Confidence Builders, Finding your purpose, Get a promotion, Positive Motivation

Is work making you feel like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens? Try this 1 simple trick to re-set!

Is your mindset holding you back?  


If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with an easy way to shift your mindset.  I use it all the time.


Getting crystal clear on what you are aiming to do next is tough if your work and headspace is full of noise and confusion.
 


Use these super simple techniques to help shift into the best possible mindset to get crystal clear on your next career move.

Key Learning Prompts 

  1. Use an open and curious mindset to support you to positively move towards your next job move
  2. Learn ways to create and maintain an open and curious  mindset
  3. Check-in with your inner ‘noise’
  4. Note down when you speak to yourself negatively and ask yourself ‘What is happening for me right now?’
  5. Know your triggers
  6. Create mindset re-sets that work for you when you need a quick shift

My Story

I have had a lot of de-programming to do over the years. Some of this was from family or TV (I’m Gen X, there was no instagram in the ‘90s) and some of it was from companies I worked for.  

Sometimes corporate speak – ‘cut the fat’, ‘lift and shift’, ‘evangelist’, ‘dead wood’, ‘resources’, ‘lackey’, ‘yes-man’, ‘blocker’, ‘master’, ‘servant-leadership’ – when taken out of our context is just kind of creepy (ok, I want to say gothic or colonial or oligarchy but creepy kinda just covers it for now).  

It seeps into our DNA. 

It can be a form of aggression that we are not even aware of.  

To write a book, to start a business was to overcome a lifetime of programming –  being taught a government job was safest, that the way to get ahead was to wear a power suit and have super BIG hair (hello 80’s ladies!!) while working for a CORPORATION and that speaking up is a CLM (Career Limiting Move). 

I have lots of techniques I use to ‘trick’ myself out of these robotic ways of operating and to help me be more open and curious.  

This is the key mindset that helps me to be creative and stay true to myself.   It helps me to apply for jobs, ask for a promotion, ask for a pay rise, build a business and write a book (and so much more!!)

Keep reading below for some simple prompts to help you with your own de-programming.  This will help you to stay open so that you can get crystal clear on what YOU MOST WANT to do next.  

Activity – Create your own beautiful Mindset Re-set list

What you say in your head matters. 

Create a list of five positives to read through when your old negative thoughts and stories are overwhelming you. 

Can’t think of five positives? 

Here are some ideas to prompt you:

  • List down 5 of your top strengths
  • Write down 3 reasons why you are great at your job
  • Reflect on all of your achievements and create a best of list
  • Note down any affirmations that always shift your mood instantly
  • Contemplate what you are most grateful for, write it down!

Choose five of the best AND WRITE THEM DOWN!  

Have it handy when you need it most.  (Tip: Add it into your notes app or write them on a post-it and stick the post-it on your mirror.)

If you add to this list weekly (especially with any positive feedback you get) you will create something that is truly beautiful and 100% just for you.

Good Luck!  

You deserve to be happy! 

You are worth so much more!

I believe in you!

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Confidence Builders, Get a promotion

Crave clarity on your next career move?

Use these proven strategies to generate momentum, gain the clarity you crave and create certainty on what jobs to apply for this year.

Do you want to get crystal clear on what job to apply for next?

If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with proven methods to help you get crystal clear on what roles to apply for next.


Key Learning Prompts

  1. Get crystal clear on what you want to do next
  2. Select a role that lets you be kick-ass every single day
  3. Research potential roles, bosses, companies
  4. Build support for your move
  5. Shift your mindset
  6. Embrace your ambition

Are you staying in a role you’re sick of because the next step scares you?


My own story

When I was nearing my (wanted) retrenchment from ANZ six years ago, I spent more time supporting my team to get new roles than I did on my own advancement. I was tired, stressed, renovating a house at the same time.  

It was just overwhelming. I was suffering decision-fatigue, lacked energy and had NO IDEA what I was going to do next
.

I talked about changing professions to teaching, I  day-dreamed about owning my own business but had no idea in what, I talked to recruiters butall I really wanted to do was lie down – for a long time! 

Which is pretty much what happened. For weeks after ‘freedom day’ I lay on my couch watching Agatha Christie and Pirout Murder mysteries waiting for my energy to return.  

Looking back, I think my energy would have been best spent focusing on networking, building my non-ANZ contacts, not renovating!!, re-energising myself by focusing on my health and fitness (and I really wish I’d discovered a meditation practice then not a few years later.)  But that is re-writing history.  

I’ve now worked with clients who suffer similar challenges.Lots of experience, lots of time spent at one employer, lots of confusion and anxiety, pressure to make a great decision, fuzziness in the mind. 


