Archive for Change – Page 5

How to Make Redundancy the Best Thing Ever!

how to turn redundancy into your best opportunity yet

How to make redundancy the best thing that ever happened to you

“You’re kidding,” I hear you say. You’d seen it coming for months, it was only a matter of time. When you’re sitting in front of your boss hearing the words, “I’m sorry, we have to let you go,” the reality is you’ve been sacked and lost your job.

Everything familiar has just evaporated – security, certainty, self confidence, your work, your work friends and the regular pay packet have all evaporated.

Before you sink into the depths of despair, fear and self-doubt, press pause….

As you move past the shock and potential anger, you’re actually at a crossroads with two choices:

  • Be a Victim – allow your self-confidence to nose-dive; hang onto anger and fear and wait for your next job to find you. Often at the mercy of outplacement or recruitment agencies, you wait for the phone to ring and eventually can’t even be bothered getting out of bed in the morning.

or ….

  • Reinvent Yourself!  What if this was the best thing that ever happened to you? Rather than being the end of the world, maybe this is the start of your real life, where you are the master of your own destiny.  How about standing out from the crowd and using it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be who you really are and do what you’ve always dreamt of doing?

Redundancy provides space to take stock of what’s important, identify how you want to live and work and go for it! Even if your redundancy package was less than generous, there are many ways to redesign your life,  do what you want, where you want and love it.

Still not sure?  Before you put a tentative toe in the life redesign water, consider the realities:

Redundancy Realities

1. You are now competing for a shrinking number of jobs against many others who have also been made redundant.

2. Even if you are lucky enough to get another job quickly, there are no guarantees of job security in the current economic climate – you could be made redundant again.

3. To get more work quickly, many fear driven people take the first job that comes along, without considering it carefully.  While it may provide a regular pay packet, the new job could be worse than the one you’ve just left and you’re trapped. Better to have a lousy job than no job at all, right? Wrong!

Once the first 6 weeks of a new job have passed, you’re often left with that sinking feeling that you’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Now you’re really stuck doing something you simply don’t enjoy.

4. Redundancy no longer has a negative stigma.  It happens to the best people in many professions and is often outside your control.  If it isn’t a problem for you, it won’t be for potential future employers.  In fact many of my clients have successfully negotiated a redundancy to create the financial means and time required for a complete career change.

How to Get Back on Track and Find a Job You Love

Before you join the ever-increasing queue frantically updating your CV, shooting off hundreds of futile emails to recruiters, networking old contacts or surfing Seek and CareerOne, take a few moments to ask yourself:

1. What am I passionate about – what’s important and what do I truly care about?

2. If money wasn’t an issue and I had no fear, what would I really love to do?

3. What would that give me that I don’t have today?

4. What skills, talents and knowledge do I have that I could use and develop?

5. What skills, experience and knowledge would I need for my ideal career?

6. Given the choice of where and how would I like to live, what would I choose?

7. What would it take to turn the possibility into a reality?

The prospect of redesigning your career and life may feel concurrently exciting and daunting.  If so, feel the fear, take a deep breath and grab that pink slip!

Life’s too short to be stuck in a rut and there’s never been a better time to take the plunge into doing something you’ll love.

If you’ve been made redundant and converted it into the best thing that ever happened to you, I’d love to hear your experience.  Please share your story and tips in a comment below.

Carpe diem

Caroline Cameron

 

 

What do You Want to BE When You Grow Up?

a question for all adults and how to make the answer easy

What do you want to BE when you grow up?

If you ask any child under 10 what they want to be when they grow up, chances are you’ll get a quick, enthusiastic and certain answer.

When you put the same question to grown-ups, the answers are often vague and vexed.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost our ability to connect with what we really want to do. Fulfilment seems hader to find. Fear replaces courage and indecision leads us on a never-ending quest to find the ‘right’ job.

When I became a management consultant many years ago, I thought it would be the perfect way to find my dream job. Working with many different organisations would give me a ‘sneak peak’ into a wide variety of careers. I fully expected to walk into a company, see someone doing something I’d love and ‘bingo’ – there’s my answer!

The reality was very different. While I did get to check out many different jobs, industries and organisations, I mostly saw people who were struggling to find their ‘perfect’ job, just like me. Many had fallen into roles opportunistically, being in the right place at the right time, rather than consciously deciding that this was what they really wanted to do.

Fast forward 5 years and I’m now being paid to do something I love but it didn’t happen until I worked out how to find my dream job. If this sounds like you, take heart!

