Deep Work: Mastering Focus for Peak Performance

Deep Work: Mastering Focus for Peak Performance

Master the art of deep work to unlock unparalleled productivity. These expert tips will guide you through cultivating a focused mindset for success.

Phone buzzing, emails constantly popping up, ongoing chats with colleagues, responding to meeting invites and all the while trying to work on that report. Sound familiar?

While we’ve all become reasonably proficient at multitasking in this digital age, numerous commentators are pointing to the toll the constant distractions are having on our productivity and the outcomes of our efforts. So, let’s look at the benefits of deep focus – uninterrupted time to work at your maximum potential and create quality work, faster.

What is deep work?

The notion of ‘deep work’ or an intense, productive focus, was first coined by computer science professor and author Cal Newport. Cal suggests that our online tools are making us lose the capacity for focus in a hyper-distracted world. He argues that for your brain to work at its maximum potential, you need to enter a state of focus, with no external distractions.

Multitasking as an impediment to productivity

While multitasking is an essential survival tool, it’s not great for your productivity to be in that state constantly.

When you switch between tasks - for example responding to an ‘urgent’ email while drafting a proposal - some of your attention remains on the previous task so you are still mulling over the email when you go back to your proposal. This is known as attention residue, and it impedes productivity. Research shows that it can take more than 20 minutes to get your train of thought back on track and up to speed after an interruption, which could mean if you are constantly responding to interruptions, you are never working at your full capacity.i

It's also been demonstrated that not only do people take longer to complete tasks when multitasking, they are also far more likely to make mistakes, so accuracy plummets when you are hopping from one thing to the other.ii

Why is deep focus so effective?

Each time you practice deep focus, leads to more effective learning. When you concentrate deeply on a single task, your brain creates pathways to consolidate and reinforce learning which means you are literally rewiring your brain to help you perform at an optimal level.iii

How to dive deeper

Ok, I hear you saying. This all sounds great but how do I fit this into my already busy life when finding an interrupted block of time feels next to impossible?

Once you start to use deep flow as part of your daily routine you may find that you are accomplishing more and getting through your workload a little faster, given the productivity benefits so you’ll free up time.

It’s important to schedule and prioritise how you are spending this precious deep focus time to maximise the benefits. One way to achieve deep focus can be to schedule regular blocks of time to dedicate to important tasks that require focus, followed by short breaks.

A time management technique known as the Pomodoro technique suggests that the optimal time for concentration is 25 minutes, followed by a short five-minute break. Don’t feel that you must set a timer if that feels too restrictive for you, as you can adjust the timings to suit you and your workflow. The idea is to set aside blocks of time and impose time limits on your tasks to focus, taking breaks in between bouts of intense focus to refresh yourself.

Consider when you are at your best to undertake these important deep flow tasks - whether its first thing in the morning, after a bite to eat at lunch, or later in the day.

It’s also important to accept that interruptions will inevitably happen and try not to get angry or upset as that will derail your train of thought.

Finally, don’t be afraid to play around with what works for you and experiment with adding some deep flow into your work processes. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. So, what are you waiting for - turn that phone onto silent mode and dive deep!

i https://ics.uci.edu/~gmark/chi08-mark.pdf
ii https://news.stanford.edu/2020/10/28/poor-memory-tied-attention-lapses-media-multitasking/
iii https://psycnet.apa.org/

This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.


Maximising Efficiency: AI's Role in Modern Living

Riding the AI wave to make your life easier

Unpack how AI not only boosts work efficiency but also personal time management and home enjoyment. From scheduling to smart devices, AI is your partner in achieving a balanced, forward-thinking lifestyle.

During a period where technological developments have picked up speed, one innovation in particular wields a profound, broad-reaching impact on our lives.

That innovation is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Developments in computing power, the availability of data, and the rise of machine learning algorithms are driving AI’s incredible growth to transform the way we work, live, and deal with the world around us.

AI is not just changing the way we deal with the world, but also changing the world. It is anticipated that AI will boost the global economy by $15.7 trillion by 2030. That’s more than the value of China and India’s economies combined. AI will drive this growth by contributing to labour productivity increases (by up to 40 %) due to new technologies supporting more efficient workplaces and the creation of a new virtual workforce capable of solving problems and self-learning. These changes have profound implications for labour markets, businesses, and economies.

