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50 Responses

  1. Hi Yusuf,

    Thank you so much for your insightful and helpful website.

    I work for a large and well-respected company; I love my work, the people and always try to give 100%. My greatest challenge is the people I report to; they always try to put me down, sabotage my work, don’t want to train me, gossip about me to the rest of the departments etc. At times it really gets me down but I’ve learnt not give away my power by being a victim.
    What worries me the most is that this also affects my earning potential; I’m paid much less than the rest of the people in my department – yes, I might not have much experience as the rest but on many occasions I’ve taught them a thing or two, also I’ve got qualifications that others don’t have.

    I don’t want to live the company as I really love it here. What is a girl to do?

    Thank you

    Sindy May 21, 2010 at 6:00 am #
  2. Sindy, I’ve e-mailed you a response.

    Yusuf Mahomedy May 21, 2010 at 8:36 am #
  3. Well frankly, I think I do more than my share at work and if I am lucky i would get a thank you. I do know for a fact that I am getting paid too little if it had to be compared to my qualifications and experience but like they all say it pays the bills. In my recent KPA where I scored rather well, I asked for an increse guess I just have to hold thumbs till my salary gets reviwed in June. I would be a so- so employee

    Nadia June 3, 2010 at 9:51 am #
  4. Lesson 2- I think the main reason for wanting a change in my work situation is because it’s time for me to get the benefits. I am tired of letting my work take up most of my time and in actually fact not even getting compensated for it.

    Nadia June 3, 2010 at 10:01 am #
  5. Lesson 3- I have a career system that comes and goes as it pleases. Haha, ok I may be the cause of that problem but sometimes when I finally decide to put my foot down and make the next move in my career, my hopes get dashed by either a letter of regret or the fact that I require more years of experience… so sad, I wish there was something in place where we could job shadow in order to gain the skills for future placements.

    Nadia June 3, 2010 at 10:12 am #
  6. lesson 4- my start is right here and hopefully I get to gain some useful info that will help me in my careeer path.

    Nadia June 3, 2010 at 10:16 am #
  7. lesson 5- my career challenge is simple. I am currently in a job that I like and don’t feel stressed most of the time. My issue is my salary but if I look below the surface i think I am ready for a career move, I have learnt what I need to here and its obivious that I am not going to get a promotion, I dont want to hold this current title all my life… I want better and I want to be better but I really dont know where to start…

    Nadia June 3, 2010 at 10:25 am #
  8. Nadia, I’ve dropped you an e-mail

    Yusuf Mahomedy June 4, 2010 at 8:39 am #
  9. I just want to go on my own. I strongly believe that I can make it. I have the spirit and the uptitude to make a go. I would honestly need your help. I have improved myself and am still doing so. I would like to be guided, mentored as I take this life time goal into a reality. I have tried before and could not grow or get established. I need your indeepth wisdom in this regard.

    Mandie June 14, 2010 at 11:26 am #
  10. Mandi

    If you are planning to start a business, I suggest that you:

    (1) Attend our next free SME event here:

    (2) E-mail me info about your previous business endeavour

    Yusuf June 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm #
  11. Hi Yusuf

    Lesson 1 Response: I’d have to say that so far in my 10 years of working, I’ve run the gambit of happy to so-so to totally fed up!

    The fed-up part led me to where I am now – working at a job I love, while still being able to go home with enough energy left for my family.

    However, I find myself thinking about the future, some what-ifs and where am I headed? I truly am happy where I am, but it occurs to me that should things change suddenly, where would that leave me?

    Rene July 14, 2010 at 11:38 am #
  12. Lesson 2:

    1) I want to make work work because not only do I want to feel fulfilled, but I’m not one of those people who can be unhappy in my job. I also want to build on my career and earn a decent living. I’m happy for it to simmer while my kids are still little, but will take it up a notch as they get older.

    2)The benefits are varied. On the one hand, I’ll have a job I love coming to every day. I’ll feel rewarded and fulfilled, and constantly learning and being challenged to do more.

    Rene July 16, 2010 at 9:46 am #
  13. Still on point 2.2: I need money to survive, and would like to earn enough money to do a little more than that.
    I can set goals for myself, both long and short term, and work towards achieving them.
    Hopefully, I will also gain a strong reputation in my field and be highly regarded by my colleagues and clients.

    Rene July 16, 2010 at 9:49 am #
  14. Lesson 3: I don’t have a career system, and I realise now that that’s a mistake.
    I need clarity in my mind as to what I want from my job now (which I have), but then also where I’m headed and how to get there.
    Like you said, when something blocks an avenue I’m pursuing what is plan B?
    When is it time to move to a place where my goals and ambitions will be realised – or to learn how to negotiate with my current employees.

