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3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At Work

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At Work

A common reason mid-career women seek out my help is because they’re stuck in the same role, or at the same level, they have been at for far too long. Despite Herculean efforts – and I’m talking endless 12-hour days, putting their hand up to carry the load or put out all the fires, and keeping their door open to guide anyone who asks – these women simply don’t see the rewards that should come their way.

This was exactly the case for a client I met a couple of years ago. Let’s call her Ainsley. By the time we met, Ainsley was angry. She had been working long days for as long as she could remember and wasn’t being rewarded with the professional recognition she deserved. In fact, she was beginning to feel totally overlooked and taken for granted. And to make matters worse, she was angry with herself because the sacrifices she had made to create life-changing career opportunities for herself and her family just weren’t paying dividends.

If you find yourself here too, it might be easy to complain about what’s ‘out there’ and getting in your way… that man who got the promotion because he’s mates with the director… your team who can’t figure anything out without your input… having unrealistic deadlines imposed on you. None of that is your fault, and it’s keeping you stuck, dissatisfied, and on the edge of burnout. 

And yes, all of those things have a part to play. But there’s one other very important factor that needs to be considered. You! Your decisions, your actions, and your ways of working.

Let’s dive into the top 3 reasons why you’re being overlooked at work, and what you can do about it.

1. You’re focused on the wrong things

This is by far the most common problem that stops women from stepping into the leadership spotlight at work, and it manifests in two ways. 

The first is what you define  as ‘good work’. You’re caught in the mindset that hard work is what counts. Putting in the hours, taking everything on, and carrying the team. Which is completely understandable, given that for the first quarter of our lives (if not longer) that was exactly the model we were taught – be good, work hard, put others first. 

But if hard work was all it took… women everywhere would be at the top of the tree. And that’s simply not the case. Instead, it is the innovative, strategic and quality outcomes that get rewarded. You know – all those ideas and projects you would get to, if only you had a little more time…

Which brings me to the second issue: are you focused on the work that actually matters? (Do you even know what that is?!) If you’re stuck in the weeds of busywork, I’m willing to bet that a lot of what you do each day is maintaining the status quo and being in reactive mode as issues arise. You are handling a lot – but that’s building your reputation as “Good old you, taking care of things”. 

What if, instead, you identified a key strategic objective for your team, department, or company, and dedicated a minimum of 90 minutes per week to moving that forward? It might take some time, but I’m willing to bet that before too long, you’ll begin to attract notice from the executive team as the woman who implemented an innovative solution for that long-standing issue.

2. You’re not speaking up

At this level of your career, putting in the hours and waiting to be noticed is simply not enough. Yes, it absolutely should be – but we have to deal with realities here. It’s time to look for opportunities to showcase what you do and the important contribution you make at work. This is especially important if you’re usually praised for just quietly getting things done. 

This might look like providing a bit more detail about what went into creating a particular outcome, talking about what your team is working on, or sharing with your network the projects and initiatives you’re currently working on. Don’t just rely on people seeing or knowing what you’ve done – make it clear!

3. You’re busy – not effective

Something I’ve noticed about women who are known as the reliable ‘Jill of all trades’ is that people will often come to them for a lot of different things – but they’re so stretched that they’re not actually being very effective at any of them! I’m sure you recognise how this feels… like you’re constantly chasing your tail, and you’re not able to get beyond scratching the surface of any of the bigger pieces of work. It comes back to focusing on what matters most – and you need to reclaim time in your calendar to do that. 

It’s about establishing, communicating, and upholding clear boundaries around your time, energy, and mental space. This will be especially challenging in the beginning, as you undo the reputation you’ve built for yourself as a ‘go to’ resource who will say yes to everything. But it doesn’t mean you have to start slamming the door and turning everyone away! 

Instead, ease into your new normal. Rather than saying yes (and panicking later), practise saying “I can, but I won’t be able to get to it until XXX. Does that work for you?” Or, “right now my focus is YYY. Is this a higher priority?” 

At the end of the day, we teach people how to treat us through the behaviour we accept. If you’re feeling taken for granted, and that what you get done isn’t even seen, let alone valued, it’s time to change tactics and make different choices. When you shift your focus to align with strategic objectives, create space to be more impactful and effective, and harness opportunities to speak up about your contribution, you will shift your reputation and get noticed – for all the right things.

