fbpx

A Change of Perception

A Change of Perception

There are three questions I always ask the women I work with – because the answers will dictate whether she’s going to flourish in her leadership role or work herself to the ground (and feel like she’s selling her soul in the process). 

They are:

  •  Do you see yourself as a leader?
  • Does your leadership role sit comfortably with you?
  • Have you found your place as a leader within your organisation?

These questions are an important part of the discovery process, for me and for my clients. Let me explain why. 

Not so long ago, I worked with an incredible woman in my Leadership Connection membership program. Let’s call her Emma (even though that’s not her real name). Emma had an enviable work ethic that kept pace with an extremely busy workplace. She was well-liked and respected by both her peers and the senior executive team. Following a restructure, Emma was excited to be tapped on the shoulder for a leadership position. 

In the new role, Emma found herself reporting to a director that was new to the organisation, and brought a leadership style she wasn’t used to working with. Emma’s new team included some of her former peers, and sadly the shift from colleague to leader did not go smoothly. 

Emma’s former peers were happy to keep her in a place of micromanagement, while the rest of the team (who were looking for strategic guidance) grew resentful of the lack of direction they were receiving from Emma and frustrated that she did not seem to trust them to just get on with the job. 

Emma knew she needed to step up, but being stuck in her to-do list, working ridiculously long hours and dealing with borderline-toxic team dynamics, meant she simply couldn’t see a path forward. She constantly questioned her capabilities, value, and worth.

This story is devastating! And, sadly, all too common.

The transition from peer to leader can be really difficult, and it is rarely an issue of competency. After all, you are employed as a leader in recognition of your abilities and hard work. However, at its core, leadership isn’t just a different way of doing – it requires a different way of thinking. And one of the biggest obstacles to this is how leaders see themselves! Throw in the good girl dynamic that’s so prevalent in our generation and it becomes even more difficult.

Embracing a leadership role requires a distinct shift in how women see themselves. 

Very few people are natural leaders (despite what pervasive mythology would try to have you believe). Effective leadership comes from developing a set of skills, and cultivating the perception that you are, in fact, a leader. And the most significant perception comes from within. 

So, tell me… do you actually see yourself as a leader?

When we step into a leadership role, our behaviour needs to reflect that as well. In performance psychology there is a philosophy of ‘behaviour informs action’, as a reflection of attitude. Put simply, action is (literally) the act of doing something. Behaviour describes the way you conduct yourself as you take the action. To step up into the next level of leadership, the way you behave likely needs to shift, along with your perception of yourself.

When someone steps into a leadership role, they’re really good at doing the work – especially when this role has come from a series of shoulder taps. And while this should shift in their new leadership role, it often doesn’t.

One of the frustrations women share with me (far too often) is that, while they recognise this new role should allow them to be visionary, set the strategic direction, and drive change, that is not the case. 

They find themselves still caught up with implementation (doing the do) and, in some cases, still doing big chunks of their old job! Very often they get stuck in that go-to-girl image.  Their title and official PD changed, but how they approach their workload does not. Which leads to resentment and burnout, with many women left wondering… is this is? Is this what I’ve worked so hard for? No thank you!

Which brings me back to those 3 important questions. 

  • Do you see yourself as a leader?
  • Does your leadership role sit comfortably with you?
  • Have you found your place as a leader within your organisation?

We start here because it helps us focus our work, and understand where exactly my clients need to shift their perception of themselves from the reliable, hard-working, go-to girl to the capable, engaged, and insightful leader they truly are. 

When they come to me, they usually understand the responsibilities, obligations and potential that comes with leading a team, but they are unable to see a path forward that gets them out of the busywork and into the big-picture visionary work that will move the organisation forward. That’s where I come in – so let’s start a conversation today.

By the way, if you’re wondering about what happened to Emma? Through our work together and her own commitment to shifting her perception and the perception of those around her – not only is she now wholeheartedly embracing her leadership role, she is respected by her team and peers and kicking goals!

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

Gorgeous tired young office worker falling asleep at her desk while trying to work in modern office

Why Working Harder Isn’t Always the…

The mistake I see many mid-career professional women making is thinking that the way to be seen, heard, recognised and promoted is… to work harder and do more.

