This week on Khetha #Week49

 Radio Stations: SABC Radio Stations

Topic: Making the Most of Your Holidays
Original Script Written by: Thandeka Langa
Programme Date: 10 – 13 December 2018
Week: 49
Target Audience: Learners; Students and the NEET Group

Script Notes:

  • The programme is entitled ‘Making The Most of Your Holidays’.
  • This script will be translated to other official languages and broadcast on 12 Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) radio stations.
  • The programme is characterised by the radio presenter and a guest from the Department of Higher Education and Training.
  • The radio presenter is the main anchor of the programme and he/she will control the activities on the programme.

The objectives of this programme are to:

  • “Testing out” possible career options and understanding the work environment within the different field of interest.
  • Getting your CV out there – making yourself visible to potential employers.
  • How learners can use innovative networking to get ahead.
  • Reflect and learn from others.

The entire programme runs for 30 minutes; which includes Public Services Audience (PSAs).

Opening Billboard: ‘This programme is brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education’

Programme Introduction

Presenter: The holidays are an excellent time to develop and create new contacts for your job search or career transition. Currently some of our leaners may still be writing their exams. Whilst others have downed their pens and are already engaged in festive activities. We thought that since it is holidays and people are in cheerful moods we would bring you some lighter yet important content.

Tonight we will look at activities that young people, especially those who recently wrote their examinations can do while waiting for results. Every year as the holidays approach, most of our young people; jobseekers and career changers make the mistake of slowing down all their efforts in career building or management. They believe there is no point in researching; planning and pursuing career opportunities during the holidays, and that nobody is making recruitment decisions until late January, so “why bother?” Many decide to do absolutely nothing from mid - November to the second or third week in January! Making these kinds of assumptions about the holidays is, again, a huge mistake! When it comes to the holidays, I suggest that our youth and job seekers can do what all the others are not doing. Since most of them are taking an extended break, this opens up real opportunities for you!

The reality is that the holidays are an excellent time to develop and create new contacts for your job search or career transition. We are talking about ‘Making The Most of Your Holidays’ and we are joined by our guest speaker from XXXXX, XXXXXX; we welcome you.

Guest: Thank you X and greetings to you and the listeners.

Presenter: As mentioned earlier, for most people holiday time is about relaxing and loads of festivities. And most of our listeners take this time to relax visit friends and spend most of their time at the malls. What advice and suggestions can you give to our listeners to do besides going to malls and parties?

Guest: During the holidays, most people are naturally more pleasant and generous in spirit. There is simply no better time to grow existing relationships and build new ones! Remember business is all about establishing relationships – and relationships are developed in social settings! Holidays do offer a unique opportunity to network in very relaxed setting. There are typically more networking events or parties happening at this time of year and those wishing to boost their career development can certainly use them to grow their network and meaningful connections. Your uncles; your aunties or big brothers and sisters that are working, who have come home for the holidays are your first point of contact and form part of your networking pool. Share with them your dreams and aspirations whilst getting information about their aspirations and work environment. From these connections you can get referred to their friends and other colleagues for more information and advice. This is where you can even set up appointments for information interviews that can open doors for job shadowing

Presenter: Indeed charity begins at home! It is important for our youth to use the opportunities that are readily available within their circle of influence. Before going any further you mentioned information interviews and job shadowing; would you explain what these are?

Guest: Let us start with explaining what is an informational interview - it is an informal conversation with someone working in an area that interests you who will give you information and advice. It is an effective research tool in addition to reading books, exploring the Internet and examining job descriptions or career options. May I emphasize this: It is not a job interview, and the objective is not to find job openings! You may feel awkward making arrangements to talk with people you don't know about their work. However, most people actually enjoy taking a few moments out of their day to reflect on their professional life and to give advice to someone with an interest in their field. Even more so when they are relaxed and they are on holiday. We are going to highlight some of the benefits of Informational Interviewing:

  • Get first-hand, relevant information about the realities of working within a particular field, industry or position. This kind of information is not always available online or in print.
  • Find out about career paths you did not know existed.
  • Get tips about how to prepare for and enter a given career.
  • Learn what it is like to work at a specific organization.
  • Gain knowledge that can help you in writing your curriculum vitae (CV), interviewing, and more.
  • Initiate a professional relationship and expand your network of contacts in a specific career field; meet people who may forward job leads to you in the future.

