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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? 

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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.

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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.

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Future proof your career. How to stay relevant in the changing world of work.

Future proof your career. How to stay relevant in the changing world of work.

 

With the world of work changing at an ever-increasing rate, learning how to future proof your career has never been more important. Many roles are becoming extinct, being replaced by technology while brand new roles are popping up every day.

Economists have predicted that over the next two decades, the jobs least likely to be taken over by technology are those that involve creativity, highly developed social skills and problem solving.

And the types of skills and capabilities being highly sort after in the workplace are also changing.

Where in the past soft skills where consider somewhat 2nd rate today they are being applauded as the skills critical for the 21st Century high performer.

This is particularly good news for women.

Many of the commonly considered feminine leadership traits including; communication, creativity, project management, enthusiasm for learning, critical thinking, team work, empathy and global citizenship are just some of the key skills and attribute required to future proof your career.

This is not just a theory. I’ve seen it play out with the professional women I work with.

Susan recently secured a role on the Senior Leadership Team of a large global business following a corporate restructure. It was her ability to focus on delivering the strategic goals and work collaboratively to solve complex problems while also demonstrating her skills to build a highly effective and engaged team that helped her step confidently into this promotion.

Unfortunately her promotion was at the expense of a guy who had not moved with the times. He remained committed to an older style of leadership and relying on his past results to keep him in the role.

His past results were not enough and his leadership style had become outdated leaving his skill set somewhat irrelevant in the future of this service centric business.

So ladies… it looks like our time is now!

The world of work is changing and it’s time for us to step up confidently and accept the challenge of 21st Century leadership.

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

Here’s how to future proof is your career?

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

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

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

2. Become a life long learner. Marshall Goldsmiths iconic leadership bookWhat got you here won’t get your there” has never been more relevant. You can not rely on your past results to take you to the next phase of your career.

Continued education is all about ensuring you remain relevant.

Given that the prized skills of the 21st Century are those we once labeled soft skills – I’m a massive advocate for programs that support self awareness and personal development as a foundation for professional growth.

3. Prioritise relationships. I know you are busy – but making time to build your professional network is important!

I’m currently working with a senior leader who was recently made redundant. She is a talented, highly skilled professional but it’s unlikely that her skills will to be her greatest asset in her quest to secure her next ideal role. It’s the breadth and depth of her professional network that will get her exposure to the most interesting roles.

Within 24 hours of receiving the news about her redundancy, she had received countless phone calls and messages of support and offers of introductions.

Her career opportunities are looking bright with this army of supporters and long term professional connections on the lookout for her.

4. Articulate your value. You are a smart, capable professional and your career matters to you… but who other than you really knows the value of your contribution?

I asked a room of professional women last week to share with the group what their greatest skills and talents were. Almost all began to squirm and expressed how uncomfortable they were to talk about themselves.

Ladies, it’s time we got past this. Being humble is a virtue …but it’s also holding us back.

To future proof your career you must learn to confidently articulate your value and how you have contributed to the strategy, results, bringing together a high performing team, negotiating outcomes, sales and everything else you do.

You can no longer hope that your good work will speak for it’s self. You must be speaking for it.

Which of these tips will you be focusing on to future proof your career? 

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

Want some help to future proof your career?

The Leadership Connection is an exclusive 6 month transformational group program designed to support professional women to take the next step in their career.

No more going it alone. No more working in isolation. No more leaving your professional development up to chance.

Click here for more information and to apply for your invitation to join the group.

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.

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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.

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Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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How to make the most of the silly season

How to make the most of the silly season

 

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

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

Here’s what I suggest you focus on first. 

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

Think of this as your time to get out from behind your desk and connect in person with your network for a pre-Christmas drink, coffee or lunch. Dig into your contact list and pick up the phone to colleagues from years gone past.

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

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

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

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

1.  Relationships first, business second. Networking is about building relationships. No one likes to be taken advantage of or used. So focus on developing authentic connections and be willing to give even more than you would ultimately like to get from the relationship.

2.  Be bold. Ladies, it’s time to own your accomplishments and successes. When someone asks you how the year has been, speak of what you have achieved and what has made you proud this year. No more hiding in the shadows or skipping over the wins. This is all about positioning your skills and talents and developing your personal brand.

