Sunday, November 3, 2013

Your Best Career Opportunity is NOW

Your career is only as good as your current opportunity.


Most people think about their careers in linear form. In other words, they judge where they are based on their career to date and where they want to take it.

There's nothing desperately wrong with that of course but it isn't terribly inspiring.

The past is, well, the past. It's gone. And yes, of course past experience can be valuable when pursuing your next 'step' and yet, in some respects, the past in uninteresting.


The future is where 'goals' sit: aspirations to achieve a particular level of success perhaps. Or to work your way up the ladder.


Again, there's nothing wrong with this thinking, those goals just may never happen due to choice or other factors.


The truth is, your career is happening right now beneath your nose. And my question to you is: "Is your current career giving you everything you want right now?"


The opportunity isn't in the past or the future. It is here, right now.


So, right now, are you choosing to make the best of this opportunity?


Are you getting the most from it?


Are your values being met?


Are you utilising your deepest strengths?


Are you delivering the value that you know will make you feel most fulfilled?


If you answered 'no' to any of those questions you need to challenge yourself by asking, "What's missing?"


And make sure that your next career opportunity plugs those gaps.


Rebecca

Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Make Better Decisions, with "Supercoach", Michael Neill



Decision making is actually straight forward when you trust in your inner wisdom to find the appropriate answer for you.


In his book, "Supercoach", Michael Neill essentially talks about two questions, to help you arrive at better decisions.


You can apply these questions to decisions you need to make around your career, your relationships, or whether or not you want to buy a pet...



Question 1: Do you want it?


Quite simply ask yourself if you want something:
"I want to be writing this article for you."

"I want to be sipping my coffee."

"I want to ask for a raise this quarter."

"I want to continue being trodden on."

"I want to continue to lie."

"I want to worry about money."

If you do want to, do it. And if you don't want to, don't.





Question 2: What do you think?

Trust yourself and tap into your inner wisdom to guide you in making your choices. As Neill points out:



"Wisdom is ever present and always kind.

Wisdom comes most often in the midst of inner quiet.

Wisdom feels right, even if it doesn't feel good."



What decisions do you need to make today?

Rebecca

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Not 'Ambitious'? Don't Worry; The Only Way Ain't 'Up'


"So, how ambitious are you?"

"Yikes!" you think. "I'm not ambitious at all... I was dreading him asking me that."


Interviews. Performance reviews. Chats with your boss. All of these situations could result in your degree of ambitiousness being called into question.


There appears to be a widespread perception in the corporate world that to be any good, or to be regarded as an asset to your company, you must also be 'ambitious' (which, in most corporate cultures, means 'wanting to work your way up the ladder').


In my mind, that definition is limited and is actually held by only a small percentage of the working population and yet, their definition has become the standard to which everyone else thinks they must adhere.

A Client Said...

I had a client recently who was talking about his performance review and how he should handle 'that' question about ambitiousness. "If I was talking to friends," he said, "I'd say the truth: I don't want ever to be a senior manager leading a massive team."


"And how would you reply if your boss asked the same question?" I asked. "Well, I would have to tell him what he expects to hear: that I'm ambitious and want a top job in the long term."


Surely the problem with this is that this client could well end up with exactly what he doesn't want: a job that doesn't inspire, engage or motivate him.


I often like to challenge the 'rules' that are created by perception; it is just in my nature.


So What Does 'Ambitious' Mean?


I believe that being 'ambitious' simply means 'to have ambitions - goals, needs, a mission - that you yearn to fulfil'.


Yes, a small percentage of people do have ambitions to be the next CEO/COO/CFO.


A larger group have ambitions to reach a certain level of seniority, or to manage a certain number of people, and then want to stay put.


And then there are some people who have ambitions to compete in a triathlon every month and so fit their training around their working week.


Some people have ambitions to spend as much time as possible with their families.


Some people have ambitions to seize every learning opportunity they can.


'Ambitiousness', by my definition, is about having a mission (or goals, or ambitions) that you believe deeply in and that you pursue with as much energy and passion that you can muster.


So, To Your Next Meeting...
So should you be cautious when discussing your ambitions with your manager?


Well, that's up to you.


But all I suggest is you get very clear about what your deepest ambitions really are across life and work, for an engaged, happy and enthusiastic employee will always be more likely to deliver, both for themselves and for their organisations.


Rebecca



Rebecca Wells is a Career and Executive Coach with a specialism in Personal Branding for Corporate Women. She believes that women are phenomenal and add long lasting commercial value to business and yet often struggle to understand their value or believe deeply in their abilities to succeed. Her coaching programs are designed for talented and savvy professional women who simply need that extra push to achieve their greatest fulfillment and success.





At A Career Crossroads? Use Your Values To Guide Your Decision.