Presenter: Now that you have unpacked for us what an informational interview is tell us what exactly is job-shadowing and what does it entail?

Guest: Job-shadowing is closely related to informational interviewing, in which career-explorers or job-seekers conduct short interviews with people in their prospective professions to learn more about those fields. Job-shadowing can be thought of as an expanded informational interview. Job shadowing is a work experience option where students learn about a job by walking through the work day as a shadow to a competent worker. The job shadowing work experience is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the student. While an informational interview typically lasts about a half hour, a job-shadowing experience can last for a few hours, to a day, to a week or more, depending on what you can mutually arrange with the person you’ve chosen to shadow. Many of the same rules that apply to job-shadowing also applies to informational interviewing, from preparing for the experience, to scheduling it, getting the most out of it, and following up on it.

During your job-shadow experience, you follow the professional you’re shadowing through his or her work day. You observe the rigors of the job, the company culture, and ask lots of questions.

Presenter: This is informative but the concern is during this period most companies are on holiday shutdown how then can our listeners take advantage of job shadowing opportunities when there is little activity and fewer personnel present in most companies?

Guest: Our listeners need to see opportunities in the unlikely circumstances. Some companies when approaching the holiday shutdown they may need what we call skeletal personal to oversee the little activities here and there; answer the phone and even receive late deliveries that could not be delivered in time. And you know they are those who are workaholics who are forever working or those who do not prefer taking holidays when everyone is on holiday others take this time to catch up with backlog - they form part of the skeletal personnel.

Often companies will have a few experienced workers and then seek out learners to fill in the gaps. There is an opportunity right there! Yes it might be not in your field of interest or your kind of job but this experience will go a long way in building up your curriculum vitae (CV); and create more networks which may form part of your references. Not only that but you learn something about the work culture, things you would have not picked up anywhere. However little the exposure, it is necessary in building ones’ career as you will develop some work skills.

Presenter: Before giving our listeners further tips on how to make the most of their holidays tell us more about other opportunities that our listeners can venture into should they not find companies that are looking for skeletal staff.

Guest: Find a cause you that is close to your heart, the school holidays are a good time to give back, especially during the Christmas season. In the different communities there are a number of community projects that take place during this time that you can get involved in. You can even start up your own community project based on the needs you may have observed in your community. Find a practical way to serve and contribute. You could volunteer to clean up the beach, help out at a nursing home or animal shelter, or deliver meals to the elderly. Visiting an orphanage or elderly homes and helping out with packing and giving away gifts. The holidays are a great time to volunteer. And as you do so, you may develop skills like leadership; planning and organizational skills, even interpersonal and communication skills as you will be working with people taking or giving instructions as you work on these projects. This is important even as you apply for funding opportunities to further your studies – these are some qualities that you can build up that will make you an outstanding applicant.

Remember this is an opportunity to network and meet key people in business. Most companies have what is called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) where the company is involved in making an effort to benefit society. For example, by donating services to community organizations, engaging in projects to aid the environment or donating money to charitable causes also by contributing to educational and social programs. Companies use the shutdown period to do their CSR programs as this is a season of giving. So if we cannot find them in their offices let’s look for them where they do their CSR program and find out from them how we can get involved.

Some of us are hoarders or collectors – keeping things that we do not use this is the time to de-clutter and sell the things you are not using. I am sure our listeners own many things they are not using, which other people would be willing to pay for. So hold a garage sale, or put the items up for sale online. This can help in building up funds to help with registration next year for those who are going to post school institutions. The funds raised in this garage or stand sale can be a stepping stone to starting a business. You could start something small like a:

  • Babysitting business
  • House Sitting business – for those families that are going on holidays – your own relatives as they may trust you easily.
  • Car Wash - and many other creative small things that you can come up with.

