Beatrice’s Equality Day Dreams #5 – Making an important career decision is so easy

Can I be honest with you? I’m beginning to think my day dreams maybe a bit cynical.  When I read over this day dream that I wrote 5 months ago, it was part of a list of things I wish the workplace was vs wasn’t.

It shouldn’t be a dream that we are supported and progression is easy if we are ambitious and competent.  While writing my book and starting my life coaching business, every woman I have spoken to has talked about the challenge of finding out information on how to progress.

At work, a colleague came up to me (after reading my blog) and admitted she didn’t know that she was supposed to ask.  She has recently started working in Australia and asking wasn’t the custom in her previous country and in fact it might even have been deemed rude to ask.  People progressed once they met a benchmark and their manager would ask if they wanted to go up a level or take on a new role.

If you’re a manager, how transparent is it to your team how they progress? Are you over looking someone because they haven’t told you what they are interested in?  And, are you being overlooked because you are not asking?

One more story, recently a senior manager let me know that a role was available in his team and talked me through a series of names and I gave my thoughts.   I added an extra name to the list and we both agreed she’d be great for the role if she was interested.  In my gut, I thought she probably wasn’t.   Later, I asked her if she would be and let her know the role was available.  She surprised me by saying she was interested. So I said, “call him NOW and let him know NOW”.  She waited 5 days to speak to him (after another prompt from myself) and she missed out on the role.   The senior manager made a decision in 3 days.

If you hear of a role and you are interested, let the hiring manager know  straight away.  Don’t hesitate or let other work get in the way.

Just ask.

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“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”

When things are difficult, I often find it is because I am heading in the wrong direction.

Maybe I am pushing too hard to make a relationship something more than it can be, maybe my expectations are not realistic for the work I have asked to be performed, maybe I just thought one way of doing things was better than another and I was wrong.

Being able to pivot, change course and accept that there are better paths available to us, can make us into a better boss, friend, colleague, partner and neighbour.

What have you needed to pivot on lately to find a better path?
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Beatrice’s Equality Day Dreams #3 – they just asked me what job I wanted!

“The leadership team called me into their management meeting and said there were 3 roles available and I could pick anyone of them! I mean that was a really hard decision”

Said no women ever!

Am I right ?

But wouldn’t it be awesome if it happened.

For this to occur, a management team would need to assess people on :

  • their work performed,
  • make hiring decisions as a group and in a transparent manner,
  • the company would be in a high growth phase and have lots of new roles on offer,
  • the culture would be open and inclusive (not paternal and closed),
  • individual choice would be valued and there would be a lack of a reward systems in place for people feeling ‘owed’ positions (I’m not sure what the opposite of that be – something like people progress and are rewarded on company wide performance and objective measures, maybe?)

Now I’d love to hear from you, would you love this to happen and (is it possible) has this ever happened to you ?

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Kindness is Free

Always assume some one is trying their best.   

This post is inspired by Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability – I love all of her books!!

Would love to hear your thoughts….

How would your perception of your boss, direct reports and colleagues change if you assumed they were trying their best ?

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How to get a YES when you ask for promotion

I used to wait to be asked, now I ask to be promoted.  This has taken a huge mental and skill shift to take this approach. Some people around you may say this lacks integrity but how is waiting to be ‘discovered’ and holding yourself back, lacking integrity ?

People who want a recording contract – perform, compete on a talent show, run YouTube channels and busk.

People wanting a promotion do not wait, they stand out and they ask.

Timing

Ask when promotion, new jobs and opportunities are available. If there is a lull in available jobs, practice the following skills and techniques to boost your chance of the being no. 1 pick when jobs do come up again.

Credibility

Know your business case and know your ask  and work on making this visible to the ‘powers that be’.

Be the Obvious Choice

The right role is the easiest role – apply for and show interest in the roles that most easily match your ambition, skill sets and connections.

Visibility

Make your work visible and in demand (I will write more on this next month but for now, I have included some tips at the end of this post).

We want you!

Make your future leadership team and peers want you on their team!!

