Transcript #121. Impostor syndrome and fear of success: A conversation with Michelle Redfern.

Click here to see the episode show notes.


Renata:           So many people play up the whole thing in their heads before applying. And then for that reason, and that's tip number two here because we tend to have a negative bias. When we're thinking, we think about all of the bad things that can happen. All of the difficulties that we encounter. And it's, again, natural to have a negative bias. Then you decide you don't want the job even before applying. When my advice to all job hunters is precisely what you said, Give it a go.

Renata:           Hi, I am Renata Bernarde. This is the Job Hunting Podcast, where I interview experts and professionals on essential issues for job hunters and those working to advance their careers. So, make sure that you subscribe and follow and let's dive right in!

Renata:           Today, we have a very different [00:01:00] episode on the Job Hunting Podcast, where I have swapped chairs with a past guest, Michelle Redford. She's a guest from episode 37, and she is interviewing me. Michelle has recently launched her podcast together with her business partner, Mel Butcher, and they are killing it, sticking to their strengths in supporting women in leadership.[00:01:20] They have lined up a great list of guests. So, I recommend that you check it out, follow subscribe, and leave them your support in the form of a five-star ranking and a great review. If you enjoy what they're doing, the podcast name is Lead To Soar, and you will find it wherever you found the Job Hunting Podcast because, you know, nothing makes a podcast host happier than receiving feedback. And believe me, it's a lonely job here. We are self-isolating for what seems like eons, and podcasting is also very lonely as a job. So, sending us your appreciation will be fantastic if you haven't done [00:02:00] that for the Job Hunting podcast. May I suggest that you do it too? If you love this show, if you've been listening for a while and you're learning from it, I'd love for you to give me a five-star ranking and write a short review. It would only take you five minutes. You can do that on apple. And I think Spotify now also has a review format. So, I'd love to hear from you. Please send it to me.


Renata:           Fear of success, why it happens, and how to overcome it. That was episode 100 from 2021. If you haven't listened to it, please go back and listen to it. It's a great episode. And Michelle, a friend of the podcast, heard and loved it. So that's what she said. And, uh, she invited me to continue to talk about fear of success in her podcast lead. So I will tell you a bit about Michelle and what she does. And then we will listen to our conversation, which I [00:03:00] thought was interesting. Michelle Redfern is the founder of Advancing Women, an enterprise providing research and advisory service on the workplace, gender equality, inclusion, and diversity. She is the co-host of a career that saw. The founder of women's network women who get it and the co-founder of CDW, culturally diverse women.

Renata:           And she is, of course, the host of Lead To Soar. She's an experienced executive director with board and advisory roles in finance support for purpose and supply chain. She is a proud ambassador for flexible working days and girl's uniform agenda. She has held several executive leadership roles at ASX-listed companies and FTSE-listed companies, such as NAB, Telstra, and Circo, during her 30-year corporate career. She's also a graduate of the Australian Institute of company directors and holds an executive MBA. In fact, with discussing that in episode 37. So go back [00:04:00] and listen to. She holds several accreditations in organization, diversity, and coaching. And she's a very much-in-demand speaker and a regular contributor to discussions and advocacy for gender equality and inclusion in sport and business workplaces and to solve. Her podcast is for career women looking to advance in an organization. The show is hosted by Michelle and by Mel Butcher and is a production of A Career That Soars; as I mentioned before, this interview in its entirety is on Michelle's podcast, Lead To Soar, and there's a link to it in the episode’s show notes. I have edited her introduction with her blessing, and I'm repurposing it for you to listen to here at the Job Hunting Podcast.

Renata:           So, my conversation with Michelle in its entirety is on her podcast Lead To Soar. And I have edited out the intro and the outro from her show with her blessing. I am repurposing it for you to listen to on the Job Hunting Podcast. Our conversation is great for all my listeners, not just for what we went out there. I strongly recommend that women who listen to my show sign up for the disorder and listen to some great episodes there. I enjoyed the one called agile leader and another one called giving and receiving feedback. These are not topics that I would be doing here on the Job Hunting Podcast, but I think they complement our conversations on this show.

Renata:           So, without further ado, please listen. And I hope you enjoy this lively chat. You will be able to tell that Michelle and I bounce off each other, and our energy just snowballs, and it gets bigger and bigger as we discuss a topic. I love our chat, and I hope that you enjoy it. So here it is today.

Michelle:         I've got the amazing Renata with me, as you've already heard. And we're going to [00:06:00] hear, well we’re going to tap into her zone of genius, her wisdom around job hunting. Now, not necessarily what you might think around, you know, the process and what have you, which of course, Renata is an absolute expert at, and we're going to explore that, but we're in the “What happens when you're scared?” And we had a conversation offline about imposter syndrome. We said we wouldn’t use that expression, but there you go. I just have, but what happens when we're scared of success, and what do we do about that? So that's what we're going to be talking about.

