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    Career defining moments

    Defining Moments

    A few weeks ago, before I moved from Melbourne to Sydney, I was chatting to a work colleague, let’s call her Rachel, about my decision to take this new job in Sydney. I told her that while it was a sideways move, instead of the upwards move I could have expected if I stayed in my old role a few more months, the change in career path seemed more important than a move up the ladder.

    She agreed, telling me a story of her first “big break” in the corporate world.

    Rachel had been working in a great team with a fantastic leader when suddenly, he decided to move on. Despite being much less experienced, the management team saw something special in her, and she was tapped on the shoulder to apply. Continue reading…

    risk taking for the risk averse how to_moving cities

    Risk Taking for the Risk Averse Part 2: A How-To Guide

    Last post I shared the story of how I found myself unexpectedly moving to Sydney from my hometown of Melbourne. It is a story filled with ups and downs and big questions marks, many unknowns, a few minor freak outs and finally the big decision! (Read here!)

    Now, I consider a career change in itself to be a pretty bold move. Couple that with a new city and a move that will impact not just me but my partner, my family, his family, our friends…it was a lot to take in.

    For some, moving is just a part of life, but for me it was a huge decision, one that in some way said, I’m putting myself and my career first. And that’s been hard to do. I’ve asked my partner to come along with me. I’ve asked my family to support me (and store all my furniture – thanks fam!). They’ve been amazing but I know deep down they’d love for me to stay. I can’t help but shake a niggling feeling of guilt and sadness about the family occasions or time spent together I will miss. And that’s why it’s so important that I didn’t make this decision on a whim. That I was properly informed. That my reason for moving was solid. That I can back myself, and my decision, even when it gets tough, which it undoubtedly will.

    So if you’re facing something similar, I’ve gathered together a few tips, small and simple as they may seem, that helped me lean into this big, crazy, uncertain, risky new life that I’ve chosen for myself. Continue reading…

    Risk Taking for the Risk Averse Part 1: New Beginnings

    Risk Taking for the Risk Averse Part 1: New Beginnings

    From a young age, we’re taught to favour certainty. To prefer plain, old predictability. To avoid ambiguity. Not to talk to strangers. To play it safe. To stick to what we know.

    After all, risk is scary.

    Risk opens us up to losing out. Losing money. Losing face. Losing the sense of comfort that comes with what is safe and predictable.

    So when we’re faced with a monumental decision that has the potential to re-route our lives and change the course of our futures, to switch up the safety of what is known for something exciting but unpredictable, how do we deal?

    How do we learn to lean in and embrace risk when we’ve been conditioned to be risk averse? Continue reading…

    sunrise new years resolution

    New Year, New You? How to approach the New Year if Resolutions aren’t your thing

    Happy New Year friends and welcome to 2017!!

    By many accounts, 2016 was a terrible year, one of the worst in recent memory.

    I don’t like to think about a whole year being “bad”. I’d prefer to think that any year is what we make of it, which got me thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.

    I had intended on saying that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t really my thing, but in fact, when I really got down to thinking, I realised that I’ve never made a New Year’s Resolution.

    I set goals for myself and implement systems and am always working towards something or other. They’ve just never really coincided with the start of a new year or been packaged neatly into a New Year’s Resolution. I mean, who needs all the extra pressure of the New Year to have our resolutions unraveling before we hit mid-Feb (if we’re lucky), anyway?

    But this year, on the trip home from a New Year’s Eve weekend away, crammed into a tiny Holden Barina with some of my favourite humans and about a hundred overnight bags and pillows and snacks piled so high we could barely see over them, my sister decided we should share our New Year’s Resolutions. Continue reading…

    summer reading funny memoirs

    Summer Reading: Memoirs from inspiringly hilarious women

    Today’s post is all about some of my favourite women of comedy, and more specifically, their hilarious and inspiring memoirs. And while I’ve never claimed to be perfect at book reviews (or anything), I reckon I’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. This little list is perfectly timed to set you up poolside/beachside with a thoughtful dose of reading to get you through your summer vacation (and provide a few fun instagram opportunities – hello fav pair of oversized sunnies and book-of-the-moment care of The Modern Ascent). Plus there’s jusssst enough time before Christmas to drop a few hints to your loved ones about these top notch stocking stuffers.

