I hear a lot of concerns about this one so I wanted to share some advice I think might help.
Watch below for my top tips on what to do if you’re more of a generalist than a specialist, and you’re feeling unsure about your next steps.
Got no time to watch? Here are the key takeaways:
I hear a lot of concerns from people who are not specialists because they don’t know how to market themselves to employers, and sometimes they have trouble figuring out which roles they want to go for next.
Here are my top tips for finding your direction if you’re more of a generalist or ‘jack of all trades’ than a specialist.
1) Understand your strengths
Before you move forward, you really need to have a good understanding of your key strengths. There are a few ways to approach this. You can either do a skills audit on yourself by reviewing your employment history (both paid and unpaid) or you can do an online assessment (there are some good options out there, I like the Values in Action Survey). It’s a good idea to get some input from other people such as work colleagues or friends and family because it’s difficult to be objective about what you’re good at. It’s something we all take for granted!
2) Choose which strengths you want to develop
Now that you have your list, review it and ask yourself, which strengths do I want to develop in the future? Which ones are going to help me grow in to the person I want to be? In other words, who do you want to become?
3) Your Passions and Interests
Now that you know which strengths you want to work on, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to do that. If you’re lucky, your current job may offer some opportunities. Maybe you can put your hand up for extra responsibilities or to lead a project. You can also involve your work colleagues outside of hours. For example if you want to develop your teaching skills and you are interested in wellbeing, maybe you get people together for an activity such as running or meditation at lunchtimes.
If there are no opportunities at your workplace, you will need to look at your passions and interests outside of work. Brainstorm your list and it may be a long one if you’re a person who’s interested in a lot of different subjects. When you have your list, narrow it down to your top four interests and look at ways that you can develop your chosen strengths through those activities.
So if one of your interests is cooking and you want to develop your strengths as a teacher, maybe you can offer to teach a cookery class at your child’s school, or if you’re interested in finance, you could look into teaching a ‘how to do a budget’ class at your local community centre or neighbourhood house. Similarly, if the skill you want to develop is writing and you’re interested in art, then you might try writing something about an art exhibition for the local newspaper.
Lastly, before you get excited and run off to do a million different activities, put together a plan for yourself and create both monthly and weekly goals. My advice would be to start small and build up from there, because it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Not only will you build your confidence and develop your skills by doing this activity, you will also attract new opportunities to yourself and start to see different possibilities for for how to progress your career.
You will be amazed at what will happen when you follow this process.
Let me know how you go in the comments!
PS: My next Melbourne workshop is open for bookings. We had a great group of women at the September workshop and I can’t wait to run this one again a the Swell Centre, Hawthorn on Thursday 8th November.
I’ve also been confirmed as a presenter at the Seven Sisters Festival in March, which I’m so thrilled about!!! Let me know if you’re going along. In the meantime, you can book your tickets for Transform your Career. This is for you if you’re looking to rediscover your passion and find some direction with your career.
A couple of years after I moved to Melbourne I finally got myself a car.
There was no such as thing as Google Maps back then, and relying solely on the Melways (remember Melways?) and my gut instinct, I was forever lost and running late.
The same thing was happening to a friend who had migrated from the US but her response was different to mine.
Where I would panic, get off at the nearest exit and make myself even later by driving around in circles, my friend would just stay on the road.
So how does that work out for you? I wanted to know.
Well the worst that can happen is I discover a part of Melbourne I didn’t know before, she said. But I know I’ll eventually find a sign and figure out where I’m going.
It struck me as a much better strategy for navigating the freeway system.
Stay on the road. Watch out for signs. Just keep driving.
There are times in our lives when we all feel a bit lost.
Maybe you know you need to make changes in your life, but you can’t see the possibilities yet.
We crave certainty and navigating the mystery of not knowing what’s next can be tough.
It’s also the time when we’re prone to making decisions we later regret, by forcing answers to our questions when they may not be ready to come. We decide it has to be this course, this job or this business idea. We would do anything rather than not know.
Before we make those decisions we need to be conscious of our dreams and what we really want, which is why this forms a core part of the work I do with clients (and also in this upcoming Melbourne workshop).
