career

The key to Videoing like a LinkedIn Ninja

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How to Video like a LinkedIn Ninja - and did video really kill the LinkedIn star?

When I first started videoing, I was 🤮 dreadful.

Not just a little bit awful; I was truly catastrophic.
So much so that -

  • I'd do 10–20 takes to get one short clip

  • I'd be umming, ahhing and stumbling over words that normally came easily plus

  • I'd often forget my place right at the killer point and have to start again.

“A picture is worth a thousand words........and a video is worth a thousand pictures!”
— Ankala V Subbarao

Most of those initial clips never saw the light of day! And here's hoping they never will 🤣😂🤭

So, how did so many other people look so good, so fast? I couldn’t work it out and this kept me second guessing myself.

When LinkedIn launched video, it seemed like everyone jumped on the band wagon, and with recent technology advancements, video is far easier and quicker to produce than writing a blog.

According to research, on average, users spend around 5–6 hours consuming video content daily (yes, you read that right). Plus this figure is only set to increase, rapidly, as we become more time poor, consuming content between the cracks of our professional and personal lives.

So what happened? What did I learn that made it easier and helped me get better?

Learning #1 - Stop trying to prove myself. I was trying to be too intellectual. This came from that deep seated worry that I'm not really good enough. I'm not unusual. Research and anecdotal evidence says that when women start their self-promotion game, we often try and over prove ourselves. Unfortunately, this came through on camera with me packing too much information in and using language that was far too academic. But once I pulled on my big girl pants, and dosed myself with a shot of confidence, I naturally did better ... and it shows.

Learning #2 - Stop trying to be perfect yet expect progress. I learned to give myself permission to be bad at the start and to respect the journey. Some things fall into place much easier with less of a learning curve but maybe not video. Just like learning to do a headstand, you wouldn’t expect to do one in your first yoga class.

If you want to try using video to self-promote on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, but are feeling a bit anxious. Or maybe you want to add video into your mix for addressing remote staff or creating content for the intranet at work, but worry you’ll shoot yourself in the foot, here are five practical tips that might help you tackle your video self-promotion strategy more confidently.

  1. Don't over complicate it. Pick one idea and speak to that. Just one simple idea. It could be answering one common question from your audience or one common problem that you know how to solve from which your audience may benefit. Consider a piece of a project that your audience might be interested in or an idea from a book that changed your life. Whatever the topic, pick one and save the rest for another day.

  2. Have a conversation. Use language as though you were chatting with a professional friend. I call it BBQ language—it’s as though you had friends over for a BBQ and you’re talking about your work. You wouldn’t use jargon or a bunch of annual report rhetoric, unless you want their eyes to glaze over. You’d personalise it; use real language, real context with real stories.

  3. Brief is best. People are time poor. Most people won't even watch more than 1 minute. Attention spans are short (and getting shorter). Make it easy for yourself - and your audience.

  4. Smile. I was so nervous about the video that I was forgetting to smile. Yet when you smile, it comes through in your voice; you connect better and find everyone enjoys the video more.

  5. Look at the lens. Look at the actual camera lens. Hard to find on the phone sometimes. This small thing was an absolute game changer. Put a dot, a piece of blue tack, anything, near the lens and look directly at that.

    So the question remains - did video really kill the LinkedIn star?

    Only if she dies of embarrassment!

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And get in touch if you want help with building your executive brand!

#executiveimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

One great technique to help you meditate your way to the top

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I don't think I would have landed, or lasted in, a CEO role if I didn't meditate.  In fact, I know I wouldn't have. Between board responsibilities, ambitious growth targets, staffing, reputation management, AGMs, Awards and audits, life had the potential to be incredibly stressful. 

Meditation kept me clear headed, less reactive and better able to manage the constantly changing demands. 

What’s interesting though, is that I used to hide my meditation and yoga. I was embarrassed that people would think it was light weight and not leaderly enough, not cool or career minded enough, and that I was lacking in some way. 

Spring forward a few years and times have sure changed!  Meditation and mindfulness is considered the new black. It’s not just good for you but it’s uber cool as well.

If Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn, Ariana Huffington, CEO, Huffington Post and Oprah Winfrey, CEO, The Modern World (LOL) can do it, so can the rest of us. 

Multiple research studies have shown that meditation has the potential to decrease anxiety, thereby potentially boosting resilience and performance under pressure.

