Is there anything we’re not underrepresented in?
Are you stuck in a rut in a job you despise and/or suffering under a moronic, lazy boss who is literally sucking the life out of you? Are you half expecting to wake up with a grey patch in your hair from all the stress?
If you answered yes, you might need to find your self-belief fast, sister, in order to take a leap of faith and achieve your full careers potential.
When *Sally, 35, (not her real name) was retrenched from a major media company, she felt sick to her stomach, shocked and utterly lost. What’s more, her former bosses were anything but enthusiastic about her unique skills set, so her self-esteem also took a giant hit.
But as the weeks ticked by and Sally regained her inner strength, composure and sense of humour, she realised being made redundant was actually the best thing to have happened to her in ages. She was bitterly unhappy in her job anyway, detested her misogynistic, bullying middle-manager bosses and felt she’d never really reached her full potential. Redundancy was just the push she needed to achieve her goals.
So, never doubting her abilities, she realised she could now look forward to the future with hope and bag that exciting, new career. She started applying for jobs, and mere weeks later, Sally landed a dream marketing position at a major property firm, thereby doubling her annual salary.
This is a true story, with only the person’s name changed to protect their privacy.
Psychologists say self-belief is vital in achieving our career goals in 2015 and living our best life, with passion and gusto.
Why? Because if you truly believe in yourself and that you can achieve what you set out to do – ala Sally – you will have the motivation to move forward to achieve your goals and the determination to overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way. Conversely, if you don’t believe in your ability to achieve, you’ll give up when the first hurdle arises or worse – you won’t get started at all.
What’s more, calculated risks can really pay off, just like Sally’s, and really help you achieve your goals.
But, of course, with great change comes unease. It can take a lot of courage to embrace change because it’s often challenging to move out of our comfort zone, but for many, it has proven to be well worth the effort.
Before embarking on a new career, job experts say to carefully research your options and think about what you really love doing – find a job that excites you. And, if like Sally, you’ve encountered some “haters” along the way – bosses who undermine and underestimate you – you gotta rise above, the experts say.
After all, most of us at some stage have come across someone who, for their own reasons, wants to put us down. Maybe your bosses feel threatened by your potential success or just don’t want you to succeed?
Self-belief will also get you through this. If you believe that you can achieve something you will be able to ignore the nay-sayers and achieve your goals in spite of them.
And one final bit of advice from careers experts: do all you can to avoid these people as much as possible and instead seek out positive mentors and friends who will inspire you and encourage you to achieve your full potential.
Go get em’, tiger!
Main image via www.cseba.eu; secondary image via www.renewable-health-site.com and final image via www.thegrindstone.com
When it comes to Australia’s $128 billion-dollar, male-dominated mining industry – one high achiever stands out from the rest: MEC Mining’s general manager Maria Joyce.
Maria, 33, is at the helm of MEC, a Brisbane-based, global mining consultancy which recently capped off its milestone 10th anniversary year by being selected as a finalist – as only a first-time entrant – at the prestigious 2015 Telstra Queensland Business Awards.
With a Brisbane HQ at 215 Adelaide St, and an office in Santiago, Chile, MEC Mining specialises in mine planning, onsite management, training and innovative and flexible technical services solutions for the international mining industry.
In its 10 years of operation, MEC has contributed to a total value of $140 billion worth of projects and provided expertise in 13 countries and across 11 commodities. In addition, it has completed 400 projects and consulted for more than 100 clients since its inception, specialising in both open-cut and underground mining for the coal and minerals sectors.
A highly capable senior businesswoman, armed with 12 years’ industry experience and a UQ Bachelor of Engineering Mining (Honours), Maria represents the future of both MEC and the Australian mining industry.
And whereas once it was unheard of for a woman to be running a mining company, Maria is also joined by another highly accomplished businesswoman – MEC’s commercial manager Julia Kouba – at the top, alongside the company’s founder/director Daniel Chippendale, co-director Ted Boulton and managing director Simon Cohn.
