7 Habits for achieving more by working smarter not harder

7 habits for achieving more by working smarter not harder

If your everyday workload regularly leaves you feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and frazzled then it’s time to work smarter not harder. 

We all have the same amount of time available to us but have you noticed that some people are able to get much more done while remaining calm and unflappable… but how do they do it? 

It’s not from working harder, longer hours. It’s from working smarter. 

Here are 7 habits to help you to work smarter not harder. 

1. Focus on what matters most

Not all work is created equal. Some work is what I call busy work while other tasks help to move the dial on what matters most to you, your team and to the organisationBut the question is – do you actually know which activities matter most?

It’s only once you know what matters most that you can prioritise these activities, to ensure that the important work gets done. 

2.  Make quicker decisions.

If you procrastinate, over analyse or get stuck seeking the opinions of every man and his dog before you make a decisionit’s time to stop! 

I am not suggesting that you make snap decisions that are irrational and without consideration, but painfully slow decision making is holding your back and impacting your reputation as a leader. 

3. Give up your perfectionist ways

I get it. You want to do your best work. You were rewarded at school and at uni for perfecting your assignments but in the working world your perfectionism is holding you back. 

I see many smart women falling behind when they get into leadership roles because their perfectionist tendencies slows down delivery or they don’t even give their ideas the light of day, waiting for the ideas to be perfect. 

The solution that works for many of my perfectionist clients is to set a new benchmark. 

It’s time to shift your standards! 

Not everything needs to be done to 100% perfectionYes, some things need that level of attention to detail – such as board reports and data analysis but for much of what you do 80% is good enough, saving time and effort without significantly impacting the value of their work. 

4. Say NO more often.

Yes ladies. I know how much you struggle with this one but this is important. Too often I see women making time for everything and everyone else, at the detriment of their own work performance and energy levels. 

Learning to say NO more often will open up space in your calendar for doing the work the matters 

5. Discover your productivity zone.

We all have our own productivity zone. When and where is yours? Is it early in the morning before the team start work or is it after dinner once the kids have gone to bed or some other time through the day? 

And what type of environment allows you to be most productive Do you like the hum of activity around you or do you work best in a quiet, peaceful space? 

 Scheduling the most critical tasks during these times will help you get much more done with less effort.  

6. Turn off distractions.

This one really is too obvious but had to be in the list. Have you noticed that we respond like Pavlov’s dogs, reacting to the buzzing and binging of our social media, emails, or phones? 

And as much as we think we can multitask, we can’t We lose momentum, focus, and concentration every time these micro interruptions come our way. 

So ladies… it’s time to disconnect from your devices, even if it is just for a few hours each day. 

7. Prioritise your self care.

If you want to accomplish more, make it a priority to nourish your mind, body and soul 

Our mood, creativity, effectiveness, productivity and good decision making are all negatively impacted if we are tired, sluggish and lacking in energy. To do our best work we need to take good care of ourselves.  That means getting plenty of sleep, exercise, good nutrition and space to rest and rejuvenate 

Put quite simply – selfcare is not a luxury, it’s essential! 

The choice is now yours!

If you are struggling to get it all done and your ‘to do list’ is a source of stress and tension for you, choose one (or more) of these habits to slot into the way you work. 

Let’s make life a little easier (and a lot more fun) by working smarter not harder! 

LET'S CONNECT

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Future proof your career post COVID.

The rate and extent of workplace change that we have witnessed in just a few short months has been huge. The way we work, where we work and, most importantly, what we work on, has in many ways changed forever. We don’t yet know yet what the new normal will look like – but we can be sure that most organisations will not slip back into business as usual.

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Increased workload? Here’s the simple secret…

A few weeks ago, I asked 1500 women in the Leading Ladies Facebook Group whether they were less busy, about the same or more busy as a result of Covid.
The response was a resounding “WAY more busy!!”

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Future proof your career post COVID.

Here's how to future proof your career post Covid.