Get super clear

This is a 3-part email series to help give you ways of getting the energy and momentum you need to get crystal clear on what you really want to do next.


Activity 1 – Make a GREAT Decision

Chose your next step by making a great decision. Use these activities to narrow down your options.  If you’re like me, your experience can be overwhelming. There are lots of roles I could do but not that many that I would really LOVE to do.  

Focus on what you LOVE to do.

  1. Create a list of all the next options for you
  2. Define why (for leaving)
  3. Define your why for the next role (they could be same but worth contemplating if different)
  4. Free write on your ask for the next role – include values, projects, role scope, level of autonomy as well as notes on salary expectation, working conditions,  seniority, work environment, potential boss
  5. List down all the companies you want to work with and for (and why!)
  6. List down all the industry types you want to work in
  7. List down all your kick ass skills – those skills you love to use, learn more of and show off with (you know what they are)
  8. Review your lists and match up the jobs that let you be kick ass everyday. 
  9. Match up those companies and industries where being kick ass is going to be possible. 
  10. Match job to companies and industries  
  11. Select 1 or 2 jobs and companies to focus on and then start applying for roles, connecting with your network who work in these companies or role. 

Find out as much as you can, make yourself visible, apply for roles and keep going until you get that job!

Now, I’d love to hear from you….

What will that new role mean for you?

Just comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

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Confidence Builders, Finding your purpose, Positive Motivation

Get crystal clear on your life purpose by doing this one thing

>>> Make the decision to choose your life purpose<<<

Key Learning Points

  1. A central life purpose creates a bedrock of meaning around everything you do
  2. It can help you feel more connected to those around you
  3. A life purpose can change and shift
  4. It doesn’t have to be perfect
  5. More purpose, more meaning equals much more joy!

My story

I always wanted a ‘purpose’ but I never really knew what that would mean for me.  After divorce number two I decided I wanted to live a much more purposeful life. I felt like I had drifted into things and ended up doing things that didn’t really work for me. Sometimes it was saying No to a great job, or saying YES to stay in a relationship that just wasn’t working.

There was no bigger picture of what I wanted overall to achieve in my life.

I felt not having this really meant I wasn’t picking the right or best things for me in terms of who I had in my life and what I was doing with it.  I really wanted to feel like I had a frame for my decisions. So I started the work to create a life purpose. It took a while and I even took two weeks off work to just work on myself.  I would never have done that earlier in my life.

It sounds so fluffy and yet  it was probably the best two weeks investment I have ever spent on myself and all it cost me was my own time (and annual leave).

In this post I really want to provide some prompts to help you begin this process.   And WHY do I want to do this?  Because having this purpose has led to the happiest, most creative and fulfilling 3 years of my life and counting. And, I WANT THAT FOR YOU TOO!

Activity

Make the decision to choose your life purpose

And then,

  1. Right down all the reasons you want a life purpose (and stick this list up where you will see it first thing in the morning)
  2. Describe what having a life purpose would mean and feel like to you
  3. Find 2 people who embody having a life purpose in the way that you would like too.  What do you admire about these people? What makes them stand out to you?
  4. Now, book in a time each month to work on your life purpose.
  5. And, go for it!!

Want some inspirational resources to keep you going for it?

For Reading…

  • Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance  by Angela Duckworth, Page 62.  The way Angela lays out how goals can link together, is how I have structured my purpose and goals.  With my BIG LIFE purpose being : Help Women Progress and then all my other goals big and small linking back to this big goal in some way.
  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown – Chaper 2 – Civilisation Stops At The Water Line
  • Start with WHY by Simon Sinek – Chapter 13 – The Origins of Why. I recommend reading the whole book but this chapter gives some context for how WHY can influence us so strongly.
  • Think Grow Rich  – Chapter 2 – Desire.  This book is focussed on MONEY but really it can apply to EVERYTHING in life.  In fact, the super inspirational Marie Forleo video below is Chapter 2 lived (Read and watch to expand your mindset and also to see how this actually works.)
  • Eat Pray Love – because its awesome!

For inspiration watch this: Have an impossible dream?  This Women Proves You Can Achieve It 

Want a group program to be involved in?

Looking for a program to support re-programming your negative thoughts into positive ones, this program and book is amazing (Melissa’s podcast is a great listen as well):  Mastering Your Mean Girl Program

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Confidence Builders, Positive Motivation

Want more confidence? 

Yes! Then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for helping you understand yourself more and create more confidence in all areas of your life.

