8 Questions To Ask @ The Interview

#tip01The answer to “Do you have any questions to ask us?”

  1. Can you describe a typical day in this role?
  2. How long have you been with the company?
  3. What makes you stay with the company?
  4. How would you describe the work culture?
  5. How would my performance be measured?
  6. What types of career opportunities may be open for someone starting in this type of role?
  7. What are some of the company’s initiatives regarding learning and development?
  8. What are some of the key challenges of this role?

Self Acceptance Trumps Self Confidence

be_gentleOver the past couple of weeks I have had some really good conversations with a number of people who have been wrestling with issues related to self-confidence and all things prickly. So like any good coach I’ve dipped into my library looking for good material to share. A book I like is The Confidence Trap by Dr Russ Harris. It’s full of great ideas and tools for building self-confidence. I love especially love his phrase Self-Acceptance Trumps Self Confidence (every time).

I love it because it holds hope and is there something to apply right away for the DIY type. Self-confidence feels like it rests in grand accomplishments or goals achieved whereas self-acceptance is something you/me/I can do for ourselves.

Look around at the people you feel drawn to; the ones who you find attractive. Generally they’re people who have accepted who they are and seem grounded. You don’t have to wade through a sea of insecurity before you get to the essence of them the part that you can connect to for humour, relief or connection. After all that’s what we’re searching for in relationships.

So what can you do right here right now to build your self-acceptance?

  1. Check out what you’re expecting of yourself.
    Is it realistic?If not ditch it and find a more fitting expectation.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others it is doomed outcome.
    Compare yourself to yourself – grow yourself respectfully. You don’t plant a rose and compare it to an orchid and wonder why it’s failing.
  3. Start talking kindly to yourself.
    Encourage yourself and catch yourself doing something well or good and recognise it.
  4. Take small steps outside your comfort zone.
    Each time you have a success celebrate!
  5. Become good at something.
    Most accomplishments are skill based which means they come with practise, so do the hard yards and practise.
  6. Do not rely on others to give you praise.
    Put it in the ‘nice to have’ but not needed basket

Good luck with the journey – Dana






The difference a day can make to your career

One day can take you from fearful to hopeful by …

  • Giving you a chance to take a breath – reflect, refine and regroup.
  • Giving you a chance to gather tools to support you in creating a career to love.
  • Spending time with people who will support you to grow your dream.
  • Giving you the space that makes the difference.

Giving yourself that time is important isn’t it?

If you’re ready click here  Relaunch Career_Flyer_7


Take a Quick Career Pulse Check


If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then NOW is the moment to consider relaunching your career.

If you are sitting in a job that you know is not for you but changing feels too hard, too scary or you have no idea what else you would do then it’s time to take control.

The Facts

  • 70% of people are in their current role by accident
  • Career is a verb not a noun
  • People who declare career success are people who took control of their careers
  • Your success depends on your attitude – are you a beggar or a resource person

If you want to take control of your career success join us at Relaunch Your Career on Oct 18 2014

Down load the flyer here Relaunch Career_Flyer_7


Meet the Cheer Leaders Behind Relaunch Your Career

We decided to give you more information about who is behind Relaunch Your Career so via our VOX POP interview we bring you some inside information about the Relaunch Your Career team.  We asked each of the facilitators six questions and this is what they said.


