Looking to Create More Clarity & Purpose in Your Worklife?
Chances are you are not alone with various Australian and global reports citing around 2/3 of the working population is not engaged or happy in their work.
In the ‘2016 Snapshot of the Australian Workforce’ report, they cite that 72% of employees are searching for purpose and meaning through their work.
This is not surprising, if you consider that 1/3 of human life is spent working. Another 1/3 is spent sleeping and the other 1/3 for family, friends, leisure.
If you are ready to start making some positive changes to your work, take a moment to download this complimentary ‘Worklife Wheel’ exercise. Then find a quiet place, a drink and a pen and paper to start asking yourself some of the curly questions about who you are (your authentic self) what you are/were passionate about, what gives you a sense of purpose and to consider different ways you can bring more clarity, passion, and purpose into your work.
Grow your mental fitness & tame your internal critic
Our mindset influences our behaviours. Saboteurs are the negative thoughts that become habitual and work against our best interests, particularly in challenging situations. They are often developed from childhood and can create stress, anxiety, and roadblocks in our lives if you listen to them too much.
Whilst external factors may challenge us, how we react to our saboteurs can cause self-sabotage. One example is the voice in your head that may say ‘I am not good at this, don’t do it’ when you are asked to present to an audience on your expertise. The sage mindset is coming from wisdom, experience, and insight on how to manage challenging situations. The sage mindset might say, ‘Remember you know more than the audience on this topic’.
Positive Intelligence is a way of measuring or assessing how much you are mastering your own mind or another way to look at it is your level of mental fitness!
The Positive Intelligence indicator (PQ) has been developed by Shirzad Chamine, Home | Positive Intelligence based on his extensive coaching and research on how people’s mindset affects their success to overcome challenges.
The assessment looks at your Top Saboteurs! We all have them. Think about that internal voice that leads you to avoid situations or people, or when you play the role of Victim, or perhaps when you display those A -type Hyper Achiever traits, or are constantly making Judgements about yourself or others, or maybe you are a people Pleaser! There are 10 core Saboteurs and most of us have a couple that are big and can cause us a lot of stress and anxiety
This exercise will help you to identify your top saboteurs and watch out for situations that may trigger these negative thoughts. Then develop strategies to manage a positive mindset and flip into your sage mindset before acting on your saboteurs. Completing this exercise will also help you to understand other people’s saboteurs too. Download the exercise below.
If you are experiencing stress, anxiety and don’t feel that your mentally as strong as you would like to be, this is the perfect first step to start making some positive changes to your mental fitness and wellbeing.
If you are thinking about engaging our services take a moment to read what some of our clients have said about our coaching services….
“Just wanted to let you know – at last I’ve secured that permanent Marketing Manager role I was looking for. I wanted to say thanks to you. For believing in me and helping me believe in myself. I could never have got to a CV I was proud of and a LinkedIn profile that reflected what I stand for if it hadn’t been for your help. Despite spending over 6 months with the out-placement service it wasn’t until you held me to account that I really had a breakthrough with both CV and LinkedIn.” Carol, Marketing Manager
“Kelly Magowan is an outstanding executive coach and effectively groomed me to develop my executive potential for executive career advancement roles, clarifying goals and development objectives. I feel fortunate that I could work with Kelly throughout this journey developing my style of communication whilst stepping forward in developing a larger network. I enthusiastically give her the highest recommendation as an Executive Coach.” Vijay,IT Executive
“Kelly helped me switch gears and pursue a career in management consulting. This has been an exciting career change and I’ve not looked back. The main strength Kelly provided was in building confidence that it is possible, although hard, to change careers. Her other advice, support and information on structuring the resume, targeting the translatable skills and managing the expectations of what a career in consulting would look like before entering, has been essential to the success of being admitted to a big 4 consultancy. Thank you for all your help!” Thomas, MBA Student
“The resume format Kelly provided clarified and highlighted my strengths better. I found the achievement writing process useful and it enabled me to differentiate myself better, rather than just show I had done the job. It was a worthwhile investment in my time and money as I was able to secure multiple contract roles with my new resume.”Peter, Accounting Professional
We all make excuses about why we do not network – from I don’t have time to, it seems inauthentic, it just feels dirty, or I just don’t have anything to say. I challenge you to re-define your mindset towards networking and learn to incorporate it into your career management strategy.
