Mind the Gap, Boomers & Millennials!

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Divided by technology and attitudes cast in stone, modern generations glare at each other across the great divide. What will it take to make them see eye to eye? Maybe it will help if, just for a moment or two, they put down their phones and listened.

It was the Baby Boomer Bob Dylan who summed it up best, in an age when everything around him was changing, including age itself. “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command,” he warned. “Your old road is rapidly ageing.”

He was talking about a concept as old as time itself – the drift in values and attitudes between young and old – but that had just been given a catchy label that would come to define the changing times.

The Generation Gap. Today, the gap remains, even as the generations change. Once, it was enough to divide grown-ups from children, who were then sub-categorised as teenagers, a species accorded a distinct set of characteristics based on their observed broodiness, rebellion, and unfathomable taste in music. Life today is a lot more complicated.

Those teenagers have grown up to be Boomers, and their children and grandchildren are now the Generation Xers, Millennials, and Generations Y and Z who are supposed to be so difficult to understand and so far beyond our command.

But is this really so, or is the generational theory of the American pop sociologists, Strauss and Howe, just a slightly more sophisticated version of horoscope theory?

We invited two experts in across-the-gap thinking, Estee Roodt, an industrial psychologist, and Stuart Stobbs, advertising agency owner, into the BrightRock studio to share their thoughts on the subject with David O’Sullivan. As Estee points out, the great divide between the generations these days, particularly in the workplace, is often by nature a digital divide.

“The Millennials are the generation that has been transformed by technology,” she says. This in turn gives them a special power to transform, by sharing their intuitive understanding of technology with less switched-on generations. “It’s their responsibility to start teaching technology to people who are in managerial positions. It can be very daunting to incorporate new ways.”

At the same time, Boomers and Xers can share their wealth of knowledge and experience with their younger colleagues and employees. But it shouldn’t be a passive relationship, says Stuart, who is in his 40s and works in an advertising studio with many people half his age.

“We have to constantly change,” he says. “We need to keep educating ourselves on what’s new.” But turning an organisation into an active learning environment may not be enough to keep those restless Millennials in their place.

A stereotype of the generation is that they breeze in and out of  organisations, unwilling to be pinned down by age-old conventions of loyalty and one-rung-at-a-time career progression.

“Millennials don’t see the fact that they job-hop as being disloyal to the company,” says Estee. “They merely move on to the next experience. You really need to keep them preoccupied in your organisation, or create new opportunities.”

Stuart agrees, albeit with a caveat that cuts to the core of the problem with defining people by the era in which they were born. “Millennials are human too,” he reminds us. So are Boomers, and Xers, and all the other subtypes who get consigned into categories for ease of analysis and marketability.

His solution in the workplace is to encourage interaction by removing, every now and again, the single greatest barrier to getting to know each other better: technology.

Before every meeting, everyone has to put their phone into a box at the door, and leave it there for the duration.

“It’s amazing,” says Stuart. “People look at each other, and talk to each other, and focus.”

Even Bob Dylan would agree. The best way to bridge the gap is to lean right across it, and listen to what the other side is saying. For more insights and advice on working with your fellow generations, watch the full Iris Session below.

*For more advice and insight on the changing world of work today, visit the Change Exchange, our breezy online portal for everything you need to know about the Big Change Moments in life: Tying the Knot, Starting a Family, Landing That Job, and Making a Home.

This article first appeared in The Change Exchange, an online platform by BrightRock, provider of the first-ever life insurance that changes as your life changes.

Breaking the Final Taboo of Marriage

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Love and romance may lead you to the altar, but a happy and healthy relationship will depend on your ability to share your thoughts on the ultimate taboo. Money. For richer or for poorer, here’s why you need to talk about it.

Whether you marry for love or money, sooner or later you’re going to have to sit down and talk about money. It’s the single biggest issue in any marriage, and talking about it an open and healthy way may be the best opportunity you have to keep love and romance aglow.