And when you’re getting noticed for all the right reasons… it won’t take long to transition from being overlooked to being on everyone’s radar!

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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

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

No opportunity for professional growth? Here’s…

If your career has plateaued, you may be in more trouble than you realise. As humans we are hardwired to be consistently learning and growing. Without opportunities to stretch and challenge us, we become stale, we lose momentum, and it can cause you to be overlooked and undervalued.

Opportunities for growth dry up for many reasons.

Jane Benston

How to delegate when you can’t rely on a team

How to delegate when you can’t rely on a team

A common obstacle I see keeping women stuck in their career is delegation. Either they don’t do it at all, or when they try it’s executed poorly so they give up and revert back to trying to do everything themselves. 

We know that a key task of leadership is setting the strategic vision and focusing on the work that matters… and yet this cannot happen if you’re stuck in the weeds of day-to-day busywork. This is why delegation is so important – you have to get things off your plate so you have the space to focus on that bigger picture work. 

When I ask women in my community what is holding them back from delegating, they tell me they either don’t have a team to delegate to, or that they’re not comfortable delegating to their team. Let’s look more closely at each roadblock.

I don’t have a team to delegate to

Just like you don’t need to have a team to demonstrate impactful leadership… you don’t need to be leading your own team to be able to share the load. Instead, how can you leverage the strengths and capacity of those around you? This might be your peers, or a project team you are part of, or other people within the organisation.

When you’re able to let go of what you do, you create growth opportunities for others by allowing them to tap into their strengths and interests and develop new skills. I’m confident there will be people in your organisation who would relish such an opportunity so don’t be afraid to cast a wider net to find them. 

You can also practise delegation outside of the workplace if that’s what will free up your capacity for creative thinking and impactful leadership. This might look like engaging a cleaner, outsourcing some meal preparation, or enlisting family members to help with getting the kids to their after-school activities. 

I’m not comfortable delegating to my team

For the women who do have a team, reluctance to delegate often looks like:

  • They’re really busy too, it doesn’t feel right to ask them to do another thing; or
  • I don’t trust them to do the task well and/or it’s quicker to do it myself.

When you share the load with others, you’re creating the opportunity for them to grow and develop in their own careers – so give them the chance to show you what they’re capable of! When we visited this topic in The Leadership Connection, my membership community for high-calibre, mid-career women, one of our members captured this perfectly: “(Holding tasks back because they might be busy) doesn’t allow for their development, it doesn’t help them grow in confidence and ability… and it just buries me!”

Now, let’s talk about trusting your team (or colleague, or cleaner) to take on new tasks. Trust is fundamental to delegation… but it’s also something that is nurtured over time once you start sharing the load. And it relies on you! If your efforts in delegation so far haven’t been very successful – I’m sorry to say – the problem starts with you. It is up to you to create the conditions for success here.

How to delegate effectively

1.  Prepare for short term pain.

Even with the best team, the journey to effective delegation will be slow, and at times frustrating. Right now, it probably is quicker for you to do things yourself! But over time you will empower your team and build their confidence to take more and more off your plate. This is a long game strategy that will pay off in spades over the coming months and years.

2. Leverage and develop existing strengths.

Take the time to understand people’s strengths, and consider how you can tap into them to deliver the outcome needed. When you assign responsibilities that play to their individual talents and interests, you’ll also be fostering a sense of ownership, motivation and accountability.


3. Clarity creates momentum

Ensure you are clear on the desired outcome, so you can communicate this to your team. One mistake leaders make is that they get too caught up in the ‘how’ and end up micromanaging the process. If you’re a detail-oriented person who is at risk of this too, shift your focus to the detail of the outcome you want to create. Create clear accountability, and provide ample space for your team to confirm they understand what’s expected from them.

4. Delegate, don’t abdicate.

Just shifting things off your plate is not effective delegation! Instead, create a collaborative atmosphere with your team and include space for regular check-ins. Again, make sure they understand what to do and what’s expected from them, and stay available for questions and support until they’re able to manage it on their own.

5. Let them fail (a little)

One of the best ways to build capacity and foster trust with your team is to give them space to muck things up, and be gracious when you help them get back on track. It sounds counterintuitive, but I’m sure you’ll recognise from your own experience – sometimes our biggest lessons come when we make mistakes. This doesn’t look like walking away and letting them crash and burn (that will destroy any trust you’ve developed and shatter their confidence). But creating safety for them to have a little wobble can speed up the learning process significantly.

