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  1. Key Strategies for Achieving a Balance between Work and Home. How do Working Parents do it?

    December 16, 2014 by Jenna

    We are delighted to share this week’s blog from Virginia Herlihy, who works for an organisation called How Do We Do It. They provide in-house programmes to help working parents in Australia and the UK combine their dual roles. For those of you that may not know her, here is her background below and we hope you enjoy her featured blog:

    A note from Founder, Virginia Herlihy

    My passion for helping working parents find a successful way to manage their work and home lives has meant I’ve witnessed first-hand the issues that organisations face in attracting and retaining talent, particularly female talent.

    As a working mother of two and a successful small business owner, I’ve personally faced the challenge of combining work and family.

    It’s been critical for me to examine and understand my values and develop strategies to achieve success and satisfaction in both areas of my life.

    My background in executive coaching, training and group facilitation means I can help both organisations and parents acquire those skills and strategies– to facilitate greater work-life harmony and success.

    I’m proud to say, the feedback we’ve received means the programmes and coaching we’ve developed, work.

    Key Strategies for Achieving a Balance between Work and Home. How do Working Parents do it?

    •  45% of couples with children under 2 are both in the workforce
    • 66% of couples with primary school children are both working. Australian Financial Review 2011

    Today many couples are jointly responsible for sharing their work and family responsibilities, so getting some kind of work/life balance can be a real challenge. If you’re a working mother you probably feel that family and work are competing (and constant) demands. You’re likely to be juggling your own expectations and responsibilities about how you should perform in both areas, as well as those of your colleagues and family. While mothers might get most of the attention when it comes to the challenge of balancing family and work, fathers also struggle to juggle their responsibilities and aspirations.

    So, how do YOU do it? Here are some tips that you have time to read because they are short and that we know help, from our experience with working with hundreds of working mothers and working fathers.

    • Strategy 1

    Continue to identify, acknowledge and appreciate the benefits of what you’re doing that is working for you/what you gain from the choice you are making to be a working parent.

    •  Strategy 2

    Remind yourself that you are not alone, and your challenges are normal which is very helpful in itself.  Keep actively talking to others like you and sharing experiences. Your network and the tips they share will help normalise your experience.

    •  Strategy 3

    Stop tuning in to others negative judgements/biases of how you are supposed to make being a working parent work. You can only get this right for you and your family/work.

    •  Strategy 4

    Get clear on your version of success as a working parent by answering theses questions – What does success look like for me as a working parent? What’s most important to me about my life? What’s most important to me about my working life?

    •  Strategy 5

    Avoid the language of compromise/trade off/sacrifice, which is negative and implies loss. Instead recognise that you are making choices, which have consequences and benefits so consciously use the language of choice.

    •  Strategy 6

    Use a scaling technique i.e. rating things from 1-10, low to high – to assess how much you want to do something out of 10 in terms of your energy, motivation, ability, how important it is to others etc. You can also use this to get perspective and rate how important something is in terms of your life overall so that you are less stressed by it. Your intuitive response will give you useful information.

    •  Strategy 7

    Check your energy around choices you are making/people with whom you are interacting and see whether or not you are being drained or filled.  When you have choice, in your personal life particularly, you can limit your exposure to draining people, situations.

    •  Strategy 8

    Remember to position shift – consider the decision/situation from different perspectives, your position, the other’s position.

    Author – Virginia Herlihy, Founder and Director of How do YOU Do It – Working Parents Programmes tailored to your business.

    Contact details:

     Who is How Do YOU Do It?

    • We deliver in-house programmes to help working parents in Australia and the UK combine their dual roles. We’re specialists in helping businesses support their talent.
    • We help businesses solve issues including female attraction and retention, flexible working strategies, as well as “on and off ramping”.
    • We help working parents find success at work and at home and balance their responsibilities in both areas
    • The result is a win/win for both businesses and parents

  2. The Future of the Credit Industry following the introduction of Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR)

    June 2, 2014 by Jenna

    By Lauren Eardley

    As a Specialist Recruitment Consultant in the Finance and Credit space, I am always looking for opportunities to become more immersed in the industry. Recently I attended the AB+F Retail Credit Panel Discussion which was held in light of the changes to Credit Reporting introduced in Australia in March 2014.

    If you are unaware, this legislative change means that more credit information can now be shared by lenders for the purpose of assessing credit. Before now the information that could be shared was limited to credit applications and defaults (i.e. negative credit reporting), however the change in legislation means additional information will be available on accounts that customers currently have and how well they meet their repayments (i.e. positive/ comprehensive credit reporting). This brings Australia in line with the majority of other OECD countries including the US, UK and New Zealand.

    The AB&F Discussion Panel was made up of 4 key players in the Global Credit Space: David Grafton (Credit Risk & Advisory Services, Veda), Bart Hellemans (Chief Risk Officer, ING Direct), Adam McAnalen (Head of Retail Credit, BOQ) and Cln Murthy (Country Risk Director – Consumer, Citi). Questions came from Andrew Stabback, Publisher & Managing Director of AB+F and the audience.

    There was undeniable agreement that this is a busy time for Credit and Risk Managers and this period of transition is an opportunity for organisations to really switch on to data sharing and make the best of it.

    The Credit Industry is buoyant and is growing for both secured and unsecured products however it still remains a relatively flat portion of Australian GDP. The panellists analysed the contribution of the buoyant housing market on (secured) credit growth. It was concluded that the current housing market is making the mortgage space highly competitive; lenders are having to differentiate themselves in the market place whilst not impacting their risk appetite. This means below average interest rates therefore people are paying off their mortgages much faster. Murthy of Citi confirmed that this translated into unsecured products as well; credit cards and personal loans are being snapped up, however consumers are paying them off quicker which means the growth is not being reflected on the balance sheet.

