5 keys to creating momentum for career growth

5 keys to creating momentum for career growth

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

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

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

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

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

Here are 5 keys to creating momentum for career growth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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7 common mistakes women make that…

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, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

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

Portrait of mature beautiful business woman in the office looking at camera. Business executive standing in modern office with big smile. Cheerful mid businesswoman with copy space.

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

Jane Benston

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

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Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

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Why You Need A Professional Support Team

Why You Need A Professional Support Team.

More than ever, we need to be creating our very own professional support team.

With job descriptions asking more of us, days being fuller, aspirations getting bigger, and for some, COVID-19 requiring us to work without our team by our side, we could all use a helping hand (or three!)

I want to take this opportunity to ask you …

Are you calling on the support of others?

Or, are you doing it all alone?

As fiercely independent and successful women, we’ve prided ourselves on how much we can do and what we can achieve on our own

But just because we can do things on our own, doesn’t mean we have to, or should.

In fact, working with and being supported by others lightens the load, allows us to shine in our zone of genius, progresses us further AND makes work feel more enjoyable!

If you identify as being a woman who tends to ‘fly solo’, I want to offer you three ways you can begin to create your professional support team, and get the helping hand you deserve, today.

Quit being a lone ranger.

If you were to take a guess, how many times a week do you fall into the trap of doing it yourself rather than delegating the task or asking for support?

Do you chair every meeting?

Are you the first to put your hand up to say yes?

Do you respond to emails that someone else could?

Do you hold the entire load of projects on your shoulders?

If you’re sitting there nodding your head, know that you’re not alone!

BUT, I want you to begin to notice when you’re trying to do everything on your own – because self awareness is the first step towards change!

While I have no doubt that you’re doing a great job, you don’t have to be a lone ranger.

Women are notoriously bad at asking for help – and on the flipside of this, notoriously good at doing a great job at doing it all.

But working this way isn’t sustainable, and it doesn’t get you seen as a highly competent leader.  

Consider:

Why do I choose to work as a lone ranger?

How is this harming me, my career and the development of my team?

Share the load and ask for help

In order to progress our careers, we have to share the load and ask for help.

You cannot have one without the other – not in the long run anyway!

Asking for support doesn’t make you incompetent or incapable. In fact it’s the complete opposite – asking for support is the sign of a great leader!

There’s two very important points I want to make here:

    • Sometimes as women we OVER FUNCTION which allows everyone around us to UNDER FUNCTION. This isn’t fair to you, or to them! We teach people how to treat us, what to expect of us, and what we expect of them. What message are you sending?
    • A key point of sharing the load and asking for help is accepting that others may not do things how you would – and this is okay! Different does NOT equal bad!

Want to dive more deeply into this topic of sharing the load? 

I wrote this article for you here!

Consider: 

What tasks and responsibilities am I doing that someone else could?

Who else in my team could lend a hand?

How is my tendency to do it all, a disservice to myself and others?

Know that you are worthy

The issue of worthiness comes up with many of the women I work with.

Feeling unworthy leads to them overworking, trying to do it all and being perfectionists.

I want to remind you that you ARE worthy. Simply by being yourself, you are intrinsically worthy.

You are worthy of recognition.

You are worthy of investing in yourself.

And most of all – you are worthy of having the very best support team around you!

Women who feel worthy aren’t afraid to ask to have their needs met and put their hand up for help.  

Whether it’s a cleaner to keep the house in order, a personal trainer to keep their body in shape, a mentor to stretch their thinking or a team of A players to carry the load – their support team is essential to their professional growth, success and sanity. 

They’re happier and healthier for it, and more successful because of it.

Consider: 

Do you feel worthy of being fully supported?

What type of support would be most beneficial right now to assist you to achieve your professional goals? 

I want to hear from you! 

Please pop on over to our free Facebook Group for mid career professional women, share your experience and join in the conversation! 

Let us be a powerful element of your professional support team!

See you in the group!

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

Portrait of mature beautiful business woman in the office looking at camera. Business executive standing in modern office with big smile. Cheerful mid businesswoman with copy space.