How to find work that feeds your soul and puts a roof over your head

1. Go back to your childhood!

Mining your past for vital clues is a great way to spark your imagination. What did you love doing as a child when anything was possible? Recapture your childhood dreams and notice what it was about each one that excited you.

When you were a kid (before reality set in), limitations were few which created the freedom to be whatever you dreamt.  Notice how you focused on what you wanted to ‘be‘ rather than ‘do’.  Hmmm, there’s another clue.

2. Stock take your career and life so far

Looking back over everything you’ve done, list the achievements and tasks you’ve really enjoyed. Even the less fulfilling experiences will provide clues about what you could and should be doing. Now write down everything you haven’t necessarily enjoyed and quite frankly, never want to do again. What was it about the positive experiences that ticked all your boxes and the negatives that left you cold?

3. What are you good at?

Inevitably, what you’re good at is probably what you enjoy most. Over the years you’ll have gained skills and knowledge that have led you to become an accomplished expert in one field or another. Even if this type of work has past its expiry date, the strengths you’ve gained in this area can be converted into transferable skills.

4. Know what difference you want to make

There’s a reason we’ve all been put on this earth and now’s the time to reveal your overall purpose. Far bigger than a single job or career, this shapes who you are in all the life roles you play. What problems do you like to solve and what really matters most to you?

Often this is more closely related to what you care about, than what you do for work. Knowing it consciously will give you far greater choice and help you make clear decisions about where to from here.

5. Get curious and explore all the options

Many of today’s jobs weren’t even invented 5 years ago and the path to fulfilling work starts with curiosity. Your answers to the previous questions will have revealed some key themes.

  • What do your childhood dreams, career and life so far, strengths and your purpose all have in common?
  • What do they reveal about you?

Once you’ve identified these themes, start researching what’s possible.

Now you’re consciously aware of what you want to be and therefore do, career magnets (ie those roles, industries and organisations that tick your boxes) will jump out at you. Keep and open mind, imagine and explore what a ‘day in the life of…’ would be like?

The key to finding fulfilling work is to ask the right questions. Rather than saying, “I couldn’t do that because…”, ask yourself, “If this were possible, how could I make it happen?”

6.Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Once you’ve decided which direction you’ll take, develop a plan to bridge the gap and commit to one small step at a time. The transition to your new career will take as long as it needs to and gaining the support of family, friends and mentors will help convert your possibility into a reality.

What would a day in your perfect job look like?  Life’s too short to not be doing what you love. Blow away the excuses and discover what you should be doing, now you’re ‘grown up’!

Carpe diem

Caroline

 

 

3 Simple Ways to Swap Stress and Burnout for Freedom and Wellbeing

Loving life on the 21st century treadmill

Stressed and Busy PeopleWith the rapid introduction of mobile devices, labour-saving widgets and instant access to anything, anywhere, anytime we should be happy, right?

Wrong! As a professional coach, I work with many senior executives, managers, project teams, small business owners, entrepreneurs, stay-home mums and families. No matter where I go, they all have one thing in common – they’re all frantically busy and stressed.

Juggling challenging jobs, raising children, caring for aging parents, paying off hefty mortgages and more, the lines between work and life have become increasingly blurred. Contactable and on-call 24/7, the relentless pressures and demands are taking their toll.

Overlay an endless media stream of bad news stories, natural disasters and economic doom and gloom and it’s no wonder that life on the 21st Century treadmill is wearing us down.

Yet, ironically, there’s also never been a better time to create the kind of lifestyle you actually want. We’ve never had more opportunities, options and choices which is why now is the best time to redesign your life.

Hmmm, easier said than done’, I hear you say, and I understand. Flat out surviving, let alone thriving, many people simply don’t know what changes to make or how to make them to live the life they dream of. Fortunately we have more control and choice over our lives than we may think.

Here are three simple strategies to help you get started:

#1. Identify what needs to change.

Imagine your life is a house with different but connected rooms – health, relationships, career, finances etc. Take out a notepad and go for an imaginary walk through your life house, noting what parts could do with a fresh coat of paint. Identify what’s working and what’s not and jot down how you’d like each room to look.

#2. Start small and commit to action every day.

Often the smallest changes will make the biggest difference and it’s smart to start in a room that’s relatively easy to renovate. For example, if your fitness and wellbeing have been on the backburner, commit to a daily 20 minute walk and build up to regular gym sessions or whatever exercise you enjoy.

#3. Create space – decide what you’re going to ‘stop’ doing.

