How to be the CEO OF YOUR CAREER!

How to be the CEO of YOUR CAREER!

If you were a CEO of a Corporation it would be crazy to leave all the vision/strategy and actions up to someone else, wouldn’t it?

As the CEO OF YOUR CAREER, it is crazy to leave all
the above in the hands of a corporation/manager you are working for.
I am not suggesting to be an anarchist, what I am suggesting is that you still have a lot of choices.

Even when working for others, you can feel empowered by managing your mindset, speak up and express your desires & ask for help. Sometimes, you might need to leave an environment that can’t foster the above.

Do you have a Vision, Strategy, Support and Review of your Career?

Your Career can take lots of different turns, industry, public sector, volunteering, sabbaticals, MBA, own business. It is up to you to get empowered about designing your own career.

With Freedom being one of my key values I feel so
empowered and excited by being the CEO of MY CAREER.

For me at the moment, that is my own business and a portfolio career where I can have multiple streams of income. Where I can empower and support people in their own career transitions, work hours that fit with family life and post covid incorporating some family travel into our lifestyle. #youaretheceoofyourcareer

Embracing Vulnerability: Unlocking Career Change with Courage

In the words of Brene Brown, "you can't get to courage without walking through vulnerability." Making a career change requires the courage to embrace vulnerability. As we develop our vulnerability muscle, we gain the ability to confront the things that scare us and create positive change in our lives.

1. Embracing Openness:
Let others know you are seeking a new position and share what you are looking for in your next career move. People love to help and support, they just need the invitation to do so.

2 Seek Support:
Tap into your vulnerability by asking for extra support from your current manager, or others in your network with key skills or experience. Highlight areas where you need additional training, coaching, or guidance. By acknowledging your development needs, you demonstrate self-awareness and a commitment to growth, which can lead to opportunities for advancement.

3.Reaching Out Directly:
Take the initiative to contact potential hiring managers directly. Inquire if they would be open to an informational interview or meeting to discuss potential opportunities and how your skills and experience could contribute value to their organization. This proactive approach showcases your confidence, passion, and initiative.

4,Stepping Up:
Consider putting your hand up for a promotion even if you don't feel 100% ready. Embracing vulnerability means taking calculated risks and being willing to stretch beyond your comfort zone. By demonstrating your ambition and willingness to grow, you can open doors to new career possibilities.

5.Following Up:
Don't be afraid to follow up when you haven't heard back about your resume or interview. Show your enthusiasm and take charge of managing your career. By following up, you demonstrate your commitment and passion for the opportunity.

6.Investing in a Career Coach:
Engaging the support of a career coach can be transformative during a career change. Sharing your desires, aspirations, and concerns with a coach may feel vulnerable, but research suggests that opening up in this way can help you build courage and yield positive results. A career coach can provide guidance, insights, and strategies to navigate your career transition effectively.

Embracing vulnerability is essential for a successful career change.

Remember, vulnerability is not a weakness but a strength that can lead you to the courage needed for meaningful career change.

#career #growth #vulnerability

1. Take some time to reflect on what motivates you. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Make sure that what motivates you is aligned to the opportunities you are applying for. If there is a really big mismatch between the two, you should probably rethink your approach.

2. Research great companies you would like to work for and look at recent media articles & blog posts.

3. Ask yourself what do you know about the roles you are applying for and what do you need to know? Take action.

4. Use a job search template to document, emails sent, resumes sent, follow-ups & meetings

5. Get an accountability buddy and meet over zoom or in person once or twice a week to share goals and actions taken.

6. Block time in your diary for online research, applying for roles, networking & interview preparation.

7. Block time in your diary for exercise – Healthy Body, Healthy Mind.

8. Utilise your networks. Find allies and ambassadors -people that will introduce you to others and promote you.

9. Be kind to yourself. Bring your emotions to your awareness and sit with them as you would sit with a friend.


Want to really accelerate your results?

Invest in a career coach! Call Clare Phelan at 0407 803 095.

A discussion with Business Chicks by Michelle Rennex

One of the first things you’re taught when you start working full time is to not discuss your salary with your colleagues.

This is because a lot of employers encourage the concept of pay secrecy, the limiting of salary knowledge across employees, as it supposedly creates less animosity between colleagues over pay differences.

According to Clare Phelan, Director of Pursuit Consulting, pay secrecy can mean less conflict. “This is because everyone at the same level assumes they are being paid a fair salary commensurate with the group,” she explains. “When no salary information is shared, the company remains in control of the dialogue.”

But the reality is that not discussing salary with your colleagues further enables pay discrimination across workers, particularly between men and women. “Women are more likely to accept a salary decision when there’s a lack of information,” Clare continued. “With secrecy, bargaining power and the ability to right a wrong around discrimination are lowered.”