Quit being busy and get more…

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

Jane Benston

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

5 keys to creating momentum for…

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? Are you one of those women? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

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? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Not Loving Your Work? This Could Be Why!

NOT LOVING YOUR WORK? THIS COULD BE WHY!

The average Australian spends 1831 hours working, every year! 1831 hours! (Source).

And if you are anything like the vast majority of the hard working professional women I help, your number is likely to be much more than this.

Work plays a huge role in our lives and to be frank, we spend way too many hours at work, for it not to be fulfilling. 

I truly believe that work can, and should, be enjoyable and rewarding!

Sadly though, many of the mid career professional women I meet, don’t feel this way about their work – instead, they feel unfulfilled, bored and undervalued. 

My experience has shown me that in order to love the job you’re in, it needs to meet three critical criteria:

1. It needs to support you to contribute in a meaningful way

2. It needs to offer you opportunities for growth (boredom can set in pretty quickly if you’re not being stretched and challenged!)

3. You need to feel respected and recognised for the great work you do.

When one or more of these elements are missing, work can feel hard, monotonous and unfulfilling. 

Let me give you an example of how this can play out in real life, and what you can do about it.

I recently spoke with a very talented woman who’d previously had lots of success in her role. When I asked her how she felt about her work now she said, “it sucks”

My heart always sinks when I hear work described this way.  It reminds me of a time when I pretty much disliked everything about my work too.  

But enough about me…

When we took a deeper look into why she was feeling this way about her work, we discovered that her need for growth – number 2 on the critical criteria list – wasn’t being met. She’d outgrown her job role and was no longer feeling stretched in her work. Because of this, she was feeling uninspired and unfulfilled. 

So here’s the thing… to grow we need to be doing work that stretches us and that means stepping outside your comfort zone.  Staying stuck, doing the same work week after week, month after month will after a time drive us just a little crazy.  

We are now working together to discover opportunities for growth.  The good news is – it doesn’t always mean you have to move jobs.  Very often all it takes is to tweak the way you are approaching the job you’re in.  It may be as simple as stepping up your focus as a leader or taking on a new more challenging project. 

I want you to ask yourself …

How do I currently feel about my work?

Is it fulfilling me? Is it enjoyable and rewarding?

If your work is no longer making you jump out of bed in anticipation of a great day, consider which of the three critical elements you’re missing.

1. Meaning and contribution. 

Are you hoping to find more meaning and to contribute in a more significant way?

2. Need for Growth.

Are you looking to be stretched and challenged and the opportunity for growth?

3. Respect and recognition.

Would a little more respect and recognition give you the lift you need?

Although work dissatisfaction can feel really uncomfortable, the great news is that it’s in your power to create change!

Once you’ve identified exactly why you’ve fallen out of love with your work, it’s easy to find a solution!


If you’d like some help to find your perfect pathway back to work fulfillment again, I’d be honoured to connect. 

You can book in for a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a tangible plan to support you to help you fall back in love with what you do.

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

Portrait of mature beautiful business woman in the office looking at camera. Business executive standing in modern office with big smile. Cheerful mid businesswoman with copy space.

Quit being busy and get more…

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

Jane Benston

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

5 keys to creating momentum for…

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? Are you one of those women? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

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? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Why Perfectionism is a Problem (and what to do about it!)

WHY PERFECTIONISM IS A PROBLEM (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT!)

All of the mid career women leaders I meet want to do a great job. 

The trouble is, many of them think that a great job = a perfect job.

And while intentionally created, high quality work is a must, perfect work can do more harm than good.

Here’s how …

Striving for perfectionism creates stress and sucks the joy out of working.

Although having meticulous attention to detail is an asset, most perfectionists will tell you that they would actually prefer to not be so fixated on achieving a ‘perfect’ end goal. 

Why? 

Because rather than tasks and projects feeling like enjoyable creative endeavours, striving for perfectionism turns them into stressful, overwhelming and energy sucking to-do’s.

Not fun – and I truly believe that work should be enjoyable and rewarding!

