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?




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.




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.

 

 




September Events for Women Looking to Negotiate Their Salary Packages!


02B77839Equal Pay Day for Women in Australia is held on Thursday 8th September. 

During September I am running Salary Negotiation Events & Webinars for women looking to develop their skills in this area. Why? Because the pay gap is sadly nearing 18%. The gap only increases the more senior the role you hold, upwards of 20%.


Breakfast Event: NAB Village, Melbourne, 8th September  (limited spaces) 

‘How to Successfully Negotiate Your Next Salary Package Increase & Earn An Additional $700K+ Over Your Career!’

If you haven’t negotiated your salary package lately or ever – then this presentation held on Equal Pay Day for Women is a must attend.

If you want to be working smarter and increasing your earning capacity at the same time, this presentation will equip you with the tools and confidence to do so.

Some of the reasons why women resist engaging in salary negotiation and career promotion conversations include; our different personality types, social conditioning, overvaluing competency, over-thinking the process, lack of confidence and simply failing to act. Without acting nothing will change.

Come along to an informal and interactive session with Kelly Magowan, author of The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation to learn about how to improve your negotiation skills with both current &/or future employers.  In the session we will share salary negotiation stories and ask the key questions around this topic that too many of us shy away from.

The presentation will cover topics such as:

  • Why Negotiate?
  • Combating Negotiation Fears
  • The Work / Salary Challenges Women Face
  • The Fundamentals of Salary Negotiation
  • How to Determine Your Worth in the marketplace
  • What Is Negotiable
  • How to Conduct the Salary Negotiation Process
  • Legal Do’s & Don’t’s of Employment Contracts

To sign up for this event held in Melbourne on Equal Pay Day visit Eventbrite: 

Note: when I last presented this workshop at Melbourne Business School it was a sell out event with over 100 attendees. Don’t miss out on securing your spot. 

Free Salary Negotiation Webinars – Running during August & September

As author of The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation, I am running free Salary Negotiation webinars on  ‘How to Successfully Negotiate Your Next Salary Package Increase & Earn An Additional $700K+ Over Your Career!’

Register at GoToWebinar today and start being paid what your worth!

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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.


Other Career Services include:


 




Six ways to find out if you have a ‘good job’!


02C67674So what is a good job?  There are the somewhat antiquated views that still pervade that a good job is one with a flash title and pays well.  However, you and I know that there are a lot of people who fit the profile of having a ‘good job’ who are not overly happy going to work each day to pursue this so called ‘good job’.

In reality, what constitutes a good job is subjective.  This seems too often be forgotten.

It is common for us all too unconsciously refer to some jobs as being good or bad that friends, family or colleagues hold, without understanding what they involve and the sense of satisfaction people attain from different work pursuits.

Unfortunately, the fear of what others think (status anxiety) can keep people in jobs and careers that make them desperately unhappy.  Even though we work in era where new career paths and jobs are constantly emerging, unfortunately many of the traditional views around job titles and status linger!

What we need to remind ourselves to do, is to set aside what others think and say. That we are the only ones who can determine what a good job is for us.

Six ways to help determine if your job is good!

  1. Do you get a kick out of the work you do (on most days at least)?
  2. Do you like the folks you work with?
  3. Are you challenged on a regular basis?
  4. When you reflect on what you do, does it give you some sense of satisfaction or tie in with your purpose?
  5. Are most of your key values met?
  6. Does it pay the bills?

You will notice that all of the above relate to how you experience your work and the workplace.  None of these have anything to do with your job title, profession, the money you earn or where your work is based.  There is nothing here about status. It is largely inwardly focused.

So while we are still conditioned to think of a ‘good job’ in the traditional sense of the term, the reality is that a good job is the one that makes you happy.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Contemplating & Career Change? Get Started With ‘The DIY Career Change Program’

 

 

 

 




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.