Category Archives: Career Coaching

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How To Define & Live Your Values

“There is no passion to be found in playing small—in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela –

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Our values make us who we are.  They are developed over time in the interactions we experience.  It is important for you to understand your values as they act as internal guides to the things you do and say.

The majority of people have never sat down and thought about or documented what their values are. If you are unsure about your key values, I encourage you to review the extensive list of values below to assist in determining what they truly are. If there are values missing from this list, add these to the bottom blank section and treat them as a part of the two exercises below.

It is important to be aware of the values that are meaningful to us.  If we know what we value, we are better positioned to think about what industries, types of jobs and companies we may be most suited to. Or whether or not we want to work for ourselves.  It will also help to identify those values that we want to avoid in our career and life.

Are You Living Your Values?

DefiningLivingYour-ValuesExercise

Russ Harris, Author of The Happiness Trap also has some great free short values exercises and other worksheets on his website that I would encourage you to visit.

Career Changes & Fear – Where Is It Really Coming From?

03B65705As humans, we can be sceptical about new things as we assume it can negatively impact our lives. For most of us, change represents different degrees of ‘fear’. Fear is a double-edged sword, while it can guarantee our safety, it can also lead to us missing out on wonderful life experiences. This is certainly true when it comes to our work lives.

Throughout my work as a careers professional, for nearly all the clients I have worked with, the topic of ‘fear’ in its different guises has arisen. This fear has led to them staying in jobs and career paths that provide little satisfaction beyond the pay.

According to my experience, fear can be;

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of what others will think
  • Fear of loss of status
  • Fear of loss of income
  • Fear of wasted education
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • And the list goes on……….

Another area of ‘fear’ in the careers context is other’s ‘projecting’   their ‘fear’ onto those who looking to;

  • Take a career break
  • Change careers
  • Engage in further study
  • Start their own business
  • Create a portfolio career

It is not uncommon for people looking to make career changes, to find those around them (friends, family, colleagues) less supportive than they would have imagined about their career choices. There are certainly many reasons why others do this, however their comments are more often than not based around their own ‘fears’ which they project onto the person looking to make changes.

For example, a son who is taking a career break, may find his parents ‘acting’ supportive in some ways, while they also make unsettling comments around the length of time he has been unemployed and the impact it will have on him ever securing another ‘good’ job.   He may also find his friends and colleagues questioning his decision to take a career break for such an extended period of time and what this will do to his career.

The son, while initially feeling reasonably confident about his decision becomes increasingly uncertain. Even though he has a plan behind the career break.

In this case, the parents fear is coming from a place of parental concern about their child. From a desire to protect them.   Or, it may come from a fear of what others will say if their son has a lower status career or is unemployed for a lengthy stretch of time.

The comments from friends and colleagues could be coming from their own fears, which they are projecting. It could be their anxiety levels if they did not have secure employment or what others would think if they were not working. Or it could be genuine concern for their friends / colleagues welfare. They could also be coming from a place of jealousy, in that while they are not happy in their career, they don’t have the money or confidence to take a career break and potentially make a career transition.

It is normal to have fears around making major changes in our work lives. What we don’t expect when we decide to make changes, is how much the comments of others who doubt and question us, make us question our decisions.

On the topic of career breaks, they are very common these days for all manner of reasons – travel, study, family and a desire to simply take an extended break to recharge.  Which makes sense given how hard and long most people work.

When making any changes in your work life be sure to spend some time reflecting and understanding your own fears. Also, be mindful to monitor the comments of those around you – friends, family and colleagues. Don’t take on board their ‘fears’, instead focus on strategies to overcome yours.

Job Sites for Flexible Employment Options in Australia

Happy relaxed young female working on the laptop while at homeAt different ages and stages of our lives we look for flexible working arrangements.  Be it returning to work after children, or taking a career break, embarking on further study or transitioning into retirement.

