What is your definition of success?

Success is something that we all feel pressure to be defined by and everyone’s perception of success is different.

In this video I ask three questions to help you come up with your definition of success in a way that is aligned with you.

1.       What is success to you?

2.       Why do you want your own success?

3.       Who do you feel in your life is an influence who has been successful?

Success comes from within but it’s also about how you feel about yourself. Everyone’s definition of it will be different because we are all unique in our own way. We come from different families, backgrounds and learn different values. Some of the values passed down to us may not be in alignment with us. For example, it’s becoming more common for many more women to go and study and earn incomes in countries that didn’t previously encourage this etc.

Many of the women I talk to feel a constant pressure to be a “successful mum”, “successful career women” successful wife etc. The list goes on. Truth is success isn’t about what others want for you but what you want for yourself.

If you strive for success for the wrong reasons it will show up. I have seen this with women who are seeking money for the wrong reasons. We all need money to help us pay for everything in life but if your values are about helping and creating for others and your job and career doesn’t fit this then this will impact on your success. The definition of success according to Collins dictionary “is the achievement of a high position in a particular field, for example in business or politics.” A lot of people define success in terms of their work and although this definition mirrors this it can sometimes be the overriding need to succeed that make many of us feel unhappy at work. If you are different to your family and friends you deserve your own definition of success don’t let it define you.

Many people see successful people and don’t see what may of come before that. In life many of these successful people have had to overcome something to get there. Life isn’t without struggle and this the common thread I see with people I know who are truly successful.

Imposter syndrome can also be linked to this need for success. This is something I spoke about in a post I did about my career unhappiness story see blog here.  Many of us feel we are chasing a cornfield that doesn’t exist when it comes to success and this makes us question who we are. Trust me I have done it myself.

Success should be about your wants, needs and what you want to do. It’s never about anyone else. A person who runs a well-known café in your area may be a success vs a project manager in a top IT company. It’s not about what looks better on paper necessarily this is something we have projected as a society. Sometimes if influential people online who sometimes make others feel inadequate. If you don’t want that it’s ok to admit this.

Success is a different for everyone because we all want different things. Not everyone wants a white picket fence, five-bedroom house etc. I am not saying you shouldn’t aim for more you should but do it because it’s what you want.

If you want to find out more about how I can help you with your version of success why not consider looking at the career mentoring services I offer here

Tips to help motivate you to return to work after becoming a mum or being on maternity.

Returning to work after maternity or being a full-time mum is an area, I have helped many women with, and I still often get asked where I start and what I can do.

The aim of this blog post is help you get some essential tips on what you can consider but also look at flexible working options especially if you are a new mum or still want to spend time with your children around your work.

Have a Skills Based CV

Base your CV on the skills you already have. Focus on the key skills you have and not necessarily your current experience. Especially if you have been on maternity or had a career gap. Many of the women I talk to worry about their career gaps. When you send out your CV make sure it highlights your skills so you have so you can make yourself marketable especially if you are struggling to be called for interviews and get the right jobs. To find out more about CVs and different formats please see post I wrote here

Flexible hours

Ask your employer about flexible hours. When you go for an interview ask if there are flexible working hours so that you can fit your job around being a mum or have an option to work from home on certain days. It’s better to know what your work options are as mum before you are offered a job. This way you can have a realistic outcome to your job-hunting journey. Look at businesses that have flexible work opportunities and help working mums. Talented Ladies club have a lot of really great information that can help you further with visit their site here.

Use your network

Look at the network you already have and ask around to see if they have flexible work opportunities you can apply for. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Ask family friends and people, you have previously worked with or are in your industry. If you need to broaden your network join Facebook groups, LinkedIn etc.  Please listen to an episode I did around why you should update your LinkedIn profile which could help you further with this here

It may seem difficult at first but if you this can be something that can really help. I have landed roles through contacts previously as have my clients. Also consider looking at in person networking opportunities like going to job fairs like the MumsNet event work fest even or joining groups on Meetup which will connect you with the right opportunities.

Childcare arrangements

Do you have arrangements in place to help around your working hours? This is an important point to consider because if you need to find a childminder you need to make sure you do this. If you have family near by who can look after or pick up your children from nursery or school this will make you available to jobs where you may need to work longer hours, or can’t necessarily do the school run yourself. I had a client I worked with once who had an amazing work opportunity but her office and child’s school were a too far away and she didn’t have any childcare in place. So, it’s important to consider this. As you need to be realistic about your working life and personal life and merge this in a way that suits your lifestyle.

