Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ask Rebecca How... To Raise Your Profile At Work

Ask Rebecca How... we welcome your challenges and offer ideas to help you meet them. Jayne has posed the following concern:

"I'd like to increase my profile at work and would love some tips to help me."

1. Firstly, know your own personal 'brand' and what you stand for. Set aside at least 30 minutes and make a list of the following: your core strengths (include personality traits, skills, things you do well naturally); where you add specific value to your company; key personal and professional accomplishments.
2. Next know your market: who are your key stakeholders? Your immediate manager; a more senior individual; peers who could become strong advocates of your personal brand?

3. Build a powerful network: it really is who you know! Consider who you need to get to know and who you need to build stronger relationships with. The key is to do a little and often: establishing trust takes time!

4. Consider upcoming events where you can shine! Career fulfilment stems largely from purposeful and pro-active career planning and being in the right place at the right time. Which projects will give you the experience and exposure you need?

5. Set yourself specific goals, or milestones, to give your Personal Profile plans focus and make sure you acknowledge every success you have along the way! - RW

- RW

Your CV: Why Your Experience to Date Is Just Not Enough

Take the average CV. Here's a snapshot:

1. Personal details

2. Executive summary (always good but only a handful of candidates seem to include this)

3. Professional experience (with some detail of each role performed, including dates)

4. Qualifications (professional, then university, then secondary school)

5. The fun stuff (a brief insight into your personality and interests)

That average CV tells me, and a recruiter, about where you've come from but it tells me very little as to where you want to go.

One of the most powerful additions you can make to your existing CV is a quick summary of where you'd like to take your career. It's a means to explain how the job you are applying for fits into your overall strategy and career plan. Not only does this forward-thinking demonstrate a care for your own professional progression, it also shows 'maturity' and 'leadership', both traits that recruiters and employers are looking for.

Here are some tips to finesse your CV:

1. Do the basics well: have a clean layout with plenty of white space around your words; keep your CV to 2 pages; use a legible font size; use your computer's spell checker first and then proof read it yourself.

2. Use a similar structure to that outlined above. Include an executive summary which should comprise of a few bullet points outlining your experience to date.

3. After your executive summary add a brief overview of your vision for your current and future career; 2-3 bullet points will suffice. Explain how the role you are applying for fits in and how it will be a stepping stone towards this future path. Offering even a rough idea of your career plan is a valuable, and must-have, addition to your CV.

- Rebecca

Read related posts written by Rebecca:

3 Questions To Help Your CV Stand Out From the Competition

The 5 Keyword Types To Use in your LinkedIn Profile

The Number 1 Mistake Women Make On Their CVs

Rebecca speaks at PWC - Managing Difficult Conversations

I gave a presentation to over 120 employees at PriceWaterhouseCoopers yesterday, all about 'managing difficult conversations'.

'Miscommunication' is such a common issue and the cause of many a disagreement. We all have a tendency to mind-read how other people might be thinking; we make assumptions; and often exude sweeping generalisations as to how things appear to us.

This is an enormous topic so I thought I'd pull out 4 key thoughts to share with you here :

1. Use specifics whenever possible. Instead of making (sometimes absurd) generalisations, offer specific examples to make your point. The more specific you are, the better.

2. Never assume that your definition of any word is the same definition that your counterpart would apply. For instance: I might view 'openness' as 'giving you a snapshot of my weekend', whilst you may see 'openness' as 'spending 40 minutes discussing every last detail of the weekend, what you had to eat, who you met, and who you fell in love with...'

3. If criticising anyone make sure you do this at the level of 'behaviour' and not 'identity'. For example: "When you forgot to put the bin out, it annoyed me" is a world apart from simply, "You are hopeless!"

4. Respect others' views; they may genuinely 'see' things differently to you.

If you want to share any comments or experiences, please do! - RW

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

INTERVIEW: Liz Woodgate talks about Ultra Running!

Liz Woodgate, our rousing speaker @ “Rise Then Shine” on 16 June, is a mum, successful small business owner and an Ultra Runner.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Liz:

Q: You’ve run over 30 long-distance races, culminating last year in a 240km affair across the Alps - what drives you?

"I believe in setting a good example for my children by setting and meeting goals; my 15 year old son has dreams of riding in the Tour de France and I hope that in some way my achievements have helped him do that. I cherish every training kilometre I put in and spend with friends and feel extremely fortunate to be fit and healthy enough to make it to a race start line each time. I love that I have inspired other women, now close friends, to come running with me and who now have numerous marathons on their resumes. I love that in this sport the girls can mix it with the boys… and you are never be too old. And finally I love that you can win in a sport where ‘winning’ doesn’t necessarily mean coming first; in my book, just crossing the line makes you a winner."

Q: How do you keep yourself focused when racing such distances?

"1. Break it down
It’s essential not to over-think the distance; I don’t stand on the start line thinking ‘I’m about to run 100kms!’ Focus on your first 1km and then the next one. Once you’ve reached 5km you’re almost at the 10km mark and so on. Even a slow jog is faster than walking – the more you run, the quicker you will finish.

2. Don’t try anything new on race day!
Practise your eating plan; wear in your clothes and equipment; get used to running in the bush in the dark; run in the rain; make all the wrong turns and mistakes during your training.