If you approach networking with a genuine interest in learning about people and their career stories and about new companies, organisations and the market then you will probably really enjoy it. Approach it with a sense of curiosity and openness. That said, do so professionally. Have questions prepared, send well written communications, stick to meeting times and don’t waste people’s time. Go in having done your research and having a purpose or desired outcome you are seeking from the meeting. While the long term goal maybe a job, networking is about building trust to the point that jobs and referrals will eventually come organically once you have built the trust. It takes time, which is what can also put people off networking. Particularly given the society we live in today with the expectation that things will happen NOW. If you don’t invest the time, then don’t expect a good return. It is as simple as that. If you do however, you will have a prosperous and personally rewarding and fulfilling career.
Chances are you already have a network. How useful this network is dependent on what you are interested in career wise. If you are looking to transition, your existing network may need to be expanded to include more people who are interested and knowledgeable in areas you want to move into. It also depends on how well you have tended to your existing networks. Be honest with yourself:
How engaged and active are you in your current network?
Have you expanded your network over the last 2+ years, or relied on only a few contacts to get advice, information or job opportunities?
Do you feel comfortable and confident reaching out to your network for help?
Is your network providing you with the connections and opportunities you want?
Is this network the one that you need to reach your career goals?
Do you support others who reach out to you for networking meetings?
If your answers to most of these questions are ‘no’ or ‘unsure’ it is likely your current network is not being well nurtured and not aligned with your career goals. It is time to review and refresh your network and your networking skills! Think about networking as simply building trusted relationships and helping people out if and when they need. One day you may also be able to return the favour.
To be successful in your career today, you need to have a strategic approach to managing your career, which includes your networks. As a professional or executive these are incredibly important to how your career plays out. Working hard and being good at your job is unfortunately just not enough. If you are not allocating time purposefully to be increasing your knowledge and building relationships with your networks, you are missing out on crucial information and the enjoyment and career benefits that come from having a group of trusted people who share common interests in certain professions and industries.
We spend a third of our lives at work. It makes sense that having solid relationships with our work colleagues matters and those relationships and ‘trusted networks’ of people outside our workplaces. They too play a valuable role in our enjoyment and engagement and success at work and over our careers.
While the pandemic has made face to face networking a little more challenging, though not overly so. You can use it as an excuse to avoid networking or you can get on with it. Or you can leverage the power of networking virtually which is also a great option. Again, the same principles apply to offline and online networking. A great article for online networking is ’COVID Has Actually Made Networking Easier, But Only If You Do It Right (washingtonpost.com)
What Networking Can Offer You If Done With the Right Mindset & Preparation
Advice and guidance from a trusted source/s
Explore the feasibility of changing careers or transitioning to an executive role
Identify or create new job and career opportunities that are not advertised
Learn about the employment trends and timing on market demand for your skills
Talent management – build your team and find the right hires for your organisation
Expand your network, connecting with decision-makers
Learn about the problems you can solve in tailoring the marketing of yourself
Develop and nurture long term professional networks to help ongoing career management
Be clear about the purpose of your networking and the outcomes you are seeking
Network consistently and professionally, go in prepared.
Set yourself networking goals or a schedule i.e. schedule a networking meeting once a week for the next 6 weeks
Reflect and do a debrief with yourself and/or someone you trust after each networking meeting and consider areas you can improve and adapt accordingly
Formally thank those who support you along the way
Networking if done with a positive mindset and some preparation is a rewarding personal and career experience. You will find many people will be willing to support you and in turn you will find that there will be the chance to support others over the coming months and years.