I really don’t know how that would be possible though, because most of the professional women I speak to are already working super hard.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

What’s holding you back?

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.  

 The saddest part of all?  Many of the roadblocks and obstacles that hold women back come from within.   

 Yes… the system and structures, unconscious bias and the preconceived vision of what a leader looks like play a part, but they’re not the only factors. 

 What’s holding you back? 

Women come to me for a wide range of reasons. While they’re all mid-career, some find themselves ‘stuck’ and unable to progress their careers, while others have reached (and smashed!) their career goals but instead of feeling jubilant feel underwhelmed. Others come to me because they feel unseen and overlooked, while others know they’re working far harder than they should.  

Almost every time I ask “What’s the number one thing holding you back?” they answer without too much hesitation… ME!  

 What almost all these women have in common is the (horrible!) experience of ruminating and questioning their sense of worth. They have internal blocks and mental obstacles that take up far too much real estate in their heads. Instead of strategically approaching their work and career, it’s happening by default, and that doesn’t feel great in the long term.  

 So, how does this arise? At a macro level it’s the patriarchy, no doubt about it, but let’s save that discussion for another day. Let’s go to the nitty gritty of how it arises and the impact it leaves.  

It’s not unusual for women to come with me with an extremely unclear understanding of their worth.  

 They either shrug off their accomplishments or don’t even see the value in what they do. What’s interesting is that low self-worth and busy work that keeps women occupied (but doesn’t progress their career) often go hand in hand.  

 The thing with being busy is it’s incredibly validating. Ticking things off a list feels great. There’s that dopamine hit as we ‘prove’ our output and productivity. But just like a sugar rush, there’s a crash, and in this context the resulting erosion of boundaries breeds resentment and limits career progression. It also means they continue to show up as a do-er rather than a leader.  

 The other thing holding women back is a reluctance to delegate.  

 In some cases, it’s a flat out refusal. Instead of hand-balling appropriately to the relevant team members, some women find themselves doing the workload of an entire team. This is unsustainable and quite frankly insulting to their people, not to mention demoralising.  

 There’s only one way to move past this and that’s to learn to let go. Trust in other people’s abilities and allow them to step up and actually do the job you’ve engaged them to do.  

 Another inner block that keeps women stuck is a lack of clarity around their values and what matters most to them. As I detailed in this piece, sometimes women compare their current state of being with how they defined success in their 20s or 30s, and while their priorities shifted their approach didn’t. The end result is misalignment between their role and the way they see themselves, OR the way they see themselves and the way they intrinsically feel 

 Women are also held back by their own comfort zone.  

 They’re afraid to fail, afraid to be vulnerable and as a result they are unable to stretch and grow. Sometimes women simply lack confidence in their own abilities, which keeps them in their comfort zone. A great way to tackle this is to simply track your wins. We all have to do lists, but how many of us have ‘done, and done beautifully’ lists?  

 Internal blocks aren’t insurmountable. They require a level of self-awareness. I find that when I help women create a reflective practice they gain the perspective to see their blind spots, and then, in turn, put into place a plan of attack against them.  

 Almost always there’s a need to firstly manage expectations, both their own and those of others, and the next step?  Doing the work to quieten the inner critic, believe in your worth and build courage to back yourself.  

What’s holding you back?  

 If you’re like the women I work with, your inner blocks are something we can absolutely kick to the curb – just reach out. 

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

Gorgeous tired young office worker falling asleep at her desk while trying to work in modern office

Why Working Harder Isn’t Always the…

The mistake I see many mid-career professional women making is thinking that the way to be seen, heard, recognised and promoted is… to work harder and do more.

I really don’t know how that would be possible though, because most of the professional women I speak to are already working super hard.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

How to break free of the Go-To Girl Syndrome

How to break free of the Go-To Girl Syndrome

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Confession time: I used to proudly wear the “go-to girl” badge as if it were the ultimate mark of distinction. It fed my ego to know that people sought me out, recognising that I was the one who would always make time to help them.

But here’s the kicker—I had no clue just how much it was holding me back. Looking back now, I realise I was seen as a doer, not the remarkable leader I truly wanted to be.