It’s amazing how unconscious our desires can be. If I told you right now you could have any job you wanted in the world, would you know what to choose? Or would you feel even more lost?
Allowing ourselves to be with the unknown is an important part of the process of change. This is not the same as procrastinating over a decision. Instead we’re allowing new seeds to take root, fresh plans to form. A gestation period is required.
So what can you do when you feel lost?
The best advice I’ve come across is to focus on what you do know about what you want, even if you’re just scraping away a corner to reveal a tiny edge of the big picture.
If you know that you want more freedom or you want to be more creative in your work, ask where can you give yourself that experience now, even if it’s just for one hour a week.
Watch out for signs that you’re on the right track, nudges giving you a heads up about where to explore next. Let curiosity be your guide.
The more you can tune into your internal compass the more oriented you’ll become and this is when the big picture does slowly start to reveal itself.
It requires patience and self-compassion to travel without a map. Feeling lost is a given, wrong turns inevitable.
But if you can stay on the road and resist the urge to turn off at every exit, you might just find yourself on the adventure of your life.
PS: If you’re feeling a bit lost with your career and you’d like to explore these ideas further, join me for the Transform your Career Workshop in Melbourne on 25th September. You can book tickets here.
This week’s post is coming to you in the form of a VLOG, very unusually for me I know!
I’ve come out from behind my screen because I have an exciting update for you and I also want to let you know about my upcoming event, the Transform your Career Workshop which is happening in September. If you’ve been feeling a bit lost with your career and you’re not sure where to go from here, I’d love you to join me for a nurturing, fun evening in Melbourne.
No time to watch? All the important info is listed below! See you in Melbourne on the 25th!
If you have questions about anything I mentioned in the video, please drop me a line.
Interested in coming along to the Transform your Career Workshop? Book your ticket here.
Keen to chat one on one? Book in for a Free Career Breakthrough Consult with me.
Or download my free 4-Step Guide to Finding the Right Job.
Can’t wait to see you in Melbourne! Stay tuned on Facebook for an upcoming Lunch and Learn on What to do if you’re not a specialist. Perfect for those of you who describe yourself as a ‘jack of all trades’.
If you can’t watch the video just now, here are the main takeaways:
Webinars + Additional Skype + Face to Face Appointments Available
I’m excited to be stepping into my business full-time in September which means I’ll be around to offer you more support with your career. You can expect more webinars, lunch and learn’s and workshops as well as additional availability for appointments. You can book appointments via Skype or face to face (my office is in Hawthorn, Melbourne). Enquire now.
My first workshop in over a year is happening in Melbourne. Join us on Tuesday 25th September for the Transform your Career workshop at 6pm. During this workshop I’ll be teaching the 4-step career transformation process that I work through with my clients (and that I still use myself). This will help you activate your dreams, discover a new sense of direction and purpose and take action on your goals. Book here.
Spring Special on Coaching Program (available for first 3 bookings)
As part of my move into full-time business I do some pro bono work with a local charity, but I also wanted to do something for you too. Which is why I’m offering a spring special to the first three clients to sign up for my 4 week coaching program in September. Book a free Career Breakthrough Consult with me if you’re interested in working together.
Got questions that you’d like me to cover in my upcoming lunch and learn’s on Facebook? Please drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you!
During a coaching session, a client once mentioned how she would need to have her ‘game face’ on for an upcoming interview.
Why do you need a game face? I asked. That sounds like hard work.
What? You mean I can just be myself, she asked.
We both laughed.
It’s important to be authentic of course, but no one ever said it was easy.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all just told the truth?
If you’re looking to make positive changes in your career, it’s so important to let go of the need to control how you’re received.
There’s an innate drive within us to please others to protect ourselves from being thrown out of the tribe, but we need to resist the urge to mould ourselves into what we believe others want to see. Otherwise we’ll never be free.
To accept the promotion. Give up the successful law career to become a teacher. Start the business of your dreams. Or ask for the long-overdue pay rise.
Our success depends on our willingness to detach from how others might view us so that we can be who we are.