You’re going round in circles, striving for an unattainable goal.

Judging something as ‘perfect’ is 100% subjective which ultimately means that ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist! We are all unique humans, who have our own special perspectives, ideas and outlooks, and what you and your boss/colleagues/team label as ‘perfect’ will always be different. 

You’re never going to be able to please everyone … but if you’re striving for perfection, you may just send yourself crazy trying!

It slows you down. A LOT.

Most of the perfectionists I support admit to getting things done more slowly than they should. Not because they’re lazy, but because they’re investing so. much. time into getting every minute detail exactly right. 

It gives you a bad reputation.

Because perfectionists typically work slower, they have a tendency to not get things done on time. Sometimes, they don’t even get things finished at all! This isn’t a good look and it definitely isn’t going to get you seen (well, not for the right reasons anyway!)

As well as this, although perfectionists tend to look busy, they’re not actually being effective. Working effectively is what I call Queen Bee work, and it’s this work that gets women recognised and promoted for getting the work that matters out there in the world.

So, what to actually do about your perfectionism?

You switch your focus. 

My mantra is – PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION.

PROGRESS is what will move the dial on the work that matters and get you seen and celebrated for the incredible asset you are.

Progress looks like:

      • Putting clear project timelines in place, and sticking to them
      • Shifting your standards from 100% perfection to 80% excellence (for all but the most critical task like board reports!)
      • Coming back to the big organisational picture when perfectionism tries to rear it’s unhelpful head
      • Striving to produce great work, not perfect work (remember, it doesn’t exist!)
      • Speaking kindly to yourself (because perfectionism can say some pretty nasty things)
      • Seeing your projects as fun and enjoyable creative endeavours, not simply tasks to tick off a list
      • Asking for help if you need it! No-one expects you to be Super Woman, and teams are there to support one another!

More than anything though, I want you to ask yourself, “WHY do I strive for perfection?”

It’s all good and well to have strategies in place, but if you can get to the root cause and the WHY behind your perfectionism, these strategies are more likely to stick.

Keen to chat more about how to become a recovering perfectionist, by shifting your focus to progress over perfection? Come and join me in my free Facebook group for mid career professional women. Click here to join!

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

Portrait of mature beautiful business woman in the office looking at camera. Business executive standing in modern office with big smile. Cheerful mid businesswoman with copy space.

Quit being busy and get more…

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

Jane Benston

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

5 keys to creating momentum for…

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? Are you one of those women? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

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? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Why You Need to Create Space to Think (Not Just Do)

WHY YOU NEED TO CREATE SPACE TO THINK (NOT JUST DO)

Leaders are paid to think, not just do.

In fact, thinking is what I like to call Queen Bee work, whereas when you are stuck deep in the doing… that’s Busy Bee work.  

Let me clarify further …

The Busy Bee is a ‘do-er’. She is often run off her feet with a jam-packed calendar that barely allows her room to breathe, let alone room to think strategically, take a ‘big picture’ focus and lead her team. She is juggling a million tasks and being busy, but not necessarily being productive.

The Queen Bee is a leader. She is working at a strategic level and bringing about high level improvement, change and growth to her organisation. She is focussed, intentional and highly effective. She is moving the business forward and being recognised for doing so. 

Thinking work – Queen Bee work – is the work that gets you recognised, rewarded and promoted (which I know is what you want!)

Yes, an innovative and effective workplace needs both thinkers AND do-ers – but it’s the thinkers that get seen, recognised for their high level visionary work and ultimately, paid more.

Do you feel stuck at the middle management level? 

If so, I want you to consider what you’re doing more of – doing or thinking?

As a society, we’ve been told that action steps and tangible outcomes are more worthwhile, which is why many women think that this is the kind of work they need to do in order to move-on-up in their organisation.

But it’s not!

While doing actions are important, your organisation cannot grow if it doesn’t have leaders at its helm who are thinking about the big picture. In fact, there are no successful businesses without leaders who lead. 

That’s where you come in!

I know it can feel ‘lazy’ and ‘time wasting’ to put an hour aside to think (it’s not by the way!) 