Reflecting on my journey, I can’t help but recall a comment from an HR director about me “over mothering” the team. Let me tell you, it stung like a slap in the face back then. But now, with a fresh perspective, I understand that he was providing me with invaluable guidance on how I could step up and lead more effectively. Funny how life works, right? Sometimes, those seemingly hurtful remarks are the catalysts for profound self-discovery and growth.

So, if you’ve found yourself deep in the weeds as the go-to girl here’s what to do about it.

1. Recognise the Go-To Girl Pitfall

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s dive deeper into this notorious pitfall. Being the go-to girl might feel flattering, but it can become a double-edged sword. While it’s wonderful to be dependable and reliable, it can also lead to being pigeonholed and undervalued. It’s time to break free from this limited perception and step into your full leadership potential.

2. Unleash Your Leadership Mindset

Shifting from the go-to girl to an esteemed leader requires a mindset overhaul. It’s time to shed the belief that your worth is solely defined by being the problem solver. Embrace the idea that leadership is about inspiring, influencing, and creating meaningful impact. Believe in your capabilities and envision yourself as the influential leader you aspire to become.

3. Break free from the Go-To Girl Leadership Mould

Your Go-To Girl role may have defined you in the past, but it’s now time to release the expectations and limitations that come with that role. Embrace your uniqueness and craft your own leadership style. Reflect on your strengths, values, and passions. Define the type of leader you want to be and align your actions with that vision.

4. Shift your reputation by shifting your focus


If you want to change how others perceive you, it’s time to shift your focus. Instead of solely being the go-to girl who handles everything, redirect your attention towards strategic initiatives, team empowerment, and impactful contributions. By shifting your focus from being the problem solver to being a visionary leader, you’ll not only transform your reputation but also inspire others to see you in a new light.

5. Focus on Growth and Continuous Learning

Breaking free from the go-to girl role and unleashing your leadership superpowers takes courage and growth. It’s time to level up by mastering the art of delegation, embracing change with open arms, and empowering your team to do their best work. Say goodbye to spreading yourself too thin and hello to focusing on what truly matters. Trust in your team’s capabilities, confidently say no when necessary, and create a culture of innovation and growth. And make sure you’re aligning your time and effort with what matters most to the organisation.

Are you ready to shift from “go-to girl” to leader?

Bidding farewell to the role of the go-to girl starts with the simple decision to no longer play that part for your boss, your team and your organisation. Are you ready?

 

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Gorgeous tired young office worker falling asleep at her desk while trying to work in modern office

Why Working Harder Isn’t Always the…

The mistake I see many mid-career professional women making is thinking that the way to be seen, heard, recognised and promoted is… to work harder and do more.

I really don’t know how that would be possible though, because most of the professional women I speak to are already working super hard.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Why Working Harder Isn’t Always the Answer: A Guide for Mid-Career Professional Women

Why Working Harder Isn't Always the Answer: A Guide for Mid-Career Professional Women

The mistake I see many mid-career professional women making is thinking that the way to be seen, heard, recognised and promoted is… to work harder and do more.   

I really don’t know how that would be possible though, because most of the professional women I speak to are already working super hard.  

But I get it. Over the years we’ve been told that success comes to those who work hard. 

Your strong work ethic, getting the job done and doing it well, was probably what got you to where you are today.  It may be what you are known for. It’s likely helped to open up some fabulous opportunities for you over the years. You may have even crafted a reputation as someone who is super helpful, reliable and dependable.  

But being helpful, useful and reliable is likely the very thing that is now holding you back.   

It was great in the early years of your career but if you want to be seen as an impactful leader it will keep you stuck at the level, you’re at.   

Take a look at the leaders who you admire. And think about this for a moment... 

Are they stuck in the day to day, busy doing low value tasks? 

NO, they are not!   

The brutal truth is that working harder and doing more is more likely to lead to burnout than respect, recognition or an amazing job offer.  

So, you may be wondering… how do you get to that next level of leadership, impact and recognition?  

It starts with DOING LESS and dedicating more time and energy to actually LEADING.   

