Trade Unions: They are not the enemy!

02 May

The mention of ‘trade union’ can result in a cacophony of reactions depending on which side of an organisational hierarchy a hearer falls. It is more typical for workers or employees to react positively and employers negatively due to the feeling that trade unions help to somewhat shift the balance of power with respect to bargaining rights, placing more of it into the hands of employees than many employers would like.

But is this the whole story; the seeming empowering of workers and the ‘emasculation’ of employers? Could it be that only a portion of the story is really being told and there are oft ignored benefits for employers afterall? What is a trade union really?

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It’s a Rollercoaster Economy, but Hang On and Survive the Ride

06 Jan

The world economic recession is lasting a lot longer than we would all have liked and for sure we are all feeling the pinch. For some, it’s probably seemed more like a stranglehold or a headlock because unfortunately, Jamaica had been experiencing its own challenges, which included a steady trend of job losses, long before the world market officially took a nose dive in 2008. It’s indeed looking dread out there. Continuously escalating prices of goods and services, notably gas, food and electricity, are pressuring diminishing incomes – or in some cases like mine, disappearing ones – and many incomes have been yielding to the pressure. Job security is a thing of the past. Maybe for you it’s been a tailspin but don’t despair, there are practical steps that you can take to alleviate the pressure and keep your sanity. Read the rest of this entry »


The Party’s Over So Please Leave Already

05 Jan

Ever been plagued by guests who won’t leave? So annoying. The party ended at 2 am and it’s 3:15 am and they’re just hanging around like they’re waiting for daybreak and you want to get to bed. Not necessarily guests from hell – you know the ones who just seem to do everything to rub you the wrong way and get on your last nerve – but the ones who are nice enough or even downright sweet or charming. People who you probably like but they just won’t leave. What do you do? My friend Sean the joker says when it’s past 2 am and you feel nauseous from being overtired and can’t stop yawning; some man is babbling on about his accomplishments, and his woman hasn’t the guts to tell him it’s time to go home, stand up, stretch, yawn, tell your spouse to make coffee for the morning while you put out the cat and then go put on your pajamas while she puts on her nightie. If they still won’t take a hint, turn out the lights. Read the rest of this entry »


Nix the Budget Blues and Still Look Like a Fashionista

05 Jan

Fashion’s a breeze when you’ve got money to blow. For fashionistas – female or male – keeping up with fashion and style definitely takes a lot of money, and getting that fresh-from-the-runway look here in Jamaica gets tricky when you’re short on cash. Shopping at first rate stores, though preferred for the fashionista, can put a dent in the wallet. But is this reason to flop onto your bed in despair and hurl your one of a kind Ann Klein high heel slingbacks across the room in a fit of depression? Oh no girl. Get yourself up, arrange your clothes just so, rescue your Ann Kleins, take a seat and listen up. If you do things somewhat differently you can change or upgrade your wardrobe without spending a bundle. And if you carefully select your purchases and create a shopping list when buying a number of clothing items at once, you’ll be able to get what you need without damaging your wallet too much. Yes; it is possible. Really. And now that I have your attention, pull out your ipad and take notes because I am going to make you look good for less.

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Create a Personal Brand for Career Advancement

05 Jan

“Branding” is a marketing term that traditionally applied to products and services and their characteristics. It is a way of bringing a product to life so to speak and a way of making it easier for consumers to both identify and identify with it, and is therefore a critical component to a customer’s purchasing decision. One would typically talk about the corporate brand (Grace, Digicel, BMW), and the product brand (supligen, BMW M3 Coupe). Read the rest of this entry »


Acing that Job Interview

05 Jan

Congratulations! You have been spending days, weeks, or possibly months of looking for the right job and this finally paid off when you were asked to come in for an interview. This is of paramount importance considering the present global economic recession in which jobs are not so easily secured. You can wipe the sweat from your brow as you’ve cleared the first hurdle. The biggest question of all comes next: now what? You will have normally only 15 to 20 minutes to sell your experiences, attitude, and skills to the employer – most likely without knowing what the employer wants to hear from you. It can seem overwhelming, but remembering a few key points can help make your interview successful. Read the rest of this entry »


Delay in Getting a Job? Do Your Own Thing

05 Jan

“Downsizing, rightsizing, adjustments in staff complement…” Aren’t I tired of hearing terms like those; all a pretty way to say job cuts. The result?: I don’t know anyone who any longer feels secure in their job.

