Future proof your career. How to stay relevant in the changing world of work.

Future proof your career. How to stay relevant in the changing world of work.

 

With the world of work changing at an ever-increasing rate, learning how to future proof your career has never been more important. Many roles are becoming extinct, being replaced by technology while brand new roles are popping up every day.

Economists have predicted that over the next two decades, the jobs least likely to be taken over by technology are those that involve creativity, highly developed social skills and problem solving.

And the types of skills and capabilities being highly sort after in the workplace are also changing.

Where in the past soft skills where consider somewhat 2nd rate today they are being applauded as the skills critical for the 21st Century high performer.

This is particularly good news for women.

Many of the commonly considered feminine leadership traits including; communication, creativity, project management, enthusiasm for learning, critical thinking, team work, empathy and global citizenship are just some of the key skills and attribute required to future proof your career.

This is not just a theory. I’ve seen it play out with the professional women I work with.

Susan recently secured a role on the Senior Leadership Team of a large global business following a corporate restructure. It was her ability to focus on delivering the strategic goals and work collaboratively to solve complex problems while also demonstrating her skills to build a highly effective and engaged team that helped her step confidently into this promotion.

Unfortunately her promotion was at the expense of a guy who had not moved with the times. He remained committed to an older style of leadership and relying on his past results to keep him in the role.

His past results were not enough and his leadership style had become outdated leaving his skill set somewhat irrelevant in the future of this service centric business.

So ladies… it looks like our time is now!

The world of work is changing and it’s time for us to step up confidently and accept the challenge of 21st Century leadership.

But let’s make sure you are focusing your time, energy and resources in the right areas to future proof your career.

Here’s how to future proof is your career?

1. Embrace change. Change is the only constant we can rely on! There is no point fighting it or trying to stand in its way. It is here to stay and will only get faster and more significant.

Start by looking at how you can position yourself to take full advantage of changes occurring in your organisation or industry. Look upon change as an opportunity for growth rather than fearing the shift in status quo.

Your ability to be flexible and take full advantage of change will be the difference between being left behind and using it as an opportunity to accelerate your career progression.

2. Become a life long learner. Marshall Goldsmiths iconic leadership bookWhat got you here won’t get your there” has never been more relevant. You can not rely on your past results to take you to the next phase of your career.

Continued education is all about ensuring you remain relevant.

Given that the prized skills of the 21st Century are those we once labeled soft skills – I’m a massive advocate for programs that support self awareness and personal development as a foundation for professional growth.

3. Prioritise relationships. I know you are busy – but making time to build your professional network is important!

I’m currently working with a senior leader who was recently made redundant. She is a talented, highly skilled professional but it’s unlikely that her skills will to be her greatest asset in her quest to secure her next ideal role. It’s the breadth and depth of her professional network that will get her exposure to the most interesting roles.

Within 24 hours of receiving the news about her redundancy, she had received countless phone calls and messages of support and offers of introductions.

Her career opportunities are looking bright with this army of supporters and long term professional connections on the lookout for her.

4. Articulate your value. You are a smart, capable professional and your career matters to you… but who other than you really knows the value of your contribution?

I asked a room of professional women last week to share with the group what their greatest skills and talents were. Almost all began to squirm and expressed how uncomfortable they were to talk about themselves.

Ladies, it’s time we got past this. Being humble is a virtue …but it’s also holding us back.

To future proof your career you must learn to confidently articulate your value and how you have contributed to the strategy, results, bringing together a high performing team, negotiating outcomes, sales and everything else you do.

You can no longer hope that your good work will speak for it’s self. You must be speaking for it.

Which of these tips will you be focusing on to future proof your career? 

The world of work is changing rapidly and opportunities abound for those who are ready.  But if you are not… you could very easily find yourself irrelevant and without a clear career pathway forward.

Want some help to future proof your career?

The Leadership Connection is an exclusive 6 month transformational group program designed to support professional women to take the next step in their career.

No more going it alone. No more working in isolation. No more leaving your professional development up to chance.

Click here for more information and to apply for your invitation to join the group.

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

Reflection to finish the year

Reflection to finish the year

 

If you could find the magic pill to create a powerful, productive and amazing year ahead… would you take it?

