Tag Archives: Career

Lateral job move

massBy: Angie Falls

Since I am already six year with the current company I decided to make a lateral job change within my organization to gain experience and to increase the potential for advancement. Often I am being asked maybe its time to move on. You have been already so long with the company. A way too traditional mindset. I am all for thinking out of the box and exploring new ideas and different mindsets.  A job in a different department offers greater responsibilities and challenges. I can stay at the same location and be transferred laterally in another area. I choose this path instead of moving on and search for a challenge in a new company.

Reflecting on this choice makes me more determined to invest in this new function. I get the opportunity to learn new disciplines in the same branch. It gives me a new perspective with my current 20 years experience. When you have spend 2 decades in a specific discipline you develop skills which extends beyond the technical knowledge. Due to globalization and fast paced technological progress  It is more and more evident that soft skills need to be enriched along the way. One of the most important soft skill is the ability to see from another perspective than your own. Empathy is a skill to be strongly illuminated. It offers us a chance to gain insight in a topic or situation from another angle. If excersized from different angles this skill will enable us to make profound decissions. Self reflection another essential soft skill which if not possesed will restrain you. The lack of these skills can decrease employee productivity. Which soft skill are desired by companies depends on the cultural fit. In my opinion ownership is one of the soft skills which I feel the majority needs to focus on. Once I got the advice which sounds like this. In your profession you are the CEO of something whatever you’re responsible for.

Taking ownership of your work means assuming responsibility for helping the organization as a whole to succeed. I invest in the outcomes of my work, implementing ways to do things better and holding myself accountable when there is a negative outcome. I analyze, find solutions and perform on those solutions. This also gives me pride in my work and energizes me. Too often I meet people who do not enjoy their profession. Have lost passion in what they do or didn’t have the passion in the beginning. When the foundation is not solid how can we expect it will flourish. There was no ground to start with.

One of my personal challenges is my strong assertive personality. Too much assertiveness can become domineering. I am working on polite assertiveness. It helps addressing problems calmly and forthrightly and not shying away from difficult or cumbersome conversations.

To conclude my favorite list of soft skills;

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Ownership
  • Staying Calm
  • Openness to Feedback
  • Polite Assertiveness
  • Decency
  • Integrity

Putting effort on a daily basis to develop and operate based on this soft skill set.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com



Situation 48: taking things personally

Billy and Betsy are having their monthly ‘mentoring’ session. Boss was not happy with the monthly performance report Betsy has sent in. She takes the criticism highly personally  Billy gets fed up after a while and tells her to toughen up.

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)

A great leader:

  • Is open to and actively seeks feedback to improve her performance;
  • Learns from her mistakes;
  • Develops a network of support to help her succeed in her role.

How to best handle the situation:

Continue reading

The elusive work-life balance – Is it really attainable?


By: Koach.net

We all want it, but few of us have found it…the elusive work-life balance. You’ve probably heard this expression mentioned a lot, especially in terms of coaching or therapy, but what does it really mean?

Wikipedia says this:

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice.

The work–leisure dichotomy was invented in the mid-1801s. Paul Krassner remarked that anthropologists use a definition of happiness that is to have as little separation as possible “between your work and your play”.

So how does this affect you?

It’s a sad fact of life but if we don’t work, we don’t earn money. And if we don’t earn money, we struggle to live the life we want. So it stands to reason that many of us struggle to find the balance between dedicating time to our job (which for most people amounts to where they spent 70% of their waking hours) and ensuring we still have the time and energy to spend with the ones we love, and doing the things we love to do.

In a Harvard Business School Survey (as reported by Forbes magazine), it was discovered that “a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week”. With the introduction of technology making it easier for us to be accessible 24hrs a day (and making it harder for us to escape) and thanks to the worldwide recession adding uncertainty in the workplace, it’s no surprise that people are struggling to not only find the time to stop working, but also to not feel guilty when enjoying themselves out of working hours.

So what can you do to find that inner peace?

We all have 24 hours in a day – so how can you best utilise your time?

 1. Look after yourself:

Your busy life may feel like you are lurching from one emergency to another, a perpetual cycle of ticking things off your To Do lists, but to keep that lifestyle sustainable you need a healthy mind and body. So as much as the adrenaline of a hectic schedule may be giving your short bursts of energy and a buzzy high…the reality is that you will come crashing down or worse, get seriously ill and burn out, if you don’t look after yourself.

How can you do that?

Drink lots of water and less alcohol and coffee (which in the short-term may calm or speed you up, but too much of either won’t help in the long-run).

