Career Development

Cultivating a Professional Network takes time and effort, it is not set and forget but when you build the network that aligns with your interests and career aspirations it can be the difference between success and failure to launch. The connections we make at school, university and our first job all go on to have their own careers sometimes we maintain and build on those connections cultivating a professional network but other times we let potentially important relationships wither and become forgotten. Think about the fact that according to the Wall Street Journal as many as 80% of leadership jobs are not advertised. Learning about career opportunities that might suit your skills, having someone to recommend you or be a referee these are people in your professional network. But it is not limited to career progression, having a strong advisory network can be the difference from you being successful inContinue Reading

The power of saying no comes from being able to make a choice. When we choose to say no, we create a space for prioritising better things to say yes to. That’s the premise of this article. Kat Cole helps us understand we all have finite resources and important choices to make. Being able to say no to others (and ourselves) is a powerful muscle. It can help in building a strong career and a happy life. Failing to say no, (at the very least), can cause us to miss something bigger or greater.  Kat Cole It is when we take on work or activities that we should have declined. That is when we risk burnout, stress, high opportunity costs and more. Guidance on How to Start ‘Saying No’ When asked take on an activity, a job, volunteering, investment, donations, etc.. What we need to consider is how we goContinue Reading

You don’t have to look very far on the internet to come across articles on Jim Kwik, the boy with the broken brain how he taught himself to hack the brain to learn fast. This article compiles input from a number of sources, Jim himself is prolific in self promotion but there are a number of other articles and collectively here is what I have learned. Apparently Kwik suffered a brain injury when he was young, which caused him to have a number of problems learning. When he was in college he was struggling with school even considering dropping out. After spending a weekend with his roommate’s family he was encouraged to write a bucket list. That list helped him realise the only way to achieve it was to improve, so he read all the available texts on problem solving and memory. [F] ORGET The logic is to not letContinue Reading

Identifying your genius is about understanding what makes you different or special. It is your personal and professional unique value proposition. It fits quite nicely with defining your purpose (there are numerous articles in HBR and various Journals on the topic of purpose). Purpose is about being really clear what drives you. Genius is about knowing your key strengths. This is the point to say that there are alternatives to the Genius model. CliftonStrengths created by Don Clifton (and sold by Gallup) is based on decades of research. It is often referred to as StrengthFinder which was the name of his very successful book. It breaks down into 4 domains and 34 dominant themes: Strategic Thinking – Analytical, Context, Futuristic, Ideation, Input, Intellection, Learner, Strategic Relationship Building – Adaptability, Connectedness, Developer, Empathy, Harmony, Included, Individualisation, Positivity, Relator Influencing – Activator, Command, Communication, Competition, Maximiser, Self-Assurance, Significance, Woo (winning others over)Continue Reading

Managing your workload when you get promoted can be very difficult, as getting promoted means more responsibility but the hours in the day are finite. Having an effective plan on how to manage the workload is critical for any leader stepping up. Leadership coach Liz Kislik suggests three practical steps to keep things under control. Build a 90 Day Plan For any leader taking on new accountability it is very important to establish a plan that sets out the known and the unknown. It helps set timeframes for hand over of any old responsibilities and coming upto speed with the new ones. A 90 Day Plan (some people prefer 100 day plans) should consider the strategy (which may include vision and mission if they are not clearly inherited from the organisation). It should also be clear on the objectives (scope of activities), the resources available to the team. The planContinue Reading

Creative inspiration can help you to be happier, smarter and more emotionally aware. Amy Stanton-Minutes writes about how you can build your creativity and use it to change the way you see the world. She has four ways that can help you have a happier and healthier life through a little creative inspiration. MORNING PAGESAn exercise in free writing your thoughts first thing in the morning. No editing what you have written or criticising it. Much like writing a journal the creativity of capturing your thoughts no matter where they ramble, also helps with clearing the sub-conscience. PERSONAL PROJECTSDesign a business card or a T-Shirt, take photo’s make a music playlist, knit sweater it doesn’t matter what your project as long as you feel you are creating and putting some original thought into it. SING, DANCE & PLAYDancing, singing and other kinds of play help release inhibitions and provide aContinue Reading

Preparing for disappointment, it’s not something you want to think about at the beginning but for some it can become overwhelming, so how do you strike the right balance? It is something that we all face, preparing, waiting, hoping and finally bracing ourselves for the chance we will not get what ever the big opportunity we were hoping for. From school grades to job interviews we all face disappointment and waiting for results can be agonising. The frustration of not knowing can mess with your sleep and your concentration, so how do you manage during the time of uncertainty, rather than drop into a rabbit hole of potential negativity? Amy Gallo spoke with some other experts to advise some coping mechanisms, and here is what they propose: Ask yourself if worrying helps According to Art Markman (a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and author ofContinue Reading


A common mistake people make in their career is believing that investing time and energy into making more money will make them greater happiness. On the whole people with more free time are happier, healthier and more productive than colleagues who put all the effort and priorities into making money. “I was justifying my choices by telling myself what a lot of us tell ourselves: that we’re working hard now so we will have more time to be happy later” Ashley Whillans This was backed by by research in a study by Whillans and Macchia who studied more than 220,000 people living in 79 countries to explore the differences in happiness of those who prioritise time (leisure) vs money (work). The findings proved that one you move beyond individual welfare, the value that nations place on leisure versus work fundamentally shapes individuals happiness. In an earlier article Jessica Stillman fromContinue Reading

Anyone with leadership aspirations will consider the question ‘Am I Talent’ as they progress in their career. And while it is not purely a question for leaders the nature of the question is directly related to subjective nature of how others consider and measure your performance. As a subject matter expert, with specialist skills, experience and credentials it is quite clear the basis of how you are recruited or retained in a role. In sales roles, results speak for themselves and the salesperson who does not hit targets knows exactly why they are underperforming. So for leaders and aspiring leaders how do you know if you have what it takes? How do you know – ‘am I talent?’ or if I am High Potential… High Potential Firstly a caveat – you can be extremely talented and not on your organisations top talent list (sometimes referred to as High Potential orContinue Reading

’70 is the new 30′ it does seem hard to believe that we have the ability to out perform a peer 40 years our junior, but that is what a recent survey from Finland recently established. They found that the physical and cognitive health of adults today is significantly better than it was 30 years ago. Positive changes in nutrition, healthcare, education and an improved working life have contributed to superior functionality (according to the research). “the most important underlying factor behind the cohort differences in cognitive performance was longer education.” Kaisa Koivunen (researcher) According to author Daniel Levitin (Author of The Changing Mind: A Neuroscientists Guide to Ageing) its not that 70 or 80 year olds are the same as 30 year olds physically but mentally the older person has distinct advantages including impulse control, ability to get along with others and structured decision making Many of us believeContinue Reading