Marriage is a contract between kindred souls, bonded as one by love, trust, respect, and understanding.

What more do you need, beyond the dreamy shared gaze, the glittering band of gold, the echoes of “I do” that invite the happy couple to seal their magical moment with a kiss? Well, for one thing, you need a good lawyer.

For all the romance we associate with marriage, it is also a legal proposition, calling on both parties to choose whether to share or divide their possessions in the event that the glitter wears off.

“You need to plan for divorce before you get married,” says Kirsty Bisset, entrepreneur and blogger. “Marriage, without all the fluffy stuff, is a transaction. It’s a binding agreement to spend the rest of your life with somebody.”

That may come as a jolt to those of us who believe in the fluffy stuff, but as Kirsty made clear during a BrightRock Iris Session, hosted by David O’Sullivan, people change.

And so may your feelings for each other, 10 or 20 years down the line, which is why it’s good to have those “healthy and happy conversations” while you still can.

The chief subject, of course, being money, and how you should divide your worldly goods in the event of an irretrievable breakdown.

Psychologist Dorianne Weil, who also took part in the Iris Session, calls these “courageous conversations”, and argues that they’re not really about money after all.

“It’s really about what’s mine and what’s yours. It’s about power struggles. The mindset is me and you, not us. The money becomes the natural scapegoat.”

Dorianne, known as Dr D on radio, also believes that people don’t fall in love, as they do in the movies: “You fall in lust, and you grow in love,” she says. “The fantasies that you have are almost always positive, you’re making decisions that are going to last the rest of your life, very often without even knowing anything about the person.”

A good and lasting marriage depends on what Dorianne calls the Platinum Rule, which is: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”

But for attorney Aleisha Oliver, the third member of the panel, marriage is more than a relationship; it’s a regime. And it’s very important for the parties to choose the “marital regime” that will best govern their finances: an ante-nuptial contract with community of property, or out of community of property, with or without accrual.

Either way, says Aleisha, there must be equal communication, and equal respect at the heart of the negotiation.

“Money is at the root of problems, 80 to 90 per cent of the time.”

Kirsty agrees, which is why, every few months, she sits down with her husband, Barry, to discuss finances over a glass of wine and an Excel spreadsheet.

“Money is always a huge issue between two people, so we’ve kept the conversation very open. We have access to each other’s bank accounts. You need to meet each other halfway.”

For Dorianne, healthy communication is the key to a healthy marriage. “You go into marriage with hope and an open mind,” she says. “You want security, you want friendship, you want continuity, some shared interest, kindness, concern for the other person, respect. Marriage isn’t the icing on the cake. It’s the nourishing fruit-cake underneath.”

How you choose to divide that cake can make all the difference to the way your marriage thrives and prospers, for the good of both parties.

But it isn’t easy: “It’s hard work,” says Dorianne. “You have to keep asking yourself, what if? You have to face up to certain realities. You have to sit down and talk about your hopes, dreams, and intentions.”

And if you get that right, if you manage to find what Dorianne calls the balance between closeness and intrusion, space and distance, you’ll have more than enough time to celebrate the fluffy stuff – the love and romance – that brought you together in the first place.

*For more advice and insight on making the most of your marriage and your money, visit the Change Exchange, our breezy online portal for everything you need to know about the Big Change Moments in life: Tying the Knot, Starting a Family, Landing That Job, and Making a Home.

This article first appeared in The Comet, an online platform by BrightRock, provider of the first-ever life insurance that changes as your life changes.

When You’re in Love With the Smell of Wet Cement

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Every home-owner knows that a home is a work in progress. Whether it’s a bathroom in need of new tiling, or a kitchen in need of new everything, the quest for improvement goes on and on. Here’s some expert advice on how to add value to your home, and peace of mind to your renovations 

Everybody wants to live in the home of their dreams. A bright garden with a sparkling pool; a sun-lounge with bay windows and Oregon floors; a study at the quiet end of a shady path; a big bathroom with a pressed-steel ceiling; a kitchen expansive enough to accommodate your heart and soul.