3.  Be open to new opportunities. If you are on the job market… let people know (with discretion of course.) If you don’t know exactly what is next for you then share that you are exploring opportunities that will allow you to use your X, Y and Z skills and further develop your interest and passion for A, B and C. Avoid speaking about a specific job title as this will very much limit the possible opportunities coming your way.

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

5.  Have fun. Let’s face it, you’ve worked hard all year, so let’s take some time to enjoy the festive season. And, as an added bonus, you will exude the type of energy that we are all drawn towards. A positive, optimistic and fun attitude during the silly season will do wonders for your soul and boost your chances of a fabulous opportunity coming your way either now or in the near future.

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

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

 

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

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

So what’s stopping you from making the move?

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

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

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

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

Moving jobs is hard work and can seem somewhat scary!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is your role past its use by date?

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

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

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

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

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

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

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

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

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

Jane Benston

Are you networking in the right rooms?

Are you networking in the right rooms?

Having the right people in our network can help us to up level our income, open up career opportunities and elevate our personal impact and influence.   Some people seem to do this with ease but many of women I speak to either do it poorly or not at all.

We women are generally good at using our networks for friendship but we are not so good at using connections for influence and power, asking for help or positioning ourselves for the next perfect opportunity.

It is time for us to stop waiting for the right connections to land on our doorstep and waiting for the phone to ring. It is time to start taking action. For more on this check out last weeks article “Who’s on your A Team?”

The time you spend creating and nurturing relationships now, will pay off in the long run. Networking is not about the quick wins. It is not about having hundreds of passive connections on Linked In or fleeting conversations of 180 characters or less on twitter. It’s about developing quality relationships with people who, over time will have your back and care about your future.

I was reminded of the power of connections recently at the CBA Women In Focus Conference. Firstly, this was a rich melting pot of power, influence, generosity and warmth. These women cared about the success and growth of everyone else in the room.

The photo below is a representation of just some of the powerful connections that emerged during the conference in previous years; women helping women to grow their careers and their businesses. It is a reminder that there are countless opportunities out there and at the core they are all connected to people.

The best and most exciting opportunities are not being advertised on Seek or in the Saturday papers. They are discovered through having conversations. We must be brave enough to let people know where we are at and what are goals, dreams and aspirations are.

I heard recently that putting yourself out there is a bit like putting your business card out to the universe.   I have seen this in my own work with a stream of opportunities coming my way in recent weeks after a jam packed diary of conferences, courses and breakfast events over the last month or so.

So my question today is “Are you networking in the right rooms?”

Are you attending conferences and events, getting involved in the high profile projects or being part of a committee etc where you get to meet, connect with and form robust genuine relationships with people who will propel your career forward.

You are in the wrong room if there aren’t people who are smarter than you or have the influence to help you achieve your goals and aspirations

Is it time to get into some new rooms? It is through these rooms that you can form powerful new relationships to make things happen for yourself and for other people.

Here are 5 Keys to creating powerful connections

1.  Be strategic. Networking and nurturing relationships take time and energy, something that many women don’t have much to spare. So let’s be strategic about this.

Get clear on where you are heading and types of people who have the power and influence to help you achieve those goals. Although this might sound a little icky or inauthentic for some… I know as women we have the skills and care to think relationship first – business second.

 2.  Pay to play. Networking is an investment in your future. Seek out conferences and trainings where you will not only learn and grow but also where you may meet the types of people who are likely to open new doors for you.

One of the most rewarding elements of the events I run is to see relationships develop throughout the event and to receive emails and phone calls long after the event is over to thank me for introducing them to someone new that has now resulted in securing a new role or opportunity. The generosity of women to help, support and offer up solutions and opportunities always brightens my day!

3.  Up close and personal. We build stronger relationships, more quickly when we meet people in person. We can look people in the eye and see their heart and soul, feel their energy and build a deeper level of trust. It is time to get out from behind your computer and into face to face meetings and events.

4.  Play the long game. Just like dating, good relationships take work and strengthen over time. If you have aspirations of being on boards or want to head down a new career path some time in the future, start to nurture connections now with people who have influence in this area.

5.  Kick fear to the curb. Many women use the excuse of “I don’t have time” when I ask about the strength of their networks but deep down I think it is more closely linked to fear. Fear of rejection, fear of asking for help, fear of not being good enough to do it alone, fear of letting go of their fiercely guarded independence, fear of … insert here any number of unfounded terrors.

