Archive for May, 2015

Understanding Your Career Value

May 27th, 2015

800″]“Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do…. If you’ve got talent, and you’ve maximised your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold”

– Warren Buffet
Watching our currency bounce  around on the financial markets recently has provided lots of media commentary about market volatility, changing global pressures, key influences and currency trends.

It’s also provided lots of thoughts around the need for establishing a stable Career Currency. Although we as individuals cannot control the value of our nations currency, we can establish influence and control over the value of our own Career Currency – regardless of what it is that we do.

A quick Google search on the term ‘Career Currency’ would lead you to believe that it is defined by the value you bring to a potential employer. But what about the value you hold right now, with your current employer?

The reality is your currency holds real value today, in the job you hold right now and it bears a strong influence on the future opportunities that lie ahead.

Establishing a genuine level of awareness and ownership over your Career Currency affords you immediate opportunities for development and leverage. Most importantly it allows you to remain in, or if need be, to recover a sense of control over your own career situation.

So what actually is Career Currency? 

Quite simply it is the professional value an employee represents to their employer – be it a prospective or current employer.

Given that our currency can rise and fall just like any other, we need to firstly understand what the key attributes of Career Currency are.

I believe that there are four key attributes to Career Currency:

  • Performance: Ability, Output, Motivation, Consistency, Ambition, Attitude
  • Potential: Past and Future Learning, Growth, Ambition, Desire
  • Relationships: Internal Relationships (including peers, reports and management), Endeavour, Influence, Collaboration
  • Personality: Communication, EQ, Resilience, Endeavour, Behaviour

 Your ability to accurately assess the strength of these four currency attributes not only provides you with an insight into the professional value you offer an employer but most importantly it provides the foundation for a practical and informed career strategy.

In order to truly maximise both your value and opportunity you need to ensure you are developing strength in each of the four areas. For most of us it is probably not too difficult to recall colleagues who were able to develop strengths in several areas but not all…. That person who was technically brilliant but problematic to work with due to their inability to engage collaboratively; or that ‘great person’ but whose performance let them and others down.

Failing to develop all four areas is like sitting on a three-legged chair – it’s out of balance; difficult and uncomfortable and the risk of falling is high. Without balance, both our currency and opportunity is subject to volatility and instability as is it is often only valued in certain scenarios or for short periods of time.

When I reflect upon the highly successful colleagues and inspirational leaders I have worked with throughout my career, there is a common trait that they each shared: self-awareness.

They took time to reflect on situations, examined their actions and the impact on those around them; they sought feedback and strived to develop outcomes that offered lasting value to the organisation they worked for. In doing so, they not only offered their employer lasting value, but they created opportunities for themselves often way beyond their original plan and developed great personal advocates in their peers and clients.

Typically an accurate self-awareness of Career Currency will allow you to make highly informed career decisions. Ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Where are you at and why?
  • What are the most pressing considerations for you in your role right now?
  • What can be done to enact immediate attention?
  • How do I maximise my current career options?
  • What are the longer-term implications or possible outcomes?

Loss of direction, purpose and motivation dramatically affects each attribute of our currency and presents some of the greatest dangers in your career. At a time when organisations are more focused than ever on efficiency and cost management, establishing a firm appreciation of your value and career situation has never been so important.

In doing so you are ensuring you understand the opportunities that may exist to enhance your future career prospects. Knowing then how to align your personal efforts with your key business objectives will ensure you are maintaining and growing your currency.

The benefits of establishing a clear and pragmatic view of your currency coupled with a career plan are numerous: ownership; empowerment; clarity; direction; confidence and resilience… and the list goes on!

What’s the value of your currency today?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Margot Andersen[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to elevate your career currency, please contact Margot directly on margot@talentinsight.com.au or 0400 336 318.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=961a17dac8287c94458c7983d&id=f81e0aac65″]

Creating Career Choice

May 19th, 2015

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“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice”
[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”]It is said that the average working person makes approximately 15 decisions before 9am. For some of us the first decision can be something as minor as how many times can I hit the snooze button before getting up! Every day though we face thousands of decisions. Some are relatively small such as what will I wear; whilst others are more significant such as where will I live.