Michelle:         But Renata, the first thing I want to ask you, obviously, after saying welcome again, is because you're a great friend of A Career That Soars and the Lead to Soar podcast. Remember the days when we went to parties and dinner parties and networking events when you did that, and you want it up to someone new, or someone wants it up to you, and they said, hi, I'm so-and-so. Who are you, and what do you do? What do you say?

Renata:           That's funny because the thing is I've gone a hundred percent into career coaching, [00:07:00] I haven’t been out and about, you know, in social settings because of a very long lockdown in Melbourne. But I introduce myself online all the time because that's how I reach out to potential clients and the broader community. I want to support as many professionals as I can. The way that I explained myself, it says I'm a former executive in pharmacy who has now decided to dedicate her time to help other people advance in their careers.

I do so much work with professionals that are in transition. They may be going from one job to another, one career to another, one sector to another. To explain, my coaching as specialized in that transition period usually involves recruitment and selection process or promotion. Still, most likely, the person is not employed or very keen to move out of their organization and goes somewhere else. It could be a similar job somewhere else or a completely different job altogether. And I help people [00:08:00] with that transition. And the reason why I am an expert in it, I believe, is because I've done that many, many, many times myself. So, I moved countries. I changed careers. I changed jobs, and I did that in different ways as well. I sought out opportunities. I went seeking opportunities, or somebody tapped on my shoulder and let me know that something was happening.

I was made redundant. I left jobs and that variety, I think, is a lived experience that I can now translate into a framework, which I did many years ago when I was the MBA Monash career manager. And since then, I've been coaching on the side throughout my career. Because that was a years ago, 2008-9, and now since COVID started and I lost most of my consulting retainers, I decided, you know what? I love this. I've always wanted to do it. I'll do it full-time. And I haven't looked back, and I'm entirely [00:09:00] busy.

Michelle:         So, as you were talking, I had a mental sort of map opening up in my, I'm pretty visual, thinking. So, we often get coaching executive coaching when we're in a job; whether that's having been in it for a while, we want to address a specific thing. We often get coaching when we start a new job because we wanted to have a mentor or a coach to help me gain the confidence skills, whatever it may be, but that transition period that I'm ready for a move, I'm ready for a change. I'm prepared to enter into the processes around being a job. Hunter is so incredibly important. If I think about my own experiences can be a little bit daunting. And I don't know if you experienced this as well. And you and I have talked often about the fact that we have a pretty similar appetite for risk.

Michelle:         So, we like to jump and find out, find new things, but we know when we're ready to do. But I can honestly say, I don't know that I've ever had someone coach me in that transition period. What does that sort of [00:10:00] look like? Or when do our listeners know that I'm at this transition point and need to talk to Renata? What would they be typically feeling, experiencing, or wanting to do?

Renata:           Reach out to me when I believe it's a bit too late, but then it's up to me as a coach to educate. Executives on the importance of bringing somebody like me on board, even before getting themselves into a pickle. I say it is a bit too late because they may have been job hunting for quite some time. And some unsuccessfully, sometimes they are successful at specific bottlenecks so that they can convert from job application to an interview, but never from an interview to a job. Sometimes they can't restore from a job application to an interview. Sometimes they want to job hunt, but they don't know where to start. So they're procrastinating for years. The great thing about engaging a coach that's so explicitly focused on this issue is it's potentially going to save you a [00:11:00] lot of time because eventually you may learn how to conquer those bottlenecks and qualify for the next round and the next round, but it could take longer. So my goal is to bring that new job or new opportunity sooner so that the client. Making more income sooner and not being unemployed for longer. And so, you're investing in a coach to gain the knowledge, the skills, and the understanding of how recruitment and selection work so that you can fast-forward your goals.

Renata:           And the other reason why people hire me is like I said, it's because they might be so confused about their current jobs, and they don't know what's out there for them. They may have been in a position for decades sometimes. And they have never really been in that risky situation that you and I have. And for them, it's daunting. So, somebody is holding their hand and saying, okay, now you must do this. And now I must do that. There's a particular trick on dealing with hiring managers and recruiters that people [00:12:00] sometimes don't understand. And certain best practices work in Job applications and job interviews. And I find that it's exciting that some people may have been very successful in their jobs, great executives, but never really gone through, uh, completely understood how to transition. So even though I could be a coach that does more than that, I'm thrilled to be known and be an expert in this specific area of an executive's career. And frankly, refer my clients back to you, Michelle. If they, you know, get a job and find that they're having. Problems leading and you know, that, that sort of long-term but vital work that they need to do in their list, leadership development, for example, I'm happy to refer them to a career that, yeah, it's, it's

