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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 the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
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Similar Blog Posts

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

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

Jane Benston

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

New year, New Job, New You

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

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Her family shared how she was remarkable for being unremarkable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine 100 years from now ….

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

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

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

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

Jane Benston

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

New year, New Job, New You

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause and its impact on leadership

Why we must talk about menopause and its impact on leadership

Let’s talk menopause  

 Yes!  I’m going there.   

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

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

 Until recently, menopause was a taboo subject.   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what have I learnt so far?   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Good luck.  

 

 

 

 

 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

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

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Jane Benston

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

New year, New Job, New You

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

Jane Benston

3 simple steps to end the year on a high

3 Simple steps to end the year on a high

You’ve almost made it… to the end of 2021!  And what a year it’s been.  

As we hurtle our way to the end of the year, are you feeling the pressure to get those last few projects completed? 

If this is more about surviving and limping your way to a well earned rest, here are my best tips to managing it all.   

Your final week survival guide:

  1. Be Super Intentional

Get really clear on what matters most. We sometimes have to come to terms with the fact that we can’t do it all. This is the season to double down on focusing your time and energy on those things that will have the biggest impact – for you, your team and the organisation.

I know you can juggle a LOT… but, with only a limited number of days before we all head off on a well earned break, I want you to practise using one simple word – NO.

Every time you say NO, it allows you to stay focused on those activities that matter most

  1. Create Thinking Time

With limits to your time and energy in this countdown to Christmas, creating space to think strategically and make critical decisions will be essential to your survival. Take a look at your calendar now and schedule in at least 20 mins of “thinking time” every day.

  1. Protect your energy

When people ask me what my number one productivity tip is, my answer is – get more sleep!  Intuitively, we all know that we do our best work when we’ve had a good night’s sleep and have taken good care of our mind and body.

Don’t be fooled by how simple these suggestions are.

That’s the beauty of them. They aren’t fancy – but they work.

So I wonder… which of these strategies could make a real difference to how you close out your year?

Here’s to a brilliant end to the year.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

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

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

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

Jane Benston

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

Every day I speak to women who are waiting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop waiting and take action!

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

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

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

And know … you are already enough!

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

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

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

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

Jane Benston

Plan for success with a 90-day plan

Plan for success with a 90-day plan

Do you have a tangible plan in place to support you to get your career from where it is, to where you want it to be? 

Something that outlines your key priorities, guides your actions and keeps you focussed and on track?

If you don’t, know that you’re not alone … many mid-level professional women I meet don’t have a plan in place for their success.  They often tell me they know what they don’t want – but are unable to articulate for themselves or others what they do want.  

Which usually means, they aren’t quite where they want to be in their careers because of it.

Why are 90 day plans so important?

When we don’t have a clear vision or a plan, we tend to ‘float about’ doing bits and pieces of everything.

Our days and actions lack intention and direction and while we are still being busy, we’re not being as effective as we could be, nor are we working to our full potential.

A 90 day plan helps you get clear about where you do and do not want to be adding value in your workplace.

Rather than being everything to everyone and the ‘Jack (Jill) of all trades’, your plan helps you stay focussed, in your lane and moving in the direction of the growth, impact and recognition you crave and are more than capable of.

90 day plans really do have the potential to be the stepping stone to your success – I’ve seen it happen time and time again!

How to create your 90 day plan

1 – Start with the end in mind

In order to get to where you want to be, you first need to know where you want to go!

Consider for yourself – what would you like to be doing/working on/experiencing/have completed in your workplace in 90 days?

Be aspirational and innovative, but also be realistic (there is only so much you can get done in 90 days after all!)

Is there a project you want to initiate and get off the ground?

Is there something you want to have finalised and signed off?

Is there a new way of showing up in meetings you want to aspire to?

2 – Let go of the less important

Many of us waste many hours in our week doing things that don’t ultimately support us to move forward in our careers …

Being available to everyone – all of the time, micro-managing others, being a ‘YES’ woman, constantly doubting ourselves – the list goes on and on.

Make a note of all the things that are standing between you and where you want to be in your career so you can recognise them when they arise, and choose a different path for yourself.

3 – Create an environment for success

Now that you’re clear on the things that are standing between you and where you want to be, you can create an environment for success.

This could include doing external things like shutting your door when you’re in deep work mode, being focussed and intentional in meetings, or encouraging your team to independently problem solve …

Or internal things like seeking out professional supervision for support, working on your self belief and confidence, or connecting with a community of fellow mid-level career women who understand you and the unique challenges you face in your workplace. (Join my FREE online community for mid career professional women here!)

4 – Write it down

It’s one thing to know where you want to focus your time and energy, but ambition is fruitless without a plan. 

