabilities, offering a superior and integrated solution for water treatment projects. This ‘one plus one is equal to three’ strategy will allow better project execution in line with clients requirements, all thanks to a good balance sheet and technical experience by Veolia.”

The partnership will also see Veolia South Africa taking an active approach to expanding Ceracure’s business capabilities. “We are assisting Ceracure with achieving a higher CIDB grading, and have planned for a structured transfer of technology and skills of Veolia’s water treatment expertise to Ceracure,” Rencken explains.

Veolia’s shareholding arrangement with Ceracure represents an important pillar of the company’s new vision that is enhancing the water solutions specialist’s delivery of highly efficient, low-footprint water treatment technologies in South Africa and Africa. Alongside the B-BBEE deal are a range of recent organisational and technological innovations that have streamlined the company’s manufacturing, distribution and service networks across the region. Veolia South Africa is now positioned as a key technology and manufacturing hub for Veolia’s new range of standard engineered products and systems as well the company’s range of Hydrex™ speciality chemicals.

“We are excited to welcome Ceracure on board, and look forward to a fruitful synergy with them as we continue to tackle Africa’s water treatment challenges,” Rencken concludes.

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 163 000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.In 2016, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 61 million people with wastewater service, produced 54 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 31 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €24.39 billion in 2016.

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Arduino Education Kit for young students aids technology learning

Metrosmag,SA

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Johannesburg, South Africa – RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global distributor for engineers, has announced the availability of the Arduino CTC 101 Education Kit, which is a complete e-learning platform enabling young students to learn the fundamentals of electronics, programming and mechatronics. The CTC 101 kit has been designed for teachers and other instructors working in education and is specially tailored for the 13 to 17 age group at secondary schools. Each kit includes enough electronic components for a class of 24 students and a teacher.

Today, Arduino is one of the most popular open-source electronics platforms. Initiated in 2005, the Arduino project targeted the development of low-cost and easy-to-use hardware and software that could be used by non-engineers or simply anyone new to electronics that was interested in creating digital electronic projects.

Building upon this foundation, the Arduino Education programme was set up to empower educators with the necessary hardware and software tools to create a more hands-on and innovative learning experience. As a major element of the initiative, the CTC, or Creative Technologies in the Classroom, is Arduino’s one-of-a-kind STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programme for upper secondary education.

The CTC enables the introduction of students to the fundamentals of programming, electronics and mechatronics through a series of well-documented projects and easy-to-assemble experiments. Training for the programme is available online and through a combination of recorded lectures, support materials and Q&A forums, via Arduino.

Specifically, the CTC 101 kit supports programming and mechatronics with five themed modules and offers more than 25 hands-on experiments. All the parts in the kit are completely reusable, thereby enabling experiments to be reconfigured in endless combinations and further developed for more advanced students and projects.

Each CTC 101 kit includes enough electronic components for a class of 24 students and a teacher. It includes: six Genuino 101 programmable microcontroller boards; six Arduino Education Shields; a set of sensors and actuators; component modules; breadboards; a wide selection of electronic components, connectors and wires; plus other elements such as servo motors, USB cable, wheels and bearings, batteries and power modules.

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