Driving innovation

As anyone who has received personalised product recommendations, which have clearly been based on your browsing and purchase history, retail and ecommerce are the most obvious sectors benefitting from AI, but there are many other sectors that are utilising AI in unique ways.

AI is already assisting the manufacturing sector by optimising production and maintenance. AI can spot patterns and suggest preventative maintenance weeks or months before a failure occurs and provide efficiencies in the production process.

The healthcare industry is also starting to use AI to improve medical diagnosis by revealing issues that might go undetected by physicians and provide more personalised treatment based on patient data.

How you can use AI to make your life easier

While AI is being used in many ways by a wide range of industries, there are many ways to utilise AI In your personal and professional life that are worth exploring.

Improve productivity
If you need more hours in the day, AI task schedulers can help you organise and prioritise tasks, suggesting the best times to do certain tasks based on past productivity patterns. AI tools like Wordtune can also help if you’ve got reading to catch up on by providing a summary of lengthy documents or articles. Tools like Speechify can also transform text into audio, allowing you to ‘read’ on the go. Or to get your emails under control, AI can help you sort messages, remove irrelevant ones, and prioritise those that are important - even helping you with draft responses.

Elevate your efforts
Got a problem to solve or do you need some inspiration for a project? AI brainstorming tools like HyperWrite can provide fresh insights, suggest innovative solutions, and stimulate your creativity. Writing tools like WordTune can give the final polish to something you have drafted, or you can use AI tools to provide copy on a specific topic.

For a smoother, safer household

AI assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa have been helping us for some time now and can now assist even more by acting as the hub of a smart home if you start to replace old appliances with new ‘smart’ devices you can control using voice commands.

The most popular device on the market is smart speakers to control what music is playing and volume levels, but more smart devices are coming onto the market all the time. Smart robot vacuum cleaners use algorithms to map your house and can be pre- programmed so you can come home to a clean house and even fridges are getting smarter, helping you with shopping lists and even placing online orders!

And for a safe smart home, security systems can leverage AI to detect unusual activity, send alerts to your phone and even contact authorities if needed.

Smart devices can also save money on power bills - adjusting lighting and temperature based on your daily routines and preferences.

There are many ways you can benefit from the current AI wave of innovation as it impacts so many industry sectors and areas of our working and personal lives. As it’s a wave that’s growing in momentum, it’s worth using some artificial intelligence to supplement yours!

i https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-12064229/How-AI-changed-world-2030-according-experts.html

This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.


The Art of Connection: Networking for Success

The Art of Connection: Networking for Success

Explore the art of connection and its pivotal role in professional success. Discover how to become the linchpin in your network.

We all know them—the people who seem to know everyone and effortlessly make connections within their network. While it’s wonderful to know a ‘connector’, we can also develop those qualities and become a connector ourselves.

Malcolm Gladwell coined the phrase in his book “The Tipping Point”, describing connectors as the social equivalent of a computer network hub, who “link us up with the world…people with a special gift for bringing the world together”. Their network is extensive—they tend to be acquainted with over 100 people across many social, professional, and economic circles, and they actively introduce those who move in different circles.

Understanding the Power of Networking

Connectors are pivotal in creating opportunities and fostering business growth. By mastering this skill, professionals can unlock doors to new ventures and collaborations.

The notion that a few influential people make the world go around is not new. In the 1960s, psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted “the small world” experiment, sending letters to 160 people in Nebraska with the details of a Boston stockbroker, instructing them to send the letter to someone who might get the letter one step closer to the stockbroker. Not only did most of the letters reach the stockbroker in six steps (rising to the six degrees of separation theory), just three people were responsible for half of the letters being successfully delivered. Those three, well-connected people would certainly be considered connectors.

Why is connection important?

The saying goes “no man is an island” and that’s never been truer. We live in a world that is growing ever more connected and isolation can be crippling. Our mental well-being and our physical health both benefit from being socially connected with others, while it can also help us achieve success in our endeavours.

The Value of a Strong Network

In the business context, a robust network can mean the difference between stagnation and success. It's not just who you know, but how you engage with them.

Just think about the last time you achieved a significant goal—whether it’s a personal achievement or a business milestone and it’s likely that at some point you drew upon the help of someone else or others.