When we refuse to delegate, we stunt our professional growth and put ourselves on a sure path to burnout. Plus, by holding on to all the busywork ourselves, we limit our capacity to take on new challenges and expand our sphere of influence. It’s time to break free from this self-imposed barrier and embrace delegation as a catalyst for success.

As leaders, our time is precious, and by delegating effectively, we can focus on strategic initiatives that drive our organisations forward. Moreover, delegation fosters professional growth within our teams, empowering individuals to take ownership and develop new skills. Simply put, effective delegation is the cornerstone of impactful leadership.

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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

Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

No opportunity for professional growth? Here’s…

If your career has plateaued, you may be in more trouble than you realise. As humans we are hardwired to be consistently learning and growing. Without opportunities to stretch and challenge us, we become stale, we lose momentum, and it can cause you to be overlooked and undervalued.

Opportunities for growth dry up for many reasons.

Jane Benston

How to be visible and have influence at the senior level

How to be visible and have influence at the senior level

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Why does it matter?
Earlier in your career, you probably derived a lot of satisfaction simply from being on the team and being able to effectively follow through on the projects or subject matter areas delegated to you. From our school days onwards, we were rewarded for working hard, asking for permission, and waiting to be called upon. And it is this team-member mindset we need to break free from to step up into impactful leadership.

Successful leaders are the people who are 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. And you can’t do that without getting the senior leadership team on board with the projects or agendas you believe in.

What’s stopping you?
If you’re struggling to get yourself seen, heard, and noticed by your leadership team, the board, or the CEO, the first step is to understand – what’s stopping you? These are the issues I commonly see.

  1. Fear
    Fear is the biggest thing holding women back from stepping into the spaces and roles where they can excel. It might be a fear of being too visible, the fear of getting it wrong and looking silly, or fear around asking for what you need.

  2. Focus
    Often the women I work with can articulate what they don’t want – but not what they do want. And if you’re not clear about what you want… you won’t recognise the opportunities to raise your profile and agenda when they appear! It’s time to get focused and specific about the outcomes you want to create, which will also help you focus your efforts to boost your visibility and have more influence.

    3. The Pedestal Effect

Sometimes, when we think about the board or C-suite executives at our workplace, we can get a little star-struck. If you find yourself holding back because you don’t want to take up their time, or you’re worried about being a bother when they have a lot on their plate – the Pedestal Effect is in action!

Whatever it is that’s holding you back from becoming visible and having influence at the senior level, it is time to move beyond those obstacles and get yourself seen. Whether it is your direct manager or leaders higher up in the organisation, your senior leaders don’t know as much about your area of expertise as you do… and being able to influence at that level is the key to being able to contribute to the strategic direction of the business and to create change – for the business, their customers, or your team.

How to build your influence

  1. Adapt your style
    It’s a frustrating truth that we cannot change how others will behave. All you can control is what you do. If you find you’re simply not getting cut through at work, consider how you can adapt your approach and style so that it aligns with the senior leaders. Are they a big picture person, or do they need quite a lot of detail? Will they respond best to facts, or do they need you to present the story of your innovative project? Walk in their shoes, understand what matters to them, and position yourself accordingly.

2. Demonstrate your value.
We cannot expect to be of influence if we’re not being seen as valuable. Stay present to opportunities to let people know what you’re doing, and how you got to your position. This is especially important if you have a knack for making what you do look easy! Demonstrate your capability by allowing people to understand what went into solving that problem or achieving that outcome. It’s time to articulate your magic, ladies!

3. Micro moments matter.
In a busy organisation you won’t often get big enough pockets of time for a detailed presentation about an initiative or project. Instead, you need to keep an eye out for micro moments to sow the seeds of your value. Where can you speak up about what your team is working on? How can you begin to raise your profile with the people that matter? How can you create advocates for your project before you present it more widely?

Relationships first, influence second
If there is one thing that will form the core of your ability to influence it is the quality of your relationships. When you focus on building strong relationships with your colleagues, you will naturally come to understand what is important to them, and how to best approach them with strategic ideas. Check ins and conversations will create those micro moments, and give you the chance to showcase your value and articulate your magic.