You know the ‘vibe’ is good when you start hearing things from senior management like:

“How do I find the right role for you, so you say yes”

“I NEED you on my team”

“We’re so glad you’re here”

“You’re wasted in that role, you should be doing XYZ role”

“They really have great THINGS to say about you”

Advocate

Find someone to advocate for you who is on hiring and promotion panels. This person could be influential with a potential sponsor or may hire directly as well.

In a hiring decision, who will recommend you if asked to provide an opinion on you?

Sponsor

Find someone that you would like to work for and talk to them about your ambitions. Apply for roles working with them and keep yourself and your work visible to this potential sponsor.

Who wants you on their team right now?

Influence

Make your ambition visible and known to people who are influential with hiring managers but may not be in formal positions of power. Talk through your business case and pitch and ask them for advice. Ask for help to gain a promotion.

What role do people see you in next?

Increase your visibility through celebration!

Celebrate successes and draw people into your success.

Celebrate team successes frequently and invite advocates and sponsors to these events.

Create a winning vibe !

Persevere!

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Repeat until you have it! (And then start working towards your next one!!)

 

Now I’d love to hear from you, how have you got a YES when you’ve asked for promotion ?

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One bad chapter does not mean your story is over

Don’t let a bad boss, a bad role or bad employer make you give up on your ambition!
Go for it anyway!
PS – and move on as quickly as possible, don’t linger in a bad role so long you lose your ambition or will to live.
PPS –  and if you have a bully for a boss, colleague or your direct reports are ganging up on you, just get the hell out of there and don’t look back!!
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever had a ‘bad’ work experience and how did you overcome this?
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Beatrice’s Equality day dreams #2

“There is just no politics in this place and everyone just gets along. Its such a happy place to work!”

Daydream, delusional ?

 

Wouldn’t that be nice – no politics and everyone just super happy – peachy keen!

 

I’m not sure if a politics free workplace is possible but I think a low political zone is possible when a workplace has :

  • a high level of diversity
  • open and supportive culture
  • a culture of setting people up for success
  • confident leaders
  • a low amount of org change, job losses
  • high profit
  • incentives rewarded based on company performance
  • a single pay rate for each job role
  • managers are supported when managing out poor performers
  • lots of training in positive culture and behaviours
  • a simple set of values that are realistic for that industry
  • low amount of overtime performed
  • community focus
  • well run teams are rewarded and a heroes are not
  • a fun and consistent induction for new starters and a welcoming culture overall
  • a focus on healthy living and balance (i.e.:  healthy snacks are provided at training and morning tea’s, lunches are held where good quality food is provided)
  • there is not a big drinking culture in place
  • attrition is below 7%
  • people are treated as human beings
  • a low level of open plan working
  • new ideas are welcomed and encouraged

 

Now I’d love to hear from you, what is your equality fantasy ?
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Do you want to get a promotion ? Here’s how…

Asking for a promotion can be super scary.

Why?

Because you will be making it very clear and very public that you are ambitious, have career goals and are prepared to go for them.

This can feel and be very exposing.

This is your opportunity to showcase your skills and lay the foundation for career progression at your current employer.

Got for it!

And, to help you go for it, here is my tried and very personally tested advice for getting that promotion time and time again!

Be Clear On Your Ask

  • Know which roles you are interested in
  • Know how much money you want in the form of salary and incentives
  • Know your why – why are you the right person to be promoted, what are your skills and what do you have to offer (have your sales pitch ready)
  • Know what you want to achieve in the new role for your company, business area and yourself
  • Know how you would achieve these things
  • Also, have a list of any working arrangements that you need considered and accomodated in the new role (i.e.: work from home, start times, limits on travel, if any etc)

Know Who To Ask

In I’m Ready Now! I wrote about how to identify and influence the key decision makers.
Make sure you know who can make decisions on promotion (this is not always your boss) and when they can make these decisions.