Ways to foster connections and benefit from them

Networking is quite distinct to connecting. Whereas networking is often viewed as a means to an end, connecting is more altruistic—driven by a genuine interest in purposeful engagement to assist others. In your interactions, don’t just look to what is in it for you or even for mutual benefit—be the hub and actively seek out connections on behalf of others.

The Art of Authentic Connections

True connectors know that genuine relationships are the cornerstone of a strong network. It's about creating mutual value that extends beyond the immediate interaction.

Foster quality connections over quantity. It’s easier to foster many connections, particularly via social media, but be conscious of the quality of those connections. To be able to purposefully connect with others in a way that offers real value, you need to engage with people. That takes time and genuine curiosity: ask questions, find out what makes them tick and then you can meaningfully assist them.

Being open to different things

One of the reasons connectors are so successful is they have contacts in diverse areas within many different communities, often through hobbies and interests. If you’d like to expand your network and horizons the first step might be to follow where your interests lead and explore your passions.

Diversify Your Connections

Engaging with a variety of sectors enriches your network and opens up a wider array of opportunities, especially in a multifaceted market.

Get out of your comfort zone. To be a connector or get the benefit from connections you may have to move out of your comfort zone. That might mean putting yourself in a new environment, being willing to break the ice in a social situation or reach out when you don’t know what the response may be—and risk rejection or embarrassment. Connectors are not all extroverts and they come from all walks of life. You don’t have to be anyone other than yourself and in fact being authentic in your interactions will stand you in good stead.

Embrace New Challenges

Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential for growth. In today's competitive market, it's those who dare to reach out who often reap the greatest rewards.


This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.


Retirement Reversed: Back to Work in Australia

Retirement Reversed: Back to Work in Australia

As the cost of living climbs, more Australian retirees are considering rejoining the workforce. This guide will help you navigate the financial nuances of pensions and superannuation when returning to work.

Employers are desperate for workers and cost of living pressures are making it tough to live on a pension . That’s a perfect mix of conditions to send some retirees back to the workforce . But it’s smart to get good advice before you take the leap.

With unemployment rates at historic lows and employers facing a shortage of skilled workers, an increasing number of retirees are choosing to re-enter the workforce. According to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), approximately 45,000 more individuals aged over 65 are actively working compared with a year ago.i

Financial Considerations for Returning to Work

Some retirees may have been forced to return to work to financially support themselves. National Seniors research found 16 per cent of age pensioners re-entered the workforce after initially retiring , while another 20 per cent said they would consider returning to work.ii Declining superannuation returns combined with rising inflation and cost of living pressures may be some of the reasons why retirees could soon be returning to work.

If you receive an Aged Pension and are planning to return to work, you will need to let Centrelink know you are receiving additional income within 14 days. The extra income may mean that your pension is reduced if it exceeds Centrelink’s income threshold. It’s essential for retirees to be aware of these thresholds and how their earnings may affect their pension to plan their finances effectively . Understanding the financial landscape, including the latest tax brackets and investment implications, is crucial for retirees considering a return to work.

Eligible age pensioners should also consider the Work Bonus incentive. This incentive encourages age pensioners to return to work with no or less impact on their age pension. Under the Work Bonus, the first $300 of fortnightly income from work is not assessed as income under the pension income test. Any unused amount of the Work Bonus will accumulate in a Work Bonus income bank, up to a maximum amount. The amount accumulated in the income bank can be used to offset future income from work that would otherwise be assessable under the pension income test.

Superannuation Adjustments for Working Retirees

Returning to work after retirement can have implications for your superannuation, particularly if you’re receiving a pension from your super fund. You can continue taking your pension from super, but you will still have to meet the minimum pension requirements.

So, even though you may not need that pension income, you have to withdraw at least the minimum, which depends on your age and your super balance. This minimum pension rate is set by the government. Failing to meet these requirements can have tax implications and may affect your pension’s tax-free status.

You can convert your super pension phase back into the accumulation phase if you wish to stop taking the minimum pension. This shift can be beneficial for those looking to grow their super while managing their tax liabilities . However, be aware of the tax differences. In the accumulation phase, any income and gains are taxed at 15 per cent , whereas they are tax-free in the pension phase.