Some have short-term effects and others more long term effects. However, regardless of what our decisions are – action or no action – there is no escaping the fact that we all live with the consequences of our choices.

Creating career choice is one of the greatest challenges we all face – especially as we progress through the ranks of experience and seniority. Given the fast moving and ever changing nature of the world today, we as individuals and leaders need to have a passion for personal growth and development. Having a solid road map for that growth and development is essential if we are to continually expand both our capabilities and our degree of choice.[vcex_spacing size=”10px”]No doubt each of us will have a friend or colleague who always seems to be surrounded by several career choices that are the perfect fit for them. What is it about those people that somehow catches the eye of others; or when they put their hand up for a change there seems to be not one but several choices for them to consider? I believe it is due to several factors:

  1. Clarity about what they want
  2. Confidence in pursuing their ambitions
  3. Relevance to their organisation and market place

As readers of this blog you will know that I believe that the three keys to creating career success are clarity, confidence and choice.

Omitting or disregarding the factor of choice is like electing to sit on a two-legged stool. Whilst you can balance for a while, in time it becomes unstable and down right dangerous. Unstable and dangerous because you are at risk of losing control over your own career pathway and your level of fulfilment.

Take a moment to reflect on a time in your career when you have felt as though you were left with no choice but to adopt a certain decision, accept a certain job or follow a certain path. Invariably you will have felt caged in, disempowered and frustrated. Conversely when you feel as though you have had a choice on how to act or where to invest time, money or effort, you will have felt empowered, confident and in control.

With stagnation – and not failure – being the real risk to our career, we need to ensure that we are investing our time and efforts in building personal capability and relevance to the organisations we work for and the markets we work in. Failing to do so will see our career choices dramatically diminished.

So what actions can you take to create career choice?[vcex_spacing size=”5px”]

  1. Evaluate: Get clear about what you want! This requires you to fully understand your own skills, behaviours, motivations and preferences.

If you are to create genuine growth and or change in your career you also need to evaluate what steps are required to elevate your capability, career currency and relevance to either your current employer or the market place. What can you do to build and leverage your experience and showcase it?

Without this degree of clarity you risk not identifying the choices before you.

  1. Prepare: Once you have clarity about what you want, you can prepare a strategy or road map for getting there.

For some, understanding that the best thing they can do right now is excel in the opportunity they currently have will provide renewed focus and energy for their role at hand. Additionally it will allow them to implement a long-term strategy of career leverage with confidence and purpose.

For those who are actively exploring the market, preparing a personal business and marketing plan will be critical to their effectiveness in engaging with potential organisations and people of influence.[vcex_spacing size=”55px”][vc_single_image image=”773″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.com.au/private-coaching/”][vcex_spacing size=”20px”]

  1. Act: Engage: with your team, your business, your market and your network. Listen to what you hear from both sought and unsought sources. Validate what you hear. Does it apply and if so, how?

Understanding that we need to continually act, adapt and in many cases unlearn and relearn is what will build and sustain relevance to our business and market.

Life is full of choices and there is a natural give and take in every resulting decision. Even choosing not to act is still a choice. To make wise, well-informed and educated choices you must weigh up the risks against the potential rewards.

When it comes to career decisions rarely will they ever be black and white, all good or all bad, completely right or completely wrong. They are multi dimensional and require you to look at the opportunity(s) with your own unique lens that is reflective of your own personal ambitions.

Understanding though that our long-term growth and success is the result of conscious choices and deliberate effort is critical if we are to create real momentum and fulfillment. Learning how to recognise and create choice is what will set us apart.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Margot Andersen[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to confidently grow your own career or those of the people you lead please call Margot on 0400 336 318.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=961a17dac8287c94458c7983d&id=f81e0aac65″]

Shaking Off The Impostor Syndrome

May 12th, 2015

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“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt”

– Author Unknown
Hands up if you have ever thought to yourself ‘that’s it, the game is up. When this happens, people will realize that I don’t actually know as much as they think I do?’