The hectic pace of life often leads us to unconsciously add more to every day until there are simply no hours left. Stacking your days with frantic activity is the fastest track to burnout and stress. Go through each room again and make a decision about what you’ll reduce, delegate to others or simply stop. Notice the relief and freedom that comes from removing the clutter. This creates space to focus on what’s really important.

There’ll be more simple ways to swap stress, overwhelm and burnout for freedom, choice and wellbeing in future posts.

In the meantime, what strategies do you have for making positive life changes easy? Please share them below – I’d love to hear your top tips.

Carpe diem.
Caroline

 

10 Easy Ways to Make Any New Year a Ripper!

Know where you are and decide where you’re heading.

New Year, New Life ChapterAs this year hurtles at break-neck pace towards its finale, we vow that somehow, 'next year will be better'. But, hang on, is 'better' good enough?  Don't we want it to be the best ever?

Like a fresh, blank page in a book, the New Year marks a brand new chapter in your life. Whether you’re on track to achieve bigger goals or wanting to make smaller changes, these tips will help you set next year up to be a 'ripper'.

1. Learn from the past and move on

If you’ve made a few mistakes this year, don’t worry, we all have! Take time to identify what went wrong, convert your precious life lessons into wisdom and move on. By extracting the lessons from mistakes or failures, you can let whatever was ‘wrong’ about that event go.

2.Take stock of where you are

Step back and give each area of your life an A – F grade. Review what’s working and what isn’t in your relationships, health, wealth/finances, career, home, environment, community, challenge/growth and spirituality/beliefs.

3.Consciously decide what to keep and what will be different

Having mentally reviewed each room in your ‘life house’, decide and make a list of what needs to change. If you do make a change, what will actually be different and how will that be better than what you have today?

4. Create a Next Year Vision

If next year was to be your best, what would you most like to achieve? By this time next year, what will be happening that isn’t happening today. Write down change keywords to decide where you’re going to invest time, energy and effort. Based on where you’re heading, what will it look, sound and feel like and who will be there with you?

5. Decide how you’ll make your vision a reality

This includes setting goals and developing strategies to bring your vision to life. Without these your vision will be based on wishful thinking – unlikely to ever be realised. Make concrete plans and hold yourself accountable for making change happen. Set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with everything you need to make it happen.

6.  Keep it simple

Unecessary complexity often creates drag on life redesign plans.  Like barnacles on a boat, the more you add, the heavier it gets and the slower progress moves.  Before you know it, your big plans have ground to a halt, bogged down in red tape.  Pack light, only do what's necessary and remove any unecessary clutter.

7. Commit to the plan

Change without commitment is like a car without petrol – there's a limit to how far you'll get without it!  What will it take to commit to the necessary action and stick with it for as long as it takes?  Deciding what to say 'no' to will help create the necessary time and energy to make important life redesign changes happen.

8. Engage your support team

Even Hilary didn't conquer Everest alone.  Behind every great achievement is a strong support team – those people who'll protect your back and cheer you on.  Identify what challenges you're likely to face and who you need to keep you on track.  How can you best help them? Remember, life is karmic – what you put out will come back to you many times over.

9. Celebrate the wins

In the quest to 'get things done', we often forget to celebrate our achievements big and small. Take time to feel the satisfaction of achieving each goal and notice what it was that helped you get there. The ‘high’ of achieving a win will keep you motivated for future success.

10. Embrace the small stuff

The greatest enjoyments in life are often hidden in the small events that happen every day. Unfortunately in today’s fast paced life, we are often too busy to even notice them. If you need ideas, check out 1,000 Awesome Things. Revel in life’s little pleasures and start your own book of Awesomes – you’ll be surprised how quickly you fill it.

How next year shapes up is well within your control. Great and not so great things will happen but that’s not as important as how you respond to them. So, go on, make the most of it, ‘let rip’ and love every moment for what the new year gives you.

Carpe diem

Caroline

 

 

How to Love Your Job

7 simple ways to love the job you have.

How to love you job

There’s something kind of corny about the concept of loving your job, isn’t there? Besides, we’re often more likely to ‘put up with’ our job – a far cry from loving it! Yes, most of us work to pay the bills but that’s only part of the story.

Research shows many of the upsides of work, besides being paid, include challenge, variety, fulfilment, social connection and validation that your effort makes a positive difference.

Take a moment to rate your job against each of these criteria (Great, Average or Poor). How does it fare?

If you answered ‘Great’ to each of these, congratulations – you’re obviously in the right job and loving it. If your job didn’t rate so high, you may be feeling slightly disheartened.

