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  1. Job Satisfaction – Are you jumping ship too early?

    September 16, 2014 by Jenna

    Expectations are set high when it comes to finding a successful and fulfilling career. Personal happiness is above all else and often if that level of expectation is not met than the decision can be made to look elsewhere. However, if you find that you have a record of doing this on a regular basis without finding that level of satisfaction in the new role, then perhaps you are wondering – Is the grass really greener on the other side?

    While expectations are high to find a satisfying career, so too is the mindset that this will happen right away. In a society where we have instant access to everything, a dream job shouldn’t be any different, right?

    If you look at any successful business owner, entrepreneur, inventor, client etc. you will know that in order for them to get to where they are today they had to fight the ‘hard yards’ and work their way up to land that meaningful career.

    No job ever encompasses 100% satisfaction, but finding the balance of what you do love about the role and lining it up with your future prospects can often outweigh those tasks or items that you may not necessarily favor. The step we often tend to miss when it comes to getting there however, is that your needs have to be outlined to begin with. Then you will have to work to find that balance of satisfaction because it is personal for every individual, and management will not be able to deliver something that they are not made aware of.

    If you haven’t establish what job satisfaction means to you then changing roles may not necessarily be the answer you are looking for.

    While conducting research on the topic I found an article that outlines seven steps to finding job satisfaction wherever you work:

    1. Know Thyself

    What are things that motivate you? Companies can find ways to drive motivation but personal motivation is important as well. Only you know what keeps you awake at night and what makes you jump out of bed in the morning. When you know yourself, it is easy to increase your own job satisfaction as you will know what works for you.

    2. Keep Challenging Yourself

    Work has to be challenging enough but not so overwhelming that you find it insurmountable. Challenges at an optimum level keep you going. Perhaps you find that your work is not challenging anymore. In that case, learn to get more projects that are challenging now since you know the importance of job satisfaction in your life.

    3. Cross Learn

    Make cross learning and increasing your competency at work a culture you adopt. That means learn other skills that are only expected from people in other departments. If you are a sales person, learn to read financial statements. Cross learning can keep you challenged and will also open doors previously not an option to you. By knowing that options are open you become more relaxed and feel better about yourself.

    4. Improve Other Areas of Your Life

    When you are unhappy with other parts of your life you will also bring it to work. It is usually easy to blame other parts of your life on the low level of job satisfaction you have. Analyse yourself, are there other parts of your life you can improve?

    5. Stay Positive

    Whenever you feel you aren’t very satisfied with your job, learn to stay positive. There are many things to be thankful for when you have a job. Remain positive that things can change for the better. Look forward to good things like a possible promotion or salary increase or completion of a project. You may just see your job satisfaction level increase.

    6. Know the Role of Work in Your Life

    Work means different things to different people. Know the role of your job in your life. What does it allow you to do? Pay for the bills? Serve people in the community? Allows you time to pursue your hobby? Know what is the role of your job in your life and you will put it in the right context.

    7. Work Allows for the Search of Purpose

    Not many people are mindful enough to know what their purpose in this world is. Why not let work become a medium to allow you to search for that purpose? Imagine having eight hours a day just doing an exercise that slowly reveals what you are here in this world to do?

    If you still find that after exercising various steps that you still can’t find that level of satisfaction in your role that you are looking for, then it may be wise to look into alternative options. However, if you are still in early stages of a role and have not allowed yourself the chance to truly grow or find out where it will lead you then my advice is to not jump the gun. You could end up making a choice that you may regret. Weigh up your options, write down your goals. Let your organisation help to develop you further and commit yourself to the role, after all, you never know where it may lead you.


  2. How Recruitment Has Changed In The Last 10 Years

    August 26, 2014 by Jenna

    I started my career in recruitment in 2004, in the days when skills shortages and low unemployment dominated the airwaves. SEEK was without question the online job board of choice, although CareerOne was in a desperate re-branding phase to attract us all back to their stable. Newspaper advertising was also still a key attraction tool especially for Senior Executive and regional roles. There was no Facebook, there was no Twitter, and there certainly wasn’t LinkedIn.

    But there were people. The most important thing about recruitment, and the essential key to effective recruitment, is and always will be the people. The ability of a recruiter to identify a strategy to attract potential candidates to a job is the first step, the second step is the ability to quickly identify that candidate’s skills, abilities, and motivations to most effectively match them to the right job and right company, and of course the most important step; effectively manage the negotiations of this match-making process between candidate and company to ensure a long-lasting partnership for all.

    Some of the candidates Challenge Consulting placed in 2004 are still in those roles today. Some have moved up into higher level roles with the same or other organisations. Others have made a complete career change. I can still name most of those people I had the good fortune of meeting 10 years ago, I’m not so good at faces – but for me the names tell a story. A story of change of country, change of state, celebrating 10 year wedding anniversary with a surprise trip to Hawaii, babies, marriages, and fresh starts in a brand new role filled with possibilities. I was so lucky to work with these people when they often were stepping outside of their comfort zone and at their most vulnerable, making a job change.

    All those years ago the thing that surprised me most about recruitment, was not the process itself, it was the reputation of recruiters. To many the profession of the recruitment consultant was closest to a used-car salesman – slimy, arrogant, and only in it for the money (apologies to the used-car salesmen). But the truth is the best recruiters do not fit this stereotype. The best recruiters are not chucking CVs at an inbox hoping one will fit. The best recruiters are not scouring the online job boards and cold calling with offers of the best candidates without any idea what your requirements are. The best recruiters are not cold calling you endlessly full stop. Because the best recruiters are too busy meeting people and developing a talent pipeline for your company. They are networking at industry events so they best understand what is happening in your industry and sector. They are meeting with you, between job hires, to understand the current strategic priorities for your business now and into the years to come.

    An ironic shift in the industry happened in 2008; I was at the time travelling overseas enjoying the best that Europe had to offer, but when I returned it was clear that although Australia was not in recession, the Global Financial Crisis had just hit us hard. It was at this time that many of those bad recruiters went out of business. It would be mistaken to suggest that the GFC did not have an impact on Challenge Consulting, because even for the best recruiters business diminished, but like the other great recruitment organisations we looked at other ways to partner with our clients, who too were struggling with the uncertainty of what next.

    Fast-forward to now and what frustrates me the most is that the bad recruiters are starting to re-dominate the landscape. I know this because I now work in the area of career transition with individuals whose positions have been made redundant and they tell me the incredible horror stories.  Recruiters that advertise jobs that do not exist. Recruiters that do not return their calls after a SECOND INTERVIEW with the client company. Recruiters that chuck their CVs at jobs without their permission. Recruiters that do not return their calls full stop. How is it that in 2014 this is the standard of recruitment practice that we accept? How is it that these companies even exist?

    They exist because someone is paying them to exist. Every time a company says, “I will just throw this job out to a couple of recruiters and see what comes back”. They are rather saying: “it is OK to send CVs without a thorough attraction and screening process. We don’t want the best match for our requirements.” Every time a company says: “I will not pay that rate because this other recruiter will do it for less than that”, they are saying “we don’t want good recruiters; we want bad recruiters that will waste our time and ruin the reputation of our company in the marketplace”. Every time a company lists a job with more than one agency, they are saying “we support bad recruitment practices based on competition rather than collaboration and quality”.

    Of course recruiters can do better. We all can, we are all people. But we need to demand that they do better and not pay for those services that breed a profession that burns people out. We need to empower a profession to be the best that it can be by paying for quality partnerships with the best recruiters. Those great recruiters that will partner with you and help you build that talent pipeline that will lead to your future success, because at the end of the day, that’s what it should be about. Your most important asset = your people.


  3. It’s Just Not a Good ‘Cultural’ Fit …

    August 19, 2014 by Jenna

    How often have you heard yourself or others utter those words in the recruitment process?

    What is ‘cultural’ fit?

    As an experienced recruiter here at Challenge Consulting outlined “It’s intangible so it’s hard to say. Sometimes it’s just a feeling. Sometimes it’s demographic – that’s very general though, just because two people are 30 years old and live in Bondi it doesn’t mean they are going to get on with each other.”

    According to empirical research[i], there are actually four distinct types of “fit” and each impacts both the initial attraction of potential employees to an organisation and their on-the-job performance:

    • Person-Job Fit:  how well the demands of the actual position line up with the prospective employee’s skills and abilities
    • Person-Organisation Fit: match between a prospective employee’s personal characteristics and the organisation’s cultural characteristics[ii]
    • Person-Group Fit: the interpersonal compatibility between potential employee and their work group or team
    • Person-Supervisor Fit: match between potential employee and their potential supervisor

    (And all four together make up Person-Environment Fit)

    So how should you assess fit?

    Before you even think about how to assess fit, you first need to clearly define the other side. What is it that you want the potential employee to fit to? Job Fit is seemingly easy; it becomes more difficult when you are looking to define the organisational culture.

    Different people are motivated by different things; it stands to reason when values are aligned an individual is going to be more motivated. BUT, and here is the big but, just because an organisation has written placards of their values doesn’t mean this is their culture. If everyone doesn’t embrace these values, including senior leadership, they are not definers of a culture they are merely catchphrases of the HR or marketing team.

    Once you have clearly defined the culture operating in your organisation, next you need to assess fit to this culture in the selection process, you can do this through:

    –          motivation or values based interview questions

    –          motivation or values based reference checks

    –          personality or values psychometric assessments

    You could even consider a realistic job preview (or job trial) so both the potential employee and employer can get an understanding of the fit to job, group, supervisor and organisation.

    Don’t forget it’s not just the company assessing fit.

    Of course it’s not just the company assessing fit in the recruiting process, but the jobseeker as well.  Research suggests that the jobseeker will assess their match to the organisational culture, not based on the questions asked, but by the interviewer’s behaviour and recruitment process itself[iii]. What does your interview process say about your organisational culture? Are you turning potential great-fit employees off by an incongruent recruitment process?

    Why is cultural fit so important?

    Employees with greater Person-Environment Fit are more satisfied at work, are less likely to leave, and achieve higher performance ratings (as assessed by their managers) than those with lower Fit[iv].

    But when there is poor fit the opposite is true. As my colleague stated: “I moved to a similar role with a different organisation and very quickly learnt that, despite the role and responsibilities being the same, the organisational culture was very different. This created increased stress levels and less enthusiasm about my job. I ended up leaving that organisation and joining another organisation with a greater alignment to my key motivators of teamwork and collaboration. It was a great reality check for me because I realised that a job is not just about the job role but an even more important factor is the organisational and team culture.”

    So when it’s just not a good cultural fit, it’s important to know when to walk away. Re-invest your energy into opportunities that will allow you to be motivated and engaged– and ultimately a win-win for all.

    What does ‘cultural’ fit mean to you?


    [i] Kristof-Brown, A.L., Zimmerman, R.D., & Johnson, E.C. (2005). Consequences of individuals’ fit at work: A meta-analysis of person–job, person–organization, person–group, and person–supervisor fit. Personnel Psychology, 58: 281–342.

    [ii] Kutcher, E. J., Bragger, J. D. & Masco, J. L. (2013), How Interviewees Consider Content and Context Cues to Person–Organization Fit. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 21: 294–308 

    [iv] Want, M., Zhan, Y., McCune, E. & Truxillo, D. (2011). Understanding newcomers’ adaptability and wor-related outcomes: testing the mediating roles of perceived P-E fit variables, Personnel Psychology, 64: 163-189.


  4. Interview Horror Stories – A recruiter’s tale – By Melissa Lombardo

    August 4, 2014 by Jenna

    Interviews can be scary. For some, it’s comparable to the shower scene from Psycho or being trapped in the hotel from The Shining.

    Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating.

    Conversely, sitting on the other side of the desk can be just as horrifying. If I had a dollar for every time a candidate didn’t meet some of the basic ‘interview 101’ requirements, I would be as rich as Stephen King.

    Hold on, I know what you’re going to say … and I get it. Interviews can be nerve racking, uncomfortable and just plain awful. Therefore it can be difficult for some to shine at the interview and demonstrate that they are the best person for the role. However, after the hundreds of interviews I’ve conducted, I’m still amazed at how many candidates still get the basics wrong.

    If you don’t repeat these horror stories, you’ll be way ahead of the pack.

    1. You don’t need to follow fashion but the outfit counts. Prepare your outfit the night before. Make sure it is clean, ironed and appropriate for an interview. For corporate roles this means no purple tights, sneakers, doc martins and Kermit green suits (I’ve seen it all. And hey, you shouldn’t be wearing Kermit green suits anyway!). If unsure, keep it conservative.

    2. Cleanliness is next to godliness. First impressions are made quickly. Have a shower or take a bath, whatever floats your boat. Don’t forget to wash and comb your hair, clean your nails and brush your teeth. Am I sounding like your mother yet?

    3. Don’t bring your lunch. I know it’s nearly 12pm and it’s almost sandwich o’clock but please don’t bring half a loaf of sliced bread to the interview and plonk it on the table (yes this really happened). Further to this, try not to eat a heavy lunch prior to the interview which might make you burp consistently throughout.

    4. Know your CV. Remember that job you did last year? If you have a memory of a goldfish go through your CV before the interview to ensure you know your dates and responsibilities. It doesn’t look professional and authentic if you have to consistently refer to your CV during the interview.

    5. Is common courtesy dead? Be respectful and friendly. I once opened the door for a candidate who greeted me rather rudely, but as soon as she realised I was interviewing her, her attitude immediately shifted.

    6. Ego at the door? Check. A good interview does not consist of you telling me about every single achievement you’ve had since Year 4, the moment we sit down. You may be an accomplished individual but it’s not necessary to dramatically take off your solid gold ring, place it on the table and tell me how much it costs (true story, which he followed up by also showing me his pilot’s licence which was also irrelevant for the role). Remember to be patient and wait for your turn to speak. There will be a chance for you to speak about any relevant achievements you have made.

    7. Why are you difficult? I know filling out forms can be annoying and answering competency questions tiresome but, most companies have an interview process. And if you choose to make a fuss “because all that information is on my CV” then you’re just proving to be a challenging, uptight and a demanding person. Who wants to work with one of those!

    8. Don’t be like Debbie Downer. If you don’t know who she is click here. I know that interviewing is tough, particularly when jobs in the market are scarce but don’t bring a negative or desperate attitude to the interview. I once interviewed a candidate who was so bitter throughout the entire interview she was muttering things under her breath. I just had to give her constructive feedback – which was to be more positive at interviews. Let’s just say she didn’t take this well and any sympathy I was feeling for her ended there.

    9. Robots have no personality. Be human. Yes you need to be professional, but don’t overdo it (I often see this in young Graduates trying to make a good impression). I want to see your personality and don’t need to hear your over rehearsed or textbook answers.

    10. Blah Blah Blah Blah. Please don’t waffle. If your answer goes beyond two minutes it’s more than likely I’ll be thinking about whether I feel like fish or chicken for dinner. Be concise and make sure you’re answering the question that has been asked.

    Rather than creating the next scene for Wolf Creek 3, prepare and use some common sense and you just might come out the other side alive. Oh and most importantly, you may nab your dream job and create your own Happily Ever After.


  5. Team building events – Do they work? – By Stephen Crowe

    July 22, 2014 by Jenna

    Building effective teams is on the to-do list of nearly every manager I know and an effective team can be more productive than an average team. One of the tools often offered to managers to enhance their team performances is off-site team building exercises. The sort of exercises I’m talking about are those that are supposed to enhance your trust, communication, problem solving etc. by attempting team based physical or mental challenges. But do they work?

    Well my opinion is a decisive, yes and no. I think that there is value for newly formed teams or teams with new members, but not because the exercises are effective at changing the long term behaviour of members or that they uncover previously undiscovered personality traits. I think the value comes from the participants spending time together outside the work environment completing a focussed task. In short I think the value is in the fact that they get to know each other away from the pressures and preconceptions of the office environment. They get to know the person not the position or role they play at work. This has the potential to break down barriers and to speed up the relationship building process and this can result in a team that is more tolerant of each other and communicates better.

    In saying that the value is not in the exercise, I do think the nature of the exercise is important in that it establishes the environment for the team to communicate. A session of paint ball does not foster open communication.
    I’m not alone sitting up on the fence though, a quick scan of articles on the internet shows that are just as many people fiercely in favour of team building exercises as there are against.

    So how do you effect change to an established team that is not operating effectively? Well I think the answer is, the old fashioned ways, careful selection of team members including consideration of their personality types (e.g. using Myer Briggs Type Indicators), establishment of clear roles and goals, public celebration of team success and private counselling when things don’t go as planned.

    There have been hundreds of slogans used to motivate and recognise the value of teams by many notable people over hundreds of years but I think at the end of the day what counts is hard work and a common determination to succeed.


  6. Bad Habits That Erode Personal Accountability

    July 15, 2014 by Jenna

    When it comes to taking on responsibility in a team environment, you quickly realise just how important personal accountability is. Each person on the team needs to play a part, it means taking on the tasks, following through and being responsible for the outcome.

    It means that there are certain bad habits that you need to banish, these include:

    Making Excuses/ Blaming Others

    For example:

    • ‘I have a lot to manage at the moment; therefore I won’t attend the team meeting. I’ll catch up next week’
    • ‘I’ll sleep in instead of going to training and I’ll make up for it later’
    • That you are ‘too busy’ to commit to the task and put it on the back burner, falling behind.
    • ‘So-and-so didn’t finish their part of the assignment so we fell behind’

    What could happen as a result of excuses: You will be considered unreliable or the group will not be able to trust that you are capable of delivering outcomes on time. Trust in the team is very important and once it is broken, it can take time to earn back.

    Possible solutions to excuses: We are all guilty of excuse making at times. When you find that you are starting to think or react this way, it is important to reflect on the task at hand and why you were chosen for this role. Reflect on how this task contributes to your team. Understand the implications of what could happen if you do not follow through.

    Do you have someone that you report to on a regular basis? If not, buddy up with someone on your team so that you both collectively can help keep one another on track. Sometimes a simple push is all you need.

    What could happen as a result of blaming others: Blaming others instead of trying to find a solution can create all sorts of unfavorable results. It can create tension in the team, break trust, communication etc. When problems occur, teams should be collectively looking for solutions together, not turning on one another.

    Possible solutions to blaming others:

    • If you have someone sharing a task with you and find that they are not performing then you need to address this issue directly with them. Start off one on one, as often the person may not realise they are doing it. If it still continues then get a manager or third party involved.
    • If you have a problem and choose not to communicate the issue or find a solution then you won’t achieve the desired outcome. Speak up if you are struggling, ask others for advice, after all, that is what your team is there for.
    • If you are being held accountable for a result of a group task that has failed a task, sometimes the simplest thing to do is say you’re sorry and offer to work on a solution for the future. Apologising does not make you weak, it shows courage. It shows responsibility.

    Lack of Motivation

    Examples are running late, being unprepared for meetings, not focusing or listening to what others are sharing, nor contributing thoughts or ideas to the team discussions.

    What could happen as a result of this: You appear distracted or disinterested to the team activity and other members will question your commitment levels. If you are unenthusiastic, others will not feel comfortable approaching you for help or provide you with further responsibilities. They will assume that you don’t care.

    Possible solutions: Organising yourself can be the best way to keep your goals on track and set your path towards success. If you have your tasks written down in front of you, it will remind you every day of what you need to achieve and keep you focused.

    You can start by asking yourself some simple questions:

    • Are you setting daily targets?
    • Are you writing the information down on a checklist?
    • Are you following up on your own progress regularly?

    As part of the team, members also have a right to know your progress, which should in turn keep you motivated knowing that not only does your work impact you but those around you.

    I personally become motivated when I see the time and dedication that my teammates are putting into their tasks. It makes me feel excited that goals are being achieved, and it challenges me to step up my level of commitment.

    Any great leader or manager that you know will tell you that they have to go through stages of being accountable for their team. It requires making decisions for the overall well-being of your team, taking responsibilities for mistakes or set-backs and collectively working together to find solutions.

    Remember these points next time you are in a group situation so that you can let the best part of you shine.


  7. If you’ve never considered using Temporary Staff in your business, maybe it’s time to join the bandwagon… By Lauren Eardley

    July 14, 2014 by Jenna

    The world of temporary work might be completely unknown to you or one you might not fully understand, however the use of temporary workers is on the up in Australia and has firmly established itself within labour markets worldwide. Challenge Consulting has offered temporary staff to our clients for over 21 years and we’ve noticed a significant and consistent increase in awareness and demand for temp staff across most industries.

    What is a Temporary Worker?
    A ‘Temporary Worker’ is an employee who is only expected to remain in a position for a limited amount of time. Temporary workers may have the opportunity to obtain a permanent position after that or they may have a set end date. They:

    • Work the hours that you need (Full-time/Part- Time)(Minimum 3 hours per day)
    • Get paid for the hours that they work and are not entitled to holiday pay or sick pay
    • Do not have a contract with the host company
    • Are on the agency payroll (i.e. Challenge Consulting pay them for you)

    Significant research has gone into the use of temporary workers as part of the workforce globally (www.staffingindustry.com). If you are wondering why you would ever need to use a Temporary Worker, research has found that the main motivation behind employers’ use of temporary workers goes further than just answering short-term demands. The numbers are compelling and the most common reasons for the use of temporary staff are:

    1. Flexibility (89.4% of employers voted this the number 1 reason);
    2. Value in answering short-term needs (87.8%);
    3. Benefit in identifying candidates for long-term positions (75.7%);
    4. Cost-effective solution to HR challenges (61.2%)
    5. Bringing external expertise into the business (49.1%).

    From the candidate’s point of view, there are significant benefits for professionals who offer themselves for temporary employment. The research found that professionals who chose temporary employment or an interim management position over a specific permanent assignment did so for pragmatic reasons;

    1. Availability of short-term employment positions even during times of economic difficulty (72% of employees);
    2. Opportunity for individuals to develop their professional network (70.7%);
    3. Opportunity to develop professional skills (66.7%)
    4. Possibility of finding stable employment (59.1%).

    Out of the 17 countries surveyed for the report which included the USA and UK, Australia had the most positive attitude towards temporary employment. Generally, the positive response was more common in countries where Temporary Employment has been more established. On a global scale, Australia has the 2nd largest proportion of temporary employees as a percentage of the total working population (2.8%), just behind the UK (3.6%). Employers and employees now know and understand the benefits of temporary employment and accept it as a positive fact of working life.

    Whether you are using temporary employees to replace a member of staff taking leave or to cope with an unexpected increase in activity; the speed of turnaround from agencies providing temporary employees was listed as the most important factor for employers seeking to recruit. Previous relationship and cost were both secondary factors.

    Temporary employment in Australia is predicted to increase and temporary staffing agencies like Challenge Consulting are likely to become more essential to support business. The ability to provide highly trained employees to sophisticated sectors at short notice is valuable and Challenge Consulting has the experience and resources to respond to your need quickly. If you are looking to employ temporary staff for your business over the Christmas period or any time of year, please contact our Temporary Services Recruitment Specialist – Melissa Lombardo on 02 9221 6422 [email protected].


  8. Constructing great teams in SME’s requires compromise on all fronts – By Stephen Crowe

    July 1, 2014 by Jenna

    In theory when we choose members for a team we should only select members who have the skills and experience needed to achieve the team goals, and the behavioural traits that fit the required team functions.  But in the real world for small to medium enterprises having all the people with the required skills is often a luxury, and then  having enough of them to be able to filter on behavioural traits is just a dream.

    So what do we do?

    Well the reality is building teams without the ideal members requires us to sharpen the focus across a number of key areas.  Extra effort is required with:

    • Defining the goals vision and goals for the team
    • Defining the roles of each team member
    • Defining the success criteria and critically
    • Communication

    We are asking people to work outside their comfort zones so to maximise the team’s chance of success we have to make sure that all team members are pulling in the same direction and are aware of all the issues that will affect them.

    But there are some traits that cannot be compromised on.  All team members must have these if the team is going to succeed.  They include:

    • Willingness to compromise for the good of the team
    • Willing to learn
    • Willingness to commit to the team goals.

    In small team that is reliant on the input of every team member I believe these traits are more important than technical skill or experience.  A team that is willing to work together will gain synergy from their communal energy and drive that will far outweigh a fragmented but highly skilled group of people.


  9. How do you currently look at feedback?

    June 24, 2014 by Jenna

    When we seek reviews and feedback on our performance and productivity it can feel like we are leaving ourselves open to whatever comes our way. It can make anyone nervous. We work hard and we strive to achieve goals. We want to be recognised for our hard work, but we often forget that feedback isn’t just about praise. We need to remember that feedback is a stepping stone. To lead us towards our future because we need direction, counselling and encouragement to grow.

    Personally I am not one who likes to be told what I can improve on. I find it hard emotionally and I don’t think that I am the only one. When constructive feedback is given it can lead to any of the following reactions:

    • Self-defeat
    • Lack of motivation
    • Defensive/Argumentative Behaviour – ‘It isn’t my fault, these other factors got in the way…
    • Low Morale
    • Stress or Anxiety

    Luckily, as I have gained more experience at receiving feedback, I am now more aware that the initial feeling is only temporary. In the long term I gain so much more from valuable feedback. This is what I have learned from my experience:

    The value in seeing another perspective

    Sometimes I can be so focused on a task that it can be hard for me to broaden my mindset and approach it in a different way. I find it valuable to seek feedback, if I am struggling to reach my desired outcome I can gain alternate ways to find a solution. Asking for feedback is NOT a weakness!

    We all have different talents and areas of expertise, so if you are asked to approach a task in a different way don’t take it to mean ‘your way isn’t good enough’. Take it as an opportunity to challenge yourself to try something new.  In turn, you can provide feedback on whether or not it worked for you.

    Setbacks don’t mean you have failed, it just means you’re not there yet

    For example, you may have been in a role for a while and want the opportunity for a promotion. You go through the whole process of presenting it to management feeling 100% confident to only find the feedback to be ‘We don’t have anything suitable for you to step up into at this time.’ You may also be told that you require more training before moving ahead into a role of greater responsibility.

    Remember, this does not mean that you have failed. Be aware of your workplace environment. If your manager turns down the opportunity at that time, ask for some specific feedback on why and then ask if you can approach the conversation at a later time. There could be structural changes, budget cuts and a variety of other issues that you are not aware of that could be influencing that decision. It doesn’t mean another door will not open later on.

    Don’t dwell on what you can’t control and focus on what you can 

    As addressed previously I can find it difficult to accept constructive feedback. I can take it personally. Based on experience I can only recommend that you do not dwell on the feedback as a negative and have it replay in your head again and again as a sense of defeat. This will only increase stress levels and anxiety and further distract your productivity levels.

    It is important to ask the person providing feedback for specific examples, show accountability for any issues (after all, any role of leadership requires someone to take responsibility), and brainstorm solutions for the future.

    Any great leader will have a story about something they didn’t succeed at. It’s human nature to make mistakes. But it is what we do once we are made aware of this that will define our future endeavors.

    Lastly, make sure you request feedback on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be a one off request. We are constantly learning new skills, approaches to work and experience. Not to mention the more experience we gain through feedback, the more confident we will become to pass on our feedback and experience to others.

    What feedback have you received that has lead you to where you are today? What did you learn from the experience?


  10. Personal Development – The Importance Of Keeping Up To Date

    June 17, 2014 by Jenna

    While looking after the promotion and social media side of the business, I am constantly online reading. I am reading up on social trends, latest apps, industry related articles, you name it. The more technology is advancing, the quicker information can be available and more I need to be on the ball with what is going on so that I can market our business the right way.

    At the same time, I still need to maintain my duties in administration with telephone enquiries, skills testing enquiries, event organising and printing/filing/data entry tasks. I am very privileged to have a varied role because there is always something to do, and most of the time tasks need to be done within a short time frame.

    How do I keep up to date with what is required within my role? Without overloading myself I look at different mediums:

    Following companies online that share industry news – This allows me to receive industry updates as well as invitations to events.

    • Sharing information through LinkedIn groups – Again this involves following online networks that appeal to your role or industry. You can direct questions to the group and share information or blogs from your website.

    Networking Events – Meet like-minded individuals on a more relaxed, social scale. Find out about latest trends, software applications, what duties are required of individuals etc. Not to mention finding out contacts that can provide further training and development through word of mouth.

    Attend training workshops – This helps me keep up to date with my skill sets and also find out about latest tips and tactics on how to market to my industry.

    • Setting personal goals for progression – what do I want to learn over the upcoming weeks, months or year? Am I keeping myself accountable and keeping an up to date checklist?

    I meet with a mentor every few months – Someone who is in a more senior and experienced position who can guide me with expert advice, but still allows me the authority to make my own choices and go in the direction I feel is best.

    So what are the advantages of keeping up to date in your industry of work? While researching the topic I found the following three benefits outlined by MindTools.com:

    First, you’ll make better decisions, and you’ll spot threats and opportunities early on, which can give you a competitive edge. This is especially important if you contribute to shaping your organization’s strategy. It’s also important if you’re involved in sales and marketing, where it helps you identify and take advantage of the sales opportunities that come your way.

    Secondly, keeping up-to-date with your industry is key for building expert power. By developing expertise in your job and your industry, you’ll earn the trust and respect of the people around you. From a leadership perspective, this is invaluable!

    Finally, it will alert you to changes that you need to think about.

    As change is a common theme in business, it is important that you keep yourself up-to-date so that you are prepared to take the next steps in your career and assess any unexpected situations that may arise. It is important that we continue to drive ourselves to be our best and continue to prove ourselves as valuable assets within our organisations and further drive the business and ourselves towards success.




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