Your effectiveness as a strategic leader relies on your ability to influence those around you… and on your ability to influence UP in the organisation. If this is something you’ve struggled with – know you are not alone. It’s time to move past what’s been holding you back, get clear on what you want, and capture those micro moments that can make all the difference.

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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

Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

No opportunity for professional growth? Here’s…

If your career has plateaued, you may be in more trouble than you realise. As humans we are hardwired to be consistently learning and growing. Without opportunities to stretch and challenge us, we become stale, we lose momentum, and it can cause you to be overlooked and undervalued.

Opportunities for growth dry up for many reasons.

Jane Benston

No opportunity for professional growth? Here’s why that’s bad for your career.

No opportunity for professional growth? Here’s why that’s bad for your career.

If your career has plateaued, you may be in more trouble than you realise. As humans we are hardwired to be consistently learning and growing. Without opportunities to stretch and challenge us, we become stale, we lose momentum, and it can cause you to be overlooked and undervalued.

Opportunities for growth dry up for many reasons.

Perhaps you’re at that point where the only opportunity for progression is your boss’s job… and goodness knows how long you’ll have to wait for them to go!

Perhaps you’ve been pigeonholed, and your manager is unable to see your capabilities beyond what you are currently doing.

Or perhaps you’ve become a bit too comfortable in the role you’re in and have shied away from going after new challenges.

Whatever the reason, staying stuck for too long will be detrimental for your career … and ultimately your happiness.

Here’s why…

Your reputation is on the line. Have you noticed that people who are seen to be growing get more attention from senior leaders than those who are seen as hard working, focused team members who be relied on to just get the job done?

People who are growing get a reputation as someone to watch; they get more support and are more likely promoted. In contrast, people whose growth has stalled fall off the radar and opportunities dry up.

As a leader you’ve probably done it yourself – given more coaching and bigger opportunities to team members who are on the rise. So why wouldn’t it happen to you too?

Your confidence is at stake. Confidence comes from generating positive results with the actions you take – particularly those actions that stretch you. So, it’s obvious: if you’re not taking bold and courageous actions, you’re not getting the internal feedback that you’ve got this. Not only does this mean you’re not building confidence… it can undermine what confidence you have by letting seeds of doubt take root, too.

Sadly, a loss of confidence can often lead women to retreat to the tasks, activities and ways of working that are familiar and comfortable. And as a result – they get stuck. Stuck doing tasks that they nailed years ago; tasks that are seen as necessary but not valuable; tasks that provide no sense of pride or confidence.

Your job satisfaction is at risk. We spend too many hours of our life at work to settle for a role that has lost its spark. If you’re not loving your role right now, it’s likely part of the problem is that you’ve stopped growing.

Think about it. When was the last time you did something for the first time? When was the last time you surprised yourself with what you achieved? When was the last time you felt truly proud of your contribution?

Growth doesn’t need to come from a brand new job. More often, it can come from new challenges within your role. Challenges like presenting to the board, creating the department budget, having a difficult conversation with a team member, or heading a business-critical project.

If you haven’t had many moments that challenged your limits lately, it’s a fair warning sign that you’ve hit a professional growth plateau.

If that’s you … then I invite you to join us at our upcoming FREE workshop…

The 4 Pillars to Unlocking Life-Changing Professional Growth: How to break through the mid-career plateau that has you feeling stuck, undervalued, and maybe even on the brink of burnout. Click here to reserve your spot now >>>https://janebenston.lpages.co/unlock-growth/

 

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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

Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Stop Trying to Do it All: Leaders Delegate!

Stop Trying to Do it All: Leaders Delegate!

Many women I speak with think it’s quicker and better to do things themselves rather than taking the time to delegate tasks and projects to someone else. Sadly, this may be hurting your leadership impact and reputation more than you think.

I get it. It quite possibly is quicker to do it yourself!

And no doubt no one else could possibly do it as well as you do 😉

But let me ask you this…

Does your CEO do everything themselves? Have you ever seen a CEO working late into the night entering data into a spreadsheet or fiddling with a PowerPoint slide, so it looks just, right?

No! If they did, they would have no time, energy or mental capacity to set the strategic direction, guide their senior leaders through high level problems, or make the decisions that only they can make.