In times past, people would feel some measure of surety that, as long as they performed at the company and was an all-round good employee they would have their job for the long-term. But even good employees often find themselves unceremoniously placed back into the job market as a result of the seemingly unending job cuts. Are you one such person? Then welcome to the global club of the axed (which, by the way, is a large one). And unfortunately, many businesses have also “packed up shop” or closed down sections of their enterprise. So with fewer positions in existence, many job seekers are understandingly feeling utterly frustrated. But life must go on despite a job loss, right? Bills must be paid, groceries must be purchased, and kids must go to school. Considering this, what does one do after they’ve finished moping and bemoaning their state of seemingly perpetual joblessness? Well, ever thought about a small business of your own? I hear the experts all the time saying firstly that job creation is essential to allow the Jamaican economy to not just survive but thrive. I also hear them saying that if you can’t find a job, do your own thing. Plenty of people both here and abroad are setting up their own business with good success. Sure it’s not something to just slap together on a whim but if properly approached could yield some really good results for you. Read the rest of this entry »


Find a Job In a Recession?… Yes You Can!

21 Dec

By: Shelly Anglin Smith

People are getting new jobs daily. There is no reason why you should not be one of them. I know job hunting is tough right now but it is not absolutely impossible. Just think of all the vacant positions that are advertised in the newspapers and online each week. The key to finding and keeping work in tough times is the same as in good times: action. The more positive the action you take, the better your chances of landing a great job. Be as visible and connected as you can. Even though there are very few jobs on the open market, as I pointed out before, there’s always activity so be well placed to take advantage. Read the rest of this entry »


Fabulous Finds for Fashion in Kingston, Jamaica

25 Nov

By: Shelly Anglin Smith

For years Jamaica has been making its mark on the world fashion map. It is no longer possible to interact with the major fashion houses anywhere in the world, mention Jamaican fashion designers and models, and be met with a blank stare.

Not only has Pulse for more than 30 years been churning out the likes of Jaunel McKenzie, Carla Campbell, Nadine Willis, Oraine Barrett, and Nell Robinson, but they have been placing them in internationally renowned magazines such as Vogue, Esquire, i-D, French, Love, Cosmo and GQ. This local modeling agency giant dominated this industry locally for many years, but young and growing model recruitment and placement agency, Saint International, is now earning its stripes in the marketplace with its unique brand of models. Saint has introduced Raschell Osbourne, Ashane Rose, and Shena Moulton, among others, to the world, and who have modeled internationally for Odd Molly, Mondo Guerra Project, and Mara Hoffman, to name a few. Not to mention that the models from these two agencies feature prominently in both major and minor local fashion shows, and in fashion shows around the Caribbean. And with home grown fashion designers like Pat Wright  of Wright Style, and Juliette Andrea Dyke of Julans Closet who hit the scenes more recently, were have a lot to offer to the world. Read the rest of this entry »


Hot Jamaica Beaches: Miles of Soft Sand to Sink your Toes In!

25 Nov

By: Shelly Anglin Smith

When the average foreigner thinks about Jamaica, one of the first things that person will think about are our beaches. With 200 miles of beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters, Jamaica has a lot to boast. Trust me on this one, because I’ve been to beaches elsewhere in the world and the murky waters left me sitting on my multicoloured “Jamaica” beach towel on the dark, gritty sand, too scared to even stick my big toe in the water for fear of what might be lurking in there totally hidden from view. I didn’t want to pull out my foot and find myself minus a toe, thank you very much. And not even my sunglasses could dim the scene enough for me to join the locals who splash about in such water as if it were gold. Jamaican beaches are not only amongst the best in the world, but also within the Caribbean, and the envy of many. Unfortunately, we don’t appreciate what we have. But though all unique and lovely, each with a character all its own, some beaches stand head and shoulders above others, and will definitely have you yearning to return. Curious as to where to find these? Mmmmm… well, now that I’ve whetted your appetite, ladies, haul out the bikinis; gentlemen, you don you surfing shorts or speedos – whatever meets your fancy – pack the beach bag, and let’s embark on a journey around the island. Destination: hot beaches. Read the rest of this entry »