Look at the needs of your community they are the best indicators of business opportunities. See how best you can meet those needs and go out there start a business. There are business opportunities right under our noses.

Presenter: Wonderful ideas to explore. There are lots of opportunities and activities that young people can do today compared to when some of us were growing up. Do we have any other practical things can our listeners can consider during this period?

Guest: Yes indeed there are other activities that our listeners can consider – let me share a few. Our Listeners Can Refresh Their Skills – look at what additional knowledge you could gain that would help in your career development. Watch educational videos; online training; learn a new language and even take driving lessons. Trough reading one is also able to improve one’s vocabulary and writing skills. During the course of the year there are projects that we start and not complete because of the school work and other responsibilities – this is the time to complete those. So build or fix something, you can even pick up a new hobby.

Create or Revise Your CV Instead of waiting until the last minute to work on your CV, take the time now to really focus on making it the best it can be. Even if you are not actively looking for a job, your CV should always be up to date. Your CV should be a living document that is constantly updated with additional responsibilities and achievements. Handling your CV in this fashion will help you avoid unnecessary stress when someone you have connected with at a holiday mixer asks for your resume. Voila! All you’ll need to do is press send.

First things first, lay out all the things you can include on your CV and determine which ones are the most valuable to your desired field. If you do not have much experience, start by thinking about what transferable skills you gained from projects and activities you have done that could be applicable to a role in that field. Once you know what you want to put on your CV, find or design a template that is professional, yet eye-catching. You do not need flashy colours and fonts but, for example, having a header that is a bit different than a plain black title could help you stand out in a sea of applicants. While you are surrounded by family and friends over the holidays, get some of them to take a look at your resume and ask them to provide some feedback. Getting another person’s perspective can be valuable since everyone has different preferences and opinions – an extra set of eyes may spot something you alone never would have.

Presenter: this time of the year is considered as a time for reflection and making resolutions, people look at what they would like to achieve in the coming year that they were not able to in the current year. Is this also relevant in a persons’ career journey?

Of course! It is very important that whilst our listeners are on holiday that they use the time to reflect on the year gone by and set goals for the coming year. You may want to consider the following questions:

  • How have you developed yourself over the past year?
  • What would you love to learn or improve on?
  • If you have a specific career goal, what have you done this year to move closer to it?
  • Have you reviewed your career goals this year?
  • What have you achieved this year?
  • What are you proud of?
  • For those who are working already - Are you happy in your job? If no, why and what can you do to improve it?

It is great if you have a career goal or aspiration but you need to regularly review it and unless you break it down into short and medium term goals you won’t achieve it. Reflect back on what you’ve done so far this year, what you’ve learnt and achieved. Record what you have done and think about whether you need to revise your short and medium term goals. A goal without a plan is just a wish so make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. This is the good time as well to think and plan of what you will do next year if you are not accepted at any post school institution. Unplanned gap years are wasteful – so if you intend taking a gap year plan for it. Things to consider will be: do I improve my results? Do I travel and learn more about other provinces or countries? Do I take up a learnership opportunity?

Presenter: As we sum up our talk today we have looked at serious activities that our listeners can explore. But this is the time to relax and have fun do you have some relaxed and encouraging words for our listeners?

Guest: Of course we have a bit on a lighter note! As much as it is important to be in control and manage your career we encourage our listeners to take time to rest as well. You have more time during the school holidays, so this is a great opportunity to start sleeping well, exercising regularly, and eating healthily. You may even pick up a new hobby. I would like to suggest two fun activities that our listeners can engage in that are fun and creative yet meaningful.