However, this is far from the norm: mining remains Australia’s most male-dominated industry, with men holding more than 90 per cent of executive positions. And in the global mining industry, women hold just eight per cent of executive committee positions reporting directly to the chief executive officer, according to a recent study.
So, how did Maria do it? By being a first-class businesswoman first and a woman, second. She’s brought a wealth of knowledge, skills and proven competencies to her challenging and rewarding role, such as strong leadership and outstanding professionalism, experience and dedication. And never one to shy away from any obstacle in her path to success, Maria has always relished defying industry sexism.
“Having worked in a variety of roles, different operations and on studies both domestically and internationally, I have been constantly challenged both as a woman and a professional in the industry,” Maria says.
“I have never been afraid to take on a new challenge, but more-so I look to seek them out and conquer them. At times in my career when I feel I wasn’t taken seriously because of my gender, I dusted myself off and worked even harder to earn the respect and support of these individuals and to date I have been successful.
“Throughout my career I have always maintained my core values as a person and as a professional and this is something I am very proud of. Working in a leadership position at MEC has been my most challenging and rewarding role yet. The key leadership team, outside of the company owners/directors, are all women and we support/mentor one another on a daily basis.”
Maria’s current role sees her work closely with the company directors, commercial department and the HR and recruitment team to ensure MEC maintains its first-rate reputation for delivering proven and quality outcomes to its clients.
In addition, she oversees MEC’s Australian-based office and site-based consultants and manages the company’s varied client base, which ranges from pit engineers in the Bowen Basin all the way through to CEOs across the world.
She first joined MEC as a senior mining engineer in 2007, working her way up to the role of Technical Services Manager of the company’s Townsville office, at which she led a team of consultants through the mining industry downturn.
And Maria is also busily supporting other women’s ascension through the ranks in the mining industry as a mentor for Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ), a voluntary, not-for-profit group supported by The Queensland Resources Council.
“I am enjoying the opportunity to encourage and empower other women in mining through WIMARQ,” she says. “Throughout my career, I feel I have encouraged and supported both women and men alike within the mining industry and it’s great to have the occasion to turn this into something more formalised.
“It is a pretty amazing opportunity to have a real impact on the lives of young women entering the industry and I take this on with great seriousness and consider it a privilege.”
Maria sees her biggest challenge in her current role as striking a work/life balance, but luckily for her, she’s got a massive backer in her husband.
“I constantly battle with maintaining a work/life balance and this is something I have honestly struggled with my entire career,” she says. “I finally feel as though I am maturing in this space. I have an extremely supportive husband and we have both made sacrifices in our careers for one another.
“He followed me throughout my career in the Bowen Basin and then when he had his opportunity to take on a new challenge in Northern Queensland, I followed him to Townsville.”
Outside of her work, Maria’s interests include health and mental fitness – she’s even a qualified CrossFit Level 1 trainer. “I challenge myself not only at work, but at CrossFit, which is another passion of mine in life,” she says.
“It builds mental confidence and strength to take on challenges in life. It also instils important values such as compassion, integrity and a sense of community.”
Images via businessreviewaustralia.com, sourceable.net
One of the joys of being in your 40s is a new-found confidence, self-assurance and a no-bullshit attitude. You know who you are; you no longer waste time on people in either your private or your work life who don’t keep their word.
I’m talking about integrity: it’s such a small word, but one with enormous impact. Why is it so hard for some people to keep their word and act with decency and honesty in their business dealings? We all know the type: ruthless, unscrupulous people who rip you off at every opportunity, who owe money all over town. For them, business ethics are non-existent. Thank God for a beautiful thing called karma, I say!
Corporate etiquette expert Jodie Bache-McLean (pictured), the much-respected director of both June Dally-Watkins (JDW) and Dallys Model Management, says the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles is a highly admirable life skill that’s sometimes underrated in the business world.
“Ethics in business is extremely important; unethical behaviour or a lack of corporate social responsibility can damage a firm’s reputation,” Jodie says. “Ethics influence and contribute to employee commitment, customer satisfaction and reputation and image. And ethics are also about an individual’s moral judgement about right and wrong, so the decision to behave ethically is a moral one.
