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5 Ways To Get More Confidence

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In my job, I get to talk to lots of different people who are at different stages of their careers, and I find it really interesting that no matter what level, industry or job they have, there is always always a common theme…

…they want more confidence. 

Think about it…where in your life have you stalled (or completely been stopped) because you felt you couldn’t achieve something? A lack of confidence can be debilitating and really hold you back from what you love doing.

But imagine you had the confidence to…

  • walk up to your boss and ask for the pay rise you deserve?
  • nail every job interview without self-doubt?
  • contribute your opinion in a meeting?
  • have a coffee with your CEO or senior leader and provide them feedback?
  • become a manager and lead a team to greatness?
  • stand in front of a large crowd of 100 people and have them hanging on every word?

Imagine your life with an abundance of confidence!

You would be unstoppable (hell yeah!).  You would have everything you wanted (of course!), and your life would be very, very different.  It would be amazing and self-fulfilling and unstoppable!

So, I’m here to tell you that it’s about time you felt this confidence!

Right about now you’re probably hearing your self-doubt kick in…but before you indulge in what you call your “reality”, here is something for you to think about…

You don’t need to be confident “all the freaking time”…but you can get confidence for the moments that count

Think about it, having an abundance of confidence all the time is likely to be a big shift and could take a lot of effort and to be honest, probably seems unrealistic…

Getting confidence in the moments that count is important, and I’m here to tell you, it’s really not that hard.

Let’s take going for a job interview as an example.  What would it take to get confidence in that moment?

Or… In asking for a pay rise?

Or… In networking with senior managers?

Or… In performance review… or anything else you want?

What it takes is the following:

  1. Getting to know what you actually want and take control

So, I hear you saying… my goal is to “get the job”.

For the most part, you can’t control the outcome 100% because you don’t know who else has applied, but you can control how you feel during the interview and how well you prepare.

So, another goal could be (as well as getting the job of course) is to walk away having presented your best self and being proud no matter the outcome.

You can control how you prepare and how you show up and when you keep nailing that aspect, the results will come.

2. Getting familiar with that moment (i.e. practice!)

Often, we picture the moment where you need “confidence” as being scary or hostile, mostly because we are unfamiliar with being in that moment.

Take asking for a pay rise as an example.  If you haven’t asked for a pay rise before, it could be a little daunting.  It’s by sheer practice and “getting familiar with that moment” that you start to feel comfortable.

Practice = confidence so the more you put yourself “out there” the better (and less scary) it becomes.

3. Get perspective

We tend to work ourselves into a bit of a spin thinking of all the worst-case scenarios…like how you’ll miss out on the job of your dreams, or you’ll get rejected when asking for a pay rise or promotion.

It helps to work through these worst-case scenarios and ask yourself “how likely is that going to happen?” Very rarely does the worst case happen, but if it does, have a plan that has you be confident to deal with anything that comes your way in that moment.

If you think your manager could say something brash like: “you don’t deserve a pay rise.  Tell me why I should give it to you…” (ouch!), get around it by preparing a great answer for it, one that you knew they would be excited by.

4. Have options

If you have one “true love”, that you have just met on a date, then all your emotions are going into that one person… no doubt you will be devastated if they don’t return your calls.

Similarly, if you are waiting on one job, you will be waiting for that email or clutching onto your phone waiting for their call…

But if you had options, your mind is focused on what’s next… Plus, the chances of you getting a job when waiting for five potential employers is much more likely to convert into a job, than if you were waiting on one.

Options = less stress!

5. Get experience

If you have never gone for a job interview (or it’s been a while), or asked for a pay rise, or had “work from home” days, there is nothing more valuable than having requested this, regardless of the outcome.

Yes, you might get rejected (and probably should expect it), but that’s also valuable… the more rejections the better, because when you start nailing it, you will be unstoppable!

What can you do next?

We’re here for you to win!  Whatever that looks like for you…new job, promotion, flexible working, pay rise…whatever your heart desires for your career.

That’s why we’ve put together a stack of free resources and training as well as offer personalised coaching and online programs – all for you to excel in your career.  Check them out here:- https://www.promotableyou.com.au/products/

How To Get An Interview By Nailing Your Phone Screen

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So, you’ve completed your brand spanking new resume using the AAA Resume Format and you submitted it for a job that you really want.   A week later you’ve been contacted about the role and they want to talk to you about it #hellyeah

Firstly, great work! Clearly, they’re interested in your skills, experience and the way you have presented yourself on paper.  You’ve got your foot in the door, so now it’s time to “up the game”. The stakes just got higher.