But before we go there… I wonder how this year turned out for you? If we were to focus on your career just for a moment, are you satisfied with what you achieved, what you contributed and the impact you had?

As I speak with each of my clients to round out the year, I’ve been reminded by how easy it is to forget how much we have achieved. We race through the year from one project to the next, rarely celebrating the accomplishments along the way.

Then there are those that focus only on the 2% of what’s not going to plan rather than the 98% that is. You may have done and achieved some great things but you ignore those in favour of being overly critical and beating yourself up, leaving you feeling deflated and defeated.

Crazy… I know. But I bet you can relate? I know I have been guilty of this more than once.

So I may not have the magic pill.

I may not be able to predict or script out the perfect year for you…

But… what I do have is a simple three-step process that will set you up for a powerful, productive and exciting year ahead.

It takes no more than 10 minutes and, although it’s super simple, it’s incredibly powerful.

Pull out a note pad and pen, settle in with a cuppa and take a little time for reflection on the year that was. And yes, writing it down is way more powerful that just thinking through the questions.

3 questions to close out the year and supercharge the next

1. What did I do, create or experience this year that I’m really proud of?

Everything is moving so fast these days that we rarely stop to digest and acknowledge what we have achieved. It’s only when we start to look back that we can truly recognise how far we have come.

What did you make happen this year? Look back through your calendar and note down the big wins, where you had impact, what you had influence over.

Think about what you did for the first time and how you have grown. Recognise how you have supported projects or specific people. Don’t just look at the big accomplishments… the little wins are equally as important.

Celebrating your accomplishments is key to building your confidence. It drives progress and puts you in a vortex of high vibrational energy. It’s been scientifically proven that once you are in that place of positivity and energy, it pulls great results towards you. You become a magnate for bigger and better things… so let’s get you into that state!

In short, we attract more of what we focus on – good or bad. That’s enough of a reason to focus on your accomplishments!

As you recognise and celebrate each achievement, take note of how this will positively impact your career.  Anchor in the learning by writing down how it is important to you.

2. What mistakes did I make that taught me something?

This is about shining a light on what didn’t go so well. It’s not about dwelling on the mistake but rather focusing in on what you can learn.

This is about taking a more objective, big picture view of the mistake. From this vantage point, you can more easily spot the lesson or the growth opportunity without beating yourself up or letting your ego get in the way.

Ask yourself; what didn’t go so well? What opportunities did I let slip by? What do I want to do differently next year? How can I do better? How can I use my experiences of this year to grow?

3. What am I willing to let go of?

It’s time to de-clutter your days, your commitments and your mind.

Let’s start by taking a look at what you committed to this year. Did those commitments serve and support you and take you closer to your goals? Or did they take you away from those things, activities or people most important to you?

Give yourself permission to stop doing anything that no longer aligns with who you are and where you’re heading. If it doesn’t feel good, serve you or bring you joy, then let it go.

What can you get out of… or just walk away from?

Do you have any projects or goals that have been hanging around on your to do list that have been weighing you down for years? If they are no longer aligned with your future… let them go.

And let’s also look at the emotional baggage that is getting in your way and holding you back from what you know you are capable of. It’s time to clear it out and let it go. Let go of the belief that you are not good enough, old enough, smart enough, worthy enough to go after what you really want next year.

If it’s meant to be it’s up to me.

If you want to create a powerful, productive and amazing year it’s up to you.

Give yourself the best chance of creating an environment to give you exponential growth, remarkable experiences, meaningful connections and pinch-me moments this year.

I know you’ve accomplished more than you give yourself credit for.

Allow yourself to acknowledge this…feel it…and be proud.

Take the learning’s from this year and decide what you will let go of.

Settle into reflection mode, get plugged in and set up for a fabulous year ahead.

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

Do you put everyone else first?

Do you put everyone else first?

Is it time to stop putting everyone else first? The kids, your partner, the needs of your ageing parents, your boss, your team, the business you work for… even the dog! Or perhaps I should ask… when was the last time you put your own needs at the top of the priority list?

Perhaps, like me, you were raised to be caring, considerate and helpful, to do as we are asked and to work hard. These qualities work well in many areas of our life but at work they can leave us over worked and undervalued.

