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

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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

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Perfectionist workplace at office or home. Flat lay desktop with keyboard and office supplies

Why Perfectionism is a Problem (and…

All 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…

Jane Benston

beautiful business lady drinking coffee and uses different gadgets

Why You Need to Create Space…

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 …

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

Mother working from home with kids. Quarantine and closed school during coronavirus outbreak. Children make noise and disturb woman at work. Homeschooling and freelance job. Boy and girl playing.

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

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Bored young woman sit at home office table look in distance unable to work at laptop, exhausted girl student feel unmotivated unwilling to study, distracted taking break. Dull monotonous job concept

Not Loving Your Work? This Could…

The average Australian spends 1831 hours working, every year! 1831 hours! 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…

Jane Benston

beautiful business lady drinking coffee and uses different gadgets

Why You Need to Create Space…

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 …

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

Mother working from home with kids. Quarantine and closed school during coronavirus outbreak. Children make noise and disturb woman at work. Homeschooling and freelance job. Boy and girl playing.

Do You Need To Share The…

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

While being independent and getting-things-done is a definite strength of ours, it’s also one of our greatest weaknesses.

Jane Benston

Bored young woman sit at home office table look in distance unable to work at laptop, exhausted girl student feel unmotivated unwilling to study, distracted taking break. Dull monotonous job concept

Not Loving Your Work? This Could…

The average Australian spends 1831 hours working, every year! 1831 hours! 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…

Jane Benston

Perfectionist workplace at office or home. Flat lay desktop with keyboard and office supplies

Why Perfectionism is a Problem (and…

All 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…

Jane Benston

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it’s not all about jumping into action.

Not yet. Hold your horses for a moment ladies.

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

Here’s where to start:

1. Clarify what you want.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Understand your strengths. 

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

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

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

4. Know your value. 

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

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

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

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

5. Decide you’re worthy.

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

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

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


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

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

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

Similar Blog Posts

Mother working from home with kids. Quarantine and closed school during coronavirus outbreak. Children make noise and disturb woman at work. Homeschooling and freelance job. Boy and girl playing.

Do You Need To Share The…

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

While being independent and getting-things-done is a definite strength of ours, it’s also one of our greatest weaknesses.

Jane Benston

Bored young woman sit at home office table look in distance unable to work at laptop, exhausted girl student feel unmotivated unwilling to study, distracted taking break. Dull monotonous job concept

Not Loving Your Work? This Could…

The average Australian spends 1831 hours working, every year! 1831 hours! 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…

Jane Benston

Perfectionist workplace at office or home. Flat lay desktop with keyboard and office supplies

Why Perfectionism is a Problem (and…

All 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…

Jane Benston

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.

Similar Blog Posts

Mother working from home with kids. Quarantine and closed school during coronavirus outbreak. Children make noise and disturb woman at work. Homeschooling and freelance job. Boy and girl playing.

Do You Need To Share The…

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

While being independent and getting-things-done is a definite strength of ours, it’s also one of our greatest weaknesses.

Jane Benston

Bored young woman sit at home office table look in distance unable to work at laptop, exhausted girl student feel unmotivated unwilling to study, distracted taking break. Dull monotonous job concept

Not Loving Your Work? This Could…

The average Australian spends 1831 hours working, every year! 1831 hours! 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…

Jane Benston

Perfectionist workplace at office or home. Flat lay desktop with keyboard and office supplies

Why Perfectionism is a Problem (and…

All 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…

Jane Benston

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.

Similar Blog Posts

Mother working from home with kids. Quarantine and closed school during coronavirus outbreak. Children make noise and disturb woman at work. Homeschooling and freelance job. Boy and girl playing.

Do You Need To Share The…

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

While being independent and getting-things-done is a definite strength of ours, it’s also one of our greatest weaknesses.

Jane Benston

Bored young woman sit at home office table look in distance unable to work at laptop, exhausted girl student feel unmotivated unwilling to study, distracted taking break. Dull monotonous job concept

Not Loving Your Work? This Could…

The average Australian spends 1831 hours working, every year! 1831 hours! 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…

Jane Benston

Perfectionist workplace at office or home. Flat lay desktop with keyboard and office supplies

Why Perfectionism is a Problem (and…

All 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…

Jane Benston

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!

 

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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? 

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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Hard work and good results are not enough

Hard work and good results are not enough.

If your career progress has stalled it may well be time to focus on raising your visibility. You are unlikely to have the type of impact you want to have or to get recognised for the work you do – if no one knows who you are, what you do and how well you do it.

Whether it’s raising your profile within your industry, speaking up in meetings or promoting your achievements – they are all part of stepping up as a leader. 

