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Chartered Accountants should keep up with technology for future relevance
What Chartered Accountants need to know about the future of their careers
Chartered Accountants should keep up with technology for future relevance
2/23/2018 1:10 PMOpinion, Industry NewsLerato Mashego2/23/2018 1:10 PM
Finance job, Chartered Accountant, Accountant, CA(SA)

Chartered Accountants and techTechnology is certainly changing the workplace. Research indicates that by 2030 current jobs will mostly be outsourced or automated. It's said about a billion jobs would have disappeared with most of them returning in different forms. 

One cannot ignore the effect and impact of technology in finance careers such as Chartered Accounting and Accounting. Stuart van der Veen, CA(SA) and founder of Paper Planes mentions that he has already started observing notable changes in the chartered accounting profession such as the way professionals plan, transact, record and report. In order to stay relevant, there is no room for complacency. "Newly qualified CAs need to be prepared to get their hands dirty, and go the extra mile in order to flourish in high growth scale environments," van der Veen adds.

To remain relevant, Accountancy SA suggests that accountancy bodies may have to revise the competencies that CAs need to demonstrate as part of the qualification process by focussing on analytical thinking skills and increasing the use of technology during the training programme. Instead of the normal traineeship, van der Veen advises organisations to have a CA(SA) on their board as a training offer who will be involved in the start and successful running of the business. "For firms, the pyramid is dying and the model needs to change. Smart talent wants variety, challenge and upside," he discloses.

How can CAs and Accountants acquire fresh skills to remain relevant in the future? Zimkita Mabindla CA(SA), proposes that CAs should clarify their professional purpose immediately. "CAs are opinion leaders who influence and inform strategies, legislation, policy, reporting, auditing standards and governance standards and should offer input on a number of innovative ways of doing so", Mabindla explains.  Van der Veen recommends young CAs to digitise and think outside-of-the-box to better serve the community.

In order to sustain your career as a CA(SA), you need to adapt to change. Apart from implementing new competencies, there is likely to be a greater shift of prominence towards being a critical thinker and a lifelong learner, rather than focusing purely on technical ability.

The accounting profession has survived changes and developments in regulations and policies.  technology is to perfect it.

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

UP CLOSE with Executive Consultant Nadia Kelly
There are many benefits to working at Network Finance. Finance Executive Consultant, Nadia Kelly, explains why she loves being a specialist recruiter.
UP CLOSE with Executive Consultant Nadia Kelly
11/21/2017 9:55 AMRecruitment, OpinionLerato Mashego11/21/2017 9:55 AM
Specialist recruitment agency, Network Finance, specialist recruiter

1. How long have you been in the recruitment industry?
I've in the recruitment industry for four for years now.  

2. Why did you decide to pursue a career in recruitment? 
I wanted a career that would firstly; challenge me, secondly, where I could contribute to society and lastly where I would have the opportunity to determine my own income. 

3. You are an Executive Consultant at Network Finance. What can you say is the secret to your success?
I never lose focus on my goals. This job is not easy so you need to know why you do this. You need to accept that sometimes, you will encounter situations that will make you uncomfortable and you need to be able to brush it off and move on.

4. What do you think makes Network Finance different from the rest of the recruitment agencies?
Network Finance is a premium brand.  All the specialist finance recruiters are well trained and have a strong technical knowledge of the finance industry. Our database has the best talent in the job market.

5. What do you love the most about your job as a specialist recruiter?
I love that we get to change the lives and careers of our finance candidates.

6. You are a wife, mother and friend, how do you balance it all?
It's easy - I like what I do and have a good support structure both at home and at the office.

7. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those words be?
Driven, persistent, and ambitious.

8. What your favourite song at the moment?

 

9. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Pacifier and 10 Things I hate about you.

10. What was your favourite TV show when you were a child?
Rugrats and Recess.

11. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?
Spanish.