Michelle:         Interesting because I think there are many of us, and I certainly include myself in that who. Perhaps been [00:13:00] in, in a, in an employer or within, in, in jobs for, as you said, decades, and I've often been invited Michelle come and do this job, we need you to fix this. You know, so I certainly was not a practiced job hunter. Well, by the time I got to my mid-forties now, I've got to say, I'm also very fortunate that I didn't have to become one. Still, I certainly know in, in a story's coming to mind though, of one of our members in a career that saw us as a very senior woman in the tech sector. And, and now I'm trying to think it was some phenomenal amount of job applications that she's putting in. 127 keeps coming to my mind, but it was, you know, it's in the hundreds and not successful. And you just think, wow, it's interesting hearing you talk about the etiquette and the process. And, but, you know, I guess it's the unknown, so a couple of things there, one, you might not be a practice job hunter because you have been successful in your career. So your success has made you de-skilled or, or not up to date with contemporary skills and practices around job hunting. [00:14:00], Or you might simply be running the gauntlet with only some of the knowledge in mind. And I guess that's an excellent way to segue into our leadership definition in A Career That's Soars by our founder, Susan Collintino; leadership is using the greatness in you to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the excellence in others.

Michelle:         So we went over what you do, Renata is. It’s about saying find their greatness and playing to that. But achieving and sustaining extraordinary outcomes is okay; what products do we want? Job? Number one, the right. With the proper organization with the excellent salary and, you know, the appropriate regimen, Ben and things like that. But the engaging, the greatness in others is the piece. Isn't it? So are those others you’re going to face through this process? It's essential to understand them. And so you help your clients and our listeners with. So, using leadership and weaving that process to achieve success for themselves. [00:15:00] So let's talk about fear of success, though, because that's the purpose of our chat today. So you’ve talked about it on your own and on your podcast. And what I was fascinated to hear were you talking about the sword of Damocles, which is one of my favorite phrases. Stories parables, you know, it's, and I'm interested in, and let's talk about the sort of Damocles. Why, why people fear might, what, why the fear of success might be getting in their way. And I guess those are those three key things that you want people to pay attention to in recognizing what might be getting in the form of successful job hunters or successful full total stocks. I think some of this applies. No matter what. So, tell us about, tell us about fear of success. And please let's hear about the sort of Damocles as well.

Renata:           Well, if it's okay with you, I want to take a step back and acknowledge edge fear of failure because it's there now. People do have your failure, loss, and it's more talked about, and I don't even feel like I need to explain, you [00:16:00] know, of course.

Renata:           Fail in front of other people. There's the social aspect of failing and people knowing your fail. There's all of that. And it's one of the reasons why it's built into our DNA. It's why we survived as a species. You know, it's something that we understand and. We know when it's happening, fear of success. I don't think we know when it's happening.

Michelle:         To understand, I guess they have to recognize that it's a thing. And B, how does it manifest itself, which I know you're going to talk about, but it's, you know, you got me thinking about this, and we think about these derailers. Okay. So what is this about not wanting to play big? Think that's, you don't even know that you don't want to play big.?

Renata:           So I have identified for this podcast because I want people to go and listen to my other podcasts because it's, I see our two podcasts, this one, this episode, and the episode I did for my job, hunting podcasts as part one and two of talking about success. And the way that I've continued to think about it [00:17:00] is this. Sometimes clients come to me and give three exams. Right. And three ways that I think it showcases that that client has a fear of success is when we're talking about their future goals, and they stretch out their plans to think, okay, I'm in operations. I may want to be a CEO in 10 years, time and externally, I'm looking at this person, and I'm thinking, why not now? You know, it's not every client, but many of my clients could be applying for jobs. More senior than the ones that they're aiming for. And they don't even realize it. They already have all the experience, the tools, the expertise needed to apply for jobs that are level above, but they're stretching out the length of their goals. And I believe there's a fear of success involved in that, in doing that.

Michelle:         So, Renata, do you see a difference across genders in, in, in those. Inability to go. I'm [00:18:00], I should be going for COI, not, you know, the head of whatever it might be or the general manager,

Renata:           You’d be surprised, But now I think that there is a self-selecting process that happens when, um, my male clients reach out to me. They tend to be type Bs as well. And you know, there is a vulnerability and accepting coaching.

Michelle:         100% Absolutely

Renata:           I have a few women who contact me for prospect coaching for women and men. They, you know, you know that no commitment, 30-minute call that we all do and men and women, and they talk to me, but they already feel like they know everything. They need to know. There, they are talking to me. Hoping for me to say, no, you don't need me. And I'm like, mate, you do theme a lot.

Renata:           I haven't heard, but I am following those who do not opt-in, Michele and I know they still don't have jobs. Whereas all my clients that have signed up at similar times [00:19:00] already have jobs. And I want to hug that person and reach out to them and say, You know, a man come in, work with me, and I'll get you the job I feel. So, what can I do? You see, I can't force them to work with me.