Andrew Penn, CFO Telstra

Last week I attended a networking function, co- hosted by The Financial Review and The University of Sydney's Business School.


The CFO of Telstra, Andrew Penn, was the keynote speaker who offered a series of very honest thoughts about a range of topics, most notably for me: his views on effective career management.

Being an individual and coach who believes deeply in the power of values - and the importance of seeking outcomes that support those values - I was thrilled to hear what Andrew had to say about his own career choices.

He told us that he realised early on how important both 'challenge' (a value) and 'opportunity' (a value) were to him: any role he has taken, since starting out as a clerk in a shipping business, had to meet these criteria.


What a simple strategy: to ensure your values are met.


Consider your career today and where you want to go. What do you really want to get out of it?


Might it also be 'challenge' or 'opportunity'?


Or perhaps to broaden your 'knowledge' or deepen some specialist 'expertise'?

(These are all values: they are factors that are important to you).


Perhaps you need your work to bear 'immediate results' or maybe you enjoy seeing 'results over a longer time frame'?


Whatever your values, be mindful of them. Basing your career choices on them will bring you untold fulfilment and success.


Rebecca


Rebecca Wells is a Career and Executive Coach with a specialism in Personal Branding for Corporate Women. She believes that women are phenomenal and add long lasting commercial value to business and yet often struggle to understand their value or believe deeply in their abilities to succeed. Her coaching programs are designed for talented and savvy professional women who simply need that extra push to achieve their greatest fulfillment and success.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

How to Deal With Confrontation




This isn’t new news, but most people struggle with confrontation. If that’s you, it probably boils down to your very human need to be ‘liked’ by everyone.

Naturally, you want to feel a sense of belonging and when people challenge you and your opinion, or outright disagree with you it can shake that up.

Suddenly you are unsure if this person is accepting, or rejecting you. Suddenly you are not sure if you belong in their little circle or not. Suddenly you feel alone and at sea.

There are a multitude of tactics you can adopt in such circumstances and I’d like to touch on one today.

Let’s start by asking 2 questions:

What is your default position as soon as you are faced with confrontation?

What role do your ‘persecutors’ believe you play?

Thomas Kilmann produced an interesting set of options that you might like to consider (TKI Model) above. Here are the options:

Option 1: Do you back down immediately and effectively run away from the problem?
Option 2: Do you accommodate their wishes and berate yourself for ‘being so soft’?
Option 3: Do you spontaneously challenge them back and go round in circles as you butt egos?
Option 4: Do you look for ways in which you could work together to find a solution?

Consider options 1 and 2 above.

If your ‘persecutor’ has come to think of you as someone who will either run away or back down, s/he will smell blood immediately and go in for the kill. As soon as you compromise, you haven’t got a chance.

If you go with option 3, you’ll be butting heads all day.

Which leaves option 4 as the strongest (and only) path to take. And there are plenty of ways in which you can collaborate.

I don’t want to get into those strategies here – that’s for another time. But what I do want you to consider is which of these default positions you naturally choose when faced with confrontation.

And secondly (and perhaps more importantly) which is the position your ‘persecutors’ believe you will take.

You don’t want to be known as a ‘push over’.

You don’t want to be known as a ‘doormat’.

You don’t want to be known either as a ‘hot head’ who will only ever push back when challenged.

What do you think?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Rebecca



Monday, August 26, 2013

The Greatest Myth: To Be 'Resilient', You Must Be 'Unbreakable'


I work a lot in the corporate world and often find that many corporate cultures operate in a dramatically different ways to the rest of the world.

Someone, somewhere along the line introduced this concept that to be 'resilient' at work, you must be some sort of superhero: unbreakable, unbendable and therefore wholly reliable.

Not only is this totally unrealistic, it creates greater problems than it solves.

Resilience differs from person to person and from organisation to organisation. People working in emergency care for example are under very different pressures to people working in a travel booking office for example: their needs for 'resilience' therefore differ enormously.

But whatever your culture, resilience has nothing to do with being superhuman.

Resilience is wholly about three things:

1. Adaptability.
2. Flexibility.
3. Resourcefulness.

The more flexible and adaptable you are to circumstances that come your way the more open minded you will be when solving problems. You will become creative rather than stressed. You will seek solutions and opportunities wherever you can. You will summon new resources because you will be looking for them.

So the next time this word, 'resilience' gets bandied around the office in a rather unrealistic, unimaginative way... get creative. And see what happens.

What are your thoughts about 'resilience'? How do you view it? Is it a 'corporate' word gone mad? How does resilience show up in your personal lives?

Love to hear your thoughts!
Rebecca

Rebecca Wells is a Career and Executive Coach with a specialism in Personal Branding for Corporate Women. She believes that women are phenomenal and add long lasting commercial value to business and yet often struggle to understand their value or believe deeply in their abilities to succeed. Her coaching programs are designed for talented and savvy professional women who simply need that extra push to achieve their greatest fulfillment and success.