Book your Complimentary Virtual Career Coaching Call
If you are feeling unsure about your work right now, feel free to reach out to us and book your 30minute complimentary coaching call. It may be to discuss your boss and their approach, your fears about job security, networking, career change, and what’s next? etc. We are here to listen and help where we can or refer you to someone who can. It is confidential. Calendly – Diversitas Coaching (the clarity institute)
The reality is virtual meetings are here to stay, and no doubt we will find ourselves during our work week in both physical and virtual meetings moving forward. What is interesting from my experience is that some of the negative behaviours from office meetings seem to be just as prevalent in virtual meetings. I will explore these later. I am also shocked to see how so many professionals seem to have forgotten about their personal brand and their audience and the fact that they are at work! It does not take much to set your home office and yourself up for success.
While I appreciate that there are many articles and posts about setting yourself up on Zoom and the like, it does not seem that many people are taking action from them! The amount of ultra-casual folks who look like they have literally just rolled out of bed, sitting in dimly lit, messy rooms with poor sound quality for meetings confounds me. As such I have done a quick list of how to set yourself up if your concerned about having and keeping your professional personal brand. (There might be financial or physical limitations in implementing the below, but it is important you address which ones you can – it all helps)
Physical Basics of Virtual Set Ups
Head positioning: have your screen set up at eyeline, use books or a computer or laptop stand to have it set up correctly with your head centered
Backdrop: a professional backdrop matters, no one wants to see a messy room unless there is a before and after shot! Use a blank screen, virtual backdrop, wall etc. Keep it professional and neat!
Presentation matters: think about your personal brand, how do you normally dress for work? Make the same effort when presenting from home. People can make the choice to focus on this or not however when it comes to your career think about your audience and personal brand and what makes sense. Dress for your next job, or at least your job when you went into an office!
Once you have a great professional physical set up, the next step is how you show up and present yourself during the meeting. Ideally the boss or the meeting organizer should be agreeing with the team on setting the expectations for the meeting. If done up front the meetings will be far more productive. Encourage the team to do regular debriefs about what is working well and what can be improved in the virtual meetings. It is a learning process for everyone.
Setting the Virtual Meeting Expectations
Be on time: generally in the west it is disrespectful to be late for meetings in person as much as it is virtually. Everyone is busy and in turns makes the effort to be on time. People who are frequently late for meetings could be using it as a power play or are maybe disorganised, rude or it may be a cultural difference. It is important to understand the why before judging the behaviours. The group can collectively call out the behaviour or the leader of the group once the ground rules have been established. If it is the boss then, you likely have a leadership problem.
Stick to the schedule: if the meeting is scheduled for 30 minutes ensure it stays to this and have an agenda that is shared prior to the meeting. Even have a person monitor the chat, agenda and the time. This can be rotated each meeting. When meetings go over, it can be seen as disrespectful and unprofessional. Move anything that is not relevant to the meeting to another time and carry what needs to be carried over. It puts those who showed up on time and who manage their diary well in an uncomfortable position having to leave at the pre-agreed meeting time, which should not be the case.
Listen to others: as with offline meetings there tends to be the same voices that dominate the conversations. Which is not a problem so long as the rest of the group has an opportunity to have input. As a group consider using the chat as another ways for people to be included in the meeting and have someone monitor the chat to share the other comments and ideas that are being shared. As the wonderful quote goes – “If you don’t know what an extrovert is thinking you were not listening. If you don’t know what an introvert is thinking you did not ask?” Be sure to facilitate meetings in a way where everyone’s voice can be heard, not just the loudest person in the room! Create a psychologically safe team environment where people feel comfortable sharing. Most of the time everyone will have something of value to contribute if they feel safe to do so. More than ever before with so many people experiencing loneliness and anxiety due to covid we need to be more considered about ensuring our team meetings are places for work and building positive connections.
Screens on or off: meeting participants need to decide as a group if they are comfortable having screens on or off. In addition, the same applies with the sound. In physical meetings we are expected to show up physically likewise online. If you need to turn your screen off for any reason, notify the meeting participants in the chat (i.e. Will be back in a moment for x,y, z reason). If you are requested to join the meeting you need to be there fully, not having your screen and sound off doing other things. This could indicate any number of things – you should not have accepted the meeting request, you don’t value the other meeting participants time, you should not have been invited to the meeting in the first place, your disengaged and in the wrong job, etc.
