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Yes, A Job Reference Matters

Metrosmag,SA

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While professional references are often the last stop on the hire train, do not think for a moment that they are the least important factor leading to a company’s decision to hire or not hire you. References not only offer vital information related to an employee’s past performance, strengths and abilities, but they also act as an invaluable repository of tangible information providing insight into someone’s real life and on the job work. It is from these real life examples and not from words scattered across a resume that play an instrumental role in a hiring manager’s final decision before extending an offer. We tapped into a Senior Recruiter at BevForce for some key insights about reference checking during the interview process.

Stay Connected

With the heavy reliance on social media these days to stay “up to date” with people’s career goings on, there is no excuse for not keeping in touch, especially with former colleagues. Whether it is a friendly, “how are you?” or “Did you hear that so and so is working for X brand now?”, regular communication plays a key role in whom you can ask to be a professional reference when you are interviewing for your dream job. It can be extremely uncomfortable backtracking on lapsed communication with a former colleague and attempting to cleverly and thoughtfully muster up a point of conversation when too much time has passed. Stay connected and relevant with your former colleagues with simple outreach. This small conversation or outreach can go a long way.

Choose Wisely

Put some thought into your reference. What will they say about your day-to-day work ethic? Are they able to present quantifiable examples of your ability and skill level? Asking the wrong person can be can be a catastrophic decision for someone in final interview rounds. Employees tend to ask former colleagues, friends and acquaintances to act as references. While this seems intuitive, the best choice is always a contact strongly familiar with your prior work, ably offering empirical evidence related to your goals, methods and ambitions. It is important to ask someone with whom you worked close enough to be able to recall and discuss your measurable accomplishments.

Don’t Discriminate

You may think your best reference point will be someone to whom you reported, but this is not always the case. Depending on the position for which you are interviewing, one of the best references you can offer is that of a direct report or a peer with whom you had daily interactions or worked together on a team. Remember that you interface with colleagues at all levels of business daily. Do not overlook those who view you as a mentor, expert or peer. These often are the best reference to help a potential employer ascertain information about your interpersonal communications skills and culture fit.

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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Your cool drink bottle is not trash, and here is why

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Mpact Recycling has called upon consumers to take greater care when disposing of their refuse. “We urge consumers to separate recyclable plastic bottles and other recyclable items at home instead of relying on recyclers to do so at landfill. By that time the plastic is often too contaminated with items like soil to be recycled,” says Ronald Fairbanks, General Manager: Mpact Polymers.

Considerable progress has been made to increase the recycled portion of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in the manufacturing of new plastic bottles. An increase in the percentage of Recycled PET (rPET) bottles is conditional upon two things: improving the industry’s capacity to recycle (which has been achieved by Mpact Polymers PET recycling operation); and by improving the quality of PET being processed in the operation. By consumers ideally separating recyclables at source, they can ensure that the bottles don’t end up in landfills as part of the municipal waste collection process which ultimately prevents them from becoming too contaminated to be recycled.

With the formal sector’s increased investment into new recycling capacity, Mpact Polymers operation accounts for 85 direct jobs and indirectly, an anticipated 1,000 additional jobs are expected to be created within the recycling industry. This would be as a result of a greater demand for collectors, small businesses and buy-back centres.

In its latest results for 2015, PETCO (the PET Recycling body) reports that the organisation recycled an additional 15% of post-consumer bottles in comparison to the previous year and that the total PET market grew by 8.5% to 210 000 tonnes. The 1.7 billion PET bottles that were collected across South Africa in 2015, which equates to approximately 4.7 million bottles collected each and every day, sustained over 50 000 income opportunities. An annual PET recycling rate of 52% of post-consumer bottle PET was achieved and, for the first time, PETCO recycled more bottles than those going into landfills. The goal is to reach 170,000 tonnes by 2022 and the industry is on track to achieve this.

“Notwithstanding the positive improvement, we could be doing considerably better if we were to receive a higher quality of PET material. Consumers need to be educated that their cool drink bottles are not trash, but a livelihood for many, and an essential raw material to improving sustainable plastic manufacturing. Mpact encourages consumers to support recycling wherever possible. Doing your bit at home can make all the difference to job creation and protecting the environment,” says Fairbanks.

Consumers need to learn to separate waste in the home. In the case of PET, this requires ensuring that recyclable plastic is kept separate from other waste and either delivered to recycling centres or left out for collectors to take away separately from municipal waste,” concludes Fairbanks.

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Losing money in the right ways and for the right reasons

Metrosmag,SA

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Both questions get a big fat YES! They are right ways and reasons to lose money. Provided you are aware of the wrong ways and reasons too. Let’s face it, there are countless challenges that come with being a millennial and money is at the top of this list. Before we delve into how to lose money in the right ways and for the right reasons.