It has also been shown to

In the attention economy, focus is the currency. Fight for your focus
— Repa Patel
  • reduce stress

  • boost immunity

  • increase concentration and focus

  • improve sleep quality

  • help you make better decisions

  • increase memory and

  • enhance creativity

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....... all of which are highly beneficial to leadership.

Let's nip scarcity mentality in the bud 
It doesn’t have to be complicated or perfect. Tiny two minute meditation moments several times a day are not to be sniffed at. After all, the meditation that you do is far better than the meditation that you think about and don't do.

An abundance meditation is my go to at the moment. Designed to nip scarcity mentality in the bud in a few minutes. Literally. And scarcity mentality is not only one of the biggest barriers to women in leadership, but also to you and your own success.

  • "There won't be enough top jobs to go around"

  • "There won't be enough opportunities for us all"

  • "I'm not good enough"

  • "I'm not confident enough"

  • "There are only a few places so why would they give one to me?"

You've probably heard one of the above. You may have even said something similar to yourself.

The abundance meditation is really simple. When I do it I feel stress melting from my body - like ice-cream on a hot summer day (she pined wistfully). 

It’s great for those days when you have a bucket load of competing priorities, then worry that you won’t have enough time, energy or focus to get there.  

Deep down too, you’re afraid because the person you’ll let down the most is yourself and maybe .... today is the day that others will find out you're a big ol' fraud.

So what do you do?  Instructions below

  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You can be sitting or lying. Rule of thumb - if you accidentally fall asleep, you probably needed it. Don’t get too pedantic.

  • Start breathing and allow your diaphragm to gently expand into your belly as you breathe

  • With a light touch, count how many counts it takes to inhale, pause at the top then count how long it takes to exhale

  • Repeat for about 1 minute and see if you can effortlessly extend your breath count each time

  • Then mentally repeat the following four phrases to yourself with your new slow breathing - about four times through

- "I am safe"

- "I am worthy" 

- "I am loveable"

- "I am enough" 

  • Remember you are not in a rush, take your time

  • If you have the time, or want a variation on a theme, take it one step further and repeat the following different four phrases for a couple of minutes

- "I have plenty of time"

- "I have plenty of energy"

- "I have plenty of focus"

- "I am enough" 

  • Finally, sit in silence for a minute longer and gently bask in the space this creates.

Then get on with your day!  

Remember, some days it's a dance. Other days it’s a juggle. While some days it feels like a tornado hit!

You being able to carve a calm pathway through is going to make all the difference between an indifferent or invincible 'brand you'. 

Let me know how you go. 

And yes, it is possible to meditate your way to the top.

Share if you dare, to inspire another woman somewhere!

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

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The Macedon Retreat is FULLY BOOKED

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Retreat Early Bird date extended - just for you

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It's not too late - early bird pricing extended to 5 July

Are you able to attend?

What would it take for you to create the time and space to focus on "brand you" and attend theWomen of Impact Leadership Retreat?  

Maybe it's an extension of the Early Bird pricing discount to help you make the final decision! 

Finding the balance between tackling ambitious goals and taking downtime can be challenging for those with big career goals and even bigger roles. The Macedon Women of Impact Leadership Retreat will help you create time and space to do just that.

Bookings and details in the link -  Early Bird pricing extended to 5 July  COB

In addition to reflecting on your own leadership brand, your ability to influence and carve out a future focused, positive pathway forwards, you will also hear from three amazing women who will co-facilitate with me.

1. Irene Scott, Copywriter, Marketer, Strategist, Engineer - a civil engineer turned copywriter and marketing strategist, who loves telling other people’s stories and helping them live their passion.  She is already helping several of my clients with prestigious award nominations so I'm very excited to hear how she does it. 

How to Write an Award Winning Application to Showcase Your Expertise… 7 Tips to Boost Your Nomination Success.

If you want more influence, credibility and authority amongst your peers, then being formally acknowledged with an award is key.  But if you’ve ever doubted whether you have the right experience, struggled to find the “right” words to express your accomplishments or been anxious your message sounds flat, then you know writing an award application can be a challenge.  In her presentation she'll share with you 7 tips and strategies you can use immediately to write winning award applications! 

2. Julie Hyne, CEO Stylist and Image Consultant 

Some people think that style and image is frivolous. However, perhaps they've never been on the receiving end of negative judgments or low confidence because you simply didn't have the right look!  
Your confident executive presence is a career tool just like any other and with competence so confused with confidence, a confident presence pays dividends. I've had clients tell me that they've been advised to change their look, straighten their hair and present themselves differently if they were ever going to succeed. And this hurts!  And when that happens, I call Julie.  Julie works with C-level executives around the country and advises on style, image and executive presence to have more impact.  For those attending the Retreat you get to experience her wisdom first hand in a group setting.

