The month of August is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating all women. We pay special tribute to more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in August 1956.
In acknowledgement, we interviewed a few of our Mazarian trainees across the country. They spoke to us about their inspirations, how they got into the field and much more.
Meet Dimakatso Job, Trainee Accountant from our Durban office.
We are always interested in learning more about our trainees. Tell our readers more about yourself and the journey in your particular field.
I’ve always been a numbers person since primary school and since then anything that involved numbers has always fascinated me.
Fast forward to a few years later I was in studying Bcom Accounting at the University of Johannesburg working hard as I had always done in high school and had the mentality of every first-year “When I get to varsity I want distinctions only and I want to graduate in record time and complete my honours degree “well there were a few distinctions and I graduated in record time but that was before deciding to go the CA route. As a person who always wants to be challenged, I went for it! In the same year I graduated I began with BCTA and in that year the subject I found to be “EASY” became a thing of the past and it seemed the more effort I placed in it the worse I performed, managing the work became too much and I was drowning come year-end I HAD A “FAIL” for ACCOUNTING and basically I failed the course and had to repeat. It was too much to bear that I didn’t even know how I was going to tell my parents as I, self-had not comprehend the situation. I cried almost the whole of December of that year because I had never failed in my life and it was difficult to deal with something you have never experienced before “FAILURE” but came January when registrations opened, I had to get up again for the second round and there I was doing better than the previous year but then another challenge came in the form of my health, I was sick from February in that year all through to the end, most of my after-class routine became doctor’s appointments which led to an operation and more doctor’s appointments, it was hard to a point I wanted to give amidst July after the operation as I had to be home for a very long time but luckily it was recess even though these no such thing for an accounting student. Perseverance was the order of the day and a lot of sacrifices was required from going out to family gatherings and in some way it paid off and I passed BCTA.
Thrilled in doing CTA and I thought it “wouldn’t be that bad” you probably got through the worst in BCTA and you did it twice! I knew I had to work smarter and harder than before, more sacrifice than before was required…I went to visit home 3 times within that year, I had no friends except for my class or res mates, all I knew was to eat, study and sleep, weekends were no longer mine, church became a once-off occasion, in all that being done I still didn’t make it for my CTA and here I am now studying with Unisa still chasing a dream that only I envisioned and still believe in. There has been many voices and opinions along the journey “what if it is not your passion”, “are you sure it is what you should be doing?” “Have you considered other options” all these questions were sprouting doubt and uncertainty of whether I’m supposed to be in this field, or is this even for me? Applying for training contracts at various firms and being rejected at every chance and would still apply again and again it is the tenacity and the drive to fight for what I believe in that I am still pursuing this career. I’ve always wanted better for me and my family, so that too has been a driving factor.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
Mazars and I have always had that “love at first sight” relationship. I remember when they came to UJ for the CTA induction/open day and they gave a wonderful presentation but the funny part the one thing that stood out the most for me was the “Year-end function” part of the presentation so after all the presentations I remember going to their stand and completing the form. I was later called for an interview and I got the job. I always tell people I feel Mazars took a chance on me when everybody else thought I was not worth taking an opportunity on and that for me stood out. It showed me that it is not a firm that only focuses at the marks but also the character and personality of an individual.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
A person who is able to place themselves in the shoes of their team members in order to see things from their perspective and a person who not only tells you to do something but takes the initiative of guiding and helping you.
A person who knows how to LISTEN: Learn Inspire Seek Tell Educate and Notice
I feel those words embody a great leader.
Learn: As a leader you can always learn something from your team members, the title of being a leader does not mean you know everything but you must be willing to continuously learn especially from those around.
Inspire: A leader should always encourage people to be free to express their ideas and be creative, as I believe these more than one way of doing something so always be open to doing things a different way.
Seek: A leader should have the ability to challenge an individual in order to assist them in seeking and realising their skills, ones that can be built and those that we born with. Basically seeking the best in people not only focusing on what they do bad.
Tell: Constructive criticism, a leader should be able to provide criticism in a respectful and dignified manner even if it is not positive criticism but should address it (tell it) in a manner that one does not feel demotivated or feel dumb.
Educate: Lead as a teacher teaches their students, as a leader you are at a position of more experience most of the time and a depth knowledge therefore never lead with the mentality that a person should know what you know or you expect them to know something because it is obvious to you.
Notice: A leader should be observant, and go the extra mile. As a leader one should not focus on only on the work of the individual but also the well-being of the person matters, be able to notice when one is struggling or pick up that one is not their usual self and get to know your team more than just within the work environment.
List some of your favourite “she-roes”.
My Mother: Motshidisi Job, her ability to strive to make a better future for her children. I have seen her overwork herself to ensure that we have all that we need, she always goes the extra mile for me. She is one of the hardest working women I have known and has a heart of gold in how she always seeks to help and show love to other people.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
The journey is going to hit hard but you have to hit back twice as hard. It is going to be tough, you will be tested, you will feel like you losing your mind but when you get to that point don’t stop that’s when you rise up to the occasion because you drawing nearer to everything you ever wanted. It’s a life-transforming experience but in the end it will be worth it, it is all in your perspective, mindset and determination. Never think that you do not have it within you, the fact that you began means you more than capable to finish.
What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.
“Yes you failed, I have also failed but you get up and show up again”
“You don’t try, you do it”
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.
- The first year induction experience was one awesome one, I was grouped with amazing individuals that made the activities so much fun and really demonstrated teamwork “Group 2”
- My first audit was an overwhelming experience but the team made the whole situation bearable, there was so much unity amongst the team and support. It was a beautiful experience “Dapubz”
- The first-year function!
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
Yes, in a positive and negative way.
On the positive side, it has indicated that people are able to work from the comfort of their home and secondly it has allowed businesses to find creative ways to carry out operations by the use of technology which is cost-effective.
As a first-year it has been challenging in terms of finding a balance between work and personal life but not only that but having to do something for the first time with limited guidance.
Not being able to see the people you are working with.
How have you maintained focus and motivation in the face of changes brought by the pandemic? Highlight something important during your day-to-day, that helps you cope with certain challenges.
To be honest, that has been one of the challenges I have faced to maintain focus and motivation, but as much as that has been hard I have had to apply focus in ensuring that my work is done properly; and at the moment work is one of the motivations that keeps me going besides my studies, as there are those days where it is hard to wake up, but then knowing that there’s something to wake up to every day helps mitigate all the other factors surrounding me.
Prayer, that’s my most effective mechanism of coping when all others fail.
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
There is always room for improvement, despite the challenges the industry has experienced in South Africa over the past few years, there is opportunity to redeem ourselves and do better to uphold the industry to its respectable and honoured manner. I believe that we shall expect to see more introduction of artificial intelligence being implemented within the audit, tax and advisory industry due to many businesses shifting more to the use of digital technologies.