Career Advice: Working Life

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How a Thesis at University Led to a Job Offer
The chairman of Interbrand Sampson, Jeremy Sampson, has worked between SA and the UK for over three decades. He is a visiting professor at the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business, lecturing on reputation, marketing, branding and design. He told Adele Shevel that the old skill still counts... read more
My Brilliant Career : Every woman's dream job
Frieda Dehrmann is a beer taster at SABMiller as well as being the group's consumer science and sensory manager. She tells Margaret Harris about the ideal mix of art, science and commerce... read more
How to be Smart With Your Increase
What's the first thing you do after getting a salary increase? If you are like many other South Africans, you increase your standard of living in accordance with your new, improved position and, in so doing, buy yourself a seat on the wage-slave bus... read more
How to Impress The Boss - or Not
Top CEOs reveal what attributes they most like - and dislike - in employees... read more
Becoming Better at The Balancing Act
Kirsten Morgendaal, area director of Regus, spoke to Margaret Harris... read more
My Brilliant Career : Projecting The Image You Want
Chata Romano is an image consultant and author as well as the president and founding member of The Complete Image Solution and The Chata Romano Training Academy. She speaks to Margaret Harris about helping people to look their best... read more
How to Look After Your Money When You Change Jobs
The days of working for one employer for 35-odd years before receiving your golden watch are long gone. Today more and more people change jobs numerous times during their careers... read more
My Brilliant Career: Moving on? Call in The Experts
Richard Osrin is the founder and owner of Moving On, a company that helps people sell the things they don't want when they move house. He told Margaret Harris how he found five Krugerrands under a mattress and that every last thing gets sold at his sales, down to a half a tin of paint... read more
Top 5 Jobs on The Road to Riches
Choosing a specific career whose skills are in demand is the way to go if you want to prosper. But you have to keep upskilling... read more
My Brilliant Career: Happy to Put His Life on The Vine
Mike Ratcliffe tells Thekiso Anthony Lefifi why he abandoned his dream of becoming a skipper - and why he has never regretted taking up the art of winemaking instead... read more
My Brilliant Career: Tessa Whyatt - Finding Healing Through Art
Tessa Whyatt is an art therapist who uses art to help her clients work through their emotional issues. She tells Margaret Harris how the therapy is well suited to children who find the process of making art a natural method of communication... read more
How to Avoid Burnout
People reach burnout when they have experienced unrelenting stress over a long period... read more
My Brilliant Career: All Hail The Wedding Planner
Angelique Thompson takes care of a bride's big day, from settling on a style to organising transport. She told Margaret Harris how she remained calm in the face of a bridezilla and was always ready to avert disasters like forgotten wedding rings or the effect of horrible weather... read more
My Brilliant Career: Carving Timeless Artworks
Sam Devine is a carpenter who makes custom-made furniture that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. He spoke to Margaret Harris about how, when working with wood, it is important to take into account that it continues to expand and contract... read more
Language Skills Speak Volumes
Getting by on just English is a thing of the past in business... read more
Q & A: The Effect of Difficult Bosses on Employees
Jay Owen of organisational performance company The Human Edge, spoke to Margaret Harris... read more
My Brilliant Career:Andrew Donkin - The fruits of Your Own Labour
Andrew Donkin is the owner of Home Organic, which produces organic gardens in containers to help people enjoy the fruits - and vegetables - of their gardening labour. He told Margaret Harris that nothing beats tomatoes eaten straight from his organic vegetable garden... read more
How to Stand Out if You Are an Introvert
Most offices are filled with highly social people, and the corporate culture that results usually favours people who work best in teams... read more
My Brilliant Career: Young and Old Learn New Skills