Successful senior leaders have got to where they are, in part, through their ability to delegate all but the most important, high impact, high value tasks and projects.

And before you tell me that you feel guilty offloading your work onto others, let’s think about what you’re not getting to because you are hanging onto pretty much everything.

Do you have a project that’s been on your to do list for months without much progress?

Do you have an underperforming team member that you’ve been hoping will somehow, finally pick up their game so you don’t have to have the difficult conversation with them?

Or do you feel anxious all the time because you know that you’re spread way too thin, which means your work is not up to your usual standard?

These all require YOUR attention. No one else can or should address these issues.

So, here’s the thing…

The quickest and most sustainable way to do the true work of leadership more consistently is by creating the space to lead!

That’s why delegating effectively to others is one of the first places we focus when we are looking to free up your time and energy.

And it’s one of the foundational strategies I focus on with my clients.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “I’ll just do this myself and get it done,” but every minute you spend on a low-level task is time you’re not investing in high value work … that only you can do!

So let me ask you this. Do you really want to keep struggling to get to the real work of leadership?

Or are you ready to step back, let go and trust others to pick up some of the load?

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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

Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Why Being Helpful and Reliable is Now Holding You Back

Why Being Helpful and Reliable is Now Holding You Back

Do you often find yourself working tirelessly, trying to prove your worth and earn that well-deserved recognition? It’s a trap many mid-career professional women fall into, thinking that by working harder and doing more, they will finally be seen, heard, and promoted.  

But here’s the truth: it’s not helping you move forward. It’s holding you back. 

If you’ve been making this mistake too – 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… this approach will only 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, then click the button below and join us in our FREE Facebook group, Leading Ladies: an exclusive group for mid-career women to share, learn and grow.  

  

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3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

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How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Stuck at a mid-career crossroads? Here’s why.

Mid Career Women

Stuck at a mid-career crossroads? Here’s why.

If you are a mid-career professional woman who has achieved career success – like landing a well-paid role, leading a sizable team and heading up important projects – and find yourself feeling lost and confused, instead of the professional pride and fulfilment you thought you’d feel, this is for you.

On paper it looks like you’ve made it.

You should be happy. Right?

But instead, there is a part of you that dreads going to work. You’ve struggled to deliver the quality of work you are known for and you’re functioning pretty much on autopilot.

Not to mention, you’re likely working long hours that are leaving you exhausted and with no energy to enjoy your weekends.

The real question that’s rolling around in the back of your mind is…

“How much longer can I keep doing this?”

Or even worse,

“How will this affect my family, my health, and my professional reputation if nothing changes very soon?”

After more than 10 years supporting mid-career women to navigate the ups and downs of a dynamic career, I’ve seen this scenario play out for women in every industry, across all job role types.

If this is you, I’m going to suggest that it’s 100% normal.

Think about it.

Most of us head into the world of working with a clear enough vision for the first 15 – 20 years or so.

It probably included a good job, a house, maybe a partner and a couple of kids – throw in a bit of overseas travel and … voila! Happy days!

Then one day you wake up and realise you have all of that – and yet you ask yourself … is this all there is?

You’ve delivered on your vision.

You’ve achieved everything you set out to achieve. But now there is no clear picture to guide your next move.

Many women pride themselves on having it all figured out – but here you are with nothing figured out. You know what you don’t want… but you’re not entirely sure what it is you do want.

I call it the mid-career crossroads.

What makes it even tricker is that you’re probably super talented, with a broad range of experience. You’re capable of pretty much anything, which leaves you with way too many options to choose from.

And to top it all off, you may have had a negative work experience that has knocked your confidence and left you wondering if you’re really cut out for more anyway.

So here you are.

Now what?

Without a clear picture of what’s next, it’s likely that you’ll remain stuck.

You’re probably entering a new phase, both professionally and personally.

Perhaps the kids have completed their schooling, or even moved out. Or you’ve hit menopause, and EVERYTHING is changing. Or you’re caring for elderly parents, or they’ve passed away leaving you with a decent-sized inheritance – which opens up even more opportunities.

And you’re entering a new career phase too.

Which means …

It sounds like it’s time to pause, reflect and give your work and life a complete audit.

It’s time to be curious and to dream a little. Imagine how you’d like to be spending your time, sharing your wisdom and putting your hard-earned experience to work over the next 10 – 15 years.

