We Invested In Training Our Nanny, And This Is How It Helped Us

This post was created in Collaboration with Super Nannies. All views are my own and is based on my personal experience with Super Nannies.

A nanny will be one of the important people in our children’s lives. Therefore, it was a no-brainer  for me to invest in training our nanny.

When I think about any person who employed even in a work context, I want to ensure this person has the right training and onboarding. So why would I NOT do the same for the person who will be taking care of my children?

Sending our Nanny (let’s call her Sandra) on a nanny training course was an entirely natural thing for me to do. I wanted her to feel enabled, empowered and confident in her role. It also helped me to become a little more comfortable to leave my baby with a nanny as I returned to work.

I found Super Nannies online and we sent our then domestic worker to the Comprehensive nanny training when my eldest was a newborn (who is turning FIVE in two months WHAT!!).

RELATED: 7 Reasons Why I Am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Children

We Invested In Training Our Nanny, And This Is How It Helped Us

1. Empowerment

Our nanny felt empowered as she had more insights now into raising a little baby. They taught her how to stimulate our little one and how to maintain the health, safety, and hygienic environment for our baby.

2. Communication

It opened up the doors of communication so that we can discuss what she may have perceived as okay and acceptable, however may not be for us.

We are all different and raise our children differently (Sandra is a parent too). So it created a foundation for our nanny and myself to talk openly about HOW I want her to take care of my child.

We still have issues and miscommunications that happen (even now) however we can work through them.

3. Development skills

Sandra learned how to stimulate our little baby, and I was comfortable knowing that she was in good hands. She started observing me and helping me with small tasks since my first daughter was born. So she could bring home her ideas from the course and share them with me.

RELATED: All Hell Broke Loose When I Came Home With Baby Number 2

4. Safety and First Aid

Exposure to basic first aid is important. The comprehensive course covers First Aid, CPR and handling childhood emergencies.

5. The importance of balancing cleaning the house and taking care of our baby

Balancing housework and the baby’s needs is a discussion point that must be discussed between the Nanny and Parents. The way I approach our relationship is that seeing to our child (now children) comes first. Although it is a balanced approach.

Throughout the programme I received an email summarizing what Sandra had learnt each week.

Where are we now?

Currently, our nanny has been with us full time for four years looking after my two girls aged one and four. In building our relationship, there has been a lot of ups and downs (as any relationship we have in life). However, her role in our family is built on a solid foundation. Part of creating the foundation was to empower her through Nanny Training.

 

Visit the Super Nannies website to learn more about their training programmes and Nanny Placement Services.

Yep, ‘Parental Burnout’ is a Thing And Makes The Case For ‘Me Time’

Do you think about your life before kids? I don’t as much these days partly because I have forgotten. And I have decided to build in ‘me time’ as part of my lifestyle and so has my husband. Although I complain, he must go do his thing.

A study published in 2017 found what ALL parents already know: like professionals can get burnout, parents can get ‘Parental Burnout.’ I think we all knew that however, it is satisfying to have a scientific article to back that up!

When we have our kids, we fall into the rhythm of ‘being all things to our kids all the time.’

Society, family, friends, ourselves place expectations on new parents. You almost lose yourself when you become a parent.

Even if you don’t put your child first at every single turn, you get subtle cues from the world to ‘get back in your lane.

Well, I am here to tell you…’Me Time’ is a THING! A little time away from your children is actually good for you and your family.

RELATED: Dear Working Mother: Here Is How To Leave Work On Time

[bctt tweet=”Yep, ‘Parental Burnout’ is a Thing And Makes The Case For ‘Me Time'” username=”cherralle_”]

‘Stay in your lane’ Moms and Dads

momme me time parental guiltHere is an example of how we are subtly encouraged to stay in our lane.

I returned from maternity leave, ready for action. My manager was allocating assignments, some of which involved an overnight stay in our coastal regions. All the mothers would not need to take any of the ‘out the town’ assignments out of ‘respect for their new family situation.’

I was safely placed in the ‘new mom who cannot travel’ category. I appreciated the gesture, but…

Hold up, we need that night away from home

I need that night away from home. Parents MORE than anyone need that night away from home.

I mean, to have one day off where you do not need to do bath and bedtime. To wake up not needing to take care of another human being the second you open your eyes. Sounded good to me!

Lesson?Never  make decisions on behalf of parents because you ‘assume’ it is what they need.

What exactly is ‘Me Time’

To avoid parental burnout (yes repeat after me, parents can burn out just from parenting) you need to carve out “me time” on a regular basis. ‘Me time’ means different things to different people.

It can mean getting a massage and a manicure. It can mean vegging out on the couch on Sunday afternoon watching your favourite series, or reading. As long as you are not ‘parenting’.

Are we trying ‘too hard’ at parenting?

As a parent, you often need to be everything to everyone. Ensure that your little one’s every need is taken care of. But do we need to? Understandably when they are tiny our whole lives revolve around their needs. But we take it too far.

Is it necessary that they go to every single party each weekend? Let’s face it, is not ALWAYS fun for the parents. And let’s be honest, they will survive missing a few parties. Maybe it’s a way to curb the development of FOMO when they are older.

[bctt tweet=”Relax a little on the weekend. Have unscheduled weekends. It is okay to miss a few birthday parties. Perhaps it will be a cure for FOMO later in life!” username=”cherralle_”]

Do they really need to do five extra murals? Do they? My little girls are one and four years old, so I have not experienced the ‘busyness’ of extramurals yet. So I may be speaking out of turn!

Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves?

As moms, dads, people, we are all different, and we have different strengths. I am not the Pinterest baking mom. I am not the creative mom. I am certainly not going to create work for myself by pretending to be someone I am not.

I am who I am.