Lynda Smith is the CEO of BrainBoosters, which produces educational material for young children, and runs the Refirement Network, which encourages Baby Boomers to find ways to give back to their communities rather than retire. She tells Margaret Harris how she aims to encourage parents to educate their children... read more
My Brilliant Career: Young and Old Learn New Skills
Lynda Smith is the CEO of BrainBoosters, which produces educational material for young children, and runs the Refirement Network, which encourages Baby Boomers to find ways to give back to their communities rather than retire. She tells Margaret Harris how she aims to encourage parents to educate their children... read more
Motivating World Youth to Dream
Yashivan Govender is a motivational speaker who uses his adventures in business to encourage other people to take risks and make changes in their lives. Margaret Harris spoke to him about his globe-trotting and the impact his ideas and concepts have had on youth... read more
How to Get Noticed at Work
Bosses do not promote people who disappear into the background, even if they follow their job description to the letter. To get ahead at work, you need to stand out and show your manager that you have influence... read more
My Brilliant Career: Grappling With Art and Fighters
Sergio de Freitas is a real martial artist - he is both a Brazilian jiujitsu instructor and a painter, he told Margaret Harris about how the two roles require creativity and complete dedication... read more
My Brilliant Career: Travelling To Teach The Continent
Lesego Mookapele travelled through South Africa and five other African countries to unite the youth of the continent under the banner of her tiny organisation, One Path Africa. She told Margaret Harris how the seven-month road trip, during which she reached Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, involved community development programmes... read more
How to be More Assertive in The Office
Today 39% of South Africa's workforce are women, and 11% of top management positions are filled by women, but many working women are considered aggressive if they stand up for themselves, whereas the same behaviour in men is considered assertive... read more
My Brilliant Career: Winnie Kunene - Money Makes The World go Round
Winnie Kunene is a money psychologist who understands that money is at the core of independence and self-reliance. She tells Margaret Harris she loves helping people make better decisions to get their financial affairs in order... read more
My Brilliant Career: A Love Affair That Became a Job
Yael Marom works as a travel consultant, helping people to plan holidays of a lifetime. She told Margaret Harris that even finding cockroaches in her headboard while on holiday has not dampened her spirit of adventure... read more
My Brilliant Career: Marvelling With Metal
Cathy Bentley dreamt of being an artist when she was a child, and today she has realised this dream. She spoke to Margaret Harris about creating sculptures by grinding metal... read more
Keeping Ahead of The Pack
Gavin Krenski is in charge of innovation at alcoholic beverage company Brandhouse. As the marketing and innovations director, he leads the company's marketing team as they try to keep consumers and retailers happy with a steady flow of innovative products. He spoke to Margaret Harris about how people need to be innately curious before they can be innovative... read more
How to Make 2012 a Great Working Year
If you are feeling stuck and uninspired at work, 2012 may be the perfect year to get your act together and set some career goals. read more
My Brilliant Career: Looking at The World Anew
Nisbert Chimboza is a geographic information systems (GIS) technician who helps to create useable, three-dimensional images of the world. He tells MARGARET HARRIS his job requires technical ability and communication and interpersonal skills... read more
My Brilliant Career: Lindile Manzingana - Making Sure The Wheels Turn
As the production maintenance manager for a Procter & Gamble factory, Lindile Manzingana makes nappies, or at least makes sure that the nappy factory runs smoothly. He spoke to MARGARET HARRIS about how his job is a conversation starter and gave some tips on how to survive on overseas postings... read more
How to Approach Those Difficult Conversations
Recent research shows that many companies lose female employees because they do not feel comfortable initiating difficult conversations at work. read more
My Brilliant Career: Glamour Can be Effortless, on Budget
As the CEo of fashion chain Queenspark, Catherine Radowsky lives and breathes beautiful clothes. Her fashion sense is stamped into her DNA as she is part of a family that owns clothing company Rex Truform, the owner of Queenspark. She told Margaret Harris how to look good even when money's too tight to mention... read more
