Tap into you super powers #3: How to be creative when the box just doesn’t fit

Are you super creative and stuck in a super not-creative job?

Do you remember being creative when you were younger – writing scripts, painting, singing, playing the saxophone, making home movies, creating music but can’t remember the last time you got to do it?

Does your job feel like it is crushing your soul and your ‘creative’ outlet involves expletive ridden attempts to get visio arrows and lines to connect!!?

If yes, then this learning note is for you! It won’t help you with visio but it will provide you with some great tips for tapping into that creative energy again whether at work or in your non-work life. It’s time to start embracing creativity again.  Being an artist does not mean having to give up your day job.  This note includes learning prompts and a fun call to act.

The key learning point is to define what creative is for you.

Learning Prompts

Creativity is part of who we are. Don’t keep your creative self hidden, forgotten or pressed down.  Its an important part of  us.  The more I embrace my creativity, the more happy, fulfilled and fun I am.

Ask yourself:

  • Define what creative is for you
  • Write down all the assumptions you had about why it wasn’t a suitable job, outlet or pursuit for you
  • Put a line through them, burn the piece of paper (safely) – those assumptions are gone now
  • Write down all the feelings you can remember having when you expressed your creativity
  • Pick your favourite creative outlet
  • Start doing it today, as in right now!

Some more prompts and suggestions

If you like writing, open up evernote and write down 1 sentence that just comes to mind….. need a prompt:
– describe your first overseas travel tour
– describe the first day in your current job
– describe that time your saw your fave band for the first time ever!! LIVE!!
If you like art:
– book a time to go to the gallery (such as: Heide or NGV, if you’re in Melbourne)
– book a trip to visit MONA in Tasmania
– open up pintrest and create an art based vision board
– find your old paints and draw a circle.

If you like music:
– find your old instrument
– create a top 10 list of music you’d like to learn to play or sing
– book tickets to a local band, festival
– go down to your local to see up and coming bands
– write down 5 ideas for a song
– book into a musical
– sing in the shower – LOUDLY!!!

What you do next is up to you…..
I’d love to hear from you, what you did do next? Did you book something?  Write something? Play something?

Did you sing loudly in the shower?

Let me know by commenting on this post.

For extra reading, I recommend BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert – it’s a game changer!

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Tap into your super powers #2 – Turning frustration into your best work ever!

Are your best skills going to waste?

Are you a bit bored at work?

Are you under utilised and under appreciated?

If yes, then this learning note is for you! It will provide you with some great tips for turning that frustrated energy into a powerful tool to make you stand out at work, feel fulfilled and add more meaning to your job everyday, including: learning prompts, a case study example – going from frustrated to happy in exactly the same job and ideas on what steps to take next to get started.

The key learning point is to look at why and when you are frustrated and use that energy to design the role you want and started doing that role in your current job right now.  

Learning Prompts

To channel that frustration into something positive for yourself try to understand why you are frustrated, what triggers you and what type of work would ease that frustration.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the biggest problem facing your team, project or business?
  • What skills do you most want to use that could help solve this problem? And, how? 
  • What would this solution mean to your boss, customer, business?
  • Can you start working on this solution as part of your current role?
  • How can you get support for this idea?
  • Who could support to get this idea off the ground?
  • What would it take to make happen?
  • Do you need extra support or can you do this alone?
  • What would it mean to you to use these skill in this way?
  • How would you feel if you to used these skills everyday? 
  • What skills do you love using?
  • Could you integrate them in to HOW you do your job?

Case Study

As you know I love coaching but in my current role as a consultant I have very little opportunity for coaching as I don’t have direct reports.  This doesn’t stop me from taking on this role unofficially and people who are aware of my business regularly come to me for advice, coaching or to bounce ideas around.  One way I have incorporated my coaching skills into work is to use them to create really positive outcomes in workshops and meetings that I lead.  If you  have watched some of my facebook lives on managing meetings you will know that there have certainly been some ‘trials and tribulations’ with some ‘interesting’ behaviours in meetings.  This might sound a bit lateral and it is.  Using powerful listening techniques and skills to stay present and in the moment just makes meetings, workshops and how groups of humans functions so much better.

Some of the tools I use are questions (just like the prompts above).  Thoughtful and empathetic questions can be asked in 1:1 discussions or even to groups.  And, just sitting still with someone and really hearing them and not interrupting or making a judgement, really taking the time to respond to allow more silence in discussion creates a beautifully safe space for honesty, trust and empathy to build and grow.

Using these techniques has allowed me to create greater connection and also to be open to surprising compliments, advice or observations that I would have not been open to recieve otherwise.

What is the impact to me?

Work feels more meaningful.

I have a smile on my face as I head out of the station.

I come home feeling satisfied.

I sleep better.

Of course, I’d love to work full time as a coach and I’m building my business towards that goal (eventually.)  But I’m not in a rush and I love working in IT (what other profession could I spend my day talking Star Wars, Tesla, colonising Mars and robots, oh and strategising the adoption of the latest leading edge tech?).  By combining both passions and thinking laterally on how I can incorporate this skill set, I get the best of both worlds without feeling I have a passion and ‘real work’ in two different silos of my life.

Take Action

Next time you get super frustrated and think ‘If I only I could’….

Write down your thoughts!

And then?

Get planning, start testing out what you could do until you find something that just clicks day to day in your job. 

And then?

GO FOR IT!

Would you like to work more on developing this skill set?