12. What's the name of your favourite restaurant?
Crawdaddy's Lynwood.

13. What sitcom family would you belong to? 
Modern Family.

14. Who's your favourite person in the world?
My husband, Shane. 😀

15. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?
I have 39 pairs.

16. How many books have you read thus far this year?
None. I have two kids and I'm a specialist recruiter. 😀

17. Finish the sentence: When I dance, I look like ….?
I think I can dance... hahaha.

18. If you were a superhero, what powers would you have? 
Telepathy.

19. What is the most interesting thing you have in your purse/wallet?
Bum crème.

Are you considering a career in Finance recruitment? Click here to APPLY!

UP CLOSE with Executive Consultant Kirsten Macaulay
We spoke to one of our IT specialist consultant Kirsten Macaulay and asked her what was the secret to her success and what motivates her.
UP CLOSE with Executive Consultant Kirsten Macaulay
10/17/2017 3:30 PMRecruitment, OpinionLerato Mashego10/17/2017 3:30 PM
Network IT, recruitment agency, IT job,

Kirsten Macaulay.jpg1. You are the Executive Consultant for Network IT. What can you say is the secret to your success?

Wow, where do I start? My secret has to be the support I get from my family, partner, crazy branch, my branch manager and role model, Lara Rea and colleague and close friend Luan French – we always inspire, support and push each other. However, I'd like to think my competitive nature, urgency on the desk; determination to never take "no" for an answer has to do with it.

2What makes Network IT different from the rest of the recruitment agencies?
The way we do things is different. Not only do we treat each other like family, we are truly a crazy bunch. Our technical knowledge of the IT niche is what makes Network IT the best.

3. When did you decide to pursue a career in recruitment?
Five years ago, I went on the job market and received an offer from EOH. At the same time, a crazy woman convinced me to go for a job interview at Network IT – just so one could check it out. Therefore, I went and met Lara Rae and Sabrina Dixon and it so happened that their Christmas was that day. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see and experience who they really were. I must admit, I definitely saw myself working for a company like this. I 'literally' fell into IT recruitment and now I love what I do and the people I work with. Recruitment is not for sissies.

4. How do you maintain your daily motivation and inspiration despite obstacles, pushbacks or setbacks?
You always need to remain optimistic and look for the silver lining. There is always an opportunity to push past your disappointments. I mean, the only way out of a hole is up! My team, family and friends also keep me going when I have a bad day. The best thing about Network IT is that we are there for each other when the going gets tough. You also need to laugh and joke at yourself to get over challenges and remain humble at all times.

5. Describe yourself in three words?
Innovative, assertive and determined.

6. What is your favourite song at the moment?

 


7. Are you a morning or evening person?
I am definitely a night owl.

8. Whom do you admire the most?
My branch manager Lara Rae.

9. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
I would be a type of cat. They are active in short spouts and are hunters. They are resilient and can be rather fiery if you tug on their tails but very loving and loyal at the same time. They like their sleep and are nocturnal – like me.

10. If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be and who would play you?
A comedy-drama, played by a blonde Emma Watson.  

11. If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?
Invisibility (so I can stalk people) and reading minds / situations – I am intrinsically a very good judge of character.

12How many books have you read thus far this year?
I have read12.

13. Finish the sentence: When I dance, I look like ….?
A spastic colon.

14. If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
Writing a book that changes young girls lives and their intrapersonal relationships with their family.

15. What is the most interesting thing you have in your purse/wallet?
My new ID smart card because if you saw the photo of me it looks like I am a drug smuggler that ate a blowfish to hide her identity.

16. What sitcom family would you belong to? 
Friends

Are you considering a career in IT recruitment? Click here to APPLY!

Career advice for job seekers
Best career advice for the last quarter
Career advice for job seekers
Career advice for job seekers
10/17/2017 12:00 PMJob Search, OpinionLerato Mashego10/17/2017 12:00 PM
IT job, Finance job, Engineering job, specialist recruiter, job search

Career advice for job seekersAs we enter the last quarter of the year, some job seekers are either planning their downtime during the festive season or, planning their year-end career move.