JWJeanette White – Career Warrior 

  1. What did you want to do when you left school?
    When I first left school- all I wanted was to have a big rest! I had been accepted into RMIT to do a Bachelor of Science in Science Photography, but felt really burnt out after Year 12, and my heart just wasn’t in it. So I deferred, and looked for a job doing what I loved – working with horses. I left home and moved to the Western District of Victoria to live and work on a Quarter Horse stud. It was also a huge beef/sheep farm, and my love of country living began.
  2. What was your first job?
    My first job was while I was still at school, clearing tables at Coles Cafeteria in Doncaster Shoppingtown. I was 15 years old. My Mum and Dad said on my 15th birthday, that if I could save up enough money to buy half a horse, they would put in the other half. The very next day, I found a job and in less than a year made my dream of buying my first horse a reality. What my parents didn’t realise at the time was that buying a horse is the cheapest part of horse ownership!
  3. What are you doing now?
    Now I am doing a variety of work. I have a part time job in a workforce development/ human resource management role in the agriculture sector and I am doing some evaluation and research work for Melbourne University for a few months. I also facilitate workshops such as strategic planning and business planning and of course my favourite workshops- Relaunch Your Career, with my good friend Dana Hughes.Relaunch Your Career came about in response to a growing awareness that women in midlife often reach a time of indecision in their lives when they are looking for more meaning in their careers. I had a few friends in this position- so full of experience and energy, yet disillusioned and asking “surely there has to be more to life than this?” Dana and I designed the workshops to help these women take back their power and plan for a positive future.
    When I’m not working, I help run our small family farm and have a busy family that includes 2 teenage boys.
  4. What has been you darkest career moment? How did you get out of it?
    My darkest career moment came about 3 years ago, when I was managing a multimillion dollar infrastructure development contract for the State Government. As I sat in a meeting with senior managers and contractors discussing deadlines, permits, building regulations and milestones, I realised I had strayed way too far from my true purpose. What was I doing there? How did I get there? How could I get OUT? How did I get to be so damned good at something I cared so little about? How did I get out of it? I found another job and resigned!
  5. Who / what has been your greatest influence in your career?
    During the time I was worked in medical research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in Melbourne, I decided that I wanted to go to University to study to be a veterinarian. The general manager of the WEHI at the time said to me (in an elevator full of people)- “It sounds like a lovely idea ‘dear’, but don’t get your hopes up too high; there are a lot of very smart people trying to get into Veterinary Science.” From that moment on I was determined that I would succeed and she would have to eat her words! And I did.I have always tried to do work that I find interesting and varied and where I can be learning new things. I love to work in a team, and use my creativity.
  6. What has surprised you or have you learnt in your working life?
    In my working life I have learnt that there are endless possibilities for different careers, and that you don’t need to stay doing something that does not satisfy you or make you happy.
    I have also learnt that work that aligns with your core values is the only sort of work that works!Clearing tables, training horses, medical research, veterinary science, community development, regional development, training and facilitation, human resource management, farming, ……I call myself a career warrior, and now you know why!

Click here to join us at Relaunch Your Career  October 18 2014
give yourself the time to reflect, refine and strategise for your next career move.

When Are You Too Old To Be A Rock Star?

Female rock star with micraphoneThe Question: “When is it too late to start doing what you’d love to do?” was uttered in a room of 75 women and the room erupted.

Hands went up all over the room with people eager to tell their story of change and the courage it took to make the step, to affirm the woman who asked the question and to collectively say NEVER!

I hear this question regularly or its sister statements regularly “I’d love to but I can’t … it’s too late, too expensive, too hard …” the list can be tailored to any of our fears. The statement is real for the person who makes it and the self-doubt and fear that prompt it are tangible.

The simple answer to the question of when is it too late is: Tomorrow.

But this feels trite so let’s look deeper for some strategies to respond the question because when it’s asked it is often a question of hope. Hope that the answer is never and hope that there is a way to reach for the dream.

Why we think it’s too late

When I ask people why they think it’s too late they have a long list of beliefs which they tell me are “logical reasons”, “based in reality”. But the lists are only beliefs.  What if a belief was only a thought which we have practiced so often that we don’t challenge it anymore?

I am always reminded of Roger Bannister and the 4 min mile. The belief was that nobody could run a mile under 4 min. When  he did within days others began to break the same limits, the current record time is 3:43.13.  So how do you break your personal 4 min mile?

8 Useful Strategies To Challenge A Belief

  1. Ask the question “Who said it’s too late?”
    Why is it too late?  When is too late?   What makes it too late?

  2. Challenging the beliefs with the question “What would have to happen for me to live my dream of..?”
    This question makes your brain go to the answer rather than focusing on the problem.

  3. Challenging each belief for its authenticity.
    Is it categorically true?
    What makes it true?
    Where are the exceptions?

