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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.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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

Are you making this one critical job search mistake?

Are you making this one critical job search mistake?

If you are in the market for a new role (and let me tell you the job market is HOT right now) then please listen up.

Most women I meet are going about their job search all wrong.  It’s costing them valuable time, emotional energy and access to the best opportunities that are most likely to bring joy and fulfilment.

And – it’s quite possibly costing them getting paid what they’re worth too.  

The NUMBER ONE MISTAKE I see most people make is that they go out to the job market and ask; “I wonder what’s out there that I could do?”

They are relying on others to work out what would be a good fit for them and passively wait for the right thing to turn up.  It’s frustrating, emotionally draining and leaves them at the mercy of others.

If you’ve done this too… don’t beat yourself up. 

It’s the way most people approach the job market.

But it’s a flawed.  It leads you to trying to fit yourself into a role that’s not exactly the right for you. 

So, BEFORE you go and speak to recruiters, reach out to your network or engage a resume writer, do this one thing FIRST. 

Start looking within!

Take the time to truly know yourself!  Who are you?  What do you do better than most?  What value could you bring to an organisation?  What do you really want to being doing and just as importantly – what don’t you want to be doing?

Can you clearly answer these questions? 

If you can’t – you are NOT YET READY to put yourself out there on the job market!

It’s only once you can clearly articulate who you are, what makes you unique and what it is you actually want to be doing – that you can truly take a proactive, empowered approach to you job search. 

The best most aligned roles go to those who can say…

This is who I am.  This is what I can do.  This is the value I can bring to your business… Do you want me? 

This approach puts you on the front foot and has the RIGHT potential employers queuing up to speak with you.  And because they’ll easily recognise you as a valuable asset to their business – you’ll be in a powerful position to ask for the remuneration you know you deserve. 

So, if you haven’t yet done the work to truly know yourself – stop right now. 

Get clarity – then get back out there.

Knowing yourself WILL speed up the job search process, put you in the driving seat and increase the chance of you landing a role that will play to your strengths, stretch and challenge you and bring you joy and fulfilment.

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 ways to create your own luck

5 ways to create your own luck

Do you consider that you’ve been lucky in your career?   

You know – the sort of luck where great opportunities come your way at just the right moment?  Or you’ve been in the right place and landed your dream job out of the blueOr you’ve received support from a great mentor who has opened doors that would not have been otherwise been open to you?  

I’ve heard many women claim that their career success has been due to luckBut is this luck at play or is it something else? 

I don’t believe anything happens through pure luck. A great life or a fulfilling career is not as simple as falling over a fourleaf clover  

It takes more than that. 

Lucky doesn’t just happen by accident – but it can be engineered. 

It’s all about building a strong foundation. It’s about building your reputation, positioning for what you want and being willing to say yes when the right opportunity comes knocking on your door. 

It’s about being in the game, showing up and doing the work. 

And it’s about making sure those that matter know who you are, what you do and how well you do it.  
 
If you are in the market for a promotion, pay rise or a new position next year, let’s start right now to increase your chance of “luck” playing a role in breaking through to the next level of leadership, impact or recognition. 

It has been said that luck appears at the intersection of hard work and opportunity. 

Here are 5 insider secrets to create more luck and get more opportunities coming your way. 

1. Create clarity.

For luck to play a part you have to know what you want.

You will not see the opportunities in front of you if you don’t know that’s what you want. 
 
Likewise, your network can’t support your progression and clear the pathway for you while you remain confused and without direction.

2. Do great work.

This may be obvious but it still needs to be said. You have to do great work for the opportunities to come your way. You will not get offered a promotion or to lead an exciting project if you’re not doing great work. 
 
3. Focus on what matters.

We only have so much time in each day, so focusing your time and energy on work that matters both to you and the organisation you work for is key. 
 
If progressing your career is high on your agenda, map out time in your schedule each week to work on those things that will get you one step closer to this. 
 
4. Raise your visibility.

Great opportunities will not come your way if you remain unknown and invisible! A key to luck is creating a strong professional reputation with people with influence – both internally and externally. 
 