[bctt tweet=”Juggling all the balls can be exhausting. But then we add out balls that do not need to be there.” username=”cherralle_”]

My Upbringing – Did our mom’s have ‘mom guilt?’

I think about my upbringing. My mother worked the whole week, and she was generally home by latest 17h00 from Monday to Friday. However, I never felt neglected or abandoned.  I am also not sure if my mother had ‘mommy guilt.’

Did ‘mommy guilt’ even exist back then?

She sure looked mighty cheerful as she even waved goodbye to us on a Saturday if she had a church event with her church folk. We were more than fine.

You see, I think our mothers had more ‘Me Time’ and less Mommy Guilt!

Your Family will benefit from you being energized

By taking time out for yourself, you press ‘restart’ on yourself. You will be refreshed to re-engage your family.

So do not feel bad the next time you want to ‘do you.

Just whip out the ‘Parental Burnout Research’ summary that I shared with you. You are welcome!

Share this post if you enjoyed it!

 

What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events

How on Earth Does Working Moms Manage To Attend Daytime School Events?

I often catch myself wondering if schools are built around at least one parent not working full time.

Dealing with the competing demands of daytime school events  plus meetings and deliverables in the office is a reality for working moms and dads.

RELATED: Dear Working Mother: Here Is How To Leave Work On Time

Current example

We have puzzle mornings taking place this term and parents are encouraged to sign up and join in  (sessions are 7h30am – 08h45am). A well-meaning comment from someone (I am not mentioning names but you know who you are): “are you only doing one puzzle morning, I see moms’ names down four to five times.”

Hold your horses buddy; I don’t look at what other parents do. I look at what I can do based on my circumstances.

I am sorry, I cannot just attend stuff happening at 8 am whenever I feel like it.

[bctt tweet=”I will do what I can based on my circumstances. I will not compare myself to other parents. Comparison is the thief of joy.” username=”cherralle_”]

Do not forget the important stuff

You don’t want your child to be the one child who did not wear slippers on Slipper Day (I did not forget this, by the way, it is merely an example).

Once I forgot that it was Barefoot Day (the fact that this is a thing was news to me). Thankfully, this was quite easily solved – her shoes were just removed. Close one!

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Then there is the omniscient Newsletter

Our weekly Newsletter is an all important document.  I have dubbed it: The Newsletter of Truth.

The Newsletter Of Truth pretty much controls my life. I look forward to reading it on a Friday afternoon!

Newsletter of Truth Rules

  1. If something is not in the Newsletter, it is not happening *
  2. If something is in The Newsletter, it is happening *
  3. If you have a question, first check The Newsletter

 

*No one can override the Newsletter of Truth, no one.

I joke, but in all fairness, the newsletter is packed with important information.  Such as show and tell themes for that week and any other things they need to bring to school. It really is zero effort to read it.

Top Tip: Buy a kiddie encyclopedia (with lots of pictures). This will cover the most show and tell topics.

Now, on a serious note. Although I like ranting and raving about the school stuff, I do enjoy taking part in my child’s education.

I don’t see education as something happening in school with a teacher. Education happens in school with parents and caregivers participating. It also happens at home.

Here is what I have learned over the last few years. I am a work in progress and by no means achieve this all the time.

What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events

 

working mom_attend preschool event

Plan ahead of time

A calendar is issued ahead of time (termly or monthly) allows parents to plan ahead. When you get the calendar, block out your work diary asap. The keyword here is ‘work diary.’ Not your personal google calendar.

Just block it out, and you can then work around that time. If any work meetings has to be scheduled, people will see that you are busy! And then you are in control of what you can and cannot make.

You can always work around work commitments and then decide which school events you can make.

RELATED: Leaving Your Baby At Daycare For The First Time: Top Tips for Mom and Baby

Prioritise

You may not attend the school baking day, but you would prefer to attend the sports day as you regard this as more important. It is okay to pick and choose the ones that you will attend.

Share the load

If both parents are up for it, you can make an arrangement where each parents takes a turn to attend a school function.

Currently, my husband and I split the school daytime events where it makes sense for us. Although, I do a bit more events as he takes the children to the doctor. That is what works for us right now.

Open communication with the teacher

Chat with your child’s school teacher at the start of the term about what you can and cannot make.

Teachers can step in and take care of kids whose parents don’t arrive. I have seen it at school functions where the teacher steps in. In this way, it is still a fun day for the children.

Yes, it is very challenging. However, active participation in our child’s schooling is essential. So, we need to make a plan.

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Some moments are priceless – and trade offs will be needed

I always think, I am not making the mothers tea at school, but I am making a meeting at work (let’s be honest, all meetings are not equally important). Where will be my presence make the most impact?

Seeing the joy on my daughter’s face when I catch her eye as she is sitting in class. I watch her as she nudges her friend next to her and tells her friend ‘There is MY mommy‘. That is priceless.

Yes we want to excel at work and pay the bills, but I think we should try.  Booking leave is an option if we need to.  And prioritize the most important events.

But try we have to.

How do you manage to attend daytime school events?

[bctt tweet=”Some moments are priceless – and trade offs will be needed to experience those moments” username=”cherralle_”]

 

 

Stay Relevant – How You Can Build In Demand Digital Skills For Free

To build digital skills we need to dip in and out of learning our whole careers

The world is digital.  Therefore, we are living in a world of endless opportunities.

Not only are our current jobs changing, but a host of new jobs are being created as a result of the digital revolution. For example, a Social Media Community Manager role was a new role when I started working in Corporate in 2008, now every brand worth their salt needs a Community Manager.