My Brilliant Career: Wade Bales: Up Close and Personal With Grapes
Wade Bales is a wine merchant who scours the Cape Winelands for quality wines for his clients, he told Margaret Harris about how the personal service he gives his customers makes him a little like a private banker for wine lovers... read more
If You Want a Job, Get a Degree That Fills a Gap
South Africa's formal unemployment rate sits at around 25% and there is a huge pool of unemployed graduates... read more
My Brilliant Career: Karen Van Rensburg
Karen Van Rensburg travels extensively to source and test baby products. A large proportion of baby products South African parents have come to trust found their way onto local shelves because of Van Rensburg. She spoke to Margaret Harris about how much she enjoys finding products that simplify parent's lives... read more
My Brilliant Career: Paul Anley - Thrilling Fight in Generic Drug Wars
Paul Anley is something of a pharmaceutical activist, the founder and CEO of generic medicine company Pharma Dynamics has rocked the boat by questioning the marketing tactics of manufacturers of patent drugs. He spoke to Margaret Harris making drugs more accessible to more people... read more
How to Spend Your Bonus Wisely
As the year comes to an end many people begin to think about how their December bonus will fund their planned summer holiday or some other longed-for luxuries. But before you blow it, take some time to consider your best course of action, especially if you are indebted... read more
My Brilliant Career: Julia Gichuri - Multiskilling Makes it Manageable
Julia Gichuri is a researcher at TNS Research Surveys. She spoke to Margaret Harris about how she needs good people skills, as well as the ability to sort and process data, for her job... read more
How to be a nicer Boss
People do not leave jobs, they leave bosses, says Johan Ludik, the MD of OIM leadership talent at business improvement consultants OIM International... read more
My Brilliant Career: Yanga Dumalisile - Taking Job Specs Back
Yanga Dumalisile is an optician who is setting up an eye clinic in the former Transkei. She speaks to Margaret Harris about how her own poor eyesight as a child inspired her to help others... read more
How to lead with Confidence
Good leaders don't react to the day-to-day noise in their business, but look for systematic and strategic solutions that resolve today's problems and prevent future problems from occurring... read more
How To Unlock Your Team's Potential
You lead a team of individuals, but together you have to deliver on time and on budget - how can you turn your self-focused colleagues into a killer team? Wendy van Schalkwyk, a freelance business consultant, says a skills audit is vital so you know where the strengths and weaknesses lie. "Ensure your team has all the necessary skills to deliver your mission or team purpose," she says... read more
My Brilliant Career: Nick Wilkonson - Cycling Into World Of Olive Groves
Nick Wilkinson, who farms olives near Stellenbosch, told Margaret Harris how doctor's orders and a desire to move to the Western Cape after years working in Central Africa changed his life... read more
My Brilliant Career : Shannon Winterstein
Shannon Winterstein is an auctioneer and the managing director of Aucor Group. He tells Margaret Harris that, no matter how much something might be worth, it can be sold at auction in a minute... read more
Art Inspired By Nature And Culture
Bishop Tarambawamwe, the founder of Master Wires and Beadcraft in Cape Town, creates art with beads and wire. He told Margaret Harris about a beaded version of Table Mountain he had made and the beaded animal trophies tourists like to take home... read more
How To Say No Without Ruining Your Career
Most people find that saying "no" when asked to take on an extra project at work is one of the most difficult things to do. "However, over-promising and under-delivering is much worse," says Sandra Burmeister, the CEO of Landelahni Recruitment Group... read more
Making A Splash To Teach Life Skills
Lelani Weitsz is a swimming instructor at a swimming school in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg. She told Margaret Harris about how proud she feels when a child manages their first unaided swim across the pool... read more
Payroll: Unsung Heroes Of Successful Business
Val Forrest, the executive director and administrator of the South African Payroll administration, spoke to Margaret Harris... read more
My Brilliant Career: Baker Julian Platt