Consistently putting the needs of others before our own is rarely a conscious choice.

It creeps up on us and one day we look around to find that we are prioritising and supporting the careers of others.

We give to others. We take care of others. We work late into the evening finishing work others have deemed most important. We put our own priorities and needs to one side while we support the priorities of others.

Many of us fall into this trap.

And it’s often at the detriment of our career progression, our health, our lifestyle and our relationships.

You accept a heavier workload. You say yes to unreasonable requests. You expend time and energy on projects that fall outside your job role. All which leave you no time for you. As a result, you may feel overwhelmed, overworked, and unappreciated… often leading to frustration and burnout.

In my work as a women’s leadership coach I see many smart professional women who are frustrated, unfulfilled and burnt out. They have fallen into this trap of taking care of the needs of others at the expense of their own needs, desires and aspirations.

Is this you?

Here are 4 signs it’s time to make your goals and aspiration a priority

1. Your career has stalled.

Where once you were being offered promotions and interesting opportunities every couple of years… now you seem to be going nowhere fast. Ask yourself whether in part it’s because you have taken your eye off the ball and failed to stay focused on what’s most important to you and your career development.

Doing low impact work that does not demonstrate your greatest strengths will not get you seen, recognised or valued. A dynamic career that continues to inspire and challenge takes networking, strategic positioning and demonstrating your best work. And you can’t do much of any of that if you are busy taking care of someone else’s priorities.

2. You’re constantly exhausted.

Are you skipping your planned exercise, working late into the night, or experiencing stress and anxiety related to the volume of work you have said yes to. If you are… it’s little wonder you are constantly tired.

Taking care of others while neglecting your own needs is exhausting. Every time you say yes to take on another project or responsibility, you know it means extending your workload. But at what expense?

3. You’re bored and unfulfilled.

You are smart and highly capable so why are you stuck doing uninspiring, menial work that does not light your fire? While you are busy being busy, taking care of everyone else, it’s hard to find the time or energy to build your career.

4. You experience resentment. 

This is a tricky one for us to admit. It’s not who we are and it’s not an emotion we are comfortable with.

But have you noticed a nagging feeling that takes over when you put the needs of others first. You know that it’s holding you back from what you really want but you’ve fallen into the pattern and your not sure how to get out of it.

Striving to make everyone else happy all of the time is not sustainable.

It might be possible in the short term, but ultimately, the only person you have complete control over is you.

It’s time to draw a line in the sand and make yourself your first priority.  

You’ll be happier in your work and a better professional for it.  Let’s make your needs a priority and to focus on building a career that’s meaningful, fuels your soul and truly gives you a sense of achievement. It’s time to take action.

If you’re ready to get the support, clarity and direction you need to flourish and feel fully alive again in your work, let’s jump on a Career Breakthrough Session and come up with a plan. Click here to answer a few questions and book your time.

No more waiting. No more going it alone. No more putting everyone else first.

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

Are you in a role that’s past its use by date?

Are you in a role that’s past its use by date?

 

You know it’s time to move jobs but here you are in a job that’s well past its use by date. Understanding exactly when it’s time to move on can sometimes be difficult to determine but most of us know deep down when the time has come.

We may try to ignore our intuitive knowing but if we were to truly listen, the signs are there and the whispers are getting louder.

So what’s stopping you from making the move?

Is it fear? Is it lack of clarity or direction? Is it a lack of support and confidence to step out into the unknown?

Is it that you’re too busy to devote the time required to dust off the CV, update your LinkedIn profile and get out there connecting with your network and letting them know that you’re on the market?

Or are you just too exhausted and don’t have the head space required to do the work that’s needed?

There’s no doubt that moving on to a new role takes time, effort and emotional energy.

Moving jobs is hard work and can seem somewhat scary!  

And it’s an emotional roller coaster. You invest in dreaming about the fabulous new opportunity, you experience the excitement of being invited in for an interview (or multiple interviews), and if you are unsuccessful at securing the role, what follows is disappointment and feelings of rejection.

