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Stooping Low to Aim High

Posted on November 25, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Recently I have had the pleasure of using my time away from the office to expand my work experience. This work experience is not like the type I would generally list on my CV. Instead it is the experience that I would discuss when asked what I do with my time ‘outside of work’. Working outside of a traditional office has enabled me to pull upon the resource of skills I have learnt through my Temping career, with the strengths learnt to me through great Managers, who I am fortunate shared an office space with me.

The roles I refer to are businesses where there is one Director with a few handpicked staff. These businesses require the same commitment to work and effort to meet their targets if not more than the corporates, as there is more to lose when you have little margin to err with. The tools these businesses equip you with are refreshingly simple, as are the demands. The tools are basic and adapted by the business to do the job effectively. The demands are to meet the customer’s orders in a timely manner and to a consistent, excellent standard. It is interesting that these roles require me to stoop to knee level to check the standard of work before standing high to present it to the Directors. The first few times, my knees and back ached as I was not used to using these muscles in this fashion over a duration of 3 – 4 hours. However, in order to fulfil the orders, I got on with the job and later was able to give attention to my muscles in the form of a jog after work. (I believe that when you use a muscle that is not strong, support it by giving it strength from other muscles that are). I am not one for rewarding a sore muscle with a holiday - get the holiday when you have worked up for the resistance for it.

I am delighted to now add these skills outside of the office to my work experience. I have not had to be pardoned from paid work to accomplish these new skills. I have stayed employed and contributed to both the businesses and to their customer’s demands. I have been able to give to these employers what they give to society – the satisfaction of providing great service. As with all successful ventures, the lesson is the same: To meet the customers standard’s you must understand the business’s market.

Recently I was interviewed for a role in which I was deemed well matched with experience, and which offered a lucrative income. I was advised the hours for this role would mean that I had little time to live outside of it. Should you allow one big business to take so much of you, the other bigger business that is You will receive only a little.

Get Out There and Share Your Accomplishments Here.



The Emotive Language of Emoji's

Posted on November 22, 2018 at 2:55 AM

As a fairly newcomer to Social Media I have noticed a difference of audience between those posting Emoji's and those who post text messages.

When posting a text message in reply to a post, whether it be in support or opposition to the topic, the written post can have no reaction from viewers or it can cause either division or allies between sides. Should the written post have an Emoji as a reply, I have noticed the post may end for that person without further need for discussion.

When posting a text message then attaching an Emoji, the meaning of the text message can be construed differently depending on the Emoji. This appears evident when there is a group message where members of the public can comment on a given topic. The messages that have a strong opinion on the topic will, it appear, to soften their opinion by attaching a smiley face Emoji, or what the user deems an appropriate Emoji to pacify their audience, perhaps.

This apparent attempt to portray their message as not being offensive or what it is they actually mean to say, shows the want to be accepted by the opposing poll, the need for acceptance through the use of speech. When there is offence or difference shown online, then the response to the written post may be in the form of an Emoji.

Which brings one to the topic of the meaning of the printed or spoken word, and the meaning of an Emoji or expression other than speech. Take an example where passing a religious person on the street handing out pamphlets, you give them a smile of acknowledgement and move on with the passing crowd. Should you stop and start a conversation you may be judged by your audience or the pamphlet bearer. Better to smile and not let your audience hear your train of thought at that given time.

Likewise with speech. When typing a reply to a post on Social Media you must give thought to the words you use, as the written word is taken as posted. With an Emoji there is an opportunity to comment without giving an accurate expression of your opinion or feeling behind the symbol. A smiley face is representation of acknowledgement without getting into a discussion that could become difficult within the thread. This icon shows acceptance without explanation. Emoji's also remain unbiased as they have no individualism unless you wish to use an option which denotes Color or a flag perhaps? This choice of Emoji seems not to invoke racial slurs or judgement as the image is taken as a symbol for the comment.

The Emoji, to me, then enables Free Speech as there is no country or race of origin attached to it if you choose not to. A comment can be heard through an Emoji without the need for speech. You do not need to show any individualism for which you may be judged upon that could change your written word's meaning.