Working for yourself

Take the time to think about going freelance or starting a business and don’t dismiss it. Especially if you are looking for flexible hours. If you feel you can’t quite return to a full-time job just yet working freelance or starting a business may be an excellent option for you. Platforms like digital mums help train mums up to have a career as a VA or work in social media and the digital world. If you already have a skill like accountancy etc maybe consider working as a freelancer or consider doing short contract roles. If you feel time is a bug bear think about hiring people to help you balance your home life cleaner, VA etc. I also give further tips around helping mums in the podcast episode “tips around restarting your career” to listen please go here

It’s also important to understand your maternity rights as a working mum see this blog post from bright HR that may give you some further insight into this https://www.brighthr.com/articles/leave-and-absence/maternity-leave/

If you want to return to work after becoming a mum you can and it’s about deciding what works for you and how you want to work. It may take a period of adjustment but I hope you take on board some of the tips shared in this post.

If you would like further support and accountability, please book a call with me here to discuss working together.

 

 

What can you do to find your dream job and career?

Finding your dream job can be overwhelming and seem impossible. Especially if you are used to do a certain job. Or have fallen into a career because on paper it looked great, yet it just didn’t meet the expectations you wanted.

Many women who become mums are juggling a good work life balance and if you are someone who got a job through a graduate scheme. Or took on the first role you could get after finishing school or college and went through job to job. The never-ending cycle of not knowing what you want vs slowing down to figure this out can be a challenge.

I want to share some practical tips to help you realise that finding your dream career isn’t as hard as you think it is.

Work on your mindset

Your mindset affects every single area of your life including finding a job or career you love. If you are negative about this, it just won’t happen. Sorry if that’s not what you want to hear but it’s true. If you really want to go for your dream career this may involve you making some changes. These changes can be big like investing in a course or leaving your career to set up a business etc. This isn’t always what people like hearing or admitting and that’s because it’s hard and requires a lot of commitment and dedication. This is however where I believe if you have the right attitude a lot can change for you. If you approach you dream job journey as a positive one that you ride out even when things don’t go according to plan you will get there. It’s Important that everybody has a positive mindset whilst looking for a job and stay consistent with it no matter what happens.

If you are really struggling with your mindset think about what you could be doing to stop any negative patterns you may have. For example, if you know you your family and friend won’t support your dream aspirations what can you so that you are around people who do support you. Perhaps you can join a group who have similar interests or get a mentor or coach who can help you.

If you constantly doubt your abilities this will hinder your mindset don’t allow your own voice gremlins to control you. If you then that dream career you want just won’t ever happen. I see this a lot with my clients. It’s also happened to me before to. Things like “Can I really change my career after being a teacher for 10 years”. Or “Is this the right thing for me to do now when I know others need my support”. The self-doubt can come in way to protect ourselves. We do it so we don’t take action because it’s easier to stay where we are comfortable then to the embrace the thing that really scares us. This can also be linked to women who want a pay rise or want a better role. They may look at their dream organisation and wonder if I apply for this role will I even get an interview, and this can prevent bright and ambitious women like you from getting what you want.

What does your dream job look like?

So, imagine you are in your dream job and career right now what does it look like? Are you in position where you feel like you have creative control and can be more the person you want to be?

What responsibilities and duties do you have now that you didn’t have before?

The more you can visualise what your dream career looks like the more it can happen if you work on your mindset first.

So, I want to leave you with an exercise to help with this. Why not take at least 20-30 minutes or more to journal on what your dream career looks like. Think about all the details you want. Who you would be working with? Where you would be working? Also, why is it your dream job and what makes it different to your current situation? This question is an important one to reflect on because if you not happy with your current career or job there is reason behind this, and you need something else because it’s missing. Please note this is important to you as individual. It could be you know your dream job allows you to travel more. Or that you the dream career you have is helping others or making a bigger impact with the organisation itself etc. Think about what speaks exclusively to you here.

How can move forward now?

Once you have figured out why you want to change your current situation it’s important to take some action and do something about it.

If you know your dream career involves you working for yourself what steps can you take to make this happen?

The role you are working in now although it’s not what you love 100% could help in providing your mortgage or rent money. So perhaps you can start going to seminars or talks that inspire new business owners to see if it’s something you really want. Then from there think about setting up slowly whilst working etc.

If you know career change is on the cards what is it, you know you need to improve your situation? Apply for a course, research your options get a mentor etc.