Staying where you are may feel safer. The devil you know may seem better than the devil you don’t. Or perhaps you’re tied to the benefits and perceived security that comes with a long period of service with the one organisation.

It’s little wonder that we often stay longer than we know we should!

But have you factored in the cost of staying put? The negative impacts of staying too long in a job can be significant.

Here are 5 negative impacts of staying too long in a job.

1. The price of ill health. The number one impact I see in my work with high achieving professional women is ill health. Many times these women report increased incidents of colds and flu, excessive fatigue and a myriad of chronic unexplained and often debilitating symptoms.

Studies have found that if we spend our work days in a more or less permanent state of low level ongoing frustration, anger and anxiety, there’s an increase risk to our immune system, ultimately leading to all sorts of illnesses.

2. Your reputation is at stake. Your reputation is based on the quality of work you produce, the results you create and the attitude you bring to the table. Be honest… are you currently producing your best work?

There was a time when I stayed in a role for 18 months beyond it’s use by date and I definitely wasn’t doing my best work. I did what was required… but that was about all. I was no longer fully engaged and my motivation to go the extra mile had all but vanished.

Is staying in a role that no longer lights your fire damaging your reputation?

3. Boredom bites hard. At first being in a role that has become “easy” may seem enticing but over time boredom is likely to set in. At our core we all want to contribute and be valued and to do work that’s interesting and fulfilling. We are hard wired to seek out new challenges and to learn and grow.

When boredom sets in we are likely to become disengaged, become less productive and ultimately our performance is likely to take a hit. Is that what you want?

4. Career Stagnation. You know it. You feel it. Your career has stalled. Where once you were being offered new opportunities, promotions, exciting projects… now all that has dried up. And the bad news is that the longer this period of stagnation lasts, the harder it will be to be taken seriously for the type of roles you really want to be considered for.

5. Life is passing you by. You know you are capable of more. You know you aren’t living up to your full potential. It’s frustrating to see opportunities pass you by and it pains you to see people younger and less experienced than you get those roles.

Life is too short to spend our working days doing work that no longer inspires and excites us. So what are you prepared to do about it?

Is your role past its use by date?

If it is, what’s stopping you from moving on? Are your reasons legitimate or are they elegant excuses keeping you stuck?

Take a moment now to reflect on the impact of staying where you are. Be honest with yourself. Is staying in your current role impacting your health, career progression, you professional reputation or your overall life enjoyment?

 If it is… then it’s time to take action.

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

Business Acumen: The key to career advancement

Business Acumen: The key to career advancement

 

Have you ever wondered what it is that you need to do to transition from middle management to a more senior role? You work hard, you do great work, your team like you but still you are being passed over and senior roles remain elusive.

And clearly the statistics confirm you are not alone in this struggle.

Women represent about 50% of middle management and professional positions, but the percentage of women at the top has stagnated below 20%.

We know that organisations with significant representation of women at the top do better than those that don’t. We know that more and more women want to take a seat at the leadership table. But still women struggle to make their mark in the type of numbers that will really make a difference.

So what’s going wrong?

Obviously there’s no one simple answer to this complex question. There’s work to be done to minimise unconscious bias. There’s work to be done nurturing the pipeline of talent. There’s work to be done to make it more appealing for women to participate more fully at the top.

And there’s no shortage of advice being offered to help women create change at a personal level.  This advice includes being more assertive, acting with confidence, speaking up, taking bolder career choices and expanding their network.

These are all important and I share this exact same advice often with the women I work with… however, it’s not enough.

The difference between languishing in middle management and being considered for the top roles is... business acumen

But many women are failing to focus on building business, strategic and financial acumen.

Why are so many women missing this point?

It’s not because we don’t have or can’t develop business, strategic and financial acumen. It has more to do with the fact that very few women are clearly told how essential these skills are for reaching the top.

For some reason it’s assumed that we already know how.

Susan Colantuon in her TED Talk: The career advice you probably didn’t get, suggests that it’s a basic expectation by senior leaders.

However, when Susan asked an audience of 150 women “How many of you have ever been told that the door-opener for career advancement is your business, strategic and financial acumen, and that all the other important stuff is what differentiates you in the talent pool?” only three women raised their hand.