Eat well and eat slowly, make time for your meals and add them to your schedule.

Go to the gym or to exercise classes, or even a short run every morning. Not only is keeping fit important, but it clears your mind and floods your brain with feel-good endorphins.

Rest your mind. Aim for 7-8 hours sleep a night and practice mindfulness – whether it’s ten minutes of deep breathing and visualisation each morning, or a guided mediation session a few times a week, your mind needs to rest sometimes too.

 2. Don’t expect perfection:

One of the biggest obstacles to getting through your work day, and the reason that many people stay on at work beyond their contracted hours, is because they want everything they do to be perfect. Stop!

Executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, author of The Office Survival Guide, says, “The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism. As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going.”

Puder-York adds, “ the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.”

3. Disconnect:

Technology has made our lives easier…but it’s also ensuring we stay ‘on’ at all times. Have you ever found yourself checking work emails at a friend’s wedding? Or scrolling through Facebook, locked in the toilet, while the kids are outside asking for you? Maybe you can’t even go for a meal with a loved one without leaving your phone on the dinner table. This constant need to be connected to everyone, at all times, means that we struggle to be present doing the important stuff. It also means that our attention spans are affected, making it harder for us to focus on the job in hand.

So in order to get full satisfaction from whatever it is you are doing – disconnect from technology! Leave your phone turned off and enjoy the people you are with, really live in the moment. By departmentalising your life you will benefit a lot more from every aspect of your day.

4. Stop wasting time:

If you are struggling to get all your work completed within the allocated hours, are you really concentrating 100% on your job or are you wasting time?

Focus on the people that reward you most. If you don’t want to spend your evening at after work drinks, don’t…go home and rest, or spend it with the family. Likewise don’t arrange meetings with people that don’t fit your life goals if your time is better spent elsewhere, you will only come away feeling frustrated and pulled in too many directions.

5. Change your life structure:

If your day is too stressful and you don’t know how you are going to manage to get it all done – step back and look at how you structure your day. Making one small change, like having a shorter lunch or turning off notifications at certain times, can free up your time and help you prioritise the areas of your life that you feel are lacking. Reorganise, prioritise, delegate and ask for help.

The perfect work-life balance may be elusive but it is attainable.

Visit Koach.net to discover how our coaches can help you find clarity at work and at home, and can lead you to a more successful and fulfilled you.


Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Situation 46: Female competition; Personal branding

Femsy noticed that all senior staff had their diplomas, awards, certificates etc. in a visible place in their offices. Now she is not longer sharing the office with Mansy, she puts hers up as well only to be told by a female colleague: “I guess some of us prefer not to show off.”

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)

A great leader:

  • Is her own person and is guided by her values and principles;
  • Is attuned to the organizational culture and understands the inexplicit rules and norms of behavior;
  • Pays attention to her personal brand and reputation.

How to best handle the situation:

Continue reading

Situation 45: Second guessing one self

In a face-to-face meeting Boss is requesting Betsy to replace Mansy during his leave of absence. Betsy is obviously flattered by the request but also doubts whether she is ready for this responsibility. She asks whether maybe Billy would be a more logical choice.

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)

A great leader:

  • Is self-confident and readily seeks and accepts new challenges;
  • Looks for opportunities to grow and develop her capabilities;
  • Seeks help from others to enable her to succeed.

How to best handle the situation:

If you are invited to step up and take on new responsibility, this is because you are seen as someone with the capabilities required to succeed at this level. Of course, it may also be a test to see how well you perform in new situations, however, this is borne out of a belief that you have potential. If you are ambitious and want to move up in your career you should welcome the new challenge with open arms.

Treat this interim assignment as you would any new job: understand what the expectations are of you in the role, be clear on the goals, objectives and priorities you need to deliver on, meet with key stakeholders in your new capacity. It is probable that you will be working with the same people as you did before this assignment, so it is vital that you act at your new higher level and communicate to your colleagues that you are in a different role with different demand than previously. Take the time to establish new working arrangements with your colleagues and any direct reports you may now have.

It can be daunting stepping into a higher-level position, so it is worth enlisting some support – a coach or mentor – who can help you navigate the new complexities of your role and transition to act at the level commensurate with your new responsibilities.

Schedule some 1:1’s with your (new) line manager to review your progress and take steps to ensure that you stay on course.