If you are being overlooked, there is a fair chance that you don’t need to improve your job performance, learn any new skills or achieve bigger results to land your ideal project or position. 

You already know enough! You are experienced in what you do and have the results to prove it.

At this level of leadership – hard work and results are not enough.

A strong professional profile is key. And this requires being well known and visible.

But many women struggle with raising their visibility. Perhaps this stems from the behaviours that are encouraged in our early years. Little girls are praised for being good and for being seen and not heard. 

Throughout junior school years, girls get attention from the teacher by knuckling down and producing beautifully put together projects.

As we grow into mature young women with ambition, getting good results is our passport into the plum graduate roles.

So, it is no surprise that as adult women, we struggle with being seen. We work hard, follow the rules and get the job done, hoping that our efforts will be rewarded and recognised.

But… many learn the hard way; that corporate promotions don’t come purely through hard work. Those that stand out and grab attention are often the ones being rewarded.

So what is it that holds women back and has them shrinking from the spotlight?

The reasons are many and varied but generally fall within these categories:

      • Fear of being judged
      • Fear of failure (or of success)
      • Fear of standing out
      • Fear of revealing their true selves
      • Fear of rejection
      • Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, experienced enough.

The other objection I often hear women raise is that it feels inauthentic and out of character. They would never want to brag about their achievements, grandstand or play the political game.

They believe that their efforts and results should speak for themselves.

But here’s the truth. Your fear and discomfort associated with owning the spotlight is holding your back!

It’s time to get comfortable with raising your profile, speaking up, sharing your wins and getting yourself known. And of course, find a way that feels authentic to you.

Realise that you have true value to bring to the table. Be positive, excited and proud of the contributions you are making. Share your wins and acknowledge the progress you and your team are making.

Pay attention to the signals your body language is giving off. Do you own your space? Does your voice sound like that of a woman of influence not that of a shy young girl filled with doubt?

Build strategic relationships both internally and within your industry and make time to regularly touch base with those who support your work and can advocate for you.

Is there more that you can be doing to become visible?

Now is your time to step up, stand out and be seen.

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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Powerful language comes from a powerful belief in you!

Powerful language comes from a powerful belief in you!

Yes, it really is that simple.

What you believe to be true (whether it is true or not) influences the words you use on a consistent basis. If you don’t believe you are worthy of your position, if you don’t believe the targets really can be met, if you don’t believe in the talents of your team… it will come out subtly in the words you use.

Your words leave clues.  

They are a signpost to what you are thinking and what you believe. They influence your actions and behaviours and the response of those around you.

It is the smallest tweaks to your language that can make the biggest difference.

Here are 4 easy tweaks to communicate more powerfully

1. Believe in YOU. 

It all begins here. If you don’t believe in you, no one else will. Notice where you doubt yourself. And know that much of what you believe about yourself is complete bunkum!

Shifting your negative beliefs will automatically change the way you communicate and is absolutely the fastest way to tapping into your most powerful influencing abilities and being recognised for your impact.

2. Speak of what you want…. not what you don’t want. 

This helps to focus the mind to achieving a positive result rather than avoiding a negative result. Here are a couple of examples to get you started.

    • Don’t be late to today’s meeting → I’d appreciate you being on time (or early) for today’s meeting.
    • I hope I don’t mess up my presentation at the conference → I’m determined to present clearly and with unwavering confidence.
    • It’s important we don’t miss budget → Let’s focus this month in lifting sales and exceeding budget expectations.

3. Eliminate words that drag you down. 

Words have energy. Some are light and filled with possibility and some are heavy and block progress. The goal is to eliminate the words that are heavy and drag you down. My clients know that there are some words I don’t allow them to use!

I was speaking recently with a client who described “dreading” relocating to head up a different geographical region. After a brief discussion focusing on the positives associated with the move, she shifted her language around the move to it being a “huge opportunity for a fresh start with amazing people.” 

And with this change in language came a sense of excitement, possibility and energy.

4. Limit Negativity. 

Sometimes our language displays negativity or a lack of choice. If you are one of the many who fall into negative patterns with your words (happens to me too!), here’s a handy guide for reframing what comes out of your mouth so it’s empowering.

    • I can’t do it → I choose not to.
    • I really should → I would like to or I can.
    • I have to → I really want to.
    • I’ll give it a try → I will do this.

Simple tweaks can make a massive difference.

Which of these simple tweaks could you implement today that would have you communicating with more impact and influence?

And it starts with YOU. Change your beliefs, change your words, change your outcomes. 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

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Jane Benston

Perfectionist workplace at office or home. Flat lay desktop with keyboard and office supplies

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

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

Here’s how…

Jane Benston