One of the main reasons someone may struggle with the moving forward is because they need a bit of help getting there.

So, if you think this could be you, I would love to support you? To find out if you we could be good fit as mentee and mentor why send me message here

If you have any further questions, please get in touch.

Much love

Soma x

Why Career Clarity is so important?

Times have changed

The idea of having one career for life and sticking to this has changed dramatically in the last 40 years or so. I have seen this in my parents’ generations and in the generations before them. My grand-dads and grand uncles stuck to one profession for life and then retired. With my parents my mum changed her career from an accountant to teacher. My dad shifted his direction of how he practiced law from being a criminal barrister to family solicitor.

Career change isn’t seen as an unusual concept anymore nor is seeking your true purpose. When the “Black Monday” crash happened in the 80s. A lot of people who had families to support needed to re-train and begin again.

The concept of having one job for life has been spun on its head. Especially as this continued to happen through to the 90s and now. Again, with another crash happening in 2000 onwards. Where more people were being made redundant or feel confused about their options because there are more options available.

Career transition is different compared to 50 years ago. Also, the type of work that people used to do is different a lot of manual jobs factories have seized due to the advancement in technology. Technology has allowed more people to work from home. Go freelance, start a small micro business or build a small start-up employing others.

Career theorists that help explain why a lack of career clarity could happen

If we apply a principal of change to a career theorists like Super and Adams, Hayes and Hopson life was different and expectations from society where different for those born in before the 1920’s to those born in the 1940’s to now

Super says we go through 5 stages in our life that is directly linked to our career. It is between stage 3 -4 we are beginning to seek more clarity and meaning in our lives.

Stage 3 is known as the Establishment phase when we are aged between 25-44. We may have entered different roles but are trying to understand what suits us. You may feel like you want more, like a promotion, starting a business or having more flexibility especially if you are working mum. Hence wanting to the establish yourself career wise here. You could be confused because life is throwing you a few curve balls and although you want a steadier career perhaps the one you currently have isn’t suiting your individual needs and values.

This is also were Adams Hayes and Hopson can be related to this. They express that direct life events impact on our career and this can be linked to a lack career clarity. Which can be caused by overwhelm and confusion with your working life. This is a six-state transition process. If you have recently been made redundant you may may start to experience self-doubt which is stage 3 of this process. Wondering what I will do now etc. Or become anxious or depressed if you are worrying about the future longevity of your career.

These theories show you some of the reasons why a lack of career clarity can be directly linked to life events. It’s not something we can necessarily control which is ok and it’s about understanding this and thinking how we can move forward.

We all need to have a purpose and why.

It’s important to have a purpose and a why because without one how can we go to work and do something we truly love. Therefore, career clarity is important because it’s pointless going for a goal or achievement if it’s not actually what you want.

For example, if you know going for a promotion isn’t want you want because you don’t enjoy your field of work anymore why are you doing it?

It’s important to understand your key values, your beliefs and the purpose you want to embody in your work. The hardest part here can be about feeling like you are being unrealistic or silly if you want to do something.

I am not saying you need to go for a lifelong dream of being singer or actor if you can’t do either lol. Be realistic of course. However, don’t limit what you can do.

For example, if you are a mum reading this and your dream is to set up a clothes boutique business and you have a creative flair for designing and making clothes. Perhaps you ended up doing this when you had a child because you wanted to create something bespoke for them. Then realised others noticed your designs and someone said you could turn this in to a business etc. However you thought being a business owner isn’t something that could be viable and thus went back to a full-time job. In fact your currently job as a medical secretary is stressful and not making you happy, What steps can you make to start taking small actions to create what you actually want? Especially if you feel money is something that is holding you back?

If you are completely unclear about what you want. This may because there are some negative forces in your life which are preventing you from seeing things clearly. Or you may feel it’s too late for you get clear because of your age, gender, etc.

It’s never too late remember your why is unique to you. Your why is an important part of understanding career clarity because without it you can’t move forward. It may take some time to formulate it.

This could also be because you feel overwhelmed in your life in general and feel change is something you can’t face or are just not sure where to start.

I will be talking much more about this in my online career clarity workshop. If you know you need some help understanding career clarity more and getting clear on what you want. Why not sign up to the workshop here. I will be talking about your why, causes of career clarity and giving you practical solutions to help you figure out what you want more of in your career.

To sign up to the workshop and gain more insights and takeaways please go here http://www.thecareerhappinessmentor.com/online-workshops