A quick Google search will reveal that you are not alone in thinking that you suffer from that nagging feeling of not being good enough or that given enough time people will discover that you are not as amazing as you appear.

In fact not only are you not alone, you are in good company! People such as Kate Winslet, Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson, Tom Hanks and Michelle Pfeiffer have, despite their obvious and widely recognised achievements suffered from Imposter Syndrome.

“I convince myself I’m fooling people.” (Jonathan Safran Foer)

“I still think people will find out that I’m really not very talented. I’m really not very good. It’s all been a big sham.” (Michelle Pfeiffer)

“Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud.” (Emma Watson)

Quite simply the Imposter Syndrome leaves you feeling like a fraud because you think your accomplishments are nowhere near as good as the people around you. Often they are, but the high standards that you apply to yourself leave you feeling like a sham.

Valerie Young author of the book The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women describes The Impostor Syndrome as that feeling of “always waiting for the other shoe to drop. You feel as if you’ve flown under the radar, been lucky or they just like you. If you dismiss your accomplishments and abilities, you’re left with one conclusion: You’ve fooled them.”

Whilst it is reported that more women than men are affected, recent statistics suggest that up to 65% of the population has experienced it at one time or another. The condition is particularly evident in Type A, highly successful and career driven personalities. Granted we are all susceptible to thoughts and feelings of self-doubt, but when they shape our decisions and actions and prevent us from pursuing our ambitions we place ourselves (and our careers) in real danger.

Take a look at some of the signs to look out for below. Do you recognise any in yourself or in the people you lead?

  • Not applying for promotions or other new opportunities because you don’t feel as though you address every single criteria
  • Downplaying or understating your experience and or skill set with the language that you use: ‘It was just a X’ or ‘It is only really due to X’
  • Attributing your accomplishments to luck or success
  • Avoiding opportunities to showcase your achievements to others in your field because they are considered more highly skilled and experienced
  • Feeling unqualified because someone else holds a higher level degree than you

No doubt you have heard of the saying ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. But what happens when you still feel like your faking it, even you when you have made it? Chances are you are not only limiting career options but you are stunting both personal and career growth.

So what are some of the actions we can take to overcome the Impostor Syndrome?

  1. Develop awareness: One of the most effective techniques to overcoming Imposter Syndrome is to simply acknowledge that it does exist. Learning how to recognise it and identify the tell tale signs of down playing or discounting your experience will help you to put it back in perspective and help you to move forward in your career.
  2. Be objective: Understand that feelings are not facts. Gather the evidence with an objective mindset. All too often we are able to look at the facts objectively for others but not ourselves. Was it really just down to luck or did you actually invest time, learning and hard work on that project?
  3. Stop the comparison game: In the words of Mark Twain ‘Comparison is the death of joy’. Not only is it damaging to your self confidence but all too often what you are comparing yourself against is inaccurate and does nothing to support you achieve your goals.
  4. Strive for value and not perfection: Perfectionism is the equivalent of paralysis. It creates unwarranted stress, crushes creativity, prevents productivity and ultimately limits value. Gaining clarity around your talents and strengths and how to best apply them will provide you with greater confidence in the value you offer and generate.
  5. Celebrate your milestones: It is more than just A Stroke of Luck that has seen you achieve your success. Recognize the efforts, knowledge and hard work that you have invested in and used to help you achieve the milestones in your career. Own it …loud and proud!

Creating and maintaining successful careers takes courage. It requires you to embrace challenges, walk into unknown territory and step up and out of your comfort zone. It means shaking off your fears and self-doubt and recognizing and celebrating your accomplishments.

When you do not only will you create career options but also opportunities to showcase your true potential and fulfill your ambitions.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Margot Andersen[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to confidently grow your own career or those you lead please call Margot on  0400 336 318.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=961a17dac8287c94458c7983d&id=f81e0aac65″]

A Stroke of Luck

May 5th, 2015

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“Luck is simply a matter of preparation meeting opportunity”

– Oprah Winfrey
[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”]No doubt many of us have looked back over times in our life and reflected on how lucky we were – be it a chance encounter, a new opportunity; a new environment; or maybe it was more about having a ‘lucky escape’.