    Anyway, onto the books. I’ve read most of these over the last 12 months or so, and can confirm that each and every one has it’s own special type of literary addictiveness allowing it to fall into the category of ‘unputdownable’. And while the authors of these books are undoubtedly hilarious, they cover a lot of ground and it’s not all laughs – the writers also cover some of their darker days and struggles. I love them all and hope you will too!

    In no particular order here they are… Continue reading…

    How blogging saved my sanity

    How blogging saved my sanity (and can save yours too!)

    You used to have a burning passion that lit up your every waking hour but then growing up happened and it somehow got lost along the way. Sound familiar? Here’s what happened when I rediscovered my love of writing, and why it might be worth investing in reviving your forgotten passions too.  

    I’ve always wanted to write a blog. Pretty much since my sister started hers a few years ago I wanted my own but I never knew what I would write about. I told myself that I wasn’t  interesting or insightful enough. I didn’t know enough about anything. No one would want to read it.

    Then one night as I was falling asleep, like a hypnic jerk jolting me awake, the idea for The Modern Ascent came to me. I started writing the next day. Continue reading…

    team sponsorship mentor coach

    Who’s on your team? A guide to coaches, mentors and sponsors

    Who’s on your team? Who’s there to support you through all the ups and downs that life has a tendency to throw at you? Who has your back when the going gets tough? And who’s there to celebrate your big wins?

    Yesterday I attended my sister-in-law’s ten year anniversary showcase for her dance school. Assisting backstage as a ‘runner’ (the technical term for directing masses of dancers – some as young as three – through the labyrinth-like backstage area to get them on stage right on cue), I was in awe at just how many bodies it takes to seamlessly execute a professional production.

    It got me thinking that in our careers, just like directing a 270+ strong cast of dancers, we need to surround ourselves with a support team that sets us up to excel. One way I like to think about this is to ‘build a board’.  Continue reading…

    Confidence fake it til you make it

    Why you can (and should) fake it til you make it

    Do you ever have an off-day at work, a day when you want to curl up small under your desk and hide, pretend that you’re invisible and hope that no one notices you?

    And do those days ever coincide with a day when you have an important meeting? Maybe you have to give a presentation? Or meet with some challenging stakeholders? For whatever reason, you need to be ‘on’. You need to be at your most charming and engaging.

    I most certainly have days like that. My greatest hope on those days is that I’ll get by unnoticed and just plow silently through my work with as little social disturbance as possible. But when those meetings or presentations roll around, I need to reach deep down inside myself and somewhere, somehow find the energy to make it work. I know that I’ll always manage to pull through but often I still come off a bit awkward, my small talk is off and I find myself wishing that I could put it off to another day, a day when I’m feeling a bit more confident and outgoing.

    Well lucky for me, and now you, I discovered Amy Cuddy – social psychologist, author and university professor. Continue reading…

    Live don't survive

    Live, don’t survive

    “The only pride of her workday was not that it had been lived, but that it had been survived. It was wrong, she thought, it was viciously wrong that one should ever be forced to say that about any hour of one’s life.” Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand 

    Do you sometimes feel like you’re just surviving. Only just hanging on.

    I had a vacation-induced epiphany recently where I realised that so much of my life seems to be about just surviving (in the not-living-life-to-the-fullest sense). Just making it through the day. Or the week. Spontaneity and fun are pushed to the back burner while my long list of to-do’s take pride of place.

    Does any of this sound familiar to you? It’d help to know I’m not the only one who’s treading water, holding out for the next weekend, long weekend or holiday to get on with all that living I have planned.

    Before getting into my whole ‘holiday-epiphany’ thing, there are a few concepts that keep popping up and pushing their way to the front of my overcrowded and overstimulated mind that are in no small way linked to this whole idea of living vs. surviving. Continue reading…

    Favourite podcasts

    Do you even podcast? Five podcasts you should be listening to

    We’ve all heard the old adage ‘You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce’. That may be true but when I’m facing deadlines at work, am setting my alarm earlier and earlier just to squeeze in a 15 minute early morning workout and have to schedule an hour into my crazy week just to wash my hair, time sure does seem tight. So when it comes to finding new and engaging content and ideas to keep my blog fresh and exciting and a hub for golden nuggets of wisdom and inspiration, scrolling through my rss feed doesn’t always seem like the most efficient use of my time.

    Enter podcasts.

    Continue reading…

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