But every dream comes with a disclaimer, and in the case of domestic bliss, it is this: sooner or later, you’re going to have to renovate.

Because every house is a work in progress, and anyone who has ever owned one will be happy to share their terrifying tales of absconding builders, burst geysers, overflowing budgets, and enough noise and dust to drive you out of home.

At the same time, if you manage to get it right, you could add significantly to the value of your property, not just in financial terms, but in the happiness and well-being that comes from a job well done.

With that in mind, David O’Sullivan invited three home-renovation experts into the BrightRock studio for an Iris Session on the do’s and don’t’s of home improvement.

Mandy Collins, a journalist, author, and “home improvement fanatic” who has just moved into a new home in Johannesburg; Wicus Pretorius, editor of the home improvement glossy, Tuis; and Christopher Hajec, managing director of the real estate agency, Seeff Randburg West Rand.

Mandy, who fell in love with her new home on the first amble up the garden path, admits she overlooked a few minor flaws in favour of its charms. “If you call it shabby chic, you can get away with anything,” she says.

Then, one day, she looked up and saw the massive damp spot on the ceiling. “The guy I bought the house from said, it’s from a previous leak, the roof is sound, don’t panic.”

But you do, not just because you’re worried about the roof over your head, but because you’re already spending enough money on your mortgage.

That puts you in a classic dilemna: do you keep on fixing things up, or do you start looking for another place to fall in love with?

The reality, says Christopher, is that more and more homeowners are turning to renovation, because it’s become so “cost-prohibitive” to move.

“The upper end of the market has slowed down considerably. Rather than selling, people are renovating.”

But renovating a home can be its own reward, especially if you see it as a creative task, rather than a bothersome chore.

Wicus, whose publication offers homeowners advice and inspiration on reimagining and reinventing their homes, sees renovation as a fulfilling hobby: “To me, the smell of wet cement is better than the smell of a leg of lamb,” he says.

But he draws the line at toying around with plumbing or electrical work. That’s where you need to get the professionals in.

But even small cosmetic changes can make a big difference to the look and value of a house.

For example, “take up the horrible carpets and show the Oregon pine floors. Floors are the fifth wall of a house. They can totally change the look. But proper doors, replace door handles. You can make a huge difference for a fairly small investment.”

While Mandy says her new house felt like home from the day she moved in, she still plans to change the tiles – “They’re beige, and I’m not a beige person” – and she has a bathtub standing in the garden , waiting for that big renovation day. Until then, she uses it as a sanctuary for reading, filling it with cushions and lying back for a relaxing escape.

But when talk turns to home improvement, it inevitably takes a detour to a syndrome estate agents like to warn you against – over-capitalisation.

“In the real estate industry, we like to say that we sell a used product,” says Christopher. “For the uninitiated, it can be scary. Think about the style and longevity of the décor when you renovate. We often say to a seller, if you had known you were going to sell, would you have put in this improvement? We see overcapitalisation all the time.”

But if you think carefully about why you’re improving your home, and what you hope to get out of it in the long run, it can help to turn your biggest investment in life into a dream home come true.

For more advice and insights on making the most of your home, watch the full Iris Session below:

*For more advice and insight on the changing world of work today, visit the Change Exchange, our breezy online portal for everything you need to know about the Big Change Moments in life: Tying the Knot, Starting a Family, Landing That Job, and Making a Home.

 

The High Cost of Tying the Knot

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Whether you settle for a quiet get-together with family and friends in the garden, or a lavish weekend do-I-do at a manor house in the country, getting married is an expense that could put that richer or poorer pledge to the test before you even say your vows. Here’s how to handle the budget on your Big Day


Marriage is a contract between parties, and few parties are as significant as the one you hold on the day you get married. “For richer or for poorer,” runs the pledge, the latter being the likelier option once you’ve tallied up the bill.