Key Learning Prompts

  • building confidence takes deliberate practice
  • getting feedback from friends, family and colleagues can provide you with some awesome surprises
  • ‘great at’ lists create a foundation for your confidence
  • writing and reflecting helps to embed new learnings about yourself and strengthen confidence further
  • low confidence can lead to poor life and career choices so its impact needs to be managed just like any other ‘project’ risk

 

Warning! Low confidence can lead to poor career choices!

 

The Story – my clients and my own

 

I can pinpoint with minute accuracy when low confidence led me to make poor career and life choices:

  • 2006 –  I was in a crap role with a bully boss and I was offered a Test Manager role on a single project. I didn’t take it because it didn’t fit with my view of being strong at working across multiple projects vs one. I should have taken the role and saved myself another 12 months of bullying.

 

  • 2008 – I lost confidence from the previously mentioned role and began making very reactive decisions about  my job and also who to date.  I felt like I ‘couldn’t progress’, or I needed a relationship to ‘make me feel better/complete’. These internal mantras meant I kept myself down and limited my choices.

 

  • 2013 – I left a great role because I was sick of the office politics because I didn’t think I could ‘take it’.  I really just needed a holiday but the mantra of ‘I cant take it any more’ led me making a not great career choice to start a contract role that was then suddenly cut short (Don’t worry, I was working in a new role 2 weeks later  but that’s another story).

 

 

Being deliberate about maintaining your confidence is essential to a successful and enjoyable career. Bad choices can snowball and are easily made when our confidence ebbing.

Maximising Your Confidence

I work with my clients to help re-set and re-build their confidence. Some clients have this as one of their 3 month goals and others have this as set of supporting actions to make a goal easier to achieve.

The Four Steps !

A great confidence building suite of actions is to complete the following over a fortnight:

(1) List 30 things you do well – (can be anything)

(2) List 6 things you are GREAT AT!

(3) Write as much as as possible about WHY you are great at these 6 things

(4) Ask at least 2 past colleagues and 3 friends or family to describe what you are great at and then create a list, noting which attributes come up more than once

Follow up activity

Read through these lists each morning for 30 days and I’ll guarantee you’ll feel so much more positive and energised. Your confidence and belief in yourself will improve and you might even start noticing more things to add to your lists.

One Final Tip – Decision Making and Confidence

If you know you’re low on confidence then consider how it may impact any important decisions you have coming up. Write these impacts down and then work out (and write down) ways to limit the impact.

This will help save you from making a decision in the following way :

The options available to me are based on what I think of myself,

if I think of myself as a poor candidate for a new role

then I will find 10 reasons why I should apply for a lower paid, lower status position but

if I think of myself as THE BEST CANDIDATE EVER!!

then I will apply for an even more senior position.

 

 

Same person, confidence is the only difference and the impact is HUGE!

 

You’re awesome and I 100% believe that what you want is the right thing for you!!

Go for it!!

Now, I’d love to hear from you….

What makes you confident at work?

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Lead Your Pack Series, Positive Motivation

Leading when you have no idea what is going on (yet!)

Are you a new line manager and don’t quite get what your team is doing all day?

If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for helping you overcome imposter syndrome and the sheer panic of managing technical people when you’re not really sure you’ll understand what they do.

Key Learning Points

  • adopt a curious mind
  • accept even through you’re a boss you’re a beginning again
  • enquire
  • be humble
  • don’t tell
  • make of  point of speaking to everyone individually
  • don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ‘get it’ straight away
  • take advice from peers
  • listen

Be open to being a learner who is also leading.

Prompts
Use the prompts to help ask great questions and find out more information when meeting with your team:

  • what is your greatest challenge getting your everyday job done?
  • what skills make someone good in this role?
  • why do you like your role?
  • what would make your role easier?
  • what do you need form your boss?
  • what do you not need?
  • what resources could I read/watch/listen to learn more?
  • is there a meet up group that you go to – could I come along?
  • if you do read articles they send you, make sure to take notes on any questions you have and then go and speak with your staff members and get them to help you understand further – this will make them feel valued, heard, supported and empathised with
  • if you are working with introverted people, make sure this is always 1:1 and in a meeting room or desk (if this is reasonably private) if possible to help them feel like they are in a safe space
  • thank your team for their time but don’t make a too much of a big deal out of it

What will you do today to learn what your team does?
I’d love to hear from you, What will you do today to learn what your team does?

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I'm Ready Now Book, Tap into your super powers series

Tap into your super powers #1 – What to do when you keep getting told No

Key Learning point: The key learning point in this article is how to get a YES for your best ideas from your senior stakeholders (especially when you keep hearing a No to your good ideas).

