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Love what you do?

Loving what you do so that your never ‘work’ a day in your life is a luxury  for the wealthy few. For the rest of us, it’s about learning a skill that we can apply to a craft – and that is still no guarantee of a livelihood.

For writers, job opportunities have thinned down substantially with the discontinuation of many titles and media houses closing down. Those that maintained an online presence, kept a very small staff, leaving slim pickings for the freelance masses.

With my skills set, I decided to jump on the pivot-bandwagon and try teaching English to foreigners. I duly equipped myself with a formal Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification recognised by both British and American governments, and I was on my way.

Impossible earnings

Having secured a contract, I was quite excited to begin this journey, only to discover a gestapo mentality in the management and a penal code so severe it was virtually impossible to earn the measly $5 an hour.  This lasted but a week and I was happy that my exploitation was as short-lived as it was.

Then I returned to my first love, writing, and completed a subbing test which was asking for the best effort. Mine, apparently proved that I was overqualified. They had my CV before sending me the test so this data was not new to them. Was it just a cheap way to get an article subbed and skive out of paying for it?

Scammy stuff

It seems like there are a lot of ‘scams’ posing as decent pay for decent work, but when it comes to putting money in your account, these organisations have a long list of reasons why they won’t.

With unemployment numbers as high as they are and livelihoods on the brink of despair from the added pressures of COVID19, is it expected that those of us with real skills who are willing to make an honest living must take whatever we’re thrown?

Gig economy the smart choice

See the scissors of the sub-editor

Grammar: Prevent or avoid

pic: Unsplash, Matt Chesin:
Prevent accidents by following the rules of the road.

Many practitioners of the English language struggle with word pairs that are seemingly interchangeable, and may just be so in some exceptional cases, but mostly there is a clear distinction between the correct use, and usage which will create grammatical turmoil.

6 Essentials of a Thought Leadership Article

Thought leadership
A place for deep thought

Thought leadership is a relatively young term in the business environment, according to my sources, just 19 years old. Yet, it is one that is well-supported if Google’s 948 million return on search is anything to go by.

The thought leaders of our time include Arianna Huffington, Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin, among many,  and my personal favourite Elon Musk.

“A thought leader is an individual or company that is widely recognised as an authority in a specific niche. They are sought out by the media, conferences and potential clients for that expertise.

7 Reasons to Connect with Influencers

Influencer marketing

Now, more than ever, influencer market is part of strategy. It’s all virtual but everybody is doing it and you need to know how to tap in.

My top 10 in how to use capital letters

Pic by Mike Baumeister
The weather is unpredictable – climate change

There’s nothing worse than being tripped up by capital letters. This means having to wade through a long piece of text crippled by incorrectly used capital letters, and not knowing the rules for how to use capital letters. It came to the fore again this week, when clients insisted that every job title was written with a capital letter. That is just not right so please note.

Hard to call someone a horse’s ass: idiom usage

Photo: Iza Grek

Having said good-bye to the last of the Easter holiday makers in Durban, a coastal town in South Africa, we started to make our way home on Monday. On the way back we stopped at Van Reenen just off the N3 that runs between Johannesburg and the province, KwaZulu Natal.

See the scissors of the sub-editor

Pay down cash

Where cash was once king, no-one wants to transact with hard currency, banks charge a fortune for handling the dirty lucre and it’s certainly not safe to be walking around with a stash in your back pocket.

Have no fear – CONTENT is the new king. Content is the king of the ‘interverse’. Everybody wants it, everybody has it and everybody dumps it anywhere and anyhow.

Debug your grammar gremlin

Grammar
Time will get you there

In my job, as sub-editor at a community newspaper, I had to reprimand a reporter for shoddy work.

His report was submitted for subbing with several repeated paragraphs. When I pointed this out to him, he swore it was a systems error.

This was highly unlikely and even if it was, he should have made the necessary corrections to the piece before sending it on for subbing.

Trends for 2021 and beyond

Africa rising
Kids in Africa enjoying their freedom

With the year, two and a bit months underway, there’s been enough time to reflect on trends that will shape the decade ahead. I’ve put my thoughts together and come up with these six.

  • Moocs

A search for Moocs returns almost 35 billion responses in under seven seconds on Google. That many. There are possibly as many Moocs as there are searches for them. We are talking about Massive Open Online Course. There are no barriers to entry (free) for these courses and there are thousands.

A stonking good word

A stonking good wordEvery now and then, a word comes a long that makes me prick up my ears and say, ‘that’s a good one’.

Stonking is such a word.

There’s so much to say about stonking. For starters dictionaries across the web from Cambridge to Oxford and Encarta broadly agree on its adjectival usage to mean “large, impressive, used to emphasise how good or enjoyable something is.”