Do you have career goals to work on that you would like support and coaching in?

Have you thought of getting your own career coach to help you take the next step in your career?

If yes, then find out more about the Tap into Your Power coaching series. 

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Goal Setting Secret #1 – Know What You Want

My name is Beatrice Crocker, and I help women to stand in their power and get ahead of a pack. And I work with women in male dominated professions to get the career that they want. You can find out more about me at beatricecrocker.com

Today’s post is the first in a series of three, which is three secrets to always getting what you want. And today I’m sharing secret number one. 

Watch the video and read more below

 

 

Secret #1 How to know what you want. 

How often do you say this “I know exactly what I want in my life” ?

hmmmm, like never right? 

I know this is something I’ve really struggled with.  Although for a long time I didn’t realise it.  But I was definitely living life according to what I had been told what to do vs what I most wanted.  It wasn’t a conscious thing.  I’d had goals for career and relationships and I achieved them.  I just didn’t have bigger goals or appreciated what I really wanted in my life.  And it didn’t click for me until a great friend and mentor told me ‘You have to have a plan Beatrice, you have to know where you’re heading and WHY you’re pursuing it’.  

It sounds like an easy thing to say but let’s face its not an easy thing to do.  

For a long time I led a life according to shoulds instead of examining what I really wanted. I should have a high paying job, I should have a house, I should get married etc. And although these things are great, I never asked myself what do I really want? And when I did it it was really hard work, because for a long time I had overlaid other people’s wants onto what I thought I wanted. 

I hadn’t done the work.

So I ended up marrying the wrong person, buying the wrong house, and staying in the right job, but for too long until it became the wrong job. And to be quite honest I didn’t even realise I was leading a life of shoulds, but I look back now and I can see I was doing just that. Of course that’s the beauty of hindsight. However, during this period I got sick a lot, I had colds, sinus infections, migraines, nearly lost the eyesight in one eye, and a breast cancer scare (thankfully only a scare). So my body was screaming at me to stop, but I just kept going anyway. 

And so when I found myself single again, no hubby, no baby, no house. That was really when I took the time to self examine and really have a look at what I really wanted in life. And I guess my biggest realisation was that I wasn’t very good at doggedly pursuing what I truly wanted, and I wasn’t very good at knowing what that was either. 

So I’m sharing the secrets that I’ve learnt in terms of getting what you want because now that I have done the work, and I understand my WHY (helping women progress) and WHAT I want to achieve.  I have had the happiest, most satisfying 2 years of my life.  

I really want this for you as well.   

So if you’ve gone for a long time without being clear on what you want, this series will help you get crystal clear. 

What do you really want? 

1. Let instinct be your best friend.

It’s time to practice letting instinct guide you. The best way to tap into instinct is to focus on your emotional and physical reactions. 

  • How do certain events make you feel ? 
  • How do people make you feel physically and emotionally? 
  • Do you feel relaxed, energised, happy, at ease?
  • Do you feel tight, contracting, anxious, uncomfortable? 
  • When you feel most relaxed? 
  • When do you feel most energised ? 
  • When do you feel super healthy? 
  • When do you feel on edge? 
  • What gives you an instant headache? 
  • When does that injury play up again? 

All these reactions are giving you clues to what you want and love and what you don’t.  

Action: 

1. Take notes on how people, events, ideas, make you feel and act. 

2. Take note of any recurring themes. 

2.  Embrace variety

Try lots of new and different things in your life. 

Say YES more. 

So if you’ve sort of dropped some hobbies, go back to old hobbies, find some new hobbies and activities. 

Action:

  1. Write down what makes you happy, sad, passive, excited, joyful, tired. 
  2. Is something draining your life force? Then, stop doing it. 
  3. Invest more time in the activity that boost your energy and make you feel good.   

3. Turn a negative into a postiive

 

Write down a list of things that you don’t like, at work, in terms of a partner, in terms of your home. They don’t have to be current things, they could just be things you know you don’t love, 

Action:  

Reverse it. 

So if you’re like look I don’t like being in roles that require high detail and little human interaction, then the  reverse of that is I like being in strategic creative roles with lots of time spent face to face with people. And so if you haven’t really had a lot of time recently where you’ve really been happy doing something, write down all the things like are really bugging you, and then reverse it. And it will give you the keys to what will make you really happy. 

4. Feel it out

Don’t expect too much too quickly. If you’re out of practice with knowing and feeling what you want then it will take time. So start off small and build up. And if you’re working on big life changes focus on changing one thing at a time not everything. If that’s a choice. 

After getting divorced I lived in three different houses, made three different job changes – all in 18 months. It was way too much change!!! Some of this was definitely avoidable and it happened because I just didn’t take the time to listen to myself and give myself some breathing room to feel it all out. 

Action: 

1. Take all the time you need. 

                    

Getting instinct back into your life takes practice. 

Good luck!  

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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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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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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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I Got This!

May all your vibes say 'I got this'
May all your vibes say ‘I got this’

 

I love this quote because it is exactly the attitude I want to have each time I:
  • start a new role
  • take on a new project
  • start working for a new boss
  • ask for promotion
  • ask for $$$ – a pay rise, quote a salary to a recruiter
  • try following a recipe from a real recipe book

Why is it so HARD to have this vibe when doing new things and asking for new things (or cooking) ?

 

When do you become super confident or does this just never happen?

Now, I’d love to hear from you!
What are your tips for having a ‘got this’ attitude?
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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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