Below are some great niche job sites to research, dependent on your situation. Some offer paid employment, others include franchise and business opportunities and volunteer work.


careerparents.com.au

mumandworking.com.au

hiremymum.com.au

mumsatwork.com.au

careermums.com.au 

wahm.com.au


lifestylecareers.com.au

adage.com.au

ourcommunity.com.au 

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Design your career & lifestyle your way!

 

How To Identify The Blockers That Are Stopping You Achieving Your Dreams

Most of us are afraid when it comes to embarking on a new career path, setting up a new venture or following our creative side – whether for pure pleasure or financial gain.  We all have blockers, with some version of fear underlying them all. (see activity below)

In this 30 minute video with Elizabeth Gilbert and Marie Forleo you will find great stories and tips to give you confidence and inspiration to sit more comfortably with your fear and pursue your dreams regardless.

My greatest take-away from the video (there are many) is that finishing something, even if it is just OK is always better than not finishing anything!

What Elizabeth Gilbert Wants You To Know About Big Magic

Download blockers Activity Here Career-Change-Blockers_KellyMagowan

Are you doing the job & living the life you want?

This is today’s wisdom from my ‘Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…..’ desk calendar by Richard Carlson, which I find very thoughtful and inspiring.

As a Career & Lifestyle Strategist the reality is that the client has the answers.  While my role is to facilitate the process – to ask the right questions and to clarify and support the client in taking action towards creating the career and lifestyle that is right for them. Chances are you already have some ideas about what you want to be doing and how you want to be living your life!  If you need support in the next stage, a Career & Lifestyle Strategist can assist. IMG_0786

5 Ways to Communicate More Effectively When Job Searching & Networking

02A16Y0YWhile technology is great and facilitates many amazing discussions, connections and content sharing, it also leaves many people lost when it comes to the basics of general communication. Perhaps it is because we live in an age where everything is so rapid and where we can communicate anonymously should we wish.  However, if you want to build and maintain a positive personal brand, be sure to stick to the basics – a polite introduction of your name and purpose of the communication when reaching out to others is imperative.

I cannot tell you how many people when applying for jobs leave a message on the voicemail without leaving a contact number, full name and putting some context around the call. This does not leave a professional impression and would not result in the application progressing to the next stage. The same applies if it was a networking reach out – it would not led to a meeting.

If you are preparing for a job search related ‘meeting’ of any description (be it face to face, email or over the phone) go through the following checklist before reaching out;

  1. Clarity around the purpose of the communication (your objectives & potentially theirs). Keep it concise. What are you looking to achieve from the meeting or reach out? Is it to speak with them to then potentially gain a meeting? Is it to gather specific information?
  2. Understand who the audience is and the best way to communicate with them (phone, email, twitter, face to face, text etc.)
  3. A clear timeframe for yourself and for the audience. if you want to meet, ideally looking to arrange a coffee within the next two weeks etc.
  4. Being clear about the outcome you are working towards (they don’t necessarily need to know this however you do – tying back to the purpose). Why are you reaching out – to ultimately secure a job with company x, to learn specific information about why? Etc.
  5. Leave a ‘calling card’ that is aligned with your personal brand. This includes contact information in addition to the impression you leave behind from any form of contact you have with others. What do you want this to be?

Whenever you apply for a job or conduct networking activities, please be sure to revisit these five steps. Remember to introduce yourself and consider your audience rather than just launching into what you want or need. While it all sounds simple and logical, in the haste and potential pressure attached with job seeking, we can sometimes lose sight of the obvious.

As they say “You only get one chance to make a first impression”. What do you want that lasting impression to be?

Why ‘Employer Rating Sites’ are a must to research your next employer!

03D05724Gone are the days of joining a new employer blindly so to speak. In the past you joined an employer on good faith that were going to be a great and fair place to work. That they would deliver on all those ‘verbal promises’ sold at the interview.