Baker Julian Platt runs a coffee shop in Bryanston, Johannesburg. He spoke to Margaret Harris about the chocolate chip biscuit that started it all, and about nurturing the wild yeast cultures he uses in his bread...

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Building A Successful Career
If you want to build a successful career there are important skills you should possess and traits or behaviour to avoid. Here are 10 tips for building a successful career... read more
Career Dream Achieved
For Valencia Jacobs having a fulfilling career in science while raising a family wasn't impossible - but it wasn't a walk in the park... read more
My Brilliant Career: Noluthando Nematswerani
Noluthando Nematswerani, a clinical risk specialist with Discovery Health, ensure that HIV-positive members have access to the kind of care that ensures a high quality of life. She spoke to Margaret Harris about how HIV is not the death sentence it once was... read more
Kick-Start Your Career By Becoming A Bookkeeper


It can be very difficult for first-time job seekers to find employment. Most often, this is because school leavers, and even university graduates, simply don't have any real-world, practical experience that they can offer to their potential employers. In addition, it can be a struggle for workers in low-income manual jobs to find work that is better paying, more fulfilling and that allows them provide for their families. In both cases, the problems are a lack of applicable skills and no means to learn new skills, due to cost, time or travel constraints...

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My Brilliant Career: Tris Alves-More Than Cosmetics
Tris Alves is a makeup artist and beautician who transforms average Joes and Josies into stunners for photo shoots. She speaks to Margaret Harris about how making soneone else feel beautiful lifts her spirits... read more
Don't Lose Sleep Over Failures
Fanie Venter manages a number of extremely successful small businesses. But he has also had to close down many more struggling ones... read more
How To Manage A Difficult Boss
Most people would agree that they have something of a love-hate relationship with their bosses, but some people find the love part of the equation is scarce, if not non-existent... read more
It's A Tough Job Keeping SA In Stitches
Conrad Koch is a ventriloquist who puts his master's degree in social anthropology to good use by using his understanding of culture to entertain and inform... read more
Hannes Loubser Dealing In Dreams But With Feet On The Ground
Hannes Loubser found his niche as a wedding planner at Wedding Concepts in Cape Town after being involved in other creative industries. HE spoke to Adele Shevel... read more
A Guiding Hand In The Planning Maze
Michael Olden is a town planner who runs his own practice in Cape Town. He spoke to Margaret Harris about the challenges of his job... read more
Dancer Puts Her Stamp On Flamenco Business
Once quite a vibrant art form in South Africa, flamenco dancing has moved out of the limelight in recent years... read more
Hot On The Trail Of Fun

Jody Aufrichtig may be a chartered accountant, but he is far removed from the grey-shoed stereotype. The hotelier, property developer and private equity investor talked to Margaret Harris about his innovative hotels, other property developments and his recent deal with

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My Brilliant Career: Joseph Phiri
Joseph Phiri is the localised security scheme liaison manager for ADT Security in Pretoria. He began his career in the security industry as an armed response officer. He spoke to Margaret Harris about how much he enjoys his work with ADT Security and interacting with clients... read more
How To Get The Promotion You Want In Seven Easy Steps
Most of us have plans of where we would like our careers to be in the next five or 10 years, but they will remain just that if we do not become a little more proactive... read more
My Brilliant Career: Arts Manager
Tanya Surtees is an arts manager, a relatively new job in the world of performing arts. She is quick to point out that her role is not the same as that of an arts administrator. Instead the former contemporary dancer acts as midwife to her new art projects... read more
My Brilliant Career : Voice Artist
Voice artist Tully McCully has given his voice to a range of characters - memorably the Caltex white rabbit in the 70's, which has been pulled out of retirement to tell a new generation of children about Caltex one-stop has to offer. He speaks to Margaret Harris... read more
My Brilliant Career : Stephen Francis
Stephen Francis is the writing half of the cartoon strip Madam & Eve, which he created with Rico Schacherl. Francis speaks to Adele Shevel about life as a cartoonist, and why he'd love to be sued... read more
My Brilliant Career: Viticulturist
Unathi Mantshongo is a viticulturist at KWV. She spoke to Adele Shevel about how she combined her love for iology and for nature in choosing her career... read more
My Brilliant Career : Cheesemaker
Louis Lourens is a cheesemaker and the factory manager at Fairview wine and cheese farm in Paarl. He speaks to Adele Shevel about combining science with artistic flair and intuition for a delicious result... read more
My Brilliant Career: Looking After The Ancestors

Lindsay Marshall is the curator at Maropeng, where she takes care of exhibitions and works to encourage a new generation of scientists, specifically palaeo-scientists. She speaks to Margaret Harris about finding concepts that will catch visitors' imagination...