3.  Special guest female wine maker, Laura Swallow, winemaker for Rowanston on the Track, will share tasting notes and her career story in the breathtaking views of the Macedon Wine Room. 

If you're still sitting on the fence re the Women of Impact Leadership Retreat - this Early Bird extension may be just the ticket. 

Curious but not sure? Why not grab 30 mins with me to find out more?  Book a Zoom or Phone meeting straight away. Or simply hit reply to this email 

When: 1 - 2 August 2019 (arrival lunch served from 12.00 noon Thursday)
Where: Macedon Ranges Resort, Spa & Conference Centre 
             Just 35 mins from the Melbourne airport and 45 mins from the Melbourne CBD

Who should attend? Ideal for executive women with big goals, bigger drive and even bigger ambitions, or newer consultants wanting to establish their brand with more impact.

What's included?  All meals, sessions, a wine tasting, a fabulous group dinner, a tai chi class, and for those heading to the airport at the end of the Retreat there is a group airport transfer booked for 3.30pm Friday. (estimated arrival time 4.15pm)

Retreat bookings and details here

  • Note 1 - there is a special rate for former and current clients. I know you'll love connecting with each other as you all have so much in common.

  • Note 2 - there is also an amazing offer for those who have yet to work with me, but want to come along and meet others. You receive a 2 hour strategy session with me. I've already delivered 2 of these sessions to women who booked early.  It would be great to get your 2 hour session in before the event.


Drop me a note if you can't decide and need more information.  Happy to help.

Counting down the days ......

Stay visible!

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Amanda’s 11 Step LinkedIn Ninja Posting/Publishing Process Guaranteed to Build Your Brand

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  1. Draft an idea for a Post or Published article - just have a crack at getting fingers to keyboard, pen to paper, words out of your head and onto a page. Sometimes I’m totally surprised by the material that comes out of my subconscious just waiting to be written and published. After all, the secret to getting things done is to get started.

  2. Let it sit for a day or two to settle before going back in to edit - just like you would with rising dough or bread

  3. Decide on style - What style post/article will it be? Will it be text only? Have you got an action shot of you? a video? or other media that might add interest factor? (no bland stock images thanks!)

  4. Identify 10 potential people in your network who may have something to add to the conversation. Don’t reach out to them yet.

  5. Finalise your Post/Article - edit then proof-read with view to how others will react to it. You can always test it with a friend.

  6. Check for the 6 Ps of LinkedIn Proof-reading

    • What’s your Purpose? Does this fit with your long term goals? Is it branded or in alignment with your brand? If not, how can you make it more so?

    • Does it Pop? Does your first line or opening sentence stand out? Is it dramatic enough? Does it have enough emotion? Does it entice people in to want to read more? (consider # 🤣 questions or challenges)

    • Is your language or idea Powerful enough? Can you amplify that more? Don’t start sentences with So, And. Remove passive language, weasel words or things that make it seem as though you don’t have an opinion and are hedging you bets.

    • Is your post Personalised enough? Where is the context? What’s your perspective? Are you using too much jargon? Does it make you seem human?

    • Does it Persuade? Do you provide a rationale & evidence, that would help people see your point of view? Be sure to explain the obvious so people don’t have to work for it.

    • Is it too Passive? Make it obvious how you need people to engage and take action (calls to action). Remember engagement is the gold - you want people to engage. Not only is it “social proof” but the algorithm loves it too. Make it easy/compulsory to engage.

  7. Consider your hashtags in advance - 3 to 5 at max. Why? To get them into popular news feeds on LinkedIn, consider who your ideal reader is and what #feeds they read, what your own branding is, or any words you want to pop in the 1st x 2 lines.

  8. Work out a good time to Post/Publish - i.e. when you have at least 30 mins available to Sweat the Post to get it running and when you know there will also be room for natural organic read rate (i.e. more people on LinkedIn)

  9. Post/Publish - note: when publishing, you need to have a pithy, catchy and short summary of your post, with a few hashtags when you publics. Consider drafting something in advance.

  10. Then Sweat the Post or Article - no more “build it and they will come”. No more relying on luck or happy accident. Take responsibility for the success of your post. If you don’t have 30 mins available at a good time to post, find another time to do it. What does this mean?