Let’s look at a few key-points from the economic review of our beloved country:

  • According to the recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) South Africa is now the third-largest economy on the African continent. Surrendering its second place to Egypt and Nigeria remains in the number one spot.
  • The rand weakened from an average of R8.20/$ during 2012 to an average of R12.74/$ in 2015. On Tuesday, 17 May 2016 at 13:03 the rand was trading at R15.68 to the dollar.
  • The rand remains below successive support levels suggesting a continuation in the rand’s depreciation.
  • In a Bloomberg survey 12 out of 13 economists expect Standard & Poor’s (S&P) credit rating agency to cut SA’s sovereign debt rating to sub-investment grade (junk status) by the end of the year.
  • Despite the recent price rally Brent crude’s break below the key $30 support level in February suggests a continuation of the weakening long-term trend to a downside $25 target.
  • Gold has broken its recent downtrend by rising decisively above the $1 100 resistance level. An extended break above $1 250 is needed to confirm the end of gold’s bear market.
  • The JSE All Share index is up +12% from its lows in early January and appears dramatically over-priced on a price-earnings (PE) multiple of 21.2x around 40% above its 14.8x long-term average.
    View/download the full Overberg Market Report –http://www.overberg.biz/pdf/Overberg%20Market%20Report%2010th%20May%202016.pdf

South Africa is facing continuous food, fuel and electricity price hikes that make the cost of living higher each month. So, ask yourself will you and your loved ones be financially secure if the economy continues to depreciate? Or worse, if we were to hit a recession? If your answer is no or maybe and not a definite yes, then you have your answer.

You need to get the best financial education immediately on what’s available out there for you to take advantage of; whilst there’s still time. The National Treasury introduced Tax Free Savings Accounts a year ago. If you are unaware of this visit your nearest bank or life insurance company for more info.

If this is not the route you would like to take. Take the stock market investment route. Do some comparative research on various funds especially looking at fund performances before you choose one that aligns with your financial goals, needs and pocket.

The Overberg Market report is an indicator of the economic times we live in. Economic times which urge millennials to look into their personal finances and start saving from as early as possible. Millennials need to get into the habit of losing money in the form of savings plans and investment portfolios. Now is the time to be proactive.

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Competition

SA’s Most Beautiful Baby Search is On!

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Online baby competition is back for a 2nd year and looking for South Africa’s most beautiful babies. Due to popular demand, the qualifying age group has been extended to babies between the ages of 0 and 36 months. The competition celebrates the beauty and diversity of babies across South Africa and all entries will support this year’s nominated charity, the ‘Mater Domini Home’, a treatment centre that gives hope to pregnant women in crisis and those suffering abuse.

The baby who is voted to first place with the most votes will win the grand prize of R100 000 (R50 000 more than last year), and R15 000 for the 2nd runner up and cash prizes for the remaining top 8 finalists. Both the competition and voting start on the 2nd of May with the top 50 entries being announced on the 20th of June. Entry is FREE and easy; Parents can simply upload their baby’s picture onto mymostbeautiful baby website free of charge and bring their entry to life with added descriptions, videos and photos and then… get all their friends and family voting!

Registration and voting is open for seven weeks from the 2nd of May till the 20th of June after which the top 50 will be selected. Voting will then open again for the title of mymostbeautiful BABY 2016 from the 20th to the 27th of June. The winner of South Africa’s most exciting baby competition will be announced on 28th June 2016.

Chief Marketing Officer for mymostbeautiful , Monique Elliott is delighted to be part of the second mymostbeautiful BABY contest. “I cannot wait to see this year’s adorable entries! Being a mother myself, I feel that the contest really brings the parenting community together and serves as a source of information and entertainment, a place where moms can really connect and share. I am also extremely proud that mymostbeautiful will be supporting the Mater Domini Home this year and through this competition and our circle of moms, we hope to return the positivity and joy that they’ve bestowed on the many mommies they have been able to help thus far!”

Best known to South African audiences as Katlego Sibeko on SABC3’s Isidingo, the glamorous and graceful, Kgomotso Christopher will be a celebrity judge for the competition. Kgomotso is also mother to two gorgeous kids, Lesika (8) and Larona (7) and really excited to be part of this year’s campaign. “It’s great to be part of such an initiative. Motherhood and raising a little baby is such a special and happy time for most women. It’s fantastic that the competition gives mother’s the chance to celebrate and of course show off their beautiful babies. It is even more special that through the competition, less fortunate moms will also benefit and be given a chance at enjoying what should be a happy time for all mothers” added Kgomotso. Sharing the judges seat with Kgomotso will be Megan Taljaard (Mater Domini), Sheree O’Brien (owner of Splakavellis Management) and baby photographer, Tiffany Lumley.

Big Baby names have also come out in support as sponsors of the competition this year; Huggies (primary sponsor) alongside King Price Insurance, Cherubs, Mama Mio, MOM Diary, BuchuLife, Annabella Mater and Snowflake.

 

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