It may seem counterintuitive at first. How can you get ahead when you are actually DOING less? 

It’s quite simple really. When you’re busy being busy you’ve got no time or head space to truly lead.   

Leadership is about setting the vision, making impactful decisions, solving the big problems and focusing on progressing projects that will support the growth and sustainability of the business. It’s about building and leading high performing teams and supporting and mentoring people to perform at their best.   

All of these activities require space to think.   

So that’s exactly where you need to start – by creating the space to think and lead.   

That means taking back control of your calendar. I recommend that my clients start by clearing the clutter, removing unnecessary meetings and creating at least 1 or 2 chunks of time each week which they dedicate to focusing on the big picture work of leadership.  

It means setting boundaries.  

It means saying NO to the busy work so you can focus on the work that matters.  

But first… 

Do you actually know what work matters most to you, your team and the organisation?   

If you want your talents and capabilities to be recognised, it’s important you’re prioritising based on what matters most to your boss (and their boss!)  Too often I see women lost in the weeds of the day to day and not focused on the work that is in alignment with the organisations goals, and then wonder why they are being overlooked for promotion or interesting projects.  

Recognition will come from DOING LESS, creating space to think, and focusing your efforts on what matters most to the organisation and doing work that supports the business goals.   

And finally – we cant overlook the importance of making time and space prioritise you.   

Being happy, healthy and well rested is a prerequisite for great leadership. It supports productivity, is the foundation of creativity and is essential to enable you to show up as the best version of you!  

Taking time out for you is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. As is getting enough sleep, making sure you move your body, and doing what you need to do to quieten your mind and nurture your spirit.  

So, let me ask you…. 

Do you really want to stay stuck in the day-to-day busyness, working really hard – but not getting the recognition you deserve?  

Or is it time to break free of this pattern and finally step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition – not by doing more but by doing less?   

If you’d like to learn more about how to let go of the busyness and truly step into the work of leadership  join us in our FREE Facebook group, Leading Ladies: an exclusive group for mid-career women to share, learn and grow.

Hi. I’m Jane Benston. Leadership coach, Career strategist and founder of The Ignite program – an 8-week group coaching program for mid-career women.

 

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

The Farm Girl Who Cares

The farm girl who cares

I’m a leadership coach for mid-career women who want to step up to the next level of leadership … without burning out or selling out. I’ve spent my career in the corporate space working with incredible people across the country.  

 However, my first ‘job’ was not even remotely corporate. It was helping Mum and Dad out in the paddocks mustering stock or in the sheep yards drafting sheep. Yes, my work wardrobe of grossly unflattering hospital and retail uniforms or corporate suit and heels was a far cry from gumboots!  

 My first pay check didn’t come from working in McDonald’s or the local café, but rather from selling my pet lambs and calves at market, that I’d hand feed each day before and after school. 

 I’m a farm girl, born and bred.  

 People are sometimes surprised when I share that I grew up on a sheep and cattle farm. I’m not exactly sure why. I know there are a lot of misconceptions about what farm life actually is. There are those romanticised depictions of rural serenity, a slow pace, an Old MacDonald-esque life that’s all about animals and hard work. 

 Of course, these aren’t inaccurate, but in reality, farming is all about people. Farming is teamwork, everyone pitches in when there’s a job to be done and farming communities are well known for their sense of … well, community.  

 My career off the farm actually started out in the health sector as an Occupational Therapist – firstly in the UK and then back in Melbourne.  

 Next came working for 2 INCREDIBLE young women in a fast-growing, award-winning service-based business – where my role was to negotiate win, win solutions to support injured workers return to work.  

 From here I moved to the corporate world in the space of health and safety, traveling to big cities and smaller towns across Australia to work with leaders and their teams.  

 I’ve written about my path to leadership coaching here, but when I reflect on my career, theoretically leagues away from the ‘industry’ of farming, at the core of my work is people, specifically a deep care for their wellbeing within the context of meeting their potential.  

 Every role, from that of graduate OT through to leader in the aforementioned ugly hospital culottes to the suit and heels, has, to put it mildly, involved creating the environment for humans to flourish.  

 My work today continues to encompass this.  