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A Degree Is An Advantage But Not Essential For A Job

Diplomas and short courses could be the route to finding employment. There is little doubt that some form of tertiary education is necessary to increase your chances of employment, but is it necessary to have a degree...

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Careers In Music: Flautist's Winning Ways

Wouter Kellerman tells René Vollgraaff about the challenges and successes of earning an income as a full-time musician...

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Accountancy's Brave New World

It's no longer just about numbers, writes Margaret Harris. They are the butt of many a joke and often disparagingly referred to as "bean counters" or "number crunchers", yet accountants are increasingly taking on new responsibilities in the office beyond their traditional role...

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CEO Of Today Is A Boardroom Politician

SA's corporate leaders need to have strong stakeholder management and political skills in the boardroom as well as within the business says one of SA's leading executive head-hunting firms...

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My Brilliant Career: The Business Of Cakes

Franco Lambiase left his life as a pharmacist 18 years ago to follow his passion of making cakes. He's never looked back. Adele Shevel speaks to him...

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My Brilliant Career: Ghostwriter

Maredi Mogodi is a ghostwriter for those unable or unwilling to take up their pens. He tells Margaret Harris that he discovered his talent as a law student, acting as a scribe for his peers who had difficulty expressing themselves...

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My Brilliant Career: Pro Golfer Turned Knifemaker!

David Owen is a pro golfer turned knife maker; he speaks about the knives he makes, and how hard it is to hand them over once they are complete...

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My Brilliant Career: A Comfortable Bed Is Not Enough

Yann Gillet, the outgoing General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg, says the secret of a hotelier's success lies in the small details. He spoke to Margaret Harris about how South Africa exceeded his expectations when he moved here...

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My Brilliant Career: Making A Living, Now In 3-D

Ryan Crocker is a senior 3-D artist and animator at Spaghetti Media. He speaks to Margaret Harris about how animators need to have strong people skills along with an ability to draw...

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My Brilliant Career: Master Distiller at Bushmills

Colum Egan, master distiller at Bushmills, Ireland speaks to Adele Shevel on why he feels he was destined to work at the distillery on the banks of St Columb's Rill...

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Chairmen The Focus Of Training

Specialists believe company chairmen in South Africa need training to improve their corporate governance skills...

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The Zen Of Bakkies
The braai is set up, your mates start arriving and the beers are cracked open as the first half of the Rugger is about to begin. Before kickoff you watch the players psyching themselves up for battle and they all seem to enter into a zone of concentration in preparation for the upcoming match! What is this zone that sportsman achieve when totally immersed in their passion? They become more aware and take control of their consciousness. These attributes are what separate the tippy-top of professional sports stars, but what does this mean... read more
Big Company Jobs: The Risks And A 3 Step Strategy
Do you think fondly of the 'safety' of working for a large corporation? You may even chase after this 'safety' - hoping you'll be okay by landing a job at one of the 'Huge JSE Listed International Corporations'.

It can work that way. And it's nice when it does. But it can also be a big disappointment. For example; when there's restructuring, downsizing, retrenchment, a merger, or an acquisition, cost cutting, rationalization or a change of CEO. Suddenly your dream job is axed, and you're axed too....

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Think Before You Post About Work
Don't be surprised if your bosses have access to your social networks - and they'll take exception if you slag them off... read more
My Brilliant Career: The Joy of Restoring a Smile
Dr Emmy Nokaneng is a maxillo-facial and oral surgeon. She spoke to Margaret Harris about restoring people's appearances... read more
My Brilliant Career: Dishing up Advice That Pays Off
Larry Hodes, a consultant with The Restaurant Code, helps to keep restaurateurs on their toes. He told Margaret Harris about the importance of sticking to a budget and the need for creativity and a fresh approach when dealing with hospitality businesses... read more
Is Your Job Killing You?

