Category Archives: Career Coaching

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How we can all be happier at work! 4 things you can start doing today!

4 Things To Make You Happier At WorkAs a career & executive coach for nearly two decades, it saddens me to read the statistics about how unhappy Australians are at work. Over the past five years, the figure has always sat around the 50% mark. See article ‘less than half of Aussies are happy with their job’ Huffington Post.

It seems a sad reflection on our working culture, that the level of overall job satisfaction by employees in Australia is so low given we are ‘the lucky country’.  Yet little seems to change, even with all the wonderful newly designed workspaces, employment laws to protect employees’ rights, health & wellbeing initiatives, the push to invest in culture etc.  However half of us are still not happy in our work. This is is not good for anyone – employees, employers and the country’s economy.

So how can we as individual employees put a smile back on our dials at work?  How can we harness the enthusiasm and joy we once experienced when we were doing a job that gave us a sense of satisfaction? Or maybe you’re yet to experience this feeling in your career –  that wonderful feeling of a good day’s work and belonging and being a part of something worthwhile.

There are many things you can do today that will help you increase your work happiness and it does not require as must effort as you may think. It is about giving yourself permission to take the time to reflect on who you are,  your wellbeing needs and what is important to you on the career front. It does require some guts to reflect on what has been and to dedicate time to planning what you want the future to look like. It can be confronting– however, one thing I can guarantee is you will be better off for doing it.

While it is easier to say what we don’t like when it comes to work, for most people it is harder to say what they do like and what they truly want to be doing.

Below are 4 areas you can work on today to help you gain more happiness from your work. It only requires you to take the time to invest in yourself and go through the questions and additional activities if you feel inclined.

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1) Conduct a Job Audit – My Gifts V’s This Job

While this may sound a little odd, as we tend to think we know our strengths inside out. For many of us, we list off the skills we are currently and regularly using, forgetting that a career of 5 -10 years+ we are starting to develop a pretty good transferable skill set. We may have forgotten the skills we once used, or even neglected or to give thought to the ‘soft’ skills we have.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I know what my core skills/strengths are?  List them.
  • If I don’t know and cannot articulate them, is it time to do an audit of my core skills/gifts and those I want to be using more of?
  • How much am I using my gifts? For example; if you’re a big picture visionary type are you utilising this in your day job? Or if your strength is around helping others and being a great listener and providing wonderful personal support, are you leveraging this gift?
  • Do I feel like I am being challenged & am I seeking out challenges and opportunities to develop these skills?

By celebrating your skills and gifts you will increase your confidence and your happiness with who you are and what you are our could be offering.

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2) Self-Awareness – Who am I and when am I at my best?

While it may sound a little odd, how well do you know yourself?  Are you busy doing and not taking much time to reflect on who you truly are and what would make you happy?  Or do you do this fleetingly and then tell yourself to stop being silly and come back to reality –  work is hard and is not to be enjoyed?

This is where MBTI / Type can come in to help us increase our level of self-awareness of our own type and of the other types – 16 in total. An awareness of our own type and those we interact with provides us with many different lenses to improve our relationships. Type awareness can be helpful in highlighting your gifts and what you need to be fulfilling these gifts and operating at your best.

Understanding our preferences around the 4 dichotomies:

  • Where we get our energy from – Extrovert or Introvert
  • How we take in information – Sensing or Intuition
  • How we make decisions – Thinking or Feeling
  • How we prefer to order our world – Judging or Perceiving

When these preferences are combined to form a four-letter Type, for example, ISTJ (16 in total) it becomes clearer as to why others behave as they do and or frequent misinterpretation of others behaviours both at work and home. By improving our level of self-awareness it enhances our relationship with ourselves and provides us with greater insight and empathy towards the relationships we have with others. It can lead to far more rewarding and positive relationships in the workplace and contribute to our overall happiness.

The MBTI can be done with an accredited coach or psychologist. You can also look at free online assessments, however, be aware many of these are not particularly accurate.

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3) Clarity of our Values & How we live them

It is not unusual for our values to play a greater role in our work and home lives as we get older. As a coach, I have found after our twenties our values feature more strongly in our decision making.  While we were once prepared to overlook things we did not agree with, we may find ourselves confronting the boss for his unacceptable behaviours or becoming increasingly annoyed by our employer’s lack of commitment to areas they have publicly declared a commitment to. Lack of opportunities to engage in further training and development, lack of respect for all staff, rules apply to some and not to others etc all feature in how we live our values. As such values of integrity, fairness, progression, development and so on are constantly not lived out in our work life more many take its toll – resulting in people leaving or simply going to work and going through the motions.