You’ve been advised the next step in the selection process is to have a “chat” about your application with the recruiter.  Great! You’re excited about that but…

…you’re now starting to get a little nervous because you don’t know what they want to “chat” about…

…I mean, it could be anything yeah?

Sure, they could ask you anything, but let’s take a look at what typically this “chat” is going to be about, and what you need to prepare for.  Then you can remove those nerves and be your amazingly fabulous self.

Let’s start at the beginning…

An “informal chat” is typically what recruiters call a “phone screen”.

They’ve gone through all of the resume applications, culled the ones they don’t want and now they’re trying to find the best people to interview.  Time is limited in the recruitment world so they can’t physically interview everyone, only the best of the bunch.

So let’s go through what they’re looking for, so you don’t get caught on the “chopping block” and you do get that interview!

How you present yourself and communicate over the phone

They’ll be judging you on how you answer the phone, how polite you are, how well you know the job you’ve applied for… do you sound professional enough for them to want to interview you?

My tips for success:

  1. Keep copies of the job ads with you in your bag so you can reference them quickly when recruiters call. Nothing speaks more highly of a candidate that knows why they’re being called and is excited about it.
  2. Always activate voicemail – nothing worse than a recruiter trying to reach you and you don’t answer…or there isn’t an option for them to leave a message.

NOTE:  record a professional, friendly voicemail (no voice to text!) and check it regularly and get back to them ASAP.

  1. If they’re trying to set up a time with you, be flexible! They have a stack of people to call and you don’t want to be the one they roll their eyes at over the phone because you’re being a “princess” about times (I’m totally being serious about this one!).  You want them on your side.

Your motivation for applying

They’ll be making notes about your passion for the role, how interested you are and your motivation for applying.  They may ask things like why does this role interest you? Why are you wanting to leave your current role?  What compelled you to apply?

My tips for success:

  1. Think about your answers for these questions now (before they call)…be as truthful as you can but also keep in mind what the recruiter will be wanting to hear i.e. that you hate your current boss – not a good idea. That you don’t get paid enough – again, not a great idea.  That you’re looking for a new challenge and your current company doesn’t have room for progression – good idea.  Get the gist here?
  2. Write your answers down and keep then with you. The beauty of a phone interview is that it’s like an open book test – they can’t see if you’re reading off a piece of paper. This works really well if you get nervous easily too.  This has saved me so many times!
  3. It’s ok if you’re out and about to ask if you can call them back in 10 minutes, or later that day (if they want to talk to you on the spot), just so you can then rush back and grab your notes and be prepared for the call.  Please don’t take the call whilst on a bus, tram, train, driving etc. The signal ALWAYS seems to fail and it doesn’t come across professional.

Review your qualifications and experience

They may do quick review of your qualifications, technical ability and experience and ask you to clarify something such as your job history, formal qualifications, or anything specific about that role i.e. specific industry experience and skills.  If I’m interviewing for an administration position, as an example, I’m going to ask them about their diary management skills specifically and perhaps their ability to multi-task.

My tips for success:

  1. Have your resume with you so you can refer to it without having to remember all that info. Plus, if you’ve used the AAA Resume format you’ve likely adjusted the resume to suit that particular role so you’ll need to know exactly what you’ve written.  I always keep a little folder in my bag with all of my applications in it.  Might seem annoying but really, women have huge handbags nowadays and you can fit anything in there 🙂  It will really save you in the long run.
  2. If it’s a new industry that you haven’t worked in before, make sure you research that industry so you can at least have a conversation about what you know about it. And really, you should have done this prior to applying for that role anyway, so you know if it was going to be a good fit for you or not.
  3. Be prepared to provide examples as they may ask for them i.e. if we use my administrator example and I ask a candidate; “talk to me about your diary management ability”, it’s not enough to say “I’m really good at that” or “yes, I have a lot of experience in that”. You need to be able to demonstrate it through an example, even if they don’t ask you to provide one.  Tell them where you use that skill and the great outcomes you’e had using that skill.

And lastly, here are some of the common question you may need to prepare for:

  1. Talk through what you know of X company?
  2. What attracted you to this role?
  3. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  4. Why are you looking to leave your current role?
  5. What is your salary expectation?
  6. Where do you see your career going in 5 years?
  7. Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this role?
  8. What is your notice period at your current role?
  9. What do you know about X Industry?
  10. Why are you interested in working in X industry?

Write down answers to all of them as you just don’t know what they’re going to ask.  Better to be prepared.  That’s how top candidates get the interviews!

Good luck!