Career growth comes from taking bold action, putting yourself out there and being courageous enough to allow your network to support your aspirations.

NEXT STEPS?

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LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

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

Similar Blog Posts

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

Who’s on your A team?

Who’s on your A team?

Who do you have to hold your hand, believe in you, hold you steady when you slip into moments of self doubt, push you, challenge you, tell you when you are off course, clear the path for you and advocate for you in the right circles?

Our career success has as much to do with the relationships we create as it does with doing great work.

We need other people in our lives if we want to do our best work, to sharpen us, challenge us, help us to see the world in different ways, spark our creativity and innovation and to celebrate the wins.

I have noticed the highly successful leaders I have worked with all have strong networks and relationships that underpin their professional success.

Therese is a great example of this. She is an in-demand senior executive who, within weeks of arriving back in Australia after working in the US for 10 years, assembled her A Team to support her transition, get the word out about the type of work she is looking for and to advocate for her.

This A Team is made up of long time friends and colleagues as well a collection of powerful new connections and partnerships with people who helped her to fast track the process. And fast tracked she did – with a new job offer.

It’s all about relationships.

Too often when we get busy, it is our relationships that suffer. I understand… because I have fallen into this trap too. We prioritise “getting the job done” over building and nurturing relationships. But the time we invest in our relationships will always pay dividends down the track.

And ladies… lets face it, we are hardwired to connect and collaborate. It’s time we reconnected with this super power and put it to good use as we step into having a greater influence at the leadership table.  

Who is on your A Team?

Todd Henry from the Accidental Creative Podcast has identified 3 key types of relationships we all need to nurture.

1. Mirrors

These are the people who are willing to hold up a mirror for you and to tell you the things you don’t want to hear… but need to hear! They will challenge you, push you beyond your comfort zone and expect even more from you than you expect from yourself.

Who do you have in your network who will speak the truth, provide honest feedback because they are genuinely invested in you and want to see you succeed?

My challenge to you today is to find someone who can be your mirror and ask them;

“What’s something that I don’t see and you think could be holding me back.”

You might be surprised by what you find out. It might be a little painful. And it will always be valuable if you choose to listen.

2.  Circles

We all need an inner circle of like-minded confidantes with who we can hang out, have inspiring conversations, bounce ideas around. They lift us up when we are down and dance and sing with us when we achieve great things.

I love my inner circle.

I have a collection of proactive, inspiring, beautifully soulful women in my life who have undoubtedly contributed to many of my proudest achievements and, without them, many of these achievements would feel somewhat hollow. These women have been my sounding board, they have pushed me, held me accountable and most importantly shared a glass or two of bubbles along the way.

3. Guides

These are people who have achieved what you want to achieve. They may be just a few steps ahead or they may be people who have already scaled the mountain you want to climb. They will share with you the shortcuts, guide you on what steps to take and steer you away from the pitfalls that you are not yet able to see.

Over time these people will likely clear the way and open doors for you; advocate for you and shine a light on opportunities that you may not have noticed.

And, most importantly, all relationships are two-way.

As your career progresses think about who you can bring along with you. When you go beyond yourself and help others, it opens you up to new pathways of passion, knowledge and self understanding.

Who can you be a mirror or guide for?

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

Networking isn’t just about events!

Networking isn’t just about events!

When you hear the word networking do you immediately start planning the stunning outfit you’ll wear so you look your best to meet and mingle with really gorgeous super cool people?

Or do you groan and imagine yourself entering a crowded room (feeling awkward and uncomfortable) where you don’t know anyone and you know you’re going to be expected to speak about yourself?

If you shudder at the idea of networking at events, you are definitely not alone.

I recently raised a discussion about networking at the Career by Design (a 1 day workshop for women at a career crossroads) and there was an audible groan around the room.

Most often when we think of networking we evoke an image of a crowded networking event where there is a LOT of talking, plenty of exchanging business cards and the odd promise of staying in touch.

So if you’re not the big event type woman… what are you doing instead?

You know you should be building and nurturing your professional network!

Your next promotion or new position is unlikely to come from Seek or the Saturday papers. Rather it will come from an introduction, recommendation or a friendly heads up from someone within your network. A recruitment consultant I was “networking” with recently suggested that up to 70% of roles are never advertised.