Digital has a place in every single career in this world. Have you heard about the robot lawyers

[bctt tweet=”Education is not a once off event. Due to the evolution of digital, we all need to dip in and out of learning our whole careers.” username=”cherralle_”]

 

Witnessing the digitization of our workplaces should not scare us.

I choose to see it as an opportunity for growth in our careers and businesses.

Learning digital skills has become incredibly accessible, with a range of free online courses available.

Remember, people and companies with the highest digital literacy will remain the most relevant.

RELATED: #CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop: My 15 Key Take-Outs

What this means in your role, business and industry will continue to evolve.

What exactly is digital literacy?

As defined by  LearningLiftOff.Com, “Digital Literacy is more than simply knowing how to use digital tools. It is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and analyze information using digital technology. It’s also about knowing what to share and who to share it with“.

What approach can you adapt to stay relevant in your career?

build digital skills

Read

Expand your horizon by reading. Follow blogs to learn about the latest developments in your industry.

RELATED: The Side Hustle: 6 Things You Need to Start Now

Experiment

Try a digital project.

Think of something in your current role that you can drive or participate in that has a digital element. An example could be automation or could be building a corporate social media platform.

Disrupt yourself

I love this phrase, it is corny but resonates with me. Also, you disrupt yourself when you are learning something new and applying it. Be open-minded and embrace new ways of doing things.

 

[bctt tweet=”Disrupt yourself by learning something new and applying it.” username=”cherralle_”]

 

Self – Educate

In today’s age of information, there is no reason not to develop yourself.  It is free!

Get uncomfortable

Here is how to build digital skills. And it is free! I have personally tried out most these platforms, and there are many more.

[bctt tweet=”Learn digital to expand your knowledge. There are many free ways to do this” username=”cherralle_”]

These free online courses listed here may serve three needs:

  • Small business owners who want to get an understanding of how to build their online presence
  • If you as an individual want to understand digital and add a skill set to your repertoire
  • Students who have not yet decided what they want to study, and want to do something  that is less of a commitment

Stay Relevant: How To Build In Demand Digital Skills For Free

build digital skills for free
Digital Skills for Africa with Google

Digital Skills for Africa is a one-stop shop to master digital marketing, offered by Google.

Furthermore, once you access the Digital Skills for Africa website, you have access to a full topic library.

Capture your goals on the tool and it then recommends relevant topics. It is simply cool. If you are a small business owner you can utilize this tool to understand how to build your online presence.

The learning library contains the following topics:

  • Building a presence online
  • Connecting through email
  • Get found through search campaigns
  • How to Use Analytics
  • Unpacking Social Media
  • Online Advertisements
  • Building an online shop

 

These topics are not set out to make you an expert on a topic. However, it creates a foundation for learning and experimentation.

RELATED: 7 Things To Look For In A Job (Besides Salary)

Hubspot  Marketing Certification Courses

The Hubspot Inbound certification course provides an overview of how to attract customers to your website through engaging content and interactions.  Therefore, it is another useful course for small business owners, or students who want to gain an understanding of how to operate a business online. Many other courses are available depending on your need.

The Certification course covers:

  • Optimizing your website for search engines
  • Content Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing (Blogging, Website optimization, etc.)
  • Email Marketing and more!

 

This is a great way to understanding how you can leverage digital in any role you have. In the event that you play a business support role or you are client facing you can benefit from these courses. Pick one and give yourself 30 minutes. Only 30 minutes to learn something new.

Coursera

For a more general learning platform, Coursera offers a range of courses taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. Courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums.

The free part is mostly the videos and to get the graded work you need to pay.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is focused on team learning and offers companies and teams an opportunity to customize a learning package that is relevant to the group. The programme provides a one month free trial period.

Discover the in-demand business, tech and creative skills with personalized recommendations and courses taught by industry experts. Build your skill set by watching bite-sized video courses anytime, anywhere.

Let’s connect!

You can find me at the following links: Instagram; TwitterOur Facebook PagePinterest.

#CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop: My 15 Key Take-Outs

#CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop Had An Excellent Panel of Guests, Delicious Bubbly and Thought provoking Content

The #CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop: Influencer Edition, focused on how to make money using social media.

The workshop included fabulous speakers, daring outfits and delicious bubbly from Boschendal Wines. Not to mention an enlightening make up tutorial from MINA and a fabulous goodie bag to take home!

The diverse speaker line up included:

– Three of South Africa’s top influencers:

– Brand Manager of a notable brand (Boschendal Wines)

– Digital Law Expert Emma Sadlier

I wish I took better notes than I did. As Aisha Baker said, ‘just record everything’ (and I clearly did not).

[bctt tweet=”#CosmoHustle2018 Career Workshop Influencer edition shed light on the influencer career path in South Africa. Here are my 15 take aways from the workshop.” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: The Side Hustle – 6 Things You Need To Get Your Game On

I found the day incredibly valuable. There are two angles I looked at it:

1) One if you are a blogger/ influencer who wants to monetize their blog / social media
2) You are not a blogger/ influencer, but you want to gain knowledge of how you can use social media for your work, business and personal brand.

Here are my top 15 key take-aways. Ten are relevant to a blogger/ influencer. Five take-aways pertain to an individual who wants to you use social media to build their business or personal brand. The latter part is based on the presentation delivered by Emma Sadlier.

Cosmo Hustle 2018 Influencer Edition: Key Take-Aways for Bloggers/ Influencers

cosmohustle2018 speaker

1. Be patient, building your voice takes time

Building your unique voice and brand takes time.

When you start building your voice and your brand on your blog or your social media platforms, it will take time to evolve into your niche. What makes YOU Stand out, takes time to develop.

Therefore, it is okay to change as you evolve. You do not need to stick to what you thought you were going to be, two years ago.

However, don’t be all over the place.