Truthfully this is more of a constant shedding than an instant change but you can make shifts surprisingly quickly.
Here is the advice that’s helped me the most:
1) Take nothing personally.
This is a nugget from Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and there are few things I’ve learned that have been more valuable.
When you release yourself from reacting personally to events. ‘The interviewer hated me.’ ‘My boss didn’t ask for my opinion in that meeting.’ ‘My friend didn’t call when I was sick.’ You let go of the stories you make up in your head, most of which are not true but which cause enormous suffering.
By the way, I still catch myself out with this so remember, humans are meaning-making machines and we are hard-wired to make up stories, so don’t be hard on yourself. The main thing is to recognise when you do it and then let it go.
2) Focus on how you show up instead.
How can you show up authentically and let yourself be seen? Which action will make you feel as though you’re doing the right thing by yourself.
When I say this I don’t mean that you should go and blow off your commitments without a care. It’s more about behaving in a way that’s in alignment with your values and true self.
For example, if you know that being honest about the challenges in your previous role is going to make you feel like less of a fraud in the job interview then tell your truth. Let go of the need to control the outcome. Newsflash: you can’t do that anyway!
There are so many situations where letting go of the need to control what others think can lead you into a greater connection to your true self.
Like networking situations that cause worry and stress over whether you are good enough.
Or social events. Or apologising when you feel you need to. Or telling someone how you really feel about them.
When you practice this way of being, it will change how you approach everything.
You will feel braver and truer.
Admittedly it’s not the easiest option out there.
Far easier to put on your game face, though in the long run a lot more costly.
I love to knit.
I picked up a pair of needles a couple of months ago and was instantly smitten.
Of course I’m not particularly skilled at it yet. I haven’t knitted since I was a child and it doesn’t come naturally.
The ladies in the yarn store raise their eyebrows when they seem me coming.
But my new pastime has taught me something important.
The act of creating something with my own hands is so satisfying that the dropped stitches and mis-purled rows don’t mean a thing. I persevere regardless.
I’m not going to tell you that doing what you love will lead to amazing career success.
The truth is that’s pretty unlikely, at least until you become skilled at what you love.
For years I tried in vain to find my passion.
In those days I believed that if I did enough soul searching I’d figure it out.
But my passion wasn’t something that could be figured out by thinking, only through doing. By pursuing new interests, going to new places, meeting new people or even trying out different jobs.
Without pressure or judgement.
Of course there’s an element of risk involved in this approach. You might fail. It may not turn out to be everything you’d hoped.
But when you lean into what you love, even if it’s a hobby, it starts reshaping your attitudes and changing the choices you make in other areas of your life too.
Doing what you love opens you up to more of what you love.
Start with one thing you’re curious to try.
Be prepared to suck at it in the beginning. Be open to enjoying it anyway.
Your passion is not something you accidentally trip over one day like a forgotten pair of shoes in the hallway. It might not cause a light bulb to click on in your head.
It’s something you actively create through the choices you make, day by day and year by year.
If you want to do something you love then my advice is: be curious and let yourself follow that curiosity without judgement.
It may all start with a pair of knitting needles, but you never know where it will lead.
Want more advice like this? You can download my 4 Step Guide to Creating the Right Job here.
Be a lamp, a lifeboat or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. ~ Rumi
This is one of my all time favourite quotes.
Because when we focus on being a light to others, it also helps to heal our own pain and I have found this to be very true when it comes to money.
When you experience the joy that comes from contributing to something as part of a collective, whether it’s ending poverty or starting a community project to enhance people’s lives, it can be hugely motivating. You will want to do more, be more and contribute more. It changes your mindset from one of lack and want to one of sufficiency and potential. That’s incredibly powerful.
This is the real freedom of having a healthy and mindful relationship with your money. Of course it benefits you and your family, but the ripple effect reaches further than we can imagine.
By the way, today is Day 13 of the Money Mindfulness Challenge. If you want to check out the tips I’ve been sharing to help you become more empowered around your finances, you can find them here or here.
So how can you be a lamp today?
Start looking for opportunities, you’ll find them everywhere once you turn on your antennae.