If you are called upon to present to a group, deliver a presentation or interview there are a few things you can do to make a more positive impact.
Presenting to the audience
Look at the camera: you have to work extra hard to engage a virtual audience, one way to do this is to look at the camera when you are speaking. It is hard to hold a groups attention at the best of times, so when you are speaking looking down, out the window, at your dog or children this will ensure you lose them. Consider your eye contact, tone of voice and the energy you project.
Rehearse your presentation: if you are sharing information, delivering a presentation or interviewing you can rehearse both what you are going to say and show. Including practicing each of the technical steps on the computer – shifting screens, recordings etc. Do a run through so you are not caught out during the real thing. You can even record yourself to see how you come across.
Mix it up: invite questions comments, experiences. Show videos or clips if relevant. Keep it interactive where you can. Less slides and more engagement. Silence is also ok. Give people time to think. Leverage polls, the chat box and the break-out rooms for people to engage and explore the topic in more detail. Allow people to connect and go deeper. If things are kept too transactional you will lose your audiences attention very quickly.
Consider your communication & interaction style: when presenting reflect on how you generally walk into a room, set up to present, how you engage with the audience, the early arrivals, ask questions, use your body, your language and your tone of voice. These can translate into virtual presenting sometimes in a positive way and sometimes in a negative way. Think about your audience and the best way to engage with them, which may require you to adjust your style somewhat. You need to work harder to engage with a virtual audience and create a safe and dynamic space. For example – if you are at a standing desk and leaning over your desk and taking up the screen with your head and upper body, the impression that the viewer gets is of someone looking down and talking down to them. If you add to this a strong directive tone of voice, the result can be one of dominating or intimidating the audience. If you are trying to create a collaborative team for example this approach would not be advisable. Reflect on how you typically show up – are you looking at the camera front and center, are you looking down at your keyboard or are you looking down to your audience. What tone of voice are you using, can you be heard? Are you asking questions and listening or are you directing and dominating the meetings?
While everyone is adjusting to working remotely and virtual meetings most of the rules from face to face meetings apply, with a few new ones. Be sure to consider your audience and how you are engaging with them and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. We are all on a learning journey with this new way of working.
I would love to any tips, advice or experience of virtual meetings and presentations here that may help others.
It is not news for any professionals or executives who are job seeking that job ads are down. In turn, recruitment agencies are reporting being down on assignments by 60-70%. Of the roles being advertised, many are being pulled at different stages of the hiring process and, some are of questionable authenticity (which has always been the case). What’s left is a small amount of job ads where an appointment will ultimately be made.
Given what the market is doing, it is easy for job seekers to become disillusioned about their job prospects, particularly in the short term. I would encourage you to look at the bigger picture and the next 6-12 months when there will be a more positive picture and what you can do to position yourself well for this time. It is going to require a much more strategic approach and less applying online to job ads, which tends to be the default of most job seekers and it is not working anymore.
The Job Search Game Has Changed
Job ads have traditionally been the go-to source for recruiters to advertise roles. However, particularly with professional and executive level roles, LinkedIn and the Seek Profile Talent offering has changed things.
Shrinking Job Ads
While recruiters will post job ads, they are not as reliant on them anymore as there are many more services to use that get good results.
When they post a job ad, the recruiter will get 150-200 plus applicants, which creates a big administrative process of potentially replying to every applicant, returning 100 calls per job ad and so on. They have a big pool of applicants to whittle down to 5-10. The recruitment process is an exclusionary one. They are looking for reasons to knock your application out of the game to get it down to the last few to call and take through to interview.
This is done in a number of ways – including by parsing software that looks for key words and humans that look for key words that match the clients job brief. The human may be an experienced recruiter, or an administrative assistant who has little understanding of the role and your experience. At this point in the process, there is a high probability that you are included or eliminated if the wording you have used and/or your experience matches the brief. It has nothing to do with your capability. It is simply a case of ‘how does your experience compare with the client brief?’ How close a match is it? If it is not next to 100% you will not progress to interview stage.