    • Send to your 10 experts who will have an opinion - “Hi (Brian), just wrote something for LinkedIn (insert Link). Would love your opinion to get the conversation going. A thumbs up or comment would be great. Happy to return the favour for you another day. Cheers - your name”

    • Share in any relevant groups you’re a member of - contextualise as you share

    • Consultants - share to your own company page

    • Comment back to any comments that others make within the 1st two hours. Consider asking questions to keep the conversation live for longer

    • Ongoing commenting back, at the 6 hour mark then daily with a few responses each day. PRO TIP - don’t comment back on everything all in one hit after the initial 2 hours. Spread it out over a few days to keep your post/article running longer

  11. Track your results - likes, comments, reshares. Consider also, did the post or article increase the number of views your profile got? Keep a record so you can measure progress or refine the process as required.

Once again - don’t leave success up  to luck or happy accident. Make it a fait accompli instead.

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

6 Curious Facts About Decision Making That May Be Holding You Back

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Decision making is something I struggled with as a young woman. I'd agonise and procrastinate, always waiting for a better offer or for a more perfect opportunity to come along. Meanwhile the things I was meant to be deciding on passed me by and life got on without me. 

Who was I kidding? I didn't just struggle - I was lousy at it.  

My work around was to schedule my life within an inch of its life so that my calendar and work commitments forced me to make decisions by the very nature of a looming deadline.  

'I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.' ~ Douglas Adams 

Spring forward 25 years and I'm now married to a decision making expert. 

The irony.

The pressure!

Yes, the gods must truly be laughing.

But things have definitely changed. With the wisdom of age I now practice the art of defencelessness, letting go of the need to be right. 

As a result I've become far better at decision making, far faster with less agonising and with far more comfort about course correction as needed.  After all, as my resident decision making expert says "any decision, even the wrong decision is better than no decision".  And I've learned he is right.

In fact, one of the reasons I'm really interested in gender diversity came from my own struggle with decision making. This drove an interest in male and female brain biology which, combined with data that demonstrates that organisations make better long term decisions with equal numbers of men and women on the leadership team, has shaped this significant part of my career.

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
Many people and organisations struggle with decision making. Despite the negative stereotype that women change their mind more than men, paralysis by analysis is not limited to women.  I'm hoping the following six curious factoids, based in research, will help you make decisions more easily. 

1. Decision overwhelm is a thing. Ever gone onto Airbnb thinking you'd spend a quick 15 mins to book your weekend away, only to give up 60 mins later because there were too many properties to choose from?  That's decision overwhelm, where you are presented with too many options so it's far harder for you to make a decision. 

We live in an era where we're spoiled for choice, but quite possibly it's slowing us down and making us less effective. The fix? Give yourself only a few options to choose from. You'll have your holiday booked in no time, with no regrets as well.  You can thank me later.

2. We make better easier decisions in morning. Yes, we are prone to decision fatigue. It impacts on the quality of our choices as well as our ability to make a decision. That's why it's far easier to make healthier choices in the morning, and far easier to sit on the couch drinking red wine, eating dark chocolate and watching reruns of Jane the Virgin, when you know you should be out working on your networking strategy! 

So what does this mean? If you've got a big decision to make in the evening, make a decision to sleep on it!   Make the big decision the next morning instead. Schedule important decisions or options in the morning when your decision making muscle is stronger and your willpower isn't wilting. You can thank me in the morning when you've slept on it.

3. Gender, decisions and stress - under intense pressure, women tend toward safer decisions and men tend towards riskier decisions.  Fascinating. Two things spring to mind here

  • Proactively manage your stress and wellbeing so you don't have to deal with the impact of stress on your decision making. Prevention is always better than the cure.

  • Keep this in mind next time your significant other makes a decision that appears either outrageously cautious or outrageously risky to you.  It may not be their fault, but the fault of their biology instead.


4. Time limits increase likelihood of making a decision 
- hmmmm, apparently I was onto the right track as a young woman. I've always known I performed well to a deadline.  After all, work expands to fill the time allocated, so when you give yourself time limits you'll be able to make a decision more easily. I love the Pomodoro technique as a tactic to tackle projects far more efficiently. 25 mins on followed by 5 mins rest x 4 cycles. Work. Rest. Rinse. Repeat x 4.  Because when we know time is short we're able to prioritise far more effectively and in just under 2 hours we can get far more done than we might do in a full day with no deadlines. Time limits will help you prioritise. Prioritising will help you make decisions more easily.

