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Leading through and beyond burnout

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this…. 

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again.  The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky.  Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days. 

Hello burnout!  

It’s not pretty, and sadly it’s not uncommon. And while I’m no doctor, I’ve come out the other side, and so can you. 

My experience of burnout showed up after a corporate takeover.  Overnight my job role changed, and the leadership style was at odds with how I work best. I found myself doing work that did not allow me to work to my strengths and my job performance plummeted.   

My confidence was knocked for six, my brain was foggy and I found myself bursting into tears for the most trivial annoyances. But worst of all was the long list of unexplained medical symptoms. 

So, what is burnout?   

Here’s a definition by the Mayo Clinic that I think sums it up well.  

“It’s a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”  

But it’s this list of personality traits of people who more commonly experience burnout that captured my attention.  

  • A tendency towards perfectionism or a type-A personality 
  • Being hyper-competitive or comparing oneself to others 
  • Difficulty asking for help or support 
  • Inability to prioritize work tasks and adjust effort accordingly  
  • Identifying one’s job as the most important part of who you are 

Over the last 10 years working with dedicated, hardworking mid career women, I’ve met many women who have found themselves deep within the dark tunnel of burnout.  And many of these women have displayed one or more of these characteristics.  Interesting!  

If you have been wondering if you’re teetering on the edge of burnout – you know you should do something about it.   

A week off work curled up on the couch watching Netflix or escaping to a beautiful beach in the sunshine may seem like the perfect quick fix … but sadly it’s unlikely to do the trick.  You don’t reach a place of burnout overnight – so it’s fair to say you’ll need more than a band aid solution to get you back to feeling fresh and alive and loving your work. 

So, what does work? 

Here are my top 3 pieces of advice for anyone noticing symptoms of burnout. 

1. Take a breath.  
Let’s start by acknowledging where you are at. Notice how you are feeling and how it’s impacting you, your work and your personal life.  

Is it time to draw a line in the sand and commit to creating change and putting you and your health first for a while?  

You already know that self-care is key to moving beyond burnout… so let’s make sure you are making time for sleep, exercise, mindfulness, fun or whatever it is that helps you to feel calm, centered and more like you.  

2. Prioritise like a pro.  
The next step is to do a stock take on all the things on your plate right now… and I mean all of it.  Not just the work stuff – but the home stuff too.   

Despite what some people might think – not everything is urgent.  Spend time getting really clear on what things are most important.  Be ruthless.  I mean really ruthless!   

To help clarify your highest priorities, ask yourself; “If I could only focus on THREE things on this list – what would they be?”  

It’s time to lighten your load and let some things go.  Let go of doing it all.  Especially let go of doing it all without help and support.  Let go of striving for perfection.   

What you need more than anything else right now is space to think, breathe and rejuvenate.   

3. Commit to change.   
If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same result!   

But given you’ve read this far… you’re ready to reignite your spark and reclaim your work mojo.  And for that – things will need to change.  Let’s start by setting clear boundaries, saying no and delegating.   

Recognise where you are over functioning – and allowing others to under function.  For example, are you doing your team members’ work because it’s easier and quicker to just do it yourself? Or have you failed to recognise that your kids are now old enough to make their own lunch, fold the laundry or cook dinner for the family once in a while? 

Or perhaps the change you need comes in the form of a new job?  If your growth has plateaued, or you’ve fallen out of love with our role or you’re uninspired by your leader – then hoping and waiting for things to get better is rarely the answer.  

 Intuitively we know when we are heading towards burnout – but we often stick our head in the sand – too busy or too exhausted to do anything about it until it’s too late.   

The solution to my burnout was to eventually quit – without another job to go to.  But that’s because I left it too long before finding ways to stop it in its tracks.  Take it from me – you don’t want to do this!   

If you have battled fatigue and poor motivation, coupled with a bunch of unexplained illnesses – then now is the time to act, put yourself first and start looking for ways to find the best version of you again.  

One option might be to join our 8-week group coaching program IGNITE.  It’s designed to provide accountability and support to do this work.  You can check out the details here. 