The rate and extent of workplace change that we have witnessed in just a few short months has been huge. The way we work, where we work and, most importantly, what we work on, has in many ways changed forever.

We don’t yet know yet what the new normal will look like – but we can be sure that most organisations will not slip back into business as usual, as it was before. 

We can expect some degree of working from home to be the new normal, a greater reliance on technology for managing remote working and I’m sure many organisations will use this as an opportunity to review pretty much everything about the who, what, where and how of work.

As they say – “never let a good crisis go to waste!”

A recent survey of NAB employees across the country suggested that 80% of employees now want the opportunity and flexibility to do some work from home.

While many big and small organisations are already considering what their needs for office space moving forward will be.

And furthermore … I expect that all organisations will be reviewing whether they have the right people for the right roles going forward.  

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

Ready to future proof your career? Here’s how!

 1. Embrace change. 

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

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

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

2. Embrace your unique skills and talent.

Your career pathway may not be as certain as it was before, however being clear on what your unique skills and talents are allows you the flexibility to consider a much broader range of opportunities.  

When considering your next career step – think more about what value you can bring to a team, business or industry, rather than relying on following the well worn pathway others within your field have taken. That pathway may no longer exist or may not even be the right one for you based on your skills. 

3. Embrace leading remotely

Whether you lead a team, projects or you are a SME with influence – one thing is for sure... your ability to lead remotely will become increasingly important.  

Take the time now to hone your skills in this area. Right now we are all finding our way with this, so it’s not about getting it right. It’s about trying things out, seeing what works for you and adapting your leadership style to get the best outcomes.   

4. Embrace new opportunities.

Believe it or not – right now I’m seeing plenty of interesting opportunities out there.  

With crisis comes disruption to the status quo.  And because of this many organisations are reviewing EVERYTHING. Which means there are many interesting projects, positions and opportunities opening up.   

Many aren’t being advertised – but rather being filled via networks, referrals and recommendations. So if you want to be considered for one of these opportunities, I’d suggest now is the time to be tapping into your networks, strengthening your internal and external relationships and speaking about what types of opportunities you’d like to be considered for.   

Do not leave your professional future up to chance!  

Future proofing your career is all about adapting to the environment we now find ourselves in. Resisting change is futile. Instead, focus your energy towards embracing the opportunities that this situation has offered up.   

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

Good luck.  Stay well.  

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Jane Benston

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5 Rules You Need To Break.

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Jane Benston

Green detox smoothie cup and woman lacing shoes before workout. Fitness and healthy lifestyle concept.

Increased workload? Here’s the simple secret…

A few weeks ago, I asked 1500 women in the Leading Ladies Facebook Group whether they were less busy, about the same or more busy as a result of Covid.
The response was a resounding “WAY more busy!!”

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Is my job secure? Has this question been on your mind during Covid?

Is My Job Secure?
Has this question been on your mind during Covid?

There is no denying it – Coronavirus has brought about massive change and it’s become abundantly clear that no job is 100% secure.   

But then again, has your job really been that secure anyway??  The truth is NO.  No job has ever been 100% secure, but in this environment, job security has become even more of a myth.  

Over the last couple of months during this time of lockdown, it’s likely that almost every single professional (and nonprofessional) has asked themselves this question.   

“Is my job secure?” 

Uncertainty remains, with the true economic impact far from clear and although there has already been devastating job loss, I’m concerned that there is still more to come.  

So my question today is…

How would you fare if you weremade redundant tomorrow

And if you were – are you ready and prepared to weather the storm?

Over and over again I’ve seen what it takes to fast track your way from sudden job loss… to your next ideal role.  And it’s all about the people you know, the quality of your relationships and having clarity about the type of work you’d like to be doing.

We may not always see job loss coming our way – but there are definitely some key steps we can all take to minimise the impact if it does happen.

Here’s what I’ve seen make the biggest difference. 

3 top tips to insure against job loss

1. Manage your career progression 

When was the last time you spent time considering your career achievements and the direction you want to take it next?  If like most you’ve been leaving your career up to chance let’s change that!   