5. We tend to throw good after bad if we've already heavily invested - whether that's time, money, energy or ego.  This is called the sunk cost fallacy.  When we're heavily invested, we're more likely to keep going in the direction well past what might be sensible to an outsider. For example, you've already invested heavily in a particular direction in your career (you've told your boss, you've spent money, you've exhausted yourself every weekend doing it and wasted a year already) so you might as well keep going, even though you're desperately unhappy and potentially making a silk purse out of a sows ear. 

The fix? Get another perspective, and practice that defencelessness I mentioned earlier. Being aware of the sunk cost fallacy will help you make better decision anyway. And remember, it's okay to change your mind despite the negative stereotype. Sometimes you simply have to cut your losses and move on. 

It’s not failure, it’s data
— Dorie Clark


6. Things that are undecided take up mental ram and emotional energy - yes this sounds a little woo woo, but those who make more rapid decisions, move on more rapidly too. They're already scaling the next mountain, and we haven't yet bought a ticket to Katmandu because we couldn't work out which airline to go on! 

When we procrastinate on undecided items, it causes friction and slows us down, personally and professionally. The freedom of a freefall, that comes from making rapid decisions, is liberating. Because it provides more data that helps you progress far more easily. You can always course correct later as you need.

There is an old saying - action precedes clarity.  Combine this with the fact that success is really closely correlated with more rapid decision making and you begin to get the picture.  When we replace perfecting, proving, pleasing and polishing with purpose, passion and progress, life becomes a whole heap easier anyway.

And that success you are searching for?  A whole heap closer.

Your thoughts? What helps you make more effective decisions?  Drop me a note and let me know.

PS you might have noticed I've had a fabulous new photoshoot. The header image features "the bees knees" and other fun ways of reminding yourself that you're actually doing okay. Looking forward to sharing more with you in coming months. Why not follow me on Instagram as well?

#executiveimpact #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes


Share if you dare, to inspire another woman somewhere!

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

18 Powerful Cover Letter Tips That Cut Through The Clutter

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I've been vetting a bunch of cover letters this week. Well done to everyone who gave it a crack! It's hard I know. Writing about yourself as though you are the best thing since sliced bread, when sometimes you don't feel like that. 

But the higher up the food chain you go, the fewer and further apart are opportunities. Plus data tells us that people stay longer in c-suite roles so it's going to be even more competitive. 

Your cover letter skills will have significant impact on your ability to land an interview, in addition to working your network. 

But the differences between 'killer cover letters' and the 'works in progress' are extreme.  Works in progress include passive language, compliant statements rather than confident positioning, going above and beyond.  Ask yourself, what would a confident more leader-like version of myself do? How would she apply?

As a result, here are a bunch of thoughts in no particular order to help you get your cover letter mojo back on.

  1. The purpose of your cover letter is to get your CV read - not to win the job, or even necessarily to win an interview. But to get someone to go "Wow, she sounds ideal. I need to read her CV". 

  2. Think of it as a business case - helping you develop the justification for your application. Why should someone invest in reading your CV? Not because you deserve it, but because your experience and expertise sounds like it would add value, that you have the potential to be awesome in the role and here's why....

  3. It needs to tick off on key criteria in the advert - don't just provide examples from your work that you like or that sell the sizzle. Provide examples of your work that match the criteria they're asking for. Don't worry, you can do the value add near the bottom of the letter. Don't start with the value add or they'll think you're over qualified or not the right fit

  4. It needs to address any big elephants in the room (ie you live in Sydney but the role is in Melbourne and you're keen to relocate). 

  5. You need to help the reader to see why you're ideal for the role with as many exact match credibility builders as you can (without going over 1 page, or cramming too much on the page via a smaller font or too wide margins)

  6. You also get the opportunity to add a FEW non critical assets in that you think might sway the argument your way - Boards, Awards, Accolades & Opportunities, Global blue chip experience, high profile brands you've worked with or MBA/PhD or equivalent. Don't stack the cover letter with these. But one or two that help the business case.

  7. Matchy matchy - use the exact wording of the advert or PD. Don't get creative and find different ways of saying it. They're either in a hurry skim reading, or sending it through a software scanner so it needs to be exact

  8. Buzz word bingo - don't be afraid to play buzz word bingo with the acronyms, key terms or vernacular expressions that are required in your industry

  9. Captain Obvious - you may feel like you're explaining the obvious. What might feel obvious to you, may be totally mystifying to a reader who doesn't know you, your current company or the sort of work you do. Don't make people read between the lines. Don't be cryptic.

