Beat the mid-career slump and learn to love work again.
Floral + Silk trousers (€340) and blazer (€413)
tailoring by Diane Von Furstenberg, both @
= instant Brown Thomas
Caroline Issa gives us
a masterclass in the
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well-tailored suit. This
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jacket, while the azure
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dream of summer by
the sea (even if you’re
Christy flats (€485) by Aquazurra Lace top (€450) by Isabel
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UNCONSCIOUS BIAS can cause us to
Scientists at Google have recently discovered ratings, or in-group
that in spite of the significant increase in bias can lead us
diversity training, unconscious bias still plays a to overlook great
role in our decision-making at work. Only one talent.” How can we avoid making rash decisions
per cent of information processing is conscious, about our colleagues? The National Women’s
which means that 99 per cent of our decisions Council of Ireland launched a pack earlier this
are being made unconsciously. This affects year called Recognising and Challenging our
women more than men, according to Google, Unconscious Bias that is available to download
and the company has invested in training 60,000 on the website. Key points are; holding yourself
of its employees to spot their own unconscious accountable, justifying your reasons for the
bias. According to a Google spokesperson, decisions you make at work and asking for
“mental shortcuts can lead us astray, especially constant feedback from team members you trust
when they cause us to misjudge people. In the and mentors. nwci.ie
workplace, for example, the ‘halo effect’ [where
one element or action creates a general opinion]
THENotebook Working your
SPOTLIGHT ON… Bullying in the workplace
Bullying in the workplace is described as any look them in the eye and be confident. Sometimes
systematic behaviour that undermines your people do not realise the impact of their behaviour.
right to dignity at work. With the introduction Facing up to them can make them look at how
of work-based WhatsApp groups and other they’ve been acting and not take advantage
social media outlets, cyber bullying has extended of you.” Staying on top of company policy is
beyond the workplace and into employees’ paramount and Kavanagh recommends reading up
personal lives. It’s estimated that one in 12 Irish on your role in order to make a strong case. “Find
people has been bullied at work and according to out exactly what your job description is and what
research conducted by the HSE, the main areas your contract says. It’s important to know what
of discrimination are according to gender, sexual you are expected to do and be aware if they’re
orientation, religion, race and familial or marital getting you to do work beyond your remit. Inform
status. Naoise Kavanagh from Reachout.com told yourself about the organisation’s policies and
us that an article about bullying in the workplace procedures, these are there to prevent and handle
is the most read post on the website and has this bullying. All companies should have a procedure
advice to give: “Respond to the person giving you for you to access.”Visit Reachout.com for more
a hard time calmly and firmly. Stand up straight, information.
This feature is brought to you in association with…
smart IT Academy Logo FINAL.indd 1 4/3/14 4:11:12 PM
Liz Dempsey shares her top tips for
excelling at sales as she assumes her
new role as Director of Inside Sales
EMEA at BMC Software.
1 Have an operating rhythm. radio; it’s a great way to hear WE’RE TALKING ABOUT…
Manage your time so you things and get a political and
can have an effective work/life social perspective that you might SAVINGS
balance. I am still online after miss if you’re only following
work but it’s very important a Twitter feed or reading blog New figures by the European He recommends shopping around:
to me to have dinner with my posts. The papers on a Sunday
daughter every night. I don’t are a great way to be clued into Central Bank show that Irish savers “Your bank may insist they have
reply to emails over the weekend, the hot companies to follow
I look over emails that might and to read industry articles. If are earning the least return. Out the best deposit interest rates, but
require thought but I don’t let you’re not connected on Twitter,
work take the weekends away Facebook and LinkedIn, you’re of 18 European countries, Ireland don’t take their word for it. Both
from me. not keeping up to date.
has scored the lowest with high Bonkers.ie and ConsumerHelp.
2People are the core to your 4Your decisions should always
success. Embrace the eco- be improving morale and mortgage prices driving loans up ie have handy comparison tools
system around you. In terms of driving the right behaviours. I
being strategic and successful, have a mentor and an advisor and deposits down. In spite of to help you shop around.” Forrest
you retain top talent by coaching, and ultimately the decision lies
training and driving excitement, with me but I always consult my these figures, there has been a also recommends investing in
anything that keeps them hungry. people first.