What type of life would you like to create for this next phase?

Work and life don’t happen in isolation – so plan them out together.

Even though it might be scary, you get to choose. Remember, we only get one life. Let’s make it fun. Let’s make it count.

Spend some time getting clear on what type of work you love to do, what you’re passionate about and where you can add the most value.

And take note of what you’d rather never do again. For me that’s easy. NEVER again will I head up an audit process or be responsible for creating new policies and procedures. I know what I’m good at – and these aren’t it!

But most importantly, give yourself some grace as you work through these important questions.

It can be tricky to figure this out and it’s likely to take some time.

Be patient, while also excited as you craft your new future.

You’ve got this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
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Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Leaders are in high demand … but in very short supply!

Leaders are in high demand ... but in very short supply!

If you look at any Org Structure right now, you’ll see plenty of leaders listed – but are they really leading?

Do they have respect from their team members, trust from their stakeholders and the backing of their executives?

I think we’d all agree that there are plenty who do not!

Many leaders are not building and engaging cohesive, high performing teams. They are not setting the vision or building strategies that will lead the business to great heights. And many are not making much of an impact beyond showing up and churning through their to do list.

Sadly, too many in leadership positions are too busy in the day to day, or lacking the courage to make uncomfortable decisions or take bold actions, or failing to harness the full value and potential of their team…. to be seen as truly leading.

I’m sure you’ve seen this to be true too.

When you think back over your career, how many of your leaders would you consider to be good (or even great) leaders?

Over my career I’ve reported to a couple of people who I would say were truly exceptional leaders, with the rest falling in the OK range. And a few… well I’d plonk them directly into the dreadful basket!

So, here’s the good news.

Organisations are crying out for exceptional leaders – at all levels.

Which means…

If you’re considered to be a great leader, you will always be in HIGH DEMAND.

As a great leader, here’s what you can expect…

More money.

Greater job security.

An abundance of opportunities.

To attract the highest quality team members.

Commanding respect across the organisation.

Recognition for your leadership.

Which in turn makes work so much easier, enjoyable and fulfilling!

So, let’s make sure you are seen as an exceptional leader.

The good news is …

Being seen as a great leader isn’t going to require you to work any harder.

Let’s celebrate that for a moment – because I’m guessing you’re already working long hours and perhaps weekends too. Actually, when you step into impactful leadership, it’s very possible you’ll work less – not more!

Being seen as an exceptional leader is all about focusing your time and energy in a new way.

Here’s how…

  • Dedicate more time and effort to high impact, high value projects.
  • Focus on creating results that matter to the senior executive team.

  • Learn to influence important decisions and provide clear strategies that others will get behind.

  • Set strong boundaries, delegate more and support your team to deliver on the highest priorities.

  • Ensure that the right people know who you are and how good you are at what you do.

In other words …

The most reliable way to be seen as an exceptional leader, so you are always in high demand, is to focus your time and energy not on the low-level day-to-day tasks but on the high impact activities that make a difference within your organisation.

By investing your time, energy and resources in becoming an exceptional leader you will be richly rewarded. Stand apart from the average leader and you will always be in high demand.

You’ve got this. Go out and be exceptional!

 

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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

Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

What you learnt at school will keep you stuck

What you learnt at school will keep you stuck

What most mid career professional women never realise is that what you learnt at school automatically set you up to be a productive, hardworking team member – NOT an impactful strategic leader.   

Now, that’s not your fault.  

The education system did a fantastic job at grooming all of us to be good hard-working team members. 

I mean. Think about it….  

Raise your hand! Work hard! Ask permission! Wait your turn. Do what you’re told! Get it right. Never make a mistake. 

Be a good girl and get good grades. 

And then one day my child, YOU will be successful in work and life.  

Well, if that was the case, then everyone we know who operates this way – those who work long, hard grinding hours and wait for permission and do what they are told and seek perfection… they would be successful. 

But we know that’s simply not the case.  

And that’s because, when you hold onto this team member mindset after securing a leadership position, your value can only be assessed on your effort – and we all know that your effort is limited by the amount of time you have in your day and the amount of energy you have to give. 

And have you noticed: you never seem to have enough of either!  

Successful leaders are those who rise above the day-to-day low level tasks and think and act strategically … 

NOT those who rely purely on their hard work to get ahead.   