It’s tempting to think about jumping ship and looking for a new job. However, this isn’t easy and can often take months or even years to achieve.

Fortunately you don’t have to change jobs to find one you love! The following tips show you how to love the job you have and best of all, it costs nothing but a change in mindset and action.

#1: Adopt a positive attitude

Boredom, frustration and stress are insidious and rapidly become self-fulfilling prophecies. Check in on how you’re thinking and what you believe. Turning problems into opportunities and focusing on what’s within your control has an immediate and positive impact on how you feel. Ask yourself, ‘How would I rather feel instead?’ and actively seek ways to create the better alternative.

#2: Connect your job to your purpose and priorities

What were you put on this earth to do and what specific difference do you want to make? Yes, it’s a ‘big’ question but once you have the answer, you can uncover opportunities to fulfil that purpose through your work and other parts of your life. Identify your core values and write down what’s really important to you and change how you work to a align it with what you believe.

#3: Identify your 8 key strengths and use them

Actively using your key strengths every day and in everything you do will shift your focus to doing more of what you like and are good at. For example, if you are a strong leader, create ways to unite people around a common goal. If you have great organisational skills, consciously use them to get things done efficiently. Strengths can be applied to any role, regardless of whether you’re a receptionist or CEO.

#4: Make life easier – understand your preferences

We all have preferred ways of working and behaving and there are many tools available to help you understand your preferences. If you’re not enjoying your job, chances are you’re being compelled to work in a way that doesn’t sit right with you. There are many different tools for discovering your preferences including Myer-Briggs, DiSC, Herrmann Brain and Social Styles.

Once you know your preferences you can flex your style to better suit what’s required and/or enlist the help of your manager and colleagues to work in a way that fits your style.

#5: Change how you work, rather than what you do

Every job has stuff that we’d rather not do, given the choice. However, they are often unavoidable and procrastinating about them won’t make them go away. Once you understand your preferences, you can create challenges in the seemingly most boring of tasks. This could include report writing, administration, handling emails etc.

Consistently set yourself the challenge of completing the task ahead of time, more efficiently and to a higher standard (going beyond what’s expected) and notice the higher level of satisfaction you feel.

#6: Apply judgement carefully

Sound judgement is an essential skill for analysis and decision making but often falls short when applied to our working relationships. Judging people based on your own personal values (They never… or She always…) rarely results in them changing to be more like you and less like them! More often, it leads to frustration.

Replace judgement with acceptance and notice how much easier it is to work with someone who operates differently from you. Parking judgement opens the door to constructively resolve issues that arise from behavioural differences.

#7: Set long term goals and work steadily towards them

Taking a bigger picture view makes it easier to keep things in perspective. Cast your mind forward 5 years – what would you like to be doing, if it were possible? Once you’ve established your professional vision, create a career plan with goals, actions and timelines to realise it. Actively build your knowledge and experience in that area.

Many skills are transferable and you may be surprised what development opportunities your current role holds, that you haven’t yet tapped into.

Applying any of these tips will make a big difference to how you feel about your job. Hold yourself accountable for your own levels of satisfaction; take daily action to experience it and notice how much more you love the job you have.

Do you have a handy strategy that helps you love the job you have, regardless of what you do?  Please share it – your simple tip could make a big difference to someone who’d love to love their job… if only.

Carpe diem

Unexpected Life Lessons from an Unconventional Teacher

So much wisdom from one small vegetable!

Unexpected Life Lessons from an Unconventional TeacherOK, so I’m not the world’s most gifted green thumb but when I planted my winter veggies back in April, I did expect to be harvesting a few fresh cauliflowers by the end of June. The label even said they’d be ready within eight weeks.

By the end of July I had promising looking leaves but no cauliflowers.  In late August the leaves were even bigger but nothing more.  By September I’d forgotten all about them and given up.  It looked like a self-fulfilling prophecy – I’m hopeless at growing veggies and this proved it!

The vegetable patch was soon taken over by enthusiastic weeds as I resigned myself to failure and other priorities took over.  The cold wet winter gave way to warm spring sunshine and towards the end of October, I decided to give up on the winter crop.
Besides it was time to plant fresh lettuce, baby cucumber and sweet tomatoes and transfer my hope to the lovely tastes of summer.

Approaching the veggie patch to clear it all out and start again I suddenly stopped.  There, to my amazement, was a perfect cauliflower, peering up at me amidst the weeds!  A few days later, two more beautiful cauliflowers appeared.  Nearly seven months after they were planted, they'd finally decided the time was right.