Employer rating sites offer a great source of information about how the marketplace views employers – which for some organisations can be an amazing endorsement that confirms that all the hard work they have put into offering a great workplace is working. Whilst for others it can be a bit of a wake up call. Employer rating sites are terrific for job seekers as they provide you with a current marketplace barometer of how employees really view working at that organisation. You will find a lot of the bigger companies,  however you may not find as many small to medium-sized businesses.

Now in addition to doing your usual Google search and asking about your networks, there  are a number of good employer rating sites you should be using before you start your next job, such as;

Glassdoor 

It is one of the original employer rating sites and has some terrific data on the organisation, key staff and even salary data.

Rate My Employer 

Rate My Employer is a similar site to the above for the European market.

CareerBliss 

This site has reviews of most listed companies. You can use the research salary data feature to find employee salary information. A hub of great data.

I encourage you to spend some time doing your due-diligence on these sites when you are going through the job search process.  They offer a wealth of information about what the employer is really like (however you may need to read between the lines with some) and it provides some terrific salary data to leverage at the the salary negotiation stage.

About the author

Kelly Magowan is a certified Career Coach with her own Career & Executive Coaching Practice. She has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space and has published a book on Amazon,‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’. 

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How A Career & Lifestyle Strategist Can Give Your Career Direction

About Me

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Kelly Magowan is a certified career coach and has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space. Kelly has been working in the arena of human resource management, recruitment and career and executive coaching for over 18 years. In addition she has spent over three years working at Melbourne Business School as a careers consultant assisting MBA students, alumni and senior executive MBA students in securing their next rewarding role and/or embarking on a new career. Kelly runs her own careers consultancy, specialising in working with professionals and executives both face to face and virtually.  She has successfully supported over a thousand clients to make positive changes in their worklife.

My Approach 

A  passionate Career & Lifestyle Strategist empowering professionals to:

  • Explore possibilities
  • Validate choices / options
  • Feel empowered to act
  • Work and live with purpose

Become empowered and supported to see the possibilities for your career and life, and to make choices aligned with creating the work and lifestyle you truly want to live.

As a coach I am sought out for my ability to challenge, facilitate new possibilities and to inspire, support and drive clients to act and create a work and lifestyle with purpose.

If you are someone who is wanting this, please contact me today to get started.

Testimonials 

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The 7 Steps to Successful Salary Negotiation

business handshake in an office to seal a partnershipLet’s face it, most of us (men and women) find engaging in a salary negotiation discussion about as comfortable as presenting to a large room full of strangers. It is daunting, yet it is an essential skill to master for the sake of your confidence, career and your bank account.

To increase your comfort level and the likelihood of achieving a positive outcome from the salary discussion follow this 7 step process;

1. Prepare the meeting agenda (keep it brief).
A clear road map of what is to be discussed will keep you on track and provides a more professional edge to the discussion.

2. Research the job market for current salary data & document what you are seeking.
There is an abundance of free information available online for salary data such as pay scale, also through personal networks, HR, Industry Associations and Recruitment Firms you can find out where to pitch yourself.

3. Prepare the business case (keep it factual and concise).
It is less about your needs (i.e. tenure or having a big mortgage to pay) and more about you selling your past value and achievements and your future potential and benefits to your employer.

4. List your alternatives & what items you would be prepared to negotiate.
You must have clarity around what items you are looking to negotiate, such as base salary, flexible work hours and a car park (avoiding a shopping list of requests, instead package it up).

5. Anticipate potential objections & prepare responses.
Entering into any sort of negotiation is more likely than not to be met with objections. Ensuring you prepare for these is very important so you don’t get put off. The most common objection provided is variations around the company and/or division not having the budget or funds to provide any increases. Very rarely is this the case, as they can and will always find the funds if they believe you to be an asset to the business.

6. Book a meeting with the decision maker/s on neutral territory.
Wherever possible conduct the negotiation meeting face to face and on neutral territory. This ensures that you are is not disadvantaged.