Being clear about our core work values and having a plan for what to do when these are compromised is empowering. It provides us with our own set of standards in writing and can enable us to make an informed decision about if to stay or go if our values are constantly being compromised.

  • If you have not documented your values lately or ever now is the right time to start.
  • If no, take some time to document your core values up to 8 is a good number and flesh out what these values look like and how they are lived?
  • Do an audit of how many of your core values are reflected in your current career and organisation? If it’s less than half it may be time to look at alternatives.

Having reviewed your core values you may find you are not living some as you would like at work or more are being met than you had initially thought they just need some shaping. For further support see the free career resources.
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4) Success – what does success look like to you?

So many of us paint a picture of what success looks like from our parents, our culture, and what society deems as a successful person. Largely someone with a terrific sounding job title, a fancy car, and a nice home – very much status symbols.    This is certainly one definition of success, yet it is only one –  there are millions of other definitions, those that we chose to define for ourselves.

The important thing to remember is you have to define and write down and live what your definition of success looks and feels like – forget all the others.  Success maybe around self-employment, a job that offers you flexibility for your hobbies or family, working with creative types, being outdoors, working on challenging problems, doing the impossible, helping others, feeling great about yourself, minimal stress etc.  Success will never be attained if the goals were not truly yours – if you did not want them, you just thought you had to as was what was expected.

  • Spend some time thinking about your own definition of what success looks like?
  • How will you know when you’re successful?
  • What would it look and feel like?
  • Is it the end goal or is it something you experience over the course of the journey, or perhaps it is both?

If you have not created your definition of success, being truly honest with yourself, and then documented it, then it’s likely you’re simply working to someone else’s definition of success. Or you may discover you’re already living a  successful work life, you just had not taken the time to take stock.

It is important to remember most of us have a lot more choices than we think when it comes to our work and finding jobs and environments where we can thrive and be happy. We can get caught in a rut and struggle to see how much we must offer and all those wonderful job opportunities are around us.

As with so many important and rewarding life experiences, it requires some hard work to get to be who you are and to be doing work you find rewarding and that brings you happiness.

Take the time to go through the key questions from this article if you’re not feeling happy at work.  Further free careers resources can be accessed from my site. http://kellymagowan.com/career-strategy-services-for-executives-professionals/career-resources/

Remember to give yourself permission to be in a job/career and environment where you can be the best version of you.

Author

Kelly Magowan is a Career & Executive Coach, Leadership Development Facilitator, and runs MBTI® Training programs for organisations through Diversitas.   She has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space, regularly appearing on radio and has published a book on Amazon, ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’.

 

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Working & Living Authentically in 2017

02J69531If you are at the stage where you are looking to re-assess your life and or career, this is a wonderful post on LinkedIn, The 5 Biggest Regrets People Have Before They Die  

While the title sounds somewhat morbid, it is actually a poignant article based on the experience of someone caring for terminally ill people.  They recount the regrets that people have about various aspects of their lives – be it relationships, love, leisure, work……

Interestingly, it also looks at all those things that hold people back from doing what they really wanted to be doing with their lives– which is often sadly the expectations and opinions of others!

The article serves to force us to reflect on what is truly important to us, and how we want to live our lives.

How do you truly want to live 2017 and beyond? Is it time to chart your own course?

The One Problem With, ‘The Truth About Your Calling with Seth Godin & Marie Forleo’

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Interview on Marie TV – “Marie Forleo talks to the legendary Seth Godin about handling failure in life, overcoming writer’s block, self-doubt and starting something that matters right here and now.”

If you need some inspiration for creating and living a life you want in 2017, this interview with Marie Forleo and Seth Godin should provide exactly what you need. While the messaging has a slant towards setting up your own venture, it is equally relevant to those who are employees, or maybe looking to set up a side business.

There is one major area I disagree with in the interview, where Seth talks about finding your passion and the dream job or business. He says that it does not exist. The fundamental problem here is that like so many, Seth Godin falls into the trap of getting fixated on a job title or business type, a label if you will. Rather than the person, their values and transferable skills. Our careers are fluid not fixed. We get too caught up on the labels of what we should be doing and what is a great job or career that makes sense or is socially acceptable. We forget that it is not about the label, it is about knowing who we are and what matters most to us. This I think is passion.