So to tap effectively into this market you need to be well connected with people who know who you are, recognise your unique skills and capabilities and know the types of roles you would be interested in.

Networking is about creating mutually beneficial relationships.

Yes … relationships. Not just connections. Relationships.

Building and nurturing your network can be as simple as catching up with people who you already know or who you have been introduced to.

Here are my top tips for networking without ever attending a networking event.

1. Get strategic. As women we are all busy, so preparation is key. Get clear on the outcomes you want from networking. This will vary depending on your career priorities. You may be positioning for a new job or promotion or you may be seeking guidance and support to grow your skills and capabilities.

2. Expand your inner circle. Your professional network is no doubt already filled with riches. It’s time to tap into it and reconnect with some long lost professional acquaintances. Start with people who you have met or worked with in the past. Pick up the phone and say hello or connect with them on LinkedIn.

3. It all happens over coffee. It’s time to step away from you desk and create a face to face connection. Be mindful that time is our most precious resource so be respectful of both yours and theirs. A quick catch up over coffee works or a lunch time walk are my personal favourites.

4. Relationships first. That’s right, relationships first, business second. This is not about bombarding your coffee date with a verbal version of your CV then blurting out a desperate plea for a job or mentoring. Far from it.

 Instead, ask for advice or for a recommendation of who they might be able to introduce you to, to further your career or job hunt. People are usually way more willing to help than we ever expect.

And remember that all great relationships take time and genuine care. They are two way and build on mutual trust and respect. And don’t forget your manners. Show your appreciation by sending a hand written note.

5. Make the time. I know what you’re saying. “Jane I don’t have time.” Yes I know you’re busy but this is important. It’s best to cultivate relationships way before you need them.

I’ve worked with many women who’ve been made redundant and those with the healthiest networks re-entered the workforce much more quickly than those who were starting from scratch.

And at the end of the day ….your network will ultimately enrich your life.

More than anything… life is so much more interesting and enjoyable when we are surrounded by people who we care about.

I am eternally grateful for the amazing women (and a few special men) in my inner circle of professional relationships. They lift me up, challenge me, look out for me, advocate for me. Together we have let off steam and shed a few tears. We’ve celebrated milestones and shared the odd glass of bubbles.

Who’s in your inner circle?

NEXT STEPS?

LET'S CONNECT

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

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

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

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

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

Jane Benston

The Risks Of Ignoring Your Network

The Risks Of Ignoring Your Network

Most of us recognise that having a strong professional network is an important element of achieving our career goals and aspirations. 

But how many of us actually make time to develop, nurture and grow our connections.  It is all too easy to get busy being busy in a rush to get everything on the “to do” list done, while neglecting the benefits that come from truly connecting and sharing with other professionals. 

Research by the McKinsey Leadership Project has found that “People with strong networks and good mentors enjoy more promotions, higher pay, and greater career satisfaction.  They feel a sense of belonging, which makes their lives meaningful.” 

So clearly this is important. 

How strong is your professional network? 

  • Who is in your network?
  • How connected to them are you?  Could you seek out their professional advice or support?
  • Is your network made up of people both within your organization and externally? 
  • Do you have a network of others within your profession to draw on to solve problems?
  • Do you have a mentor or a circle of trusted advisors?  Do you keep in touch?
  • How do you support those within your network?

Building your network is something that you need to work at and prioritise.  Imagine the benefits that would come from putting aside time every month to stay in touch and be available to help others.  You will be rewarded with stronger relationships, solutions to problems, keeping abreast of important information and the joy that comes from being of value to those in your network. 

Then there is the hidden job market that is suddenly available to you through those who know what you are good at and what you want from your career. 

My own networks were an invaluable source of advice, support and connections when I started out in business.  Friends, family and professional colleagues generously helped me to find resources, provided introductions to potential clients and were there for me to celebrate the wins and pick up the pieces when the going got tough.  

The idea of networking fills many with fear and trepidation. The good news is that the strength of your network has less to do with networking and much more about developing relationships.

By focusing on two-way, genuine and mutually beneficial relationships, the idea of building your network will go from being a daunting task to be avoided like the plague, to being a fulfilling, fun diversion from the day to day grind. 