2. Be patient (yes again). Investment is required

In the beginning, you will be expected to invest money in yourself.

Such as a website, products you want to display, doing work for free or product exchange. This is a standard part of developing your track record and relationships.

All three social media influencers followed this route at the start of their journeys.

3. Engage with your community

Engagement is a key metric. Again, Sbahle, Aisha, and Kefelwe all shared that it is essential to engage with their followers. As big as their followings are they make an effort (although it does get overwhelming due to the size of their followings).

If you are not receiving engagement from your followers, you need to look at what you are putting in. You do not have 100K plus followers, so engage.

4. Engage with brands you love

Engage with brands you love. Tweet or DM them. In many cases, being a fan of a brand can pave the way for future collaboration.

5. Brands stalk bloggers and influencers. Engagement (yes likes and comments) count.

Likes and comments on your Instagram posts count. A brand manager or PR will  stalk you on social media to get to know you.

  • In short, is your audience engaged?
  • How many likes and comments do you get per post relative to your following size?
  • Are your values and image aligned to the brand?
  • Are you engaged in a relationship with any competitor brands?
  • Brand ‘junkie’ and working with a different brand every week?

 

To sum up, these are a few considerations before an influencer is selected by a brand.

6. Brand + The Right Influencer = Magic!

1+ 1 = 3. A brand has a limited budget and requires a return on investment.

A brand plus the right influencer collaborating creates a ‘butterfly effect’.

In essence, the collaboration brings the brand and its consumers more than what the brand could have delivered on its own.

An influencer makes a brand come alive and creates a connection with an audience.

Proven ability or potential to deliver the ‘magic’ is what a brand is looking for when considering partnering with an influencer. A relevant and engaged following is required.

7. Be authentic

Authenticity emerged as a common theme throughout every single presentation.

Be you, do you.

Log off. Go engage and talk to people. Watch people. Be inspired by people ‘outside of social media’ and be you.

8. Stand out, don’t do what everyone else is doing

When a key trend emerges, always put your unique spin on it. Or go the other way. Whatever works for you.

Haters are going to hate when they see you do this. Keep it moving.

9. Reach out to brands but be prepared for rejection

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a brand manager and pitching an idea. Or requesting to be put on their media list. Charge your rates, but be open to negotiation. Building a relationship with a brand manager.

If you are going to do some work for free, make it count. You can negotiate that based on results any future work is paid.

10. Be consistent

Create consistency so that your followers know what to expect. If you post once or twice a day, or once every other day, stick to it.

Pay attention to which posts (blog and social) gain traction, and do more of those posts.

 

Cosmo Hustle 2018: Key Take Outs for Building Your Personal  Online brand

cosmohustle2018 goodie bag

 

1. Prospective employers will stalk you on online

I wrote previously about the role of social media in hiring decisions, on the Girl Boss Haven blog. Ensure that you maintain an authentic and positive online persona.

Remember, you do not want to be ‘ghost town’ as well, you want to have  a presence. I spoke about the importance of an online profile in this post pertaining to 10 job hunting secrets.

2. Think before you tweet

If you do not put it on a Billboard, do not put it on social media (or on WhatsApp apparently – see point 5 too). Bottom line, do not be an awful human being in any context. Chances are, someone is recording it or taking a screenshot!

[bctt tweet=”Bottom line, do not be an awful human being in any context. Chances are, someone is recording it or taking a screenshot! #cosmohustle2018 #socialmedialaw” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: 10 Job Hunting Tips You May Not Have Heard About Until Now

3. Protect your online profile

If you share, forward or retweet something that is derogatory or discriminatory in any way – it is just as well you wrote it. You take accountability for sharing this message.

4. Be careful about what you say about your employer

Never address any matters relating to your employer on a public platform. Unfortunately, this can lead to dire consequences for an employee and an employer brand. There are too any examples, just google it.

5. Whatsapp groups count as a public platform

I was surprised about this as well. Always think before you press send. To be clear, saying the wrong thing in a WhatsApp Group can land you in hot water too.

Furthermore, not leaving an inappropriate WhatsApp group or voicing your disapproval for certain remarks can also land you in hot water.

I recommend checking out the Digital Law Company’s website and following Emma Sadlier on twitter to stay in the loop on social media law.

In Closing

Overall, the #CosmoHustle2018 Workshop certainly elevated the discussion about influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is not on the high priority list of marketing spend. However, based on what the panel shared , it is moving up the ladder.

I look forward to the next CosmoHustle Workshop!

 

 

Featured Image credit: Vibescout

Post Images Credit: scoopnest

10 Job Hunting Tips You May Not Have Heard About Until Now

Job hunting can be a daunting exercise. Updating your CV, going for interviews and endless discussions can take it it’s toll.

Not much fun is it? There are a few things that trip people up, that I am going to share with you.

Here are ten job hunting tips that you may not have heard of before.

 

10 Job Hunting Tips You May Not Have Heard About Until Now

 

 

1. Set job hunting objectives beyond money

Think through what you want from a role in broad terms. Such as:

  • Income (obviously this is important)
  • Exposure and Growth
  • Industry
  • Role responsibilities and so forth

 

I emphasize ‘broad’ terms because sometimes life can throw you an opportunity you have not thought of before. So, be open-minded.

Tip: When job hunting it’s essential to factor in pay. Equally so there are other things besides money that you need to weigh up.

 

2. The ‘can we have a copy of your payslip’ dilemma

Always a tricky one.

The recruiter will request your payslip to understand how your current package compares with the salary range of the job.

The payslip provides a confirmation of job title as well as actual benefits. (To be frank, most people cannot decipher a payslip properly, they don’t know how to compare ‘apples with apples). HR speak!

Often, a candidate is hesitant to provide their payslip.