“If you keep your word, you do what you have promised to do. When our words do not match our actions, we lose a measure of healthy ownership and control over our lives.
“Essentially, this is what is called a soft skill. However, sometimes it’s the least-considered skill which is so paramount in what constitutes an effective manager or leader. Human or people skills refer to the core of ethics, treat others as you would be treated: with respect, honesty and trust.”
A lack of business ethics can be simply due to a person’s need to “save face,” Jodie says. “It is sometimes easier to lie than say no, or admit fault,” she says. “At times, we all want to avoid confrontation. The saying ‘a little white lie’ comes to mind – it is far easier to tell a little lie than to hurt someone’s feelings or cover up a mistake that you have created.”
So, can business ethics be taught, or are some business executives lost causes?
“First, you need to find your own moral compass, the way we behave is directly related to our learned behaviour. There is a saying: ‘you cannot give what you do not have,'” Jodie says.
“Teaching ethics is not like teaching finance or accounting procedures; it is about developing moral principles which define right and wrong from a universal point of view.
“But with all teaching, you need to lead by example. Many companies and business executives fall short on ethics in business and it becomes more about: ‘Do what I say, not what I do’. What they fail to recognise, is that showing business ethics is a strength, not a weakness.”
Images via corporatecomplianceinsights.com, youqueen.com
Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Kylie Radford, creative director at Morrison
Tell us what you do? What do you get up to on a day-to-day basis?
Whilst every day varies, it almost always revolves around my boys, Baxter and Louis. I take them to school and then head straight into the office. A typical day at work involves research, creative sessions with the design team, fabric selection, designing, fitting samples, approving styles and meeting with my management team.
Baxter and Louis have sport every day after school so most weeknights we get home around 7.30pm. This doesn’t leave time for anything else other than homework and dinner. Life is really busy and so we really appreciate weekends where we can chill together and spend time cooking yummy food.
How/when did you know this is what you wanted to do as a career?
My career as a designer was not a conscious decision. I have always adored fabrics and have often been described as tactile. I actually designed a pair of pants that were hugely successful and that was it – that was the start of my career in fashion. Whilst I didn’t consciously make the decision to become a designer, since the label has taken off, I’ve loved the challenge of designing ranges as well as being part of an incredibly gifted team.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from primarily from the fabrics that we source, my team, my customers, and travel. I am constantly inspired by my diverse and creative colleagues. I also feel blessed to be able to travel extensively as part of my role.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground? Over the years there have been many mentors, some from within our company and also from outside sources.
I have always thought it is invaluable to listen to others who have experience and expertise in any area of a business. I also think it’s important to remember your own goals and values and only take from others what feels right for you.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
Oh! More than I care to remember. Having two small children and running a growing business will always be my biggest challenge.
The GFC was certainly our biggest stumbling block. It felt as though our industry, in particular retail, was turned upside down overnight. Whilst it was also my biggest lesson, I do feel that I grew immensely as a business woman having experienced this period.
How did you overcome these?
Every avenue of our business became tighter and every member more accountable. We made tough decisions together as a team. Apart from the changes, we worked very hard with more determination than ever before.
What are your goals for the future?
I would love more work/life balance! Just like everyone else! I want my brand to be admired and respected and looked upon as a brand with integrity.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
I always encourage people to follow their dreams. There is so much advice that I could offer but probably the most important is to believe in yourself and work hard to achieve what you want. Be kind to people and motivate people – you have to have a dynamic team surrounding you.
The work/life balance. Is it only for people with a few bucks or does it actually exist for people on minimal wage? Perhaps it’s one of those 21st century myths created by the wealthy to inspire people who are struggling to work for peanuts, raise kids, look after elderly parents, have a social life, do things for others or the community and try to somehow sneak in valuable time out? Should they be so optimistic or is it a mythical ploy to make them work harder?
