We would like to introduce you to Charlene Myburgh, one of our senior conveyancing paralegals who celebrates her 18th anniversary at ESI Attorneys this year.
Charlene matriculated at 16 and, straight after school, she moved out of her family home into a rented room above a mortuary in Worcester. In order to make ends meet, she waitressed at two different restaurants across the road from each other: Saddles and Spur. When her one shift was over, she would cross the road and work another shift at the competing restaurant.
Charlene then applied for work simultaneously at the police force and at Sanlam, and decided to take the first job offer that came her way. Half an hour after accepting the Sanlam position, she was also offered the position at the police force. Her future could’ve taken a completely different turn at this point! She worked at Sanlam in text processing in the general typing pool, but soon became bored and needed more challenge.
Charlene then joined the newly opened Medi-cross clinic and worked as a receptionist, a PA to the doctors and a theatre administrator. She was transferred to Benoni, but after six months she missed Cape Town, so she resigned and returned. As she had previously worked as a dental assistant during her school holidays, it made sense to return to this profession. The day after returning to Cape Town, in her mother’s dress (as hers were still boxed up from the move), she applied and interviewed for a position at a dental practice in Libertas Hospital. The dentist was so impressed with her determination and work ethic that he scribbled out an offer of employment for her on his script pad before the interview was over.
Charlene’s career really took off when she joined the Kelly temp agency and was placed at an environmental consulting firm. There she was involved in the environmental impact assessment study for the building of the V&A Waterfront. After her contract completed, she temped at Proman Project Managers, typing up bid compilations for the opening of the Grand West and Worcester casinos. One night at 11pm, an engineer for ASCH Consulting Engineers saw her working late and was so impressed with her work ethic that he offered her a permanent position.
During her tenure at ASCH Consulting Engineers, Charlene faced many challenges, including a house fire that occurred when her daughter was only four months old. Charlene and her daughter were in the hospital at the time of the fire as her baby daughter was ill with RSV. Two years later her daughter sustained serious burn wounds at her day-care. As her daughter had to be hospitalised for a month, Charlene resigned from her job to focus on the recouperation of her daughter and the rebuilding of their family home. Despite these challenges, Charlene studied conveyancing and, when things were stable at home, began working as a conveyancing paralegal.
Charlene joined ESI Attorneys (then KSE Attorneys) in 2005 as an FNB bond secretary. Through her hard work and focus on superior service, she built up the FNB department, increasing the instructions until there was a pipeline of over 100 housing finance and 100 normal FNB home loan bonds.
Charlene was then moved to the Standard Bank department to increase that department’s pipeline also and again, through her hard work and quality focus, ESI was pulled up to rank as one of the top 5 conveyancing firms in the country. During the recession, Charlene returned to the FNB department and stayed there until 2020. Additional to her usual workload, Charlene has been involved in bank compliance checking, pre-signature document checking as well as general bank admin. Then, ESI’s bond cancellation department needed a rehaul and this is where we currently find Charlene employed.
Charlene’s commitment to excellence is not limited to her work. She has zero tolerance for messing around on the job and for making sloppy mistakes. Those of us who are lucky enough to work with her, know her to be straight to the point and honest always. She’s not lazy at all and believes in working hard and playing hard. Her motto is: No use doing anything if you’re not going to give it your all.
In her free time, Charlene enjoys spending time with a small group of close friends and engaging in crafts, painting, and pottery. She also enjoys fishing, motorbikes, camping, and reading.
Charlene’s story is one of perseverance and dedication, and it serves as an inspiration to us all. She has shown us that hard work and determination can lead to success, even in the face of adversity.