But is there more to it than simply being lucky?

Does our success depend mainly on random acts of chance such as being in the right place at the right time or other factors that largely lie outside of our control? Or conversely can we create our own luck?

How we view and answer these questions can significantly impact our career, the decisions we make, the degree of effort we invest in our current role, our future professional pathway and the way we lead our people and businesses.

A recent study by the Institute for the Study of Labour concluded that if you subscribe to the belief that things outside of your control determine your success, you are inclined to make less effort in pursuing your career ambitions. Questions and thoughts such as ‘what’s the point? If luck isn’t on my side it won’t make a difference’ seem to pervade a person’s thought process.

This way of thinking is often referred to as learned helplessness. If you believe that despite your best efforts you cannot make an impact you invest less effort. If you invest less effort, you will be less successful and so starts the vicious circle that then only reinforces the belief that you can’t change anything.

For those of you who have led teams and individuals where this thinking exists, you will have experienced the frustration and challenge to motivate, engage and raise levels of performance. Not just for the greater good of the business but for the individuals concerned. The loss of morale and opportunity is costly to both the business’s bottom line as well as the careers of the people involved.

To succeed in our careers and businesses we need to be ‘lucky ready’. We need to firstly believe that new opportunities can and will arise and we need to be prepared for when they do. When we are prepared, we are more strongly positioned to identify them when they come along and ready to act confidently, decisively and in a timely manner.

There is a common view that people who tend to believe that they are lucky get more out of life. Whilst this can also be said for those who are optimistic, people who are lucky not only think it, they are prepared to act on it.

So what behaviours do lucky people adopt? How many do you believe you possess and what behaviours could you sharpen to become more ‘lucky ready’?

Spot and Act on Opportunities: Lucky people are curious people. They seek to create, notice and act upon the chance encounters, the serendipitous moments and the new and unknown. They are not happy to sit and wait for opportunities to come to them, they actively engage in the world with their eyes wide open and in doing so attract opportunities.

Display Confidence: Your confidence to identify and act on opportunities will be greatly enhanced when you know exactly what your core strengths, interests and areas of knowledge are. How confident are you in knowing exactly what yours are and where they best apply?

Foster Relevance: Luck is being smart enough to keep yourself valuable by remaining relevant and ahead of the curve with your specialty. Learning and training does not end with graduation. It requires ongoing practice, honing and more often than not the ability to unlearn old ways and relearn new ones.

Display Resilience: Lucky people are able to transform their bad luck into good fortune. They know how to dust themselves down and learn from their experiences and how to adapt their behavior to reduce the chances of bad luck in the future.

Seek Variety: By actively seeking out variety in the people you meet, your daily routines, and the interests you foster, you are forcing yourself into different areas, networks and opportunities. It opens up both the world of possibility and your confidence to act.

Take Risks: Successful people take risks – albeit calculated ones – in order to maximise opportunities. They understand that to improve, increase capacity, remain competitive and relevant they need to continually adapt or create new ways of doing things. They also understand the risk of doing nothing.

Build Meaningful Networks: Building and maintaining diverse, meaningful networks that regularly expose you to new experiences and environments will introduce new people, ways of thinking and opportunities.

Think Lucky: Lucky people expect good luck and they expect it to continue. As a result, they are more likely to embrace the unknown with confidence, try new ways of doing things, and take more risks. They persevere when things are not going their way and believe that solutions and success are there for them.

You can act to ensure you optimise your success.

This is not about saying that chance encounters, changed circumstances or serendipity don’t have a major impact on our lives. The fact is they do – and small things can change absolutely everything. However it is not so much the event itself but whether or not we recognise it for what it is and how we respond.

It is our openness to recognise opportunity and preparedness to act that will enhance our luck and good fortune.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Margot Andersen[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to build career and leadership confidence for you or your team, please call Margot on 0400 336 318.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”http://talentinsight.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=961a17dac8287c94458c7983d&id=f81e0aac65″]

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