  4. Asking what am I really fearful of?
    What are you really frightened of?
    Ask five whys e.g.
    It’s too late for me to become a rock star
    1) Why is it too late?
    A: Because nobody wants to see a middle age woman on stage
    2) Why would that be the case?
    A: Because that isn’t the norm, most rock stars are in their 20’s
    3) Why is it the norm? and so onYou must ask the why at least 5 times.

  5. Unpacking what the dream really means?
    To start this action list five things living the dream will give you…or 5 reasons that you want it.
    Can you create those outcomes in another way?

  6. How can it be expressed in small no fail steps?
    Write done and action one thing you can do today to make it happen and then keep going with the list.

  7. Find someone who has challenged a belief and copy what they did and do e.g.
    How do they think about the accepted attitudes?
    Who do they listen to?
    What do they say to themselves in the privacy of their own minds?
    What do they say to others?

  8. Ask yourself “What is the cost of not doing it?”

There’s the dramatic change and then there’s the veer a little to the left or right. All can get you to where you want to be. For some the quandary of the is it too late might be because the leap feels dramatic but for others it might be as simple as thinking about their career differently.

One of the aspects of this conversation I enjoy is that it really is the journey not the destination that is important. For example think how much fun our rock star could have just learning how to strut her stuff on stage in a safe environment or taking a part in a local musical production and getting rave reviews.

 The take away message is that it is never too late to give it a go and to enjoy the fruits of courage and execution.

Below is link to a list of famous people who changed careers late – http://mentalfloss.com/article/24688/10-people-who-switched-careers-after-50-and-thrived

Check out the tools and resources we have to help you find your career Mojo by clicking on the links below:

Regards Dana

Challenge 1: Behave As If You’re Still Being Interviewed

iStock_dog_with_glassesThe challenge: To test the 10 Ways to be Sensationally Successful at Your Job (post 22/08/14)  Dang…before I even got started on the challenge I had to make some decisions such as:

  • What was the optimum behaviour at the interview stage?
  • Did I start the week being super nice?
  • Did I try to show people what I could offer?
  • Did I have another nifty approach up my sleeve?

Being a people pleaser by nature I felt like I wanted to take the ‘nice’ option but after some serious self-talk good sense prevailed.  There were a couple of things I did this week that were influenced by the challenge but I want to tell you about the most successful. The decision was to take another approach.

I decided that when you’re being interviewed you are taking a fresh look at the role. You have an open mind. So I decided to start each day with a fresh approach to everyone and everything, as if it was my first day and not bring yesterday’s impression into the next day. I figured this is like a best behaviour mode which is one of the things we do at the interview.

It was amazing coming into a team environment each day for the week and putting yesterdays history of a person’s behaviour aside. I had to remind myself of my challenge a couple of times but the effect was quite startling.

Most notably was when a colleague, who I often find difficult, began her usual conversation about her pet topics. Rather than signing out mentally and resisting her thinking “please save me from this” I actually listened and guess what happened? Instead of going on ‘forever’ she simply told her story and went on her way. To my surprise it was an easy conversation. She stopped trying to get me to listen by going on and on and I got to hear the story and go on my way. It was magic.

I’m not saying I succeeded in all situations. For example I noticed how often I walked to a meeting thinking about what had gone on at the previous meeting. Some of my head talk was useful for example recapping decisions or actions but also there were also whole thought blocks that I was taking with me that were useless history. You know the thoughts; he so conservative he won’t support this idea…he never does or this is going to be a useless meeting.

The challenge was a reminder to walk my talk. I’m eager to hear what strategies you might have chosen and how they went.

Next week’s challenge: To treat your manager as a person you help not as someone who tells you what to do.

If you’re up for a challenge and ready to do something about making your career the one you want check out the Relaunch Your Career Workshops

Cheers Dana

Career and Training Services & Relaunch Your Career

10 Ways to be Successful

I love infographics they make simple information look great. Every one of these tips are doable. Let’s take a 10 week challenge and try one tip per week. I’ll keep you posted and would love to hear from anyone who’s joining me.

Tip 1 Behave as if you’re still being interviewed…


Want to Relaunch Your Career? Click here for workshop dates and venues.