Unless, of course, like the Russian oligarch who spent $1-billion on his daughter’s wedding – he hired Sting and Jennifer Lopez to sing at the reception – you have no need to trifle with budgetary constraints.

For the rest of us, who have to make to do with the guy who runs the local mobile disco, the big question, next to whether or not we take our beloved to be our lawful wedded spouse, is whether we can afford to get married in the first place. Well, of course we can.

The cost of living happily ever after is always negotiable. All you have to do is start with your ultimate fairytale fantasy wedding, and bring the budget down from there.

To get a sense of what that means, we invited three experts in wedding affairs into the BrightRock studio, to share their thoughts in an Iris Session with David O’Sullivan.

On the couch: wedding planner Khali Collins, owner of The Wedding Specialists; and Mike Sharman, co-founder of the ad agency, Retroviral, who recently tied the knot with his wife, Taryn. And beaming in from Cape Town, our resident financial commentator and common sense adviser, Maya Fisher-French.

As Maya sees it, wedding planning should not be seen as something separate from financial planning.

“You need to ask yourself, what are your goals and aspirations? If a wedding now means not being able to put a deposit down on your dream home, is that the decision you want to be making?”

If you borrow R100,000 for the wedding – and a lot of couples are now financing their own weddings, says Maya – you’ll be paying off R5,500 a month for the next three years.

Better to scale your wedding realistically according to what you can afford, advises Khali. The most expensive budget she’s had to work with was R8-million, but on average, you can look at spending between R2,000 and R2,500 per wedding guest.

“Some clients do want a champagne wedding on a beer budget,” she says, but you can manage your costs by taking a good look at what you really need on the day. Do you really need a bottle of red wine and white wine on each table? No, says Khali. Rather make it an option on the menu.

“What’s more important to you? Do you want to focus on the drinks and people having fun, or do you want to focus on this great lavish dress? Where are you prepared to spend money?”

For Mike and Taryn, who both work in advertising, the answer was to approach their wedding with the same attention to detail and cost as they would approach a campaign for a client.

They broke their wedding down into “pre-production, “production”, and “post-production”, incorporating every element from the bachelor party to the service to the reception.

“We sat down and discussed all the items,” says Mike, “and then unfortunately you have the miscellaneous line item which continues to grow and grow as that big day nears. It was important to start off with a base of, what are we trying to achieve from this day, from an execution point of view? What is the delivery?”

Being in the industry also brought other benefits, such as the gift of a day’s free videography from a friend who also works for an ad agency.

“You have to strike that balance between affordability and the wedding of your dreams,” says Mike, who thoroughly researched options for a venue online, before settling on Old Mac Daddy, a retro-hip “trailer farm” in Elgin in the Cape.

Hosting your wedding in an out-of-the-way place is also a good way to put a cap on numbers, laughs Mike, because only your true pals and close family will make the trek.

It’s now become commonplace for couple to start their wedding planning on social media, says Khali, although that can create false expectations of a “Pinterest-perfect” wedding.

And that’s just the trouble, adds Maya, who happily admits that she rented a wedding dress for her big day, rather than splash out on tailor-made garment that she would only wear once.

“Don’t place your entire happiness on one perfect day,” she advises. “Go with the flow. Enjoy it, celebrate. And if it pours with rain and the cake collapses, don’t worry about it!”

Whatever the budget, wherever the venue, whatever the table settings, it’ll still be a day you’ll remember all your life, for all the right reasons.

For more advice and insight on planning your wedding day, visit the Change Exchange, our breezy online portal for everything you need to know about the Big Change Moments in life: Tying the Knot, Starting a Family, Landing That Job, and Making a Home.

** The opinions expressed in this piece are the Iris Session participants’ own and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BrightRock.

This article first appeared in The Comet, an online platform by BrightRock, provider of the first-ever life insurance that changes as your life changes.