 Having experienced the polar opposite of flourishing, aka burnout, my work is now centred around women avoiding the pitfalls that come with being a high achiever without a roadmap to a successful, fulfilling and rewarding career.   

 I help women achieve their goals and aspirations in a way that doesn’t involve them working harder. On the whole, the women I meet are already working ridiculously hard with phenomenal work ethics.  I show them how they can have a much bigger impact at the leadership table by actually “Doing” less. 

 And I’m passionate about supporting women to “Lead Their Way.”  This means digging deep on their values, their aspirations, the way they see themselves and aligning their professional life to this, and not the other way around. It’s also about finding a leadership style that works for them – rather than trying to fit into an outdated or overly masculine style of leadership that is out of step with who they are at their core.  

 So, in a nutshell… my farming girl start in life has led me to the work I do today.  

 I help mid-career women to up level their career in a way that enables them to flourish, not just survive. If I’m the leadership coach/farm girl to help you get to where you want to be, please reach out. I’d love to work with you! 

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

New year, New Job, New You

New year, new job, new you

[jc_buttons]

You’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and you’ve come to the decision that a new job is on your list of goals for the year. Good for you!

Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more money, better corporate culture, more variety, more flexibility, a leader who inspires you or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason… you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

SEEK research found that 75% of Australians take up to six months to find and secure a new job (source).

But there are some key things you can do to make your job search easier, faster and help you to land your ideal next role.

And it’s not all about jumping into action.

Not yet. Hold your horses for a moment ladies.

First we need to set the foundations; do the ground work and set you up for success.

Here’s where to start

  1. Clarify what you want. Ok so I hear you saying… that’s my problem Jane, I’m not sure what I want.

There may be lots you don’t yet have clarity on – but let’s start with what you know you do want.

What type of tasks do you want to be doing each day? What key skills do you want to be using? Do you want to be leading a team? Do you want the opportunity to work from home? Do you want travel to be part of the role?

  1. Be clear about what you don’t want. This is equally as important as knowing what you do want.

Perhaps you have become known to be good at a task or role that you really don’t enjoy.

Some years ago, I became known as the expert/go-to-girl in managing the annual self insurance safety audit. I may have been really good at it … but I loathed this task!

I was really good at influencing the key stakeholders throughout the business to be involved, providing the necessary documentation and to prepare them to effectively answer the auditor’s questions.

But I was terrible at all the attention to detail required in the three-month long project. PLEASE poke pins in my eyes before I have to do this type of project again!

How about you? What would you rather not do in your next role?

  1. Understand your strengths. This step is key. Be really really clear about what your key strengths are.

I ask this question of smart, professional women every day… and almost every single time they struggle to answer. And if they do manage to get out a couple of dot points, I’m rarely convinced they believe these are their strengths.

Ladies … you have to get clear and comfortable to SELL who you are and what it is you would bring to your next role.

  1. Know your value. You are so much more than a list of attributes or the jobs you’ve held in the past. Yes, these are part of the story but not the complete picture.

You are unique and have a special value to bring to your next role. What is it?

For example: Susan’s unique gift is that she is a master at uniting a team to deliver way beyond the business expectations. Carissa is a genius in taking a complex idea and bringing it to life in a no nonsense kind of way. Katy is known within her industry to be invaluable in the negotiation phase of multi million dollar IT projects.

You have a unique value to share. It’s time to own it! Make it clear in your CV, LinkedIn profile and during the interview stage that you would be an impressive asset to the right employer.

  1. Decide you’re worthy. Because you are. You know you are capable of so much more and you want to contribute in a bigger, more significant way.

But let me tell you … the most likely thing standing between you and your ideal next role is YOU. I know, harsh but true.

If you don’t believe you’re worthy of the types of roles you really aspire to…. no one else will believe you either. Your lack of self belief will seep through in your job applications, your networking efforts and in your interviews.

Ladies, it’s time to embrace all of who you are and the value you have to offer.

——————

Like some support getting clear on how to go about accessing your next ideal role?  Book a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a plan for your success!