In the interview, Seth Godin cites people such as Steve Jobs and that if he was born in a different time in history the iPhone and iPod etc. would not have been created. Steve Jobs would not have had the label or job title he did.  He misses the point, for I believe that whatever period Steve Jobs was born in, he would no doubt still have been a visionary and an innovator – regardless of the widget he created. His skills, attributes and values would have fed into something else. Seth Godin continues to cite a few other famous people such as Vincent van Gogh, making the same points around labels. Again, I put forward the same argument. All the examples he references have a theme in that they are people who had a decent level of self-awareness and who would have made a wonderful contribution to the world, however it was packaged or labelled.

The message from the interview is to back yourself and that the best time to act and live the life you want is NOW. Which I 100% agree with. There are a wold of possibilities for us all.

For me, it all comes back to our level of self- awareness, combined with the confidence to act. The more we know about ourselves, our values and behaviours, our core skills and personal attributes, the more chance we have to channel these into a myriad of career paths that we will find rewarding – even be passionate about! Rather than looking for the one elusive dream job, we need to reflect on who we are, what we love doing and what the world needs!

Click to watch the video 

 

 

Type Training for Reducing Employee Stress!

02A15HS9“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle

As an accredited Type trainer (Step I & II) I facilitate interactive and engaging workshops on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) or using the more modern version of the tool, The Majors.

Type is a highly regarded tool that is used to gain insights into personal preferences and increase self awarness (EQ).  It explores individual preferences around the four functions:

  • Extraversion – Introversion
  • Sensing – iNtuition
  • Thinking – Feeling
  • Judging – Perceiving

The Type tools go deeper than perhaps some have experienced in prior training where a simple explanation of Type was given, before being presented with a four letter Type report i.e ESTJ. When rich training and discussion (both group and one on one) is provided Type helps individuals and teams explore their personal preferences around the four functions. It also looks at different Interaction Styles, the Four Temperament Groups, leadership styles, causes for stress and how to reduce this and much more.  Step II training of Type is valuable for those who have done basic Type training before and have a reasonable level of self awareness, however, are looking to develop this to the next level.

Based on the original work of Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung, Type It has stood the test of time and is utilised across the world for a variety of purposes including career development, team building, leadership development and stress management.

To learn more about Type training for teams and or individuals, contact me or visit my Type page.

 

What will ‘the workshop of yourself’ be?

3d white sofa isolatedToday I took the time to slowly  and indulgently read through an article that has been lying around the house since the weekend. I knew it was going to be a special article that I would want to take in without distraction. The article is ‘What Trent Dalton heard in GoMA’s golden chair’ published in The Weekend Australia,

This is a wonderful article that makes you reflect on who you are, your life and your purpose. Or as the writer Mr David Malouf calls it “The workshop of yourself”.  It also makes you think about those key relationships in your life.  Are they being tended? Are you giving them time?

I cannot recommend this article enough for those curious about life and keen to be inspired and to learn some wonderful lessons.

For those interested in some self – reflection work around their purpose, you can download some complimentary guides to get you started.

Why more women need MONEY as a VALUE & its BENEFITS!

03b62859Having being a career coach for well over a decade and worked with a diverse range of clients from various industries and professions  (men and women), more often than not it is the men who include money in their list of core values. Occasionally women will, however, only very occasionally.  Why is this?  Below I have offered some thoughts.

Values Defined

Values can be seen as blurry things. If you need a refresher then below is a great descriptor of what values are from MindTools.

“Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.”

 If you are not sure what your core values are read ‘How To Define & Live Your Values’ and complete the values exercise.

Values & Greed!

For women it seems that having money as one of your core values could possibly translate into the view that your greedy. Is this perception or reality?  I suspect a combination of the two.

When I coach  men in their 20s – 50’s about their values in detail and what this means to them, and how it is played out in their work and lives, more often than not money translates into them being able to provide for their current or future families. And no, it is not a luxury yacht, expensive cars or endless overseas travel. It mostly is around having food on the table, paying the bills, a comfortable lifestyle and being able to educate their children.  No doubt part of this also relates to status and a sense of self-worth.

So while certainly greed exists, I would suggest for the average person, they are looking to have a personally rewarding career and lifestyle. Is this greedy?  I don’t think so. However men are much more comfortable with acknowledging this personal value, and articulating it publicly. For many women this is not the case. In addition, men generally are better at putting a fair or inflated monetary value on their contribution in the workplace.