Michelle:         There's a great article on HBR, which I often refer my clients to, particularly those who do my get shit done, boot camps, which is why you must take time to reflect, even if you hate it. And I've para I've used the raw; I’ll put the link into the show notes, Bob, one of the pieces of that., the author says the most challenging most demanding executives to coach around learning reflective practices are those who refuse to see their benefit and refuse to do it. And they're not building; they’re not building those ache muscles and those reflection muscles, which of course we all know we've got to reflect on, you know, what's got me here because it might not get me there. It's so it's, it just occurred to me that that's often that, and, you know, as someone who is a type a personality, I'm not a type B. I see that. I see that. [00:20:00] You know, I'm right. I don't need that. You do need to step into that a little bit of humbleness. Um, and that, yeah, that real vulnerability to say, you know, I need some help here because we're often not great at asking for help. And this it's kind of, eeek, visible, if I say yes to Renata, that means I'm deficient in some way.

Renata:           No, and it’s hard, though, because I know you feel the same. All of our clients are fantastic at what they do. They're exceptional professional professionals. And it doesn't mean that they know how to find a job and I wouldn't expect them to, because that's not part of their day-to-day work. Anyway. It's exciting. The second one is when someone is tapped on the shoulder, or there's an opportunity, like knocking at the door, and they consider it briefly and they say no, and they w they talk themselves out of it. So. The argumentative person inside your head, playing out all of these things that will happen to you. And you know, you're going to be successful. You're most likely to succeed, [00:21:00] but you still think, oh, it's going to be so much more responsibility. And that I feel very biased. Women. So when women reach out to me, sometimes they are referred to by a recruiter or a headhunter who has called them and said, you know, I have this opportunity for you. And they're like, ah, they say, oh, why don't you talk to her? Now they call me, oh, and said, I should speak to you. You know, there's this CFO position. And they want me to apply. And then they think about it, and it came back to me, you think, oh, I just had two kids, and I'm, I don't feel like I can take on more responsibility. When I know in my guts and he, he might lie that there's nothing worse than being a middle manager. If you're a mother, you know, if you're stuck in, first of all, you're at risk of redundancy and restructure. You have way more on your plate than your senior, And the work is more intense mentally for you.

Renata:           If somebody has identified you as a leader, it's because you [00:22:00] probably already have skills; they probably have already seen you perform those leadership skills needed at the top. And you're saying no to that. Why you will have more resources, more money in the bank. It will take a bit of occasion and like there's so many,

Michelle:         We don't often talk about that stuff, and I'm just nodding. Why men? Which, of course, listen. You cannot see, but the perception about what it will take to lead at the next level versus the reality. And, and you're so right. We have so many women mired in the middle or middleman. And they're not breaking through. Now. There are a whole bunch of factors. Of course, that's my workaround fixing systems and bias and barriers and things like that. But also, for women, this is a two-way street. Get out of your damn way to figure out who can help you silence or quiet. And at least for some time, that voice in your head that says not good enough, not ready yet. This will be too hard, whatever. And, and moving. I've got to take a risk and seek the payoffs that go with leading [00:23:00] at that level, that practical stuff for nada, that you've just pointed out more resources, less vulnerable, more pay spaces. You've got more pay suddenly. You've got more discretionary spenders as a human, but mainly as a woman. Everyone makes their own financial decision, but you can outsource some that are currently your responsibility. And I certainly would know that in my career, I've outsourced cleaning, for example, because I think, you know, I'm not going to spend 25% of my weekend’s cleaning. I will get someone else to do that because I want to spend that time with my family. Yeah. So let's get out of our damn way.

Renata:           Yeah, I agree. So that often tends to happen more with women. I want to say the third and final thing about the fear of success that I have identified. Yeah. Priorities. Now people may think that this is intertwined with fear of failure. I do not believe so. What I mean by that is this. You apply for a job you want. You've been using. Then you get a job interview. A job interview, let's [00:24:00] say, is a week from now, but you have a lot on your plate. So what you decide to do is this: I will do everything I need to do this week. And then I'm going to prepare for my job interview. 90% of people do that. And it's the. The thing to do, you know, priorities, priorities. If you want that job that comes first, it's not fear of failure. You see, we can talk about it in a different episode. This is your having a fear of your success. You're having you're postponing the most incredible opportunity of your life to get that. And I have plenty of research and anecdotal data that shows that prepping for an interview is the biggest thing you can do to get that job. I have several techniques to prep for the interview. Many of them have nothing to do with answering behavioral questions in a star format, by the way, which you can Google and find on your own.

Renata:           People postpone it, leave it to the last minute do when they are tired, and then they don't get the job, and [00:25:00] they fail. But I think it's that they like keeping themselves back. As you said before, get out of your way and not understand your priorities.