We spoke with some of our managers and asked them if they could share their best career advice for the last quarter and this is what they had to say:



Michelle Snyman.jpg

"Slowing down your job search right now is the biggest mistake any job seeker can make right now. Don't slow down your job search as job market demands are still high until the end of November. Many employers are recruiting to ensure that their headcount targets are made before the end of the year. They want to have the best talent on board to start in January of 2018. As an employee, you might be expecting your 13th cheque or bonus in December. If you are not willing to sacrifice that for a new opportunity then maybe only start your job search again next year." 

Michelle Snyman, Network Finance Branch Manager






Berince Roux.jpg

"The competition is real when you are in the job market.  It is tough.  It is cruel.  It is merciless.  It can feel like it is a matter of survival of the fittest.  Nearing the end of the year, everyone is feeling over-worked, and tired.  You want to start 'winding' down and you're looking forward to a well-deserved break and relaxing after a long year.  It might seem like a good idea to slow down or even take a complete break in searching for your dream job because everything is slowing down towards the end of the year.  It is important to keep up the 'job search momentum', as it will take some effort to get your job hunting rhythm back in the new year. Many job seekers might decide to slow down or stop looking for a new job towards the end of the year.  However, start now, set up your job alerts, and be active on job portals – be visible. Recruiters also see a decrease in the number of active applicants, and they will definitely not mind receiving applications from eager and qualified job seekers.  You might even be able to set up an interview or two for the new year, which will definitely give you a jump-start in getting your dream job.  Set yourself apart from the crowd and start building momentum by making your profile/ CV visible during a time many others decide to slow down." 

Bernice Roux, Executive Relations & Quality Control Manager


"It is that time of year again; everybody is either tired and counting the days to December, or pushing themselves beyond their limits to still make the most out of the year. With 12 odd weeks left, you can either say that it is over and I will just try again next year, or you can say there is still 20% left and anything is still possible! Although the general tendency is to slow down towards year-end, October and November have historically been some of our busiest months. This proves that job seekers should not slow down or give up their job search now. If companies have roles to be filled, the recruitment process will continue. Keep an eye on our website for career opportunities and also utilise all other possible avenues. The timing might just be perfect because your competition decided to try again next year." 

Zelda Botha, Engineering Team Leader


Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

Artisan shortage
Network Engineering will find you the right engineering job and engineering candidate.
Artisan shortage
8/31/2017 9:12 AMOpinionLerato Mashego8/31/2017 10:18 AM
Artisan jobs, Network Recruitment, electrician jobs, fitter jobs, turner jobs, boilermaker jobs, engineering jobs, Network Engineering, Engineering candidates

Artisans.jpgGiven the current economic climate, unemployment is at an all-time high. The media regularly reports on skills shortages and the dire need for artisans in the workforce. In addition, many companies have also expressed their concerns about finding suitably skilled, qualified and experienced artisans.

In a previous survey that was done conducted by Accelerate Cape Town in 2016, it was reported that South Africa will need 30 000 artisans by 2030. However, from research conducted by Network Recruitment, it was found that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of artisans currently in the job market that are struggling to find career opportunities.

Information gathered from Network Recruitment's database demonstrates that there are more than 3 500 artisans, including but not limited to electricians, fitters and turners and Boilermakers who are currently active in the market and seeking employment.

Information accessed from online platforms found the following in relation to artisans that are currently unemployed or on short- term contracts:

  • 2 510 Electricians 

  • 5 144 Fitters

  • 869 Boilermakers

  • 2 300 Mechanics

Even if these numbers are reduced by 50% to accommodate obsolete profiles or candidates that have recently found career opportunities, it remains concerning that the number of immediately available artisans seeking career opportunities is high.

Given the available information, it seems evident that there is a miscommunication or missing link somewhere. We are of the opinion that candidates struggle to reach the right employers and employers are struggling to find the perfect candidates.