If you don’t know where your career is heading, you can’t position for what you want next!  

Having clarity allows you to build your skills in a particular area, get known by key stakeholders or to focus on developing your leadership capability 

Clarity builds momentum. And with momentum comes opportunity.  

2. Build Strategic Relationships 

If you suddenly found yourself on the job market, having a strong network is priceless. These are the people who would be the first to reach out to support you, offer assistance and make introductions that could possibly lead to job opportunities. 

And let’s be clear … your network is your best source of job opportunities. Your next role is unlikely to come from a recruiter. Please do not leave your future in their hands! 

If you want to be one of those people who always seems to be at the right place, at the right time to snap up the most interesting opportunities – you need to be one of those people who invests time and energy into building strong relationships.   

But given that building strong relationships takes time, make sure that you are ALWAYS prioritising (in good times and bad) building and strengthening your networks. 

3. Raise Your Profile 

The way you go about this may need to change in this new world of working from home. It’s not as easy as floating past someone’s desk and having a chat or nipping out for a quick coffee between meetings.  

In this new world you will need to be a little more strategic and deliberate about building your profile. 

Start by identifying what you want to be known for. Build the brand you want – rather than settling the one others want to give you. 

Then look for opportunities to speak about your achievements or demonstrate the skills and traits you want to be known for.  Getting involved in high profile projects are great for developing strategic relationships and to demonstrate your value, your strengths and your leadership skills. 

And don’t forget LinkedIn. Almost every week I hear from women who have been approached about an opportunity as a result of being found on LinkedIn.  Update your profile and then get active.

Now is not the time to be complacent. 

With the massive hit to the economy over recent months, who knows what the next 6–12 months will bring?  But let’s not bury our heads in the sand and hope all will be OK 

With just a little shift in where you focus your time and attention – you can position yourself to bounce back fast from any challenge that may come your way.   

And hopefully you will never need to tap into this insurance plan for job loss.   

But always know that this work will never be wasted.  Activating this plan is the perfect preparation for when you choose to move from your current role to you next ideal exciting opportunity.  

Good luck.  Stay well.  Make an impact. 

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Jane Benston

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Jane Benston

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Your Busy Period Survival Guide

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

Your Busy Period Survival Guide

As we begin the run down to the end of the year, are you beginning to feel the pressure to get projects completed, lift the team to new levels or ramp up efforts to meet KPI’s and budgets

Women often tell me they are already running hard and are not sure how they can do even more – both in and out of work.

So I thought I’d share some of my best tips and tools to managing it all and getting through the next few months.

Best Tips And Tools To Managing It All

1. Intentional

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

I know you can juggle a LOT… but, as we head into the busy season, I want you to practise using one simple word – NO. Every time you say NO, it allows you to stay focused on those activities that matter most.

 

2. Create space to think

At this stage of your career, you are employed to think, not just do! Solving the big problems, creating new strategies, coming up with innovative ideas and sustainable solutions. These don’t come when we are knee-deep in the weeds.  They need time and space to emerge.

As the demands for your time increases over the next few months, creating space every week will be critical.  Take a look at your calendar now and schedule in at least an hour of weekly “thinking time.”

3. Optimise your energy

When people ask me what my number one productivity tip is – my answer is – get more sleep!

 

For years we’ve been encouraged to manage our time to increase our output but in this era of the knowledge worker where we are employed for our brain not our brawn – being well rested is the thing that makes the biggest difference.

Intuitively, we all know that we do our best work when we’ve had a good night’s sleep and have taken good care of our mind and body.

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

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

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

Are you clear on what matters most – to you, your team and the organisation?
Are you creating space each week for thinking and planning?
Could you benefit from a little more sleep?

Here’s to a brilliant end to the year.

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Jane Benston

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Why you’re not being promoted

Why you’re not being promoted

I recently told an incredible woman (let’s call her Kate) that she would not make partnership at her firm.  Not now or anytime soon based on her current actions, behaviours and outcomes.