It’s clear it’s something we need to give more focus to.

How to demonstrate business acumen

1. Learn to love the numbers. Never undermine your credibility as a leader by demonstrating your lack of financial acumen. Learn about the numbers and speak about them in a way that demonstrates your depth of knowledge. Identify and focus on the key metrics and embrace financial knowledge as a major part of your strategic decision-making.

2. Focus on what matters most. As a leader, you must focus on what matters most to the organisation. Too often I see women getting bogged down into the day to day busyness and losing sight of how they are contributing to achieving the strategic business objectives.

Prioritise your diary to allow time each week to focus your energy on those activities that will move you and the business closer to achieving the results that matter.

3.  Develop your strategic thinking. Remember that your high-level technical skills do not necessarily translate into being seen as a leader. To be considered for the next high-level leadership opportunity you need to demonstrate big picture thinking.

You must have a broad awareness of the organisation, an understanding of the strategic direction and the ability to see opportunities, innovate and make strategic decisions.

Ask yourself:

Are you consistently demonstrating your financial, strategic and business acumen?

  • Do you understand where your organisation is going?
  • Do you know what the over arching business strategy is?
  • Are you clear on what the financial targets are?
  • Do you understand your role in moving the organisation forward?
  • Are you demonstrating your potential for leading the business, not just leading the people?

To close the gender gap at the top, we need to build business acumen.

We must focus more on developing and demonstrating our understanding of business financials, know where the business is heading, and clearly align our day to day activities to delivering the business imperatives.

Get out there. Get strategic. Focus on what matters most. And open the door to your career advancement by demonstrating your business acumen.

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

How persistent are you?

How persistent are you?

It is human nature to want to be good at what we do and to have our efforts recognised by others.  It makes us feel worthwhile, valued and it leaves us with a proud sense of achievement. But if you feel like you have to do things perfectly and that near enough is absolutely not good enough, then you may be afflicted by the curse of perfectionism.

Striving for perfection is a recipe for failure.  Perfection quite simply can not be attained!  Not at work, not in our relationships, not in our home. 


At work, perfectionists are obsessed with producing their best
, often setting unattainable goals.  They take longer than most to get their work done while they focus on the tiny details and burying themselves in their quest for getting things right.  As a leader they tend to be unreasonably demanding.  They will often micromanage their team; unable to let go for fear of less than perfect outcomes. 

For all their diligence, perfectionists also tend to procrastinate.  They are fearful of not getting things right so avoid getting started.  They struggle to get their work finished given the high, unachievable standards they have set.

Career success isn’t just about being the smartest or the best educated. It is not about who has the highest IQ or has been fortunate enough to be introduced to the right people.

Yes all of these things help, but there is one very important ingredient which is rarely talked about…. and that is your ability to persist!

That’s right. Persistence.

It’s not the sexiest of skills but it really is important.

Persistence means keeping on going when at first you fail. Persistence means to keep pushing through to become really great at something when others give it away.

Having persistence helps you to work through a difficult performance management issue to resolution or complete a project even when a whole bunch of unexpected barriers appear along the way. It allows you to move through the discomfort of learning something new or to influence your team to embrace an idea or project that they initially rejected.

How persistent are you?

  • When the going gets tough do you keep going?
  • Do you see projects through to completion… even when the process becomes boring or monotonous?
  • When you hit roadblocks, do you hang in there to find a solution?

Let’s just be frank here for a moment. Being persistent is not easy. In fact, very often it is hard.

It’s often so much easier and sometimes more appealing to give up.

Think about the last time you went on a fitness kick. You’re doing really well … then winter arrives and the allure of the warm doona and an extra half hour in bed is so much more inviting than the wet, dark and cold morning.

Those who persist (and yes I admire you) end up with the health, fitness and vitality that we were striving for in the beginning when the motivation was high and the weather warm.

Persistence builds character.

When we achieve something easily we often don’t even recognize the milestone. But when we have fought for it, it seems worthwhile. We feel worthwhile. And the learning from the struggle is profound and lasting.

Like anything, building your ability to persist is like building a muscle. The more we do it, the easier it becomes.

Here are my 3 top tips for building your persistence muscle.