7. Role play and practice of negotiation meeting.
The avoidance to negotiate is largely due to people not have the training or experience in negotiating. Without seeking out opportunities to practice negotiating (around anything, even a coffee) and role-playing you are unlikely to gain the confidence you need to be successful. Research suggests that if you don’t act on the decision to do something out of your normal routine within 5 seconds, chances are you won’t act. So there is only a small window of opportunity each time to convince yourself to move out of our comfort zone.

There is never a right or best time to have the salary negotiation discussion. The right time is now, be it with your current or prospective employer. Don’t wait for the next performance or pay review, or until you finish the current project you are working on, or until you achieve a certain qualification. Start the process today!

Download your complimentary salary negotiation checklist – Salary-Package-Negotiation-Preparation-Checklist

Kelly Magowan is a certified Career Coach with her own Career & Executive Coaching Practice. She has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space and has published a book on Amazon, ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’. 

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Great Career & Lifestyle Books to Get You Inspired in 2016

booksI love reading, and in particular I enjoy reading books related to how we live and work.  This year I managed to get through a sizeable stack of books (I even managed to write my own, The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation). Below I have a brief overview of those that I found to be most relevant for people looking to make career and/or lifestyle changes. I find that the two generally coincide.

 

 

Enjoyable Books That Made an Impact in 2015  

Mean Girls by Meredith Fuller, is a great book that helps understand the dynamics of working with female colleagues – namely those who maybe causing you some grief. The good news is that you are not alone. At various stages in our careers we all encounter ‘mean girls’. It is nothing you are doing wrong – generally it is all about them!  This great book offers some good strategies to deal with the various types of ‘mean girls’ that inhabit our workplaces.

Sell Your Thoughts by Matt Church, is a book which title goes on to state ‘How to earn a million dollars a year as a Thought Leader’. The book is a part of a program that the author offers. Whether or not you are interested in doing the program and/or becoming a thought leader, what the book does is offer a great formula for guiding you through how to capture your personal brand. It offers the reader some thought provoking career related questions around who are, what you want to be known for, how you want to make your mark and so on. If you are considering self-employment or looking to remain an employee the book is a valuable resource.

Life in Half a Second by Matthew Michalewicz is an inspiring book, based on his life experiences. Matthew is a migrant who is a self-made successful business person and the book is his formula for experiencing success in your life be it business, career and/or personal.  The book is confronting in a great way, forcing the reader to reflect on how they want to live their lives. Given we all have only a finite time on this planet, what do we really want to be doing with this precious commodity called time!

How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krnaric is a book I picked up in December from The School of Life in Melbourne.  As a career strategist the title caught my eye!  The book is an easy read that is peppered with career related exercises which is where the fun and challenging part kicks in. To get the value from the book you have to do the homework! While I agree with most of what is written I feel that the author is too dismissive of any personality profiling – namely Myers Briggs (MBTI).  From his description I suspect his knowledge of how the tool is actually used is limited. Any profiling tool offers a different perspective on who we are. They are not there to typecast or pigeonhole us which the author seems to suggest. We are more than our MBTI type!  He also seems to have an outdated view of careers coaches which was disappointing. In reading his book, I would suggest that what he is proposing when it comes to finding fulfilling work is what most contemporary career coaches advocate. For those contemplating a career change, it is a nice little book to get you started.

What I Am Looking Forward to Reading in 2016

My brothers kindly gave me the following book selection below (at my request) for Christmas. So this wonderful pile of books are sitting patiently on my bedside table waiting to be read. Each book sounded intriguing based on the reviews by the various people who made the recommendations. These were people who were ‘Thought Leaders’ in everything from career coaching, through to leadership development and general business.

  • A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger
  • The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan & Barbara Pease
  • The Workplace Within by Larry Hirschhorn
  • Ego & Soul by John Carroll
  • To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink

If you have read any of the books from either list please feel free to share your thoughts. Also further book recommendations are always welcomed.