BUT trust me when I say that it’s in this space that your greatest ideas will come to you, and that it’s these ideas that will take you to the next level in your career journey.

The key is to start creating space to think and prioritise the work that requires you to think deeply, creatively or strategically. It’s time to get out of the endless cycle of doing. 

“So what does ‘thinking work’ actually look like on a practical level Jane?”

Great question! It looks like you:

    • Creating white space in your calendar to put on your leadership hat, get out of the doing rat race and see opportunities for change and expansion (I’ve written some great suggestions for how to do this here)
    • Surrounding yourself with other inspiring Queen Bees who are thinking strategically and coming up with transformational big picture ideas in their own workplaces
    • Seeking to solve problems, rather than simply offering short term band-aid solutions
    • Designing strategies that will more your corner of the business forward, rather than focussing solely on the present and getting caught up in the day-to-day
    • Mentoring and upskilling your team, so you can all expand, become A players and support one another (and therefore your workplace!) to rise.  You need your team to step up to allow you the space to think

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

Portrait of mature beautiful business woman in the office looking at camera. Business executive standing in modern office with big smile. Cheerful mid businesswoman with copy space.

Quit being busy and get more…

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

Jane Benston

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

5 keys to creating momentum for…

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? Are you one of those women? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

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? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

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

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

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

Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more work-life balance, better compensation that’s aligned with your skills, a healthy corporate culture, more variety, a leader who inspires you, or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason … you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

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

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

And it’s not all about jumping into action.

Not yet. Hold your horses for a moment ladies.

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

Here’s where to start:

1. Clarify what you want.

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

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

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

What kind of impact do you want to make? What lights you up? What key skills do you want to be using? Do you want to be leading a team? Do you want the opportunity to work from home? Do you want travel to be part of the role?  What types of activities do you enjoy and will help you to achieve the above each day?


2. Be clear about what you don’t want. 

This is equally as important as knowing what you do want.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Understand your strengths. 

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

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

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

4. Know your value. 

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

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

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

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

5. Decide you’re worthy.

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

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

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


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

LET'S CONNECT

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5 ways to make the most of the silly season

5 ways 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.

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

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

Here’s what I suggest you focus on first. 

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

And yes – in this new COVID normal environment – there are plenty of amazing opportunities out there. They may not be being advertised, but they are there and the way to access them is through your connections.

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

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

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

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

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

1. Relationships first, business second.

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

2. Own your accomplishments.

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

3. Be open to new opportunities.

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

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

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Are you getting overlooked for promotions or new roles? Read this!

Are you being looked over for promotions or new roles? Read this!

So you’ve missed out on a promotion, or other great career advancing opportunity …

You’re working hard, getting results and building a strong team, so why?

What is stopping you from being seen, progressing your career and breaking through into your next level of leadership, impact and recognition?

It may be that you’re spending too much time being a Busy Bee, and not a Queen Bee!

Let me explain …

The Busy Bee is a ‘do-er’. She is often run off her feet with a jam-packed calendar that barely allows her room to breathe, let alone room to think strategically, take a ‘big picture’ focus and lead her team. She is teetering on the brink of burnout, juggling a million tasks and being busy, but not necessarily being productive.

The Queen Bee is a leader. She is working at a strategic level and bringing about high level improvement, change and growth to her organisation. She is focussed, intentional and highly effective. She is moving the business forward, doing work that matters and being recognised for doing so. 

I want you to pause for a moment and consider what kind of work you are doing …

Busy Bee work? Or Queen Bee work?

Many of the women I work with quickly recognise themselves as a Busy Bee. They recognise too that being a Busy Bee is holding them back and from being offered a promotion or other career advancing opportunity.

Why? 

Because Busy Bee work doesn’t contribute to great change, doesn’t establish you as a leader in your workplace, and doesn’t get you the recognition you deserve (trust me – you are talented and competent and you deserve all the recognition in the world!) It’s the Queen Bee work that does!

The great news is – it’s very easy to move from Busy Bee work to Queen Bee work, if you know how!

