Category Archives: Career Advice & Tips

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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 

 

 

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.

 

 

Is your career lacking direction? Unsure what you want to be doing next?

Find out today how a Career & Lifestyle Strategist can help you.

As a Career & Lifestyle Strategist  I offer three forms of client support:

 A solution showed conceptually

Not ready to engage a Career & Lifestyle Strategist?

You can get started yourself today with my Two Free Career Guides that will enable you to reflect on who you are and what you want your work and life to look like moving forward.  

  1. Personal Awareness & Worklife Reflection
  2. Worklife Analysis & Career Exploration

Visit my store on Selz to download your free guides today 

When should you engage a Career & Lifestyle Strategist?

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Client profiles

My client’s professional backgrounds are varied from lawyers to chief financial officers, public sector professionals, doctors, investment bankers, vets,  not for profit professionals, chief executive officers, marketing and sales executives, MBA students & alumni, PhD’s, through to business owners and IT professionals.  You can read some of their testimonials here. 

Booking a session

To make a booking contact Kelly Magowan on 0417 330 673 or email kelly@kellymagowan.com

I work with clients virtually using Skype (kellymagowan)  in addition to meeting with clients at my offices in Melbourne’s CBD and Richmond.

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 –

values words

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.