Why?

Candidates feel it is unfair to look at what they have previously earned to justify their new salary. Especially so, if they are currently making on the lower end of the range.

My recommendation is to give your payslip.

However, be very clear that you want to discuss the package in line with the role’s level or responsibility and your experience.

If you refuse? Well, it might make negotiation difficult. However, I don’t think it should negatively effect your chances of getting the job.

 

3. Fix your ghost-town LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile needs to reflect your CV and more. Do not be that person that gets put on the ‘maybe’ or ‘no’ pile because your LinkedIn profile is a ghost-town, abandoned three years ago when you last updated it.

Be that person whose profile lands on top of the pile.

Here are six steps update your LinkedIn profile.

By the way, my philosophy is that LinkedIn is not purely a job-hunting tool. It’s a branding tool, that can establish your online presence and showcase your work.

[bctt tweet=”LinkedIn is not only for job hunting. LinkedIn is a personal branding tool, don’t let it become a ghost town.” username=”cherralle_”]

 

4. Ditch that old CV

Do not ever submit a CV in word format (unless requested). Your CV should always be sent in PDF format; it just looks more professional.

Keep your CV in word so you may tailor it to each job you apply for, however, convert to PDF before submission.

Here are 6 Hacks to transform your CV in 20 minutes.

A couple of basic principles:

  • Adapt our CV to the role that you are applying for.
  • Use key phrases similar to the job description in your CV (this is to get past the initial filtering that recruiting software does).
  • Highlight key experiences that are relevant to the job.
  • Add stats and numbers where possible to demonstrate achievement.
  • Remove ‘fake, fluffy and happy speak’. Just speak plainly.

 

5. Networking simplified: Talk to people who do what you want to do

Kick off your networking initiatives, by talking to people who are doing what you want to do.

Simple as that. ‘Informational interviews’ can open the door to more connections. End off each conversation with ‘if I want to explore roles in your company, what would be the next step?’. Be genuine.

I recently came across this tip when I read Designing Your Life.

Include networking as part of your job hunting endeavours in a fun way.

I stress and break out in sweat when I hear that I need to ‘network’! I hate ‘networking’! But I LOVE talking to people, listening to them and having a conversation. Throw away ‘networking’ and just listen.

[bctt tweet=”Networking tip: If you want to be more interesting, be more interested in others.” username=”cherralle_”]

6. Be yourself in the interview and don’t ‘fake speak.’

Be a human being and let your true nature shine through.

Interview preparation is necessary. However, always ensure you are presenting your true self in an interview.

Write down 2 – 3 work experiences, which showcase the best of your qualities and achievements. If you have these 2 – 3 stories down it should cover the most significant questions in the interview. Within each story highlight the parts that relate to the question.

Here is a guide to 8 tricky interview questions and how to go about answering them.

When I say ‘fake speak’ I mean don’t say stuff like ‘I drove a transformative agenda, blah blah blah’. You see, I can’t even type it out, that’s how boring it is. Share practical examples grounded in real life.

7. Give your references a heads up before starting your job hunt

I cannot tell you how many times a candidate is left hanging due to:

  • the recruiter ‘can not reach the reference despite trying ‘ or
  • the reference had nothing nice to say about the candidate (yep this happens!)

 

Follow these three steps to get a decent reference:

  • when you are adding someone as a reference, ask them if they are okay to do this for you. Do not assume someone is okay with being your reference.
  • when your recruiter lets you know they are about to call the references (within a day or 2), let your reference know
  • please put people on your reference list who liked working with you

[bctt tweet=”Always check first if someone is okay with being your reference. Never assume they are okay with this role. It will come back to bite you in the process #JobAdviceSA” username=”cherralle_”]

8. People don’t read; therefore cover letters should be short and sweet

Let me just lay this down.

Do not include a cover letter if you are not investing a little time into adapting it to the role and company that you are applying to.

A cover letter provides you with an opportunity to write a brief story about why you are the best candidate.

Trust, me when I say. Do not submit a cover letter if you have not invested into adapting it. It is a complete turn off when a cover letter is a copy and paste job. Herewith an article about cover letters with examples.

9. Say Thank You

As a standard courtesy, send a thank you note afterward to the hiring manager. If you do not have the contact details for the hiring manager, send it to the recruiter and ask them nicely to pass it on.

10. Clean up your dodgy Instagram (and other social media profiles)

The basic rule of thumb: do not post anything that you do not feel comfortable with your grand parents, parents, boss, colleagues seeing. Simple as that. Craft a favourable online presence (the real you).

Bonus Tip:

Do not be a ‘ghost’ online. Having no online presence may be just as harmful as having a negative social media presence. Developing a positive online persona is no longer optional. It is a must.

Finally

Tell me, what do you struggle with when you are on the job market?

Check out our career resources:

8 Career Tips To Throw In the Trash And What To Do Instead

6 Ways To Add Self-Care To Your Work Routine

Dear Working Mother – Here is How To Leave Work On Time

How I Live My Purpose Through My Day Job – Interview with Lamona

Sharing the stories of working mothers has been an eye-opening experience for me. You may check out the previous interviews here. Each woman’s story I have shared thus far has been unique.

Today I am sharing the working mother story of Lamona.

Lamona and I worked together for a couple of years. Lamona is so wise (like an oracle). A grounded person, with strong values and a innate drive to see equality in this world.

Lamona is a Diversity & Inclusion Lead. Her role is to ensure that people identify their own unconscious bias, and influence the way people perceive each other. She helps others embrace diversity. 

As you all know by now, when it is italics in pink that is me adding my five cents worth!

 

Related Post: How a Life Changing Surgery Inspired This Working Mother – Interview with Nonka

Tell us about yourself

My name is Lamona Rajah and I am a mum to two teenagers. My son is 18-years-old and my daughter is 14-years-old.

Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, KZN.

I came to Johannesburg 17 years ago seeking employment and have never looked back! Johannesburg is my home now.

I am a single mum for the past ten years. I prioritized raising my kids during this time of being divorced.

 

As a 22-year-old graduate, desperately looking for a job with a baby, I had no choice but to take the first available job I found – a teller at a bank.

 

During the next six years that I worked here, I eagerly tried to move into HR, with no success.

I eventually moved into HR after completion an Honours qualification. I then pursued two more qualifications, a B.Com Industrial & Organizational Psychology and a Diploma in Marketing.

 

[bctt tweet=”Here is how a working mother lives her purpose through her day job. How many of us can say that? #workingmom #interview” username=”cherralle_”]

How I live out my purpose in my career

Talent Management got me hooked and I grew into different roles within this space. After 11 years of being in the financial services industry, I moved into a global technology and management consulting company.

I landed a role in the Global Inclusion and Diversity Team.  This was where my day job started to connect to me to my life’s purpose. I thrived on working with individuals on how to identify and leverage their strengths to reach their full potential.

Guys, I can attest this, Lamona is referring to the Gallup Strengths Finder.  You can identify your innate strengths and learn how to use them.

Through using the strengths finder  I found that certain aspects of my personality is innate, and I can embrace and leverage that. If you ever have a chance please try to do it. Example, I like to do lists and close on things (Achiever). I have learnt how to use this to my own advantage in team and also also what I need to watch out for (burn out).

My innate strengths became clear and I learnt how to maximize them in my career. I was headhunted by my current organization to lead their Diversity and Inclusion journey in Africa and the Middle East.

Headhunted’, don’t get it twisted. 

My job is to develop strategies to address diversity challenges

working mom interview_lamona travel

 

  • We live in  a world where there is so much inequality and atrocities due to hate between people.
  • It is a privilege to be a champion for change and show them a better way of mutual respect, trust and human dignity. This is my purpose.
  • I help people reframe their world experiences to embrace and value diversity in others instead of being unconsciously threatened by them.

An important job. I have seen this in action.

All of us carry unconscious bias. Example, we like people who have the same background like us. We hire people who are similar to us. 

Lamona’s job in part is to highlight unconscious bias, and coach people and teams to see the world from a different perspective.

 

What do you LOVE most about your job?

Living my life’s purpose to change the world.

  • I feel that each interaction I have with people holds a precious opportunity to speak the truth that can change the way they see the world.
  • I like teaching others to reframe what they have always known and seek to embrace diversity and be inclusive in everyday living.
  • How we see and treat others because of assumptions and how we may be missing out on so much because of it.

Share with us your top two tips that help you to manage your work life integration (balance) that would help other working moms?

 

  • Everyone has a unique story. Don’t beat yourself up, if yours doesn’t look like other successful women around you. Work with what you have and write your own story. One that fits your life circumstances. For example, if you are single or don’t have a supportive partner/spouse, find a way to create success for yourself despite this. Don’t look at those who have support to propel them in their career. You can find that kind of help in extended family, friends and a good nanny.
  • Don’t try to be superwomen.  There are times you need to go outsource activities/tasks. Identify what you can outsource, be it meals, transporting kids etc.
  • Work on your strengths. If you can cook a mean meal but suck at baking, buy ready-made cake mix or buy baked treats and continue preparing great meals.
  • There are times you will need to vent about how much it all is. Do that. Find a trusted friend or family member that you can express your feelings and frustrations with. Then pick yourself up and walk right through.

Looking back share with us advice you would give yourself as a new mother?

 

  • Don’t feel pressured to conform to an image you grew up to believe is the only way it must be. Write your own story.
  • Don’t feel guilty about needing some time to yourself – leverage all the brooding family around who cannot wait to babysit your child, or help in some way.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. Recognize what works for you and your baby and give it a shot.
  • Be mindful. Be in the moment. Don’t miss the everyday moments. Journal them if you must, so you can go back and relive how precious motherhood is.

 

[bctt tweet=”Don’t feel pressured to conform to an image you grew up to believe is the only way it must be. Write your own story.” username=”cherralle_”]

What do you do to kick back?

Literally doing nothing, just laying on my sofa, and catching up on my thoughts. I also love watching series with my children, when we can chill without me worrying about what to clean next.

Reading an excellent Christian novel is also relaxing for me.

When I can, going out on a hike and being in nature is fabulous to ground me.

 

Lamona thank you for sharing your story with me!  You hold such an important role in your home (as a mom!) but also in society. Thank you .

Lamona is active on twitter, you may check out her profile here.

 

Further Reading: The Side Hustle: 6 Things You Need to Start Now

20 Things I Want To Tell My Twenty-Something Self

I have been reflecting on what I have learned so far in my thirties ( I am thirty-two years old). One of the most important things I have discovered is the importance of energy. What I spend my energy on: is it the right things for my family and me? And constantly evaluating what drains and gives me energy. That is probably a whole blog post on its own.

I have also started thinking about the last decade of my life, my twenties!

Previously I wrote about tips that can boost your careers in your twenties. Here are 20 things I want to tell my twenty-something self with regards to health, life and career.

[bctt tweet=”I have reflected on my twenties and here is what I would tell my twenty-something self.” username=”cherralle_”]

 

Here Are 20 Things I Want To Tell My twenty-something Self

twentysomething_mydailycake

 

 

1. Embrace your body

You are a size 6 (or a size 30) that will never happen again. Stay healthy and embrace your body.

2. You have fantastic skin now, look after it

Start some form of skin care regime now! Your reign of ‘Break out free skin’ comes to an end after you birth your first child.