In my free training, The Next Level: A 14 Minute Crash Course In How To Breakthrough To The Next Level Of Leadership, Impact and Recognition, I teach mid career professional women, like you, how to breakthrough to their next level of leadership, impact and recognition quickly and easily. You’ll walk away with practical and tangible steps that you can implement straight away that will support you to move from Busy Bee to Queen Bee work.

You can sign up for the free training here.

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.

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Quit being busy and get more…

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

Jane Benston

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

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Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

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Why more responsibility doesn’t have to mean more work.

Why more responsibility doesn’t have to mean more work.

Have you been thinking you’re ready to step up to the next level of leadership but are holding back because you fear the extra workload?

Many mid-career women I speak to feel that accepting a growing workload and being willing to work long hours is the price they must pay to be considered for promotion.

There’s no doubt that the more senior you become – the more responsibility you take on.  The decisions get bigger.  The budgets get bigger.  The problems get bigger.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean your workload gets bigger.

Yes. That’s right!  A more senior role doesn’t have to lead to long hours, burnout and exhaustion.

So, how do you get results and stay on top of everything you are responsible for if you don’t work harder and longer hours?

It’s all about working smarter – not harder!

What needs to change is the way you work.

Take Jacinta, for example.  She knew that the way she was working was not sustainable.  She loved her work but not the long hours and the way it was impacting her health and intruding on her family time. 

She recognised she was giving a lot of herself to her organisation while neglecting her personal wellbeing. She knew she was ready to progress to the next level of leadership, but not if it meant working even harder than she already was.

Through her participation in Ignite (our online group coaching program for mid-career women) Jacinta began implementing a range of simple tips, tools and strategies that allowed her to achieve more with less effort.

She developed new habits, shifted where she was focusing her time and energy and…. most importantly, stopped working weekends!

Here are 4 strategies for leveraging your time and effort:

1. Focus on what matters most.

Start by identifying those activities and task that matter most to you, your team and the organisation.  Not all tasks are created equal and some will have a bigger impact than others.  Make sure you are focusing your time and attention on those activities that are business critical.  It’s amazing how much time and energy we can waste working on tasks with little impact. 

2. Progress over perfection.

Keeping projects moving forward matters more than making something perfect. Think about how much time you can spend making something perfect – but does it really matter and does anyone ever notice? With the odd exception, like board reports, KPI reporting and statistical analysis –  I’d suggest your 8/10 will be good enough!

3. Time blocking.

You may think you are a wiz at multi-tasking but this habit is not serving you well. Our brain is not wired to jump from task to task.  It slows us down, restricts critical thinking and promotes fatigue.

Try blocking out time in your calendar to dedicate to particular types of work.  Jacinta now has a number of 90 minute time slots in her calendar that are reserved for work that requires strategic or creative thinking.  This one strategy has helped her to fast track progress on a number of business critical projects.

4. Think who, not how.

This is a strategy I learnt from my own mentor and I love it!  We are not great at everything… and we don’t have to be.  Rather than trying to work out how to do something – think about who already has the skill and engage them in making it happen. This might mean asking for advice, outsourcing the project to an expert, or delegating the task to someone in your team.

So, if you are ready to step up to the next level of leadership, don’t fear the pace and volume of work.  Instead, commit to shifting the way you work to allow you to manage the increased responsibility without working harder or longer hours.

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

Portrait of mature beautiful business woman in the office looking at camera. Business executive standing in modern office with big smile. Cheerful mid businesswoman with copy space.

Quit being busy and get more…

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

Jane Benston

Satisfied with work. Concentrated ambitious delighted woman holding her glasses while looking for some good ideas for her new project at work using a laptop in a cozy office.

5 keys to creating momentum for…

Have you noticed that many women underestimate their abilities and fail to shine a light on their performance? Are you one of those women? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston

Successful business women. Well educated female leaders. Young and mature ladies standing together confidently over light wall.

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? If you are … you are absolutely not alone. Here’s how to build the courage to step into all you are capable of.

Jane Benston