Regards Dana

2 Ways to Create A Long Term Career

girl looking down rail lineThanks to everyone who noticed that last week I promised 5 tips and I only offered 3 – my apologies. Here are another two strategies to ensure your career is like a full length movie not a short-lived sitcom:

Know your career outcome (aka the plot) … in fact know your outcome in any situation. This week I ran a workshop teaching people how to map a conflict and I was reminded, yet again (I’m a slow learner) of how important this mind-set is in so many situations. We often approach situations (and our careers) with a short-term plan i.e. get the job, keep the job, get the contract, keep the contract the list goes on. We don’t really consider the long-term or end game. Let me give you some examples of how the different thinking effects what you do now:

Short Term View Actions Result
Get that job, contract or customer now. Do whatever needs to be done. If necessary cut corners. The immediate outcome is the only key driver. Burn bridges, reputation is at best shaky. Limited networks to draw from. Behave like a beggar.
Long Term View
Get into the industry – this job is part of the plan Build credibility, relationships and reputation whilst getting the customers – approach and outcome are important drivers. Reputation is strong and transferable across different roles. Promotions are inevitable and networks are strong. See yourself as a resource.

Know Yourself (aka the characters) … knowing what you bring to a role in terms of skills is one thing, knowing who you are and what that brings is another.  It’s part of being a resource person and if we go back to the long running series analogy knowing yourself means you will be more likely to still be in the story line at the end. Why? People who know who they are choose are more astute in choosing the next role, task or promotion. this in turn means they are generally more successful. If you don’t know much about who you are and what you bring you can do any number of the following:

– Do some personality profiling e.g. DISC, MBTI or the like
– Get some feedback from trusted peers about your style and behaviour
– If you’re offered the chance to do a 360 degree feedback – DO IT. Damn scary but invaluable
– See a career counsellor
– Do any type of personal development course that comes your way

So that makes 5 tips to prevent your career from being a sitcom i.e. short, broken by ad breaks and shallow. And the last is don’t take it too seriously … your career is meant to be fun and give you opportunity for understanding more about you and the world.

Check out our new workshop series Relaunch Your Career September & November 2014

5 Ways To Avoid A Sitcom Career

Head shot with clockOne of my clients, let’s call her Carol, sat in my office this week lamenting that her career was not where it should be by now. She grimaced that at the age of 29 her career was non-existent. When I asked her what a career was she stumbled for a brief moment and then told me about her job.
Our jobs are not our careers. Our career is something we craft. It’s not a sitcom that has a neat plot with a beginning, middle and end plus 3 lucrative sponsored ad breaks.
Sitcoms have got a lot to answer for in relation to the way we see our lives. The only benefit they bring is being able to liken a blip in our career as one of the ad breaks rather than a complete disaster. But that’s where the analogy stops being helpful.
The challenge we have, in the current career reality, is thinking that a career is something that materialises in a few short years rather than a tapestry that is being created by each interchange, decision and event. Some will be life changing but then others may simply be the weaving of the threads to give it strength and texture.
So how do you begin to grow your career over time rather than in a sitcom fashion?
  1. See it as a long running series.  Your career is the sum total of the experiences that you’ve collected over time almost as incidental; but they start to pay off. You know the ones; the pattern you’ve seen before that heralds disaster if not nipped in the bud, how to handle the pesky co-worker who is talking as they walk into the room or the look that a customer has when they’re not happy. Celebrate them as skills gathered.
  2. As Brian Tracy says in his book Eat That Frog ask yourself and answer frankly; why am I on the pay roll? Take the time to identify the top 3 functions of your role and find ways to excel. If they don’t interest you then you’re in the wrong role so get out as quick as you can. BUT remember not to be harsh on yourself, each experience is part of the creation of your career.
  3. Sell the benefit of what you do. Many of my clients struggle with this one, who am I kidding, so do I at times. The skill of showing others the benefit of what you do is not about bragging it’s about caring enough to know what they want and delivering in a respectful manner. It’s acknowledging that you’ve done a good job and celebrating.
Join us at the Relaunch Your Career Workshops to consider and reflect on the worth of a career well lived ….