Learning suggestions:

  • If you are seeking promotion, people are more likely to award that to you if they already think of you as operating at that level. Take time to know the accountabilities of the role(s) that you aspire to and start to assume/volunteer for some responsibilities related to these.
  • Observe how your seniors, particularly, those whom you admire dress, talk, behave etc., and try to emulate them.
  • Get exposure to more senior levels in the organization to learn about how work gets done, the decisions that are taken etc. – request shadowing opportunities, volunteer to sit on cross-functional steering groups, contribute to discussion groups and fora etc.
  • Work with a mentor, who is a seasoned professional, whom you admire, to learn more about your area of expertise and the organization and develop your capabilities to a higher level.


  • Volunteer to join a high, visibility project or sit on a committee that gives you a different perspective of your organization.

 Femcommunity tips:

We welcome your thoughts, experiences and comments on how you would deal with such a situation.

Find more on our website Femflection.com

Tackling the Elephant in the Room: Is It Even Worth It?

Isaac Newton

By River Ho Rathore

Over lunch several weeks back, a friend confided that he was unhappy with the way senior management was making decisions about their business operations, including its staff management. According to him, everyone in the team felt that improvements had to be done, from the way all tasks were considered urgent, to how the senior leaders easily assumed that team members would willingly stay late at night and still be available earlier than usual the next morning.

“Well, did you give them this feedback?,” I asked. He moved his head from side to side.

“Why not?,” I pressed on.

He drew a deep breath, intimating surrender. “I know them; they won’t listen to any of their juniors. I’ll just be wasting my time telling them this. At the end, I will suffer the consequences and put my job security and satisfaction on the line.”

Continue reading

I believe that the world could be a better place with art.


Kadriye Selin Kaçar was born in Rize, Turkey in 1965. She started her career in Law Consultancy. Currently, she is the owner of the D&S Art Gallery in Tuzla-Istanbul. She is preparing students for the entrance exams of fine arts faculties and in addition gives lessons to adults and children. Over the last two decades she had many domestic and international art exhibitions.

Who are you and what do you do?

I love nature and the colours associated with it – in particular spring and autumn; I think of spring as rebirth and autumn as peaceful rest – very much like life and death. I enjoy having a laugh on life and believe that the best form of protest is a smile. I truly enjoy reading, needless to say drawing and painting and whenever I get a chance I like to travel to places that I have not seen to date.

Continue reading

What impression do you want to make? 

elastigirl-the-incrediblesBy: Anja Uitdehaag

The first thing we do if we want to find out more about a first date, a potential employer or a new colleague is googling the person concerned. And what we’ll discover is his/her personal brand.

A ‘personal brand’ is in many ways synonymous with our reputation. It refers to the way we are seen by the world, including clients, investors, peers, boss, friends, etc.

If you are not conscious of what your personal brand is and not deliberately branding yourself, the outside world is branding you.

Thus, if you are quiet you could be branded as passive; if you’re too caring of others’ feelings you might be branded as weak; if you’re too open to learning new things, you may be branded as naïve; and, perhaps most unfairly, if you’re aggressively proactive, you could very well be branded as “mannish.”

Continue reading

Continuous creative growth is crucial to me



ALEKSANDRA POPOVSKA was born in south of Serbia in 1975, in a family of Macedonian emigrants and has been living and working in Holland since 2004. She studied Music Pedagogy and Theory at the Faculty of Music in Skopje ( Ss.Cyril & Methodius University in Skopje. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Performance and Production and European Master Media in Arts from the Utrecht School of Arts. In 2010, she completed her Mphil studies in Voice Performance and Applied Composition at the University of Portshmouth, UK. Since 2000 she was devoted to research and practice of Macedonian traditional music which influenced her music career and later work as well. With the ensamble Dragan Dautovski Quartet she performed hundreds of concerts across Europe.

Besides her activities as a vocalist and composer, she teaches music in various schools and music centers (Korenhuis- Den Haag, American International School Den-Haag, Grace Music International).

Aleksandra speaks about the importance of creative self-reflection and learning.

Which 3 words would describe who you are?

Creativity, diligence, dedication. Continue reading

The world of opportunities is waiting. Reach out to select yours


Anna Zubytska is Sales Director of Danone Dairy in Ukraine. She holds EMBA degree from Central European University and has 17 years of leadership and business management experience developed in multinational FMCG environment in Europe. In her today’s interview, Anna speaks about her approach to individual development and life in general, which helps her to keep learning, growing, discovering and having fun J


Life motto

So far, my live and personal growth has been advancing this way due to my belief, that the outer world is full of opportunities. Seeing the world big allows us growing and gaining new experiences, insights, enriching our lives with joy, satisfaction and new levels of mastery.

Continue reading