Write down your goals, schedule time to work on them in your calendar, and then commit!

5 – Review

At the end of the 90 days, set time aside to review your progress. 

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get all your goals ticked off – learn from it!

Did your commitment waiver, and do you need support to stay on track?

Did you get inundated with other work, and do you need to share the load?

Did you put too many goals on your plate, and set yourself up to fail?

From there, you can create another plan for your next 90 days!

6 – Celebrate

Goal setting quickly becomes a chore if we’re not celebrating our progress along the way. 

Don’t just celebrate your big wins – celebrate your small ones too!

You spoke up in a meeting, even when you felt scared to? AMAZING!

You got a project off the ground? EXCELLENT!

You said ‘no’ and honoured your boundaries, when you’d normally say ‘yes’? GO YOU!

These are all incredible achievements that deserve to be celebrated.

____________________________________________________________________

Need 1:1 help getting clear on where you want to take your career and how to create a 90 day plan that gets you from A to B?

Book in for a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a plan for your success!

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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 
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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

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

You are already capable

You are already capable

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? 

Are you one of those women?

Perhaps, at times, you have thought you needed to know more, learn more or have more experience to be taken seriously, seek promotion or allow your true value to be seen.

If you are … you are absolutely not alone.

No doubt you’ve heard about the studies that have repeatedly found that men overestimate their abilities and performance, and women underestimate both…. while their performance is of equal quality.

A study by HP found that women only applied for a promotion when they believed they met 100% of the qualifications listed for the job. Men were happy to apply when they thought they could meet 60% of the job requirements.

Ladies, if we want to have more of an impact at the leadership table, it is time for us to shift our thinking.

You do not need to learn more. You do not need to be more experienced. You do not need to wait for permission or to be tapped on the shoulder. And, most importantly, you do not need to wait until you feel more comfortable and confident in your abilities.

What you really need is to get out there and get the experience by doing the do. 

You need to apply for that next promotion… even when your experience does not meet 100% of the criteria. You need to step up and tackle that high profile project that will get the attention of those that matter.

Next time you catch yourself thinking you need that next level of expertise before taking a step … STOP IT. You already have enough, know enough and are enough to take action from exactly where you are right now.

We women will never break through the glass ceiling or truly settle into our place at the leadership table in the numbers that will really make a difference while we allow ourselves to think we need everything to be perfect before we make the next move.

It is time to break the long held patterns of thinking and to create some new rules to live and work by. No more waiting, perfecting and pondering.   It is about taking action, surrounding yourself with great people and learning as you go.

Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of –

  1. Notice your wins. Each week there are things to be proud of.  Sometimes they will be big things that are hard to ignore – but more often than not they will be small, almost insignificant, but wins all the same.  The more you focus on the things you do well – the more you’ll notice all that you are capable of.

  2.  Stop listening to your inner critic. Your inner critic is there to keep you safe and free from danger. But don’t believe everything it’s telling you is true. Look for evidence that you can rather than listening to all the reasons why you can’t.

  3.  Don’t do it alone. Surround yourself with a network of other advancing people who will lift you up, challenge you and support your growth. This may mean finding some new people to hang with.

Looking for a positive community of women to lift you higher.  Join us in Leading Ladies – a free group for mid-career professional women.

  1. Know you’ve got this. It is time to be brave and take action in spite of your fear and uncertainty. You are already smart enough, talented enough, experienced enough!  All that’s missing is you believing that you can.  It is only through putting yourself out there that you will prove that to be true. 

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

7 common mistakes women make that leave them overlooked for promotions

7 common mistakes women make that leave them overlooked for promotions

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating.  I’ve seen it rock women to their core, put a dent in their self-belief and knock their confidence for a six. 

And … I’ve seen it be the wake-up call they so desperately needed.  It’s shaken them out of a place of complacency and provided them with an opportunity to reassess how they are going about building a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Here are 7 common mistakes I see mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a promotion now or in a couple of years time, ask yourself – “Am I making any of these mistakes?” 

Mistake # 1: They fly under the radar

You cannot and will not be promoted if no one knows who you are and the value you bring to the team.  If you want to be seen as a leader you must get comfortable with raising your profile, getting seen and allowing your voice to be heard.  Flying under the radar might feel safe – but it’s not what quality organisations are looking for in their leaders.

Mistake # 2: They expect their hard work will be rewarded

You may be proud of your “strong work ethic” and it’s possible that you’ve even been promoted because of it in the past – but at this level of leadership, hard work is not enough. 

Stepping up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition requires you to work smarter.  It’s time to double down on prioritising your time to focus on the tasks that will have the biggest impact.  Sometimes that means slowing down and taking time out to think.  Leaders are employed to think – not just do.