Perhaps it's time that employers change the way they go about finding the right hire and turn to specialist recruitment agencies that specialise in this field to assist them. Network Engineering specialises in engineering recruitment, and we are confident that, given our years of specialist experience, we will find our clients the best candidates to meet their needs.

Network Engineering not only sources and identifies suitable candidates, but also interviews them to establish their skills and experience, reasons for leaving previous employers, qualifications etc.  We also enter into conversations where we assess the risk of candidates accepting a counter offer and manage salary expectations. If a candidate is in the recruitment process with a prospective employer, we will verify their qualifications and do a background check to determine if they are legitimate.  By making use of Network Engineering's services, employers can rest assured that the candidate is suitably qualified and does not have a criminal record.

Taking all of these processes and checks and balances into account, the value in making use of our specialist services, or any other similar agency's, is evident. Network Engineering will alleviate the pressure of going through hundreds of unsuitable CV's and significantly reduce the time it takes to find the right candidate. We understand the nature of our clients' businesses and the technical skills they require.

Zelda Botha is a Branch Manager at Network Recruitment.

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence.

Bridging the gender gap in the tech industry
Network Recruitment's recommendations on how to help bridge the gender gap in the ICT sector.
Bridging the gender gap in the tech industry
8/24/2017 1:28 PMOpinionLerato Mashego8/24/2017 2:19 PM
tech industry, Network Recruitment, IT jobs, Jobs in IT,

female in tech.jpgKnown for its outstanding innovation and fast-paced environment, the tech industry has always experienced a lack of female technical experts / specialists. Research indicates that the Information Communication Technology (ICT) workforce in South Africa consists of only 20% females, and only 25% of females hold tech jobs worldwide.

According to research commissioned by Girls Who Code, the number of females in the tech industry worldwide will fall by 22% by 2025, making gender inequality a real challenge in the sector.

In this blog, Network Recruitment will recommend on how to help bridge the gender gap in the ICT sector.

Target girls at a young age

To bridge the gender gap, the educational system needs to appeal to girls as early as the primary level to pursue computer science at school. A survey conducted in the USA amongst girls aged 12-18, undergraduate varsity students and tech industry leaders revealed that 18% of girls in middle school would be interested in computing if it was mandatory, proved to be fun, not just for boys and had diverse hands-on tools such as games designed for females. For example, the first Pokémon games and "many popular computer games didn't have female characters until 2014.

Get more female mentors

Studies suggest that the lack of female mentors discourages women from entering the industry. Furthermore, it revealed that females were likely to make a career move in more interactive roles such as design and digital marketing making female mentors in that sector easier to find.

In a speech this month, Communications Deputy Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, called on South African women to diversify the ICT sector by bridging the gender divide. She encouraged women who have made strides in the industry to inspire others to work within the sector. "We don't have a good story to tell as the sector because males are still dominating. As we celebrate Women's Month, we have a responsibility to question how we tell stories of the women who have made strides in ICT, as well as inspire others to come into the sector," the Deputy Minister said.

Encourage women to start businesses in the tech industry

To ensure that women go further in the tech industry, the private and the public sector need to encourage them to start their own businesses in the ICT industry. Female business owners and entrepreneurs may be more inclined to mentor and hire other women.

Organisations can make adjustments to make themselves more 'female-friendly'
Alternatively, employers can consider making their organisation more female-friendly in terms of adjusting their family leave policies, flexi-hours and focusing on recruiting and developing the female talent pool. This would be a significant gain to the country's economy as it is believed that if the number of women in the workplace increases by 5% it may result in growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Follow this link to see why it's important for women to go into the tech industry. 

 

Are you looking for an IT jobFinance jobEngineering job, or a Contracting assignment? Contact Network Recruitment, the centre of recruitment excellence. 

