5 successful SA CEOs share their best career advice for young professional

Sonic2k

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Shameel Joosub: Always do more than what you are asked
Nobody likes a suck-uppppppppp!

They all say, work hard... just one problem... you can work as hard as you like for most companies... it will mean nothing in the short or medium term.
 

CamiKaze

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Oh please...

I have been coding in C, C# and Java and doing much more than required...

Then a guy at work shows me what he does as an FI in SAP where he ticks check boxes for a living and earns R1500/hour...
 

krycor

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Seems more like the formula is work hard & get a broad experience + get an mba or equiv while in a goodish company as soon as you semi competent technically, climb the corp ladder of one of the top companies or move to one.

Technical specialists in Sa, albeit slowly changing, will never surpass top management salaries unless they are an entrepreneur. It's one of those things you need to learn to accept.
 

krycor

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Oh please...

I have been coding in C, C# and Java and doing much more than required...

Then a guy at work shows me what he does as an FI in SAP where he ticks check boxes for a living and earns R1500/hour...
Or you can be the guy that watches this happens and then automates the simple tasks and sells it as a service such that you spend 1/5th of the time and paid the same ;)
 

CamiKaze

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Or you can be the guy that watches this happens and then automates the simple tasks and sells it as a service such that you spend 1/5th of the time and paid the same ;)
That's a bit impossible as corporate s make decisions based on what other companies are doing.
 

Sonic2k

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Not one gave me any useful advice
Indeed, do you really for one moment think any of them would tell you the real story of how they got to the top?

In this country at least, I believe, to get to their position, involves a fair amount of being willing to kiss arse, and a lot of nerve and lots and lots of smooth talking.
 

krycor

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In this country at least, I believe, to get to their position, involves a fair amount of being willing to kiss arse, and a lot of nerve and lots and lots of smooth talking.
I don't think it differs much anywhere else.
 

skimread

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In this country at least, I believe, to get to their position, involves a fair amount of being willing to kiss arse, and a lot of nerve and lots and lots of smooth talking.
Exactly. If they were honest all of there answers would have been: "It's who you know, not what you know"
 

skimread

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They should have rather asked them what there favourite book they've read. Maybe then the article might have been useful
 

Azg

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Seems more like the formula is work hard & get a broad experience + get an mba or equiv while in a goodish company as soon as you semi competent technically, climb the corp ladder of one of the top companies or move to one.

Technical specialists in Sa, albeit slowly changing, will never surpass top management salaries unless they are an entrepreneur. It's one of those things you need to learn to accept.
Agreed. Working smarter, not harder, is the key. Get experienced and then look for management / technical management positions otherwise you will be working hard for peanuts until the day you are retrenched.
 

HavocXphere

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Oh please...

I have been coding in C, C# and Java and doing much more than required...

Then a guy at work shows me what he does as an FI in SAP where he ticks check boxes for a living and earns R1500/hour...
Then become a SAP consultant? If its that easy then surely thats not a problem for you? :p
 

CamiKaze

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Well let us know if it is indeed R1.5k / for checkbox clicking.
I was shadowing people in the organisation that do different things within the SAP domain.

From what my team saw regarding the FI consultant and his day to day, there is a lot of config work but it is nicely "placed" within a gui where there are various things that one can tick, as long as they know what they are ticking. However, this is from an untrained eye.

As for the other things, well the rest of the roles found within SAP are a bit more meaty.

That 1.5k is obviously what consultants external to the company will charge as SAP skills are in demand and I doubt I would get anywhere close to that since it is an internal move.
 

falcon786

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Not one gave me any useful advice
Actually they did you have to just know how to interpret and apply it in your situation to get you up the corporate ladder . I've personally seen things that these guys have said take people up to the top.

Let me give you two simple examples from the article Cell C Ceo emphasised networking and that's important to get what Joosub was speaking about right sometimes.I know somebody who was just in procurement in a medium sized company with no degrees or qualifications at all...his job was only to buy stuff for the company but he saw a niche in the mining industry which he learnt about by networking with people and started supplying goods his company could buy at good prices from suppliers to these mines.These goods were not part of the companies business at the time.He started doing so well that they at first hired him an assistant then more....eventually set up an entire department for him.Today it's an entire division in the company that does 90 percent of the companies net profit and he is now one of the three directors of the company.

I also know that Joosub did something similar with Vodacom and cellphone sales so it makes sense.

If you have a negative attitude and don't take advice that's relevant you won't get far because you're showing the opposite of what the other advice was,you're not willing to learn.
 

krycor

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Actually they did you have to just know how to interpret and apply it in your situation to get you up the corporate ladder . I've personally seen things that these guys have said take people up to the top.

Let me give you two simple examples from the article Cell C Ceo emphasised networking and that's important to get what Joosub was speaking about right sometimes.I know somebody who was just in procurement in a medium sized company with no degrees or qualifications at all...his job was only to buy stuff for the company but he saw a niche in the mining industry which he learnt about by networking with people and started supplying goods his company could buy at good prices from suppliers to these mines.These goods were not part of the companies business at the time.He started doing so well that they at first hired him an assistant then more....eventually set up an entire department for him.Today it's an entire division in the company that does 90 percent of the companies net profit and he is now one of the three directors of the company.

I also know that Joosub did something similar with Vodacom and cellphone sales so it makes sense.

If you have a negative attitude and don't take advice that's relevant you won't get far because you're showing the opposite of what the other advice was,you're not willing to learn.
Exactly.. And this is why mba/pdba etc helps with technically minded people. Don't get me wrong, you don't 'need' to have these degrees but they are great to giving you insight into how business are run and what really affects the bottom line. Then, combined with technical experience and exposure, you are more adept to find these niche points wherein improving processes or the way things are done will either spin off success but even start companies that way. So it kinda goes hand in hand.. I think some grads negate the experience and jump straight into business but not attain as much success as those that gain the exposure first and this why technically inclined persons with business degrees sometimes can outperform a straight business person.. they know what they looking for either by knowing the business or knowing the technical aspects. its an edge and you see this many times particularly where there is a disruptive business change
 

garp

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This is not advice. This is some company bosses saying what they think will make their minions work even harder, and what they think makes them look good. As if to say they are where they are due to their ridiculous hard work alone. The truth is you have to be both obsessive and a sociopath to rise to the top. This often looks like long hours, but is usually just a symptom of their psychological dysfunction that makes them uniquely capable of rising through the ranks. Occasionally a human rises to corporate leader level, but this is rare, and they are usually self made having created their company themselves. All others are just brilliant at politics and schmoozing and those long hours are dedicated to networking, making themselves look good and their schemes to get others to make themselves look good. You will never rise to the top of a corporate by being the most productive and competent person in your field, because you will be too busy being the most productive and competent person in your field to play, or even care, about the "Game of Thrones". While you are pulling 18 hour days to beat the project deadline, there will always be a boss who will bask in the glory of your success in the next board meeting.
 
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