[jc_buttons]

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

3 simple steps to end the year on a high

3 Simple steps to end the year on a high

[jc_buttons]

You’ve almost made it… to the end of 2021!  And what a year it’s been.  

As we hurtle our way to the end of the year, are you feeling the pressure to get those last few projects completed? 

If this is more about surviving and limping your way to a well earned rest, here are my best tips to managing it all.   

Your final week survival guide:

  1. Be Super Intentional

Get really clear on what matters most. We sometimes have to come to terms with the fact that we can’t do it all. This is the season to double down on focusing your time and energy on those things that will have the biggest impact – for you, your team and the organisation.

I know you can juggle a LOT… but, with only a limited number of days before we all head off on a well earned break, I want you to practise using one simple word – NO.

Every time you say NO, it allows you to stay focused on those activities that matter most

  1. Create Thinking Time

With limits to your time and energy in this countdown to Christmas, creating space to think strategically and make critical decisions will be essential to your survival. Take a look at your calendar now and schedule in at least 20 mins of “thinking time” every day.

  1. Protect your energy

When people ask me what my number one productivity tip is, my answer is – get more sleep!  Intuitively, we all know that we do our best work when we’ve had a good night’s sleep and have taken good care of our mind and body.

Don’t be fooled by how simple these suggestions are.

That’s the beauty of them. They aren’t fancy – but they work.

So I wonder… which of these strategies could make a real difference to how you close out your year?

Here’s to a brilliant end to the year.

[jc_buttons]

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

[jc_buttons]

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

The days are getting warmer and the evenings longer which means we are on the downhill stretch to Christmas, the silly season and the end of the year.

And with restrictions finally lifted – it’s time to get out and about and connect… in person. 

But this does not mean that it’s time to put your career aspirations on hold, swan off with a cocktail in hand or slip into your summer sandals and head to the beach for that long awaited break. Not quite so fast, my friend. That time will come but not quite yet.

Here’s what I suggest you focus on first. 

As I’ve discussed with many high-achieving women over the last couple of weeks, this is the perfect time to get out and about connecting and positioning yourself for the types of roles you would like to be considered for come the new year.

  And with the Great Resignation ramping up – there are plenty of amazing opportunities out there. They may not all be being advertised, but they are there and the way to access them is through your connections.

In just the last 2 months 6 of the ladies in The Leadership Connection (my inner circle membership for Mid Career Women) have secured amazing new roles.  

So, ladies, it’s time to dig into the back of your wardrobe, pull on some real clothes and head out for a pre-Christmas drink, coffee or lunch. Look through your contact list and pick up the phone to colleagues from years gone past.

Go into this festive period with an intention to have some fun, while also making the best use of the opportunity to strengthen key relationships, build your profile and seek opportunities in the hidden job market.

Yes… I’m suggesting you be a little bit strategic.

As I’ve discovered, through many discussions with women over the last couple of years … knowing how to have these conversations and exactly how to position yourself can be bewildering.

Here are my 5 best suggestions for making the most of the festive silly season.

  1. Relationships first, business second.

Focus on building genuine robust relationships. No one likes to be taken advantage of or used. So, look to develop authentic connections and be willing to give even more than you would ultimately like to get from the relationship. And remember, a handwritten, heartfelt note to those people you are grateful to have in your life will go a long way to raising your profile as a genuine professional worth supporting.

  1. Own your accomplishments.

When someone asks you how the year has been, speak of what you have achieved and what has made you proud this year. No more hiding in the shadows or skipping over the wins. This is all about positioning your skills and talents and developing your personal brand.

  1. Be open to new opportunities.

At this time of the year people will ask you about your work, what you’re doing and if it’s been a good year. If you’re on the job market… let people know (with discretion of course.) If you don’t know exactly what is next for you then share that you are exploring opportunities that will allow you to use your X, Y and Z skills and further develop your interest and passion for A, B and C.

  1. Ask for introductions.

Your next role is most likely to come through an introduction or a recommendation from someone in your network. So, let’s expand the network. Ask your connections whether there is anyone within their network that may be valuable for you to connect with. Remember, you will never get what you don’t ask for.