The big 4 vs investment banks
What you can expect should you decide to pursue a career at a big 4 firm or investment bank
The big 4 vs investment banks
8/15/2017 12:00 AMCareer Management and Development, OpinionLerato Mashego8/15/2017 12:00 AM
Network Recruitment, job, finance job, finance career

big 4 vs investment banks.jpgAs a finance graduate, you have probably entertained the thought of either working for one of the big 4 accounting firms (PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young) or starting your career at one of the well-known investment banks (RMB, Investec, Goldman Sachs etc.).  In this blog, Network Recruitment will discuss what you can expect should you decide to pursue a career at either of these types of organisations.

There is a difference between how the big four firms and investment banks hire - their recruitment processes are similar to comparing apples to oranges. In the article, It's far easier to get into the Big Four than an investment bank. And the people are nicer, writer Tom Cheeseman says "despite taking on thousands of graduates every year, the vast majority of investment banks' recruits go into the back office. This means that your chances of getting into a 'banking' job are near impossible, and if you're not perfect you will be rejected".

While investment banks hire graduates, their graduate intake is much smaller than that of the big four firms. As a result, it is believed to be more difficult to land a job at an investment bank. However, once you have entered the industry, the work you do is said to be highly satisfying with wonderful opportunities to showcase your skills.

Although admission to one of the big four may be easier, you have to bear in mind that the initial rate of remuneration is generally lower. This means that, although your chances of being hired by an investment bank are slim, your earning potential will be higher than that of your peers who work at a big four firm.

According to Finance Specialist Recruiter, Mia Nel, corporate tax consulting at a big 4 firm pays less than corporate tax accounting in a commercial organisation. Furthermore, it is also notable that analysts and auditors in the accounting and audit niche market earn more at investment banks than their counterparts at the big 4.

Although a career at an investment bank may be financially rewarding, both industries provide great career growth opportunities. Career opportunities at a big four firm are endless. For example, one can branch into different areas such as tax, risk, consulting and so forth. According to KPMG's head of HR, Martin Blackburn, "one of the biggest selling points to working at a large professional services firm such as KPMG is the breadth of opportunity we can offer to our graduates and school leavers. Many of our schemes offer rotations around the firm so that individuals can find the area of the business they most enjoy working in, and in turn, excel at". A career at an investment bank is stable and one has the opportunity to choose from numerous financial and accounting disciplines, especially in terms of public accounting.

Whether you choose to pursue your finance career at an investment bank or one of the big four, you would have made a good choice.

Looking for a Finance job? Contact Network Recruitment, for all your specialist recruitment needs. Click here to APPLY.   

What millennials and success have in common
Are you a Millennial? This is a must-read if you are in the IT industry
What millennials and success have in common
6/15/2017 8:18 AMOpinionLerato Mashego6/15/2017 8:29 AM
Millennial, career, IT job, jobs in IT

Jonathan Coetzee.jpg1.    June is Youth Month, do you think we still need to be talking and writing about Millennials in the workplace or has this topic run its course?
Yes definitely. It's a generation completely different from any other, with a unique set of challenges. They are likely said to be studied the most and are the largest generation in western history to date that will dominate everything in the future.

2.    In working with Millennials, what do you see as some of their biggest strengths?
The use of technology, without a doubt. There's an app for just about anything at the moment and it's available at your fingertip, literally. They have the natural ability to grasp anything using complicated, technical tools quickly and effectively. They are able to engage with people using different platforms which are imperative to their successful in our industry. 

3.  What about their challenges and opportunities to grow?
Millennials are usually very enthusiastic when starting their careers fresh from varsity but have a rude awakening around the six months mark. They realise that the corporate world is different and relentless – not quite what they were exposed to at school or varsity. It's every man for himself and the numbers don't lie. Some understand the responsibility required to focus and create their way to the necessary skill-set to be successful in their respected positions.

4.    What do you think is the common attribute that a Millennial needs to have to be successful in the workplace?
Perseverance. There's no app for success, as you are responsible for it. It won't happen overnight, so they need to add some patience to their list of focus.