Michelle:         Very strongly to advice that I often give to women, but certainly to ours. The suggestion that I often give to our members around strategic networking, your brand, and the assets is to enhance your proven and perceived leadership skills. As a woman succeeds, we know that anyone's career success, but clearly, I'm very interested in women being successful. Career success depends on your proven and perceived leadership skills now. This is an exercise I run in my women's leadership programs, which is to tell me how you confirm demonstrate your leadership skills got a scorecard. And, you know, I've got a degree in that and get good. Good. Now, what about perception? How are you perceived as a leader who perceives you as a lead leader? Oh, my, the people are late whenever I say. [00:26:00] Okay, well, let's, let's get clear. Whom do you need to perceive as a leader, ready to lead at the next level? Whatever that means, your boss, your boss's boss. Your bosses, peers, your bosses, bosses, peers.

Michelle:         Now, how many of those people do, you know, perceive you as a leader, ready to lead either achieved mastery in your current role, but certainly lead at the next level. And there's often much silence. I hadn't thought about it like that. And I go, okay. So I figured out the people who are responsible for your past. Your promotion, um, and your career advancement. I have many perceptions about you. You've got to start managing them, which means you need to prioritize why you work your brand. And I'm not talking about your social media profiles. Although I will say, LinkedIn is where I'm still shocked, right? Not are appalled that people don't pay attention to their LinkedIn profiles, but this is paying attention and prioritizing me prioritizing how people perceive me as a. [00:27:00] Perceive me as someone who can take the business forward, whether it's the current business or another business, and this it's so important, but it's. Still, it’s not being paid attention to. It’s interesting,

Renata:           You know, the way that I explained this to clients, and I've just had a consultation this morning, where we talked about this, this, this, we think we're very smart brilliant, but we, not that smart. We went to sign. For career progression, we were designed for survival in Savannah. You have to bypass some of your instincts to work on your career, achieve your preferred future, and move forward more intentionally. This is ultra-modern, and it's not really how we were genetically designed. So carving out that time needs to be a project. And you need to start changing your behaviors and educating your mind and your body to identify that this is important and do an [00:28:00] hour a day or two hours a week, whatever you can allocate, not at the end of the week when you're exhausted, you know, like as I treat. Because for me, exercise is my, my cross to bear. And if I don't do it early in the morning, I won't do it. So think about career planning and personal branding exercises as something like that. And it's a lot like, you know, the reasons why we don't see a pandemic comments, the reason why we don't see climate change coming it's because it's intangible.

Renata:           It's not writing front of us. It's not that job that you have to do tomorrow. It's not urgent. But it's imminent, and it's essential, and you will regret it. Future Renata will regret that present Renata has done nothing about it, right? So you have to work yourself up to do it and start building that behavior and routine. And it can be very challenging. Sometimes people know what to do, but they just don't do it anymore. And you have to [00:29:00] build that up. I am currently job hunting if people are interested and are currently job hunting; I have a free resource on my website. You can go to my website and download it that it's. It’s a designed routine for job hunters. So if you're job hunting full time, just do this routine every day. If you're job hunting, part-time, you do this other one, or there's a light version. If you have, you have a job, and you don't have much time. If you follow that routine by the book, you will progress much faster than trying to do it randomly and at whatever time suits you. So yeah, it's building that as part of your routine and understanding it's a project until it feels like brushing your teeth. It will take a while.

Michelle:         You’re right, this new behavior. So, listeners, there is actionable insight. Number one, or your call to action. Number one, which is you must, if you are job. Uh, or planning to job hunt, you have to prioritize the activities that go with that, not try and fit them around everything else. If your priority is to earn more, be more fulfilled, [00:30:00] find the job of your dreams. You have to prioritize it. You know, hope is not a strategy, as I like to say. So planet, and which means planning your week out and saying, well, when am I at my most energized? When am I inflow typically and block out time to do your job hunting. Tasks and to learn these new behaviors. So I think it's just such an important insight, actionable insight, Renata because it isn't going to happen just magically. You know, no one's going to sprinkle pixie dust around. The other sense is to recognize which skills you have and which ones you do not have, and the ones you need to build to succeed. Now, this goes for your career, and it goes for job hunting. If you are a skier, Practiced job hunter. You probably have stopped listening already, but if you're not a skilled practiced job hunter who knows the ins and outs, step into your vulnerable, courageous vulnerability and say, I'm going to invest some time, some resources, or some [00:31:00] effort into becoming skilled so that I can achieve and sustain the outcome. That I see as important. And, you know, I had an interview with Nerida summers from AGL last week, and I was talking about her career and one of her pieces of advice, uh, and I'm paraphrasing is you got to make time for yourself. You've got to make time for your career, Tom, for your development because it isn't going to be handed to you on a plate, and it isn't going to come to you. By osmosis, you have to take the time and prioritize it. So thank you. I want to add to that.

