Looking to attract top tech talent? Then lighten up

It is no secret that South Africa, like many others, is fighting a war for talent. With global competition intensifying, local companies simply cannot afford to lose top talent to their overseas competitors.
Looking to attract top tech talent? Then lighten up
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Although many South African companies spend a great deal of effort and resources to attract and retain talented professionals, some sectors are clearly fighting a losing battle. Arguably, IT and technology is among the embattled industries in South Africa, with a dire shortage of skilled IT professionals hindering the growth of a key sector.

Marc Gordon, a developer at local custom software development firm redPanda Software, argues that one of the major stumbling blocks is a stifling corporate culture. Despite the perception that tech firms are fun, vibrant places that allow their staff to play ping-pong in the day, he says that the reality is quite different.

“As a developer, I have been wary of joining a South African corporate because of the traditional management style and the ‘grey’, boring culture that permeates the work environment,” he explains. “In addition to being bogged down by corporate bureaucracy, I have generally found that there is little space to grow and to be challenged by new and diverse projects that can enhance my skills.”

Creative work, creative spaces

According to Gordon, local software development companies tend to be risk averse with regards to the types of projects and campaigns they take on, as well as how they tackle them. In his view, software development is both art and science, and talented developers are fuelled by projects that demand creative approaches and ongoing problem solving.

“Some companies do understand this, and they value that their employees are in fact human beings who require things that may not necessarily fit into the traditional corporate structure,” he adds.

For example, in addition to its casual dress code and on-site bar, redPanda has a ‘creative room’ with musical instruments and drawing/painting materials where employees can go to decompress and take time out. This kind of break is critical, argues Gordon, to effective problem solving and to being both productive and happy throughout the working day.

International exposure

Another major reason why many local IT professionals feel dissatisfied with their lot is because they lack the international experience and diverse projects that many of their U.S. and European counterparts enjoy.

This is one of the major reasons why Gordon snapped up the opportunity presented to him in his current role to undertake a three-month training project at a partner firm in the U.K. The experience was an eye-opener, but not in the way that Gordon had expected.

“As South African software developers, we tend to think that our market is immature, and that we cut corners in the way that we approach our work,” he explains. “Now, after having spent time working in the U.K., I feel that our local developers are on par with their U.K. rivals, and have learned to optimise the way they work out of necessity – and out of a knack for resourcefulness that is quite unique to South Africans.”

Having only recently returned from his training abroad, Gordon is optimistic about the local industry – although he says that companies should undoubtedly be rethinking their management styles in order to both attract and nurture local talent.

“Within reason, companies should definitely be looking into things like flexible and remote working,” he adds. “While it is true that not every Silicon Valley tech incubator embraces flexi-time, the most successful and attractive companies simply recognise that employees are human beings with a unique and individual set of needs and aspirations.”

First time job seekers: be prepared to meet opportunity

The final examinations for Matrics and tertiary students alike are in full swing, and while many learners are focusing on studying, writing and passing, the impending question of what to do next is still a concern for many.
First time job seekers: be prepared to meet opportunityTaking practical steps towards the future you always dreamed of can be daunting, but one thing is certain – you will need a job to get you there. It is said that success happens when preparation meets opportunity, so prepare your CV and cover letter and go on the hunt for the opportunities that will help you get your foot in the door to your dream job.

Here are some tips to writing a winning cover letter and CV:

Keep it simple: When typing up your cover letter and CV, use a legible black font on a plain white page. Avoid swirly artistic fonts, pictures, and themed backgrounds, as these can be difficult to read.
Uncover yourself: Your cover letter, which is usually an email, allows you to introduce yourself to prospective employers and explains why you are submitting your CV to them. This is your opportunity to sell yourself by providing information about your skills and potential contribution to the company. You should state why you are interested in the job, as well as why this person should meet you. End the letter by saying: “I hope to hear from you soon” or: “I look forward to your response,” expressing a subtle interest for further dialogue.
Divide and conquer: Divide your CV into sections, such as personal details, work experience, education, skills and references, and include relevant information in each. List your qualifications, institutions where you studied, subjects and year of completion in chronological order under the education component. Be sure to include any additional courses that you may have done as well as the computer programmes you are familiar with in the skills section. You could also include projects and roles in your educational career that have taught you valuable life lessons. First-time job seekers should include some of the services for which you have been paid or rewarded to do, such as babysitting, dog walking, house sitting and gardening. Candidates often forget to list vacation employment – this is very important as it shows that you have applied yourself to the world of work and gained valuable experience.
The refs: Prospective employers will need to contact people with or for whom you have worked to verify the information on your CV and get insight into your work ethic, behaviour, and performance, so include the names, contact numbers, and email addresses of at least two references to back you up.
Check, check and check again: Your completed CV should be between two and four pages long and you must check this for spelling and grammatical errors. If possible, ask someone that you trust to read it and help you identify possible errors.