    Hellemans and Murthy representing banks with global coverage agreed that we are not quite clear of the GFC yet but we are certainly in a stronger position now than in 2007. The regulations which instigated in the last 2 years have subdued credit growth. The increase in data available due to CCR means that institutions can delve into more niche markets and develop new products to differentiate themselves in the market place.

    One example from the UK was raised; a Credit/Debit combination card with which you deposit a small amount of cash then the credit portion increases in line with how well you make repayments.

    Sitting in a room full of Senior Credit and Risk Managers, they were all pretty much on the ball with the changes and how it affected their organisations. However, to really see the positive effects of CCR implementation, consumers (i.e. the general public) also need to understand what information is available on them, how it will be used and how it affects them. David Grafton, Executive General Manager, Credit Risk and Advisory Services at Veda, said it was frustrating to see consumers left largely unaware of their important new rights in the credit reporting system, that will ultimately help them take better control of their credit history.

    “I think the government has really abdicated an important responsibility in that this is the most important change in privacy law in 25 years and it affects each and every one of us, it really does,” Grafton said.

    This could potentially ensue a shift in purchasing power to consumers within 3-5 years. If customers have a positive credit file and are aware of it, it allows them greater negotiation power when obtaining credit. It will also allow consumers who have a made a genuine mistake in their payment history to accumulate a positive credit score more quickly and borrow successfully again in the future.

    The changes following the implementation are in their very early days and we are not likely to see major changes for several years. The credit industry is encouraged to embrace data sharing sooner rather than later to avoid risk of irresponsible lending. While experience in application of CCR overseas can be drawn upon, Australia has different dynamics and is untested so beyond speculation the future of the Credit Industry has a long way to go and remains to be seen.


  3. Do We Often Define Success In A Dollar Figure?

    June 27, 2012 by Jenna

    ‘Show me the money!’ How can we forget this scene out of Jerry Maguire. This is something that my father always quotes to his employees in his financial franchise business. He also goes to point out, ‘Try to get credit at any bank if your company does not make a decent profit. All the big CEO’s are measured by the success of their companies’ bottom line. That’s the truth.’

    With big names like Donald Trump, Bill Gates and even Mark Zuckerberg – the Facebook giant, of course we are lead to believe by the media that the biggest success figures will have all of the power, authority and life’s luxuries as well.

    We also look at dollar figures as incentives, almost like a reward for hard work and effort that we put into our current roles, especially the longer we work within an organisation. Most employers I tend to find will be happy to reward an employee accordingly for their efforts, it is only when however, an employees expects more money for less – and that can have multiple definitions/reasons, but you know what I mean.

    Remember, all CEO’s or management within any organisation have worked their way up from lower level positions and have had to prove themselves, so the same applies for any employees within the industry as well. So more often or not, management will be able to empathise with you as an employee and understand your goals and needs if this is communicated effectively.

    Money also benefits those material possessions that we often crave – the house, the car, clothing, valuables and incentives such as travel and holidays. But then of course there is also financial security for those ongoing repayments such as a mortgage to pay off, educational expenses, child expenses and so forth.

    On another note, success and money can tie in with fame and recognition. Bruno Mars released a song, ‘I want to be a billionaire‘ making reference to meeting many of the world’s richest people, seeing his name in ‘shining lights’, and also making reference to providing opportunities and help to those who are less fortunate. And of course reality television, as we all love it, with shows such as Masterchef and The Voice, we love seeing the ‘average joe’ so to speak, work their way up to achieve their life long dream and also become a famous television celebrity.

    So why would this be any different in the corporate world? As 80% of our working week is in the office or travelling for work, of course we would try very hard to make a name for ourselves, and with more money it will often result in more responsibility.

    But is money the only thing that defines success?

    A website that I reviewed called www.mywaytosuccess.com outlined that money is only a part of what makes you successful, and listed some very valid points that I have summarised below:

    • Success should be determined by how you feel in your life – look at how you think your life is going overall – Are you happy?
    • Measure your success by the amount of goals that you wish to achieve throughout your life
    • Success can be measured by the quality of your friendships and how close you are with your family – do you have a good support system?
    • Do you look in the mirror at the end of the day knowing that you have done something good for someone else, treated someone with respect, or overall feel good about how your day has gone?
    • Is what you are doing on a daily basis making you feel good and do you feel good about whom you have become over the years?

    Overall, this website outlines that the decisions you are making in life should be for your best interest. Of course it is great not to have financial issues, but if this is all that you care about, unfortunately the result will be  that money may be the only thing that will keep you company.

    Now success can have different meanings to us all, but the point of my initial poll was to see whether or not you associated this with money or how much money you make. This was your vote:

    • Yes: 89%
    • No: 11%

    Now there is no right or wrong answer in terms of what you consider to be success, however what I am more trying to get you to think about is how important do you consider money in terms of your drive for success?

    While money will bring many incentives in our material world, if you are not happy with your job or you have sacrificed many of the important things in life for money/title, then maybe reconsider if this is personal success. If not, who or what are you doing this for?

    While we have time on this earth, wouldn’t you rather want to look back on your life satisfied instead of worrying about what you haven’t done or achieved?

    Haven’t had your say? I would love to hear your feedback below, or please check out my latest poll: Is Quarterlife Crisis a myth or reality for today’s generation? And again, thank you again for taking the time out to read our weekly articles.

     




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