As you reflect and formulate you goals you can do so by creating a vision board - thisis a powerful visualization tool that you can use as inspiration for your career journey. Some people refer to it as a “dream board” or an “inspiration board.” No matter what you call it, it is basically a collage of pictures, words and quotes that serve to remind you of your passion; aspiration and purpose.

Evaluate – examine what you wanted to achieve in the previous year and determine if you still desire those things that have not happened yet and determine what else you desire.

Brainstorm – gather a whole bunch of old magazines and go through them. Tear or cut out all the images and words that ‘speak’ to you or your career aspirations those pictures that resonate to you. Maybe you are drawn to a certain word or image and you don’t know exactly why. That is okay, cut out the word or picture anyway. These images and words should fit the categories you have decided to focus on and should feel in alignment with your goals and dreams. Gather a large pile so you have a lot to pick from once you start the process of finalizing your selections.

Organize – Start to arrange the images and words on the board in a way that feels good to you. Play around with things, moving them around until the layout feels right. Have fun creating the energy that will reflect the vision for your life and career.

Apply – Now you are going to glue or tape the images to your board. I encourage you to not stress over this part. Allow yourself to be fluid in how you place the images on your board. You can trust your instinct and put words near each other that feel like they have a relationship or relevancy. Once you are finished you are going to be amazed at how your board is flowing and how the images are working together effortlessly.

Hang it Up & Engage – Hang it somewhere visible and reflect on what you desire to create and achieve by standing in agreement with what you have declared on your vision board.

Presenter: Wow! This sounds interesting and can be loads of fun – I cannot wait to hear what is the other fun activity you have for our listeners that they can consider, please tell us about the second activity.

Guest: The last adventurous and fun activity is creating a Career Family Tree. It is fun to think about how family members’ career choices have influenced their lives and it may help you identify things you want and do not want in a career. You may see how your decisions to choose a career have been influenced and seen the change in career viewpoints over time. Also, take special note of how the roles of men and women have changed in the workplace. This family tree documents what careers/jobs members of your family had, what education they needed for their type of work and where they got that education. You must build a family tree with at least eight adult relatives from one or both sides of your family. You need to write specific, thoughtful questions to guide your investigation. You will write a letter to a family member, interview family members and maybe look through picture albums or other family documents. You may format the information like a typical family tree or be as creative as you choose as long as the information is well organized and easily readable.

The following items must be included on your career family tree:

  1. Name
  2. Relationship
  3. Birthdates
  4. Education: Name of last school attended, if they graduated high school/college and got a degree - dates family member exited school.
  5. Career information: Field, (i.e. healthcare, sales). Be specific if you know details, like company name, work dates or job descriptions.
  6. Visual distinctions between generations using: colour, shape of symbols, group location of symbols.

A number of factors can shape and influence the career paths you choose, starting with how your family shapes your perceptions of different employment options. Studying family history brings more than just historical knowledge, it builds relationships. Creating a family tree can be a fun, eye-opening experience. And here you are able to get the information you are wishing to know about careers in a fun and not so confrontational way. Try it out! Enjoy it and have loads of fun learning about the careers and work cultures out there through the members of your family. Wishing you a wonderful and restful yet productive holidays.

Presenter: Thank you for sharing the information with us and for words of encouragement. I am certain that most of our listeners really enjoyed and would need further advice. Where can our listeners get more information?

Guest: It is a pleasure and for more information the listener can reach us through

1.         SMS or “please call me” to 072 204 5056 with your question, or

2.         Call 086 999 0123, which is a call share line, from Monday to Friday between 8:00am       and 4:30pm,

3.       Visit our newly revamped website: www.careerhelp.org.za ,

4.         Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,

5.         Visit to our offices at 123 Francis Baard, Pretoria

6.         Facebook at www.facebook.com/careerhelp or,

7.         Twitter at www.twitter.com/rsacareerhelp

To listen to Khetha podcasts, visit SABC Education platform at http://iono.fm/p/230

Closing Billboard: ‘This programme was brought to you by the Department of Higher Education and Training in partnership with SABC Education’.

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