Maybe it will be sharing your story with someone who is struggling financially, or sponsoring a child. It could be thinking about what kind of role model you want to be for your kids (this has been on my mind a lot lately).
Please share your ideas in the comments. I’d love to hear them.
This week I’ll be talking about dealing with your biggest financial fears and reclaiming your power around money.
Today is the first day of our Money Mindfulness Challenge and I’m really excited about the lessons I’ll be sharing with you over these next 30 days. It’s been over four years since I started studying my relationship with money and building a healthier attitude towards it. What started as a bid to attract more wealth through money manifesting trainings, gradually evolved into a more mindful way of life that freed me to live in a way that was grounded in sufficiency instead of lack.
Having grown up believing there was never enough money and that money was in fact the work of the devil, it was life changing to realise I had the power to direct what money I had, regardless of how much or how little that was, to make a positive impact on the world. For me this was the missing piece in all of the money trainings that focused on bringing more wealth into your life, they never addressed the effect of our rampant consumerism on the environment. How we spend the money is just as important as what we attract, and when we spend it well, with thought and conscious intent, we infuse that money with positive energy. We give it a soul.
I learned that it’s not just about accumulating wealth so that you can feel secure, it’s about what you do with that money to create a life of meaning for yourself. It’s also about feeling safe that there is enough to go around and that you have the resources and know-how to always take care of yourself.
Over the next 30 days I want to share the lessons that have helped me to cultivate a more positive relationship with money, change my behaviour around it and address my underlying addictions (yes this can be shopping but avoidance is another).
I’m hoping this will help you to build a life of sustainable prosperity and wellbeing. You don’t have to do every single one of these challenges, but I highly recommend the money cleanse which we’ll be starting in week 1. I know frugal living can sound harsh but what I want you to discover as I did, is how incredibly freeing it can be. Having said that, I believe in having fun too so it’s not about spending zero money all month long. But being mindful of your spending is one of the core principles of our work for this challenge. I’ll be doing it right along with you.
Please note too that this course is not about financial advice. I’m a coach not a financial advisor. What I have witnessed through my work is how our views about money can lead us to kill off our dreams. I’ve coached enough women on their careers to see this in action over and over again. We decide that we can’t have what we want because we would never be able to earn enough or we’d have to give up a stable income. It takes courage to deal with these limiting beliefs and take a leap of faith.
If you feel stressed out and anxious around money or if you’re just plain frustrated with never having enough to cover the bills, I want you to join me for the next 30 days. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you will save a few dollars or maybe you will create more ease and happiness in your life like I did.
We start with a Full Moon Intention Setting Ritual.
Why? Well I’m a big fan of rituals and as I’ve found, working with the phases of the moon can supercharge your intentions and illuminate your true path. We’re going to be talking about each phase of the moon during the challenge. Tip: If rituals are not your thing, don’t force yourself to do this one. This challenge is all about going with your intuition and what feels right for you.
Here’s what you can use for your ritual (this is totally up to you but here’s what I use):
Your favourite herbal tea
Now ask yourself this question:
What is the change you want to see this month?
In yourself? And in the world?
This is big so take your time to journal and meditate. If you’re coming up empty, just write the question in your journal and leave it be. The answer will come in due course.
It can help to ask:
What has become intolerable in your life? What are you no longer prepared to put up with? What do you think is blocking you from living the life you want right now?
Your intention could be a circumstance or a certain behaviour or pattern that you recognise in your life. Maybe you can’t keep savings in your bank account or you have a habit of always spending more than you earn and tipping over into debt.
The change you want to see in the world could be as simple as deciding that you will contribute as little as possible to landfill this month. Maybe you start donating to a charity or a cause you care about. Remember that it’s ok to start small. That’s the whole point.
Now that you’ve set your intention, follow along with the lessons on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be posting daily with the hashtag #moneymindfulnesschallenge. Please follow along and share your own successes, challenges and ideas.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Lynne Twist’s book The Soul of Money that I try to live by:
When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.
There is a reason why this update hasn’t been posted until now, and that’s because April went a little nuts.