3. Travel

Travel more; it becomes challenging when kids are in the picture.

4. Save

Make it a habit to learn and apply good, solid financial practices.

[bctt tweet=”Here are 4 out of 20 tips my twenty year old self: Look after your body; take care of your skin; travel and save..” username=”cherralle”]

5. Take a career risk

Trust me; it is okay. Just because you studied on thing does not mean you cannot explore other paths. A career is not a one-track road; it is a jungle gym.

6. Speak up and own your voice

All those times you kept silent, you had something to say. Always respect others, and speak your mind.

Related Post: The Side of Motherhood That We Don’t Post On Instagram

7. Physical Health

Maintain your fitness levels, build healthy eating habits into your lifestyle.

twentysomething_mydailycake_cherralle

8. Continue learning

Don’t be afraid to pick up a new course or anything you find interesting. Having a completed qualification does not mean you have to stop (unless you want to).

9. Don’t Overwork

Work will always be there. Your health, fitness, and relationships are important too.

10. Travel

A repeat because I cannot stress this enough.

 

11. Network

Say yes to networking opportunities even if you do not feel like it. You never know who you might come across.

12. When inspiration strikes, take notice

Pay attention to your body, mind, and soul. When you find something that brings you energy, excitement, and joy…pay attention. It is your own being (or the universe, or some higher being) telling you what you are passionate about. Listen and pay attention.

13. Cut out things and people that don’t serve you

Pay attention to things and people that drain you and remove it from your life.

14. Life is not a destination, but a journey

Enjoy and be present within each phase of your life.

15. Stop worrying about what others think

Actually, no one is thinking about you. People are too busy and involved in their own lives. Do you, and move swiftly along.

twentysomething_mydailycake_mom blog sa

16. Hangovers will be painful in your thirties

Hangovers are just not the same in your thirties. So, if you must go drinking, enjoy your young self. You can bounce back from pretty much anything at this age. In your thirties, not so much.

17. Do something with your hair, for goodness sake!

It took me to get to thirty-one years of age to finally colour my hair.

I know you want to.

So go ahead and experiment.

18. It won’t kill you to slap on some lipstick

Have fun with lipstick and makeup.

19. Always be you

Although, you are a bit strange. The people who matter will still want to hang around you.

20. Oh, and go ahead and marry that guy you are dating. He is a keeper.

And I did!

CHIME IN: What are your key take aways from your twenties?

How A Life Changing Surgery Inspired This Working Mother – Interview with Nonka

Welcome to the second installment of our Working Mother Interview Series, if you missed the first one, you can find ithere.

I met Nonka three years ago when we landed up in the same syndicate group for our Post Grad Diploma in Management (with Gibs). By the way we knocked it out the park as we awarded best group (just saying!).

Nonka is a reserved yet smart woman. What struck me about Nonka is that she is absolutely stunning, but so humble. You would never guess her life story.

Nonka currently works in medical devices as a Neurosurgery and Maxillo Facial Products Consultant. A life changing surgery that took place later in her life it inspired her to want to give back to others.

Here is Nonka’s story. Oh, and in pink, that is me, as always chiming in.

Tell us about yourself, your family and what you do.

mother and daughter _ working mother interview

I am Nonkanyiso Mchunu, originally from KZN, Estcourt from the village called Sobabili in Ntabamhlophe. I currently live in East Rand, Fairleads in Benoni.

I have two brothers, six sisters, and one late sister. I’m the firstborn. My dad passed away when he was 45 years old. As a first born, I had to step in to assist my mum.

I have one, eight-year-old daughter name Imana  Zibusiso.

One of my sisters passed away in 2006 a month after I moved to Jhb. During my pregnancy, I dreamed of my sister asking me ‘what is the baby’s name’? I said her name is Zibusiso, I then woke up and wrote it down, when I checked the time it was 3 am. Zibusiso means Blessings.

Imana Zibusiso

Imana means ‘God provides.’ Thembeka Masukum, one of my best friends, named her Imana. I named her Zibusiso.

Imana is a very fun, loving and caring child. She is also very energetic. She is very health conscious just like me. I sometimes take her to the gym with me.

Reading is one of the activities we do thus I have discovered that she has a talent for creative short story writing (imaginary characters)

We can both model and dance. Sounds like an awesome mother daughter duo.

I work for a medical device company as a Neurosurgery and Maxillo Facial Product Consultant. I support surgeons, nurses and patients who use our products.

Tell us about your career journey and how you landed up where you are now?

Yooh it is a long story – my life testimony.  A moving life story.

I started my career in retail, focused on FMCG, Telecoms and Pharmaceutical.

When you Life’s Mission and Career Collide

When I was a baby I had an illness. I had a leaking mitral valve (important valve that ensures blood flow in the heart). Don’t worry guys, I googled it for us, and I added a link where you can read about a mitral valve is.

Unfortunately, my parents were not aware, although signs were there. When I was in standard eight (grade ten), one half of my body went numb, and I was taken to a traditional healer.

[bctt tweet=”When I was in grade ten, half of my body went numb and I was taken to a traditional healer” username=”cherralle_”]

I stayed there for two months without going to school and only came back to visit my family, I then decided I will not go back there any longer because I was missing school.

I continued my schooling until I finished matric and tertiary. My whole life I was tired and short of breathe and I never understood why.

Once I started working, I had medical aid to do all my health checks. I always felt that there was something wrong.

While working in the Pharmaceutical industry in 2009, I had a mitral valve replacement. This took place a few months after Imana’s birth. My surgery went very well, and my health life was never the same. I felt entirely new and refreshedI love this ‘ I felt new’.

I used to have chest pains, shortness of breath and tiredness without doing anything. The surgery changed my life.