Once you are completely satisfied with your CV and cover letter you can start applying for jobs. Don’t be disheartened if you get a few noes as persistence pays off and you’ll eventually be asked to come for an interview.

Getting nervous for a job interview, especially your first one, is only natural, but I suggest that you follow these dos and don’ts to help you make a great impression:

Preparation is the key: Do your research by reading the company’s website so that you can get a better understanding of its business. Based on this information, draw up some questions to ask your prospective employers as the interview is also an opportunity for you to learn all that you can about the company and to decide whether or not you would like to work there. Speak to friends who have either been interviewers or interviewees and find out what types of questions are typically asked. Think about how you would answer these so as not to be caught off guard when these are raised in your interview.
Dress for success: Many businesses do have a casual dress code, but when going for an interview, you should still dress in your best and the general rule is to keep it conservative. This will show that you take your career seriously and that you are professional, respectful and polite.
The small things count: Don’t go to bed late the night before the interview as you’ll need a good night’s sleep to be alert the next day. “Better late than never” or “fashionably late” do not apply for interviews, so make sure you plan your route and the time required carefully. Rather arrive earlier than you need to. During your interview, and even while you are in the waiting room, don’t fidget or slouch in your chair. By sitting up straight and keeping your hands on your lap or resting on the table in front of you, you will appear confident and attentive. And remember to be polite and smile.

Landing the right job will launch you into the future you have always wanted and armed with the right tools, the task will be less overwhelming for first-time job seekers.

A culture of en-title-ment

What is it with the new trend towards stupidly euphemistic and self-aggrandising job titles? Life is just loaded with ironies. And if memory serves it was Alanis Morissette who sang all about this on the track Ironic. Remember, the one where she carries on about flies on her Chardonnay and rain on her wedding day, and so forth?
More to the point, in the modern business environment there’s an unmistakeable trend towards dressing down. And while it’s certainly an international phenomenon, some say that in South Africa at least, Nelson Mandela may have had a lot to do with it, forsaking as he did the hideous suits and creaking formality so beloved of his stuffed-shirt Nationalist Party predecessors. And if you’re old enough, you might also remember the utterly hilarious hats worn by NP ministers and their wives for occasions such as the opening of parliament.

But ironically while formal workwear and even ties are fast going out of favour, the trend towards casual dressing is being countered by a local and global trend towards stupidly euphemistic and self-aggrandising job titles.

At the lowest level, for instance, the invariably spotty young character helping out in the local DVD or pizza shop is no longer an “assistant.” Oh no. He – or she – is almost invariably a “trainee manager.”

Canker has spread

The canker has spread to the automotive trade, too, and where once upon a time you had “salesmen,” you now have “sales executives” – never mind that until recently the word “executive” conjured up images of Chivas-supping, silver-haired corporate titans reclining behind mahogany desks. Not beer-bellied, polyester-jacketed purveyors of decaying Ford Sierras. Fascinatingly, you’ll very often find that these same “sales executives” no longer sell used cars, but “pre-owned” cars or, heaven help us, “pre-loved” cars.

Another chronic offender is the publishing industry. Only a decade ago, the person on a magazine responsible for laying out the text and pictures was called, obviously enough, a “layout artist” or a “designer.” Now the same person is almost invariably “chief creative director” – even if they’re in a department of one. Mere journalists, meanwhile, are very seldom just that these days. Instead they’re often “associate editor” or “copy editor” or “mayoral tea party correspondent” or some such nonsense.

Even the criminal fraternity is not immune to this trend. Today, even the lowliest grease-ball drug-runner furtively skulking on a street corner is a “drug lord.” Just read the newspapers and you’ll realise this. And never mind that the term “drug lord” once conjured up images of linen-suited, ponytailed South American cartel heads hunkered down in vast fortified estates.