5.    What are some misconceptions you think the IT industry has about Millennials?
Some of the most talked about misconceptions of Millennials is that they are lazy, don't have any career aspirations and aren't working hard towards it.

6.    Are these misconceptions justified?
In my opinion yes. In my experience, they are more than willing to do what's needed - if they are guided well enough by their Managers. Most of the time they know exactly where they see themselves in the near future but not always what's needed to get there.

7.    What should employers know about Millennials?
That they can add much value to their business, especially where some innovation is needed. They also tend to know more about technology affecting their business than they would.

8.    What can employers in the IT sector do to attract Millennials?
Millennials are known to be a tech-savvy generation. This means that they would be naturally more attracted to an organisation that's aligned the same way. I'm not only talking about the companies with the PS4's and Foosball tables next to the beans bags. I'm talking about companies that will combine technology and business to better society and make a difference.

9.    What big mistakes do you think millennials are making that hurt their careers?
Not preserving through the difficult times. They tend to resign between their first six months to a year when things don't work out as well as they were pictured it. They then move on just to be faced with the same situation at a new company.  

10.  How can Millennials position themselves for success in the IT field?
I would encourage Millennials to have in-depth conversations with successful people in the industry they are interested in. By doing this, they will learn first-hand what it took to be successful. Furthermore, they can join a company that will value their input and have the necessary support structure that will enable them to get off the ground.

Looking for an IT job, Finance job or, Engineering job? Contact Network Recruitment, for all your specialist recruitment needs. Click here to APPLY.   

How Lara Rea wife mother and IT Bruma Branch Manager SLAYS
We interviewed IT Bruma Branch Manager Lara Rea to find out how she does it all.
How Lara Rea wife mother and IT Bruma Branch Manager SLAYS
5/11/2017 8:23 AMOpinionLerato Mashego5/11/2017 10:25 AM
IT recruitment agency, recruitment agency, IT Bruma

1. How old are your twin boys now?​​​
They are nine and a half months old.

2How has motherhood been treating you so far?
It is intense. Three days into motherhood, it dawned on me that the term "alone time" will become a memory I will cherish for the next 18 years. I was ill prepared for the unconditional love that hits you seconds after you first hold your newborn babies. Then there is the sleep deprivation! The first week into this gig transformed me into a zombie. I now understand why in some countries, sleep deprivation is the most severe form of torture. ​

3. How has been back at work been?
I'm having conflicting emotions about being back at work. When I get into my car on a Monday morning at 6:20, I sing along to the chorus of "Hallelujah" – because my car is quiet, and no one is climbing on me. Then, 30 minutes later I am texting the nanny, asking if they are ok. It can get hectic when a little one is sick because of the demands at work. Lately, it has been very tough for me to stay at work beyond 16:30 because I only spend two hours in the afternoon with them during the week. I get upset and stressed if that time is cut short so coming home late is just plain hard for me. I have this 'working mom guilt' – I feel like I have to be there for them.

4. As the manager of one of our successful branches, what are the biggest lessons you have learnt so far when it comes to having a work-life balance?
I don't check my emails between 16:00 and 18:30. When I am home with them during the week, work stuff can wait for two hours. I had to learn to trust my nanny who has strong mommy instincts. I try my best to still spend time with my husband when the babies are asleep at night, usually, we are both pretty exhausted but we try to watch something on TV together (after we first argue and negotiate what to watch).

5. What makes your branch so successful?
I have a very strong core team.

6. How do you continue to grow and develop your branch?
We have added some new talent to my core team, we try to be a differentiating IT recruitment agency by coming up with creative solutions for our clients.

7. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I have a quick 10 - 15 minute read on my kindle or do some mindless Instagram scrolling,  

8. Besides being a mother, what is one personal highlight you've had over the past year?
It has to be achieving over R2 million target in February 2017 for the first time.