A diverse network of friends, colleagues and associates is key to supporting your professional development and growth and to impact your sense of personal fulfilment.  By ignoring this critical element of your career growth, you will miss out on the potential benefits: inspiration, information, contacts, informal mentors, support, encouragement and potential job opportunities. 

Alone we can be strong… but together we can be stronger.  Surround yourself we people to support and help your growth, clear the pathway for opportunities to emerge and challenge you to strive for even more than you think is possible.

Who are you going to connect with over the next week, remembering that this is as much about what value you can add to them as it is about how they can add value to you?

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

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

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

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

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

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

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

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

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

Jane Benston

Women Lead Differently … And That Is A Good Thing

Women Lead Differently … And That Is A Good Thing

If we are to achieve an increasing number of women in leadership positions, we need to acknowledge that men and women lead differently,  and that it is a good thing. 

The leadership style of women is collaborative, inclusive, and consultative.  They focus on nurturing a strong team environment where ethical behaviour, quality and concern for each other is important.  They use their gift of language to solicit commitment to achieving the common goals and value the results that come from a highly engaged team.

Men in a leadership role are more competitive and are focused on achievement of power and success through demonstration of results.

Over recent years, advancements in neuroscience has produced increasing evidence that men and women are, on average, innately different, leading to different natural characteristics, tendencies and talents.

In a nutshell… we think, act and lead differently. 

And these differences appear to stem from our primitive beginnings.  As early cave men and women, we had different jobs and tasks that required different skills.  With centuries of natural selection, we have ended up with differences in our hormones and the architecture of our brains.

So let’s take a look the natural leadership skills common to women. 

1.  Web-like Thinking:

Research has shown that women tend to integrate vast amounts of data faster, consider more options and see more possible solutions to a problem.  We tend to think in “webs” of information rather take a straight line or linear approach to thinking.  This is likely to be related to the fact that the female brain has more connections between the left and right hemispheres.

Men, on the other hand, are more likely to focus their attention on one thing at a time. The higher levels of testosterone drive them to focus on one specific outcome … clearly developed back in the day when they were hunting the wilder beast for dinner.

2.  Mental Flexibility

With our brain wired for “web-like thinking”, we are naturally gifted with mental flexibility … an essential ingredient needed in the dynamic, ever-shifting, fast paced modern business environment.  Women have developed a gift for generating new ideas, creativity, ingenuity and imagination.

3.  Gifted with the power of language

Women are born to talk and have developed the skill over many lifetimes to use the power of language.  We use it to influence and persuade action, comfort those in need, educate and inform, bring people together to collaborate and sway minds and hearts.

This power over language emerges early in childhood with girls learning to speak sooner than boys. Research has also shown that our aptitude with language is linked to our higher levels of oestrogen.

4.  General Social Skills

It may seem at times that women have an uncanny ability to read minds!  It is because, to some degree, they do.  Throughout the history of civilisation, the general role of women has been to create and nurture the extended family unit.  The gift of this role is a highly developed innate ability to pick up and interpret the minute social and emotional cues that we give off.

5.  Networking and Collaboration

You only need to attend a women’s networking event to see the power of women coming together to network and collaborate.  Women enjoy working together for the greater good and see the power and the results that come from working cohesively together through a network of supportive connections.

Men, on the other hand, tend to focus on achieving power through rising to the top and value their rank and status.  Men tend to be more competitive and focus on “winning”, while women tend to be more inclusive and supportive.

These traits have again been linked to hormones but also hark back to our history of different roles within our family unit.

So what is the impact of all this?    

It is clear that men and women on average have different innate leadership styles.  This is not to say that one is better than the other or that men don’t display a lot of the characteristics and talents that have been discussed, because they do.

This is more to look at and to celebrate the differences.  It has been said that men and women are like two feet… they need each other to get ahead.  Imagine if more women were to have a greater impact at the decision making table.

Imagine how the work environment – and the world for that matter – would be if women with their natural talents for web-like thinking, their ability to generate fresh ideas, their powerful language and their preference for achieving results through collaboration, were more prominent and represented more equally.  

Many work environments continue to operate under a masculine paradigm, top heavy with men in positions of power.  I believe it is time to embrace that men and women lead differently and to allow women to be true to their own skills and aptitudes.

While we continue to measure leadership success from a masculine point of view, we will miss out on the gifts, talents and the results that can be gained from embracing a well-rounded leadership team.

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