Beyond this, research shows that men are more inclined to negotiate over women when there is “no explicit statement that wages are negotiable”. This lack of information in combination with pay secrecy can result in both unconscious and conscious biases regarding salary across staff. An understanding of what your colleagues earn can help you determine whether you are earning a fair wage, and can give you an idea of how much room you have during salary negotiations.

According to David Burkus, former business school professor and best-selling author, keeping salaries secret leads to information asymmetry. “This is a situation where, in a negotiation, one party has loads more information than the other,” he explained. “In hiring or promotion or annual raise discussions, an employer can use that secrecy to save a lot of money.”

Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, he worked towards addressing the gender pay gap and advocated for more pay transparency in the workplace. During a speech to Congress in 2014, the former President stated that “pay secrecy fosters discrimination and we should not tolerate it”.

Unfortunately in 2019 the gender pay gap continues to be an issue, and is partly attributed to this lack of information and the common practice of pay secrecy. While salary transparency can create uncomfortable conversations for employers, the distrust secrecy generates can be even more damaging to the business.

David Burkus highlights that “when people don’t know how their pay compares to their peers, they’re more likely to feel underpaid.” This is supported by the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide stating that 37% of Australians don’t believe they are being paid a fair salary with 98% of them saying they’d take a new job with a higher salary as a result. This common feeling of being underpaid and undervalued can lead to low staff morale, poor employee satisfaction, and ultimately, a higher staff turnover rate.

While pay transparency can be helpful in ensuring a fair and equal workplace, Clare Phelan believes that analysing how your company decided on your salary figure is more important. “Understanding how the company determines your salary and any increase, is more important than knowing your colleagues salary,” she concluded.

Clare Phelan is a Premium member and the director of Pursuit Consulting, a recruitment and human resources company specialising in recruitment, career coaching and talent strategy. If you’d like the chance to be featured in similar articles, become a Premium member today and tell us your story!

Last week, a client I was coaching displayed an amazing example of resilience that I wanted to share with you. Unfortunately, he was told his role was redundant. He was, of course, disappointed and shaken. How he chose to address this situation and the impact on himself and his family was inspiring.

The day after receiving this news, Tom Keenan took decisive action. He organised a letterbox drop in his local area selling his gardening expertise. He landed jobs immediately. Then, as a united front, he and his wife set up a side hustle: creating and selling cotton face masks. His wife would manage the design and production, and he would handle the packaging and marketing. Both initiatives are already bringing in an income, while he applies for new senior-level roles.

I commented to him that I was inspired by the way he was addressing this unnerving, sudden employment situation. He said, “My wife and I really want to model to our kids that, whatever the situation, we need to remain engaged. How we move forward might look different in the short term, but there are always ways.”

I felt chills when he said that. I could visualise his children learning this valuable life lesson from their parents. I know how powerful this example will be when they, too, face obstacles in their future.

This made me rethink our current global Covid-19 experience. What do we want our kids and our students to remember about how we tackled these uncertain times? What do we wish to model, so that those who look up to us can use our responses as a resource when future uncertainties inevitably strike?

I was coaching Tom who was on an outplacement program via Choice Career Services.

It is sooo overwhelming. I have felt my coachees despair as they rattle off the huge numbers that are applying for the same roles.

This is the time to quieten the mind to all the market noise. Its time to get really clear on your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Your UVP should be the core of your Career Strategy.

It is what sets you apart from your competitors and what attracts hiring managers to make you the offer.

You can develop a powerful Unique Value Proposition by asking yourself these questions?

1. What are your skills/expertise that always praised? What have employers thanked you for?

2. What are some examples of how you have helped your company move forward? What initiatives have you developed that another area/company could benefit from?

3. Identify and articulate your strengths. They are often the things that come easily to you and make you feel energised.

4. What adjectives have your past employers used to describe you?

Tie the above answers to your target position/company.

This is your Unique Value Proposition. It should be apparent on your resume in your Professional Summary, LinkedIn Profile, with your networks & at Interview.

10 Job Searching Strategies.

The holidays can be a very quiet time of the year for finding job opportunities. You don’t have to let the holidays slow you down, however. Here are 10 job search strategies that will keep your options open. And who knows? Follow through with these strategies and you might find some new job opportunities that you never knew existed.

1.Maximise The Benefits of LinkedIn
First, make sure your Linkedin profile is up to date AND that it’s highly searchable. Google loves Linkedin. If you’ve ever Googled someone, almost invariably their LinkedIn profile shows up near the top of the search return list.
Next, tap into your LinkedIn network, or if you have lots of good contacts in your phone or computer contacts folder, use that as a way of reminding yourself who you could connect with. The saying "your network is your net worth" is particularly relevant when it comes to finding out about unadvertised job opportunities. Let your networks know what sort of opportunity you’re looking for and reaffirm the key value you can add. Keep yourself at the top of their mind and they are more likely to share with their network.