Harsh, but it was the truth she needed to hear.

She was hardworking, dedicated and reliable.  She had a long history of delivering good work. 

She knew she had been “drifting” for the past couple of years but was unclear on what she needed to be doing differently to get the type of recognition needed to progress her career. 

So how could I be so certain to be bold enough to give her the very direct advice about her prospects to make partnership?

Quite simply – because I quickly recognised that she had been focusing her efforts in all the wrong places.

The one thing I know with a high degree of certainty is – the difference between a good career and a great career is where you focus your time, energy and resources.

And she was not focusing her time and energy on the things that mattered most to the organisation.

I asked Kate, “Do you know what the senior executive team would need to see from you to be considered for partnership?”

There was silence at the other end of the phone.

The penny had just dropped.

She had no idea!

And that’s a problem.

If you want to be considered for promotion, you need to demonstrate that you can have an impact on what matters most to the business.

This will vary from business to business but you can count on some common ones such as sales, profits, strategic direction, continuous improvement, customer service, delivery of key projects, company culture and efficiency.

When you want to be considered for a senior role within a business, being hardworking is not enough.  You need to demonstrate you care about the business beyond just doing your job.

Kate also recently received specific feedback for improvements the senior executive team wanted to see from her.  The frustrating thing was  she had already been doing these things … But NO ONE knew.  She is like so many women I meet who are humble, diligent and shy away from playing the political game.

But your hard work and achievements amount to nothing if they remain invisible. 

Ladies, we have to find a way to make you and your achievements more visible.  Being proud of your work and letting people know about your progress and achievements is not “brown nosing” or ego driven.  It’s smart!  It’s necessary!  It will get you recognised!

And finally, I want to have a word about the importance of attitude.

Kate admitted that over the last couple of years, her attitude had been a little less than stellar!  I love her honesty.  It’s only when we are honest about this, that we can do something about it.

Do you honestly believe that you would promote someone into a senior role if they had a poor attitude?  I know I wouldn’t.  A CEO I work with often reminds his senior leadership team to hire on attitude first, skills and experience second.  And I see an increasing number of high-performing businesses that all aspire to this philosophy. 

So if you’ve found yourself drifting along unable to break into the next level of leadership, there is a fair chance you too may need to make some changes to where you are focusing your time and energy, dial up your visibility or take a long hard look at the attitude you are bringing to your work. 

Need some help to work out what it is for you?  I’d love to invite you to book a 15-minute Career Breakthough Session with me just like Kate did.

Click here to answer a couple of questions and book in a time.

LET'S CONNECT

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Group of young multiracial business people are working in modern office. Freelancers in coworking place. Creative and stylish youth.

7 Habits for achieving more by…

We all have the same amount of time available to us but have you noticed that some people are able to get much more done while remaining calm and unflappable… but how do they do it?
If your everyday workload regularly leaves you feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and frazzled then it’s time to work smarter not harder.

Jane Benston

A happy Asian girl in a dress walks through a modern neighborhood with skyscrapers and office buildings. Tour and travel in Dubai

5 Rules You Need To Break.

We learn early on in life the rules we need to follow to stay safe, be liked and to get ahead. But many of the rules we learned growing up as little girls and young women were not designed to develop courageous leadership. Here are my top 5 rules to break.

Jane Benston

Young asian business woman working on computer laptop in office room with paperwork document on desk

Future proof your career post COVID.

The rate and extent of workplace change that we have witnessed in just a few short months has been huge. The way we work, where we work and, most importantly, what we work on, has in many ways changed forever. We don’t yet know yet what the new normal will look like – but we can be sure that most organisations will not slip back into business as usual.

Jane Benston

Are you the “go-to girl”?

Are you the “go-to girl”?

I’ve had a number of conversations this week with smart, mid-career professional women who have fallen into the trap of being the “go-to girl.” 

