Friday night and it’s the rock and roll life for me as I settle down with a hot cup of tea and the last two slices of my Christmas chocolate orange.
The final session in The Confident Mother 3rd online conference is different because it’s live. This was one of the quickest and easiest online classes I’ve ever prepared. Because I know this stuff inside out. I know what works. I know what women need. I know what your inner voice is saying.
Friday’s class was a taster of what we explore in Career Confidence (my 6 week online course) just not in as much detail.
Many women experience a loss of confidence after a career break, maternity leave or redundancy or as they start to move up the career ladder. It’s not that we’re not talented or lack experience. We work in a male-dominated society. The modern workplace has matured around male values, male preferences and male styles of leadership.
A woman’s instinctive, natural leadership style is different to a man’s. My belief is that organisations benefit from both styles of leadership. As we progress in our careers, there are less female role models. When we compare ourselves to our (male) peers, we don’t feel that we come off as well (because we are different) or we find ourselves adapting our leadership style so that is not playing to our strengths. It’s not that we’re not good enough, it’s that we are different.
Here’s a brief overview: the 5 essentials you need to get (back) your career confidence.
The first essential is to get clear on your contribution to the world i.e. your combination of talents, strengths, and experiences. Nobody else has the exact combination. We look at zebras and they look the same. But look more closely and you see each zebra has a unique set of stripes. That’s you too. You are unique. Even if sometimes you need help to recognise your strengths and talents.
When you are clear on who and what you are – your contribution- you will discover an inner strength that boosts your confidence and your resilience to deal with knockbacks.
When was the last time you took ‘me’ time? Wellness is the second core element in your Confidence Circle: wellness is looking after your physical, emotional and mental health. Self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. How can you possibly expect to give your best, to achieve your full potential, if you don’t take care of your own wellness.
It’s having clear boundaries and knowing when (or if) you are OK about crossing those boundaries. It’s figuring out the work-life balance that works for you, whether you are towards the separator or integrator end of the continuum. (Loved that explanation from Anna Meller!)
For many of the women I work with, the penny drops when I point out that how you behave, what you say and what you do – is the role model for your children. If you rush around in a constant state of overwhelm and stress, never taking time to stop and relax, what message are you giving to your children? Our children don’t do what we say, they do what we do.
Mindset came up time and again in the conference: in the interviews with Cath Robinson, Regional IT Manager at Amazon UK, Rebecca Pintre of Artemis Mindset Coaching, Sue Revell at Magenta Change and Catherine Cuffley from Thinking Choices.
What we think – our thoughts and our beliefs – underpin our feelings. In turn, how we feel, determines how we behave. Your behaviour (your actions) leads to results. Whether they are the results you want, depends on your thoughts and beliefs.
Often our beliefs are unconscious. Beliefs that are not positive or unhelpful can also be referred to as limiting beliefs. However you can choose to have a different belief (and take different actions leading to different results).
I worked with a senior HR manager in a law firm recently – she had been encouraged to apply for the top HR role in her firm. But she was hesitant to put herself forward for promotion. During our 60 minute session, we uncovered that she believed you need a degree to be the Director of HR. Never mind the fact that she had more than 20 years experience! Once we uncovered that belief, we were able to choose a more helpful belief, and then take the appropriate actions to reinforce that belief. Now there’s no stopping her!
To develop your mindset, start by noticing your thoughts and beliefs. What is positive and helpful? What is not? Become aware of what’s working and what’s not.
a financial investment: work with a coach, sign up to a personal development course, or study a new skill.
a time investment: networking, reading, studying, nurturing relationships, and most importantly time to take action.
Make an investment in you and your career. Career success doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not magic. It happens ‘on purpose’. Your purpose. Your investment.
The fifth essential to get career confidence is to have a plan.
You need the big goal and vision however you also need an action plan and strategy to achieve that goal. The best plans include smaller steps and milestones. Without a plan, you’re drifting. Drifting might be fun. You might get somewhere exciting but the journey will be easier and quicker when you have a plan.
Not just a plan. Get support and accountability too. I loved the Power Pair idea that Kelly Pietrangeli advocated. I love the magic from being part of a group of like-minded women (Kelly refers to your Power Posse). It’s at the heart of my personal success – I’ve worked with a business mastermind since 2014 – and it’s what’s so special about my Leadership Confidence programme.
The 5 essentials you need to get career confidence
The 5 essentials you need to get career confidence are Contribution, Wellness, Mindset, Investment and a Plan. You can achieve career success without all these essentials in place. However pay attention to all 5, and your career confidence will rocket skywards and you to achieve your best potential.
If this has got you wishing you hadn’t missed the conference, it’s not too late. You’ve still got time to grab yourself a copy of the boxset of all 25+ interviews on mindset, self-care, work-life balance, leadership, productivity, meaningful work, avoiding burnout and so much more.