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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.
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Similar Blog Posts

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

Photo of beautiful happy woman looking at camera while working and sitting at table in open-plan office

New year, New Job, New You

You’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and you’ve come to the decision that a new job is on your list of goals for the year. Good for you!
Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more money, better corporate culture, more variety, more flexibility, a leader who inspires you or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason… you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Last week we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Her family shared how she was remarkable for being unremarkable.

She was a good 1950’s wife of a high-level public servant, moving across the country, with each new work opportunity and promotion. She cooked a mean Sunday roast, was known for her practical dressmaking skills (including making my partner’s first surfboard cover) and kept a neat and tidy home for her family.

In contrast, her early adult life was a life of financial independence, work, freedom and fun.

As an 18 year old woman she had moved out of home and lived independently, working in a range of administration type roles. From the stories shared, it was clear she was a feisty, determined and strong woman of her time.

During the war she enlisted in the WAAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Australian Airforce) and rose to the rank of Sargent.

She clearly had spunk and sparkle being engaged to be married no less than SIX times. In amongst her personal treasures, we’ve found small black and white photographs of dashing young men in air force uniforms. I wonder what happened to these men. Sadly, I suspect they did not live long and fulfilling lives given their war time profession.

She finally married at the age of 23 and left the workforce, never to work outside the home ever again.

I wonder what type of career Betty would have had if she had been born into a different era. What type of leader could have she been? How would she have contributed? What profession would she have chosen?

I may be wrong, but I like to believe she could have been destined for a long and significant career.

I personally can’t imagine a life focused purely around home keeping and family and am grateful for the degree of choice and opportunity we have.

At times, I’m frustrated by the slow progress of change when it comes to women’s contribution in the workplace. Then I think about women like Betty, and I’m reminded how far we’ve come in the last 100 years.

As we navigate this post covid world, I believe we are entering a time of huge growth and opportunity for women. Many of the systems, structures and ways of working have broken and we now have a rare opportunity to reshape our working world as we transition to our new normal.

But just like Betty did – seizing a rare opportunity to work in a leadership role during the war, it’s up to each of us to be courageous and seize the opportunity.

If we want the world of work for women to continue to progress – now is the time to lean in and have a say.

This might mean stepping up to lead in a way that’s right for you rather than modelling outdated styles that don’t align with who you are. It might mean taking a stand for what you believe is important or resisting the temptation to revert to old ways of working when there’s an opportunity to build a better way forward.

Change doesn’t come without discomfort or a degree of resistance. It’s rarely easy and almost always requires courage.

Imagine 100 years from now ….

I wonder how we will see leadership, the contribution of women and what the working environment will be like?

Take a moment today to think about how you might be able to contribute to reshaping leadership and our working world.

LET'S CONNECT

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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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

Photo of beautiful happy woman looking at camera while working and sitting at table in open-plan office

New year, New Job, New You

You’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and you’ve come to the decision that a new job is on your list of goals for the year. Good for you!
Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more money, better corporate culture, more variety, more flexibility, a leader who inspires you or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason… you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause and its impact on leadership

Why we must talk about menopause and its impact on leadership

Let’s talk menopause  

 Yes!  I’m going there.   

 Why?  Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.   

 And let me just say, from my experience, the transition through perimenopause and into menopause can be a pretty rough ride.  Sleep disturbance, foggy brain and the unexplained aches and pains (or whatever curve ball your body wants to throw up for you)… can all take a toll on your ability to think clearly and to have the energy required to tackle the demands of a leadership role.  

 Until recently, menopause was a taboo subject.   

 It wasn’t widely explored in the media and it’s not something that was spoken about at home let alone in the workplace.  Thankfully that’s starting to shift.  More and more public figures are speaking about their experiences and women are becoming more willing to share their stories within their social and business circles.   

 To say I was in the dark about what to expect and how to transition gracefully through this natural stage of life would be an understatement.   

 All I knew about menopause until recently was that I could expect a few annoying hot flushes and look forward to the monthly bleeding to stop.  I thought it was just a short phase of a year or two that needed to be endured and then it would be done. 

 I was clueless and misinformed, even though I’m probably about 5 years into this crazy transition.  

 In recent weeks I’ve begun a journey of exploration to get an understanding of what’s happening to my body and how to take back some control and make peace with the changes.   

 I want to be able to lead bravely and contribute in a big way – and feel confident in my body but that’s almost impossible while I struggle with the sleepless nights, weight gain, hot flushes, migraines, aching joints and forgetfulness. 