Perhaps you too are the go-to girl.  Or you might be known as the Jack of all trades, the fix-it woman or have earned the label of “reliable”.  Eek!

I get it.  I was this woman for a long time.  And I wore the label like a badge of honor! 

I liked the fact that people would seek me out, knowing that I was the only one in the team to really take the time to help them. It fueled my ego to be needed! 

But I had no clue how much it was holding me back.  On reflection now, I realise that I was seen as a doer not as the leader I wanted to be seen as.  

A comment from the HR director about “over mothering” the team now makes sense.  At the time, it was nothing but insulting and hurtful.  Now I realise he was providing guidance on how I could step up to lead more effectively. 

So what’s the problem with being the go-to girl?

1. Your plate becomes over full.  

I don’t need to tell you this.  You know it already.  You are super busy.  You’re working long hours without making any real progress.  You’re exhausted.  And at times it’s overwhelming.  You have no bandwidth for creativity or strategic thinking. 

2. You are so busy doing – there is no time to truly lead

You may have the title of leader, but who has the time or headspace to really lead? Finding the time to sit quietly to think, plan and strategise is for many go-to girls … well … pie in the sky.  And building and nurturing a high-performing team takes your consistent time, energy and focus, which you have so little of. 

3. It’s killing your career progression 

You don’t get seen, heard, valued or promoted for doing the busy work. It’s as simple as that! 

When was the last time you did something that truly moved the dial on a personal career goal or a business goal?  

Being the go-to girl will inevitably keep you stuck in the weeds – doing what I call busy work.  And you don’t get promoted for doing the busy work! Someone has to do it, but it’s time to pass it onto someone else. 

So what now…

If you are the go-to girl, stuck in the weeds of doing rather than leading, then it’s time for change.  Your career goals will not be met while you stay stuck in this place.   

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If your everyday workload regularly leaves you feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and frazzled then it’s time to work smarter not harder.

Jane Benston

A happy Asian girl in a dress walks through a modern neighborhood with skyscrapers and office buildings. Tour and travel in Dubai

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Jane Benston

Young asian business woman working on computer laptop in office room with paperwork document on desk

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The rate and extent of workplace change that we have witnessed in just a few short months has been huge. The way we work, where we work and, most importantly, what we work on, has in many ways changed forever. We don’t yet know yet what the new normal will look like – but we can be sure that most organisations will not slip back into business as usual.

Jane Benston

Breakthrough Your Career Plateau

Breakthrough-your-career-plateau

Breakthrough Your Career Plateau

A career plateau, if left to fester too long can damage your reputation, minimize your career opportunities and leaving you feeling miserable about your work.  

Although it doesn’t happen overnight, it can sneak up on us and take us unawares.  For a time we can hum along – having and impact, making a difference and feeling fulfilled.  Then one day we can look around and ask – is this all there is? 

Have you reached a career plateau?

Here are 10 keys to breaking through your career plateau.

1. Expand your comfort zone. 

Your career plateau is representative of your comfort zone.  Ouch … I know!  Your comfort zone is exactly that… comfortable.  It can keep us trapped in a false sense of security.

If you want to move past your current plateau you will have to step outside your current comfort zone.  There is no other way past it!  This might involve taking on a new project, tackling a difficult conversation, raising your profile or stepping into a completely new role.

2. Up your game. 

What got you to this point in your career is not what it will take to get to the next level.  As they say… if you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results.  So a little up leveling will be required… to your thinking, actions, attitude and behaviours.

3. Change your internal dialogue. 

What are you telling yourself about your career?  What are your underlying beliefs around what you are capable of?  When our internal dialogue is out of alignment with or even in conflict with what we “say” we want, progress is near to impossible.

For example if you’re thinking you’d like to lead a bigger team and manage a bigger budget but your ongoing self talk is “who am I to think I could do that” or “I’m not worthy” – then you’re absolutely going to hit up against recurring resistance to growth.   