Leaders take risks. They question everything. They challenge the status quo and take bold action. They set expectations and hold their teams accountable.  And most importantly – they create results for the organisation.  

If anything, successful leaders are those who adopted the exact opposite mindset of what we’re taught at school. 

Think about it.  Find me any successful leader who’s getting results, setting the agenda and leading a high performing team, who thinks and operates like a hard-working new graduate.   

You can’t.  

Because they don’t exist.  

And now you know the difference between someone who gets stuck languishing in a mid management role and someone who thrives in a rewarding leadership role, making a real difference.  

Which means you have a choice. 

You can continue to operate as an underpaid, overworked team member on a downward spiral towards burnout with nothing to show for it… 

Or 

Starting today, you can step into the mindset of a leader and start living and operating from that place. 

Now, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to mean breaking a few long-held habits and it’s going to be uncomfortable. 

But… 

It’s going to be worth it in the end.  

What’s it going to be?  

Hard work with little to show for it?  Or focused, strategic, rewarding, high level work that has you recognised as a leader.  

Your choice.  

 

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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

Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

My guiding word for 2024

my guiding word for 2024

My guiding word for 2024

Every year I choose a word of the year. It guides me and provides focus – usually in an area of growth or it supports the development of a new positive habit.

Last year my word of the year was ASK.

My goal was to use my focus of ASKING to let go of the long-held habit of being overly independent. For most of my life, I’d seen my fiercely independent ways as one of my greatest strengths but in more recent years it was becoming increasingly obvious that it was also becoming a barrier to my growth and an easier, more fulfilling life.

Throughout 2023 I consciously resisted the temptation and habit of diving in and doing it all myself.

Did I get it perfect every time? Absolutely not. Fifty plus years of habitual coping alone rather than leaning into support doesn’t vanish overnight – but I’m proud to say I’ve made significant progress.

Whether it was handing over the keys to a professional team to prepare my Melbourne property for sale or asking for a lift to an event or delegating more to my team (and letting go to allow them to flourish). I’m
happy to report I’m enjoying the results from ASKING.

After much deliberation I’ve now come up with my area of focus for 2024.

This year’s word is ALLOWING.

Why ALLOWING?

It primarily comes from a realisation that not only have I struggled with ASKING – I’ve also struggled with RECEIVING. So, my focus on ALLOWING is to build my muscle around accepting support. Allowing work and life to be easy. ALLOWING others to carry some of the load.

It’s to remind me to go with the flow rather than struggling against the tide. I’ll be asking over and over again…. “Is there an easier way?”

We women often feel that things need to be hard to be worthwhile. I’m calling BS on that! I’m committed to ALLOW myself the gift of taking the easier pathway – provided it leads me to the results I want!

This year’s focus is to encourage me to spend more time in silence to ALLOW my intuition to support decision making and guide my next moves.

It’s about ALLOWING the year to unfold without judgement. It’s accepting that there will always be situations and circumstances that are challenging. I will be letting go of what I can’t control and focus on responding to those things I can.

I’m also expecting 2024 will bring with it challenges in supporting my aging parents – so my focus of ALLOWING extends to ALLOWING myself grace as I navigate those challenges.

Finally, it’s about ALLOWING more space in my weekly schedule for me. The transition to menopause has not been smooth sailing and I’m committed to allowing myself the time and space to focus on building a healthy foundation for this next stage of life.

And most of all …. I’m excited about what this year of ALLOWING will create.

How about you? Do you have a word or area of focus for the year? I’d love to hear what it is?

Would you like some help to create your 90 day plan to kick the year off on the right note? Join us Tuesday 23rd January  at 8pm AEDT where I’ll be working with other mid career women to create their Transformational Year in a free online workshop. Click here to register.

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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

Business woman in office

3 Reasons You’re Being Overlooked At…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

happy young business woman relaxing and geting insiration while working on desktop computer at modern bright  starup office interior

How to delegate when you can’t…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston

Beautiful woman using laptop at home

How to be visible and have…

A common obstacle the mid-career women I work with face is that they’re not being seen by the senior leadership team… which also leaves them unable to influence strategic direction, and feeling undervalued in their role.

In this article I’m going to share with you why it’s important to be visible, valuable, and have influence at senior levels, and what you can do to start shifting the dial on your influence and visibility.

Jane Benston