 

Getting to grips with teen anxieties

By Thabo Monama

ONE MUM who lost her 14-year-old daughter to a sudden suicide in August last year, remembers talking to her youngest child a week before she died.

It was an everyday conversation between a parent and her teen; light-hearted talk packed with the challenges of growing up.

“She asked me when she would be old enough to have a boyfriend. “I joked with her and told her she would have to wait until she was 40, because you don’t have brains until you’re 40,” she said.

The grieving mum started the Klara Gottert Foundation to create support and awareness in her daughter’s name. Recently, the mum was part of the online chat Iris Session, hosted by BrightRock and broadcaster David O`Sullivan.

Other panellists included educational psychologist Tshepiso Matentjie and journalist and author Mandy Collins. Iris addresses the very complex topic of parents talking with teenagers.

Mandy said it’s impractical for a parent to say they know for sure where their children are at all times and what they might be doing.

But it is possible to lay down clear boundaries and build a relationship based on trust and understanding.

However, it’s one thing to be able to act on your instincts, but it’s another to be able to get through to a teenager. Any parent will tell you that there are two default teenage responses to a good parental talking-to: The back-chat, followed by the door-slam, and the simmering sulk, followed by silent treatment.

Tshepiso, who has served as resident psychologist on TV talk shows, and as consultant psychologist at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, said: “I would rather have a child who chats back. With the quiet ones, you might miss something. You need to look at changes in behaviour, loss of appetite, the signs of something going on. For a parent, it’s so hard to find the moment of crisis. Even adults struggle to deal with stress.”

Mandy said: “If we don’t let our children see that we also have emotions then, when they’re suddenly hit with those emotions, how do they know what to do with them?

“We often don’t listen well or deeply enough. Instead, we lecture. Listen to what they’re saying, not to what you think they`re saying.”

For more information visit The Change Exchange.

* This article was originally published on page 20 of the Daily Sun of 18 February 2016.

The Big Secret to Making Sense of Your Teens

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Given that every adult is a former teen, you might think it would be a simple matter for parents to understand and communicate with their adolescent offspring. But life is a little more complicated than that, as our BrightRock Iris session discovers. So what’s the big secret to making sense of your teenagers in an age of change?

“Mom,” said Klara Göttert, a bright and lively 14-year-old with a penchant for parkour, the art of running, clambering, and jumping over urban obstacles, “when will I be old enough to have a boyfriend?”

Her mother, Liesl, raised her eyebrows in mock horror, and leaned across to tickle Klara on the couch.

“When you’re 35,” she said. And then, as Klara laughed, she raised the bar even higher: “No,” she said, “when you’re 40. Because you know you don’t have brains until you’re 40.”

It was an everyday conversation between a parent and her teen, light-hearted but woven with an undercurrent of the challenges of growing up.

Looking back, Liesl wonders why she didn’t pick up on the cue, the thread of something “big and complex” hidden in her daughter’s heart. She still doesn’t know why, just a week later, in August last year, Klara took her own life.

Was it because of unhappiness at home? Trouble at school? A fight with a friend? A crush on a boy?

“It hit me so hard,” says Liesl, a corporate communications strategist who has started a support and awareness foundation in her daughter’s name.

“We had been through teenage attitudes and fights, the normal ups and downs, like any family. I keep asking why, and where did I go wrong.”

The truth is, there is no easy way to understand what goes on in the mind of a teenager. This we know for sure, because we’ve all been teenagers.

But in a world where the familiar pressures of adolescence are only intensified by the dark side of the technological revolution – cyberbullying, social media shaming, Instagram and its ideals of perfect beauty – how can parents get to know their children better, and help them through these years of turbulent change?

This was the hot-button topic on the agenda for a recent BrightRock Iris Session, hosted by broadcaster David O’Sullivan, himself the father of two young boys.