1. Focus on the outcome. Get clear on what you are working towards and why it’s worth pursuing. If something is important enough to you, then you will find a way. Visualise completing the project, task or overcoming the challenge and notice how you will feel when it is done.

 2. Develop your belief. More than anything, persistence is about belief; belief in you! Without belief that you are good enough, smart enough or worthy enough it is so often too tempting to give up when things get hard, boring, challenging or painful. Your belief in yourself and in the goals you are going after will help you to continue.

3. Enlist support. Doing it alone is doing it the hard way. Reach out, collaborate or ask for support.

If you don’t have belief in you yet… enlist a colleague, coach or mentor who believes in you to lift you up, push you on and hold you accountable.

When I first started out in my own business, I had a dream and big goals. But I was afraid and uncertain. I didn’t have 100% belief that I had what it took to create a successful business, so I found a mentor who I believed in and who believed in me. When my belief wavered, my mentor propped me up, provided encouragement and gave me the tools to make persisting so much easier.

To persist at anything – is a choice. At any time we can choose to keep going, keep fighting, keep learning, keep finding ways to achieve OR we can choose to give up, say that we tried but failed or simply move onto something else that seems easier or more fun.

But I know that if we want to play a bigger game, achieve new goals, progress our careers so as we really make a difference… then persistence is required. Giving up or taking the easy road is not an option.

And remember, there are no over night success stories! Success in any area of our life takes persistence and hard work. And without it you are only dreaming. Remember, persistence is a choice.

Be honest with yourself…. Are you demonstrating persistence?

NEXT STEPS?

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

Are you brave in your career choices?

Are you brave in your career choices?

Are you brave in your career choices or are you constrained by your self imposed limits? Do you sit within your comfort zone, doing work that you could do with your eyes closed? Or are you consistently taking on new and interesting projects that stretch and challenge you?

There are times when doing work that is well within your capabilities is a smart move. (eg: when other parts of your life are throwing you a curve ball!) But if you sit in this space beyond its use by date, the outcome is never good.

I recently heard from Kym who had always considered herself an ambitious and focused career-driven professional. After attending a workshop with me, she realised she was “asleep at the wheel and simply complacent.”

It’s little wonder she was being overlooked for the best opportunities.

Brave career decisions don’t come without some risk.

But when did you last achieve something that you were proud of that didn’t come with just a little risk?

Taking bold and courageous action in my career hasn’t always been part of my DNA. (The fact that I worked as a Health and Safety Consultant for quite some time may explain my aversion to risk!)

For many years I held myself back, playing small and choosing the safe career options. Others saw more in me than I saw in myself. I feared that I wasn’t good enough to take the roles others encouraged me to go after.

After a time, these safe decisions left me feeling bored, unfulfilled and frustrated because I was capable of so much more.

Brave and inspiring is how a client described me recently.

Who me? Well yes. No self-imposed limits. No boundaries. No following what is expected. This is much more how I live my life and shape my career today.

Six years ago I left the corporate world with no real plans for what was next. That alone was a huge and brave step. Quite frankly, it had my friends and family questioning my sanity.

I craved work that would challenge me and fill my soul.

I just knew in my heart that I wanted and needed change. I didn’t at the time know exactly what that was but had faith that with time and space the clarity and opportunities would come.

And yes… creating this business of supporting women to find their place at the leadership table has been incredibly brave. It meant stepping into an unfamiliar world, backing myself and completely reinventing myself and my career.

It also included letting go of the certainty of a regular income (although I didn’t quite plan on earning quite so little in the early years).

I hear from many women who feel trapped in their current role out of the need for certainty and stability of the income it provides them. I thought the same but now realise we have way more choices and options than we might think.

Today I enjoy a lifestyle and work I could never have imagined for myself six years ago.

I enjoy an incredible relationship with an amazing man who supports me in everything I do. And together we live a crazy, unconventional life.  For many years we lived between his home on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and my home within the café culture of inner Melbourne. 

We are now primarily in Melbourne but travel VERY often blending our work with our love of enjoying all the experiences life has to offer. 

Every day I get to do work that is challenging and so rewarding. The richness I now enjoy is all down to having the courage to let go of my self-imposed limits, to regularly stepping outside my comfort zone and always making choices that are right for me.

