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Quit being busy and get more strategic!

Quit being busy and get more strategic!

If you want to be seen as a leader you must be strategic and work towards the bigger goals of your organisation.

Being busy does not make you a good leader.

Being stuck in the weeds of the day-to-day does not make you a leader.

Great leaders create time and space to be strategic, solve the big problems and focus on projects that impact the goals of the organisation.

Sadly, many of the super talented mid-career professional women I speak with are failing to truly lead.

They have the capacity and capability to be exceptional leaders – but they are too bogged down in the busy work to focus on the work that matters.

They’re tied up doing Busy Bee work when what they really want and need to be doing is Queen Bee work (you can read more about this here) – and they’re exhausted and frustrated because of it.

They are being overlooked for the best opportunities, feel overwhelmed by their huge workload, and have no idea how to break free of their massive to-do list.

Can you relate?

The truth is – working harder will not get you out of this pickle. In fact, being hardworking, helpful, reliable, and good at your JOB is in part what got you into this situation. Now it’s time to let go of those habits and find some new ways of working.

The habits that supported you to excel as a valued team member are not the habits that will get you seen as an exceptional leader.

As I like to say – what got you to this stage in your career, will not take you to the next level.

It’s now time to install some new habits. The habits of a great leader.

Quit being busy and start being strategic.

Here’s where I’d suggest you start….

Put aside 90 minutes in your calendar, one day a week, to focus on the big picture strategic work.

Pop it in your calendar and guard it with barbed wire (that would be the farm girl in me coming out!) Commit to showing up, week in and week out. No excuses and no exceptions.

This appointment with yourself is as important as every other appointment in your calendar. Or even more important. Value this time. Value the work you’ll get done in this time.

You have to create time.

It will not miraculously turn up in your calendar.

There will always be tasks to complete and to-do’s vying for your attention.

True leaders understand the importance of stepping away from Busy Bee tasks and intentionally creating space to put on their strategic hat.

Can this feel uncomfortable or achievable when your to-do list is lengthy?

Of course!

BUT you will soon see that just 90 short minutes a week will not only move the dial on your most important projects, it will also have a positive impact on your career growth. (read this for some practical pointers on how to find more time in your days!)

So, my question today is – will you commit to making this change?

This one small tweak to your week will create massive change to the way you show up as a leader.

Like some more simple strategies to help you quit being busy and start being more strategic? Our 8-week group coaching program for mid-career professional women – IGNITE – could be just the thing for you. Click  to find out more.

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

5 keys to creating momentum for career growth

5 keys to creating momentum for career growth

Have you ever wanted to create change in your career but felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead? The idea of stepping up to the next big thing, changing career direction or creating some new results, can at times seem totally daunting and a task too large to begin.

The comfort of what we know is all too alluring…. but often not at all satisfying. We delude ourselves into thinking that avoiding risk and sticking with the status quo – however miserable – is the smartest and best course of action… when of course it isn’t.

I know this to be true because I stayed in a job for more than 18 months even though I was totally miserable, unproductive and doing a lousy job. I stayed, wishing, waiting and hoping that things would improve but of course they never did.

It took a “crisis” to finally push me to find the courage, to take action and move on.

So often I see leaders who want to create change in their career, but are too busy, overwhelmed and exhausted to find the space in their schedule to even pause to think about what they truly want, let alone reflect, create a plan and commit to action.

Here are 5 keys to creating momentum for career growth.

  1.  Press the pause button. Get off the treadmill and be still. That’s right, just stop! Until you take time out to think, create and plan nothing is likely to change. The busyness of our lives does not allow for creativity, problem solving and we are unlikely to see the opportunities that are right there waiting to be seized.

Start by blocking out a chuck of time to reflect on your current career status.  Grab a pen and paper and jot down your thoughts. What is working for you?  What frustrates you?  What do you wish was different? What do you love most about your current role? Does your role provide a positive challenge for you and are you being given opportunities for growth?

  1.  Assess the cost of maintaining the status quo. I wonder what it is costing you right now by maintaining the status quo? Is your health taking a hit? Are you neglecting some of the people who are most important to you? Has your career flat lined? Are you bored, uninspired and feeling lost?

Getting clear on the true cost of staying stuck is often enough to create the motivation and the drive to create change. Life is too short to settle for mediocre!!!

  1.  Listen to your intuition. If you have experienced a quiet and persistent gut reaction for some time telling you that something has to change… well it is now time to listen. The busier we get the less we listen to our own intuition but this is exactly when we need to stop and ask ourselves what is our intuition telling us here.

Our intuition can be a brilliant guide, particularly when we pair it with our rational, analytical brain to assess the risk, weigh up the options and assess the facts. Bring the two together and you have a powerful foundation for effective decision making.