Aside from Liesl, his guests for the session included educational psychologist Tshepiso Matentjie, and journalist and author Mandy Collins, who writes with wit, warmth, and insight about the joys and challenges of raising her two teenage daughters.

Mandy confesses that it’s impossible for a parent to say they know for sure where their children are and what they may be doing. But it is possible to lay down clear and consistent boundaries, and build a relationship based on trust and understanding.

For instance, on the boyfriend issue: yes, if you must, let your teenage daughter bring him home. “If I don’t allow it,” says Mandy, “she’s going to do it behind my back. I’d much rather have a gangly, revolting, acne-spotted teenager in my lounge, than wonder what she’s out doing with him. At least you can have a measure of control.”

At some point, you have to trust your own parenting, says Mandy, and hope that you’ve been enough of a model for your children.  “Because children learn far more from what you do, than from what you say.”

Tshepiso, who has served as resident psychologist on TV talkshows, and as consultant psychologist at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, says a mother is often the best judge of a looming emotional problem her child may quietly be confronting.

It’s not called gut-feel for nothing. “You carry this child in your belly for nine months for a reason,” she says. “Your body will tell you, your instincts will tell you.”

But it’s one thing to be able to act on your instincts; it’s another to be able to get through to a teenager. Any parent of a member of the species will know that there are two default teenage responses to a good parental talking-to.

The back-chat, followed by the door-slam, and the simmering sulk, followed by the door-slam.

“I would rather have a child who chats back,” says Tshepiso. “With the quiet ones, you might miss something. You need to look at changes in behaviour, loss of appetite, the signs of something going on. For a parent, it’s so hard to figure out the moment of crisis. Even adults struggle with the stress and pain.”

For Liesl, who hopes the Klara Göttert Foundation will play a role in bridging the communication gap, the signs were there, but they weren’t always easy to read. Klara would tell her mom how she wished she could run away from home, “but I used to tell my parents that too.”

“Parents drive their children nuts, children drive their parents nuts,” says Liesl. “You just don’t know what the breaking-point is. We sometimes underestimate the fact that young people’s emotional capacity only develops much later. Their emotions are on steroids. They get super-happy, and they get super-sad.”

One of the biggest states parents make, believes Mandy, is that they keep their own emotions from their children.

“We all have days when we could quite cheerfully stab someone with a pen,” she says. “If we don’t let our children see that we have a range of emotions, then when they’re suddenly hit with those emotions, how do they know what to do with them?”

But there is a simple secret to parenting, and it lies at the heart of all communication. Learn to listen, says Mandy. “We often don’t listen well or deeply enough. Instead, we lecture. Listen to what they’re saying, not to what you think they’re saying.”

As Tshepiso adds, children can be excellent manipulators, and any conversation you have with them may need to be on their terms. For all the guidance and advice you give, you may get very little in return.

But learn to listen, and listen to learn, and with enough time and enough love, you may come close to cracking the code that has baffled parents for generations. What do teenagers really think?

* Watch the the Iris Session below or on the Change Exchange, our breezy online portal for everything you need to know about the Big Change Moments in life: Tying the Knot, Starting a Family, Landing That Job, and Making a Home.

This article first appeared in The Comet, an online platform by BrightRock, provider of the first-ever life insurance that changes as your life changes.

 

 

The Happy Art of Finding Joy in Your Job

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There’s more to work than working for a living. If your job isn’t giving you joy, could it be because you’re in the wrong job? Three brave job-switchers share their stories of learning to live with change, and loving it.

Love. It’s what you feel for your partner, your children, your pets, your country, and maybe even, on a good day, your national soccer or rugby team. But your job? Well, that’s another story.

If you’re like most people, your job is what you do for a living, not what you do for a life. It’s a way to earn the money you need to do the things you love to do, such as wave goodbye to your workmates as you head off on the holiday of your dreams.