Just a few other especially absurd flights of folly include “domestic assistant” for maid, “sanitation engineer” for rubbish-bin man and the now-ubiquitous “corporate affairs manager” for public relations officer.

“We have noticed this trend over the past few years and we find it faintly ridiculous,” concurs Robyn Thornhill, marketing manager of the Durban-based IRS (Industrial Relations Specialists) and a relatively youthful veteran of the corporate world. “So we make a point of staying away from the more euphemistic titles. For instance, we call our site agents just that: site agents. Not `executive labour facilitators’ or something equally foolish…”

Rachel Gilbert Dresses Are Perfect For Sporting That Glam Look

From poets and bards in the earlier centuries to the modern philosophers, writers, and authors, all have praised the beauty and sensuality that a woman possesses. Pick up the literature of any era and you would find the description of a woman’s beautiful blue eyes, her pink lips, her slim neck, and her slender body curves in eloquent terms. Rachel Gilbert Dresses are a modern way of paying tribute to the eternal beauty and sensuousness of a woman.

Made with rich, luxurious fabrics, Rachel Gilbert dresses let a woman showcase her beautiful body curves and lines. They are sexy and stylish and are perfect for sporting that glam look on a party or a special occasion.

Rachel Gilbert dresses are the signature style of Australian based designer Rachel Gilbert. Before starting her own fashion empire, Rachael was based in New York and worked as the Head Designer for Nicky Hiltons label. She has also worked with many eminent Australian fashion designers, including Lisa Ho and Morissey. Rachel Gilbert is renowned for her perfectionism and it is this quality combined with her acute business acumen that has driven the rapid success of the business thus far.

Luxury fabrics and fine hand beading make Rachel Gilbert dresses a perfect party wear. Phoebe dress by Rachel Gilbert, for instance, is a rich silk dress in pink with silver embellishment and scalloped hem. You may wear this glamorous dress to a party with a pair of high heals and a compact clutch for sporting that stunning party look.

Rachel Gilbert Trinity dress is a blue silk mini dress with scalloped silver sequin and beaded trim. Pair this shimmering number with your highest strappy silver heels and a box clutch to dazzle in the evening with that 1920s glam style and look.

Eva Dress by Rachel Gilbert is another super sexy dress for making a grand entrance at a party. It is Navy silk-blend, asymmetric dress with oversized ruffled shoulder strap and an embellished bodice. You can play off the rich navy hue with strappy silver heels and accessories to make a stunning style statement.

For that casual yet stylish look, you may consider Keara Short Fur Vest. It is a natural rabbit fur vest with zip-up front. You may team up this Rachel Gilbert’s chic and luxurious rabbit fur vest with winter knits and jerseys. As well as making you look stylish and impressive, this Rachel Gilbert dress would also keep you warm and cosy.

If you are wondering from you can buy these Rachel Gilbert dresses, you may log on to closetprincess.com.au The website is a renowned online Australia fashion boutique that offers a wide range of luxury fashion brands, including Thurley, Camilla, Nicola Finetti, Fernando Frisoni, Fleur Wood, Third Millennium, and several other Australian fashion designers.

Here you will find special discounts on Rachel Gilbert dresses and dresses, shoes, and bags by other leading Australian fashion designers.

Discounted Camilla Kaftans: Now, Looking Stylish Won’t Cost You

Kaftans are the trend for this season. Whether you have to go to work or for a casual lunch with friends or for a cocktail party, dress yourself in a designer Kaftan to sport that effortless cool and chic, yet classy look. For that distinguished style statement, you could buy Camilla kaftans.

Camilla Kaftans come from the fashion house of Camilla-a world renowned Australian fashion designer. Although, the Camilla label includes flamenco dresses, kimonos, jumpsuits and Geisha coats, it has earned great reputation in the world of Kaftans. Made of luxurious fabric, these kaftans are a rare mix of simplicity and style. Further, these kaftans are available in a wide array of designs and patterns, styles, and colours to meet varied tastes and preferences.