One symbol, one thought chosen by an audience without a word being spoken :|

Andrea Smith


Four Doors - In, Out, Both Ways and/or Revolving.

Posted on November 19, 2018 at 3:50 PM

As a new employee, the door into a company may afford other options when first starting out in work. Whether self employed or you choose to work for an existing business, the order of the ways we experience these doors may be in the above order. How one manages to negotiate these doors may be learnt through hindsight, regardless of age.

The In Door is often the first contact you have with a company. You may be greeted by a receptionist, or an automated sign in. Either of these options generate an individual recording of you. The receptionist asks for your name and reason for visit and then alerts the according person to your arrival, or the automated machine will prompt you to enter your name and reason for visit, and alert the person upon your arrival. Either way, your first impression is being recorded. No matter how many times you use the In Door, treat each entrance with the same exuberance as if it were the first.

The Out Door is often the last contact you have with a company. You may be farewelled by security, staff or an automated sign off. When you use the Exit Door leave it like you want to come back in. This acknowledgement of using the In Door and the Out Door as if the two were associated is recognition that the correct respect of these doors can lead to an opening of the Both Ways Door.

The Both Ways Door is often the Door that many employees want access to however, through indifference use of the first two Doors, entry may be difficult or denied. This Door can give you access to the building regardless of your location on site. This is because your first impression through the In Door remained constant, with the last impression that was recorded at the Out Door. When you have used both the In Door and the Exit Door with this realisation then the Revolving Door will be presented to you.

The Revolving Door is to me, the most impressionable Door of all. When you are able to access a company using this Door, it is a respect earnt from both sides. As a company, your duty was to gather data about this prospective employee, and it was the prospective employees duty to provide the company with accurate, measurable data. Make each exit through the Out Door count so that the In Door is always welcoming to you and those that you work with. This will enable the Revolving Door to make itself appear.

As a Professional Temporary the Revolving Door is the Door that I work towards having access to.

Andrea Smith   



When finding a fault, you sometimes must go past the noise

Posted on November 13, 2018 at 4:55 PM

I have experienced the frustration of knowing there is a fault in a circuit, but not knowing how or where to pinpoint it. To do so takes time, that is well worth the effort.

Living on a 6-acre block of land in South Auckland means that noise is not as easy to recognise as it was when living on a block of concrete in Auckland city. Generally, if there is a fault in the services you receive in the city, you can phone a business to report this fault and a fault finder or technician will be sent to fix the issue so that you can continue with your business. It is not always known to you why there was a fault, only that there is an (interim) fix and you can continue with business. The fault may occur again, and another call to report the fault will see it fixed. However, when living in a rural location, the business owner often becomes the technician, meaning that you have a better understanding of how your external units work to make up the smooth operation of your daily business.

Recently I noticed that the cattle were getting through the electric tape and into the young trees planted in the paddock. Of course, this observation happened to be on a stormy day, when I would rather have stayed inside and phoned a technician to sort out this problem. Only I own the problem and so I am responsible for finding the fault. Through experience I have learnt to leave the electrics on so that you can hear where the fence is shorting out. Sometimes it appears obvious as in this case, where the cattle had pushed the tape off the standards, and the tape was in the grass causing it to short. Feeling relieved that I had appeared to have found the fault quickly, I managed to get the tape back through the standards. Walking back to the electric fence unit, I was dismayed to see that the Red light was blinking, meaning that I had not fixed or found the fault. I then walked around the 6 acres of fencing to listen out for a shorting sound. Of course, the fault was not to be heard. I then went to the house and got my Fence Fault Finder and proceeded to test the fence to pinpoint where it was shorting out. After testing patches of fence for it to point forward, I managed to find the fault by going past it. Fault fixed and fences working again, meant the trees would live to see another day.

I believe when a business unit is not working to its full capacity, this has a similar effect on a business either up or down the line. If, as a business owner, you are so removed from your daily business noise that when there is a fault, you rely on an external source to fix it, this fix may keep your business working if only for the interim. Take time to listen to your business. It should pulse with a singular beat. Don’t get distracted by the acres of wire that deaden the sound, instead take time to listen to each unit (department). Ensure the units are set to reach the same volts using the same meter. If the Fence Unit is not strong enough to drive the energy required for the current fence, put in a stronger unit that can withstand the load when under pressure. Do not put in interim fixes that become permanent. These fixes will not keep the business strong when you need to up the energy in busy periods.