2. Treat Yourself…Go To A Function
Attend an industry networking or industry Christmas function. Introduce yourself to other experts and ask them what they are working on. Make sure you get their card and/or contact details and then connect with them on LinkedIn.

3. Think About Your Past Performance
Reflect on your 360-degree feedback reports and your performance reviews, and/or general company feedback. What is one of the softer skills you could improve on? For example, were you lacking executive presence? If so, find out what the key elements of executive presence are.
Could you get some career/executive coaching? What about connecting with someone that has this skill in spades and asking them if you could have an informal mentor relationship/coffee with them once a month? Model some of their methods that work with your style. Refine and develop, but still keep the essence of ‘You’, because you are unique and amazing!

4. Pick Up Some New Technical Skills
Think of one or two technical skills you could improve or learn. There might be short, online courses, or free tutorials on YouTube. Buy lunch or dinner for someone you know who has that skill and ask for some tips/training. You could even go shadow someone for a day to see how they do things in their particular work environment.
Whatever new skill you do learn, make sure you celebrate! Get excited and pat yourself on the back for adding another needed skill to your repertoire.

5. Tweak That Resume
Now is a really good time to ask a trusted friend or colleague for a second opinion on your resume. Ask them what the first page tells them about you. Edit accordingly if it's not the message you are trying to convey.

6. Help Someone Else
Put your hand up to help an NFP(not for profit) that would benefit from your expertise. Take on a piece of work that will still allow you freedom/time to search for work. You could even head down to one of Melbourne’s many co-working spaces (Hub or Village) and offer up your expertise to help startup businesses one morning a week. You’d be utilising and reaffirming your skills and getting some warm fuzzy feelings for contributing to the community. It’s been widely noted that contribution and meaning are big propellers of happiness…

7. Positive And Negative Don’t Mix
Surround yourself with positive people. The people around you impact how you see yourself. It’s important that you are around people that are uplifting, honest and caring.
It also helps to read and watch inspiring and motivating books and movies. Who knows, you might even learn something new!

8. Fit Body, Fit Mind
Stay physically active. Exercise (plus eating right, getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water) is really important to keep your energy levels (both physical and emotional) up. Job hunting can be really tough. So keep up with the golf, tennis, cricket, group running, yoga or whatever it is you do, but get that blood pumping through your veins and sending oxygen to your brain. Reset the body after (or even during) a difficult day.
In fact, you also need to reset your mind when things haven’t been going so well. Physical exercise helps, but mediation, breathing exercises or other mind-calming (but not mind-numbing) activities can really help. Ending the day by writing down three things that you are thankful or grateful for can help you go to sleep with a more positive attitude than stewing about everything that is going wrong.

9. Let Those Emotions Out
Our society has a tendency to just tell people to “suck it up” when things don’t go the way we want. That’s not always a healthy approach though. Bottling up our emotions usually just means they intensify and often get expressed, without us meaning to, in ways that are bad for us or for the people around us.
Acknowledge your emotions and talk to a friend about your disappointments or the anger that you feel from being overlooked for a role. Be proud of putting yourself out there; it takes courage, and it takes resilience to move forward. Think about what you have gained from the experience, for example: interview practice, finding out industry information, getting a chance to express yourself, etc. The benefits are what you make of them.

10. Find The Best Companies
Read up and talk to others to find out what companies are leading the way. Talk to your recruiter about companies you would like to work for and ask them to act as your ambassador to get you in front of key decision-makers for a coffee or catch-up to discuss opportunities. Then make sure you ask those decision makers to recommend two other people you could meet with.
Talk to your network to find people you can ask about what it is like to work for these “best” companies. You want to make sure that wherever you end up working, it’s for a place where you can feel welcome, as well as being challenged to grow.

11. And One More For Good Measure…
Take some time to reflect on what motivates you. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Make sure that what motivates you is aligned to the opportunities you are applying for. If there is a really big mismatch between the two, you should probably rethink your approach. Why would you want a life of misery trying to be a square peg in a round hole!

So, if you are job hunting and the holidays have got you worried because all the potential bosses are going away for some rest and relaxation, don’t despair. Whip your LinkedIn profile into shape, talk to lots of people in your networks, reflect on how well you’ve done in the past and if you need to learn new skills do a course or get someone to mentor you. Stay physically and mentally healthy by helping others, exercising regularly and surrounding yourself with positive people.

If you are job hunting over the Christmas period or you’ve had to do that in the past, what other things would you add to this list? What are some important strategies that you might utilise? Please share your ideas in the comments section so others can benefit from your experience.

Contact Clare Phelan at Pursuit Consulting at
We look forward to working with companies and people that are looking to THRIVE! If you would like to engage in Career Coaching, Career Transitions workshops, LinkedIn Profiling/branding coaching please get in touch ON 0407 803 095