To create this change you will need to create a compelling WHY to motivate a change of mind.  

And, we will also work through a case study on how do you get additional time and funding  approved.

Do your best ideas always get a no?

Do you find it hard to get endorsement for changes to scope, estimates, cost or resource hires?

If yes, then this post will help you do just that by providing you with:

  • learning prompts
  • case study example – going from a NO to a YES
  • ideas on next steps

Learning Prompts

To get a senior stakeholder to say yes (especially to anything involving a change in cost) you need to create a compelling why. A compelling WHY creates the motivation for someone to change their mind.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the biggest problem facing my stakeholder?
  • How does my idea help with this?
  • Can my idea help solve my stakeholder’s problem in someway?
  • What would it mean for this problem to be solved?
  • Who else will benefit?
  • How will it improve business outcomes (profit, strategy, financial, marketing, reputation etc) ?
  • Is my idea aligned to business strategy?
  • Has my idea been tried before?  (And, what happened?)
  • Are there quality reasons for pursuing something that has failed before?
  • What does this idea add or take away from my current role?

Case Study

In one Test Manager role I was in a few years ago, I had inherited an estimate that could be at best described as ‘optimistic’ but I would describe as ‘crazy’.

I decided to ask not for the 23 days (which had been approved) estimated but instead ask for approval of a 288 day estimate.

The Delivery Manager’s response: “You’d have to get the CIO to approve that’

My response: “Ok, I will get that!’

And… I did.

How?

  1. I researched what had happened in the past (the project had been tried and failed 3 times over 10 years due to a lack of or poor testing)
  2. I researched what a poor quality delivery would actually mean if implemented in production. The impact I found was : catastrophic business failure, regulatory breaches and huge (newspaper story worthy) customer financial loss
  3. I put a succinct options paper together – this was a 3 page slide pack with 3-4 bullet point per slide which succinctly stated option, risk, cost and recommendation (yes/no)
  4. I got the business sponsor to publicly back the best estimate to his General Manager  (this took some time to influence)
  5. I then presented the options paper to the steering committee which consisted of the CIO and the CEO’s direct reports
  6. And, the CIO approved the new estimate – in fact the whole committee did

How did I ‘win’ the argument?

I pitched every risk with a direct (yet implied) statement which if that risk came true would directly lead to the CIO losing his job. 

Because the risk that poor quality would create in a production environment was so great to the company, any realisation of this risk would mean business failure (or close too) and that would mean no more jobs for the CIO or the other members of the committee.

Extra context

For some context, I have well over 10 years technical estimation experience and I had the most experienced person on the programme run the numbers as well.  I knew the estimate was right.

I also knew to pursue the other estimate would lead to project failure or even (if the project actually got into production) potentially business failure. I had 100% faith in myself and my team that we were the best people to deliver this work and I had 100% belief that I could get the CIO’s approval with a fair argument for the new estimate.

Take Action

Next time you get a No, ask yourself – do I 100% believe in my proposal? And if the answer is yes, then ask the person who said No:

“What needs to happen to get a YES?”  

And then?

GO FOR IT!

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I'm Ready Now Book, Positive Motivation

Goal Setting Secret #3 Taking Action

Secret #3 – Keys to successfully taking action

How often do you say this:

“I keep going no matter what!”

Secrets to successfully taking action

1. Schedule it
2. Allow enough time for each action
3. Get Support
4. Keep it super positive.

Pro tip: Use your project management and organisational powers that you use everyday at work and apply them to your personal goals and projects.

  1. Schedule in time each week to work exclusively on your goal and actions
  2. Book in enough time to one action done at a time
  3. Use tools like a spreadsheet or project management tool like ASANA to prioritise your actions and work through them in a logical order
  4. Get Support – find a career coach to support you, find an accountability partner to check-in with weekly,join a mastermind or find a mentor. Get the right level of support for the goal you are progressing with to help create your own cheersquad that is always on your side and keeping you accountable to getting those actions done.
  5. Keep it super positive.Celebrate small wins and surround yourself with positive inspiration.
    • What is the first thing you see or hear in the morning?
    • What is the first thing you see when you walk in the door?
    • What is the first thing you do when you get to your desk?

Create a routine that incorporates positivity from podcasts to the music you listen to, the art work at your home, the inspirational quote on a sticky-note at your desk or the gratitude journal you write in every morning.  Find little ways to shift and support your mood and keep you in the best frame of mind to achieving your goal.

Want more on goal setting, watch this Facebook live to get more thoughts on how to progress your goal and close out those actions.

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