It is important to remember that the recruiter has a detailed client job brief that they must match if they want to get paid and remain employed.
Warning – not all job ads are authentic. Be sure to only apply for job ads that have considerable detail and only meet with recruiters who can provide information about the organisation they are hiring for, position descriptions etc.
The growth of LinkedIn has been terrific as it has forced job seekers to look beyond having often a dry and traditional resume that details their past work history. LinkedIn is a more dynamic way for job seekers to sell their experience and potential. It is also more empowering in that if you have a great LinkedIn profile it enables you to be found and approached about jobs, rather than having to chase job opportunities which can be exhausting and demotivating.
The purpose of your LinkedIn profile is therefore different. It is to be found. So, your profile needs to be geared up for this if you want to receive approaches from hiring managers and recruiters about the jobs your targeting.
Recruiters are now heavily using LinkedIn as the numbers make sense for them. They can reach out to 20 plus candidates and will hear back from two thirds of them. They then can do a phone screen and take 5 of the candidates to interview. The administrative process is shortened significantly they still get the talent and get paid by the client.
The take-away here is you still need a great resume plus you need a great LinkedIn profile.
Staying Positive & Focused During Your Job Search
Even the most resilient job seeker can find the emotional journey of job seeking a tiring and testing battle.
To show up every day and put yourself, your resume, and your LinkedIn profile out in the marketplace for job opportunities is taxing, particularly now with so few jobs at the professional and executive level. There is the continual rejection with smatterings of hope as you get called in for interviews.
Certainly, keep up the activity as it is essential, however be mindful of how and where you dedicate your time.
Below are some suggestions for how to spend your time that will help you get that next job.
Get to know a lot of recruiters – recruiters are busy people however they are also there to help you. Get to know a lot of them (12+) and build solid relationships. Keep in touch. They do want you to keep in touch as they need you. Even if it takes them awhile to get back to you.
Spend less time applying online – while it seems easy in theory to apply online, unless you fit the job brief 100%, don’t bother applying. Each day you spend applying for a job ad is often a waste of a day. Also, don’t apply for jobs your overqualified for they will never consider your application.
Networking matters – while you don’t want to hear it, now is the time to be networking and building up your networks for the future. Companies are hiring directly – if they are hiring and a great way to get in is through referrals be it for contract or permanent roles. Leverage your work colleagues, former bosses, university alumni contacts and more. You need to be out there creating networks and in turn opportunities for yourself.
Look after your mental & physical wellbeing – it is hard work job seeking and the days can blend into weeks when applying online for job ads. Don’t. Make sure you have a routine each day that involves your job search, exercise, catching up with others, networking, researching, hobbies, study, volunteer etc. You want to be in a positive state of mind when you get called for interviews and present your best self!
Have a support group – it is tough togo it alone in thismarket. Be sure to ask for help, speak with family and friends about how they can support you. Meet up with others you know job searching and help one another. Go along to networking events, seminars, presentations etc. If you need further support engage a counsellor or career coach.
You will get a great job or contract however it is less likely to happen if you spend 80% of your time applying for online job ads. The market has changed and how companies source talent has shifted significantly. Be sure to approach it strategically and give yourself the best chance of success.
Most importantly remember, how long it takes you to get your next job is not a reflection of how employable you are.
Complimentary Live Workshop
Keen to learn more about how you can improve your job search odds?
Join us in August 2020 for ‘The Job Search Game Has Changed! How to Stay Motivated & Get That Next Role’ live workshop. This is a complimentary 1 Hour event. We ran the workshop in June & the feedback was very positive.
“I just wanted to thank you for such an informative, punchy session. More advice in certain respects than I have received through outplacement!” Jane
“Thank you for such a great workshop.” David
EMAIL – Nicole, email@example.com to register your interest
It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the models and theories around change, stress, emotional intelligence and so on. Particularly during the current climate of uncertainty, heightened stress and endless challenges at home and work.
I always find ‘The Response Scenario Triangle’ one of the most effective and useful models for understanding how we typically respond during times of stress, change or conflict. It is such an accessible model for people, and one that can be applied quickly throughout the day when we find ourselves defaulting to unhelpful responses or behaviours. It is also useful to gain greater insight into our bosses and colleague’s behaviours, especially when they are under stress!