I don’t tell you my story to inspire you to walk away from your job or your career.

That might be going a little too far!

Rather to encourage you to ask yourself whether you have been asleep at the wheel or stagnating in a role that no longer challenges you, excites you or gives you real meaning and fulfilment.

Is it time to take your career off auto pilot, let go of your limits and make some bold and courageous decisions to reignite your career and your life?

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

Your professional reputation is at stake

Your professional reputation is at stake

 

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 influencing 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.

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, and abrasive, abrupt.

And as you move around the office, in the tea room, in meetings, sitting at your desk… your energy is bumping up against other people and is having either a positive or a negative impact.

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

Recently, I caught up with a senior leader whose energy dial 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 around the office.

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 around the office? 
  • Are you having a positive or a negative influence on those around you?

Let me channel Oprah for just one moment. One thing I know for sure is that….

Your energy is more contagious than the common cold!

And your energy also impacts your own 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.

The way you show up around the office will shape how people see you and feel about interacting with you. They will be silently judging whether they like working with you and whether they see you as an effective leader.

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 melt down. 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.

2. 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 wont work. The Negative Nelly loves to blame others and make excuses… and rarely takes any responsibility.

3. 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 wont 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…

Just like the leader who I met with recently, we all have the choice of how we show up and how we respond to situations around us.  So 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!

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

How to position yourself for promotion

How to position yourself for promotion

If you are thinking that this is going to be your breakthrough year where you finally get that promotion you have been craving, it is time to start positioning yourself for what you want. Staying silent, flying under the radar, purely working hard and doing a good job simply will not work.

Gone are the days you can wait to be “tapped on the shoulder.” I know it has possibly worked for you in the past. I hear it all the time from smart, successful women. They tell me their career success, up to this point, has come to them purely through hard work and good luck.

But to get the more senior leadership roles, a new way of thinking is required. You need to be more strategic, more intentional and position yourself to be considered for the best opportunities.

To do this effectively, the most important question of all is….

Do you know where you want your career to head?

If you don’t have the answer to this question… it’s pretty difficult to position yourself for it.

Many of my Inner Circle clients have come along with their career at a crossroads. They had experienced success and had been given many great opportunities along the way. Until one day they found themselves in a place where they knew they wanted something different but lacked clarity and direction of what that looked like.

Through learning how to position themselves effectively, these women have snapped up new and exciting opportunities – often much more quickly than they thought would be possible.

So how ready are you for promotion and what are you doing now to position yourself for that next step?

It’s your career – it’s time to take the reins and manage it!

Here are 7 keys to position yourself for promotion

1. Get career clarity. Without clarity of where you are going, it is very likely you will end up some place you would rather not be. If you are not sure about the specifics, then start with what you do know for certain. Things like; do you want to lead a big team or just a few highly skilled people? What type of products or service is of most interest to you? What new skills or experience do you ideally want to be exposed to in the next position?

2.  Do Great Work. This might seem obvious, but still needs to be said. You will only get promoted if you do great work. Why on earth would anyone trust you to do a bigger role if you aren’t doing this one well… all of the time!

3.  Stay on the radar. It is time to be seen, heard and recognised for the good work you do. No more flying under the radar. Speak up in meetings. Let your opinion be heard.

Get involved in the high profile projects where you can showcase your skills to a broader group of people. Let others know of your accomplishments – in an authentic non-sales-y way.

4.  Build positive relationships. Relationships are everything when it comes to stepping into the next phase of your career. Taking time out to meet up with key people, either within your organisation or externally, is a critical step towards positioning for your next promotion. Who do you know who could assist you to secure your next position? Do they know what your career ambitions actually are??

5.  Balance short term and long term thinking. Too often I see smart, successful women get caught up in the day to day actions and forgetting to flex their long term, strategic muscle. It is important you keep an eye on the organisation’s top priorities and longer term goals and make sure you are seen to be contributing to the achievement of those goals.

6.  Develop your executive presence. To be considered for an executive position, you must be seen as an executive. The way you show up around the office, in meetings, in the tea room matters. This might mean giving your wardrobe an overhaul, dropping the desire to gossip and learning how to work smarter not harder so you appear calm and in control of your workload.