  1.  Find support. Yes you are a strong independent woman…. but you don’t need to go alone. Reach out to your network and ask for their support and assistance. You will be surprised at how willing people will be to provide you with their help if only they know how.

Women are great at building relationships, connecting and sharing ideas. We are born to nurture the growth and development of others. You have no doubt extended a helping hand to others at some time, now it is your turn. Let people know what opportunities you are looking for and share your career dreams and aspirations.

Opportunities for promotion, career change or a position that will allow you more flexibility and lifestyle choices may be as close as one conversation with the right person.

  1.  Know you are capable. Yes You! You’re capable of so much more than you might at first think. Even if the worst was to happen, I am guessing you could handle it.

Every day I work with women who underestimate their potential. There seems to be an epidemic out there of women who down play their achievements, question their value and are blind to the unique skills and talents they bring to their work.

It is time to shift your focus from what you can’t do to what in fact you can!

And then take action. Nothing changes without action and without doing some things differently.

Now is your time. You have been waiting long enough. If you want to create change in your career it is up to you. The hardest step of any change is the first so…. be bold, be brave and believe that you can.

Know that something needs to change but unsure where to start? 

Book in for a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a tangible plan to move you forward courageously, strategically and in a way that honours and utilises your strengths.)

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

Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

After quite a significant year in 2020, of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?  Are you battling the back-to-work-blues?

Perhaps you have returned to work after some precious time out, reconnecting with your friends and family and immersing yourself in all those activities that truly bring you joy.  As you step back into the office it would be normal to experience a little sadness for the loss of the sense of freedom that comes with long days at the beach, the joy of settling into a good book or enjoying a long lunch with friends.

But if you are dreading the end of holiday time and wondering how you will survive the year as it stretches out ahead of you… then perhaps it is time to reconsider whether you and your job are meant for one another.

However, before you take this as permission to go out and quit your job, lets first look at a few ideas that might help you reignite your career mojo.

How to overcome the back-to-work-blues:

1. Clarify Your Goals.

I know you have heard this one before and you may have wondered if it’s really important. Well, it is! One year is much more likely to flow into the next without you actually making any progress in the absence of the focus and direction that comes from setting goals.

If goals are not your thing, then one idea I like to play with each year, is to set a theme for the year. For example, I had a year of focusing on taking action outside my comfort zone and another year it was about building relationships and connections. What will be your theme this year?

2.  Set Boundaries.

This one is for you if you have found yourself consistently working longer and longer hours. All of us know that we will need to put in some extra hours from time to time, but when it becomes the norm we have let it go too far.

I recently worked with a client whose average working day had stretched out to be more than 12 hours EVERY day. Her health was suffering, and she was beginning to resent the fact that she was spending so little time with her family. By simply setting some personal boundaries, identifying some opportunities to maximise her efforts and saying NO to the extra tasks that were not her responsibility, she reclaimed more than two hours a day of personal time.

3. Commit to working smarter not harder.

No matter how you juggle your schedule, the number of hours in the day will always remain the same. But it is possible to adjust your habits to create more time for the things that matter most.

Working smarter starts with planning regularly, carving out specific time in your diary for the bigger, more strategic tasks to be completed at your most productive time of the day and to delegate those tasks that don’t need to be done specifically by you.

 4. Focus on your strengths.

Ask yourself, are you working to your strengths or has your role morphed into a bunch of tasks that do not capitalise on what you do best? When you work to your strengths you are much more likely to enjoy the work you do and produce much better results to boot!

5. Strengthen your working relationships.

For many people the quality of their working relationships determine the degree of job satisfaction. And like any type of relationship… this takes some work. It is about staying connected, adding value, collaborating and supporting others to meet common goals.

6. Focus on your personal wellbeing. There is a growing mountain of research that points to the value of focusing on healthy eating, making time for exercise and taking time out to still the mind through meditation or mindfulness. It is hard to be at your best at work while also having energy for an active and fulfilling life outside of work, if you are not taking care of your heath.

7. Set an end point.

If, after all of this, you are still struggling to find enjoyment and fulfilment at work, then perhaps it is time to take the plunge and go after something new. Life is too short to spend most of your waking hours stuck in a job that does not “float your boat.” 

Commit now to an end point, a date by which time you will either have found a way to re-ignite your career mojo or to move on!

Now it is over to you. 

If you have been hit by the back-to-work-blues and are struggling to get fired up and motivated for another year, then it is time to do things differently. Without change you are destined for more of the same. So, go out and do what it takes to re-ignite the spark for more enjoyment and fulfilment in your work.

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

New Year. New Job. The 5 steps to take before you apply for anything.

New Year. New Job. The 5 steps to take before you apply for anything.