Tax Considerations for Retirees with Investments

If you have personal investments outside super and have been receiving a pension, your lower income may mean that you are not paying tax on any gains from them. But extra income from a job may mean you move up a tax bracket , and any investment income and capital gains will then be assessed at the higher rate.

Returning to work after retirement can have far-reaching implications on your finances, particularly with regard to your Aged Pension and superannuation. Seeking professional financial advice is recommended to navigate these complex changes effectively . If you're pondering this significant decision, feel free to get in touch; we'd love to help. We offer a free half-hour consultation aimed at understanding if we can assist you in your financial journey .

i Retirees in demand as employers continue to face tight labour market – ABC News

ii A working retirement – choosing to return to work – National Seniors Australia


This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.


The 1% Strategy: How Tiny Adjustments Lead to Big Outcomes

The 1% Strategy: How Tiny Adjustments Lead to Big Outcomes

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the idea of making significant life changes? What if the secret lies in making just a 1% adjustment? Dive into the transformative power of incremental change.

Embarking on a journey of personal transformation isn't always straightforward. We all have habits we’d like to break and behaviours we’d like to do more of. But when we do some self-examination and think about what is involved in navigating change, it can seem overwhelming to get to where we need to be, whether that is personally or professionally.

That’s where small incremental change can be a powerful tool.

Unpacking the 1% Strategy

Just a tiny shift of something like one per cent, does add up. A compelling example of the power of one per cent incremental change is the story about Sir David Brailsford and the British Cycling Team. Until then, the team had never celebrated a Tour De France victory Brailsford felt that by improving in achievable one per cent increments in a lot of areas, the team could produce a cyclist who could win the Tour de France in five years.

They made one per cent improvements in obvious areas such as nutrition, bike aerodynamics, weight, and seat comfort as well as in areas others didn’t think about. They located a pillow that provided slightly better sleep and travelled with it and another gain was made through adjustments to sleeping posture. Then, someone found a massage gel that worked marginally more effectively, and so on. These minuscule one per cent gains added up to a win in two and a half years instead of the predicted five years, and the team went on to win six races since 2012.

The Science Behind Small Adjustments

While you may not be gearing up to win the Tour De France, you can apply this powerful method of incremental improvement to your own life, to improve your health, relationships, finances, career, or business.

It's a common belief that significant outcomes require grand actions, leading many to take on more than they can handle. However, making tiny adjustments to your life are much easier to manage and much more likely to be sustained than a huge shift.

It's also common to think of a big win or achievement as a single event but the reality is that it’s generally the result of a series of tiny moments that each propel us one step further toward our goal.

The one per cent rule is so effective, as it can be scaled. The method works because you are making many small tweaks and building on those tweaks as they become habits.

Implementing the 1% Rule in Everyday Life

The starting point is to think of an area of your life you want to improve. Then think of small ways you can tweak your life to achieve that objective. The tweaks obviously don’t have to literally be as tiny as one per cent, but the objective is a series of minor changes, which built upon on a regular basis, really add up.

For example, if you are wanting to improve your health you don’t have to overhaul your lifestyle to reach your health goals, go for small, achievable changes. Try drinking an additional glass of water when you wake up, take some fruit to work to snack on, take the stairs instead of the lift at work, or get off the train one stop early to walk a little further home.

If you're aiming to advance your career, consider dedicating 10 minutes daily to networking, incorporate some small productivity tweaks into your daily routine like not checking your emails constantly, and commit to self-growth by asking a single question every day to improve your knowledge. Building upon little, easy tasks like these can help you on your path to success.

Consistency: The Key to Harnessing Incremental Change

It is important to build though. One small tweak alone will not make an enormous difference. The challenge is to continue to make one per cent changes, without dropping the changes you’ve already made.

The key to this method, is to be consistent; it takes around 60 days to establish a habit so make sure you hang in there. You might have to even put a pause on adding any more changes to your routine as you adjust at various points along the way but just make sure you persevere to establish the changes you’ve already made.

There is no better time than the present to get started, so make the first micro change to your life today and watch each one per cent improvement add up to success.

This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.


Keeping yourself accountable

Keeping yourself accountable for success and failure in your life

Keeping yourself accountable for success and failure in your life

"At the end of the day, we are accountable to ourselves - our success is a result of what we do" - Catherine Pulsifer.