You may buy a floral print kaftan or the one with leopard print in short or knee-length, beaded kaftan or the one with frills and laces. With Camilla kaftans, you really will be spoilt for choices. This is not all. These kaftans let you suit them your individual style statement. For instance, you can accessorise it with a studded belt or hangings, or with a pair of heels or flat sandals for sporting a cool look or a formal appearance.

If you are conscious about the hefty price tag of these designer kaftans, you may visit closetprincess.com.au; it is a top-of-the-line Australia fashion boutique that is offering great discounts on Camilla kaftans and dresses.

You may go for Tulipanna Short Lace up Kaftan, a hand beaded black and white tulip print silk chiffon available at a discount of 40%. Team it up with a pair of jeans or leggings or with tights for that urbane cool look. However, if you are looking for something long, check out Python Long Lace Up Kaftan. This is a Python print silk chiffon with hand beading. Wear oversized glasses and high heeled wedges along with it for that stylish look.

In addition to the kaftans, you may also check out dresses. Closet Princess has Leopard tie strap dress and Porcelain long sleeve dress available at 20 and 30% discount respectively.

This Australian fashion boutique offers discounts on several other luxury fashion brands like Lisa Ho, Thurley, Nicola Finetti, Third Millennium, Fernando Frisoni, Lisa Brown, Shona Joy, and those from many other Australian fashion designers. Now, looking stylish won’t cost you much.

Flattering Plus Size Look: Tunics And Leggings

Leggings are a versatile accessory. However, wearing them with a shorter or form-fitting top does not flatter a plus-size figure. Instead, try a tailored tunic with a hem that falls to about mid-thigh. You’ll find an array of leggings and tunics at online retailers like Just My Size and Avenue. Here are some great ways to wear the latest looks:

Classic Pairings

Leggings are comfortable and appropriate for nearly every season, although Spring and Fall are the best times of year to sport them. For a classic look, pick a tunic that is slightly loose and made from cotton and other materials that have a natural flow.

Dress Your Age

Young women look best in tighter leggings, while older women should opt for a more put-together, bootcut style. Wear dark ones with a colorful tunic cinched at the waist with a wide belt for a classic, mature look. The belt should be tight enough to give your waist more definition, but not so tight as to give you the dreaded muffin top effect. Position the belt slightly higher than your natural waist to make your legs look longer.

Clean Finish

Avoid shoes with a lot of detail or super skinny boots that make your thighs seem larger. Try pairing your leggings and a tunic with knee-high or slightly higher boots in a similar color to your leggings for a smooth, unbroken line. Other options include comfortable flat shoes like sneakers, sandals, casual dress shoes or ballerina flats.

Long Vs. Short Graduation Dresses: Which Type Would You Choose For Your Body Type?

Choosing the graduation dress is an important, yet difficult moment for every girl. There are numerous types of graduation dresses to select from, thus it’s quite hard to make up your mind. Despite this fact, a thing is for sure: you have to look gorgeous on your graduation night. That’s why is very important to opt for a dress that covers all your body flaws and highlights your qualities.

Normally, the graduation dresses are casual and short, but it all depends on the location and your personal style and tastes. Also, these gowns are usually very colored and glamorous in order to offer you a unique look. Lately, increasingly more girls began wearing long dresses at their graduation parties.That’s how the dilemma appeared: should you wear long or short graduation dresses? It all depends on your silhouette and preferences. However, generally, the long gowns are worn by the seniors and the short ones by the juniors.

Many girls having their senior prom think that this is their night and that this might be their only chance to wear a long dress. The short dresses can be worn anywhere, at cocktail parties, birthday parties, etc., but you might have only one opportunity to put on a long frock. Also, the long gowns are much more formal and more appropriate for this type of event.

However, as mentioned before, it all depends on your style and body type. So, if you’re very tall, it’s indicated to wear a short dress because it will highlight your silhouette. Also, you shouldn’t put on high heel shoes. A long frock is perfect for the shorter girls, given that it will make them look taller. Accessorize it with very high heels and you’ll get the perfect look. The long dresses are also suitable for the young women that are over weighted, because they can help them cover this body flaw. The not so beautiful legs can also be covered with a long gown. Usually, a short dress highlights a perfect body and gorgeous legs. So, if you know for sure that you have these qualities go for a short frock and you’ll definitely stand out of the crowd.
The graduation dresses come in various styles, shapes and lengths. Yet, even if it’s a long or a short gown, what matters indeed is how it looks on you. Thus, wear whatever you feel comfortable in.