Now, we’ve all been told that everything is achievable if we are prepared to put in the hard work. However, achieving the work/life balance when the chips are down and the funds are low is actually achieved by doing the opposite. Like to know what I’m on about?
From my experience, work/life achievers without money to fund the balance, usually don’t care for elderly parents needing constant attention, combined with kids who demand the latest iPhone. They might have one or the other, but probably not both. As far as community involvement, they might attend functions, events and social engagements in their spare time but you rarely see them in the trenches organising any of it.
What these work/life balancers know is how to effectively say no to passing responsibilities like taking on that extra shift, child minding, transporting a 90-year-old nan to the doctor or fundraising for the local community. Purely focused on the balance they so desperately require, they don’t feel a bit guilty about it either. They know that someone else will pick up the slack, so they can sit back and have it all.
That someone is usually their single sibling who works full-time, has four kids and rolls their sleeves up at the local school during functions. They will “choose” to take nan to the doctor, in lieu of time out. Unfortunately for them, they do have a conscience and rather than successfully achieving their work/life balance, they effectively work their way further from it. It doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?
In this case, achieving the work/life balance is actually based on not putting in the hard yards at all. If they can get others to do that on their behalf, then they’ll be able to get there. However if they do the hard work themselves, they are pretty much out of luck.
So, effectively it appears that achieving a work-life balance isn’t for everyone and for some it is a mythical 21st century ploy which makes them continue to work harder. Those with some money have a better chance because they can outsource some of their responsibilities. Those without it, combined with a conscience probably won’t get there. Plus, if they have a sibling who manages to acquire it, they’re pretty much screwed!
Image via media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com
A funny thing often happens once you exit the corporate world to have kids – it’s like your currency, as a once-prized female worker, suddenly goes into rapid decline. Of course, well before that, you often become an awful inconvenience to your employer once you – gasp – have the selfishness and audacity to even fall pregnant to begin with. Sacre bleu!
For your extreme tiredness, morning sickness, aches and pains and sheer strain of growing a small human may prevent you from being the once unflappable and productive worker you once were, now no longer more an happy to stay back and work long hours of overtime for free.
And, once you then take time off for family obligations, including maternity leave, this often has long-term negative effects on a woman’s career – like lower pay or being passed over for promotions in the future.
However, employers should think long and hard about their often covert (and highly illegal) discrimination towards working mums, for a new study shows women with children are actually more productive than their childless peers.
A recent US study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis discovered that over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperformed childless women at almost every stage of their careers. In fact, mothers with at least two kids were the most productive of all.
This news will come as no surprise to working women who often have to juggle demanding kids and a needy husband, work commitments, exercise, housework and friends and family’s needs and expectations – all at once.
It’s a tightrope – a constant juggling act – and, as any working mum brave and honest enough will tell you – it’s often impossibly hard and occasionally, at least one area of your life will be suffering.
The researchers (all men) behind this particular study strived to understand the impact of having children on highly skilled women. Key findings include: within the first five or so years of their career, women who never have children substantially underperform those who do and women with at least two children performed the best.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses: wrangling small people can inevitably adversely affect your productivity.
Christian Zimmerman, one of the study’s authors said: “While you have small children, it has an impact on you. But after that, it seems that the impact is the other way.”
Working women must – as a matter of sheer survival – become super-organised, tenacious and tough. And while I abhor the supermum myth, I do think multiple kids makes you more competent at work.
Got a deadline, but need to be home and/or done in time for your toddler’s birthday party? Just watch that working mum go at it – faster than the speed of light.
What do you think? Are working mothers more productive?
Have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a career? Over the years both men and women have slowly been turning their blog into a business and becoming their own self-made boss. Are you interested? Find out how to work from home, and on your own terms by logging onto a few of these important websites.
Have you ever wondered how people make enough money to quit their day-job and focus on their blog full time? Most of it comes down to affiliate programs and aligning yourself with brands your audience can identify with. There are heaps of programs going on at the moment: Reward Style, Shop Style by Pop Sugar, and Link Share, just to name a few. These programs are highly exclusive, so don’t think that they’re going to be a piece of cake to get into. You must register your blog and all social media channels before they even approve of your application, which could take weeks to be accepted (or declined).
