Alice Olins and Phanella Mayall, co-founders of the career coaching initiative Step Up Club share their tips to make 2019 your most successful career year ever.
Alice and Phanella are the forces of nature behind the Step Up Club. One of the UK’s leading career experts, they’ve helped numerous women make positive, dynamic changes in their careers and confidence. They aren’t so much dream-makers as dream-facilitators: the innovative Step Up School (which you can attend in person or online) gives you the tools to achieve your goals. What’s more, they understand that we all want a work/life balance alongside achieving those big dreams. Here’s their five-step guide to making 2019 a career-boosting success.
1. Learn to say no. We are conditioned to feel we have to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way, but that leads directly to overwhelm. By saying yes to everything (and we include work demands and social expectations in this list), you do yourself a huge disservice. To stop this happening, create a benchmark against which you can measure requests on your energies and time: does this fit my values, will this make me happy, by doing this will I get closer to my goals? Remember, by saying no to one thing, you are actually allowing yourself to say yes to something else, even if that opportunity hasn't yet presented itself.
2. Get some mentors. We know the word 'mentoring' has the power to strike fear in many. So, we're going to do a little re-brand right now: the art of mentoring is just building relationships with a purpose. We all rely on others for aspects of our non-work lives (friend who is a shoulder to cry on, friend who has wisdom seeping out from every pore) and work mentors are the same. They're just people who have you back, are there to give you advice, and who open doors for you when you want to get ahead. Now, sit down and think about how many you already have, and then use them wisely.
3. Get comfortable with networking. Another word that makes many nervous is networking. The thing is, your network is the lifeblood of your career or business. Something like 75% of new jobs and 80% of new business comes via out networks. Here's the good news: technology can be your friend here. You don't need to go to networking party every night, because an email, or an Insta DM is sometimes all it takes to join the necessary dots. Another thing to remember: networking isn't just meeting new people, it's also reconnecting with old contacts. However you do it, build and feed your network.
4. Eat the frog. You know when you turn up at work, you have that big thing you need to do, but you keep putting it off. You leave it metaphorically hanging over your head all day (all week even), which induces all sorts of stress and guilt. Yeah, well do it first thing in the morning. Eating the frog is the getting the bad/complicated/nerve-wracking jobs done first, so that you can let out a sigh of relief before noon and get on with your day.
5. Build a work uniform. Seriously, this is one of the easiest ways to feel in control with work and life. Spend some timing thinking about the clothes in your wardrobe that build your confidence, are comfortable, and really feel like you. Perhaps your go to is a blouse, neat trouser and flat shoe combination? Or maybe you're more of a dress and boots kinda girl? Whatever your uniform, recognise it, own it and then wear it on repeat. This will minimise morning routine stress and help feed your personal brand at work by being visually consistent. FYI a uniform does not negate personality in your dressing - the power of a red lip or a pair of killer earnings should never be underestimated!
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