Mistake #3: They wait too long

Positioning yourself for promotion needs to begin well before the opportunities present themselves.  It takes time, focus and strategic intent.  Sadly, women often wait until they have out-grown the role they are in before they start thinking about what’s next.  It’s never too early to position for your next ideal role.

Mistake #4: They leave it up to chance

Wishing, waiting and hoping you’ll be considered for the best career opportunities is not a suitable plan. At this level of leadership, you need to step into the driving seat and direct your own career path.  

Mistake #5: They fail to ask

As a fiercely independent woman who has achieved a lot on your own, asking for help is not necessarily in your DNA.  So, let me make this abundantly clear – asking for support, guidance and direction is not a weakness.  It’s a smart, effective strategy that if you choose to embrace, will open many doors.

So, let’s start with the obvious question.  Have you spoken with anyone within your organisation or your network about your desire to progress your career?  If they don’t know – they can’t help you.  

Mistake #6 They get distracted by busyness

Taking control of your career pathway takes focus, time and attention.  Many women I speak to have missed out on a promotion because they have allowed the busyness of their role (or their life) get in their way of doing what needs to be done to position themselves for the roles they want. 

Mistake #7 They rely on their manager

Waiting for your manager to drive your professional development and career progression is a recipe for disaster.  Your professional development is up to you.  It’s up to you to get clear on what type of role you want next and what you need to do to get there.  If you want something – new, different, better – it’s time to get strategic and go after it.

Which of these 7 mistakes do you see yourself making?

Whichever it is – there is a solution.  Let’s commit to doing a little work now so when the next opportunity pops up, you are ready.  I would hate for you to miss out on another role that is just perfect for you.

We are currently looking for 7 mid-career women who are ready to breakthrough what’s holding them back and step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  If that’s you, I invite you to join us in our next intake of Ignite – our 8 week group coaching program.  Click here 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

Missed out on a promotion?

Missed out on a promotion? 

Have you ever missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? You’ve got the runs on the board.  You do great work.  You’ve got the experience, but for some reason the hiring manager just can’t see why you would be a great addition to the team. 

On top of that, when you ask for feedback about why you didn’t get the role, they are unable to provide you with anything meaningful or useful for you to work on for next time. 

It’s not uncommon for women to reach out to me after this happens.  They are confused, frustrated and self-doubt is creeping in. 

Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. 

And with that, the voice inside our head, or as I like to call it “the shitty committee” can take over. 

“I’m not good enough.”

“Is this all I’m capable of?”

“I’m not cut out to be a senior leader.”

All of which can ultimately then lead to a crisis of confidence.

Can you relate?

So, here’s the thing.  You are good enough and you are absolutely capable of the role you want.  And, you don’t need a PHD or MBA to prove it. 

However, you do need to make a few changes.  We all know – if you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results. 

Here’s what I’d suggest you focus on to position for the next level of leadership.

    1. Know your strengths. It all starts with knowing what you are great at and what value you bring to an organisation.  Leadership roles require you to do more than high quality work.  You must bring value to the activities that matter most to the organisation.

      To get access to those higher-level roles you need to be able to articulate who you are and what you can contribute – in your LinkedIn profile, your CV, when building strategic relationships and in a job interview.

      Speaking about what you’ve done is not enough.  It’s your job to make it easy for the hiring manager to understand why they need you in their leadership team.  

    1. Believe in your worth.  Ok, so your confidence has taken a knock.  Let’s fix that… and fast.  If you don’t believe in you, you can’t expect anyone else to see your value.

      There is something magnetic about someone who oozes understated self-confidence.  They have a certain presence that draws us in and compels us to sit up and take notice.  I want you to have that authentic X-factor that believing in your worth brings.

      Begin by shifting your thinking away from the negative self-talk. Notice every big and small win that contributes to the delivery of the organisation’s goals.   Little by little your self-belief and sense of worth will return.

    1. Prioritise promotion. The goal here is to make sure that people know who you are and the great work you do.  You want people to be speaking positively about the value you bring – even when you’re not in the room.  This is about building advocates who will promote you and help you to get access to the very best opportunities.

      As much as I know that self-promotion isn’t your thing… I’m going to suggest it’s time to toot your own horn.

      Trust me.  You can do this while maintaining your integrity.

      It’s as simple as sharing a little each week about the progress you and your team are making on those projects that matter most.

So, if you’ve been overlooked or missed out on a promotion or pay rise – let’s commit to doing a little work now so when the next opportunity pops up, you are ready.  My goal is that by doing the work now, you are the obvious choice for the most exciting opportunities.

If you’d like some support, guidance and accountability to ensure you do the work, I invite you to join us in our next intake of Ignite – our 8 week group coaching program for mid-career women who are ready to step up to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.

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