Stress, germs and verbal abuse! These are just some of the factors that may be killing you slowly every day...

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How to Get to Grips With The New Budget
The 2012 budget has received mixed reviews - being called "spiteful" by some commentators and described by others as a Robin Hood budget. But, according to Isaac Matshego, Nedbank group economist, no employees have been negatively affected by it... read more
Happiness is Cutting Down The Commute
Kirsten Mogendaal, the area director at Regus, speaks to Margaret Harris... read more
Misspent Youth = Best Job in SA
As the gaming manager for MWEB GameZone, Desmond Kurz is living his childhood dream of working with the internet and computer games. And, he told Margaret Harris, he has proved to his mother that his game-playing youth was not a waste of time... read more
How to Fall in Love With Your Job, All Over Again
In the same way that a relationship can become dull if we fail to put some effort into it, your job can become uninspiring when left unattended. The secret is to focus on the positive - just like in a relationship - and not let the passion fade... read more
How to Prepare For a Panel Interview
Many companies set up a panel interview as the last hurdle to clear before offering you the job - you've had an interview with someone from human resources and your prospective boss, now you have to meet a wider range of executives who will make the final decision... read more
Apply the Laws of Science
Dario Tanziani is chairman of legal firm Adams & Adams. Brendan Peacock spoke to him about starting out... read more
My Brilliant Career: Linda Mabhena - More power to Africa's arm
Linda Mabhena is an attorney who specialises in energy projects as the senior legal and compliance officer at Mulilo Renewable Energy. She speaks to Margaret Harris about the small changes we can all make for the sake of our planet... read more
Where You Stand On Job Contracts
Employment contracts are supposedly set in stone. But, in reality, some employees have their terms of employment changed unilaterally, which is illegal... read more
Getting Paid To Be Outdoors!
An Ornithologist is someone who studies birds - but many ornithologists do not work exclusively with birds because this career often goes hand-in-hand with a career in, for example, ecology or wildlife... read more
How To Stop Work At Your Desk Becoming A Pain In The Back
Sitting at a desk all day is not good for your back. A study by the physiotherapy department at the University of Stellenbosch found that the duration and frequency of computer work, the sameness of the tasks, job strain and poor ergonomic work-station design were some of the reasons for musculoskeletal pain suffered by office workers. read more
My Brilliant Career: Willie Fouche
Willie Fouche is the founder and CEO of eco-friendly cemetery Legacy Parks. He told Margaret Harris about holding funerals in a private conservation area... read more
Dissatisfied 'Prefer To Remain In Their Jobs'

More than half of female professionals around the world and a slightly lower percentage of their male counterparts are dissatisfied with their jobs...

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A Dream Comes True

Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela is best described as a scientist at the fore front of research that will change the lives of ordinary people...

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My Brilliant Career As A Chocolatier

Kevin Miller is the senior chocolatier at the Lindt Chocolate Studio in Johannesburg. He speaks to Margaret Harris about the art of making chocolate...

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In Just 12 Months, Quirk Will Make You A (Digital) Man
A common cause for headaches amongst prospective employers in the digital and internet marketing arena is a severe lack of marketers with online know-how. One South African eMarketing company has been doing something about it with an aggressive internship program/baptism by fire for wannabe eMarketers... read more
Managing Your Relationship With Your Manager
Tips on how to build an effective relationship with your boss. Every person, will at some point in their life be managed by someone or report to someone, fondly (or not so fondly) known as the boss. Bosses Day is on the 16th of October and what better day to reflect on the relationship you have with your boss... read more
Flex Your Career Muscle By Doing Temporary Work
Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life is tough, if not impossible. What if you turn twenty five and change your mind? What if you get bored... read more

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