Listen. Look. Learn. Lead.

Andrea Smith


When Your Cards Are In Order, Give Them A Shuffle

Posted on November 7, 2018 at 8:45 PM

How often do we read articles as adults that tell us when we have reached our goal, we will be rewarded for our efforts. Whatever the reward may be, these articles tell us that after reaching our goals, we should lay down our tools and bask in the riches of success, and repeat the same steps to ensure ongoing success should we start another venture. However goal setting and success can be defined by understanding what it is that distinguishes our life's purpose from our fleeting desire to have financial gain or momentary pleasure. With planning, our life's purpose can be a successfully merged with our business, and that through perseverance comes our personal growth and financial reward, to yourself and the community around you.

The greatest revolution in our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds can change the outer aspects of their lives. William James

Setting goals is essential to achieving your dreams. These goals may be likened to steps in a staircase. The following poem by the African-American poet Langston Hughes, speaks about the value of goal setting and persistence.

Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you: Life for me ain't been no crystal stair. It's had tacks in it, and splinters, and boards torn up, and places with no carpet on the floor - Bare, but all the time I'se been a-climbin' on, and reachin' landin's, and turnin' corners, and sometimes going in the dark where there ain't been no light. So boy, don't you turn back. Don't you set down on the steps 'cause you finds it's kinder hard, don't you fall now - for I'se still goin', honey, I'se still climbin', and life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

As with life, our goals may change with time. With each success should be a unique attitude that brought it about. Your unique vision. Regardless of how many successful businesses like yours are out there, go the extra distance to see that your end result mirrors the greater good.



Knowing Me Knowing You

Posted on November 4, 2018 at 7:15 PM

Temping - The Adaptability to Change

In my early observations as a new employee to the workforce, I likened business to be

organic in that it grows when work is plentiful and diminishes when it is slow. It was with

this observation that I noticed how the relationship between staff and business was a delicate

balance of adaptability to change. Hence my attraction to Temping, where I could assist in

business with my skills when necessary, and then up-skill through varying my roles as I saw

a demand take me in a new direction. As my experience in Temping grew, so did my

demand. I became a Professional Temporary and in the Year 2000 was presented with Temp

of the Year by Adecco Personnel, in recognition of my excellence in contribution to clients. I

continued to work in both Temporary and Permanent roles until recently, where I saw a

demand for a more Approachable, Affordable and Professional Temporary service, to be

valued by business in the growth periods they experience.

Temping has afforded me exposure to industries such as Automotive, Banking, Broadcast

Media, Chemicals and Dangerous Goods, Education, FMCG, Internet and Web Hosting, Real

Estate and Transport. Temping has also exposed me to various types of management styles,

which brings me the ability to adapt quickly to achieve business continuity when supporting

in a Sales . Office . Support role. TempDirect can be casual, corporate or personalized to suit

your business. As with all good organics, TempDirect can help your business grow.

Tenacity . Empathy . Motivation . Persistence


Take the Office Outside of the Square - Put a Handle On It

Posted on October 26, 2018 at 11:00 PM

Since it’s invention, the office has changed in both appearance and form.

From a humble briefcase to the walled in think-tank of today, here is quick look at the adapting needs of the office.

In its early day, the office was a place of work, where mostly women worked in a shared space, with the incessant clacking of typewriter keys.

In the years following World War II, Friedman wrote that most offices “… consisted of a vast open space, with rows and rows of identical desks crammed tightly together.”

(The diminishing size of the cubicle didn’t help its plummeting popularity. The average cubicle shrunk between 25% and 50% in size between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, according to The Washington Post).

Friedman described the open office as more “egalitarian,” in theory, but also rife with problems. “While open office designs may increase communication between colleagues, they often do so at a cost to individual work,” he wrote.