T Shirt – Baggy T Shirts

T Shirts give off strong representations of the type of people we are and the way we want ourselves to be perceived. Different styles and designs give off different notions about how the individual wants to be perceived by others. This article will look at how baggy T Shirts and the brands used describe and connote the type of person that wears them.

Brand is a major factor that depicts who we are and they way we dress and ultimately the way we are perceived by others. The baggy T Shirt is usually worn by the majority of the population in a casual, dress down sense. Many people wear these kinds of T Shirts when at home relaxing; they are not on the whole typically worn when going out to events such as clubs and bars. These kinds of clothes are worn casually and are not connected to showing off. More of the opposite really, these clothes are comfortable.

Many of these baggy T Shirts range from many different brands from cheap ones, for the everyday casual look, or ranges to expensive niche brands that target people who have want have the exclusive casual look. In the case of baggy T Shirts one can look to the Hip Hop and RnB sector or society that prides itself with exclusive niche brands that thrive on the baggy look. Many of the rappers and singers of this genre of music, wear, on stage baggy clothing and in particularly baggy T Shirts. This therefore is a great influence on the fans who will want to look and dress like them. Many of these rappers have produced their own fashion label that they wear on stage and promote to their fans. Baby bop, is a large clothing brand made by a rapper who sells his exclusive baggy T Shirts at very high price. The idea of wearing the same clothes he does connotes to the fans who buy his brand, in order to dress like him, and can afford expensive clothes. Many of these T Shirts are used as a status symbol.

The same baggy fit T Shirts can be seen with many skater, BMXer group. Many of these people are performing and carrying out physical sports such as rollerblading, skating and biking. Many of these people wear baggy T Shirts in order to be comfortable in what they are wearing when carrying out these activities. Baggy clothing is proven to soften the blow when wearing tight T Shirts because less material is touching the skin. Many of their music singers also wear baggy clothing, which like the hip hop fans, they by the same outfits that they wear in order to show off their status and wealth in accordance to everyone else who has not got them.

From this it is possible to see that baggy T Shirts are worn in order to give off connotations that associate them with their style, be it the type of music, i.e. skater, hip hop so they can look like their favourite singer and the image they give off.

Graduation Dresses For College Graduation Ceremony

One of the most special occasions in a person’s life is graduation. You finally finish up a vital step of education and are fully equipped academically to pursue what you want to do in life. On that day, you dress in the best possible way to make these memories everlasting. So, graduation dresses become the first priority in shopping list of girls and then you start searching for it in all different patterns according to the theme of the party such as gowns, formal dresses, cocktail dresses etc. However, the colors should be neutral because these are formal occasions. So, you should go for a dress which is stylish and elegant also.

Selection of color plays a major role while choosing your graduation dresses White, peach, black, pale yellow, grey etc. are some elegant shades which you can opt for. For juniors, white or ivory color is generally used as it keeps some sort of uniformity in the girls during the ceremony. You can also go for a combination of formal as well as casual pattern. They become your perfect choice keeping the occasion formal as well as casual during the party. You can also select cocktail dresses with lovely necklines.

Casual and graduation dresses

The most suitable patterns for graduation dresses are cocktail dresses because then you have an option of choosing from a variety of shades and designs. White, beige, cream and ivory are very common colors. Then you can opt for very sober designs which give you elegance and magnetism too. You can have round, V-necked, boat-necked necks and your dress can be sleeveless or without sleeves too. Printed fabric is also a very good option. You can look ravishing if your graduation dresses has Sequin work done on the bust line or the neck. Satan, silk, cotton fabrics are very convenient on this occasion.

Full length gowns are perfect formal graduation dresses and the most common fabrics for these dresses are satin, chiffon, tulle etc. You can have various accessories such as belts, sheaths or ruche etc which enhance your appeal. If you are wearing elegant cocktail dresses, the necks can be Grecian necks, halters, one shoulder, peep shoulder, short or long sleeved and strapless dresses. Bead work or sequins also give an elegant look to your graduation dresses.

You can match your beautifully designed graduation dresses with exquisite jewelry and good shoes. Then you are ready to be at your best on one of the most significant days of your life. So, enjoy your shopping and pick the best graduation dresses to look stunning.