The above long story, especially my surgery success, inspired me to look for opportunities in the medical industry.

I wanted to contribute to saving people’s lives. In 2011 I joined one of the multinational medical devices company. I can tell you now, that I love every moment of my job.

What is the one THING YOU LOVE Most about your job?

My contribution to saving people’s lives.

Share with us your top two tips that help you to manage your work life integration (balance) that would help other working moms?

Nonka fitness_working mother interview

  • I love exercising, and I make it a must do because it makes me feel energetic and refreshed. Therefore, I function better.
  • Time management: priorities your time. I have a to-do list daily (flagged in categories, e.g., urgent & important, important but not urgent).

[bctt tweet=”I love exercising – I make it a must do because it makes me feel energetic and refreshed. #workingmomtip” username=”cherralle”]

Looking back share with us to pieces of advice you would give yourself as a new mother?

  • Don’t worry too much; no one is perfect, it is going to be fine
  • Always remember that you and daddy are a team
  • It is OK to ask for help

Great tips for new moms and for the more experienced ones. Thank you.

What do you do to kick back? (relax?)

  • I take some time out, take a holiday (with my daughter and alone)
  • I try to pamper myself at least once a month (pedicure, manicure, facial, wax and sometimes body massage.
  • Some time out with friends and family (siblings)

Thank you Nonka for sharing your story! Such a great example of when one’s personal life story and work collide.  It is truly inspiring how you overcame your illness and embraced a healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to share your story or nominate a mom friend, let me know!

Further Reading:

I Started My Own Business To Create My Own Flexibility – Interview With Lushia

The Side Hustle – 6 Things You Need To Get Your Game On

The Side Hustle – 6 Things You Need To Get Your Game On

Did you know that the predicted average salary increase for 2018 in South Africa is 5.5%? That is an average people.

Petrol price, school fees and grocery costs increase regularly. The ever-increasing cost of living for a working parent is immense!

You can sit around and wait for the cost of living to catch up with you OR consider providing services in your personal capacity. In steps the side hustle.

[bctt tweet=”“Without hustle, your talent will only get you so far” – Gary Vaynerchuk” username=”cherralle_”]

Joshua Malinga* husband and father, manages a successful side hustle and explains that multiple income streams in a household are imperative.

In my view, it has become imperative for a household to have at least 2-3 streams of income other than your actual job in order for it to function at its potential. Personally it’s not only about it helping me afford my life but what I love about side hustling is that I gain exposure to more things that I would never have been exposed to in my 9 to 5 job – and in turn, I give people exposure to myself without being undervalued.
[bctt tweet=”What I love about side hustling is that I gain exposure to more things that I would never have been exposed to in my 9 to 5 job”  username=”cherralle_”]
 The motto is always ‘Hustle for your last name, not your first name.’ You start to realise that you can add value (and that you’re building on something) while getting paid to do what you ACTUALLY enjoy/love doing.
 
The challenge always arises when you now have to choose what prioritise (job + hustle + family) and that is where most people actually tell themselves they don’t have time. However the benefits always outweigh the stress.”

Thati from The Disruptors further shares advantages of having multiple income streams.

Here is What You need to get your Side Hustle Game On

side hustle what you need

1. A  Bankable Idea

Your bankable idea is something that you can provide to others and get paid for it.

Example:

  • Are you a goddess in the kitchen? Cook and freeze meals for working parents (I will pay for this!).
  • Have impressive technology or digital marketing skills? Provide website development or social media support as a side hustle.
  • A whiz with numbers? Provide financial services to small business owners.

Entrepreneur Magazine provides 20 ideas you may consider for a side hustle. Anyone can start a side hustleif they have an idea and they can apply themselves to the concept.

2. Focus and Discipline

A side hustle is just that, a ‘side’ hustle (until it grows to a point where it becomes your primary income stream).

You need to be able to kick ass at your day job (hey, you still need that one right).

Then go home, do what you need to and HUSTLE.

Self-organization is paramount, so you can ensure that your day job, side hustle and personal commitments all get the required attention.

Related Post: Ace Your To Do List with These 7 Tips

3. You will need to invest

Starting a side hustle may require start-up capital (not always the case). You may need to buy supplies or build a website, get branding, etc. SME South Africa found that 68% of entrepreneurs fund their investments from their savings to start with

4. Read up on company policy

Usually a company would be okay with your side hustle as long as it does not impact your ability to do your day job, and it is not an operation that is in direct competition with your company. However, get in touch with your HR person or read up! It won’t hurt.

Related Post: How to Say No At Work (and win respect while doing it)

5. Get your papers sorted!

Having multiple streams of income may lead to tax implications. Ensure that you meet the requirements. If it’s a small business and you run it as a sole proprietorship the conditions are very limited, read further here.

6. Passion

Go for something that makes you want to jump into another job when you get home from your day job. Pick something that naturally interests you.

Something where you do not mind giving up social events and leisure activities for.

Anne*, a Johannesburg based working mother, shares her view, “Side Hustles should not be seen as a betrayal to your employer or job. We have different parts to ourselves that can’t only be expressed in our 9-5.  It may be for financial reasons or fulfilling a different need.’

[bctt tweet=”A side hustle is not a betrayal to your day job. It’s a path to express other sides of ourselves that are not met at our jobs” username=”cherralle_”]

In Conclusion

Entrepreneur Magazine outlines an additional three crucial elements you need to start a side hustle.

A side hustle is a good idea if you want to increase financial stability through supplementing your income. Or you dream of owning your own business but need a ‘safe space’ to try it out first.

Follow your passion and make smart money decisions.

*Names changed

Chime in! Do you have side hustle? How do you manage balancing your day job and your side hustle? Are you thinking of starting one?