Renata:           None of these things are crystallized at any point in time. They're constantly evolving. So if you've been job hunting and then you got a job, and you've been in a position for three years, and now you're job hunting again. Oh my God. So much has changed. Like you wouldn't believe like CEO opportunities. The first interview is straight to the camera. You have three minutes, three questions. Can you do that? Like you haven't done that before. It's very confronting. And there, the use of [00:32:00] technology now for senior executive level recruitment and selection is all of it's everywhere. A checkbox in book interviews on your phone, phone rings; it’s a robot. You have three minutes to answer this question. Wow.

Yeah, I'm talking; this is happening right now, frankly. I'm only a few meters ahead of you, you know, constantly having to catch up. And that's, my job is to be in the know about all of this. So it's not, it's not like whatever you're doing, either, even leadership coaching. Post pandemic is different from preventing damage. The environment is more prominent and remote, you know, leading from a distance, remote working, which entails other skills you need to acquire. So you always need to be top of your game. Really? So yeah, something to think about and find that time to dedicate to your professional development.

Michelle:         It is its perfect [00:33:00] advice. You're right. Because it's exciting people sometimes because I don't do any one-on-one coaching anymore, I don't have the capacity, but from Tom Shaw, can you help me with us? So-and-so, oh yeah. Job application. What have you? And I just, it's not my thing. I'm not a practice. I'm not, well, I'm not in the job market. I'm a director, a business owner, you know, so I'm, I'm not. A representative at all or have relevant current lived experience. So, and yeah. So, which is why, why I talked to you that people will

Renata:           People rarely send me your resume these days that is ATS compliant.

Michelle:         Now, explain what ATS compliant is.

Renata:           Well, when you apply for jobs online, it's not read by humans. Robots read it, right? And that requires you to do a, a type of resume formatting that is easily read by whatever software is behind that internet wall that you can see. And you don't know what software it is. You don't know if it's a sophisticated one. Better designed or a crappy one, you know, [00:34:00] be very conservative and have a resume format that is easily read by whatever bot when that first conversion is done. The second air advice will be humanized. It needs to be written in a way that is attractive to the human eyes.

Renata:           So there is a technique, and I do not expect if you are an accountant, if you're a marketing professional or if you're a CX professional, or if you wish any of you to know these things because that will be done with knowledge for your brain to acquire that you would only use every couple of years,

Michelle:         It is situational. But gee, I didn't even know that. I mean, I knew that robots were reading it, but I didn't know about ATS compliance.

Renata:           So I share lots of knowledge with you because if I don't share with you, it will just expire our careers. So there you go. Even if people have never heard about the story, it says so much about how we understand success and what we feel about it. Being a successful person. So Damocles was a man that [00:35:00] was in Dionysius circle, Dionysus being a king. And he was very jealous of Diane is his and wanted to, you know, be more powerful, like, like king Dionysius and one day Dionysus allowed Democritus to sit on his throne to make them off was understand what it would feel like to be powerful, to be a king. So the mark was set on the Kings drown, you know, all those luxuries, all that power, but above the throne, there was a sword that was hanged only by a horse's hair. I think that was thanks. So there was that imminent danger of death. And look, even if you have never heard that story, I feel like people think about success like that, that it's, you're jealous about it, and you want to achieve it. But then once you have it, you're so worried you're going to lose it. You're afraid that people [00:36:00] put you there accidentally by a put you by mistake that you shouldn't be there. You will. And you know, I remember being a little child and watching cartoons with them, where there would be this kind of, oh, it's the sort of idea where you would rub the genie. The genuine would show up. You ask for something, Ginny, understand what you asked for, and you get something completely different. And I feel like when you are successful, That happens to you. You know, you want to be in that successful position, that powerful position, but it's almost like you rubbed the genie the wrong way, and you got something completely unexpected that wasn't what you imagined it would be. And from that point onwards, you were uncertain about Success. And if you ever want to have it again, then there is this other situation where you always think somebody's going to backstab you, and honestly, all of those things are somewhat true, suitable? Even in the way that you think about organizations as a pyramid structure, there's the only way is [00:37:00] down after you reach the apex, but that's all fine. You know, just understand that before you get there and. Comfortable with all of that uncertainty that it will be different, the fairy tale doesn't. And when you get that fancy job, it's like, you know, a romantic movie, right? The fairy tale doesn't end. When you kiss after kiss, there's a whole life ahead of you that you need to unravel, and you need to work that out. And. That's a powerful position or any position. And it may be that once you reach the top, not everyone will know not everyone will like you. And I think that that's more, that becomes clearer and clearer as you go up the corporate ladder that was