  10. Sound confident. Confident is mistaken for competence. Confidence is queen. Ask yourself - what would the confident Rockstar me do? How would the confident Rockstar me write this cover letter? What examples would she use?  Nice is not enough. At this level of your career it needs to next level.

  11. Avoid trying to sound funny - research tells us that funny doesn't work for women when someone doesn't know us. It works for us when people know us, but not before. 

  12. Avoid trying to sound privileged - privilege works for men, not women. (Private schools, prestige clubs etc - I know, it's unfair but until times change don't run the risk) The assumption is that if you're privileged you'll not be hungry enough so you are more likely to "lean out" or take career breaks. 

  13. More is not necessarily better - Keep your business case succinct. If you get to interview, then you can expand on your examples. White space on a cover letter makes it easier to read as well

  14. It must include relevant factual examples from your career history - a credibility booster

  15. Anchor examples with time, job title and company - this builds credibility even more. We're addicted to time and place narrative form (once upon a time in a land far far away). It makes us feel safe. So the reader will feel far safer if you include these anchors in your cover letter.

  16. Don't be apologetic or start negative. - don't start your cover letter saying that while ouu don't have XYZ experience they ask for, you do have ABC experience. 

    On that note I want you to remember my brother. A couple of Xmases ago he sent an email home to mum saying he couldn't be there for Xmas. Of course that's the bit that mum read and remembered. She had an initial disappointed reaction. It was some time later that she went onto read that he would be there for the 5 days prior to Xmas. 

    You don't want a reader to do that with you or they might simply dump your business case/cover letter before they get to the bit with the good news.

    So start with the positive and the good news before you get address the elephants.

  17. Always be sending cover letters - even if you need to use PDF Pro to add it to the front page of your CV to submit via a web portal.

  18. Keep it professional - no need to refer to hobbies or other activities in your personal life unless it's something they've asked you to address or enables you to demonstrate a great fit - ie they're asking for someone with grit and determination and the best example you have is your recent ultra-triathlon win. However use sparingly.

I'm sure there are more, but this should give you a great head start.

And good luck! 

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #career

Women of Impact Winter Leadership Retreat  Macedon Ranges Resort & Spa, Victoria  31 July to 1 August

Women of Impact Winter Leadership Retreat

Macedon Ranges Resort & Spa, Victoria

31 July to 1 August

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

I used to be a wallflower .... what about you?

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I used to be a wallflower.

Always shy and retiring, never saying boo to a goose or putting a foot out of place.

I was worried I’d be wrong, that people wouldn’t like me and that I’d get found out.

This left me constantly waiting - watching from the sidelines while other people’s careers overtook mine at what appeared to be warp speed! 

Then something happened. I worked with a coach and worked out I needed to eliminate the following:

  • the need to do everything

  • the need to be liked

  • the need to be perfect

  • the need to know everything

  • the need be right, and

  • the need be in control

When I let go of neediness, articulating my perspective, sharing my ideas or self-promoting became far easier.

I know I’m not alone. 
Every day I speak with busy executives who share a similar story and are nervous of standing out.

"What if deep down I'm actually not good enough?"
"What of someone calls me out?"

But when you are blending into the background, your pathway to leadership is always going to be a tough gig. A the longer you play second fiddle,  the bigger your fears will become.

Remember - you cannot sell a secret.  And it's important you are seen, heard and valued.

So let go of the above needs, then spend time to work out

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
— Dr Seuss
  1. What are you interested in? Find your passion

  2. Why are you doing this? Find your purpose

  3. Where will you get best ROI? Find a platform or medium that works for you

Then self promotion becomes a doddle.

And you'll be replacing wallflower with world class in a jiffy!


Your thoughts? What stops you self promoting?  Drop me a note. I'm always keen to hear your perspective. 

PS you might have noticed I've had a photoshoot done. This one features "the bees knees" and other fun ways of reminding yourself that you're actually doing okay. Looking forward to sharing more with you in coming months.

#selfpromotionmatters #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #womenofimpact


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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Do you save these critical skills for that perfect moment?

Do you save these Critical Career Skills for the Perfect Moment.jpg

How often have you gone for your dream role, where you knew you could not only lead but succeed, only to be told that someone else blew the interview panel out of the water and so you missed out?