It can be both empowering and a little uncomfortable to think that we are responsible for our successes – and failures. Being willing to accept the consequences of our actions, choices or behaviours is not always easy.

We’ve all at some time or another played the “blame game”. It’s so easy to look outward and blame others for our problems, hardships or the obstacles that are getting in the way of us achieving our goals and dreams. For example, it’s the company’s fault that I keep getting passed over for that promotion, my team at work is holding me back, my partner is not being supportive enough of me.

The reality is there are always external forces at play that impact our lives and focussing on these external forces takes away our personal accountability.

What does it mean to be accountable?

Being personally accountable means taking responsibility for one’s own actions (or in some cases - lack of action!). It’s maintaining an ongoing commitment to yourself and what is important to you.

Here are a few ways you can become more accountable.
1. Remove the roadblocks
It all starts with your mindset. Choose to consciously embrace an accountable approach and recognise that you are the architect of your destiny.
That means letting go of the excuses and recognising them for what they are - roadblocks that are holding you back from taking responsibility for your own actions.

2. Set goals
It helps to know what you are trying to achieve - whether that be in your career, relationships or personal life. Take the time to set concrete goals, jot them down, and have a plan of how you will achieve them and in what timeframe.

Start by setting yourself smaller goals as they will be easier to achieve in the beginning. Setting goals (even if they are small ones) and achieving them allows you to prove to yourself and others that you can and will hold yourself accountable.

3. Create your own opportunities
Accountability empowers you to be in control of your actions in your personal life and career. You can create your own opportunities rather than passively allowing life to happen to you.
Being accountable is about fulfilling your obligations to yourself as well as to others, so when you achieve what you’ve been aiming for, take time to recognize these milestones and celebrate them.

4. Take responsibility for your decisions
Embrace the ‘good, the bad - and the ugly’ and accept the consequences of your actions, choices and behaviours, be they positive or negative.

Revel in the positives, but don’t be afraid to admit and own up to your mistakes. One of the most powerful ways we learn is through making mistakes and taking responsibility for them. That means acknowledging that there is a problem, identifying your role in it and proposing a solution to minimise or eliminate the chances of it happening again.

5. Learn from your mistakes
To reach your potential it’s necessary keep extending what you are capable of and taking risks and that means making mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up but think of what you would have done differently and what you’ve learned from the experience.

6. Ask for help
The road to success does not have to be a lonely one. While you are responsible for your own successes, that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a hand or even better, work with another, or others to get the support and encouragement you need.

An accountability partner can be someone who shares your goals and supports you to keep your commitments or maintain progress on a desired goal.

Having an accountability partner has been proven to increase your chances of success to an astonishing 95% if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to.ͥ

So, if you are wanting to be more accountable to your own success this year don’t go it alone – make a time for a chat with us and we can work with you to help you achieve your goals and dreams.

i https://www.afcpe.org/news-and-publications/the-standard/2018-3/the-power-of-accountability/

This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.


Circles of Influence Why you have more power than you think

Circles of Influence: Why you have more power to shape your life than you think

Circles of Influence: Why you have more power to shape your life than you think

We all feel uncertain from time to time and it’s easy to feel like we are being swept along in our daily lives, relationships, or careers by forces beyond our control. One way to feel more on top of things is to narrow your focus down to the things that you can control – and take action!

Let’s acknowledge straight away that there are always things in your life that you may feel anxious about that you have no control over - the state of the economy, that merger that’s happening at work, or the traffic jam you are stuck in, for example. We waste a lot of emotional energy worrying about these things that are beyond our ability to influence however, there is a way to ensure that our emotional energy is spent where it can do some good.

Circles of Influence

The theory of ‘Circles of Influence’ was popularised by Stephen Covey in his best-selling book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’ According to Covey we each have a wide range of concerns (things we worry about or that bother us). We can separate these concerns from things in which we have no particular mental or emotional involvement (outside things going on that we don’t care about) by creating a ‘Circle of Concern.’
We can then narrow our focus further to a ‘Circle of Influence’ which represents those worries we can do something about - either directly or indirectly.
Within that circle sits our ‘Circle of Control’ which represents the things we have direct power to change.