4. Challenge your fears. 

Could it be possible you’ve hit a career plateau because you fear failure (or even success?)  Moving past this plateau will absolutely require you to accept a little risk and to face your fears.  And consider for a moment the risks to you, your health, your sanity and your professional reputation if you were to stay exactly where you are for another 12 months?

And let’s face it … our fears are almost always unfounded!  

5. Know yourself. 

Know your strengths.  Know what inspires you to take action.  Know what you love to do and where you add the most value.  Know what gives you energy and what drains your energy away.  Know what drives commitment, passion and fulfilment.

Then ask yourself – “Am I tapping in the best of me in my current work?”  When we are not… it’s way to easy to settle for what is.  And really – are you someone who is prepared to settle

6. Get Clarity. 

The fastest pathway to growth beyond your current plateau is to get clarity on what you truly want.  You can and will not move forward without clarity.  Confusion and uncertainty will keep you firmly rooted to exactly where you are today.

7. Set a new goal.

Once you have clarity of who you are, what’s most important to you and what you truly want next … it’s the time to set a new goal that will both inspire action and guide decision making.  Get as specific as you can and answer the question: “What would I really like to be doing?”  It can be scary to claim what you want. It’s time to get into the driver’s seat and creating your career by design rather than leaving it up to chance.

8. Focus your time and energy. 

Many women I work with reach a career plateau because they fear that taking the next step will require more of them and they can not see how they could work any harder.  Can you relate?  The truth is … at a certain point in your career it’s not about working harder.  It requires you to work smarter.  And being conscious about where you focus time and energy.

9. Take time out & inject more white space into your day.

The more senior roles you take on, the more thinking time you need to schedule into your day.  At this level you are employed for your knowledge, experience and wisdom, not your technical expertise or your capacity to do the doing.  That is what your team are for!

10. Give yourself permission. 

And finally … give yourself permission to step into your fullest potential.  You are worthy.  You have more to contribute. It’s time to do what it takes to make it happen.

And … stop waiting for someone (your boss, your mentor, your Dad, your partner) to give you permission to take this next step.  The only person who can make that decision is YOU! 

If you’ve hit a career plateau – it’s time to take some action.  The longer you leave it the harder it is to did you way out towards your next ideal role.  Start by focusing on any one of these keys and watch the ripple effect of change.

If you need a little more help to get into action – then I invite you to join us at the next Career by Design workshop

LET'S CONNECT

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Future proof your career post COVID.

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Elementor #2360

Opportunity Is Knocking.
Will You Answer The Call?

The time is now!

Opportunity is knocking for professional women. Ladies, our time is now. A change has been brewing over the last couple of years and now it’s knocking loudly on our door.

Do you feel it?

Women all over the world are refusing to play small and to stay silent. Over the last 12 months we have seen the power of change that comes from an engaged, energised and empowered collective of women.

From the global women’s march in early 2017, the #metoo movement and powerful image of the “Fearless Girl” on Wall St, we see issues that have long been ignored or hidden, become front page news.

Women everywhere are rising up and taking the “women’s movement” mainstream. No longer is this a women’s only conversation. Men are becoming more vocal and aware of gender issues and finding ways to be active as allies.

At a local level I’m seeing signs that businesses (large and small) are finally putting genuine effort towards creating more opportunities to support women to have a greater impact at the leadership table.

Women in my inner circle are being offered seriously impressive promotions and attracting significant pay rises. Their collaboration, negotiation, team building and problem solving skills are being called upon like never before.

And the genuine support coming from both senior men and women from within organisations is increasingly positive.

The conversations I’ve had with senior leaders recently have been heart felt and genuine in their desire to do better when supporting their high potential women … not because they have to but because they want to.

They know they have a pool of talented women who are hungry for growth and to contribute to their fullest potential. And they know the ripple effect supporting their high performing women will have throughout the business.

To say that I’m hopeful for what the future holds for professional women is a massive understatement.

Ladies … this is our moment.

Are you ready to step up with courage to embrace the opportunities I’m certain are poised to emerge for so many?