    Rene July 16, 2010 at 10:10 am #
  15. Lesson 4: I think I’m already doing many of these; noth to learn and to network.

    What I’m beginning to realise is that athough it hasn’t been my intention, I am also marketing myself and creating a reputation for myself. I think I need to be more aware of this, so I’m putting the right message out there.

    Rene July 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm #
  16. Lesson4: I find these lessons very interesting and well informing and I am realy trying my best to do what they entail as much as possible. It very thoughtful of someone like you to put out this information for us to utalise.

    Doctor July 22, 2010 at 9:26 am #
  17. Lesson3: I dont have a career system because I did not what that is until today so I am very thankfull and I am willing to start working towards one.

    Doctor July 22, 2010 at 9:39 am #
  18. Lesson1: I have not yet started working but because I had this information beforehand I intend to do my best not to fall in the trap, thanks for the information(tip).

    Doctor July 22, 2010 at 10:02 am #
  19. Rene

    Thank you for the contributions here – we are working in times of rapid change, especially in the private sector, where a range of uncontrollables can capsize one’s career. Work-life balance, pay, reputation – you have touched on important issues.

    Yusuf Mahomedy July 22, 2010 at 11:08 am #
  20. Lesson 5: My career challenge right now is answering the question: “where to from here?”

    Should something happen to change the current landscape (as far as my job is concerned) what would my next step be? I’ve never looked at my career with a big picture or a longterm plan in mind. I think I need to change my thinking in this regard, so that my career progresses on my own terms and with some foreward planning in mind.

    Rene August 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm #
  21. Hi Yusuf,

    My career has stagnated and I do not find fulfillment. I have so much more energy and can contribute so much more but I need to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ first. At present I am coasting through day to day – no challenge and no enjoyment. This cannot go on ’till I retire in 14 years!

    I’ll read the first chapter you have sent me to see what its all about.

    Eric September 6, 2010 at 3:58 am #
  22. Hi Yusuf,

    Lesson 1:

    I left full time employment 3 years ago and I am feeling down at the moment. As a 56 year CA I wonder if I can get back into full time financial management employment or if I can make with your help my tax and accounting practise fulfilling and rewarding.

    Greg September 6, 2010 at 4:46 am #
  23. Lesson 1
    I was a fed up employee and took a package 3 years ago.
    Yusuf I am despondent and need your help to find the right incoming earning work.

    Greg September 7, 2010 at 6:45 pm #
  24. I need to use my skills and abilities to add value to businesses and society. In doing that I will earn a living and sustain my working life to beyond the current retirement age and regain the energy need for me to perform and be adding value.

    Greg September 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm #
  25. No work system in place as when I was offered promotions I wrongfully did not move on and preferred to stay where i was. believed that there was always room for improvement and growth in any job i was doing so long as the leadership of the company had the right mission and strategy.

    Greg September 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm #
  26. Oops that was lesson 3

    Greg September 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm #
  27. Lesson4
    By deciding what i should be doing based on who I am and where i should be going but in any event I must bring my online recruitment information in line with my current situation while promoting myself

    Greg September 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm #
  28. Yes i am ready to start building my experience in my financial services practise with your help Yusuf.

    Greg September 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm #
  29. Lesson 1.

    You are quite right, I am one of those depressed individuals at the moment. I am busy trying to get some capital to get my marketing efforts on track. I have also started a new business, targeting a different sector of the economy, and I am hoping to get some WORK SOON.
    Basically, I am breaking the golden rule “stay focus” because I am starting to think it has been too long and a change of positioning could help. What do you think?

    Nora Rasenti September 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm #
  30. Lesson 2
    I appreciate your presenting me with the chance to think through this things. I want to make my work work because I have tried to make career choices with the impact that these choices could make in the lives of others, and even to a degree, in the economy itself, in mind. I think most people would like to make some form of social contribution through their work – some even call it a form of worship …

    Nora Rasenti September 10, 2010 at 3:04 pm #
  31. Lesson 3: Wow I’m one of those individuals who’ve never had a proper career System I’d make a good career guidance example because starting from Matric I’d been confused by the number of courses I could take and opted for PR and did my stint in the industry didn’t like it wanted Marketing didn’t work out, and now am just working for a salary. There is so much I can do to guide my career but am not sure which questions to ask myself and how to begin but one things for sure I want to take ownership of my career development.

    Azola September 14, 2010 at 9:56 am #
  32. 14.09.2010

    Yusuf: I do not have a career system, but I do have an strategy in place. It has assist me this far. Yet, a career system sounds more involved, more complex. Would you care to elaborate ?
    Thanks, NORA

    Nora Rasenti September 14, 2010 at 11:21 am #
  33. Nora

    It is great that you thinking through the issues as you go through this course.

    Before switching track, check that you have the time, resources and (money) to achieve you have goals, especially in the short term.