Seek out opportunities to participate in high profile projects that will allow you to demonstrate your skills. Speak up in meetings, focusing on allowing others to see the key skills you want to be known for. 
 
And remember – relationships are everything. People who experience a lot of luck tend to be people who have developed genuine relationships. Make sure you are one of those people. 
 
5. Be open to opportunity.

I believe that opportunities are always around you… we just need to be open and on the lookout for them. Once you decide what you want and start taking action towards that goal, the universe seems to conspire in your favour, to present you with the right opportunities. But the opportunities will only appear once you have clarity and start taking action. 

Relying on luck alone is NOT a smart career building move, but by following these steps you can engineer more luck to come your way.  

So… what action will you commit to today to open up your opportunities and allow lady luck to play a role in your career progression? 

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.  
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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

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

5 career moves to make now… and get set for success in the new year.

5 career moves to make now… and get set for success in the new year.

With only a few weeks to go before Christmas and the summer break, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your career and where it is heading next year.

Yes… I know it’s a busy time and career planning may not be right at the top of your “to do list” but imagine if you were to go into the new year with a really clear vision of what you want to be doing and what you want to achieve.

Imagine hitting the ground running and being ahead of the game while everyone else is still shaking the sand out of their shoes.

All it would take is to put aside a little time now to reflect, ponder, plan and connect.

I have heard from many women this year that they feel stuck, disengaged and underwhelmed by the work they have been doing. They know they want something different and are capable of more but are uncertain about what they need to do to create change.

Here are 5 actions to take now to set you up for career success in the new year.

1. Look back. Here’s the thing, so often we get caught up in what’s next and looking forward we forget to look back and reflect. Before the year is out, look back on your accomplishments, the big projects, the big events and the goals you achieved.

What are you most proud of?

Think about the things you have learnt and the new skills you mastered. Reflect on the people within your network who have contributed to your career this year. Have you let them know how important they have been to you this year?

Also, look back on what you had hoped to achieve this year and ask yourself – did I achieve those things. If you didn’t – why not? Are those goals still relevant?

2. Decide what you want. So many people leave their career up to chance. For some, that works just fine. But, for most people, what usually happens is that at some point in their career they realise they have ended up some place they would rather not be!

It is time to consciously create your career. A good place to start is to decide whether you want to stay in your current role or to start your search for something new.

If you decide that staying in your current role is perfect for you right now, then think about what new skills and experiences you will focus on in the new year.

Remember – if you are not growing, you will start to stagnate.

If it’s time for a new role it’s likely, intuitively, you already know it. Yes, I know it might be easier or less effort to stay where you are but, too often, I see women staying in roles that have gone way beyond their use-by date. In the long run, this only leads to dissatisfaction, disengagement and unhappiness. 

3. Update your LinkedIn profile. Oh my gosh! It frightens me to discover how many people continue to neglect LinkedIn. Believe me when I say, LinkedIn is a goldmine when it comes to career opportunities. OK… I hear you saying, I’m not looking for a new job right now so I don’t need to be on LinkedIn.

The truth is – we all need to be on LinkedIn, with an up to date photo, a bit of information about each of your roles and a summary section that makes you sound like a real life, interesting person.

Creating a presence and relationships through being on LinkedIn is like having insurance for when you are looking for a new role!

4. Nurture your network. This is pretty easy at this time of the year with the festive silly season in full swing.   Utilise this social time to nurture your relationships or create new relationships with key influences.

Pick up the phone and check in with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, organise a coffee or lunch date or send an end of year hand written note (yes, snail mail will have a huge impact) to express your appreciation for their support throughout the year.

People do business with and will support the careers of people they know, like and trust. Think relationships first, business second. The effort you put into nurturing relationships now could pay real dividends for your career next year or the year after that.

5. Identify learning opportunities. All of the successful leaders I work with are committed to ongoing learning. They take the time to identify areas of growth and invest in themselves. They are very aware that they can’t always rely on their organisation to provide the opportunities that will really make the difference to them personally.

What are your growth opportunities and what can you put in place next year to fill those gaps?

NEXT STEPS?

Ready to start prioritising the right things – those things that will 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