There have been new clients, job interviews, PR opportunities. There were also many happy events, including reunions with old friends, social events with new ones and family celebrations including my son’s birthday.
As it turns out this abundance challenge has taught me a whole heap more than I bargained for about what’s truly important in my life.
You may remember at the start of the month, my goal was to create extra income to manifest my dream of buying a home. This has been something I’ve been working hard towards for a long time now, and it seemed like I was in the final stages, where just one last push would get me through to the finish line.
Instead, by the end of week 3 I was forced to take a good hard look at my goal and what it was really costing me. I’m a goal-driven person. I do not like to give up at all. But this didn’t feel like giving up. It felt like a release and a sweet relief. I had been pushing way too hard, and let’s face it, it’s not supposed to be that hard. For those of you who love Tarot, I was the embodiment of the Four of Swords last week. I’d had enough of being in the driving and pushing, followed by exhaustion and recovery cycle. I decided that I can still buy a home but I don’t have to do it right now.
As someone who has a pattern of overwork and trying really hard to achieve my goals, it was jarring to have the realisation that success doesn’t always have to be hard won. I can make a different choice.
So at the end of this challenge, rather than pursuing my goal at all costs I’m choosing freedom.
This decision has opened up a lot of space in my life. If I don’t have to get the mortgage, I don’t have to work full-time hours, which means more time for family and to work on my business and that feels expansive.
I’ve also started a practice of following the phases of the moon which has really helped me make sense of things and release what’s no longer serving me. I’m getting a sense of what being in flow feels like, instead of pushing myself to the absolute limit.
As I write this post, the moon is full and in one of its Yang phases, which means it’s a time for taking action and the perfect time for doing release work.
If you want to do a releasing ceremony to mark the full or disseminating (waning) moon, here are some ideas.
1)Write a journal prompt: What do I need to release at this time? See what comes up for you.
2) Do a check-in on your goal. How are you feeling about it now? What has changed? Are you happy with the progress you’re making? What do you need to let go of to make this happen?
3) Is this goal still serving you? This is one I never thought of before but it came up for me this month. Is it time to reevaluate your goal?
4) Write a forgiveness list. Think of everyone who has upset you, caused you grief or made you angry this month (including yourself). What was the positive intention behind the person’s actions? Write that down too. Now find a fireproof bowl or go outside and burn your list. Breathe. How do you feel? Lighter?
I hope you’ve learned as much as I have about what abundance really means for you through taking part in this challenge. As I discovered, it’s ok to do things your way. Your way is the right way even if it goes against the grain sometimes. All I know is I’m very grateful for all of it and I’m finishing the month on a high and excited about what is coming next.
On that note, I have something new lined up for May and I think you’re going to love it. We’re going to be talking about how to be more mindful with your money, not so much in terms of budgeting, although we’ll cover that too, but how you can direct the flow of money in your life. This is about taking back your power around money. I can’t wait!
We start next week. Don’t forget to follow along on social too.
We’ve reached the halfway point of our challenge. I don’t know about you but it’s been a tough week thanks to Mercury Retrograde, littered with plans that went sideways, and problems with contracts and paperwork. I feel relieved to emerge on the other side with Mercury going direct again today, and a New Moon in Aries tomorrow.
I’m so ready to move on from the emotional, heavy energy of last week.
Having said that, I had to appreciate that there were lessons in those challenges around taking charge and being more of a boss in certain areas of my life. Maybe that’s what Mercury Retrograde can do for us – hold up a mirror to what needs to transform. As we move into the New Moon, ask yourself: What do I need to leave behind? In what ways am I not being me?
Another big lesson for me this week was around making choices that are in alignment with my goals. I have a tendency when trying to manifest more money to say yes to everything, especially when they’re the kind of opportunities I’ve been hanging out for. As I found out this week, you really have to be discerning. Abundance takes many forms and more work is not always the right way to create it. It may sound counterintuitive but more work is rarely the answer!
It’s good to remember that it’s absolutely fine to say no to whatever opportunities the universe brings to your door this month. If it’s not quite right send it back with gratitude. It will allow you to be even clearer with your intentions.