I’m not so naive to think that this will be easy. It will take work. It will require courage. It will mean taking a chance or two and have some faith in yourself and the people you bring into your inner circle to support you.

My question today is … are you with me?

Are you committed to do the work to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will no doubt open up? Do you have the courage to answer the call?

Here’s to being bold and having an impact beyond what was possible just a few short years ago.

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The number 1 mistake mid career professionals make when job searching

The number 1 mistake mid career professionals make when job searching.

Job searching. I don’t think it’s anyone’s favourite thing to do. It
takes effort. It takes time. And it takes mental and emotional energy.

It requires soul searching and at times it can be soul destroying.

We’ve all experienced the excitement of finding a role that we believe would be ideal for us. We imagine ourselves in the role; what we could achieve, the impact we could have and how we would feel resigning from our current role.

Gosh you may have even allocated the potential payrise to pay for school fees or that overdue house renovation.

And then the unthinkable happens…. they offer the role to someone else!

Ah the roller coaster – the highs and lows of job searching.

There is no exact formula to make the process pain free but there are some things we can do to improve our chances to landing our ideal role – more quickly and with less stress.

It all starts with avoiding the number 1 trap I see many mid career professionals fall into.

And that is….

Going out to the market to “see what’s out there” without real clarity about what it is that you are looking for.

This approach can work, but is likely to be hit and miss. It can be disempowering and it’s an incredibly frustrating waiting game. It leaves the process up to chance and what we end up doing is trying to fit ourselves into whatever comes up rather than going after what we REALLY want.

Even worse – if you think a recruiter will be able to figure out what types of role you would be good for based on your past experience, then you are gravely mistaken.

There are some hugely talented recruitment specialist out there who are dedicated to the bringing together the right candidate with the right role but on the whole most are super busy, looking for the safe, quick solution to a job vacancy.

It’s time to flip your thinking and your approach to job searching.

No more aimlessly looking to see what’s out there. No more hoping something interesting will pop up. No more leaving the process up to chance.

It’s your career. It’s up to you to figure out what you want and to go after it. It’s time to drive the process.

A new approach to job searching.

1. Know who you are. The job search process doesn’t start out there. It starts within. Yes this is the soul searching part of the process.

Before you speak to your network, before you update your LinkedIn profile, before you speak to a recruiter – spend the time to get really clear on;

Be honest with yourself… what do you love to do. What parts of your past roles have filled you with the most joy.

And equally important, what tasks or responsibilities do you never want to do again! And don’t be fooled. It could be something you are seen to be very good at – but let’s be honest – you hate doing it.

2. Set your direction. You may not know at this stage the job title of your next ideal role. But don’t let that hold you back. The world of work is changing so rapidly right now it’s impossible to know what type of opportunities may become available.

Your best option will be to align your job search with the types of tasks and responsibilities you would like to be included in your next ideal role. From all the work you have done looking within, you now know what the non negotiable elements of your new role are.

3. Go to market. Finally … you are now ready to go out proactively to the job market with certainty and clarity. It’s about going out to your network or to recruiters and saying – this is who I am and this is the value I have to offer and this is the type of work I would ideally like to move to next.

By succinctly and confidently articulating what you are looking for next, you are much more likely to illicit support and interest from recruiters and your network.

And if by chance your ideal role does pop up on Seek – you are more likely to be able to articulate to your potential employer exactly why you are the person they have been looking for.

So my question to you today is – “have you fallen into the trap of going out to the market before you truly know what it is that you are looking for?”

If you have it’s time to switch things up.

Yes it will take a little more work up front but the proof is in the pudding as they say.

By following this approach I’ve seen many mid career professional women quickly turn their job search luck around and land the very next role they applied for. Not just any old role – but their ideal role.

Why do I think it works so well?

Because the hidden secrete is that through the soul searching work at the beginning of the process you’ll get super clear and confident on the value you have to offer and why you would be the best candidate for any role which is perfect for you.