I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement or I feel I’ve done as well as I possibly could.
— Carol Dweck

Yet we all save up our most critical career management skills for special occasions, treating them just like our Sunday best outfit. 

Instead, as part of your career strategy, these skills need refining, honing and testing regularly, just like every thing else we do.

Winning and landing roles gets far easier with practice. This may mean throwing your hat in the ring for a role every now and then, even if you aren’t sure you really want it.

Given that the literature tells us that women self select out of high competition opportunities far too soon, this is important. We're not giving ourselves enough practice runs. We're saving it all up until we find the perfect opportunity. Then we shoot ourselves in the foot because of the process or performance, not because we wouldn't be great in the role.

To help convince you that it's not a waste of time, here are six great reasons why you should dust off these skills at least once a year and get some practice runs on the board.

1. It keeps your career toolkit up to date: There is nothing so terrifying as a late night CV update for your dream role. While a good deadline does galvanise action, why not be prepared in advance? Make success your only viable option by applying for a one or two key roles every year. This way you are forced to update your toolkit regularly. 

2. It helps you practice the process: You are building and refining your job application skills and process - from socialising the idea, to reaching out via our networks to learn more or to gain some visibility into the process, to crafting a cunning cover letter that cuts through the clutter, to upgrading then tailoring your CV, actually applying, then possibly interviewing, follow up and more ..... Phew! It's overwhelming! Better to do this more frequently so it's not such a mammoth task all in a rush for the job of a lifetime where the stakes are so high that you run the risk of underperforming.

3. It builds your interview muscle (if you should get so lucky): If you win an interview, you get to develop your Interviewing muscle - not only to get back in the saddle and remember how to talk about yourself and your achievements, but to remember how to manage stress, gauge the responses to your answers, to flex, respond and reframe in the interview as required. And if you don't win an interview, that's evidence you need to go back and refine step 1 and 2. It's great data. Do the work.

4. It’s a signal:  By throwing your hat in the ring, especially for an internal promotion, this signals to the leadership team that you are keen for more. Perfect for when your boss resigns, and you may not want the role, but you want to demonstrate you are hungry for advancement. 

5. Reinvention: If you do have an opportunity internally, yet you are not sure you really want it, consider this - by applying and going through the process, you have a great opportunity to reinvent yourself and challenge others perceptions about what else might be possible for you. In a nutshell, you get to tackle any misconceptions about you head on with the interview panel. Decision makers get to see you in a different light and if done well, this is a great door opener.

6. Test your value: If you don't value yourself, no-one else will either. Your career strategy quite possibly has some alignment with salary, commensurate with the value of your expertise and experience. By testing your value in the market regularly you find out more. You are fact finding.

Stay strategic

You don't want to be doing this every month or every week. Once a year is a great rule of thumb. I heard a story of an HR Director who had this annual process. He had been with the company 10+ years. They had not only been happy years, but he had delivered some great initiatives as well. When the time was right he was perfectly poised to move on - his career toolkit sharpened and honed, ready to springboard him into the perfect opportunity. So he did. In one easy application and interview process.

That's not disloyal. That simply smart.

Stay curious

Even if you are in a great role, stay curious, dust of these skills at least once a year and give yourself the chance to learn and improve. The higher up the food chain you go, the opportunities are fewer and further in-between so the competition will be stronger. Unless (as one client said to me after 20+ years in the one organisation) you want to be “taken out in a coffin”, you'd better get some practice runs in when the stakes are lower.

It's not a waste of time either

What’s the worst thing that can happen? You might land the role and have to graciously decline. The opportunity wasn’t quite right for you at this time, but you’d love to talk to them about further opportunities more in alignment with your ultimate goals down the track.

And graceful rejection is also a great skill to refine.

It’s not a waste of time. It helps both sides of the equation work out what they really want and who they really need, now and in the future. And maybe next time, you will be the one to blow them out of the water.

Your thoughts? Drop me a note with your thoughts on this. Do you save these skills up like your Sunday best? Or do you take them out for a test run every year? Let me know.

#winningwomen #womenofimpact #feminineambitionrocks

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Funny, not funny - how humour is good for men but bad for women at work

Funny is good for men but bad for women?!? 🤣😱😳 

Yet another way that sexism can suck the fun out of being a woman at work! 

A recent study showed that women are penalised for being funny at work especially by those who don’t know her. 

“This is the most annoying study ever” ~ to quote Jessica Stillman on Inc magazine 

Humour can be viewed 

  • as "functional" or 

  • as "disruptive" 

The clincher? ALLEGEDLY men's humour is perceived as functional and women's as disruptive. 