Over the summer break, you’ve had time to reflect, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19 during the past year. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to see yourself, your career, and your priorities through a different lens, and now you are ready to embrace change that utilises your greatest strengths. Good for you!

Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more work-life balance, better compensation that’s aligned with your skills, a healthy corporate culture, more variety, 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.

This is not about identifying a job title. The world of work and how we work is changing so rapidly right now it’s likely the title for your next role hasn’t even been dreamed up.

Start with what you know you do want, and who you want to be.

What kind of impact do you want to make? What lights you up? 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?  What types of activities do you enjoy and will help you to achieve the above each day?


2. 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 certain tasks or a 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 that was 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?

3. 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.

4. 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?

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.

5. 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.

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

Future proof your career post COVID.

Here's how to future proof your career post Covid.

The rate and extent of workplace change that we have witnessed in just a few short months has been huge. The way we work, where we work and, most importantly, what we work on, has in many ways changed forever.

We don’t yet know yet what the new normal will look like – but we can be sure that most organisations will not slip back into business as usual, as it was before. 

We can expect some degree of working from home to be the new normal, a greater reliance on technology for managing remote working and I’m sure many organisations will use this as an opportunity to review pretty much everything about the who, what, where and how of work.

As they say – “never let a good crisis go to waste!”

A recent survey of NAB employees across the country suggested that 80% of employees now want the opportunity and flexibility to do some work from home.

While many big and small organisations are already considering what their needs for office space moving forward will be.

And furthermore … I expect that all organisations will be reviewing whether they have the right people for the right roles going forward.  

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

Ready to future proof your career? Here’s how!

 1. Embrace change. 

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

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

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

2. Embrace your unique skills and talent.

Your career pathway may not be as certain as it was before, however being clear on what your unique skills and talents are allows you the flexibility to consider a much broader range of opportunities.  

When considering your next career step – think more about what value you can bring to a team, business or industry, rather than relying on following the well worn pathway others within your field have taken. That pathway may no longer exist or may not even be the right one for you based on your skills. 

3. Embrace leading remotely

Whether you lead a team, projects or you are a SME with influence – one thing is for sure... your ability to lead remotely will become increasingly important.  

Take the time now to hone your skills in this area. Right now we are all finding our way with this, so it’s not about getting it right. It’s about trying things out, seeing what works for you and adapting your leadership style to get the best outcomes.   

4. Embrace new opportunities.

Believe it or not – right now I’m seeing plenty of interesting opportunities out there.  

With crisis comes disruption to the status quo.  And because of this many organisations are reviewing EVERYTHING. Which means there are many interesting projects, positions and opportunities opening up.   

Many aren’t being advertised – but rather being filled via networks, referrals and recommendations. So if you want to be considered for one of these opportunities, I’d suggest now is the time to be tapping into your networks, strengthening your internal and external relationships and speaking about what types of opportunities you’d like to be considered for.   

Do not leave your professional future up to chance!  

Future proofing your career is all about adapting to the environment we now find ourselves in. Resisting change is futile. Instead, focus your energy towards embracing the opportunities that this situation has offered up.   

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

Good luck.  Stay well.  

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

Reflection to finish the year

Reflection to finish the year

 

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

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

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

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

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

So I may not have the magic pill.

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

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

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

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

3 questions to close out the year and supercharge the next

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. What am I willing to let go of?

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

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

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

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

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

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

If it’s meant to be it’s up to me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

LET'S CONNECT

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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

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

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

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

 

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

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

So what’s stopping you from making the move?

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

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

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

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

Moving jobs is hard work and can seem somewhat scary!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is your role past its use by date?

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

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

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

LET'S CONNECT

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

Career success. How do you define it?

Career success. How do you define it?

How do women define success?  What does career success mean to you?  It of course means something a little different to all of us depending on our values, experiences and stage of life. But are you clear on what it means to you right now?

Given you dedicate so much of your time and energy building your career, it would make sense to get clear and determine your own personal success benchmarks.

Historically and stereotypically, career success has been measured along the lines of money, power and position. But, as our lives and the workforce demographics are changing, this masculine paradigm definition is also shifting.

Many women I speak to reach a point in their career where they recognise a miss match between what they thought they wanted and what they are now working towards. Where once they were driven to climb the corporate ladder and work long hours in the pursuit of “success,” that version of success now feels hollow.

Even when they achieve what has traditionally been heralded as success with a position that comes with a large pay check, an impressive title and power to influence outcomes, they are left searching for more. For many women, power and money alone is not the answer.

But that is not to say that money is not important to women. Being paid what they’re worth is less to do with power and status and more to do with financial security, lifestyle and choice.