Michelle:         Well, I love the link between the parable and job hunting. And your advice is that our mindset of abundance versus scarcity, but also a mindset of what I can achieve versus being [00:38:00] scared about what might happen. And we suppose this is perhaps it's the entrepreneurial mind. Well, let's give it a shot because what's the worst that could happen. It could not work. And then we just don't do it anymore, which I fully acknowledge that if you're the CEO, not even the CEO, if you're in a vital executive role, that fear of other people, you know, bringing you down or not being successful or things like that, I think it's important to understand what's going to go on for you once you attain that position. I suppose it's the grant me the serenity to forget about what I can't control and, you know, focus on what you can control. But I acknowledge that some of this stuff's going to happen. And I suppose the point I want to make there, Renata, which I picked up on, is no, not everyone's going to like you, but your job is not to be enjoyed. Your job is to achieve and sustain extraordinary for your organization and yourself. And I suppose that's the way we [00:39:00] get people beyond, beyond that mindset that might be limiting them from yes.

Renata:           And you know what, Michelle, you may sit at that throne, and then you won't like it, and it's okay too. But that doesn't mean you can self-select yourself out of that opportunity. Give it a go. Oh, how do I know if I'm ready? Apply. How do I know if I'm going to do it? Well, do it. Yeah. You know, do it. And if you have an itch that you know or the sort of ambition, you have to give it a go; you own it to yourself. You only live one to give it a try and nothing. You're not going to die. It's not like there's a sword.

Michelle:         I was going to say, there is no sword hanging over, and this is the whole point of the parable folks listening. There is no sword suspended by a horse head hanging over your head and where I wanted to take this narrow anatomy. Something you and I have talked about before, and I often hear I've listened to it, this just in the last 24 hours, I've been tapped on the shoulder for someone suggested I go [00:40:00] for this job. I've been asked to; I wonder if I should, I wonder if I should not go for God's sake, put your application in, go for the interview because until you've got a contract in front of you that has every term condition rim bend, that is, is that you. Until you have a signature-ready, waiting for you. Yo sorry. A contract is waiting for your signature. You have no decision to make but everything to gain. So what's your advice, and I will make this gender particularly to women.

Renata:           Yeah. I have two pieces of advice here that I think relate to that fear of success and people not knowing what to do when they're being springboarded into something new and potentially successful and exciting. First of all, don't suffer and live in your head. Just go for it. We have this tendency to argue with ourselves and pretend that we're rational. There's this sort of logical arguments argument that we come up with two. Pull us out of opportunities or the [00:41:00] reasons why we can't, uh, go for it now. Oh, I'm too busy, or my resume Isn't ready. Maybe if it had happened at a different time or there is no better time. There's just a time when things are handed to you, and you should give it a., And this thing that people view is entirely normal. The fear is very normal. It's the fight and flight situation. And even though we are not going to die, that's how our body perceives a threat or stress. So we need to remind ourselves that our body wasn’t designed for urban corporate life and understand that fear is natural, and we need to overcome it with our mind.

Michelle:         Being mindful of that instinct that we have. So that's number one, don't live In your head for too long. Think out loud with a trusted confidant.

Renata:           Yep. So many people play up the whole thing in their heads before applying and then for that reason, and that's the tip number two here because we have [00:42:00] a tendency to have a negative bias when. We think about all of the bad things that can happen. All of the difficulties that we all encounter. And it's, again, natural to have a negative bias. And then you decided you didn’t want the job even before applying. My advice to all job hunters is precisely what you said. Give it echo, oh, I don't know this company. I don't, you know, maybe I don't fit the criteria. Exactly. Send your job application, and you won't know until you have a sample of things that have gone well and have gone wrong for you. You won't know if your resume's working or not. If you have, if you're performing well at interviews or not, do you need to have.

Michelle:         That's a perfect point; even if you're not a hundred percent convinced that this is the role for you, use it as a testing ground for your resume, for your skills, for your, you know, you know, thinking out loud with a trusted confidant, you know, with Renata. Yeah, use it as a practice run for that big job. But I’d add the [00:43:00] advice to that, which I give is, please put yourself in front of a new network of people because you never know once people know you, they can't unknow. You present yourself as an excellent leader who achieves outcomes, which is fantastic at engaging the greatness in others, and be memorable because even if you're not successful this time around for this job, that's okay. Because someday. One of those people's names. Oh, I remember meeting that Renata. Gee, she was great on her. She wasn't suitable for that role. Let's talk to her, or, you know, you and I both know how vital strategic networking is. This is a part of strategic networking, networking with suitable others.

Michelle:         So I think it’s an investment I look like as an investment in the future, me plain.  