 So yes – being a great leader AND finding the best way for YOU to gracefully transition through the stages of menopause go hand in hand.   

So, what have I learnt so far?   

 That this period of a woman’s life can take on average 7 years from the first signs of perimenopause through to menopause.  SEVEN YEARS!  Who knew!   

 I’ve learnt that many GPs don’t have the time or the expertise to help us navigate this experience.  I’ve sought support and assistance on 3 occasions from different GPs and have come away each time even more confused and with nothing more than a list of drugs to consider.  

 I’ve learnt that keeping in shape once our hormones begin to shift takes something different from the regular advice about calories in versus energy out and that high intensity exercise that raises stress levels may actually be having a negative effect.  

 I’ve learnt that skipping my beloved daily coffee and few drinks over the weekend have been a sacrifice worth making to restore my sleep patterns and my sanity.   

 And most importantly I’ve learnt that this is not a time to be endured.  There are lots of options (medical, herbal and lifestyle changes) for relieving the mental, emotional and physical impacts.   

 Here are some things to think about if you too are in this phase of life.  

 1. Find the right health provider for you.  Sadly, many GPs don’t have the time, inclination or the knowledge to provide you the support and advice you are looking for.   If your usual GP is unable to provide you with the answers to your questions – seek advice from another GP or health provider.   

  2. Get educated.  Go in search of experts in this field.  Read their books.  Listen to their podcasts.  Sign up for short courses and workshops.  Speak to your girlfriends.  Talk to your mother about her experience.  Remember – knowledge is power.   

 A book I’ve found helpful is: Hormone Repair Manual – every woman’s guide to healthy hormones after 40 by Lara Briden.  

 3. Don’t settle.  This is NOT a time to endure.  It’s a time to reconnect with your body.  Notice what’s shifting and changing.  And then go in search of answers.  Life is too short to be struggling.  You have too much to give and contribute to settle for feeling less than fabulous.   

 4. Embrace the change.  Remember that this is a normal process that all women transition through.  Embrace it.  Honour it.  Use this time to focus on you, ensuring you have a happy and healthy body to support your professional and personal goals for many years to come.  

 I am by no means an expert on Menopause – but I am an expert on what it takes for mid career women to step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  To lead effectively, confidently and with impact requires you to be at your best – not struggling through a range of vague, life sapping symptoms going unchecked.  

 Good luck.  

 

 

 

 

 

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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Photo of beautiful happy woman looking at camera while working and sitting at table in open-plan office

New year, New Job, New You

You’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and you’ve come to the decision that a new job is on your list of goals for the year. Good for you!
Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more money, better corporate culture, more variety, more flexibility, a leader who inspires you or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason… you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

Jane Benston

New year, New Job, New You

New year, new job, new you

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

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

SEEK research found that 90% of Australians take up to six months to find and secure a new job.

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

And it’s not all about jumping into action.

Not yet. Hold your horses for a moment ladies.

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

Here’s where to start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————

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

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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

Your ultimate guide to making the most of the silly season

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

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

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

Here’s what I suggest you focus on first. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Relationships first, business second.

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

  1. Own your accomplishments.

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

  1. Be open to new opportunities.

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

  1. Ask for introductions.

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

  1. Have fun.

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

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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

Your energy is contagious and your reputation is at stake

Your energy is contagious and your 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 influence our outcomes and whether or not new and exciting opportunities come our way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So my question to you today is…

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

Your energy is more contagious than the common cold!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the choice is entirely yours…

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

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

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

 

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Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how does it happen? 

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

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

1. I’m not ready yet. 

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

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

2.  It’s not the right time.

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

3. I’m too busy. 

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

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

    4. I might fail. 

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

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

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

5. I can’t afford it. 

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

Have you ever found yourself saying…

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck.

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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

High achievers have these 5 things in common

High achievers have these 5 things in common

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have the gift of turning everything they touch into gold? They lead the best teams, they achieve exceptional results and get noticed and promoted more often. And to top it off … they seem have everything sorted in their life outside of work too.

Meanwhile others struggle along, getting frustrated by their failures and going nowhere fast.   

It turns out that high performers think and operate differently.