Once your application has been successful, this is really where the fun begins. Lets take Reward Style as an example; this company is affiliated with a number of online boutiques which you have the oppourtunity to advertise on your blog. Whether it’s fashion, beauty, home, or even lifestyle, all you need to do is link back an item in your blog-post through Reward Style. If someone buys any product by clicking through your link, then you make a percentage of the profit.
Many blogs rely on advertising to pay their employees and generally stay afloat. Affiliate programs such as Commission Factory accept every single application and connect your blog with brands which your audience will relate to. All you need to do is display a click-through banner on your website and wait for the hits to come through!
It essentially works in the same way as an affiliate program – if someone makes a purchase of more than $50 using your link, then you receive a percentage of the profits. The profits do vary from each company, and you could be receiving anything from 3-30% from each sale you make.
How can I get started?
The first way to monetise your blog is to build a stable, and reliable audience. Create a loyal following by having a clear vision and posting on a consistent basis. This way your followers will know when to expect and post – and even look forward to it!
Do: Spread the word
Let your followers know every time you have a new post on your blog – not only will this remind them to check it, but you can always use the extra page views! Share posts on your personal Facebook account (in moderation), since the support of family and friends can always form the basis on your following.
Don’t: Neglect social media channels
It’s always a good idea to be a part of all the new social media channels, this way your followers can find you everywhere! Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, DePop, Blogspot or WordPress, and finally a visible contact address are the best way to keep your followers engaged. Just because they follow you on one social media outlet, doesn’t mean they will follow you on another. Keep content exclusive to each channel and learn how to market yourself on all your social media.
Do: Disclose sponsored posts
The dark side of blogging can also be one of the best – free products. You may be approached by a company to show one of their products in exchange for a fee, or even as a loan. It’s very important to let your followers know which products were given as gifts or sponsored by a company. Not disclosing this important information may cause your followers to lose trust in your judgement, and is currently against the law under the FTC Disclosures for Bloggers and Brands. Hashtag your posts with Ad or Sponsored before signing off – this allows you to remain truthful with your readers, and in return they will have confidence in your content and future posts.
Image via See A Man About A Blog
Just the word ‘networking’ can make some people feel uneasy. Walking up to a complete stranger and making conversation? I’d rather go to the dentist!
But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can start incorporating networking into your everyday life. Remember, be courageous and try to make long-term relationships, not just business connections.
Melbourne blogger Marlee Wakeling shares five of her best networking tips picked up over the years of studying and working in marketing and event management.
1. Hand out those business cards
Buy 250 business cards at the start of the year and aim to give them all out by the end of the year. Don’t be afraid to hand them out, and don’t feel like you’re being pushy. It’s only a business card after all!
2. Use business cards wisely
Buy blank business cards to collect the details of people you meet that don’t have a business card. Make the effort to contact them, rather than waiting for them to contact you.
3. Facebook is your friend
Although Facebook may not seem like the most professional platform, there are often groups you can join that will help you keep up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry. As well as jobs on offer that don’t make it onto the usual job hunting platforms, and opportunities to attend networking events.
Search keywords related to your profession and location, chances are there will be a relevant group.
4. Take time everyday to work on networking
Spend 10-15 minutes a day working on your networks. Whether it’s following up on emails, giving someone a call or simply making sure your LinkedIn account is up-to-date, your efforts will surely be rewarded.
5. Use technology to make networking easier
Have you heard of the app CardMunch? It’s a serious timesaver! Basically, when you receive a business card, you take a photo of it through the CardMunch app. It then uploads the contact details to your address book AND finds the person on LinkedIn! The app is only available on iPhones, and there are similar ones for Android, such as CamCard. However, I haven’t found them to be as good.
If you want to read up on some more great networking advice, I’d recommend the book How To Master Networking by Robyn Henderson.
Share your networking tips in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!
Marlee Wakeling blogs about writing, fashion and music at String of Events.