3. Set realistic goals
Make your first goal to get to the start line, fit and healthy. Second, aim to finish and lastly, aim to finish in a realistic time. And if conditions change or deteriorate, simply re-adjust your goals. Only by setting realistic goals will you enjoy the race.

4. Accept factors you can’t change
If it starts to rain, get wet; everyone else will be getting wet too. Just make sure you have appropriate equipment and clothing, that you have already tested, in all conditions. Accept that parts of the race may be congested and that you may need to walk; remember, everyone else will be held back too. Be flexible. Adapt to your changing circumstances and move on.

5. Work as a team

About Liz Woodgate: In 1996 Liz completed her first Ironman Triathlon. Since 2003 she has completed 6 Ironman races; 9 road marathons; the 6ft Track Ultra marathon 3 times; Oxfam Trailwalker 7 times; and the North Face 100km 3 times. In 2009 Liz travelled to Germany with her husband to take part in the 5th Gore Tex Transalpine race, a staggering 240km off-road race across 4 countries and climbing mountains with an accumulated ascent of over 15,000m... in 8 days!

A huge thank you to Liz for catching up with us, sharing some phenomenal photos and sharing her experiences! - RW

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

VIDEO: Watch Jean Sun talk about 'Rise Then Shine'!

Click the link above to hear from Jean Sun, talking about her experiences at 'Rise Then Shine', our breakfasts for professional women.

When: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday - 645am for 7am start. Ends 840am.
Where: Aurora Bar, 88 Phillip Street, Sydney CBD.
Book tickets online: www.webticketing.com.au via 'Ask Rebecca How'

Why 'Why...' Questions Stink!

'Why...?' questions, by their very nature, sound judgmental and can easily imply that you disagree with your buddy's approach, e.g. "Why (on earth) would you do that?"

You will be the most help to your buddy by remaining both neutral and non-judgmental and a great way to do that is to use 'neutral' questioning techniques.

Instead of asking 'why', start your questions with, 'How...?', 'What...?' and 'Who...?' and you'll help your buddy achieve forwards momentum...without getting her back up! :) -RW

How to Beat Procrastination: One Bite At A Time!

Brian Tracy, a well known American coach, wrote a book called 'Eat That Frog' which explores a simple, yet effective, theory on task prioritisation.

In the book he explains that all of our tasks are like 'frogs'. Some are big and ugly and others small and pretty. He argues that when looking at our to-do lists, we tend to pluck out the 'small, pretty' tasks (or frogs) first because they are the easiest to tackle.

What we fail to see however, is that the bigger, uglier tasks are neglected; we acknowledge they still need attention but by the time we've completed all of those smaller, less important tasks, it is already the end of the day and we've no energy left to act!

What's worse still is that the thought of those ugly frogs lingers in the subconscious mind... often for days at a time... and may even keep you up at night!

"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."

So here's a suggestion. Take your to do list (if you don't have this written down, get a notebook today!) and number your tasks. Make sure your Number One task is the ugliest, hairiest, meanest, fattest 'frog' on the list and then number the rest of your tasks accordingly.

Now take action and tackle those tasks at the top of your list first and when you are feeling most resourceful. Break them down into bite sized chunks and set yourself realistic completion deadlines.

"How do you eat an elephant?"
"One delicious bite at a time."

I am sure that once those big ugly frogs are off your list you'll feel a real sense of achievement, calm and control. - RW

Monday, June 14, 2010

VIDEO: Daniela talks about her experience at 'Rise Then Shine'

Click the link above to hear from Daniela Cavalletti talking about her experiences at 'Rise Then Shine', our breakfasts for professional women.

When: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday - 645am for 7am start. Ends 840am.
Where: Aurora Bar, 88 Phillip Street, Sydney CBD.
Book tickets online: www.webticketing.com.au via 'Ask Rebecca How'

Quote of the Week

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening the axe.” - Abraham Lincoln

How To Become a Powerful Leader - Follow My Simple Formula

I'm sure you'll agree that before you can lead others you must also know how to manage, or lead, yourself.

I'd like to share a simple formula that I use with my private coaching clients. Quite simply, you can choose to sit on one side of the formula or the other. And once you regularly begin to adopt the 'right' side of the formula, I guarantee you will not only start to lead yourself and others more effectively, you will also enjoy more success in all aspects your life.

I'd like you to imagine a line. Below the line is the acronym 'BED'. Above the line is the acronym 'ROAR'! Now, let's add some meat to explain each acronym:

R esponsible
O wnership
A ccountable
R ight now!

B lame
E xcuses
D oubt

This is a hugely powerful dimension.

So many of us, when faced with a challenge, problem or situation choose to sit on the wrong side of the dimension: below the line. If you choose your BED more often than you choose to ROAR, I guarantee you won't be enjoying the outcomes you want in your life!

You will probably spend a lot of time and energy finding reasons why things can't be done; why you don't deserve particular outcomes; why life is unfair; why Joe Bloggs is luckier than you; why Joe Smith is more successful than you; why stuff's too hard; why you didn't get that promotion; why you aren't being paid more...

It's a simple choice. Do you want to roll over and stay in BED or are you going to be accountable, stand on your bed, seize the moment right now and ROAR? - RW