The good news is that by adopting some of the key characteristics of those high achieving superstars you too can more consistently achieve more of what you want from life and work.

5 Critical Characteristics of high achievers

  1.  They believe it is possible.There is a correlation between what we believe is possible and what our results are. If we think we can’t, we won’t. If we think we can then there is a fair chance we will. It is like our belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Believing in your ability to succeed drives action, generates a can do energy and defeats self doubt.  You are more likely to notice opportunities as they arise and go after them with a sense of confidence and certainty.

  1.  They resist the fear of failure. High achievers know that they are likely to encounter failures along the way. They don’t let the fear of failure hold them back from taking action. Just like the rest of us they experience fear. The difference is that they act in spite of it.

Many high profile successful people including Oprah, Arianna Huffington and Brene Brown have spoken about their failures as being learning lessons on their way to success.  They do not fear failure or internalize it; they don’t identify with it or say, “I am a failure.” Instead, they study and analyse their failures, and take what they can to learn from them.

  1.  They consciously create their future. They don’t leave their life or professional success and happiness up to chance. High achievers regularly carve out time throughout the year to get specific about what they want, and then to go about achieving those things.

So, start with the end in mind.  Get specific about what you want from your career and your life.  Visualise it.  Document it.  Talk about it.  Believe that it is on its way.  It’s now just a matter of time.

  1.  They stay focused on the goal. High achievers keep their eye on the prize. They know what they want, they know why they want it, and they go after it.

There is going to come a point in the pursuit of any big goal when you are going to want to quit and walk away.  Perhaps it gets hard, you hit up against a challenge or resistance or you lose motivation. 

You must remain connected to why this endeavour is important to you and focus on what is at stake. This will give you the push you need to keep going when things get tough.

  1.  They reject the comfort zone. High achievers know that progress and growth doesn’t come from within the comfort zone.

Think back across the career achievements you are most proud of.  It’s highly likely that these achievements are characterised by the fact that they were challenging and required you to stretch beyond what you thought you were capable of.

Growth happens outside your comfort zone.  You are capable of so much more than you think.  Be brave and take the step.  Trust that you will be about to handle the challenge.

Next steps…

By focusing on even one of these characteristics can create a massive shift in your results.  Which one will make the biggest  difference for you?

 

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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

Rock Your Career Post Lockdown

Rock Your Career Post Lockdown

Over recent weeks I’ve been reflecting on how much the professional landscape has changed since March 2020.  The way we work, where we work and what we work on, has in many ways changed forever.

And right now, we are transitioning to yet another new phase of uncertainty and change as we move towards opening up and “living with COVID.” 

We don’t yet know what the new normal will look like – but we can be sure that most organisations will not slip back into operating as they did pre-pandemic.  

Many businesses are in the middle of developing new plans and strategies for the coming years and are reviewing whether they have the right people to implement their vision and are in search of the best talent to bolster a depleted workforce.  

The “Great Resignation” that is currently sweeping around the globe is also creating mass movement of talent.  People at every level are reassessing their work and life choices and making decisions about what matters most to them.  

The flow on effect is that top talent is in high demand and is opening up some incredible opportunities.

You may be exhausted from the very long lockdowns and restrictions.  You may be thinking you’ll just limp through to Christmas and take some time early next year to consider what’s next for you…

But if you can find the strength, I encourage you to be curious about the opportunities that are all around you RIGHT NOW.

Over the past 2 or 3 weeks my diary has been filled with appointments, supporting mid-career women who are taking advantage of the job opportunities available.  Some of these women weren’t even looking for a new role – but have been approached to consider exciting projects that were too good to pass up.  

And not only are they securing these exciting roles – they are also negotiating significant pay rises, attractive benefits including flexibility and continued working from home and have had a say in the creation of the job specifics.  

Are you ready to take advantage of this unique moment in history – where you as a talented professional, are in the box seat?

You have the power because they want and need you – even more than you want and need the role they are offering. 

Here’s what to do right now to take advantage of current job opportunities

1. Know what you want. 

Start by getting clear on what your ideal next role might look like.  It’s OK to dream a little about the type of work you’d like to be doing based on what you love to do and your unique talents, skills and experience.  Importantly, think about the value you’d most like to contribute to a business.  