Renata:           This is right. It's this you're always playing a short game and a long game when you're job hunting when you're both recruited. And the job hunter, the short game is I need to fill out this position. The quick match for the job hunter is that I need to find a [00:44:00] job. Now, the long game is I need to have a black book of great context for future clients. If the recruiters, you know, it's not a recruiter, and the job hunter is, I need to know. I mean, this is the silver lining of looking for a job. You will research different companies as you apply for them. You're going to get to know other people. You're going to get out of your box expand your network. Something may not convert now, but it will convert in a year, two years.

Michelle:         I would also add to that, and I've done mail, and I did a concise podcast on this a while back. And I use one of my own experiences, which I did say yes to a tap on the shoulder when I was instilled in corporate Australia. But I used it as a benchmarking exercise. Cause I thought, I'll see what salary is being offered here, because it's going to be very useful for me to know, because I've got a salary negotiation coming up in my role. Brilliant because then I thought, okay, so this is what I'm worth on the open market because I've been told what I'm worth. I was then able to bring those facts and data back to my present [00:45:00] situation and get what I wanted without making a move. So, you know, there are so many benefits for inserting yourself into a process. So many benefits, but yeah, that, I think that that call out let's get out of our heads and have a conversation and external to oneself conversation with a trusted advisor, but also think about the benefits of the process. Not just what could go wrong. And I look at it; no one likes rejection. Yeah. We're talking about biology and humans from way back. Of course, rejection from the tribe meant death when dinosaurs still ran worldwide. Don’t souls still run around the world? But anyway, it's a whole other story because we don't want to feel rejected if we don't like the job, but the benefits outweigh that risk in so many different minds. So that's a mindset shift, a fundamental mindset shift. Great call to action. Hey Renata, we've got so many actionable insights, which is what you and I, both Susan Mela and, Marlin are so focused on. We want to give women excellent advice that they can take action on. So right now, I'm thinking [00:46:00] about. The women in a career that saws and women across the world who are saying, we know that there's stuff going on for women in workplaces, around the globe at the moment. And they're thinking now might be the time for me to think about a move. I guess what's the very first thing that every single one of those people, even if they're currently in the process, that transition process, what's the first thing that they should be doing.

Renata:           If they're currently employed, remain employed as much as possible. We are mainly used because it's really about allowing you the investment and the finances to get the support you need to make that move successful for you and not put yourself into a different type of stress. Still, we are working, maybe stressful, but being unemployed for an extended period is also stressful. And even though we have a buyout market at the moment, Job hunters. That doesn't mean that for a sec, for your sector where you are in the world, things will go easy, and you're going to get a job very quickly. Usually, people have a very optimistic [00:47:00] view of how long it will take to get a job. It’s generally more extended than they think. So that's the first thing that I would say. The second thing is to find a support system that works for you and stick to it. Because people will come to me and work with me, and then if they decide to get advice from somebody else, it might be completely different. And it will just mess up with your mind. You have to find the best possible support system for you, get the advice you need, and understand that a lot is happening in recruitment and selection that is brand new. Even to experts in the field, like the technology involved now and how LinkedIn has become the go-to tool for recruiters and head hunters and understanding how to use those new mechanisms efficiently and effectively. Supporting your job search is essential.

Michelle:         Great advice. Number one, stay employed. Don't put that [00:48:00] stress on you and, and keep listening to Lee Dessau because we've got an episode coming up, which is helpful. I've got a rubbish boss. What do I do? And some of that is about how I stay employed and preserve. So that's the first one. And then the second one is you get that board, that personal board of advisors who are experts. And I think that the nugget in there, and I hope you heard at listeners, but I'm going to repeat it. Get the advice you need to hear. Sometimes that's different from what we want to hear. You get the advice you need to hear, which is why people like Renata are so good because you're the expert, but B, you've got that independence to say, Hey, Michelle, it's time to have a come to Jesus talk. We need to do some things differently here.

Renata:           So there are people in your life that you love and that love you. But they give the worst advice. You probably know some of, both in your life to provide you with they're just not experts, and they don't know what they're talking about.

Michelle:         And I also think there's a real thing around their fear of success, which is projected onto you, which is, I think that's a whole [00:49:00] another episode, but so Renata, thank you for your wisdom as always the fear of success, why it happens and how to get it. Renata, where else can our listeners track you down?

Renata:           Well, that's it for this episode; if you're interested in working with me, please check my website, That's R E N I T a B E R N an R D Several services at several different levels, and I hope that one of them will suit you. You can also download the optimized schedule we mentioned during the show. That's also available on my website and the link to it. If you couldn't spell it out is in the episode show notes. So check the links. There are links to everything we mentioned; all the things that I can think of on our LinkedIn are in the episode show notes. And don't forget to listen to Lead to Soar and consider following it and listening to all of their episodes. It's a fantastic platform, not just the podcast, but also A Career That Soars is an excellent platform for women to grow as leaders ciao for now. [00:50:00] And until next time, bye.




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