But for some people, a job is not a chore, a penance, or an excuse to watch the clock. It’s an opportunity to find fulfilment and put your passion to work. As Confucius once said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

He knew what he was talking about, because his jobs included bookkeeper, teacher, politician, editor, philosopher, and caretaker of sheep and horses. It’s probably safe to say the latter was the job he loved the most. But what about you?

Is it really possible to find joy in your job? It is necessary or compulsory to “love what you do, and do what you love”, or is that just a handy motivational slogan coined by Human Resources?

We asked David O’Sullivan to find out, by inviting three hard-working, work-loving, upbeat and inspirational South Africans into the BrightRock studio.

He spoke to Catherine Constantinides, a former Miss Earth SA, who is leaving her job as a Lead SA executive to teach social media to women in a refugee camp in Algeria; Michal “Loopy” Luptak, who quit his job as an accountant at a major auditing firm to run a community centre for children at Ponte City; and Trudi Makhaya, former Deputy Commissioner at the Competition Commission of South Africa, who now works as a consulting economist and media commentator.

What they have in common is that have taken a giant leap into the unknown, and restlessly pursued opportunities to reinvent themselves. That takes courage, says Catherine, who started her own marketing company while still at school, and dropped out of her Law and Anthropology studies at university when she lost her bursary.

“I carried a chip on my shoulder for a long time,” she says. “You map out a path for your career, but it may not turn out the way you think it will, because there are certain passions and callings that you have to allow yourself to open up to.”

Michal likewise slogged through his studies, got those two powerful letters after his name, and then decided that he didn’t feel like a CA at all. “The defining moment was when I sat down and thought, is this going to be it for the rest of my life?”

He felt trapped by the routine, predictability, and hierarchy of accounting. The toughest part of his job was having to sit behind his desk, doing nothing, when there was a whole world of possibility waiting outside the door.

“I firmly believe that it’s your choice in life to suffer,” he says. “You are the one who signs that employment contract.” He broke free, moved into a penthouse apartment on the 52nd floor of Ponte, and redefined himself as a social entrepreneur and inner-city activist. All very well, but how does he account for the substantial dip in earnings he took when he left the firm and went up in the world?

“Money will always become a consequence of doing the things you love,” he says. “You’ll be surprised at how little you need.”

For Trudi, who holds five degrees, starting afresh as an independent economist and consultant allowed her to live up to her dream of “marrying creativity with analytical skills”.

She concedes that it isn’t alway easy or possible to find a job you love, “but you can find ways to expand your horizons”. See your job for what it is, she advises. Put it in the proper place in your life. “It doesn’t have to be the sum total of who you are. You have relationships, you have spirituality, you have so many other avenues to express yourself.”

But Michal argues that if you’re looking at your job as a job, then you’re probably doing it wrong. “Every single day of your life,” he says, “do something that scares you, because that’s where the magic happens.”

Finding the joy in your job may seem like a tough ask for some of us, but it all begins with finding your purpose, says Catherine. “What are the things you love?” she says. “What are the things that feed your passion? Put pen to paper and jot them down. Then find a way to utilise your strengths in the space you’re in.”

As for our presenter himself, David confesses that he found “absolutely no joy” in the job he was doing on commercial radio. He approached Ruda Landman for advice, shortly after she had raised anchor and set sail from Carte Blanche.

“Ruda told me to step into the void,” says David. “Let the bridge come up to meet you.”

You have to have confidence, you have to have courage, and you have to be prepared to start all over again. But if you get it right, the perks will be greater than that steady pay-cheque and that office with your name on the door. You’ll love what you’re doing, and you’ll be doing what you love. And the joy of your job will be its own greatest reward.

*For more on how to find the joy in your job, watch the full BrightRock iris Session on the Change Exchange, our breezy online portal for everything you need to know about the Big Change Moments in life…Tying the Knot, Starting a Family, Landing That Job, and Making a Home.

This article first appeared on The Change Exchange, an online newsletter by BrightRock, provider of the first-ever life insurance that changes as your life changes.