Choosing to focus where it counts

Covey suggests that we can and should choose where we focus our energy and attention. If we focus on the concerns outside our Circle of Influence, we risk feeling powerless. This feeling of powerlessness increases our stress and can result in us taking on a ‘victim mentality’ - accusing and blaming others for our ill-fortune - not just in the areas out of our control, but across the board.
In spending too much time focused on the things we can’t control in our lives, we may actually reduce our influence on the things we should be able to control directly, and our Circle of Influence and Circle of Control both become smaller.

How to put it into practice

Identify what you have the power to control
Zeroing in on what is in your power to control will enable you to see where your actions can have an impact. Rather than spending energy on things we can do nothing about, we can take steps that make a positive difference – ensuring that you are reacting positively and constructively to these external circumstances and calling on our strengths and connections. We can also then choose to let go of concerns that are not serving us well.
Challenge negative beliefs
Another way of enhancing the aspects of your life that you can control is to expand your perspective and challenge any negative, limiting beliefs that are holding you back from achieving everything you want to achieve. You need to constantly check if there is any room to expand your sphere of influence.
Develop a growth mindset
And one final way to progressively expand those innermost circles of influence and control is developing a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset feel that they can improve their skills and intellect. They think that while people have innate talents and attributes, personal growth is essential for success. A growth mindset will help you to turn obstacles into successes.
So, when you find yourself raging, powerless against that traffic jam you find yourself stuck in – direct your thoughts inwards to regain that sense of power and control – you may not be able to impact the broken-down truck on the freeway, but you are in control of the decisions you make in reaction to this event. Applying that same approach to other areas of your life will see you regain your personal power and feel more in control.

This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.

 

 


How to build the career you want

How to build the career you want

A career is so much more than making a living. To be doing something you enjoy and feel a sense of progression with as you develop, is a life enriching experience. But satisfying careers don't just happen, you have to work on them as well as in them. But the good news is you are in control of the process and can act as your own ‘career coach’ to lift your game.

Indeed, many of us do need to lift our games as far as our careers are concerned. Job satisfaction seems to be a precious commodity at present amongst Australian workers. When respondents to a survey run by godaddy.com.au were asked to describe how they feel about their current role, only 51 per cent said they either love it or like it.i That means for around half of us there is a lot of room for improvement. Even if you are satisfied with your current role for now, in an environment of constant change and complexity it’s always a good idea to take steps to be more active and in control of your career.

It’s estimated that the average person changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime and the main reason for a shift is career progression.ii In order to achieve long lasting satisfaction with our career choices it’s important to feel a sense of progression and that’s where career coaching comes in.

Lifting your game

A whole industry has grown up around career coaching, where you engage the services of a professional to help you progress to the next level and “lift your game”. While we may be talking about your performance in the boardroom rather than the sports field, sports and career coaches similarly enable the people they support and work with to elevate their capabilities.

Engaging a career coach is not for everybody. Not everyone has the means or the desire to get expert help, but there are a few things we can learn from the experts that can be applied to your own career to get you out of that rut or jump to the next challenge.

Self-reflection is key

The first step is reflection - to develop self-awareness of your strengths and your weaknesses and understand how others perceive you. Be a little ruthless in your self-examination and realistic about what you have to offer, as well as the areas you have to work on. It can help to frame “weaknesses” as “opportunities” - just be sure that addressing those opportunities will advance your career.

Open questioning

The experts in this field use questioning as a tool to encourage self-reflection and the most effective form of questioning is to keep things open ended. For example, instead of asking “do I like this job?”, try asking “what do I most like about this job?” Here are a few useful open-ended questions to get you started;

  • What gives me the most energy at work?
  • How do I improve the feedback I receive?
  • When do my internal doubts hold me back?
  • How can I accelerate my career progression?

Set career goals

That old dinosaur that’s dragged out in job interviews “where do you want to be in 5 years?” has some validity when it comes to your career aspirations. The first step towards finding your destination is deciding what it is. Think about the short-term (i.e. a year) as well as the longer-term (i.e. 5-10 years).

Then once you have a destination (or series of destinations) in mind, you need to put some steps in place to achieve your goals and make and protect the necessary time to work on the steps that support your career aspirations.

