What's your plan, Jan? What to do about work, when you don't know what to do!

As a working mum, do you ever feel like you’re in the wrong job? Or that you’ve compromised your career hopes? Do you wrack your brain, wondering if you can find a job you love that works with the needs of your family? Do you go around in circles but not find an answer? Do you start to doubt you’ll ever have work that thrills you?

If this feels like you, you’re not alone! Figuring out what to do, and planning for a work future that fulfils you can feel confusing and overwhelming. Over time, you can start to lack confidence in your ability to make positive changes. You might  settle for second best.

It IS possible to do work you love AND look after your family in the way you’d like to

We’re here to tell you that it IS possible to do work you love AND look after your family in the way you’d like to. We help our clients do exactly this every day. If this is something you’d like to do, read on!

plan your future do work you love

When you don’t know what to do, the trick is to step back before you step forward. To spend time really understanding who you are in this phase of life. What’s important to you right now.

When you can examine your life from a bird’s eye point of view, it’s easier to see the way forward.

It’s also important to dream about the job you’d love, and how your work and home life life could look if you could wave a magic wand. It’s amazing how this process starts to build a bridge to your future. You can start to set meaningful and motivating goals. Your plan starts to form.

When you need a plan, but don’t know what to do, we recommend you start with these 4 steps.

  1. Identify your personal and work values. There are plenty of “values checklists” around, or you can read on to access ours. For example, do you value autonomy or teamwork? Financial security or legacy? Curiosity or prudence? When your work aligns with your values, you will love your job more.
  2. Decide on your priorities. Which domains of your life are most important for you to focus on right now?  For example, how important is your work versus time with family, being social and caring for yourself? This helps gain perspective and clues for how your work-life balance might look.
  3. Imagine yourself 5 years from now. What would you love to be doing or have experienced? Be creative and dream! Would you love to work for yourself? Make partner in your firm? Travel the world? You don’t have to hold yourself to it...what’s important here is that it gives our subconscious a direction in which to focus our attention.
  4. Start to articulate your “big picture” goals. Don’t start too specific or you’ll limit your options too early. For example, “I’d like to find work within 30 minutes commute from home”  or “I’d like to find flexible work - around 20 hours per week”. From here you can start to brainstorm the various ways to reach these goals.

In place of confusion, you gain clarity, motivation and confidence

Your goals become a roadmap, helping you make decisions and take action. In place of confusion, you gain clarity. And, because you act in a direction that aligns with your values and priorities, you feel motivated and confident.

Developing your own roadmap and making changes can be hard to do on your own - lots of working mums get help with this process! We highly encourage you to break the inertia and do these steps. Make a plan, Jan! Not only will it save time and avoid making costly job mistakes….it will help you find work that you love!

With love from Flourishing Mothers

PS. Please click here to download the Flourishing Mothers Values Checklist

Face your fears - to make progress towards your work dreams

Imagine it’s a hot summer day and you’re at the beach. The water looks so good, you definitely want a swim. But, as you start walking into the surf the cold hits your belly and you stop dead – you know the feeling!

face fears resilience work you love

Returning to work or changing jobs or careers can feel the same.  You know you want to be in a fulfilling role that satisfies your career dreams AND works with the rest of your life. But getting there often means braving some cold water.

Do you want fulfilling work that satisfies your career goals AND works with the rest of your life?

Where to start?

When we want to make change in our lives it’s our own thoughts that are often the biggest roadblock.  We think and think about what we want, but our fears stop us taking even a small action.  You need a way to deal with the unhelpful thoughts and move forward day by day. We suggest giving these 3 steps a try.

  1. Recognise your fears
    What exactly are the thoughts that make your freeze? Are you:
    - Worried you’ve lagged in your skills?
    - Concerned you won’t be able to compete in the job market?
    - Feeling you’ve lost confidence?
    - Wondering how on earth you’ll juggle everything?
    It’s uncomfortable to dig around in your thoughts and feelings but once you’ve identified the unhelpful thoughts that are spiralling around and around you can start dealing with them.
  2. Reality check
    Once you’ve identified what’s freaking you out the next step is to bravely take a clear look at your fears.  Are they real?  For example, if you worry that your skills are out of date you might test this by reading relevant job ads and descriptions online. Maybe you have a friend with a similar background to you who could help you realistically assess your skills and give you some industry insights.  You’re looking for clarity with this step, so if there are skills you need to refresh or learn you can devise a plan.
  3. Take a small step forward
    Now that you know your real position, you can start to practically move forward.  This isn’t about diving headfirst into the deep – it’s about working out the first step in a plan that will help you achieve a broader goal.  What is ONE thing you can do this week that will move you forward and you can feel proud of? You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to take a small action and it makes the next step so much easier!

What’s ONE thing you can do this week to move you forward?

As you work towards your dreams, keep these steps in mind. New fears will pop into your head needing to be dealt with. Now you’ve got a strategy!

If you’d like help to face your fears and  do work that lights you up, get in touch. We’re here to help you.

Best wishes for now

Kate and Debra - Flourishing Mothers

2 reasons why your New Year's resolutions flopped; and what to do instead

By now you may have an inkling as to whether your New Year’s resolutions are progressing well, or if they’ve fallen flat on their face. If you’ve disappointed yourself yet again, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

goals habits stick resolutions

We know from science it’s essential to have “resolutions”, or goals, to make the changes you wish for.  So, setting your goals at New Year is a good practice!

The trick is to set the right goals.

There are two reasons why most people don’t reach their goals:

1. They set goals they think they “should do”. The goal becomes more of a gaol!

The classic one for the New Year’s resolution: “I should diet as I put on 2kg over Xmas”.  The “should” makes it a chore and chores notoriously don’t get done.

What to do instead: Convert your “should” goals into “want to” goals.

Convert your “should” goals into “want to” goals

This means connecting to your WHY. If you connect to a value or a bigger picture desire, it fuels your motivation to make the goal super-attractive. You will feel good about doing the work required.  What if instead, you said “I want to lose 2kg over 3 months, to get in shape for the hike I’ve planned” or “I want to lose 2kg by Easter to feel great in my dress I bought for my friend’s wedding”.

Then, on days when you are challenged in sticking to your nutrition or exercise plan, you can reconnect with WHY this is important. This helps you re-engage with the HOW – the things you need to do to get it done. And you are more likely to achieve your goal.  

2. They don’t turn the actions that lead to their goal into habits.

It’s all very well to understand your WHY and feel motivated by your goal. But your motivation will only get you part of the way. Willpower alone is a limited resource that gets depleted. The rubber always hits the road in the doing. We only change if we act.

What to do instead: Entrench your actions in a way that builds a habit.

Entrench your actions in a way that builds a habit

So, for example, if you want to lose 2kg over 3 months, then you could decide to drink a glass of water and eat an apple every day at 3pm, a time when you normally hit your energy slump and reach for the sugar. Or, you could decide to take the stairs to your 6th floor office on the way in and out of work, rather than the lift. Eventually these behaviours become part of “how you do things” and become easier to do with less effort or willpower.  And then all these small steps build your confidence and boost your motivation, helping entrench the actions even more. Making it much more likely to achieve your goal.

To reach your goals you need to take a step back and develop a deep understanding of your values - what’s important for you in your life. Then you need to work out how to make your changes “stick”. If you don’t know how to do this, reach out to us and we’ll guide you to success.

With love from Flourishing Mothers