Being engaged with your team huge jump in savings in Ireland with state savings. “With deposit
makes it much easier to perform 5 Being a leader can be quite
your job. difficult. You want to be over €96 billion collectively sitting interest rates continuing to fall,
open, sincere and straightforward
3 Be connected in every way. but you don’t want the team to in Irish savings bank accounts; Irish Irish consumers are forking out
In sales, you’re thinking on take liberties. It’s a fine line. Sales
the fly all the time. Every day is a numbers game however, you consumers are saving more but are on State savings products such as
when I get up, I listen to the have to have a lot of integrity.
they saving smart? Conor Forrest prize bonds – somewhere in the
established You and Your Money region of €370m last year. Returns
to guide Irish customers in the might not be life-changing, but
right direction when it comes to they’re tax free for Irish residents.”
managing their money effectively. youandyourmoney.ie
THE APP: BASECAMP IOnsuprirCaatiroene:r
With real-time chat and automatic check-ins, LORNA & LIZ
Basecamp is an easy way to stay connected FARRELLY
with your team, even if you’re in a different
time zone or travelling for business. It’s Who they are? Award-winning sisters and creative directors of The
compatible with PDFs, Google Docs and Brow Artist, the Ranelagh-based brow salon.
most image files so you can stay on track with What they do? Offer bespoke advice for problem brows along with
visuals. Available for Windows, Mac, iOS and detailed consultations, threading, tweezing and custom-blended
Android. basecamp.com tinting. They specialise in semi-permanent solutions for those
affected by alopecia, chemotherapy or excessive hair loss.
Why they inspire us: When Lorna and Liz went into business, they were
entirely self-funded and worked full time during the initial stages
of the business to earn the capital to acquire their premises, stock,
fixtures and fittings. They now employ a team of 14.
What’s next? The sisters are looking at opening their third salon,
following the success of the Ranelagh and Cork branches.
5 OF THE BEST…WORKWEAR FLATS
1 2Burgundy shoe Scallop edge ballet flats 3 Python loafers (€860) 4 Slip on loafer (€35) @ 5 Western flats (€383) by Toga
(€485) by Alexandre (€325) by Chloé @ by Gucci @ Net-a-por- M&S @ Matchesfashion.com
Birman @ Net-a- Brown Thomas ter.com
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Feeling a mid-career slump? Here are some ways to inject some
fresh energy into your work life – aka: Get your mojo back.
By career navigation coach Dearbhalla Baviera.
Do you feel like you have taken your foot off the women it’s about keeping the head down. Between managing
pedal over the last few years? Between juggling fam- childcare arrangements, paying the bills, juggling life admin and
ily, ageing parents and everything else that life throws still performing strongly at work, often on little sleep, there isn’t
at us, that mid-career phase can often mean a shift- much left over in terms of energy or motivation to actively
ing of priorities. And career progression can be one navigate your career progression.
area that takes a hit.
Add to this, a changing dynamic in the work environment.
Research points to emerging models of how career phases may With the mid-career phase, comes increased responsibility and
differ for women. The traditional view of linear career progression, development as a manager and towards leadership. Given
although typical, doesn’t work for everyone anymore. More and everything else that is going on, it’s easy to continue to focus to
more organisations are recognising that if they want to maintain ‘getting the job done’ and thinking that that is enough to get the
their female talent and increase the number of females in recognition that you think you deserve. Unfortunately the game
the leadership positions, they too need to look at alternative starts to change in a way that many women are not comfortable
career models. with. As you move up the career ladder, politics come into play.
Time and again, women reject getting involved in ‘office politics’
Do you sometimes look back at that early career phase with and keep the focus on getting the job done.
longing? Recently graduated, maybe it was all about ambition.
Achievement, learning, establishing yourself and proving that you If you feel that you have become somewhat passive in your
were capable were big motivators for you. Other demands or career over recent years, there are a few things that you can do
responsibilities were often limited and you could quite happily to start to re-invest yourself in your career and think about what
burn the candle at both ends. This phase had been described as is going to work for you going forward.
the Idealistic and/or Achievement Phase. It was a time when
investing in your career and getting the reward, recognition and As Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living
next promotion was more straightforward. someone else’s life.” Stop and think about what success is for you.