7.  Be intentional and stay focused. It is time to get strategic and focused on what you want. Yes… it may even be time to create a plan. Get clear on what actions you will take and what changes you will implement to fast track your way to positioning yourself for promotion.

Need to do some work to position yourself for your next promotion? 

Check out The Leadership Connection, an exclusive results focused program and community, designed for smart professional women.

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston

10 actions to close out the year.

10 actions to close out the year.

 

There is no doubt that this is a very busy time of the year. There are the projects to complete, end of year functions to attend, shopping malls to navigate and the odd family drama to attend to.

I am sure you don’t need me to add anything more to your long “to do” list.

But I am going to… because it’s time to close out the year.

It’s time to celebrate your achievements and recognise the struggles. Acknowledge and appreciate your growth and start preparing for next year. It’s time to clear the clutter, close this chapter and create space for a fresh start and fulfilling new year.

Here are 10 actions to add to your “to do” list to close out the year

1. Create a “small tasks” list. We all have those pesky little jobs that are non urgent but really should be done. Make the most of this time to give yourself a deadline to get them done. You will feel satisfied and accomplished once they are finally checked off your to do list.

2. Set aside time for big picture thinking. For much of the year it is about putting your head down and getting the job done. Use this time for some big picture thinking. Grab some textas and some flip paper and map out your strategy for next year. Get clear on what are the big priorities for next year and identify the outcomes you want you and your team to achieve.

Think about whether you have the right people on your team, what resources you need and anything else needed for the strategy to be a success.

3. Have the hard conversations. If you have been putting off having a difficult conversation, schedule it in and get it done. Performance issues don’t generally go away. By having the conversation now, you are allowing them to process the feedback over the break and return with a new and improved approach in the New Year.

4. Set up for career success. Take some time to reflect on the year that was. Acknowledge your growth, big wins and the successful projects completed. Pause to consider where you want your career to head next year. Think about your professional development and determine what skills, knowledge or experience will aid your career progression.

5. Say thanks. Showing gratitude and appreciation goes a long way. Take the time to write a hand written note to clients, colleagues and mentors who have supported you throughout the year. Acknowledge what you appreciate … the more specific you can be, the better.

6. Write a January to do list. I love to create an action list prior to taking leave so that, on my return, I can hit the ground running. It also minimises the risk of important jobs falling off the radar over the break.

7. Clear your desk. I am sure this one is not on the list just for me. I have to confess that my desk is chaos much of the time but I LOVE the sense of clarity that comes from an uncluttered desk. And don’t just stop at tidying up your desk. Plan a total clear out. Give the shredder a workout, ditch old files and fill your bin with anything that’s no longer needed. It is time to purge the old to allow space for the new.

8. Empty your inbox. Next it’s time to tackle your inbox. For me, this is often a big job – while all my emails have been read, they now need to be deleted or filed.

And while you are at it, take a look at your electronic filing system. Now’s the time to archive, reorganise and tidy up!

9. Set your out of office message. You are almost there. Identify back up plans and who will manage queries in your absence. And then walk out the door, slip into a holiday frock and sit back with an ice cold drink.

10. Unwind, recharge, refresh! NOW… the most important step of all. Disconnect! If at all possible, make a commitment to unplug, switch off and go technology free. Take this time to fully let go, unwind and recharge. Be present with your family and allow the busyness to subside. It’s time for you fill your cup and allow your mind to be still. Enjoy.

NEXT STEPS?

Ready to start prioritising the right things – those things that are going to get you seen, heard, recognised, promoted and have a bigger impact in the new year – all with less effort? Download the How to Work Smarter Not Harder Action Plan and find out how.

LET'S CONNECT

Similar Blog Posts

Our mindset matters – even more…

There is much of this Covid-19 crisis that we can’t control. But what we can control is our mindset. How we choose to respond to the changing landscape is totally up to us… and could be the difference between just surviving it or truly thriving through this.

JBadmin

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets?

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work…

Jane Benston

Why you’re not being promoted

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” Perhaps you too are the go-to girl. Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”…

Jane Benston