Here’s what I’ve learnt from such a seemingly mundane event:

  1. Don’t give up too soon – success could be just around the corner
  2. Surprises happen when you least expect them and are all the sweeter for waiting
  3. Expectation often generates disappointment
  4. Many things happen in their own good time if you simply ‘leave them be’
  5. Patience is a seriously underrated virtue

These are all timely reminders for anyone experiencing change.  Whether you're redesigning your life – changing jobs, relationships, where or how you live or going through change in your workplace, pearls of wisdom will make the transition easier.

Who knew I could learn so much from a cauliflower?  Now that my conscious awareness is switched on, I’m looking for learning and timely reminders everywhere.

What unexpected life lessons have you learnt from an unconventional ‘teacher’?

Carpe diem

Caroline

 

 

The 3 Biggest Interview Mistakes that Kill Your Chances

how to avoid them and get that dream job

The 3 Biggest Interview Mistakes that Kill Your ChancesYour resume has done its job and you’ve got an interview!  Pumped and ready you shake hands with the interviewer, smile confidently and get down to the business of
answering their questions.

But gradually it all starts to go horribly wrong.  As the interview progresses, you sense you’re starting to lose them and by the time you walk out, you just know you’ve stuffed it up.

In spite of being well prepared and confident, something went wrong in the process. While smart people follow up to get feedback as to why they were unsuccessful, they often don’t receive a complete and honest answer to learn from.

Having interviewed many candidates for different jobs and been interviewed countless times myself; here are three common interview mistakes that are guaranteed to lose you the job.

Mistake # 1: Failing to listen to the question and watch for signals.

Nerves play a key part in this.  Eager to display your key strengths and wonderful experience, you launch headlong into a lengthy demonstration of your knowledge and achievements.  Although admirable, it may be a long bow to tie what you know to the question.  When you’re busy talking, it’s too easy to miss the body language signs that the interviewer is bored with your answer.

Tip:  The best way to blitz an exam is to read the question carefully and consider your answer before putting pen to paper.  Likewise in an interview, listen to the question and watch for non-verbal cues.  If necessary ask the interviewer to clarify what they mean.  This also buys you precious time to compose your answer before you open your mouth.  Once you truly understand what the interviewer is looking for you are better able to make your knowledge, strengths and skills relevant and give a high impact, concise answer.

Mistake #2:  Insufficient understanding of the role and the company

Many candidates invest hours, $s and effort preparing their CV and practicing for interviews, yet neglect to thoroughly research both the role they are applying for or the company it’s with.  What’s written in the advertisement or position description is often not what the role is really about.

Tip:  Take time to ring the recruiter, HR manager or the person the role will be reporting
to.  Discover what’s not been written in the ad or PD before the interview.  This gives you time to prepare your answers thoroughly and ensure your responses are relevant.  Demonstrating a deep understanding of what the company does; where it’s at and where it’s heading is an easy way to differentiate yourself from the other candidates.
Weaving this knowledge into your answers shows you’ve invested time and effort in increasing your understanding before the interview.

Mistake #3:  Not asking your own insightful questions

As an interview draws to a close, the adrenalin drops, the nerves start to calm and you can’t wait to get out of there!  The interviewer asks if you have any questions. In a relieved tone you say, “No, I don’t think so, thanks for your time,” stand up to shake hands and leave.

STOP!  You’ve just wasted the perfect opportunity to nail the interview!

Tip:  Asking a few well-targeted questions leaves a great impression and further demonstrates your strong desire to understand more about the role and ability to do it well.  Great questions include:

1.  What are the three most important traits you are looking for and why are they  mportant?

The answer provides an opening for you to match your strengths and further highlight your achievements.

2. What do you believe will be the biggest challenges the [name the role title] will face in the first three months?

This answer opens up the opportunity to demonstrate where you’ve overcome a similar challenge in the past.

3.  When the person who is appointed to the role has exceeded all your expectations, what will be different and how will you know they have succeeded?

This helps the interviewer articulate the priorities which are often buried or not stated in
the position description.

Note:  This isn’t the appropriate time to ask about the pay and package, hours or working conditions.  These questions can come later if and when you are successful in moving to the next round or offer.

Remember, an interview is a two-way process and you want to find out what you need to know to decide if the role is right for you.  Acute listening, considered questions, concise answers and a thorough understanding of the role and company are often the
difference that makes the difference to winning your dream job.

Good luck with your next interview!

Caroline Cameron