Get help

Even if you are comfortable being your own career coach, you don’t have to go it alone. Identify when you are at a point where you need a hand and reach out, whether that means learning additional skills and accessing further education or seeking out advice. Help can also be in the form of a mentor or even a good friend in a similar field who can act as a sounding board and source of encouragement.

There is a saying “chose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. Achieving a challenging and fulfilling career takes work and ideally is an ongoing process but given the importance of our jobs in our lives, any time and effort you can spend advancing your career is going to be very well spent.

i https://au.godaddy.com/blog/australians-report-on-job-satisfaction-in-new-survey-from-godaddy/

ii https://www.zippia.com/advice/average-number-jobs-in-lifetime/

This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.


A great time to reassess your career

A great time to reassess your career

The pandemic has ushered in broad-ranging societal change including fuelling a trend that has become known as ‘The Great Resignation’ or ‘The Big Quit’, where employees are reviewing what they value and are looking for in a job and in some cases, leaving in search of greener pastures.

While the trend originated in America, with a record 4.4 million people quitting their jobs in the States in late 2021, we are also seeing signs of the trend in Australia.i Of 1800 Australian workers surveyed as part of a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, 38 per cent said they are looking for a new job.ii

Meanwhile, employers are struggling to fill positions in many industries. That’s great news for job seekers or those wanting to make a change. In fact, 70% of employers are willing to hire and train someone with transferable skills, according to Monster’s 2021 Future of Work Report.iii

If you are one of the many who are taking a long, hard look at their current role, here are some things to consider.

What’s your motivation?

While it is theorised that The Great Resignation is largely fuelled by pandemic induced burnout, other factors contributing to the trend also include the shift to working from home and the need for greater work-life balance.

The other strong motivation for making a move, is wanting to feel that you are being adequately compensated for your efforts. Of those surveyed for the PwC report, 25 per cent cited remuneration and reward as the key driving force behind a move.

Do your research and take your time

It’s important to do your research before taking a leap to avoid moving to a new role or sector and finding that the grass is not greener. Try to avoid a knee-jerk reaction to a current situation and think strategically and longer term. Consider where you want to be in the next 5 or 10 years and develop a set of goals you would like to achieve.

It’s also not a bad idea to examine what alternatives there are to making a move. Depending on your situation, it may be worth exploring if there are prospects for movement within your current organisation.

Alternatively, if you are motivated by lifestyle considerations, is it possible to have a chat to your boss about the change you are seeking and see whether they can accommodate it? You may be able to tweak your current responsibilities to help achieve the life you want without the upheaval of a move.

Consider the financials

It’s important to consider the cost of resignation. Will you need to allow for some time with no, or reduced income as you search for a new role or build up a client base? Is there likely to be a gap between you leaving and taking on the new position? Do you need to build your savings to a certain level to support you on a career break or while you build your own business?

Whether you’ll be earning more - or less - you need to factor a different level of remuneration into your plans. If you’ll be on a little more than your previous role, what do you plan to do with the extra cash? If it’s less, how do you plan to make ends meet and are you comfortable with the potential impact of less disposable income on your lifestyle?

Setting yourself up for a move

Once you’ve figured out your career goal, look at what changes and steps you can take to help you get there. Look at your prospects in a new field or organisation. How transferable are your skills? Do you need to undertake further training or education? Could you engage a mentor to help you on your way?

Cultivating a network can help with career progression so set aside time to develop and extend your contacts in your field or in your area of interest.

To help you land that new role, freshen up your CV and brush up on your interview skills. Think about how best to communicate your suitability for the role or roles you want.

The past couple of years have forced many of us to take a long hard look at our priorities and what’s important to us. Think about what YOU want in terms of your career and lifestyle, and if you feel that it’s time for a change - go for it!

i https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/12/great-resignation-us-american-workers-jobs-quitting-quit

ii https://www.pwc.com.au/important-problems/future-of-work-design-for-the-future/what-workers-want-winning-the-war-for-talent.html

iii https://learnmore.monster.com/future-of-work

This article is intended as an information source only and to provide general information only. The comments, examples, words and extracts from legislation and other sources in this publication do not constitute legal advice, financial or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. All readers should seek advice from a professional adviser regarding the application of any of the comments in this article to their particular situation.