It’s not what your friends, family or colleagues are aiming for. It
Then came the mid-career phase which is more complex and starts with you. What is important to you? What motivates you?
more demanding. This career phase has been called Endurance What do you want to achieve – at work and at home?
or Pragmatic Phase and it’s easy to understand why. For many
DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOU
own it RAISE YOUR OWN PROFILE
Own your decisions, your choices and career progression. Take You have a responsibility for raising your own profile. Do you
responsibility for wherever you are and the choices that you have know what your personal brand is? What are you known for and
made. Know that you made those choices for a reason and now it’s what is your reputation? Focus on your strengths and put them to
time to choose where you want to go next. Bring conscious awareness work for you. Think about how you can let people know about
to how you are engaging with others and what your behavioral style your achievements rather than waiting for others to do it for you.
is. Try to understand how it works for you or against you. You can find a way to do this in a way that feels authentic to you
and often starts with something as simple as finding your voice at
HAVE THE CONVERSATION the next team meeting.
It can be the easy option to wait for your manager to put you forward MANAGE UPWARDS AS WELL AS DOWNWARDS.
for your next promotion. Initiate the conversation; demonstrate that
you are interested and motivated in actively progressing your career The focus on the day-to-day job, including managing direct reports
and ask questions about when a promotion might be up for discussion. may mean that you haven’t had the time or energy to think about
Discuss what you need to focus on in terms of development to make managing upwards. Some people call it office politics. I call it
that happen. If you have let your career plateau over recent years, influencing and taking responsibility for your own career. It’s all
put it on the table and let it be known that you are ready to step up. part of actively navigating your career forward. Be very clear about
who your stakeholders are in in terms of career progression. Who
SEEK OUT OPPORTUNITIES do you need to build relationships with? Who can influence on
your behalf? How are you engaging and do you need to become
When you know that you have to be out the door by a certain time, more engaged in strategic priorities of the business. This isn’t about
it’s easy to play it safe and not look for opportunities or the stretch working harder but working smarter.
projects. Bring your best self and your full self to work. If you are Dearbhalla Baviera is a Career Navigation Coach and founder of
feeling in a bit of a rut or have lost motivation, a new project or Clearbird Coaching & Consulting. clearbird.ie
new responsibility can bring added energy to the role and will
always go down well with your boss.
MID-CAREER HEROES AND THEIR DECADES OF SUCCESS
THE SURVIVOR THE SWITCHER
THIRTIES: JK ROWLING FORTIES: VERA WANG
Known now as the creator of These days her name is a
byword for sublime
the Harry Potter universe, wedding dresses but Vera
Joanne ‘Jo’ Rowling overcame Wang only entered the
fashion world when she was
much hardship before her 40 years old, proving it’s
success. In a seven-year period, never ‘too late’ to pursue a
she coped with the death of her passion. Prior to that she
was a competitive figure
mother, birth of her first child skater (earning a place in
and a divorce. She returned the US Figure Skating Hall
home to Scotland with her of Fame) and was also
senior fashion editor at
daughter and lived on welfare Vogue for 15 years.
while writing full time. In June
THE SHAPE SHIFTER
1997, when Rowling was 31,
Bloomsbury published Harry SIXTIES: JUDI DENCH
Potter and the Philosopher’s Much-loved actress Judi Dench may have
Stone and a legend was born. had success since early in her career but her
enduring appeal is her greatest
THE SLUMP-BEATER achievement. A highly accomplished stage
actress, making her professional debut in
FIFTIES: KATHRYN BIGELOW 1957, she has earned hatfuls of awards for
Producer, director and writer theatre, film and TV over her lengthy
Kathryn Bigelow got her first career. In 1995 she took on what was to
become one of her most famous roles, as M
taste of fame when she directed in the Bond franchise, consistently
cult nineties hit, Point Break outshining 007 himself.
starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick
Swayze. It earned $80m but
Bigelow’s career stalled somewhat
afterwards. All the sweeter then
was a return to form with 2009’s
The Hurt Locker and her
history-making Best Director
Oscar in 2010 at age 58.