Timma, 2to3days’ content editor, mum to two insanely energetic young boys and one skittish lockdown kitten, shares why she’s thrilled to be part of a team that’s helping the women of the UK reach their full potential.
As the newest recruit to the team of awesome go-getting women at 2to3days I’ve had a world of development opened up to me. It’s too easy as a mum to young children to slip into feeling that your career has to take second place to everything else in your life.
But in an eye-opening webinar run by the inspirational - and genuinely lovely - Victoria McLean, Founder and CEO of international career consultancy City CV this week, I’ve learned that it’s really not the case. Victoria took me and 150 women from our ‘sisterhood’ of 2to3days candidates through a six-step process designed to help you reach career fulfilment whether you’re ready to make a change, or you’re just starting to think about it.
New term, new beginnings
The crisper mornings of Autumn signal it is time for a fresh start - we have school terms embedded in us from the earliest days, after all. It’s no coincidence that the team at City CV see a huge uptick in new business during September when children either start, or return to, school. This year especially, for many of us, it’s felt like an eternal six months at home. Post summer is a classic time for women to have a moment to pause, reflect and think… I’m ready.
And then to think… I can’t do this! Barriers are everywhere, whether they come from within (see our piece on taming your inner critic) or they’re down to finance or training. But there are ways around every problem. So - one step at a time.
Invest in yourself before you make the leap
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” So consider this: How are you really feeling? How would life change if you achieved the perfect portfolio career, or changed direction? It’s so important to take the time to evaluate what’s important for us personally.
Our goals evolve throughout life - whether we’re C-Suite professionals or part-time workers looking for interesting, demanding, well-paid jobs that can flex around the school run. It’s so important to reassess your values and motivations regularly.
How to be happy
Victoria said, “Investing time, effort and money in yourself now means you know you are doing the right thing for you. We’re often too busy with our lives to take the time to get this right. But it’s the key to human happiness.”
Victoria explained that once you’ve identified your core values, all your decisions about work, your home life or finances will flow. You won’t have any regrets because you’ll have followed paths that align with you. You’ll have pursued roles at companies that fit with your deepest needs instead of simply jumping at the next available opportunity. You’ll have managed your calendar in a way that fits with your picture of how family life should run. And you’ll have scheduled in enough ‘me time’ to remain balanced and motivated! If all that sounds like the golden ticket - well, it is. But it is achievable.
How to identify your strengths
Victoria showed us next how to identify our top five strengths and advised us to talk to others for an objective view on finding these. Then, do a skills and knowledge audit, add in your work and life experience and qualifications and plot it all out on a huge spider diagram.
Next, really dig deep and discover what makes you exceptional? How do you stand out from the crowd? Find your authentic truth here and cling on to it. It’s what will make you the No 1 candidate for your dream role.
What’s driving you?
Finally, look into what truly motivates you. You may be surprised by the answers. What might have been money and recognition in your early career may have transformed into purpose and culture. Or it may well have moved the other way!
Overcoming hurdles for career fulfillment
Of course there are practicalities which often seem impossible to overcome. Accepting a lesser salary to pursue your dream role might be a stepping stone you need to take. Perhaps you need to attend training in the evenings but have young children at home. You might be able to swap childcare during the times of day where you are available. There are ways to get around most problems. Usually the key is to ask for help!
How to ditch imposter syndrome
The truth is that more often than not, the barriers we face are internal. They’re due to a lack of confidence, or a feeling that everyone else is better qualified or more switched on than you. HINT: Everyone feels that way some of the time. Some people feel that way most of the time. By mapping out all your skills and personal qualities you’ll have travelled a long way towards washing your hands of that imposter syndrome for good.
How to write a CV
I’ll be joining Victoria and Juliet Turnbull, Founder and CEO of 2to3days, to discover: “Does your CV pass the six second test” on Wednesday 14th October at 12:30pm.