And clarity and confidence is an incredibly attractive attribute to demonstrate to your ideal new employer!

If you’re ready to make a change but need a little more clarity about what’s next for you then I invite you to come along to Career by Design – a one day workshop for smart, dynamic, mid career professional women ready for something more.

Click here for more information about this transformation 1 day workshop.

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How to own your value and leverage your talent

How to own your value and leverage
your talent

Almost every week women tell me that they are capable of more but are struggling to make their mark within their organisation or industry. These women are brilliant and their unique talents are much needed in the modern workplace.

Their CV’s document their extensive experience and the results they have achieved throughout their career but still they find themselves languishing in roles that no longer excite them.

They know they have more to offer … and they are right!

So what’s the missing link?

To put it simply … they are not owning their value or leveraging their talent.

They have not positioned themselves as a woman of preeminence with valuable expertise to share.

Humbleness is a virtue – but not when it holds you back from getting you seen, heard and recognised for your expertise.

Many are waiting in hope and expectation they will be noticed for their good work.  And most struggle to speak about who they are, what they want and what value they offer an organisation.

But once they get clear on their value and are able to articulate it in a succinct, congruent way, magic happens.

Katherine is a great example; super talented, exceptional leader and all round great woman. When we first meet she was what I’d describe as beige. She had been flying under the radar, busy doing the do but not owning or leveraging her talents. She was frustrated by the lack of career progression but didn’t know how to change it.

After attending one of my workshops, she realised she had been asleep at the wheel.   Simply by getting super clear on her value she was able to position herself for the perfect next opportunity.

With renewed self worth and certainty about her career, she is now up beat and confident about her future. And it doesn’t stop there.  Her friends, family and colleagues have noticed a significant shift in how she is showing up both at work and at home.

Here’s how to own your value and leverage your talents.

1. Know your value. It all starts here. You have to know your value.  And to be seen as valuable, you must step up and own it.  Simple really.

Over and over again I’ve seen women struggle to articulate the value they bring to a team or an organisation. It’s not enough to know what you do well. This is a good start but it’s important to be able to speak about how this contributes to the organisation’s bigger picture.

2. Do the inner work. Believability is key. You need to do the inner work to ensure you show up with presence, poise and grace. If you are fidgeting, shrinking or letting your nerves run riot, no one will buy into your opinion, your leadership or your direction.

Breaking down the limiting beliefs and mental barriers that get in your way is key to owning your value and leveraging your talents. It takes courage to do this inner work and to put yourself our there … but it’s worth it.

It’s about doing the work so that you go into the most critical situations with a mindset of “I am here to contribute and add value” knowing you have what it takes.

3. Demonstrate your expertise. Ladies, it’s time to step out from the shadows and shine. No more being the best keep secret. Create a strategy to demonstrate your expertise on a regular basis.

This might mean sharing your expertise more freely in meetings, taking on high profile projects or being intentional about the opportunities you say YES to and those you say NO to.

Without an intentional strategy – it will not happen.

4. Show up and share. There is no other way for this strategy to work well. Be intentional about showing up each and every day in a way that will get you recognised for the skills and abilities you want to be known for.

Share your opinion and allow your expertise to be seen. And most importantly speak often about what you are working on, the impact you’re having and the results you and your team are achieving.

Yes, I’m suggesting you toot your own horn in your best humble, genuine way. It’s not enough to rely on others to notice – you need to tell them.

This work takes courage and is the fast track to exponential growth.

It will position you well within your organisation for the most exciting opportunities. And it will raise your profile within your industry so when an ideal position becomes available your name will be automatically thrown into the mix.

Your next role is more likely to come from within your network than it will from a recruiter so make sure your network knows your value!

Knowing your value and leveraging your talents is one of the most important strategies a woman can have in her toolkit to help her reach her ultimate potential.

It will take you from best kept secret to preeminence … without working harder or selling your soul.

Put this strategy into practice and see your personal power soar and your professional reputation take off with a quantum leap.

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