However, as most modern day employees know, it’s one thing for an organisation in 2018 to slap buzzwords like collaboration, egalitarianism, and teamwork on its office walls and website.

It’s another thing entirely to run a business based on such principles.

Today, the office can work within the confines of a wall or be productive without this constraint.



Hook . Line . and Sinker

Posted on October 8, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Recently I have had the pleasure of accompanying my children to the local boat wharf. Not just to admire the view and apply sunscreen, but also to enjoy the past time (pastime, time well spent) of fishing.

I wouldn't describe fishing as a past time, as it is in the present that my children and I are participating in. The first time we visited the wharf, the tide was turning to go out. There was no wind, the conditions we were told were 'perfect' for fishing. There was a Grandfather with his grandson, and they too, were pitting their time against the tide. My son hadn't cast before, and so I put some frozen pilchard on his line, and in amateur fashion, showed him how to cast. The first time he cast was perfect, and straight away he caught a King fish. Wow.

I was told by the Grandparent that 'some people come here for years and don't get that sort of catch'. However, with our little hook the big Kingi wiggled free on the rocks and swam off. Not to dampen our enthusiasm we continued to put bait on the hook and fished for the next few hours, feeding the circling fish but not catching any on the hook. During the course of our stay, we had struck up a banter with the Grandfather and in exchange for our company, we were given a freshly caught Kawhai, which he filleted for us and we enjoyed that evening.

The next day, my son and I visited the wharf again to fish from. This time, the tide was out, and only rocks splashed about in the ocean. Not deterred, we baited our hooks and cast out. Our bait continued to get eaten and the small fish and the ones that got away that 'could have sunk the Titanic' continued to allude our catch. Although they liked our bait.

In the time we were on the wharf, we struck up conversations with other visitors. Plenty of advice was given to us regarding the ideal time to fish and that we would not get a bite, but best of luck. Although we didn't catch a fish, our hope did not wane. Each new cast had the possibility of a bite regardless if we reeled in a fish or not. What we did believe is that the fish that took our bait and swam off today could return tomorrow for another try and perhaps like our hook.

And so my son learnt from this experience what I had set out to show him. That although the tide is not always going your way with fishing, it is the effort you put in when others are not doing theirs that may count in the future. You may be the only one fishing when the conditions don't appear right, and as the wharf isn't crowded, you get more room to cast out your line. It is with this experience that I believe self belief and dogged stubbornness helps achieve results in what could be considered 'not ideal conditions' - go out, cast against the odds and let your hook go with the flow. Eventually you will get a bite.


"If a Pen can change it's colour, You can change your style"

Posted on September 21, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Writing with a fountain pen was always one of my favourite memories of school. I could change the pressure on the nib to enable me to write thinner or thicker, I could change the ink to colour the mood and I could add a delicate or hard full stop at the end of a sentence to show how I felt. I was always intrigued with the power the pen gave to me. By using a particular style of writing I was able to either bring the reader in alliance with my message or create a debate. I could write in a Speedball style to give flourish to my words, or keep to a unified style of font, to keep the content flowing. The fountain pen is fluid, it relies on your hand to move it. You can change the direction of your hand to write in a left or right slant, to suit your message or audience. Pretty much like you can change your own style to reflect who it is you are giving the message to, and how you wish to either open up a conversation or end it without debate. It is with some thought that I have likened Salespeople to a fountain pen. Both rely on a style to suit their audience and both are effective through their ability to convey their message. The Salesperson's energy and the fountain pen can also be replenished. Each cartridge gives an idea on how much time was spent in relaying a train of thought. If my train of thought flowed, and I wrote non-stop to maintain the momentum of my message, then the fountain pen required refilling. However, if I stopped on occasion, whether to go back over what I had written, or just have a break to reflect, then the cartridge lasted longer, a little like a good conversation should. Sometimes when you are putting into words your thoughts to a potential customer, it is the moments that we hesitate to listen to the customer that we can change our style, to reflect the direction of the conversation. This ability to be fluid I give credit to my fountain pen. Not only did it teach me that presentation can be commanding, it also taught me the ability to change, recharge and continue from where I left off. Whether it be on the same page or a new page. Andrea