A Citi and LinkedIn study released in 2012 suggested professional women were most likely to measure career success based on financial security and strong relationships.

Over the last couple of years, I have raised the discussion around the meaning of career success many times with groups of high achieving professional women.

What I have found is that women assess their career success on a mixture of traditional measure such as money, results and achievements as well as more subjective measures including;

  • Feeling fulfilled
  • Doing work that’s meaningful
  • Being valued and recognised for their contribution
  • Having the opportunity for growth and to have an impact
  • Maintaining good health
  • Achieving financial stability allowing lifestyle and choice
  • Developing strong personal and professional relationships
  • Having flexibility to successfully integrate work and life
  • Working in an environment that allows them to maintain authenticity and integrity

Defining what career success means to you takes some soul searching.

It’s deeply personal and will most definitely change over time.

In my early career, success was about promotion, recognition and results. And there is no doubt I enjoyed those small success milestones like getting my first business card, taking my first interstate business trip on the company credit card and being recognised for standout performance on a particular project.

Career success for me now is more about the quality of my life and having lifestyle choice. I assess the success of my career based on financial stability, good health, quality relationships and my ability to maintain my crazy lifestyle of living between Melbourne and Sydney.

What I have learnt from working with hundreds of professional women is that success is about setting career goals that feel true to who we are, not what we have been conditioned to think success is or what others expect of us.

Let's clarify what career success means to you.

  • Is what was important to you in your early career still important to you now? Has it changed over time?
  • What do you see as your personal success criteria?
  • Does your current role meet your career success criteria?
  • Does your current career path feel true to who you are and what’s most important to you?

How women define career success is, generally speaking, different to the historical definition of success. Make sure you are setting your benchmarks on what’s most important to you… not some socially conditioned image of 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

10 actions to close out the year.

10 actions to close out the year.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT STEPS?

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

LET'S CONNECT

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

It Is Time To Break The Rules

It Is Time To Break The Rules

Our world is made up of rules. They are there to provide us with order and certainty and they generally serve us very well. But I am here to tell you that it is time to break the rules. Well… maybe just a few.

Many of the rules we learned growing up and in school were not designed to develop courageous leadership. Many of us (me included) were taught to be good girls, to play nice and to work hard. These rules work well in the early years but, as we progress in our career and take on more of a leadership role, some of these rules will most certainly hold us back.

So, here are my top 5 rules to break this year.

1.  Saying yes all of the time. In the beginning of your career, success is about saying yes to pretty much everything. It is about getting involved, doing new things and finding where you fit best. But you can not continue to say yes… you will end up burnt out or in a job that you no longer love.

There comes a time when you must get clear on where you want your career to head and to focus on that.   It is about making a commitment to you and your priorities and consciously deciding which opportunities will support your direction and which will not.

Saying NO will create the space to say YES to the fabulous, juicy perfect opportunities that come your way. Remember, for every NO there will be a better YES right around the corner.

2.  Stop waiting for permission. You have been given the role… so now step out boldly, show initiative and take action. Sheryl Sandberg has said “It is hard to visualise someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.”

For most of our lives, we have been taught to wait for permission before we do something. We are taught to follow instructions; stick to the plan we are given and to act like good girls.

This rule was definitely made to be broken. Make the decision today to stop waiting for an invitation to lead. Go out and be seen for the leader you truly are. Make decisions, take action and lead from the front.

3.  Needing the entire plan before you begin. Get over wanting all your ducks to line up before you take any action. Do not wait to go for your dream until your plan is perfect. Even if you did get it together, it is going to change the moment you step out there and take action.

Decide today what you want. Do not worry about the how for now. It is only once you take the first step that the plan will unfold before you. And the beautiful thing is, the richest opportunities are hidden within the unexpected twists and turns that come after we step out there.

4.  Not sharing what you think. Ladies, it is time to find your voice. Speak up and share your opinion and your ideas. Sitting silently through meetings will not serve you well. How can you be of influence or have an impact if you do not share your brilliance?

Stop being afraid that not everyone will like what you say. Some people will disagree with you. That is only natural. You are not a leader if you not sharing your thoughts and saying what you think.

5.  Ignoring your natural talents. We all come into this world with an array of unique and precious gifts. We shine most brightly when we get to play in the space of our gifts each day. We do our best work, we have the most fun and we feel the most fulfilled when we get to fully embrace our natural talents.

Too often we find ourselves in a place where we become a square peg in a round hold and our natural talents are left ignored. 

Sometimes it is in response to following the money or the lure of a great title or perhaps you have left your career up to chance until one day you wake up and think “how did I end up here?”

Imagine the joy that will come when you decide to consciously create the direction of your career, tapping into all of your beautiful, powerful unique and wonderful gifts.

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