9. Name three things you cannot get through your day without? 
Chocolate, Coffee and phone.

10. Do you think motherhood has made you a better manager? 
Tricky question. In some ways, I am more understanding towards the moms that are employed by me. It has made me more determined to reach my branch's sales goals than ever before, as I will be in a better position to provide for my children if I do. In other ways, I am sometimes unavailable and I feel bad about it. I do think it is a phase that all new moms go through.

11. What advice would you give mothers who work in a high sales driven environment?
Get your support network sorted out! My parents are both in Durban, so I have a live-in nanny. She has given me tremendous peace-of-mind. 

Lara Rea is the Branch Manager at Network Recruitment

Looking for an IT job, Finance job or, Engineering job? Contact Network Recruitment, for all your specialist recruitment needs. Click here to APPLY. 

UP CLOSE with Michelle Snyman
Tips that will ensure your team starts the new year on the right foot
UP CLOSE with Michelle Snyman
1/19/2017 9:24 AMOpinionLerato Mashego1/19/2017 9:41 AM
Manager, leader, goals, branch manager, new year,

Michelle Snyman.JPGWith the new year in full swing, it's the manager's task to ensure that their team starts it on the right foot. A team's morale in the first few weeks and months has a major impact on whether they'll deliver results or not. As a manager, what steps should you be taking to set your team up for a win? Network Finance Professionals Branch Manager, Michelle Snyman shares her insights on how to start your team on a good note.

1.    Michelle, how long have you been a Branch Manager?
2017 will be my 3rd year as a Branch Manager.

2.    And what is a typical day like for you / what are your responsibilities as a Branch Manager?
Wow, that is a difficult question to answer as every day is different and presents its own challenges – my name is probably called out 30 times a day J. My main responsibility includes assisting my consultants to achieve their targets, providing training for them, ensuring my branch reaches their productivity goals, various operational duties and bringing out the best out of each person.

3.    What are the most important decisions you make as a manager for your team?
Some of these will include leading my team on a daily basis and setting the tone for the day as every minute counts. Another important decision I make is employing the correct staff who will complement the rest of the team. There are a lot of quick decisions I make daily about our business and I always hope that I'm making the right decision in that moment. I am blessed with a great team who can also make their own decisions.

4.    Your team has recently become larger. There can be a tendency for this to dampen the "inspiration" of your previous team. How did you prevent this from happening?
Luckily my "old" team was very welcoming of the other team members. We have done some team activities together and because all the team members have the same goals it instantly united everyone.

5.    It's a new year and new goals have been set. How have you managed to start your team on a good note?
I have always believed that the leader of a team needs to be clear on the direction of the group and inspire others. I started this year on a positive note and implemented key procedures that will ensure we keep each other accountable to achieve our goals.

6.    How important is it for a team to be motivated in the beginning of a new year?
This is probably one of the most important things to get right at the beginning of each year. If your team is not motivated, they cannot achieve the common goal and everyone becomes demotivated. If you are on top of your game you will always have fun.

7.    How often should a team in this environment be motivated?
I motivate my team on a weekly basis. However, there are certain individuals I motivate on a daily basis. You also need to be very self-motivated in our environment. Daily affirmations and reading inspirational literature also helps.

8.    Do you encourage creative thinking? And I you do, how do you encourage creative thinking within your team especially when they're feeling discouraged?
Definitely! If there is something that is not working or can work better, we often get together as a team and get each person's ideas and input. As a leader, you need to create a safe environment for individuals to share their ideas and make them feel heard. I like to do fun activities / play games to get the creative juices flowing.

9.    What do you hope to accomplish in 2017?
I want to achieve my branches revenue targets and really see my team members reach their full potential.

10.  What advice can you give managers who are battling to get their team ready for the year ahead?My advice would be to get together, get out of the office and have a strat session where everyone can share their goals. This is a great way to build team spirit and inspire your staff to want to achieve their goals for the new year. 

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