Creating Balance In Your Life

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Guest post by the very talented Brooke Taylor:

In my life, it would appear that on the outside I have it all. I have a cool day job in sustainability, a cool night job playing music, I exercise, I do yoga, I spend time with my family and spend time with my friends. I live on my own, have a nice car, don’t settle with dudes that don’t treat me well or friends that sabotage my happiness – all the good sh*t. But…

…before a recent holiday I was at the point of complete exhaustion; both physically and mentally. Admittedly I was totally pushing the boundaries to get cash money for the holiday, but dear god I’m never letting that happen again; I was a wreck held together by stubbornness and pride. So, in that sense, I will still write this post on ‘creating balance’, but just know that I don’t always get it right…

Yes, creating balance…

I suppose the first point I want to make is that balance isn’t found, it’s deliberately made – and  it should be prioritised. Make an achievable goal and stick to it. It’s actually very easy.  If you want to be a better cook, have designated ‘new recipe Wednesday’ or organise a ‘cooking night’ with friends.  People become experts at making excuses for not doing things, but at the end of the day, ‘tis best to just shut up and do what you said you were going to do. Integrity is key.

Make declarations.

I like to book things in advance and I stop myself from ‘umming and ahhing’ about whether I should do something and I just go and do it. I take the first step – baby steps are fine…they’re actually better. And, if I stuff up, I just try again.

My key mantras are:

  • You get what you settle for
  • Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will
  • The ‘hard work’ is to keep doing the work

Stick to your guns ladies.

No one explains that. No one really tells you that the hardest bit is to stick to your guns. Anyone can start a change – a diet, workout regime, creative practice…but NO-ONE reiterates that the really hard bit is to keep it up.

Celebrate your wins.

You’ve got to celebrate your wins. Not with a mid-week blow out, or spending money you don’t have, but write yourself a little message on the bathroom mirror – a little ‘you got this’. Positive reinforcement and reminding yourself of what you’ve achieved is important.

Musically I’ve come a long way in the last couple of years, and I find reflection does give the heart a glow and the energy to keep moving forward.

Reward yourself with rest.

Ah, rest. Rest is the bit that I’ve stuffed up on recently. I was thinking that 3 hours of yoga a week was enough to combat a week’s worth of 16-hour days. I’ll give you the hot tip; it’s not. It’s not even close. Sleep and hydration are key. Take a night off. Netflix and chill. You’ll be more energised and calm to be your best self and get the job done. I’m not saying procrastinate, but you MUST rest.

 Become a practicing person.

Think about what it is you want or want to be better at and practise. Practise fitness, practise kindness, practice strength…whatever it is just do a little bit of it every day (or every week) and improve. And write it down – make a written declaration. Scheduling (I find) is really important.

Make the time.

That’s what I meant at the start about ‘creating balance’. Typically left to our own devices we’ll just coast along and do whatever, but, if you want to make a difference to yourself (or others), you’ve got to dedicate yourself to something and action it.

If you loved Brooke’s wise words of wisdom, why not check out her music at  www.brooketaylormusic.com.au and while you’re at it, check out her song “What If” which really is quite fitting with this post!

Yoga, mindfulness and the paradox of getting shit done

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Guest post by my dear friend Claire Kleynjans:

Mindfulness seems to be everyone’s aspiration these days, and every second person owns a yoga mat. Well and good. But when there’s already zero spare time amid the chorus of work, family, obligations, and chores, how are you meant to carve out an extra hour to sit and gaze at your navel? Mindfulness seems irrelevant, impossible, and perhaps even vaguely insulting (sure, you’d love to be mindful – if you won Tattslotto).

The world we live in isn’t exactly gentle with us. Like an unfulfilled helicopter parent, our screens subject us to a consistent aspirational barrage: Achieve! Dream! Travel! Do more! Be more! Have more friends! Be a better daughter/sister/employee/dog sitter! Be happier! Look younger! Buy more throw pillows! Save the planet! Such directives are shouted at us every day, and soon enough we internalise them, saving everybody time by shouting them at ourselves (in our minds, of course. Out loud would be even more terrifying). It’s positively Orwellian. And no matter how admirable the intention behind it, all this bleating is not motivational. The sheer volume means we’re overwhelmed, dissatisfied and exhausted (why hello, dear Shiraz, Cadbury, Sofa and Netflix! Let us accompany each other into oblivion). And it gets worse – the common message underlying all these commands is simple and deadly: you’re not okay as you are. Not enough. In order to get anywhere, you must change! And so, in response, we push ourselves harder and harder to try and attain some unachievable, mythical standard of perfection. But guess what: You are not a unicorn! And achieving great things actually begins with knowing yourself.