 

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Establish Your Personal Brand BEFORE Any First Meeting




Your personal brand exists purely in the minds of the people you interact with, be that your clients, managers, recruiters, friends or children.


In the words of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, "Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room".

When it comes to first impressions in business you have a wealth of tools that you can draw on to help support the image you wish to convey before you've even engaged in your first handshake.

Here are my top 10 tools to build your 'first impressions' personal branding arsenal. Use them to demonstrate your professionalism, value-add and expertise and you're much more likely to build trust and credibility from the start:


1. CV

It's never been good enough to have a drab CV. Thesedays you simply can't afford to be a wallflower; the competition is just too fierce. And a recruiter - or potential employer - sifting through a stack of CVs during her tea break doesn't have the time, or interest, to reach page 3 of your CV to read the juiciest, attention grabbing stuff. My advice? Make your first paragraph count. Cram it with 3-5 high impact statements that really sell your value, and potential value, to your reader.


2. Email address

A big bug bear of mine is unprofessional email addresses. If giving out a personal email address why use, littlemisspiggy@yahoo.com when you can have an address like this: andreamurray@yahoo.com? It would be easy for people to make a negative judgment about the first one but not about the second. Simple.


3. Your Advocates

Think about who you want talking about and representing your brand. The referees you choose for your CV for example say a lot about you. If your referee is a CEO a recruiter might think, "This candidate is well connected," or "This person has credibility." Think too about who is talking about you - do they have credibility? Do you want to be associated with them?


4. Your Reputation

What are you known for? If you were to think about the most influential, or well-known people you work with the chances are, some sort of 'value-proposition' comes to mind. Perhaps s/he is a 'go-to' person for something in particular? Or s/he is the most knowledgeable on a specialist topic? What is your reputation built on? What do people think of when they think of you?


5. Your Social Media profiles

You know as well as I do that it matters what you post online. Does your LinkedIn profile truly reflect your achievements to date? Is your facebook profile embarrassing? Are you tweeting endlessly and if so, what are you saying? Are your social media antics beneficial, or a career limiting fiasco?


6. Blog or website

It's becoming more and more common for regular 'careerists' to have their own websites and blogs. Why? Because they're a great tool to demonstrate your expertise and value. And I LOVE that! And even if you've only just started out writing a blog or you have a really simple website, that still tells me you have guts and initiative and helps establish a positive perception of you.


7. Video or audio

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, why not record yourself sharing an idea or opinion about something topical? Video CVs will probably come to replace the traditional paper and online versions so get ahead of the game; you could even post your videos on your blog!


8. Portfolio

A physical portfolio, to showcase your work and ideas, is a tool few people use which makes it highly valuable. If you are in the graphic arts or media industries you may be using one already but if you're in accounting, law, finance you might not have considered how powerful a weapon a portfolio can be. Demonstrate your expertise and knowledge through articles written about industry issues. If you've had these published in trade magazines or on your in-house company intranet, all the better but your unpublished thought pieces are also gold.


9. Business card


Your business card has the power to make or break a first meeting. Your aim is to establish credibility quickly so if your card is bland, or printed on poor quality paper stock, you might want to rethink it. A job title can also help establish your authority or memorability. My friend Ben is owner of the Australian Beer and Wine School; his title is 'Head of Liquids'. Yup - that sticks! If you work for a global organisation and you're stuck with your 'safe' corporate card, help it work harder for you by making yourself more memorable (in a positive way, obviously). There are plenty of ways to do that including...

10. Attire and Grooming
My grandfather always said, "You can tell a lot about someone based on their shoes". Are your shoes scuffed or the heels worn? Are your clothes tailored or hanging off you loosely? Do you need a new hairstyle to freshen up your look?



People notice small things and, in the blink of an eye, will make a judgment whether or not they like, respect or trust you.

How can you use any/all of these tools to help you further your career?   What else have you done to create a solid first impression before you have even met a new client or potential employer?   Love to hear your comments - post them below!   Rebecca  
To learn other tips, strategies and ideas like these, to help you build a powerful Personal Brand and advance your career, you'll love to receive 'PRESENCE', my fortnightly ezine. You'll also receive a copy of my special report, 'The Top 5 Mistakes Women Make On Their CVs'. YES! Subscribe me now!

Rebecca Wells is a Career and Executive Coach with a specialism in Personal Branding for Corporate Women. She believes that women are phenomenal and add long lasting commercial value to business and yet often struggle to understand their value or believe deeply in their abilities to succeed. Her coaching programs are designed for talented and savvy professional women who simply need that extra push to achieve their greatest fulfillment and success.