    I agree, most people would like to make some form of social contribution through their work.

    Yusuf Mahomedy September 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm #
  34. LESSON 4
    This certainly was an inspiring lesson. I think most of us procrastinate waiting for the perfect moment at the perfect place, when marketing, and networking could be taking place basically everywhere. Thanks for the insight. Could you cover some marketing strategies at some of yur future Small Business Events? Regards, NORA

    Nora Rasenti September 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm #
  35. LESSON 5

    Thank you for the e-Course- it has certainly be worthwhile. I would like you to consider changing your events from inspiring memories into working tools, by engaging our services in ThePaperAssets. We can provide minute taking and transcriptions services for your conferences, meetings and events. Go ahead, engage our services!!!

    How about that?

    Nora September 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm #
  36. LESSON1: I work for a highly respected IT company in Sandton. I have identified myself with the so-so employee. I give 110% in my work, I do above and beyond what is required. Recently I have had a rough time as I have been waiting for almost 1 year for my promised permanent contract and have been identified as one of the small group of people who are a great asset to the company. The problem is that when I was to renew my contract with the contracting house, I was told that I could not get my increase because of this so-called conversion, this was in October last year. I have been patiently waiting, while in all the time accumulating debt. I have always been able to manage my finances in a way where I could save as well. I find myself in financial distress now and when I speak to my manager all I get are excuses and the company is asking me to be more patient. I don’t think I can wait any longer. I was also told that I was doing such a great job in my current position, they cannot lose me here, even with capable people who can easily take over. Because of this, I have been denied the opportunity for further career advancement in other departments. I love my job, I enjoy what I do and I love the people I work with. I continue to give 110% and have taking on more work and projects, however, at this point I have lost all respect for this company, it’s ethics towards it’s employees. Job-hunting for a better salary and position is not my ideal situation (I have always seen myself as a loyal person who will work hard to get to my career goals), but that’s what I have been trying to do as it is clearly not going to happen here. Job-hunting has not been easy or fruitful so far.

    Nonku September 20, 2010 at 7:29 am #
  37. The report is thought provoking. I found it did not apply so much to me, because I have been trying to get my business off-the-ground for some time. Job hunting has given way to looking for work. But I could relate to the negative issues – and the article helps put those in perspective.
    From an IT perspective, I COULD ASSIST in making the report look more high-tech. It is easy to grasp the concepts and that is a big plus that relates to lay-out and formatting – not just writting style

    Nora Rasenti October 8, 2010 at 10:22 am #
  38. Greetings,

    Firstly I would like to thank you for supporting us in building our careers, I really appreciate it.

    At the beginning of this year I have started a student society which I
    want to register as a non-profit organisation. It generally deals with
    guiding the learners (matriculants in particular) in as far as their
    career paths are concerned. It did not go very well since we did not
    manage to reach as many schools as we had planned. The public
    servants’ strike also had an adverse impact on this.
    Our biggest challenge was not only the said strike but also the
    insufficient funds. We had applied for sponsors for the stationery and
    other things which we needed to carry out our services but the results
    were not pleasing. What I think is the problem, is the fact that we
    are not a registered organisation. Now what I would like to know from
    you is that will there be any material changes upon the registration
    or the problem just lies on our poor strategies?

    I would highly appreciate the advice.

    Regards: Fikile Shoba

    Fikile October 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm #
  39. Lesson Two – Working in the public sector is challenging and I need to feel a sense of achievement when sucessfully doing my work. I don’t need recognition but I want to come away from my job feeling that I have earned the good salary I am being paid.
    The end result of my efforts can and will play an important part in how people view service delivery.
    Getting paid to do an entry level persons work, is just plain crazy when I can offer so much more. It’s also a step back from where I thought I was headed in my career.

    Hence the dilema I’m faced with – Do I stay to prove myself in a frustrating environment or do I use this as the catalyst to change careers and venture into a new area?

    Asma November 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm #
  40. Lesson three – I have no formal career sytem in place.

    I know that my objectives in my job are to:
    a) Get as far as I can in my environment, proving my worth and challenging myself. Make my job have an impact on the successful outcome of an organisation.

    b) Getting good returns via salaries and bonuses

    c) Enjoying the ride along the way, otherwise whats the point of going to work everyday??

    Asma November 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm #
  41. Lesson 4 – While “official” networking opportunities are not always available, I’m try to make better use of the small, inconsequential meetings and corridor introductions.
    While it often leads to being the next stop in an endless cycle of queries and problems, small gems are sometimes found.
    Like getting to meet mayors, CFO’s and industry captains.

    I realise that these opportunities are valuable(and rare) and should be seized, so how do I make the most out of them short of handing out my business card?