Take 5 minutes to think about how you typically respond when your stressed?
Where do you go to first? Action, Emotion, Thinking?
Example: Action, I like to be busy and feel as though I am dealing with the problem in a direct and tangible way. I just jump in.
Why do you go there?
Example: It gives me a sense of control initially, forces me to not to dwell on how I am thinking or feeling about a situation. I like to be busy doing. It is where I am most comfortable.
How long do you typically stay there for?What makes you leave that position and move into the next phase?
Example: often too long! I will tend to go to the position of Thinking when what I am doing is not working or be bringing about the right results I desire as quickly as I want them. Or, when it is pointed out to me that I have overlooked something. Then I will move to the Thinking phase. I go to emotion last, and only if I have too! I do not like to focus on how I am feeling and the emotions of others too much. This is where I am least comfortable.
Having reflected on how you typically respond to change, conflict and/or stress, what have you observed?
Do you miss any of the three phases?
What can you commit to doing to ensure you approach change and conflict in a more emotionally intelligent way?
If you are not sure how you respond, ask friends, family members, and colleagues what they observe about your behaviours when under stress.
The purpose of this activity is to learn more about your default responses to stress, change and conflict and to put in place strategies to address those unhelpful responses or behaviours that impact us and those around us.
At Diversitas (Div-er-sit-as) the Latin word for “diversity” our focus and expertise is around the value of diversity in thinking, cultural perspective, personality, interaction styles, experience and creativity that make the world of work rewarding. We have a track record of successfully supporting organisations to develop their leaders and create engaged and productive teams. To find out more about our leadership and team development programs contact our team.
It is not uncommon for people in their mild life (35-55) to consider joining a board or committee. Which makes sense as you have no doubt developed some great skills and experiences that would be highly valuable to an organisation, however, it is difficult to know how to go about securing your first role. It is very much like when you first entered the job market – it was likely a challenge to find that first organisation or person to give you a go!
Before embarking on your board or committee search have a think about the following:
Why do you really want to join a board or committee? For example: develop new networks, help to make a career transition, apply skills learnt through post grad study, give back to the community etc
What types of boards or committees are you most interested in, and why? For example: a board position within the disability services area, as I have a family member with a disability and am passionate about the insights and experience, I can bring to improve the services provided.
What tangible value do you offer? What your transferable skills or key capabilities to a board or committee?If you are not sure do some reflection of your skills and some research on what they look for!For example: Risk & Governance, Finance, Talent Management, Corporate Strategy etc.
There are many channels available to search for board and committee roles. The key really is to select the right channel/s for you and where you are at in your life and career. There are other channels available I have just included those that I have used and can recommend.
Board Membership Organisations
Organisations such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Women on Boards are terrific however do require a financial investment to join.
Not for Profit Board & Committee Roles
If you are looking to give back to your community and are happy to start in an unpaid board or committee role, Our Community is fantastic. There is no fee and they offer an extensive range of Board and Committee roles across Not for Profits in Australia. I secured one of my earlier committee roles via this site and to this day am thankful for the opportunity.
Other sites include: Good Jobs and Seek Volunteer which have some board and committee roles listed. There is no fee.
Government Board & Committee Roles
For Government related board and committee roles see your local state government site such as Get On Board for the Victorian State Government.
There is the Victorian Women’s Register where women can register there interest in opportunities. Check your state for equivalent government initiatives.
It is important to remember you will need to create a board CV or adapt your general CV to make it relevant for board or committee roles. Also remember, just like when your job searching, a great cover letter is required and reason for why you want to join them and the value you can bring. Boards and committees are just as selective as other employers when looking to appoint talent so be sure to keep this in mind.
Being on a board or committee is a wonderful thing to do both for yourself and the boards or committees you are contributing to. Wishing you the best of luck with securing your first board or committee role.
Unsure if your CV is Board Ready?
Not Sure Your CV is Board Ready? If you are unsure and need support email or call one of our coaches today.