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My name is Shelagh Foster, workplace readiness trainer and author of Your First Year of Work – A Survival Guide, the ultimate handbook for young people entering – or already in – the workplace.

I wrote YFYoW in response to the obvious needs of job seekers, the newly employed, and their employers. There is such a vast – and not always obvious – divide between the social and education cultures, and work culture. While ‘work’ is the logical next step after schooling, how to conduct yourself in this new environment isn’t always as logical. The ways of work are mysterious indeed, and I made it my mission to decode those mysteries and spell out the whats, whys and hows of work; bridging the great divide by empowering new employees and taking some of the pressure off their employers.

However, while covering all the basics, Your First Year of Work couldn’t offer a solution to every individual situation or dilemma. All workplaces are different; all bosses are different; all employees are different.

The solution? Your very own workplace agony column, Dear Shelagh, ready willing and able to help you figure out what to do in a given work related situation. (Please note that I am not qualified to dish out legal, medical or psychological advice, but – if needed – I will try to point you in the right direction.)

So, dear job-seekers, new employees and employers thereof, send me your questions: either as comments, or emailed to dearshelagh@cybersmart.co.za (write Dear Shelagh – and question topic in the Subject line). And don’t forget to buy the book! You might find that many of your questions have already been answered.

Yours in the spirit of a happy working life,


Survival advice for workplace newbies


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