    Asma November 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm #
  42. Hi Yusuf
    I was most definately travelling the so-so path for a while. Then my boss transferred to Head Office, we got a new boss and the changes he brought with him sent most of us along the Fed-up route. I reached the end of my tether rather rapidly as I do not suffer fools easily. I have started my own business now and am pushing hard to make the business work for me instead of me being the business. Despite the stresses now, I feel a real sense of self as I take on the challenges that my new venture throws at me.

    Rob March 1, 2011 at 3:49 pm #
  43. Hi Rob

    Congratulations on starting your business. An excellent book on the issue of business working for you vs you being the business is The EMyth by Michael Gerber. If you are in Jhb, I suggest that you attend our upcoming SME event on 5 March 2011.

    Yusuf Mahomedy March 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm #
  44. Hi Yusuf, thanks alot for this oportunity. At last my computer and internet is working again.

    My problems seem to be alot like some of the problems mentioned in this course. Sindy takes alot of the words out of my mouth. Battling to be accepted, doing more than require, be there , solving the problems, it can go on and on, but I love my work and industry. Sometimes I think it is me, but work is like a relationship. You cannot give and not receive. I design and implement new procedures, it is followed for a few days, the managers dont follow-up, problems arise, and it land with me. Should you say something, it is disregarded, just to land on your desk a few days later, no the problem has escalated. But I see these as challenges, to once again prove myself. I trained most of the staff at work, and I love to see how they develop and grow. I just hate it when your input is “rejected” or “by-passed” but when the problems occur, then you must solve it, Or that your instructions are just over-ruled, with no input, the problems arise, and it then gets pushed to you. But above it all , I still enjoy my work and the variety of it. I would just like to see more of the implemetation of procedures and regulations. I am considering, to have a 1 to 1 with the boss, but will he see it my way? Yet he calls on me alot of times. Tricky? I am not sure where I am standing at this stage.

    Tersia March 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm #
  45. Hi, first time in my life, I am given a chance to voice my not recognised – acknowledge – ignored – working life. I started as a secretary (in those days) my last day in this special title was 9 September 1987 – yeah, long time ago. My current CEO (owner of cpy) is my only superior – he has a secretary, but when speaking on the phone to a client which I market, sold and worked hard to get – I am the secretary! WTF?! How do I tell this pompous – arrogant – I know better because I am the boss – without losing my job of course – that I am the backbone that gets the money to pay the bills and the salaries of the people that works for him? For more than 3 years now I am looking for a way out – BUT he does pay good (hmm, which I work for from 6 am to 7 pm), yeah, I give it my all! Even when I sleep I dream of ways of making money for the cpy – HOW to stand without losing, like all the other employees before me – yip there were many before me – that stand their ground and now they are all gone! I am single parent, over 45+ not seeing myself looking for another job – online seeking is just not working. How to have a conversation on selfworth with a CEO without losing your job? Anyone out there with actually good working advise?

    Mirna April 19, 2011 at 6:42 am #
  46. Hi

    If you are involved in sales & marketing, please drop me an email, there are always opportunities in the market for those individuals that can bring in the money! The CEO probably attributes the success of the company to his efforts over staff, including you & others that have left. Stated differently, if you decided to leave, how would he react? Would he confidently carry on the business without you? I doubt that a conversation is going to change his established worldview or behaviour, but I could be wrong.

    Yusuf Mahomedy April 19, 2011 at 7:06 am #
  47. Hi re Lesson 4 – I am scarily tempted to get my employees onto this course!

    I certainly enjoy our offices and try to keep them as friendly and open as possible. However, we are awash with files. Has any one a great idea for storing then away effectively so that the place looks less cluttered?

    I enjoy networking opportunities and go to as many as possible. My company is promoted on both our vehicles and we often gain business in this way. I am on every possible networking thing on the Internet but find that I do not keep the various pages updated often enough. I am aware that this is a time management issue.

    Judith Taylor June 30, 2011 at 11:50 am #
  48. I think that the long term solution to files is to capture & store information electronically. It is good for the environment. More importantly, it reduces the time spent organising and maintaining files, this can be a few days per annum. Keep the minimum in files.

    Networking – there are 000s of sites on the internet, the key is to dominate a few of the sites to generate traffic and leads

    Yusuf Mahomedy June 30, 2011 at 11:57 am #
  49. I’m very happy so far, with all the helpful words of encouragement and poshing my self to seek better for my life and my future.

    Tired of being under paid,and my experience go to waist just for an ungreatful employers.

    I’m busy with my project,hopefuly will get funds to kick it off the ground.
    Thank you so much.

    glenmoore geldenhuys July 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm #
  50. That is fantastic, keep going on this journey – it will take time, it well worth the effort.

    Yusuf Mahomedy July 6, 2011 at 9:46 am #

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