So what does yoga have to do with all this? Well, yoga is a delicious paradox: it’s both the antithesis of getting shit done and the very thing that enables you to get shit done. And not only this, it’s the ideal gateway drug to mindfulness. Let me explain.

In our quest to achieve and be better, our bodies are often the casualty. We come to see our physical self as a mere tool to help us climb whatever mountain it is that we’ve selected. And in the process, we forget that these bodies are complex, finely calibrated, organic creatures, not machines. But many of us take better care of our cars than ourselves. A massage once every six months just isn’t going to cut it!

‘If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?’

To compound this systematic neglect of our bodies, society has also bequeathed us the dubious teaching that our thoughts are the boss, and we should listen to and believe them. All of them. All the time. Back in 1637, a philosophical French fella called Descartes wrote ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (I think, therefore I am). The intellectual western world was collectively thrilled with this notion, embracing it as a sign of moral and intellectual superiority. And it’s stuck around ever since – even now, we are slaves to our thoughts, and fail to consider ourselves as whole beings (mind + body, both in need of care and attention). We are disconnected from our essential nature (and we never cop a break from that nattering mind. How exhausting).

To navigate your life successfully – to even know what it is you want, let alone summon the grit and guts and gumption to go after it – you need to be coming from a strong inner place. And that’s exactly what yoga teaches you to find. By paying careful, kind attention to your body and mind, building strength, patience, commitment, and a practice of self-care (judge-y self-talk is not permitted on the yoga mat) you begin to live more authentically and richly, and learn to firmly close the door, even just momentarily, on the shouty world outside. And the constant mental chatter inside. And how do we begin? Why, exactly as we are, of course.

We all know that the things we do in our activewear (the actual active things, not the smoothie-swilling things) are good for us. So we’re (somewhat) down with the concept of exercise. And the movement/exercise aspect of yoga gives an over-achieving mind something to chew on while it’s getting used to this mindfulness caper. Just sitting on a cushion in silence for five minutes is enough to make some of us want to run screaming to the closest bar, so let’s make it as easy as we can, for goodness sake. Your yoga teacher’s job is to guide you physically and mentally, make helpful suggestions, and most importantly ‘hold the space’ for you (this simply means that while you’re in class, no one can ask you to meet a deadline, write a report, donate to charity, make them a snack, run them to soccer practice, etc). Yoga classes are kind and respectful – and everyone’s there for the same reason: to do their own practice, in a safe, supportive community.

As we know (enthusiastically or reluctantly), moving the body feels good. Our bodies were made to move! And after a short while of practising yoga, you will actually notice new things about your body, and maybe your mind too. Because the yoga mat is like a training ground for life. You might notice that you’re a bit stronger, that you don’t loathe bloody boat pose quite so much – but you might also notice how it’s possible to feel your breath with your whole body, and how patient, resilient, persistent, smart and kind you really are. How you are great, right now. How focusing on the body is the easiest way to quiet the mind, so you can hear what really matters. The real, authentic you, crying out to be heard behind all that white noise.

Yoga is a tool that can bring us back to ourselves, and back to the present moment (the fundamental essence of mindfulness). We come to yoga just as we are – no prep required. It’s a practice that teaches us, little by little, to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our best friend, or our beloved pet. Yoga is about just showing up in all our grubby glory and learning how to move our body in time with our breath, and building the courage to creep a little closer to that wildest of all frontiers – one’s own mind.

And the best part is that by doing the very last thing you feel like doing – the most counterintuitive act you could dream up, in your hectic, overworked, fragile state – you’ll find a space in which to care for and renew yourself. As the old adage goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.  

Not sure where to start? Try Yoga with Adriene on YouTube (it’s free), or even braver and better, find yourself a yoga studio not too far from home, where the teachers are kind and real. Let them hold the door open for you, as you come back home to yourself.

And just one last thing. It doesn’t matter what you look like. Gasp! That’s right. You don’t need to buy snazzy expensive tights, or practice/do research first, or wait for bikini season (FFS), or change anything at all. Just show up for yourself, and see what happens. Mindfulness – the real calm that enables us to hear what’s true and get important things done – might be so much sweeter than you ever guessed.

‘Self-care is not self-indulgence. It’s self preservation.’ Audre Lorde

Claire is a yoga instructor, poet, editor, and high school English teacher based in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne. For Claire, yoga is a powerful, peaceful way to reconnect body and spirit, calm the mind, and reclaim mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing (perfect recipe for “getting ahead” in your career!).

For more inspiration head to Claire’s Website.