Is it that it is not socially acceptable for women to acknowledge (which I believe is a part of it), the other is that women are just as likely to want the same output in terms of what money as a value offers.  However, are less likely to acknowledge it – be it on a conscious or sub-conscious level. As a result this could potentially be contributing to pay inequality, with men four times as likely to initiate the negotiations as women.

My suspicion is that if you don’t talk about or acknowledge the importance of money in your life from a growth and opportunity perspective, you are less likely to find yourself in a positive money situation.

Choices

Money is one of my core values and the reasoning is not one of greed.  For me it is twofold, when I work I expect to be paid fairly for the work I do, as this is a part of me defining my self-worth. Secondly, I know that as a child of a migrant, that money provides you with choices.  My husband and I lead a far from lavish lifestyle.  There is no designer car or high end fashion. We travel rarely and when we do it is in our own state. However for me the value of money is there because like most parents we hope to be able to offer our children the best education we can. I would also like to know that when retirement comes we will lead a comfortable lifestyle where I can continue to do voluntary work within the community. Is this greedy? No, it is a case of money offering choices.

Women’s roles & money

In an age where we have more women working and more separations in families, women’s roles have extended greatly, be it the sole, equal or shared income contributor. Yet this is not translating into equal salaries.

There is an element of denial in how important money is to our lives particularly by many women. Not so much when it comes to shopping, saving or the household budget, more around how the money is earned! The spending part is easy for us all to speak about. The how and valuing how hard it is to earn is the challenge. Also, valuing our contributions and asking to be paid more when warranted!

Last week I met with a friend who is a contender for a senior role and has pitched herself in the middle range of what they are offering – even though she is brilliant and should be pitching herself at the top of the pay scale! Sadly it is a common scenario – a women undervaluing her expertise and the value she brings.

Like me, you have no doubt heard the saying ‘If you do what you enjoy and do it well the money will follow’. I am not so sure about that. Perhaps for some, however, for many others this does not translate into their reality.  I can tell you this from countless stories of women who spent their careers being loyal and working hard to deliver value to their employer/s and not being paid fairly for doing so.  So we can carry on with this mantra or we can acknowledge that the world of work and pay is not about what is fair and rewarding those who do a good job.  The onus is on us to value ourselves and to speak up.

I would love to see a mindset shift around how women define money as a value for their work and lives.  Once this occurs we may start to see some even greater traction around pay equality.

Steps for Change

Chances are if you are reading this you may sit into one of the groups below or know someone who does that you would like to help.

A) For those unsure of their core values:

If you are keen to explore your values in more detail, complete my values exercise ‘How To Define & Live Your Values’ and complete the values exercise. 

B) For those with money blockers:

If you know what your core values are, however have been reluctant to delve more into your value and attitudes towards money watch 4 Money Beliefs That Limit Your Wealth Inside and Out w/ Kate Northrup 

C) For those wanting to negotiate their salary:

If you feel you are not being paid fairly and want to learn how to successfully negotiate your salary package, get a copy of my book ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’ from Amazon   It’s less than $10 and pretty much everyone who has purchased and followed the steps has seen their bank balance and their confidence grow.

Your thoughts

What are your views and/or experiences around women and money as a value? How have you changed this? What do you believe women need to be doing more of to overcome some of the money blockers we have?

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How to Write Your Career Vision & Mission Statement

Closeup of businessman's hand holding up cardYou would be hard pressed to find a company that does not have some form of vision and/or mission statement that is publicly accessible. Companies are mixed, in that not all distinguish between the two. Google has one statement that they use interchangeably, which is “to organize all of the data in the world and make it accessible for everyone in a useful way“. While Ikea’s vision statement is –“At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”

Whether you’re an employee or self-employed, it makes sense to have your own career related vision and/or mission statements. These build upon your core values and help define more clearly to you, and others, what is meaningful in your career.  Jennell Evans has written a great article, ‘Vision and Mission – What’s the difference and why does it matter?’  While the article is written for organisations, the same fundamentals apply to us as individuals. If you think about it, you are the organisation. You market yourself and sell your time and expertise in return for money.

Vision Statement

To assist in starting to create your vision statement, allow yourself time to reflect and imagine your ideal career and lifestyle 5-10 years from now. What would it look like? What kind of skills would you be using? With what types of people would you be working? How many hours per week? Where would you be based? Keep dreaming some more…….

If you need more help with your vision, see The Power of Career Visioning: A How To Video & Steps’

The Career Vision Statement

In simple terms, the vision statement is created around the future state of what the entity (organisation or person) is working towards achieving over 5 – 10 years. It is written in a way that is inspirational and that can easily be understood and lived.