Despite most women being conscientious, diligent and more compliant, the stereotype is that we’re more easily distracted, and given career breaks, less dedicated to our career. 

We’re busy “barely coping”, while men are perceived as more strong, dedicated and determined. 

LouiseWilliams_190318_Amanda_WEB_019.jpg

“When a woman cracks jokes, therefore, she's judged to be less dedicated because that's what many people are primed to see” 

There is an upside. 

The study assessed how strangers view women's humour. 

However, when it comes to dealing with a team over time, being hilarious may be a real asset. 

YOUR TURN - Have you seen humour help or hinder? And no, this is not an April Fools Day joke. I'm happy to be a disrupter 🤣 

Photo: Amanda Blesing - via Louise Williams Photographer 

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Develop a Possibility Mindset

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Mindset is such a critical part of self promotion and career advancement, that I include it as the first in my Seven Vital Components to Subtly Powerful Self Promotion keynote

If you think you can or you think you can’t, you will definitely be right.

Embracing a possibility mindset is the only way forward.

I challenge you to accept the POSSIBILITY that you'll be able to self promote effectively and powerfully without feeling like you are bragging, within the year.

There are four provisos:

  • Be prepared to make mistakes

  • Be prepared to feel uncomfortable (remember that's where the magic happens)

  • Be prepared to do the work

  • Be prepared to get out of your own way.

It's not just self promotion where a possibility mindset is helpful. Your entire career success may just depend upon it.

What tactics do you use to keep yourself self promoting strategically and powerfully?

#executivebranding #selfpromotionmatters #standoutcareer

Need help? Curious - check out the events page for an intro session near you or book in for a 30 min intro call to learn more

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Why asking for help is a super power, not a weakness

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Never apologise for asking for what you need. If you don’t ask - the answer will always be no.
— Rachel Wolchin

Why is it that asking for help is so hard? 
 
As someone with a fierce, independent blueprint, I frequently don’t know I need help, nor how to ask for it, until it’s almost too late
 
This leaves me overwhelmed, ready to throw in the towel or running on empty.
 
I'm not alone. Many strong, amazing, ambitious, executive women share with me they also feel this way. Examples include:

  • feeling as though we ought to muscle through the work life juggle all on our own

  • when we land a new role and bury ourselves, head down, backside up, as we attempt to prove our worth

  • when preparing to negotiate for an increase in salary

  • when we're stuck in a role that we've outgrown or with a boss we've bypassed and we don't know how to navigate through

  • when we're in over our head with professional and personal commitments because we don't know how to say no

  • or when we've simply run out of puff at the end of a big week and started to believe that we're simply not enough.

When we leave a problem too long it can escalate or turn into a crisis, which could have been averted far more easily.  

Or we miss out on what's potentially available because we couldn't see the wood for the trees.
 
And that’s a waste.
 
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, ignorance, laziness, that you aren't independent enough, or that you are lacking in some way.
 
It could simply mean you are smart and know how to leverage time and resources well.  
 
Research also tells us that we underestimate how willing others are to help out by a whopping 50%

“There's basically nothing human beings do that's more rewarding and gives them a bigger boost of self-esteem than being helpful” says researcher Heidi Grant

Being strong independent women who are proud to celebrate #IWD2019 doesn’t mean we have to go it all alone.  In fact, when we all work on this together, we’ll get a better outcome anyway. 
 
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness - it’s a sign of strength
 
Learning to ask for help in the right way, might just become your new super power
 
YOUR THOUGHTS? Why do we hate to ask for help? Or is this your super power? Drop me a note and let me know ablesing@amandablesing.com 
 

And happy International Women's Day on Friday.  

#IWD2019 
#BalanceforBetter

#executivewomen #womenofimpact #lookoutCsuitehereshecomes 

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Let's show them what crazy can do

Here's to all the "dramatic", "delusional", "nuts", "unhinged", "weird", "hysterical", "crazy" women in my network

Because you're kicking phenomenal goals, breaking glass ceilings, tackling issues and driving change like never before.

It's only crazy until you do it. Fine. Let's show them what crazy can do.

Inspiring video released in the lead up to #iwd2019

Superbly narrated by Serena Williams.

Thanks to Nike - just do it

Thanks also to both Carla Wall and Tessa Irwin MFIA for sending this my way.

Let's show them what crazy can do.

#womenofimpact #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months