Know When to Ask

Ask for promotion when :

  1. You have already talked through your business case with your immediate boss and any key decision makers
  2. Achieved any action items that were asked for as part of your business case discussion
  3. Have held a discussion on the value you can bring to the new role
  4. You have spoken and gained advice from at least 30% of the leadership team you want to belong to, and
  5. Made your work visible to that leadership team

Other great times to ask are :

  • when you’ve delivered a big win for your company
  • when a new job becomes available due to a re-org
  • when someone departs a role unexpectedly

What will you do if you get a YES?

Have a celebration plan in place and, have a business plan in place that you can pick up and run with in your new role.

Always make sure to celebrate a promotion (even it feels like something that should have happened ages ago) and appreciate yourself for the increase wealth, autonomy and freedom a new role will bring you both professionally and personally.

What will you do if you get a NO?

Have a ‘No’ plan in place and a timeframe for getting to YES already determined.

Don’t stay too long in a role going no where.

Only you can determine how long is ‘too long’.

By having a plan in place BEFORE your discussion you won’t get sidetracked by the knock to confidence that a NO can have.

This plan will increase your chances of keeping your career on track and seeing knock backs as bumps a long the road not road blocks

Now I’d love to hear from you!
What is the best tip you’ve ever received for getting ahead and getting that promotion ?
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Beatrice’s Equality Day Dreams #1

"He just walked up and asked if I wanted to attend a promotion interview! "
“He just walked up and asked if I wanted to attend a promotion interview! “

He just walked up and asked if I wanted to attend a promotion interview!

Sometimes I like to fantasise about (well many fun things) but often about what the world would be like if we had true and complete equality today.

Can you imagine it ?

I try to and above is the line I’d love to hear from a talented colleague.

Why does this just not happen ?

The one thing that you hear about women (and I would apply this to quieter men as well) is that they have to ‘put their hand up‘.  Like we’re in grade 6 and want a turn at using the new MACINTOSH COMPUTER (oops showing my age – we had one MAC for a class of 30! I have odd memories of us all fighting over who got to wheel it out of the ‘computer cupboard’ into the classroom and back).

Putting your hand up is not bad advice.

You do need to ask for promotion, make it known that you want one and visibly work towards it.  But this also means that people who are extroverted, brash, over-confident are more likely to get promoted over more conscientious types. (My grade 6 report definitely said ‘Beatrice is a very a conscientious student’ or in other words quiet and introverted.)

I’m a big fan of seeking out talent and pushing people forward.

I don’t think everyone should have to yell and scream to get noticed and there would be a hell of a lot more good women and men in more senior roles if the men (and the rare super woman) in powerful positions took this approach.

Now I’d love to hear from you, what is your equality fantasy ?

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Breathe it all in, love it all out

Breathe it all in, love it all out
Breathe it all in, love it all out

I was once at a student conference where during a heated vote someone said “In with ANGER out with LOVE!!” in an exasperated slightly huffy manner, complete with eyeroll.  I’m not sure if she was trying to calm herself down or order the others around us to do so.  Anyway, it didn’t work! The vote was tight and there’s nothing like being 21 years old and ‘believing’ to make for a tense night on the floor of a national students conference.

Ahh memories, back in the ‘real world’ of work, I find myself sometimes thinking of this moment (ok, often a lot), when everyone around me is ‘battling’ hard and arguing their case on what a process document should be called or how to describe a ‘problem’ without using the word problem itself (challenge/opportunity/moment of clarity etc) when it all seems a bit ridiculous.  But I’m a fan of passion and I have definitely fought hard on getting directives re-worded from ‘you have to do this’ to ‘lets all work together on this’. Language is important after all.  So I get it, mostly.

There are of course moments when we (I) lose complete perspective.

Sometimes its that feeling you get when you are talked over again for the 1000th time that day, or when you talk through a presentation and get asked to make it ‘pretty’, or when you provide a report and get asked to add in sentences that are already in it (grrrr).

No one is perfect. Bosses aren’t perfect, colleagues aren’t perfect, you and I are not perfect.  So sometimes I think of the quote above and think today I’m just going to love everyone and everything because its better than hating, picking and moaning.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

How do you deal with perfectionism?

Do you expect everyone around you and yourself to be perfect?

And, how do you find ways to dial down the impact of this thinking on your life?

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