  • Example: Career Vision Statement

“Empowering people globally to experience happiness & purpose in their workdays.”

Mission Statement

The mission statement is written in the here and now, and outlines the purpose of the organisation / entity.  It has a short-term focus (1- 4 years) and is written in a succinct manner, so it can be easily recalled. It should support the vision statement.

Borrowing from Jennell Evans article, ‘Vision and Mission – What’s the difference and why does it matter?’  the mission statement needs to answer 3 key questions;

  • WHAT it does;
  • WHO it does it for; and
  • HOW it does what it does

Example: Career Mission Statement

What: Deliver virtual coaching and digital career and lifestyle related resources

Who: People across the globe wanting to feel more empowered in their work and experience an increased sense of happiness and purpose.

How: Exceptional client service, innovation, listening focussed!

“Leader in virtual coaching & digital resources that empower people across the globe to experience greater happiness & purpose in their workdays. Innovative, client focused, ensuring people are heard.”

While you may not feel the need right now to craft your vision and / or mission statement, if you are feeling as though your career is drifting or are contemplating making some career changes, it can be a valuable exercise for creating clarity.

You may like to create your vision & mission statement using pen & paper, PowerPoint, Excel, Pinterest or any medium that works best for you. In an age of ‘Brand You’ it makes sense to be thinking of ourselves and our careers in a more marketing savvy way.

 

 

Women & Confidence! How to Get More of the Good Stuff!

02J80136confidenceThroughout my career as a coach, there is an ongoing theme when working with women – which comes back to a lack of confidence.

While there is a string of reasons why this is the case – most of which we are all familiar with;

  • Conscious & Un-Conscious Bias
  • Society & Cultural Norms
  • Over Personalising Set Backs
  • Personality Traits
  • Personality Type
  • Perfectionism
  • Under estimating our abilities
  • And so on…………

It is so great to read an article with some lovely practical suggestions to help build women’s confidence in an entertaining fashion.  The article by Julia Baird is titled Why you should carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man and is one that all women lacking in confidence should read. It is well worth the time.

Julia Baird writes  about knowing your values to help ground you (something I am a strong advocate of for men & women to be aware of). If you are not sure what yours are, you can do a complimentary values exercise on my blog, ‘How To Define & Live Your Values’

Having clarity of your core values forms part of the foundation of who you are and helps in building self- confidence. In the article there is a wonderful suggestion for when your confidence is lacking particularly when speaking or appearing somewhere:
– Ask yourself, who are you
– Why you are there,
– What you stand for. Then speak from that place.

There are some great tools and resources about to assist in growing your self-confidence from Ted Talks such as that by Amy Cuddy on ‘Power Posing’, through to ‘The Confidence Code’ book by Claire Shipman & Katty Kay. In addition many coaches, counsellors and psychologists work with clients around building confidence.

Contact me for information about coaching support to help build your confidence.

Contemplating A Career Change? Need Help?

Get Started With ‘The DIY Career Change Program’ 

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliot

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The DIY Career Change Program is a series of 5 comprehensive 40 page plus workbooks that will take you from reflecting on who you are, and what you are great at, right through to identifying career paths and how to market yourself and secure the roles that you want.

The workbooks are full of amazing content and activities that you will find make a huge impact on how you see yourself and in helping you to move towards roles that will make you happier.

The series of 5 workbooks have been designed for you to print out as I have found people achieve better outcomes if they carry them about with them to capture thoughts, ideas, strategies, names and so on.  They will help you build the foundation and provide the road map towards your next great role.

Get ‘The DIY Career Change Program’ today

Purchase all 5 guides & receive the 39 page guide ‘Your Personal Brand – Defining, Development & Marketing Brand You!’

  1. Personal Awareness & Worklife Reflection
  2. Worklife Analysis & Career Exploration
  3. Research & Job Search Strategies
  4. Resume Writing, Marketing Yourself & Personal Branding
  5. Interview Preparation & Salary Negotiation

Total program cost – only AU$9.99  Click to purchase from my store on Selz.

If you are not sure, you can download the first two guides for free and if you find them helpful you can purchase the program at a later stage.

Get started today with my two free guides from ‘The DIY Career Change Program’

These workbooks have helped hundreds of people to make career changes. “The workbooks have been a fantastic resource. They have been invaluable” Kerry, General Manager

Please contact me if you have any queries about The DIY Career Change Program.


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