The silver lining was that I remembered what I really wanted was to get started with my fundraising project. I found a not for profit I really want to raise funds for a while ago but have procrastinated over reaching out. I feel like a total novice when it comes to fundraising but like anything else it’s a skill that can be learned, so I’m putting a callout through my networks to get advice. It will feel so good to get moving on this and it goes back to one of my big life goals of philanthropy so I’m glad to be making space for it. Think about how you can give instead of get this month. Not only will it be more fulfilling to help others, but according to the universal law of polarity, when you give you must also receive (I’m pretty sure it’s in the Bible too but don’t quote me on that #lapsedcatholic). Of course I know you don’t give in order to get, but it’s important to give with a cheerful heart and trust that your needs will also be taken care of.
On the home front I’ve been decluttering (again) and creating my home space the way I want it to be, setting up an alter, making it feel as cosy as possible and honouring the change in seasons. We’re deep into autumn here in Melbourne so I’m nesting and grounding myself in appreciation for what I have now – a great way to create positive energy around attracting the new home that I want to buy.
I’m still tracking every cent that comes into my account (more refunds as it turns out – what is going on with that?), and trying to stay in gratitude for every blessing that comes in. There have also been interview requests from journalists and lots of interest in tarot readings from members of my community.
There’s a lot going on this week so stay in the loop on Facebook and Instagram. Let me know how you’re going or tag your post #abundanceinapril.
We’re one week into the Abundance in April challenge and I have to say the energy has been intense around here. I’ve started to build momentum although progress has been slower than I would have liked as I’ve been recovering from the flu.
Having said that, I’ve had so much to be grateful for this week including extra time off to enjoy school holidays with my son, a doubling of employer contributions to my retirement account (out of the blue), an unexpected $70 refund, help and support from friends, negotiating a better deal on a business software package, free parking and some great feedback from clients that I’ve been working with.
With all of that I feel like a lot of new opportunities are emerging but haven’t quite come to fruition yet. In the past this would have made me stall or give up. It’s obviously not working so what’s the point? But now I know that this is really all about navigating the mystery – that in-between time when you set your intention but it feels like nothing major is happening. It’s when you have to take action in faith even though you can’t see results yet. Faith is so important and in the past, this has helped me to overcome so much resistance to what I wanted to create in my life. I’m drawing on this strength again this week to put my plans into action and act on my guidance even when I feel nervous and unsure.
Apart from what has flowed in here is what I’ve learned this week:
1) To stay in gratitude and be thankful for every blessing
I’ve tried to make it a habit to wake up in the morning and give thanks right away for my day and what lies ahead, even if I’m feeling not so great. It definitely gets the day off to a positive start. It’s been easier to do this because I’ve set up a practice most days of writing down every good thing that happened during the day, from the 5c coin to the colleague who helped me out to meeting a new and helpful contact. As it turns out, there is a lot of good stuff happening in my life every single day that I haven’t always paid attention to.
2) The importance of reaching out and asking for help from your community
Because I’ve been ashamed in the past about my financial circumstances, I still find it hard to reach out and share or ask for help from others. I’ve tried to break out of that this week by being in community and sharing what’s going on with my friends and accepting that support and encouragement. This is hugely important and one of the reasons I’m involving you, my community, in this too. We’re all in this together. No one can do this alone, no matter how independent we feel and want to be.
3) To deal with my money blocks in a more compassionate way
This week I discovered that I’ve still got some blocks around what I deserve to have in my life and I’ve become aware of all of the judgements I hold against myself for not being where I want to be financially. The danger for me is getting stuck in that place of beating myself up (which is really just a form of resistance) and letting it go. This has been my main work this week. And by the way it’s common to find that emotions come to the surface for healing when you make changes like this. You’re transforming your relationship with money here and it’s not easy. So patience is required and a bit of love and self-care too.
My intention for this coming week is to get more into the flow of money and abundance and take actions with more ease, rather than pushing myself, and I’m really looking forward to what this week will bring.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for updates during the week too. I’ve also got my weekly reading on careers and money going up on Insta tomorrow so watch out for that.