  1. Have fun.

Let’s face it, it’s been a tough year and you’ve worked hard, so let’s take some time to enjoy the festive season. A positive, optimistic and fun attitude during the silly season will do wonders for your soul and boost your chances of a fabulous opportunity coming. 

[jc_buttons]

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

Your energy is contagious and your reputation is at stake

Your energy is contagious and your reputation is at stake

[jc_buttons]

How you show up at work matters. The type of energy you bring to your work impacts your effectiveness while also shaping your professional reputation. It’s not something many of us give much consideration to, but it can absolutely influence our outcomes and whether or not new and exciting opportunities come our way.

So let’s pause and reflect on the type of energy you bring to work every day – whether that’s in the office or while working from home. 

Imagine for a moment that you are encased in a bubble and in that bubble is your energy. That energy could be positive, energetic, loving, inspiring, compassionate, caring or it could be negative, stressed, anxious, angry, sharp, abrasive or abrupt.

And as you move through your day … your energy is bumping up against other people and is having either a positive or a negative impactregardless whether you’re  working in person or virtually.

Your energy will absolutely shape the opinion others have of you and influence the mood and the morale of the team.

Recently, I caught up with a senior leader whose energy was tuned into the land of frustration, crankiness and in a constant state of fighting against the system.  At every turn, all they could focus on were all the things that weren’t working and how a particular global decision was negatively impacting on them and their team.

They shared with me that they were constantly tired and feeling like they were in a “battle”.  They weren’t sleeping well and there is no doubt that they were gaining a reputation for being a negative influence throughout the business.

This was so unlike the bright, bubbly, solution-focused energy they usually brought to the leadership table.

So my question to you today is…

  • What energy are you known for? 
  • Are you having a positive or a negative influence on those around you?

Your energy is more contagious than the common cold!

The energy and attitude you bring to your work will rub off on your team and colleagues and influence how they show up and interact with you. 

Your energy also impacts your personal productivity, the decisions you make and the effectiveness of your communication. It’s pretty difficult to think strategically or creatively or to build effective relationships with people when you are in a really crappy mood!

And most importantly, how you show up every day will absolutely be influencing your professional reputation.

Everyone you come into contact with will be silently judging whether they like working with you and whether they see you as an effective leader based on your energy and attitude.

So let’s put on our big girl pants and take a little responsibility. 

It’s time to be more conscious of our energy and agree that there may be times when we’re not bringing our best selves to work.

HERE ARE 3 ENERGIES YOU ARE BEST TO BANISH FROM YOUR BUBBLE.

  1. Overwhelmed Crazy Women. Yep … this is the crazy woman who is about to go into meltdown. I know that you know her. Maybe you know her rather too well.

If you are familiar with this women, you know that it’s like her brain has been hijacked by an alien. She is unable to function effectively and she emits a chaotic energy. Her decision making powers have gone out the window along with their usual calm, rational efficiency.

Generally the trigger will be an unusually high workload that has spiralled out of control and ironically her response makes getting through her growing “to do list” almost impossible to complete.

  1. Negative Nelly. Unfortunately this energy is all too common in many workplaces.   I know her well… she chose to show up in me for a time some years back. Ugly but true.

She genuinely loves to get involved in idol gossip that has nothing to do with her. She is fuelled by wingeing and complaining and has an incessant focus on problems outside of her control.

The glass is always half empty and she has every reason under the sun why things won’t work. The Negative Nelly loves to blame others and make excuses… and rarely takes any responsibility.

  1. Don’t Come Near Me … because I’m about to snap. Ahh… scary! If you are taken over by this energy, look out. You are about to get a reputation to be hard to work with and may well find your colleagues giving you a wide berth.

Some of your team will be scared of you, some won’t trust you and some will choose to avoid you as best they can.

This angry ant is like a pressure cooker, on the verge of exploding. She can at times say things she doesn’t really mean but once they are out… she cant take them back.

And the choice is entirely yours…

We all have the choice of how we show up and how we respond to situations around us.  

If you recognise that you have let one of these unresourceful energies out to play a little too often… think about what impact it is having on you, your work performance, your team engagement and ultimately your reputation?

Perhaps it’s time to upgrade the energy in your energy bubble!