With this clarity, if you are approached about a potential role, you’ll be ready to assess it based on what you really want. 

2. Spread the word

This is not a time to fly under the radar.  You’ve been hidden away at home for long enough!  It’s time to reconnect with your professional network.  Pick up the phone or arrange time to meet for coffee – even if it’s in a park for now.   

If you’ve been too busy or have lost your professional mojo of late, how about putting some time aside in the coming weeks to re-establishing some of your key relationships.  

The best opportunities are being filled via word of mouth so make sure you’re not shy about sharing what types of roles you’d like to be considered for. 

3. Believe

In the current climate, hiring managers are looking for talent with room for growth.  What this means for you is that there is a chance you may be approached for a role that you would have previously thought was out of your league.  

It’s time to believe in you.  You are ready!  Say yes and then surround yourself with a support team to assist you to grow into the role.  

If they believe in you … so should you!  

Good luck.  You’ve got this. This is your time. 

 

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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

Every day I speak to women who are waiting.

They are waiting to feel smart enough, good enough, old enough or for someone to notice their talent or how hard they are working.  

It shouldn’t surprise me… because I remember a time when I was waiting to feel ready for the next step in my career.  I had no idea why I was waiting or what being ready would look like or feel like… but I was waiting.

Career progress is only achieved when we stop waiting and become proactive in our development.

If you are waiting to step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition… it’s time to stop waiting.  

Here are the 7 top reasons I hear from women about why they are waiting.

  1.  Waiting to feel worthy or good enough.   If this is you – it’s likely you see yourself with less potential or skill than others do!  Imposter Syndrome is often part of the story where you allow your inner critic to influence your confidence and self-belief. 

One talented leader I worked with was waiting to “feel” like a leader before speaking up in a leadership team meeting.  Another was waiting to feel more confident before agreeing to present her ideas to the board – even though she was passionate and expert in her field. 

  1.  Waiting to be old enough. Do you have a belief that you need to be of a certain age to be considered for a particular level of leadership or to be taken seriously? 

I have worked with high achieving young women who have rocketed into positions of influence at a young age but then feel they have to wait for their age to catch up, to take the next step.  

  1.  Waiting to be ready.  Ready for what?  Who knows?  But still you wait! Perhaps this is linked to feeling good enough or worthy enough.  It is certainly linked to the fear of failure and the need to protect yourself from risk.  

And sometimes it’s got nothing at all to do with professional capabilities.  One woman told me she was waiting to lose weight and buy a new corporate wardrobe before she started looking for a new job.

  1.  Waiting to be knowledgeable enough.  Do you think you need more knowledge, skill or training to be able to take the next step?  Perhaps you do!  But it’s highly likely you don’t.  

If you don’t believe me… seek advice from someone who knows you well and understands the requirements of the types of opportunities you want to be considered for.  My guess is that the quickest and most effective way to get the knowledge and experience you think you need, is by saying YES and taking the next step.   

  1.  Waiting until it is your turn.  Getting promoted because you have done your time went out of vogue years ago!  Career progression is now all about taking opportunities and going after what you want.  You will be given opportunities based on the value you can offer and being the best fit for the role not because of your years of tenure within the organisation.
  2.  Waiting until you are tapped on the shoulder. This strategy may have worked well for you in your early career – but at this level of leadership, hard work and results isn’t enough to get you noticed.  I know it should be but it’s not! 

Progressing your career is up to you.  It is about raising your profile, creating opportunities and taking steps to make it clear that you are the obvious choice for promotion or consideration for inclusion on an exciting project.

  1.  Waiting until your circumstances change.  Most of us have a lot going on outside of work which at times can impact what we are capable of or prepared to take on at work. Kids, holidays, moving home, weddings, illness, COVID!  These are all good reasons to take a step back but are you using your circumstances as an elegant excuse?

Stop waiting and take action!

If you recognise yourself in any of these, perhaps it is time to take your foot off the brake, lift your finger off the pause button and get into action.  

You are already good enough and experienced enough and you already know enough. If you are waiting for someone to notice your brilliance and hand you your perfect job, you could be waiting a very long time!

Your professional fulfilment and growth is up to you.  Go out and grab it with both hands… NOW!

And know … you are already enough!

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

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston