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  1. Career Advice – Sharing of Wisdom from Great Influencers

    October 7, 2014 by Jenna

    When it comes to the future of our careers, a little advice can go a long way. We often turn to coaches, mentors and people we trust.

     So what can we learn from successful people that can apply to us? While doing research on the topic, I found an article on career advice from some of the world’s most successful people, and I would like to share this advice with you below:


    Opera Winfrey

    Media Mogul and TV show host

    “Three things”

    Three things that will carry you if you let them:

    1- Know who you are and what you want.

    2- You must find a way to serve. The service and the significance that you bring to your service is that which is lasting.

    3- Always do the right thing. Be excellent, people notice. Let excellence be your brand.


    Jeff Weiner

    CEO of LinkedIn

    “Three pieces”

    Three pieces of advice that changed his life:

    1- You can do anything you set your mind to (from his father). Decide what you want to do (balance for skill and passion) and then start working towards it.

    2- Everything that can be converted from atom to bit will be (from a book “Being Digital”). In other words, everything physical that can be made digital will be as technology advances.

    3- Do you want to push paper around or do you want to build products that change people’s lives? (from then COO of Yahoo, Dan Rosensweig). Focus your energy on things that will have an impact that correlates to your goals in life.


    Eric Schmidt

    Former Google CEO

    “Have a coach”

    Everybody needs a coach. Every famous athlete, every famous performer has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they are doing at them Give them perspective. The one thing that people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.”


    Richard Branson

    Entrepreneur and Founder of Virgin Group

    “Focus on the people”

    Focus on the people. Find the best people to run the company. Make sure they are properly incentivised, properly motivated, and give them freedom to go ahead and make good things.”


    Steve Jobs

    Entrepreneur & Founder of Apple

    “Don’t settle”

    In his Stanford commencement speech, Steve delivered one of the most inspiring speeches of our time. It’s a three part speech:

    Connect the dots: You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.

    Don’t settle: Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

    Death is the best motivator: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.


    Now what advice would I offer to an earlier version of myself based on what I have learned to this point?

    “Adaptability is the key”

    You will never have an exact map with directions of how your future career will pan out. While it is important to set goals and targets, remember to expect the unexpected. Paths change, some choices may not work out as you may have wanted but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to new opportunities and go with the flow. You will be amazed at where life can take you if you are more open and flexible to changing circumstances.

    What career advice has been passed on to you that has led you to where you are today? What advice could you offer to someone else based on what you have learned?


  2. The 5 P’s of Your Personal Brand

    August 2, 2013 by Jenna

    So, tell me about yourself?

    The question that puts fear into us all, we stumble across an answer that will reveal what the person wants to hear and what we need to sell.

    It’s hard. Who am I? What defines brand ‘me’?

    Last month I learnt the 5 P’s of your Personal Brand at a NIDA event, ‘Become a Key Person of Influence’. The target audience for the event was entrepreneurs, but attendees came with a common purpose – to help define themselves (their goals) and their brand (what they need to portray about themselves to the world).

    Daniel Priestly identified five steps on how to become a person of influence, and I think these steps apply no matter what stage you are at in your career –

    1. Pitch – Do you answer the question ‘what do you do’ with confidence and clarity? You also need to make sure you know what industry or network that you want to promote your brand to. Similar to what I had covered on resumes, if you are providing a pitch that isn’t specific or tailored to that market that you want to get into, you may lose the person from the beginning. Keep it short, sweet and precise.

    2. Publish – Gain credibility through writing. I am very privileged to be able to write a blog within my organisation. Writing is a great way to communicate ideas, share information and connect. Credibility can also include transcripts, academic achievements, awards – present your brand, don’t be shy about what you have achieved so far, be proud of it without being arrogant about it.

    3. Product – Turning your skills into an asset for the company you work for, the business you are wanting to start, the next challenge that you want to take on in your career. This means not just verbalising what you do, but providing the results, proving that you are capable of putting plan into action when you are sharing your ideas or defining who you are.

    4. Profile – How easily are you found on Google and other social media networks? Now remember this could be a double edged sword, while it is great to keep up to date with technology and ways to socially connect online, be careful of what you are promoting. For example, most employers will take a look on Facebook or LinkedIn before proceeding to the interview. If your profile is open to all public viewing and your profile picture has obscene or rude gestures, chances are you may not be taken that seriously. Make sure you are promoting the best side of yourself to everyone.

    5. Partnership – Are you connecting with others in your industry or other mentors or professionals that can help steer you in the right direction of where you want your career to lead? Connection builds to relationships which can further expand your network and also provides recommendations and support. Do keep in mind this is not often a one way street. You cannot gain what you need for others without making negotiations or going the extra mile for them as well. This takes time, but make the effort and commit to catch-ups to build these relationships and lasting connections.

    What I liked about this course was that it gave me a ‘refresher’ when it came to promoting my personal brand. We had intervals where we were timed to meet someone else in the audience and had 90 seconds to give our elevator pitch. While initially I wanted to promote the company that I work for and its services, it challenged me to reflect on what I brought to the company personally, especially since I had been used to my pitch from when I was in the events industry, and I had built different skills and expertise to promote.

    It is never easy to approach a stranger and talk about who you are; in fact you can feel quite vulnerable! But the more firmly planted you are in terms of your skills, qualities, what makes you unique as well as how that ties in with your career field of interest, the more confidently you will be able to express that. The remaining four steps will follow.

    My last piece of advice is not to wait too long or turn down opportunities to showcase your brand. The sooner you are able to present yourself, the more confidence you will build in delivering your pitch, and the more brand awareness you gain. Especially when it comes to seeking new roles and opportunities, if you wait to long to seize the moment, chances are someone else will come along and take it for you. So carpe diem!

    What is the best advice that you have ever been given regarding your personal brand? Did it help lead you to where you are today?


  3. How do you want to develop your career? – By Narelle Hess

    April 23, 2013 by Jenna

    I was recently invited to be a guest speaker at a lunch-and-learn session about career development, or more specifically how I developed my career.

    I began the presentation by asking the room how they got to be in their current career. Did you plan to be here? A splattering of hands went up around the room. Did you fall into your current career? Overwhelmingly the majority of the hands were raised. But we have already read about the impact of how much luck or chance can have on our careers.

    What is even more surprising to me, however, is how many people discount their current job or career as inferior because it wasn’t “chosen” or “planned”. There is this sense that those that always knew what they wanted are the ideal. But of course I am actually yet to meet someone who is that person who knew what they wanted to be, got there and it was happy ever after. If so, in the words of He’s Just Not That in to you (I can quote chick flicks can’t I?), ‘they are the exception.’ Because a career is not a destination, making a career decision is just the beginning of the start of our career development.

    1. Enjoy the ride – what can you learn now to help you at the next career stage?

    Most of us followed our interests, abilities, and skills applied for jobs and then somehow ended up where we sit today. I am one of those people. I had an interest in people so I studied psychology, but when I was 17 years old and began my university degree, I didn’t know what an Organisational Psychologist was. But it was these undergraduate studies, majoring in sport psychology, with an emphasis on motivation, performance and mental readiness that laid the perfect foundation for my current career.

    I think we each have an opportunity to enjoy our current ride. Whether it was planned or by chance – you can either lament the fact that you are not completely happy or take the steps you need to develop the career to where you want to take it. Learn about yourself through the projects you take on and the current stage in your career – what are your strengths, what do you hate, what do you love, and what are you most passionate about? A colleague at work noted for her career success came from “Always saying yes when asked to do something extra that may be out of your job scope.” – What are you saying yes to you? What can you learn now that will help you at the next career stage?

    2. Career goals to direct your action – and the skills to adapt to changing circumstances

    For me both long-term goals and short-term goals helped direct my path. But so often we stumble with the question where do I want to be in 5 years’ time? Naturally the flaw with long-term goals is the uncertainty. Because let’s also remember that 5 years ago the smart phone mayhem was only just beginning. Today because of that mania millions of new jobs and numerous new careers have been launched. How can we possibly know what we will be doing in 5 years when the job we will have then, may not even exist yet?

    But, having a vision or a long-term dream about where you want to take your career – helps motivate your efforts towards that direction. Another of my colleagues when asked what is career success? Stated “doing something you love/care about/passionate for” – for many living our passion every day doesn’t happen overnight, it takes hard work, commitment, education or skill development. Setting yourself a long-term goal, helps to keep us motivated as we take these smaller term goals to achieve this long-term vision.

    We of course need short-term goals to continue the momentum and motivate action. I review my direction in yearly increments, whilst also setting longer term goals to motivate these smaller steps. Each year I review where I am against where I want to achieve this year, often they are learning goals (i.e. a knowledge / skill or ability I want to learn). As one of my colleagues concluded career success comes from “achieving goals rather than spinning wheels”. What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? What do you need help with that your current company can offer you to help to take that next step?

    3. You’ve got a friend in me – the importance of networking and mentors

    Without question, I am where I am today because of the people that saw in me skills and abilities that I didn’t have the skill yet to see in myself. During the course of the presentation I was asked how I made these connections. The simple answer is: being in the right place at the right time. You may have a great manager who you see as a mentor, who can help you create your long-term vision and short-term goals. If not, you may need to go outside your organisation.

    For me I was lucky enough to have mentors in my immediate managers. But I also stepped outside my comfort zone and expanded my network through attending professional association networking and professional development functions. It was through these experiences that I was able to connect with like-minded colleagues, which helped me to collaborate on projects internationally and across Australia – projects that I would never have had the chance to create if I didn’t go out there, connect and create them.

    Mentors were critical for career success for all of my colleagues – each one mentioned the need for others to believe in them and help them to stretch outside of their comfort zone. Who are your mentors? And if you don’t have mentors in your current organisation – what events will you attend to interact and meet with your future connections?

    I was asked at the end of the presentation where I plan to go to next – I didn’t have a succinct answer – I guess most of us don’t have a succinct answer. But for me I am going to be enjoying my current ride, I have a long-term vision, some short-term goals to motivate my effort – and of course look to connect with others to help create my next career opportunities. How do you want to develop your career?




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