 

[jc_buttons]

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston

Hit a mid-career plateau? 5 assumptions that will keep you stuck?

Hit a mid-career plateau? 5 assumptions that will keep you stuck?

[jc_buttons]

Is it possible that you are your worst enemy when it comes to progressing your career?  Are you playing small, ruling yourself out or holding back from stepping up to the next level of leadership?  

I see smart, super talented, ultra-experienced professional women languishing in middle management roles.  They have what it takes to excel as a senior leader, but they get stuck. It’s frustrating and demoralising for them and a sad waste of exceptional talent. 

If you can relate – I’m sure you’re not doing it consciously. I don’t think any of us mean to hold ourselves back. 

You don’t set out to undermine your own success. You’re not deliberately underselling your brilliance or letting the best opportunities pass you by… but I’ve seen it happen. 

So how does it happen? 

It’s when we unconsciously hold beliefs that are at odds with our goals and ambitions. We make automatic assumptions that prevent us from taking bold action, raising our profile, speaking about our aspirations or applying for the ideal next role. 

Are any of these 5 common beliefs keeping you stuck at a mid-career plateau?

1. I’m not ready yet. 

Research shows that women tend to grossly underestimate their abilities and rule themselves out of more senior roles even when they are more qualified or experienced than the eventual winning candidate.

The truth is, it’s likely that you are ready.  You don’t need more experience or an MBA or validation from whoever you think knows you better than you know yourself.  You are way more capable than you think and the only way you’ll truly know you’re ready is by giving it a go! 

2.  It’s not the right time.

The last few years have been tough.  You may even feel mentally drained.  I get it we’ve all been dealing with a LOT.  But a new role or an exciting challenge may be just the thing to get you out of your rut and motivated to do your best work again.  

3. I’m too busy. 

The epidemic of busy continues to zap our time and our energy but to what end? If you were to do a quick 60 second audit of what has kept you busy today – has your busyness contributed to your health, happiness, fulfilment or professional growth?  

  • Are you busy doing what is most important to you, your team and your organisation?
  • Are you busy doing what will bring you joy, fulfillment and meaning?
  • Are you busy doing work that will contribute to your career progression?
  • Or have you become stuck in the busyness of life and checking off your to do list?

    4. I might fail. 

Yes, you might! But you might also excel! Imagine that!  And even if you do stumble, you are way more resilient than you might at first think.

We have a choice of settling for the status quo or to take a chance on ourselves. 

If the fear of failure comes up for you – ask yourself “If I did, could I handle it?”   Undoubtedly the answer is almost always YES.

5. I can’t afford it. 

Sometimes a financial investment is the best way to fast track career progression or to open up new opportunities. 

Have you ever found yourself saying…

  • I can’t afford to attend the conference I really want to go to.
  • I can’t afford to take that holiday that would really help me to pause, reflect and decompress. 
  • I can’t afford to invest in a development program or mentoring that would really help me to up level.

When we say we can’t – we make it true, and we immediately shut off the opportunity.

Imagine instead asking the question; “How might I make this possible?” This one simple question opens up possibility and choice. 

Which of these beliefs ring true for you?  Could it be the reason you’ve hit a mid-career plateau? 

Self awareness is the first step towards change and getting unstuck.  

Good luck.

[jc_buttons]

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Side view.Young businesswoman dressed in light pink shirt sitting at wooden table and using laptop while talking on cellphone.Girl uses digital gadget. On table cup of coffee. Online shopping,working.

A Change of Perception

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Front view of a doubtful woman shrugging shoulders and looking at you sitting on a sofa at home

What’s holding you back?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an incredibly accomplished woman may find herself held back… Held back from achieving her aspirations, from stepping into her leadership potential and from becoming even more accomplished.

Jane Benston

Portrait of stressed, crying, stylish, worried woman in shirt touching her head with two arms, sitting in work place, station at desktop, having close eyes

How to break free of the…

I’ve had some incredibly enlightening conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who, like me, fell into the sneaky trap of being the notorious “go-to girl.” Maybe you can relate. Are you known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman, or have you earned the label of “reliable”? Oh boy, it’s time to take a closer look.

Jane Benston